If you haven’t already, click the following links to read the previous two #Pottermania posts: Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets. This edition will cover the book-to-film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, based on J.K. Rowling’s third book of the Harry Potter series.
The film begins as 13-year-old Harry is back at the Dursley’s home for the summer and it is as horrible as ever. Uncle Vernon’s sister Marge has come to stay and she is a terrible human being who insults Harry every other sentence. When Marge begins to attack the memory of Harry’s parents he loses it and accidentally sparks a spell that makes Marge blow up like a balloon. In Harry’s rage he packs his belongings and leaves in a huff, but quickly realizes he has nowhere to go and that he has broken wizarding law by performing magic outside of Hogwarts. Luckily, the Knight Bus arrives just as a strange black dog approaches Harry and they end up taking him to the Leaky Cauldron. Upon arrival Harry reunites with his best friends and the rest of the Weasleys. Harry then finds out that Sirius Black, who is believe to have helped Voldemort kill his parents, has just escaped from Azkaban and is coming to finish him off.
On the way back to Hogwarts, evil creatures that guard Azkaban prison called dementors board the train. One of them begins to attack Harry and after he wakes up from passing out, he learns that the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher Professor Lupin saved him. Once the students arrive, Dumbledore alerts them that the dementors will be guarding Hogwarts for their safety. Also, Hagrid is announced as the brand new Care of Magical Creatures teacher! However, during his first lesson Draco Malfoy gets jealous of Harry’s success with the Hippogriff Buckbeak, and ends up being attacked when he approaches him without bowing. As a result, Draco’s father has Buckbeak sentenced for execution.
Soon after, the portrait of the Fat Lady is attacked and after searching other paintings for her, she states that she was attacked by Sirius Black. Things continue to worsen for Harry during a very stormy quidditch match against Hufflepuff, as he is attacked by the Dementors and his broom is destroyed by the Whomping Willow. However, Professor Lupin begins to privately teach Harry how to use the Patronus charm in order to defend himself against any future dementor attacks. The Weasley twins decide to cheer Harry up by giving him the Marauders Map, which shows all the known and secret passageways at Hogwarts. Harry uses it alongside the invisibility cloak to sneak into Hogsmeade where he attacks Malfoy with a snowball fight. However, Harry also finds out that Sirius Black is his godfather as was his parents’ best friend, but he betrayed their trust by giving them up to Voldemort.
On the night of Buckbeak’s execution the trio sneak down to Hagrid’s hut to help console him. On their way back to the castle Ron’s rat Scabbers bites him and runs off, so the three of them begin to chase after him. Suddenly a large black dog appears and begins to drag Ron and Scabbers into a hole in the Whomping Willow. Harry and Hermione manage to dive into the opening and quickly realize that it is a secret passage to the Shrieking Shack. They find Ron and then discover that Sirius is the black dog as he is an animagus. Professor Lupin then arrives and reveals that he is a werewolf and also believes Sirius to be innocent. They both explain that Sirius was set up by their friend Peter Pettigrew, who did not die decades ago but shifted into his animagus form. They point to Ron’s rat Scabbers and force him into his human form, then they both want to kill Peter but Harry argues that they should give him to the Dementors instead.
Professor Snape eventually shows up to ruin the party with all the pent up anger from his childhood. But, on their way back to the castle the full moon rises and Lupin begins to lose control and slowly transforms into a werewolf. In an attempt to save them all Sirius switches back into dog form in order to fight Lupin off. As the chaos ensues, Pettigrew switches back into rat form and scampers off. Harry runs after Sirius to try and help him, but ends up finding him under attack by dementors. He attempts to fight them off but as there are too many he slowly begins to pass out. However, just before the world goes black he sees a dark figure across the lake send out a strong Patronus that saves him and Sirius.
Harry wakes up in the hospital wing and learns that Sirius has been captured and has been sentenced to receive a Dementor’s kiss. Dumbledore hints to Hermione for her to use the Time Turner, a device she has been using all year to attend classes, to bring her and Harry back in time. Their mission is to save Buckbeak in order to rescue Sirius from his cell. After watching many of the night’s events repeat, they free Buckbeak and run to the lake. Harry begins to realize that he’s the dark figure he had seen earlier and as a result expends a powerful stag Patronus saving Sirius and his past self. They then fly Buckbeak to the roof and Hermione breaks him out of his cell before they run back to the hospital wing just in the nick of time. The next day Lupin resigns as he assumes there will be an uproar now that the secret is out about him being a werewolf. The film concludes as Harry is in the dining hall and receives a large long package. Upon opening it he reveals a Firebolt, the fastest broom in the world, and a Hippogriff feather. Harry concludes that it came from Sirius and then runs to the courtyard to take a ride as he knows his godfather is safe!
Favourite Parts of the Film
- Getting to see Hermione punch Malfoy in the face was glorious. Even better was getting to see it twice because of the Time Turner!
- I always love the scenes in the Hogwarts room showing the boys bonding! The third years eating the voice shifting candies was adorable. Also, the scene where Harry tells Ron to tell the spiders in his nightmare that he doesn’t want to tap dance was hilarious.
- I just wanted to give a shoutout to the casting director for the new characters added to the franchise in this film. Specifically, Gary Oldman as Sirius Black, David Thewlis as Remus Lupin, Michael Gambon as New Dumbledore, Emma Thompson as Professor Trelawney, and Timothy Spall as Peter Pettigrew.
- The time travelling in the film was a lot cooler than the book. In the film Hermione throws stones at Hagrid’s hut to alert them it’s time to leave, she howls at Lupin in order to lure him away from Harry, as well as Buckbeak ends up saving Harry and Hermione from Lupin!
Plot Changes from the Book
- In the film Harry got on the Knight Bus as himself instead of pretending to be Neville Longbottom. The ride itself was actually a lot funnier than the book because it seemed that Harry was on the bus for a shorter time and the shenanigans of sneaking between two buses and waiting for the old lady to walk across the street was perfect.
- Harry finding out more about Sirius Black was very different in the film than the book. In the book he learns by listening from a spot with Ron and Hermione, but in the film he follows McGonagall and other members up to the attic. Then instead of running back to Hogwarts as Malfoy had seen him in the book, he gets to vent to Ron and Hermione as they hadn’t overheard the news with him.
- The fight between Hermione and Ron regarding Scabbers’ disappearance was a lot bigger in the book. There had been evidence that Scabbers was eaten as there was blood and torn sheets. Then Hermione was supposed to find him in Hagrid’s hut when they went down to console him.
1) “[After punching Malfoy in the face] That felt good.” – Hermione “Not good, brilliant!” – Ron
2) “Oh executioner, your services are no longer required.” – Dumbledore
3) “EXPECTO PATRONUM!!” – Harry
4) [Sitting bolt upright in bed] Spiders … the spiders … they want me to tap-dance. And I don’t want to tap-dance!” – Ron “You tell those spiders, Ron.” – Harry
5) “Mysterious thing, time. Powerful, and when meddled with, dangerous. Sirius Black is in the topmost cell of the dark tower. You know the laws, Miss Granger. You must not be seen, and you would do well, I feel, to return before the last chime. If not, the consequences are too ghastly to discuss. If you succeed tonight, more than one innocent life may be spared. Three turns, should do it, I think.” – Dumbledore
6) “Well, Harry’s got a sort of wonky cross … that’s trials and suffering. And, uh, that there could be the sun, and that’s happiness, so … you’re gonna suffer … but, you’re gonna be happy about it …”
7) “But you know happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Dumbledore
8) “I was thinking of him … and Mum. Seeing their faces. They were talking to me, just talking. That’s the memory I chose. I don’t even know if it’s real. But it’s the best memory I have.
9) “What would you have done, Sirius?” – Peter Pettigrew “I would have died! I would have died rather than betray my friends, as we would have done for you!” – Sirius
10) “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” – Harry
As usual I’ve included a couple of extra bonus items for the big HP fans. See the buzzfeed article below for Daniel Dalton’s hilarious third edition of watching HP for the first time! I’ve also included a video link to all the deleted scenes from the film.