Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


For the longest time, this was probably my favourite Harry Potter of the series. I like all the books, but this is the one I reread the most until HBP. As someone who does not reread books that much, it’s a bit of a big deal that I did reread this book more often than the others.

I usually like Snape (as a character), but he really irked me this book only because I loved Lupin from the get-go. I like Sirius too. Anyway, I remember the first time reading the Shrieking Shack scenes and wanting to say, “Shut up, Snape,” because he was in the way of the exposition towards the end of the story. I didn’t feel very sorry for him at the end when he didn’t get the Order of Merlin and was tricked by the trio and Dumbedore. The thing that I and Dumbledore am disappointed most with Snape is the inability of him to let go of his personal grudge against the Marauders. Oh, Malfoy was really irksome in this episode too with the whole Buckbeat.

Pettigrew really is sickening and disgusting at the end when he pleads with everyone in the shack. I always remember the line from Sirius to Peter: “Then you should have died! Died rather than betray your friends!” How Gryffindor, how central to the choices of easy and right in the themes. Their was no love, just cowardice in the choice.

One of the reasons I remember liking this book was that when I had read it, it felt different from Books one and two. I read all three one after the other in succession and had to wait for GoF. It was darker, had more backstories and introduced new characters. I also was really attached to Harry by this time so this book presented a turning point in terms of knowing about his past and his parents. Both with the memory of his mother’s screams and death and also the knowledge of the betrayal. I ultimately was so relieved at last for the DADA professor to be competent and for Harry to have not only one person who mentor him, but the possibility of Sirius and Harry living together tickled me. All I wanted was for Harry to get some happiness when he wasn’t in school and a stable home life. Too good to be true, and things really went downhill. We got to know Sirius better, but I feel Lupin has not taken the scene since this book. My l fascination for Snape really has replaced the one for the Marauders.

Another thing that sets the ending apart from the other books is there is time travel in this one with a predestination paradox even. I still think that’s a good plot device if done wisely. It often does become a deus ex machina, but I think it’s not so bad here. I almost forgot that Peter Pettigrew owes Harry a life debt. I am sure that’s going to come into play in Book 7.

You would think that with my love of this book, and my interest in Snape and the Marauders, I would read fanfiction from that era. I have been reading Harry Potter fanfiction since just Book 4. Up until this past week, I haven’t really done that. Recently, I’ve been reading Snape/Lily fics from before mainly because as much I do like Lupin, Sirius, James, etc., I’m much more fascinated by what we don’t know especially with Snape and Lily being ever more mysterious since HBP.

2 thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

  • soleil

    i just finished re-reading this book and i too had forgotten that wormtail owes harry a life debt and had the same conclusion about it coming into play in book seven. i just finished re-reading book 4 yesterday and was reminded of dumbledore’s ‘gleam of triumph’ over voldemort using harry’s blood. still trying to puzzle that one out.


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