Saturday, October 1, 2011

Reading Harry Potter With My Mom: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

As the pages open on my frail copy of the third book in the saga (the entire middle has come loose from the binding) Mom and I are entering new territory for her. The first two books she remembers fairly well but from PoA on, everything is new. Which means that she is even more excited to read in the evenings or whenever I have a spare moment.

I have started to realize that by the time I finally get to book seven I am going to be an absolute mess. Because for some reason I am either more sensitive now or I just know so much about these characters and reading it aloud just hits me harder or a combination of this but I started crying in the middle of Harry's Dementor defense lesson. Not for long, not for much, but I have never teared up int PoA before. Just thinking about Lupin and all that he had lost and what he must be feeling when Harry is talking about hearing Lily and James just was too sad. And he believes that one of his best friends murdered them.

Lupin is a sad puppy. (art by hilarity on

Okay, enough sad, now for happy! When I was reading about Harry getting the Firebolt for Christmas and McGonagall taking it, saying it had to be checked for jinxes, my mom thought I said it had to be checked for Jesus. I joked, "Yes, this is Wizard school. Can't have any Jesus in here." It made us chuckle for quite a bit actually. Probably far longer than it should have.

We are a Jesus-free zone

This book has always been my personal favorite, especially because of all the things it sets in motion as well as the introduction of the Marauders, who are some of my favorite characters. I mean, you meet Sirius and Lupin, two of Harry's parents' closest friends as well as real father-figures for Harry. You meet Pettigrew, who becomes super important. As I said before, the Marauders are introduced and they are awesome. A little more about why Snape hates Harry is revealed and the rivalry between Sirius and Snape is set up. And you get to learn about Azkaban and the dementors. It's just such a cool book.

You know you love us (I may have just spent far too long looking up Marauders pictures...but you'll never prove it ;) art by fishbizkit on

Sadly, for me (and Mom agrees here) the movie does not live up to the reputation of the book. A lot about the Marauders is left out, to the point where you never really learn that James and his friends were the ones who created the map. Plus the Firebolt isn't given correctly and you never get to meet Pigwidgeon who is the most amusing owl I've ever met and the bane of Hedwig's existence. Instead, you get a lot of shots of the Whomping Willow as the seasons change. The director had a vision.

"Never mind your plot points, there must be more tree!"

As one last point, I like David Thewlis as an actor. But Mom and I agree that he isn't exactly right for Lupin. He doesn't seem to have the air that he once raised hell with James and Sirius. Yes, Lupin has grown up and isn't that kid anymore, but I like to think there'd still be a trace of the kid who snuck into Hogsmeade late at night with his friends. He didn't disappear; he just got older and more mature.

Now onto Goblet of Fire, the book that transitions the series from children's books to a YA series.


  1. totally agree about movie!Lupin.

  2. Janice "The Mom"October 8, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    I couldn't believe how much of the third book was actually left out of the movie... you almost wanted to ask if the screenwriter even read the book. It really is too bad that some of my most favorite scenes in the book were left out of the movie and now that pigwiggeon (SP?) was left out of the third movie he gets overlooked in the rest of them as well... so sad as his relationship with Hedwig sounds hilarious. That said, I am soooooo enjoying having Ashleigh read the books to me as she does voices for the characters (even if Haggrid seems to be several different nationalities).