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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Author: J.K. Rowling

Published: 8th July 1999

Genre: Children’s literature, Fantasy, Fiction

Start Date: 21st July 2022

Finish Date: 22nd July 2022


'Welcome to the Knight Bus, emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard. Just stick out your wand hand, step on board and we can take you anywhere you want to go.'

When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it's the start of another far from ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run

and they say he is coming after Harry.

In his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry's tea leaves. But perhaps most terrifying of all are the dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss.


This is my first time since the movies come out that I have read the Harry Potter series, I have fond memories of Harry Potter.

The Prisoner of Azkaban takes place in Harry’s third year at Hogwarts.  This book is different to its predecessors as Voldemort is not around. Rather it takes a lot at Harry’s parents Lily and James Potter; their past and introduces Sirius Black who was accused of betraying the Potters which ultimately led to their untimely death.

J.K Rowling writing gets better and better with each book I read. She is able to make her characters realistic and they come to life before your eyes. The reason why her characters are so realistic is because of how they grow as the series goes on, you can see the plot J.K Rowling has interwoven with cleverly placed foreshadowing and seemingly innocent hints.

J.K Rowling has done an amazing job of side-stepping the usual series-writer trap of sticking so closely to a successful formula which in turns make each book turn out the same. With Harry the book grows and changes, this book is darker more sinister and morally more ambiguous than its predecessors.

The Prisoner of Azkaban is defintely darker than its predecessors as Harry starts to learn more and more about the sinister forces that threaten the wizarding world.

As Harry enters the age of puberty and teenage-hood, he finds himself faced with real terror and deceit. He starts to develop in a young man who is finding his feet, and he even starts to recognise the other gender and starts finding girls attractive. As normal, there are many humorous moments between Ron and Hermione who seem like they cannot stand each other.

Prisoner of Azkaban shows you the horrible aspects of Revenge and spite through Sirius Black. Sirius Black has surprisingly stayed sane in his years in Azkaban but he has been fuelled by hate and blood lust. The fear that the dementors evoke in Harry is disturbing but also heartbreaking. Prisoner of Akzaban also addresses several interesting concepts about responsibility and growing up. For example, when Harry, Ron and Hermione are faced with seemingly small but life-defining moments.

Once again I highly recommend this book!

Looking at comparing the movie to the book; there are many aspects of the book that stands out to me, but I will tell you the ones that make a difference to me. In the book, at the dinner party, Aunt Marge allows Ripper to drink tea off of a saucer. In the film, she allows him a drink of brandy from her glass. In the book, Aunt Marge stays for a couple of nights before she gets blown up. The film makes it seem she blows up the same day she visits. In the book, Harry sat at the table with Aunt Marge and the Dursleys, but in the film, he is just busy at the kitchen counter serving the Dursleys and Aunt Marge. Also in the book, Marge only floats up to the ceiling, while in the film she uncontrollably floats out of the house, later to be found circling a chimney in Sheffield.

In the book, Harry pretends to be Neville Longbottom while on the Knight Bus, running from the Ministry of Magic. In the film, Harry doesn't pretend to be Neville; however, his identity is still kept secret. The film makers added Shrunken heads that have the ability to talk, probably to add humour. So far these creatures have been unique to this film only. In an interview on the DVD release, J.K. Rowling said the addition of the shrunken heads had her full support, and she only wished she'd thought of them herself. Harry asking Cornelius Fudge to sign his Hogsmeade permission slip is taken out. In the book, Harry still has only two weeks of vacation remaining left before returning to Hogwarts, following the incident of blowing up Aunt Marge as mentioned by Cornelius Fudge; But in the film, Harry returns to Hogwarts the next day after having arrived at the Leaky Cauldron. In the book, Harry reunites with Hedwig in his room at the Leaky Cauldron with Tom telling Harry that Hedwig arrived five minutes after he did; But in the film, Harry reunites with Hedwig withTom telling Harry that Hedwig arrived five minutes before Harry did.

Professor McGonagall's Transfiguration classes never happen at any point in the film, and as such, she never performs her Animagus ability or tells the students not to listen to what Trelawney says. Professor Snape's Potions classes also never happen. When the Gryffindors and Slytherins go to their first Care of Magical Creatures lesson in the book they visit the Hogwarts Hippogriff Herd, but in the film Buckbeak appears to be the sole hippogriff at Hogwarts. The film has scenes that suggest a growing romance between Ron and Hermione. During their first Care of Magical Creatures class, Hermione grasps Ron's hand when Harry goes up to Buckbeak, which surprises him. Later on in Hogsmeade, they stare at the Shrieking Shack with Ron confusing Hermione's dialogue when she spoke of "getting closer" to the Shack. Then after Buckbeak's apparent execution, Hermione starts crying and hugs Ron. When Harry rides on Buckbeak in the film, they fly all the way to the Hogwarts lake; in the book, they fly only once around the paddock in the Forbidden Forest. In the book, Harry doesn't quite enjoy his first ride on Buckbeak, and it's made clear between hippogriffs and broomsticks which one he prefers. But in the film, during his first ride on Buckbeak, Harry is fascinated by the ride and enjoying it a lot as they fly over the Black Lake, raising his arms and shouting in triumph. The film portrayal also depicts a much longer ride, with Buckbeak achieving a sort of smooth, idyllic glide not described in the novel. In the novel, Malfoy is bleeding from his arm after Buckbeak attacks him which falls on the grass. In the film, Malfoy is not bleeding and only a piece of white from Buckbeak's scratch can be seen, although it's probably just Malfoy's shirt as it seems Buckbeak slashed his robe sleeve open. The part of Bem was created solely for the film, he explains to Seamus Finnigan what the Grim is and also expresses his concern over the Dementors' effectiveness at catching Sirius.

In the book, Harry, Ron and Hermione make their way to Defence Against the Dark Arts class, when Hermione disappears but then reappears a few feet behind them. In the film, Harry and Ron are already in the classroom when Hermione appears during the lesson. In the book, Parvati Patil's boggart is a mummy; in the film, it is a giant snake. In the book, the Boggart which had transformed into a spider to scare Ron, loses its legs when Ron casts the spell on it and rolls over to Harry, where Lupin prevents it from transforming, while in the film Ron conjures some roller blades to appear on the spider's legs, after which Parvati faced it, and it transformed into a massive serpent, but was again countered, after which it was faced by Harry, upon which it transformed into a Dementor, upon which Lupin stopped it and sealed it back into the cupboard.

The origins of the Marauder's Map are not revealed in the film. The whole storyline of the Marauders is left out. Potential continuity errors are avoided in later films when Voldemort refers to Pettigrew as "Wormtail" in the dream Harry witnesses (in Goblet of Fire) and "Mad-Eye" Moody refers to Sirius as "Padfoot" in front of Harry (in Order of the Phoenix), which allows for Harry to know their nicknames. In the film Sirius shows knowledge of the map stating that the map never lies. In the film, Harry's two visits to Hogsmeade are combined into a single trip. In the book Ron and Hermione were with Harry when he eavesdropped on Fudge's conversation with staff and Rosmerta. In the film Harry was alone as the Inn forbade under-age wizards from entering the pub that day. Also in the film Harry snuck in using his Invisibility Cloak, while in the book he hid underneath Ron and Hermione's table as he did not bring the cloak during his first visit to Hogsmeade. In the film, this conversation is taken to a private room, with only Harry, Rosmerta, McGonagall, and Fudge present. In the film, Harry's reaction to the truth is limited to a single scene where he angrily swears he would kill Black. In the book, this was more drawn out where Harry was both angry and depressed for days with nightmares over this fact and that the people who knew the truth did not bother to tell him.

In the book, during his first anti-dementor lesson, Harry tries to ward off the dementor twice unsuccessfully before succeeding. But in the film, he only tries once unsuccessfully before succeeding. Also, Harry's memory in the book that works is the memory of how happy he was that he would be leaving the Dursleys. In the film, he uses a made-up memory of his parents.

In the film, after Hermione storms out of the Divination lesson from being insulted by Trelawney, on her way out, she knocks a Crystal ball off the table and it rolls down the Divination Stairwell. Harry notices it on his way out and decides to take it back to the classroom. He then finds Trelawney in a trance and it is here where she tells him a prophecy. In the book her trance takes place during Harry's Exam. In the book, while the trio are on their way to Hagrid's hut when Buckbeak's execution is to take place, they bring Harry's Invisibility Cloak with them, but in the film, they do not bring the cloak at all. In the novel, during the trio's visit to Hagrid, they follow him out in to his back garden where he comforts Buckbeak and says "It's okay, Beaky." This is omitted from the film, as Hagrid doesn't have a garden and Buckbeak is laying right outside the front of Hagrid's hut. In the film, in Hagrid's hut a jar of yellow powder breaks which appears to have been thrown by a kind of rock fossil and then another one hits Harry on the back of the head. This causes Harry to turn and show Hagrid that Dumbledore, Fudge and Macnair are coming. In the novel, Hagrid just sees the party coming through his window and tells the trio to leave and there is no vase broken. The feeble, elderly member from the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creature never appears.

In the film, after Buckbeak’s apparent execution, Hermione starts crying and hugs Ron while Harry comforts her. This never happens in the book. Crookshanks never recognises Sirius as an Animagus in the film. In the book, Ron is generally depicted as being brave and heroic under stress while Hermione was depicted as being nervous, terrified/frightened. In the film, Ron's bravery was transferred to Hermione and Hermione's nervousness/terror was transferred to Ron. In the film, Ron saw Sirius/Padfoot appear and pointed the dog out to Harry and Hermione in a quivering, frightened tone of voice. No such bit appeared in the book. In the book, Sirius (in Animagus form) had grabbed Ron by the arm and that Ron's leg was broken when he tried to use one of the Whomping Willow's roots to hold them in place to avoid being dragged off only for the pressure to break his leg. This was changed to Ron being grabbed by the leg in the film likely for being too graphic. In the novel, when Hermione and Harry find Ron in the Shrieking Shack, Sirius disarms Harry and Hermione with Ron's wand and catches their wands, but in the film, he does not as he does not have Ron's wand. However, Harry does get disarmed by Lupin the moment he enters the room in both the book and film, while in the film Hermione's wand is in her pocket, as seen when Harry uses it to blast Snape backwards, but in the novel, Lupin blasts Harry's wand away and two other wands that Hermione was holding and Lupin catches them all deftly. Also, in the film, when Lupin disarms Harry, the latter's wand disappears near the staircase. Ron is not disarmed in the film, although like Hermione, he does not consider using his wand. In the film, after seeing Pettigrew's name on the map, Harry says this to Lupin. In the book, Harry never saw Pettigrew's name on it, and Lupin was the one who saw Pettigrew's name after acquiring the map and using it on the same day as Buckbeak's execution, since he knew Harry, Ron, and Hermione would visit Hagrid that day. These events are what caused Lupin to believe that Sirius is innocent.

The story of Lupin's connection to the Shrieking Shack and Whomping Willow is omitted. In the novel, Snape appears in the Shrieking Shack after pulling off the Invisibility Cloak, but in the film, as the trio didn't bring the cloak with them, Snape appears visible and is seen when he disarms Sirius. Also, in the film, Snape disarms Sirius with Lupin's wand since Lupin passed it to him when Sirius was so wanting to kill Pettigrew. In the novel, Lupin never gave his wand to Sirius, so Snape never disarms the latter.

In the books, a transformed werewolf is described as looking almost like a true wolf except for a few subtle differences like the shape of the snout and tail and the eyes. However in the film a transformed werewolf looks more like the anthropomorphic versions from other werewolf films. In the book, Snape had been unconscious because of the spell cast by Hermione, Ron, and Harry and had to be suspended in mid-air by magic to be brought out of the Shrieking Shack. He was not there to protect Hermione, Ron, and Harry when Lupin transformed into a werewolf, but in the film, Snape was left behind, but suddenly regained consciousness to protect Harry, Ron, and Hermione from Lupin. In the book Snape regains consciousness only after Sirius, Hermione and Harry become unconscious because of the Dementors. In the film, while Sirius and Lupin (both transformed) fight, Harry runs up and throws a stone at Lupin, hitting him on the back of the head which causes Lupin to try and attack Harry, until the sound a female wolf (sounding like Hermione's voice) stops Lupin and then runs away. Harry never threw anything at the transformed Lupin in the book. In the book, Hermione is with Harry and Sirius when they are attacked by the Dementors. In the film, she attempts to run after him, but is stopped by Snape, forcing her to stay behind with Ron. In the book, Ron is obviously stunned unconscious by Peter Pettigrew with Lupin's wand, but in the film, Ron is not stunned and remains conscious the whole time.

In the film, Dumbledore instantly believes the trio, like in the book and gives them rules how to rescue Sirius. When Dumbledore is telling them this, however, he absent-mindedly taps Ron's bandaged leg which does not happen in the book. In the book, Dumbledore tells Harry and Hermione that Sirius is locked up in Professor Flitwick's office in the West Tower, thirteenth window from the right of the tower, but in the film, Dumbledore tells Harry and Hermione that Sirius is locked up in the topmost cell of the Dark Tower. In the book, when Harry and Hermione go back in time, the whole view of the hospital wing disappears and different colours and shapes blur around them until they soon land in the deserted Entrance Hall, but in the film, when Harry and Hermione go back in time, they remain standing in the hospital wing while Harry watches themselves as well as others who were in the hospital wing since the previous three hours doing everything backwards until the whole thing stops. This means that the view does not disappear and no different colours or shapes appear around Harry and Hermione in the film. In the film, when Harry and Hermione go back in time, Hermione throws 2 ammonites fossils at both Hagrid's pot (because that had happened) and at Harry to get his attention, so he can see Fudge and Macnair coming to Hagrid's hut. Hermione later howls like a wolf to call Lupin away from fighting Padfoot, in turn causing him to come after them instead, at which point they are rescued by Buckbeak. In the novel, neither of these two events occur. Hermione throwing ammonites fossils is obvious of not occurring in the novel, especially since neither the pot or Harry got hit by any of the fossils. In the film, Hermione is with Harry when he saves himself, and Sirius from the Dementors, instead of with Buckbeak at Hagrid's cabin.In addition in the book, when Harry is about to break out into the open, he points out to a protesting Hermione that they need to get out into the open, not to interfere, but to evade the then-incoming (and recently-transformed) Professor Lupin. This was obviously changed in the film. In the book, Harry figured out that he was one that cast the Patronus that saved their past selves before using it. In the film, as Hermione was with him, she convinces Harry that no one is coming to save them leading Harry to cast the Patronus and realising the truth afterwards. In the book Hermione rescues Sirius Black with "Alohomora," but in the film, she uses "Bombarda," a spell made up for the films.



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