Recently I have been listening to a Harry Potter podcast that I really enjoy and highly recommend called Dear Mr. Potter.
As I’ve been getting into podcasts (Yes, I know I’m late!), I’ve been seeking out content about topics I really enjoy – which most certainly includes Harry Potter! Unfortunately the vast majority of Harry Potter podcasts are just superfans gushing, gossiping, and speculating about JK Rowling’s next tweets – not really what I seek to fill my limited time! Instead I look for podcasts that provide a keen new analytical angle to content with which I’m already quite familiar.
Enter Alastair Stephens, host of the Dear Mr. Potter podcast. Formerly under the StoryWonk brand but recently renamed to Point North Media, Alastair is a professional expert on stories. He teaches classes on writing and storytelling, he offers services to review/critique manuscripts of stories-in-progress, and . . . he podcasts.
He is progressing through the Harry Potter series at the rate of one book per season, one season per year. He divides each season into ~8 episodes that progress chapter-by-chapter through the book, taking a deep dive into the characters, narratives, and general story craft of those sections. At the end of each season, he also analyzes the movie adaptation of that book.
I. love. it. It’s like a book club except much more detailed and led/hosted by someone who knows more than I do about story craft – which is something that this Ravenclaw appreciates! He is in his third season (Prisoner of Azkaban) but I’m still catching up through Chamber of Secrets.
Looking through his site, he also has podcasts on the stories of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and many one-off episodes about various movies and books so I still have lots of content through which to make my way.
The podcasts aren’t perfect (for me). He records them live with followers asking questions in real-time. Because I listen to them post-facto, I then have to wallow through some dead spots during which he is reading and processing questions. At first this was a turn-off but my podcast app lets me skip ahead a few seconds easily, which I find gets past most of that. And, who knows, once I catch up, perhaps I’ll even be tempted to participate in real-time too.
For anyone who enjoys Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, etc., I would recommend giving Alastair’s content a try. If you enjoy it, consider making a one-time donation or becoming a patron (periodic, recurring donation); it’s important to reward the content we love so that its creators can sustain it for the benefit of all!