Weekly Meeting: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Weekly Meeting

This is, in a weird way, a book club.  On Mondays I host the weekly meeting of said book club of 1 (me).  I discuss one/the only book I read in the past week.  This is not a book review, but how the book relates to my life. 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban deals with the shift in childhood when we start understanding that truth is subjective, that events can be misunderstood, and that the innocent can be punished for crimes of others.  I think we continue to struggle with these ideas even as adults.  It is the first of the books to have a bittersweet ending.  Many of the people I know feel this is the best book in the series.  Sirius Black is a beloved character.  Of the movie series, this is one of my favorites.  The director and writers took a few liberties, but it maintained the power of the book.

Five things I love about Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:

  1. CEDRIC!!!!  Cedric Diggory (my puppy’s namesake) is introduced for the first time.  He was too good and fair.  I wish I could have read about the adult he would have become.  Fingers crossed… I understand I am going to get a bit of that very soon!
  2. Sir Cadogan is mostly left out of the movie, but he plays a much bigger role in the book, but mostly just as a funny annoyance for the kids.  I always found him funny.
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    One of the major themes is justice.  That is justice for the Potters who died, justice for Sirius who was wrongfully convicted, and justice for Pettigrew who had escaped it for so long.  I always felt justice for Sirius was the most compelling need.   So much of what happens to Sirius is due to eye witnesses not seeing things correctly and nobody being able to confirm what really happened.  Even the need to help him escape, prompting the last few chapters, is motivated by the value of certain witnesses, one of whom would be trusted by authorities, but should not have been.  Snape’s grudge (while I think is valid and should have been addressed more) drives him to want to hurt Sirius even though the later is innocent of this specific crime.

  4. The Firebolt, while very underplayed in the movie, is a bigger plot point.  I always get irritated with the level of importance put into protecting Harry from a broom, but considering all the other objects that hurt him in the next book… nearly-middle-age me is far more irritated with it than I originally was.
  5. Like Fluffy, the 3 headed dog from book 1, the issue of time and Time Turners specifically, are ignored in future books.  I understand this is not the case with the new play.  I am excited about this.  Time, and the possibilities from playing with it, fascinates me.

What are your favorite parts of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban?

Last thing, I found a good video from Cinefix that explains the big differences between the first three books and movies.  I really enjoyed it!

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