Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: A Guide

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is sometimes considered the favorite Harry Potter book of the audience, who have admitted that it might be because of the “bloated” beginning, full of magic and a strange black dog. Another option is because of how JK Rowling carries the story, keeping the truth behind the bars of Azkaban, or maybe not, as Sirius Black has escaped the prison and Harry Potter is all over his mind.

Fun facts, Blurb and Summary *minor spoiler in the second paragraph*

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was written by JK Rowling and published in 1999. It was distributed by the publishing house Bloomsbury, as the other books of this series.

The movie was directed by Alfonso Cuarón, the Mexican director. Warner Bros released it in 2004. Although the movie Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban made 797.4 million dollars, it is the movie that gained the least amount of money compared to the others.

“I'm not going to be murdered,' Harry said out loud. 'That's the spirit, dear,' said his mirror sleepily.” -Harry

Something that a lot of people do not know is that Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was named the fastest-selling book in 1999 in England, just a few days after being published. This title is now held by the bestseller The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown. Another curious fact, this time about the movie, is that during the scene with the students sleeping in the Great Hall, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) was pranked on with a fart machine by Alan Rickman (Snape) and Michael Gambon (Dumbledore). Sadly the first Dumbledore actor, Richard Harris died before recording the third movie; therefore he was substituted by Michael Gambon.

Link to video of Daniel’s prank: https://www.hypable.com/watch-alan-rickman-and-michael-gambon-put-a-fart-machine-in-dan-radcliffes-sleeping-bag/

Harry has never been so angry. His horrible aunt Marge is visiting, and the insults for Harry’s dead parents are not left over at dinner. Even though, he can not do anything. The yellowish letter of Hogwarts has arrived with a new announcement: he needs authorization from his family to go to Hogsmeade, the wonderful village every student wants to visit. One broken glass of wine and uncountable yells later, aunt Marge leaves the house in an unusual manner: magically inflated like a balloon, plowing the sky. A unique bus and the encounter with a black big the dog gets Harry’s adventure started, after hastily escaping the house. The concerning speed Stan, the bus driver, drives is not the only danger outside: Sirius Black is not in his prison cell anymore and the whole magical world is about to turn upside down.

“What you fear most of all is — fear... Very wise...” -Lupin

The favorites scenes chosen by the audience *multiple spoilers from the third Harry Potter book


It all starts when a big black dog with clear eyes attacks them and ends up dragging Ron inside of the whomping willow. With the help of Crookshanks, Harry and Hermione go into the tree as well, hoping to save their friend from the merciless claws of the dog. But the inside of the room looks quite familiar: it is the Shrieking Shack. That is not the strangest thing about the house: the perceptive Hermione notices that there is not a dog anymore, but a man; Sirius Black. Sirius not only uses the expelliarmus spell to get the wands out of their hands, revealing one thing: there will only be one murder that night. After a little fight between Sirius and Harry, a unexpected person makes his appearance and surprisingly hugs the murderer. Lupin is now also pointed at with the wands. Sirius, with the sarcastic smile of a man thirsty for revenge, begs them to listen to the real story of what happened: when the secret of the werewolf Lupin was revealed to the marauders, they worked on transforming into animagus so they could turn into animals and stay with Lupin during the full moon.

″‘You fool,’ said Lupin softly. ‘Is a schoolboy grudge worth putting an innocent man back inside Azkaban?‘” -Lupin

James could turn into a deer, Sirius into a dog, and Peter Petigrew into a rat. Sirius did not betray Harry’s parents, it was Pettigrew who told Voldemort, and faked his own death blaming Sirius. The only thing he left in addition to a street full of victims, was his pinky. Using his animagus abilities, he turned into a rat and lived for fourteen years as a pet in a big red-head family, most well known as Scabbers. The golden trio, skeptical, asks for proof and they transform Petter into a human again. Although interrupted by Snape, Harry decides to carry the now-human Petter to Dumbledore, finally believing Sirius’ story. In an outburst of nostalgia Sirius asks Harry to live with him and he accepts, happy they could start a great life together.


Although I absolutely love this scene, I think it is a good representation of how Sirius sees Harry as a substitute for James. No more than thirty seconds after meeting Harry, Sirius mentions how he is so similar to James that he himself would confuse him. Also, his vigour on demonstrating his innocence to Harry first instead of the rest of the magical world demonstrates how he deeply cares for Harry’s opinion, as he wants to build a relationship with his godson. I also think it is really sweet and sad at the same time how Sirius invites Harry to live with him, hopeful they would be able to leave the past behind and get to know each other. Harry is really excited to live this new adventure but sadly Petter escapes and all their hopes transform into dreams again.

Link to movie scene: https://youtu.be/72atgXkhk5k

“The ones who love us never really leave us, you can always find them in here.” -Sirius


“Professor Kettleburn, our Care of Magical Creatures teacher, retired at the end of last year in order to enjoy more time with his remaining limbs.” -Dumbledore

Buckbeak makes his first appearance in the books and the movie during the first lesson of care of magical creatures, being Hagrid the teacher. Hagrid does not start the classes with an easy creature to set the mood, as Hermione encourages him, but with Hippogriffs. Hippogriffs are animals with the body of a horse, and wings and head of an eagle. They are extremely hard to train and they are extremely proud and untrusting. Harry, fearful that the first lesson of Hagrid ends up being a flop, offers himself to be the first one riding Buckbeak. Harry is accompanied by the applause of his friends as he leans as a signal of respect. Buckbeak leans back and Harry is thrown into the air into what he describes in the book as an experience he would not repeat. In the movie this scene is described better: Buckbeak flies him all around Hogwarts and the Great Lake, enjoying every part and screaming with all of the happiness of his being.

In my opinion, this scene is wonderful and my personal favorite because it shows Harry happy, feeling freer than ever before, as problems and concerns disappear in the distance and become microscopic to his eyesight. Moreover, I would say that this scene is the only one that is more enjoyable in the movie than the book. It also introduces us to Buckbeak, a very interesting creature that would take a bigger role in the next chapters and books. To conclude, it illustrates the euphoria of truly living.

Link to movie scene: https://youtu.be/71xBu_VHTfY

Link to Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/album/7DDls7RWrCLvZgTVCJgfcq?si=l0UXSpBMQ0Otkqmk8MgcXA

“But you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” -Dumbledore


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