Apparently, I have MANY thoughts the third book of the Harry Potter series. Short story: it’s great and the whole universe should read it. Long story: read ahead!
WARNING: this is mostly a spoiler free review but I do have a spoiler section at the end of the review. And NOW proceed!
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter (#3)
Publication: Date by publisher
Harry Potter, along with his best friends, Ron and Hermione, is about to start his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry can’t wait to get back to school after the summer holidays. (Who wouldn’t if they lived with the horrible Dursleys?) But when Harry gets to Hogwarts, the atmosphere is tense. There’s an escaped mass murderer on the loose, and the sinister prison guards of Azkaban have been called in to guard the school…
I remember being mildly confused the first time reading this book because TIME TRAVELLING! My biggest problem (like many others) was with the time travelling plot holes. But the adventures with time are so fun and the book was phenomenal.
“Shh! Listen! Someone’s coming! I think — I think it might be us!”
Things really get intertwined in this book and gives us a glimpse into how complex the whole situation is. By this book, I was completely invested in the storyline and long game of the series. It’s more than just entertainment we’re getting. Try to insult me by calling this a children series? Haha no. I loved getting to know more about Harry’s past and the exploration of moral ambiguity in this book.
The plot twists are excellently executed in this book. It’s a HP book so this is expected but still. Absolutely mind-blown. The whole storm of revelations at the end of the book overwhelmed me so much the first time reading it (still does) and the betrayal crushed me. The progression of foreshadowing, misdirection and revelations of the plot had me so shook.
Unfortunately, Voldy didn’t get his appearance in this book, but the ending showdown was just as impressive. So, the antagonist of this novel is “the notorious, mass-murderer, Sirius Black”. Cue dramatic music.
A summary of this book via Harry:
“Why would I go looking for someone I know wants to kill me?”
Yes Harry. Why indeed would people ask you not to seek people who want to kill even though you spent the last 2 years at school doing exactly that? Hmm…
This fantastic world continues to be developed to well, and we got some exciting new settings explored. Hogsmeade. The imagery was so vivid and I got all the warm fuzzies. The joke shop, the sweets, the butterbeer (amongst others) combined with all that Christmas winter was magical. As always, I felt completely immersed in the world because just thorough and exciting.
How awesome is the knight bus?!? Sounds like it would be a crazy ride, but super fun. Other stuff introduced in this novel – not as fun, but super interesting: dementors. Literal soul-sucking monsters. I think their symbolism is so powerful. The imagery and atmosphere they create is so… wow. And the way they are defeated makes me so happy because it makes it so much better.
The quidditch in this book was awesome.
“YOU CHEATING SCUM!” Lee Jordan was howling into the megaphone, dancing out of Professor McGonagall’s reach. “YOU FILTHY, CHEATING B —” Professor McGonagall didn’t even bother to tell him off. She was actually shaking her finger in Malfoy’s direction, her hat had fallen off, and she too was shouting furiously.”
Just your typical magical sports. Also Lee Jordan needs more appreciation.
The dynamic between the famous trio was awesome, as always. As expected though, there was the typical bickering. I think we have a new record for the amount of times Ron and Hermione “don’t talk to each other”. They fight a ridiculous number of times, it’s a wonder how they manage to hold on to their friendship.
Harry threatening the Dursleys in the most nonchalant way is brilliant. Also, how is Harry not more broken after everything he’s gone through and everything that is revealed to him? You know, the betrayal stuff. I think it goes to show how strong he is and I’m so upset that this is mentioned more. It’s so tragic and why am I crying??
I know that Hermione gets an infinite amount of appreciation (like she should) but seriously, being able to holding the responsibility that she gets and upholds – she’s amazing. I don’t condone violence but Hermione slapping Draco was one of my most favourite scenes EVER.
Ron, my boy.
“’Er-shall I make a cup of tea?’ said Ron.
Harry stared at him.
‘It’s what my mum does whenever someone’s upset,’ Ron muttered, shrugging.”
(This always makes me laugh)
“You asked us a question and she knows the answer! Why ask if you don’t want to be told?”
(This loyalty and bravery, mate – a true Gryffindor)
Hagrid as a teacher warms my heart. He tries so hard and is so passionate about his post – the care of magical creatures. Also Buckbeak – so majestic!
Once again, new year, new DADA professor: Remus Lupin. He’s such a strong character and it look me much too long to realise how great he is.
- He sees the healing potential of chocolate.
- He believes in everyone no matter how cruel they HAVE been or are being to him.
- He doesn’t his (tragically) personal experiences take over his life, his view of people or his teaching.
- He’s a fair and awesome DADA teacher who gives everyone a chance (and makes me so much more furious about the end). He gives everyone a chance and believes in all his students no matter how passionate/inept/disgusted they are. It makes me so happy as to how he turned out despite his prejudice – he’s doesn’t perpetuate bitterness on others. Nor does he blame students on how he was treated, AND he confronts his fear on a daily basis.
“I was hoping that Neville would assist me with the first stage of the operation,” he said, “and I am sure he will perform it admirably.”
Case and point.
Sirius Black, our villain. His story is incredibly tragic but he’s a drama queen.
On the other hand, Severus Snape continues to worsen and get more horrible. His continuation of bullying children not only frustrates me, but makes me so angry that Dumbledore, nor any of the staff intervene, or set him in his place. I won’t believe that NONE of the teachers knew what was happening. Neville’s boggart scene infuriates me so much. Initially it seemed funny, but then when you think about Neville’s deep-set fear, it’s sickening that Snape remained in a teaching position.
“That is the second time you have spoken out of turn, Miss Granger,” said Snape coolly. “Five more points from Gryffindor for being an insufferable know-it-all.”
Just in case you needed another reminder of why Snape is the worst.
Not a hero.
We have the introduction to the Marauders. And with them, the Marauder’s map. The more you learn about them, the more sad their stories are.
“Mr. Moony presents his compliments to Professor Snape, and begs him to keep his abnormally large nose out of other people’s business.
Mr. Prongs agrees with Mr. Moony, and would like to add that Professor Snape is an ugly git.
Mr. Padfoot would like to register his astonishment that an idiot like that ever became a professor.
Mr. Wormtail bids Professor Snape good day, and advises him to wash his hair, the slimeball.”
There are so many great lines in this book. Let’s get some of those great one-liners:
“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good”
“Don’t let the muggles get you down”
(I forgot this was an actual line from the book and it reminds me why I love Ron)
“Turn to page three hundred and ninety-four.”
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
Other notable quotes:
“You look in excellent health to me, Potter, so you will excuse me if I don’t let you off homework today. I assure you that if you do die, you need not hand it in.”
(McGonagall is the absolute sass queen who does not get enough recognition)
“Besides, the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”
What are all these emotions I’m feeling???
The events in this book seem to progress much faster than the previous novel. I wish it was longer. This book is surprisingly dark and sinister and I love it!
– – – – – – – – – – – – SPOILERS AHEAD! – – – – – – – – – – – –
3… 2… 1…
Let’s go through the situation with Remus Lupin:
He believes that two of his best friends are dead. One of these at the hand of a murdering traitor with a life sentence in Azkaban – another best friend. And there’s more. I can’t deal.
It breaks my heart at the end when Hermione reveals that she figured out Lupin was a werewolf but kept it a secret because she trusted him. It shows how unprejudiced she was – like there’s this mutual understanding of feeling like an outsider with Hermione being a muggleborn and Lupin a werewolf. And what they make of themselves is what matters, not purely their origin. Also they both support the idea that everyone deserves an unbiased chance, and that “betrayal” crushed me for that brief portion of time where the society’s thinking wins and I’m analysing this way too much so imma chill.
My thoughts on Sirius Black:
He spent 12 years in Azkaban without going insane because he knew he was innocent and now there is a waterfall on my face. But that willpower though. I was absolutely guttered that he couldn’t prove his innocence because Pettigrew escaped. Despite all this, I’m actually not the hugest fan of Sirius wait wait. I like him but not as intensely as I’ve gathered from the general population.
“If you made a better rat than a human, it’s not much to boast about, Peter.”
(#SiriusSarcasm – this is legit me to everyone.)
This is the Harry I know and love:
“He was my mum and dad’s best friend. He’s a convicted murderer, but he’s broken out of wizard prison and he’s on the run. He likes to keep in touch with me, though…keep up with my news…check if I’m happy…”
– – – – – – – – – – – – END OF SPOILERS! – – – – – – – – – – – –
Do you love time travelling plots? What were your favourite lines from this book? Comment below!
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