“Mischief Managed”

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban is the third segment within the Harry Potter franchise, it was first published in 1999, with the movie adaption following 5 years later. Both the book and film open up a completely new storyline and angle of the magical world to us, with the addition of new characters this is an extremely informative installment you don’t want to miss.

Prisoner of Azkaban teaches us a lot about what actually happened to Harry’s parents during the First Wizarding War. It also opens our eyes to two new very much adored characters, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. Upon re-reading this book and re-watching the movie I always learn something new which is why it is one of my favourite books out of the entire franchise.

One of my favourite scenes, within this installment is the first defense against the dark arts class with Professor Lupin. Up until this point, defense against the dark arts professors have been nothing short of interesting. This particular scene shows the reader/viewer some of the characters biggest fears and also does give us an insight to Lupin as a person. In the book, there is a lot more detail to this scene however I feel the movie adaption captures it beautifully. We are well aware from the second book about Ron’s fears of Spiders, and Neville’s fear of Professor Snape is probably quite obvious. However in this scene, we see a Boggart (something that turns into a person’s biggest fear) turn into the moon for Professor Lupin, our first hint that not all is as it seems with him.

The role of Remus Lupin within this segment is very important. He is a close friend of James and Lily Potter and watches out a lot for Harry and his friends, an enlightenment to later on in the series. He even offers Harry private lessons to combat dementor attacks. At that time he is the closest thing Harry has to a proper connection to his parents, seeing as the Dursley’s are not pleasant to him at all. We find out that Sirius Black is in fact Harry’s godfather and is presumed to have told Voldermort where to find the Potters so ultimately being the reason they were killed.

Another scene I am fond of, is Fred and George Weasley passing on the Marauders Map. This is an iconic scene and section in the book for many reasons, ultimately they are helping out a friend. However as the biggest pranksters of their generation they come across as the new ‘Marauders’. James and Sirius were best friends and infamous for pulling pranks and joking around, it is now ironic that Fred and George pass the ‘Marauders Map’ created by James and his friends onto James’ son. The map later on proves extremely useful to Harry over the years. In this particular book it allows the truth of how You Know Who found the Potter family, and the truth about Peter Pettigrew’s supposed death to come out, therefore proving Black to be innocent. As always, things are not what they seem in the magical world. Therefore I like to view this scene as the Weasley twins passing on the baton to Harry knowing he will put it to good use.

Of course I can’t write about Prisoner of Azkaban without mentioning the shrieking shack and what we learn within it. Ron’s rat Scabbers turns out to be an animagous who is Peter Pettigrew. The truth comes out about how he faked his own death and betrayed the Potters, proving Sirius Black to have been falsely accused. However Pettigrew manages to escape, meaning Black’s innocence is still in question. Within the pages of the book, we learn more background information that Snape, Lupin, Black, Pettigrew and James Potter all were at school together. However the latter were not best friends with Severus Snape this is why he presumes Lupin was assisting Black and lets slip about Lupin’s condition meaning the defense against the dark arts teacher has to resign. A devastating blow to Harry, as he has just had to say goodbye to Sirius who is now on the run again. This scene represents Harry’s life in a way, being given relatives for a short period of time and then losing them again. Think how much Harry’s life would change, if he was able to live with his godfather in the magical world rather than back at the Dursley’s.

Overall, the third installment probably opens more questions than it answers, but it is an important tale to the final narrative. Within this segment of the 7 part franchise, nothing is what it seems and the magical world is more complicated and surreal than most probably imagined. I adore the third book, and always look forward to watching the movie as for me, it seems like it is the start of things to come. It may be the only part without Voldermort present, but we learn that he relies heavily on his followers such as Pettigrew to make what he does possible.

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