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Meet Ulysses

My husband and I held annual passes to the Tampa Bay Ren Fest this year. We attended every Saturday and Sunday while the faire was in town, 7 weekends in all. There are two shows that we love above all others: Emrys Fleet, the Rat Catcher, and Ash's Knight Wings. We caught each of these shows at least once per day (more like twice, sometimes three times). This means that we saw these shows on the order of 28 times each, this year alone. (I grew up with Emrys's show, so I knew most of it by heart already.) So believe me when I say, we know the text and cadence of these shows, including their subtle changes over time.

One of Ash's birds is Ulysses, a Eurasian Eagle Owl. He calls him a European Eagle Owl because apparently most Americans don't know what "Eurasian" means and he gets tired of explaining it.

Meet Ulysses

One of Ash's frequent lines is this: "I don't like to think of him as AN owl so much as THE owl. How many of you are a fan of a wizard by the name of Harry Potter? *pause for applause*" - You see, Ulysses can be a very good hunter when he wants to be, but mostly he likes to camp out on his kills for four hours while Ash hunts him down, which is no fun for Ash. So Ash stopped hunting with him, and started putting him in film. Because one thing Ulysses can do fairly well (when motivated) is fly from Point A to Point B. So Ash says "Ulysses is featured in the opening of the first Harry Potter film, and is carried on the arm of Draco Malfoy in the second. Don't blame me kids, I didn't cast him." - Apparently many children came up to Ash, kicked sand onto his boots, and shouted "GRYFFINDOR RULES!"

Here's an example of Ulysses doing what he does best:

So my hubby and I were totally excited to re-watch the Harry Potter films with a keen eye for Ulysses.

He's actually pretty easy to spot. With a wing-span over five feet, huge talons, and startling orange eyes, we could spot him in the first movie in every scene in which he appeared.

Apologies for the color in the below screen-caps, but check the movie at the stated time-stamps to see better resolution.

Here he is on the literal opening shot of the movie, 20 seconds in:

And then seven seconds later, showing the skill that he usually does with only moderate incentive:

Actually Ulysses REALLY likes to just sit there, much to Ash's consternation.

Here he is at 10min, 26sec:

And again at 21min, 19 sec:

Here's Ulysses delivering mail, at 53min, 59sec:

(Actually there were a few times at the Ren Fest when Ulysses absolutely refused to leave his perch, which I hope didn't reduce Ash's tips too greatly. Ash excused Ulysses as "full", being kind, he's probably just stubborn.)

But watching the second movie with an eagle eye (please excuse the expression), we never saw Ulysses. "Maybe his scene got cut?" I thought. So I re-watched the opening of the movie, and all of the deleted scenes on the DVD.

Alas, going through the deleted scenes I can't find Ulysses. So I beg your help! What am I missing? It's possible that the scene didn't even make the deleted scenes... or maybe I'm just missing something. So if you spot Ulysses in the Chamber of Secrets, please let me know!!

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