Sunday, July 10, 2011

Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

If you missed my thoughts on the first two books, you can read about Sorcerer’s Stone here, and Chamber of Secrets here.

Alright, this is most likely going to be the longest of all my Harry Potter reread posts, because Prisoner of Azkaban is pretty much my favorite of the series (if I had to pick a favorite Harry Potter book). I love love LOVE the Marauders (it’s quite possibly I love the Marauder era more than the actual Harry Potter era), so all the little tidbits and background information that we get in this book make me super giddy. If JK Rowling ever does decide to write another HP book, I really hope she does a prequel about the Marauders.

I don’t even know where to begin with all my thoughts. I think I’ll just do random bulletpoints and hopefully it will all turn into one cohesive post by the end. :P

So here we go, random things I love (and other comments) about Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:

- Starting at the beginning, I love Ron’s phone call to the Dursleys. I had totally forgotten how hilarious that was.

-  Also, Stan on the Knight Bus continues to call Harry ‘Neville’ even after he finds out who he actually. LOL.

- I know this probably doesn’t make sense, but do you think Lupin being hired for this particular year had anything to do with Siruis Black escaping? Did Dumbledore maybe think it would be safer to have one of Sirius’ old friends at Hogwarts, someone who knew him really well and might be able to better protect against him?

- And speaking of Sirius, I realized as I was rereading this book that it drove me crazy how everyone was so convinced that he was the traitor. I know all the evidence pointed that way, but there were several points in the book where they mention how close he and James were and how Sirius was the last person they ever would have expected to turn to Voldemort. Dumbledore is usually such an excellent judge of character and knows everything, it just bugs me a little that he never suspected Sirius might be innocent. He knew him when he was at school, after all. Another time this comes up is the conversation with Madam Rosmerta in the Three Broomsticks, when Harry is hiding under the table and finds out that Sirius is his godfather. They all talk about how close James and Sirius were, surely someone must have realized he would never turn on his best friend?
Sigh, anyway. Sorry, rant over. :)

- There’s one point when Hermione falls asleep and forgets to use the Time-Turner to go to Charms, and Harry and Ron come and find her and she freaks out that she forgot and missed class. But hello, she has a TIME MACHINE. Couldn’t she just go back right then and go to Charms? But then I guess Ron and Harry never would have come and told her that she had missed class so she wouldn’t know to go back? Ugh, I don’t know, time travel gives me a headache.

- I love it when I’m reading and I have memories of the first time I ever read a certain section. One big example of this is when the Fat Lady is attacked and leaves her portrait. Peeves says she’s hiding in another portrait and Dumbledore asks him about her:

“’Did she say who did it?’ said Dumbledore quietly,
‘Oh yes, Professorhead,’ said Peeves, with the air of one cradling a large bombshell in his arms. ‘He got very angry when she wouldn’t let him in, you see.’ Peeves flipped over and grinned at Dumbledore from between his own legs. ‘Nasty temper he’s got, that Sirius Black.’”

BAM. End chapter. I remember I got such a jolt when I first read the words “Sirius Black.” I love how books can have that kind of an impact.

- I wish they had included Sir Cadogan in the movie. I know he appears very briefly in a later film, but he is so hilarious in the books and I miss him. His introduction scene when Harry and Ron are trying to find the Divination classroom is so funny.

- In the movie Harry sees Pettigrew on the Maurader’s Map and that’s how Snape catches him and Lupin takes the map. I had completely forgotten that this never happens in the book. In the book Harry goes to Hogsmeade with his Invisibility Cloak and it slips and Malfoy sees his head, leading Snape to question Harry, find the map, summon Lupin, etc. During this scene, Snape says something to Lupin about the likelihood of Harry having gotten the map “directly from the manufacturers,” which makes it seem like Snape knows about the Marauders, because why would he say it otherwise? But he clearly doesn’t know, because he didn’t know anything about Pettigrew and Sirius being Animagi. So does he just suspect that it has something to do with Lupin? Or maybe he knew their nicknames, but nothing else? Hmm… I’m probably analyzing this way too much, haha.

- Oh my lord, I love the chapters with the Quidditch matches.  As cool as it is to see everyone zooming around on broomsticks on the screen, I feel like the spirit of the Quidditch matches is something that was never quite captured fully in the movies. Especially since THEY DIDN’T EVEN HAVE THE QUIDDITCH FINAL IN THE THIRD MOVIE! This is something I can rant about for a while, so I’m just going to stop myself right now.
There are two chapters in the book with AWESOME Quidditch matches, so I’ll just highlight my favorite things from both of them:
                - In all the books, I adore how frantic Wood is about Quidditch. And it’s especially great in this one. At one point he keeps approaching Harry in the corridors:
                               “So you must catch it only if we’re more than fifty points up,” Wood told Harry constantly. “Only if we’re more than fifty points up, Harry, or we win the match but lose the Cup. You’ve got that, haven’t you? You must catch the Snitch only if we’re – “
                                “I KNOW, OLIVER!” Harry yelled”’

                - Things from “Gryffindor Versus Ravenclaw”: love how Jordan spends the entire match praising the Firebolt and McGonagall getting pissed at him, Cho taunting Harry and Wood yelling at him not to be a gentlemen and just knock her off the broom, Malfoy and his “dementors,” McGonagall shrieking at them, Lupin’s praise of Harry’s Patronus…
- Things from “The Quidditch Final”: I love how dirty the match gets, how outraged Madam Hooch is, Jordan’s commentary, McGonagall eventually not even telling him off and yelling at the players herself, love when Harry rushes the Slytherins so that Angelina can score, love how excited everyone is at the end… SUCH A GOOD CHAPTER.

- And speaking of Quidditch, let me just say that I LOVE the bits with Firebolt: not knowing who it came from, McGonagall taking it away, the shock when Harry gets it back and the whole school finally sees it… I like it much better than the way they did it in the movie. So boring. :P My favorite bit is this part with Wood:

                ‘”Bad news, Harry. I’ve just been to see Professor McGonagall about the Firebolt. She – er- got a bit shirty with me. Told me I’d got my priorities wrong. Seemed to think I cared more about winning the Cup than I do about you staying alive. Just because I told her I didn’t care if I threw you off, as long as you caught the Snitch first.” Wood shook his head in disbelief. “Honestly, the way she was yelling at me… you’d think I’d said something terrible…”’

Hahahaa I love Wood.

- Chapters 17 and 18 (“Cat, Rat, and Dog” and “Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs”) are two of my favorites. As I mentioned before, I LOVE the Marauders, and I looooove all the juicy backstory we get in these chapters. I won’t go into details, because this post is already overlong, but suffice it to say I love everything about these two chapters.

- One point I do want to make though, Lupin says that he was watching the map because he thought Harry, Ron, and Hermione might sneak down to Hagrid’s, and then he saw that when they left Hagrid’s they had someone else with them. But shouldn’t Pettigrew have shown up in Hagrid’s hut when Lupin was looking at the map? He should have seen Harry, Ron, and Hermione walking there, and Hagrid and Pettigrew should have already been in the hut itself. Pettigrew shouldn’t have just randomly appeared as they were leaving. Shrug. Just a thought.

- I hate that they never explain the Marauders in the movie. We never know who made the map, we don’t know why Harry’s Patronus is a stag… no offense to anyone who just watches the movies and hasn’t read the books, but I absolutely can’t imagine only knowing the information we get from the movies. There’s just so much more.

- My poor, frustrated Snape at the end, when Sirius disappears and nobody can figure out why. He knows it’s Harry, it’s always Harry, but he can’t prove it. His frustration breaks my heart. I know he can be horrible to Harry and Co, but I feel so sorry for him sometimes. His poor, sad life.

- And last thing, another example of how much I love Dumbledore:

‘”Professor Dumbledore – yesterday, when I was having my Divination exam – Professor Trelawney went very – very strange.”
“Indeed?” said Dumbledore. “Er – stranger than usual, you mean?”
“Yes… her voice went all deep and her eyes rolled and she said… she said Voldemort’s servant was going to set out to return to him before midnight… She said the servant would help him come back to power.” Harry stared up at Dumbledore. “And then she sort of became normal again, and she couldn’t remember anything she’d said. Was it – was she making a real prediction?”
Dumbledore looked mildly impressed.
“Do you know, Harry, I think she might have been,” he said thoughtfully, “Who’d have thought it? That brings her total of real predictions up to two. I should I offer her a pay raise…”

Okay, I PROMISE, I ‘m stopping now. Sorry for the length of this post, it got a bit out of hand. *sheepish grin* I’ll keep the other ones shorter, I swear.

Just two things to leave you with: One, the gorgeous book jacket illustration for Prisoner of Azkaban:

And two, a picture of my own copy, which I think deserves retirement. You can definitely tell this is the one I read the most:

Haha. Happy Harry Potter week everyone! Goblet of Fire post should be up soon. :)


  1. I seriously LOVE reading your thoughts on these books, it's so much fun! And you remind me of so many moments that I just want to go hide away from the world for a week and immerse myself back in these books.... and get sucked through the pages and never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever leave Hogwarts :D Ahh, a girl can dream.

    LOL the Quidditch stuff is SO much awesome in the books! I love all the commentary and atmosphere and oh Wood. Especially when Harry got the Firebolt.

    I love the Marauders so much. YES TO A PREQUEL! Oh god yes. How amazing would a book about them be? And I want to see the bromance between James and Sirius <3 Hey, I wonder if there'll be any Marauder tidbits in the extra info J.K gives on Pottermore? We both better get into the beta testing at the end of this moment! And you better be a Hufflepuff :P

    Haha, you know, in any other situation I would be horrified at such mistreatment of a sacred book, but with HP I feel PRIDE when I see the books so worn and torn and well loved. Mine are not quite coming apart like that, but they are fraying around the edges and spines and my Half Blood Prince, bless him, has a really old blood spot on the top of the pages. I started getting a blood nose while I was holding it years ago. Suffice it to say, I don't think anyone will ever want to borrow it from me LOL.

    Alright, sorry. I don't mean to post such long comments but... I do love your posts!

  2. Happy Harry Potter Week! I wish I could participate but I just do not have the time :(. So... I'm reading everyone else's posts :). I'm SO HAPPY to read that Prisoner of Azkaban is your favorite too! I LOVE this book, and it was my absolute favorite of the series until The Deathly Hollows. I loved reading this post, it makes me want to go re-read it NOW. Thanks :) ~ Jen @ A Book and a Latte

  3. Oh, I also meant to say that I too LOVE the Marauders and wish JKR would do a prequel!!! Maybe she'll have more details on Pottermore?!


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