“I, Sirius Black, Harry Potter’s godfather, hereby give him permission to visit Hogsmeade on weekends.”
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Page 433
And so the magic continues. With every book comes more and more details about the wizarding world, and though that’s always fun to read about, this particular book gave more insight on not just the wizarding world but also Harry’s past; and that is what makes it very special, in my mind.
I was very excited for this book because it’s my favorite movie out of the entire series, and thankfully, I was not disappointed.
*BEWARE: Spoilers Lie Ahead*
I am not one for sports. If I’m at a game, I try my hardest to pay attention, and you certainly can’t deny the excitement and adrenaline you get from watching your team win.
Still, because I’m not big on sports, quidditch was never my favorite part in the books I’ve read so far. I’m a bit like Hermione where I care more about the classes than I do the sport.
But, oh my god, chapter fifteen, the final quidditch match had me literally sitting on the edge of my seat. I could almost hear the crowd around me as I hung onto every word to see what would happen. I was laughing and cheering and coaching Harry as I read about the match.
My heart was beating so fast. I just wanted to see them win and when they did, I was grinning so hard, my cheeks hurt.
I have never felt so excited about anything sport-related in a book until that scene, and I can say without a doubt it’s one I’ll never forget. It’s definitely one of my favorite scenes out of the whole book.
Another thing that makes this my favorite book/movie is the time-turner. I absolutely love the idea of a time-turner. I thought it was so clever, and I immediately knew it was something I would want to have first-hand experience with if it were real.
I also really love the fact that you can tell everyone’s growing up in this book. Hermione took on all those classes, Harry got a new broom, Ron got a new owl. You can see that their friendship is starting to go through its rough patches and being tested which all friendships go through when they start to mature.
Not only that, but even their magic starts to become more advanced from Hermione’s use of the time-turner to Harry’s patronus charm.
Even the trouble they’re getting into is starting to “mature” by becoming more complicated. Suddenly, we’re seeing them being faced with something far less tangible. It’s not just trolls and giant snakes that are their enemies. They’re now against a complicated relationship among enemies and friends (Lupin, Sirius, Peter Pettigrew, and Snape) that tests Harry’s ability to trust and understand rather than simply act on hate and anger, and that in itself helps him grow as a person.
My heart just pounced at reading Sirius offer Harry his home. For a moment, I had completely forgotten about the movie and genuinely believed it was going to happen, but of course, Harry doesn’t get off that easy. Still, it must’ve been nice for Harry to enjoy that moment of bliss with a family member that actually cared for him.
After watching the film, I felt such pity for those who hadn’t read the book. I’ve always agreed with those who say the book is better than the movie, but I’ve never felt it to be more true than with this case.
The rich story behind the friendship of Lupin, Sirius, James, and Peter and their adventures made the revelation in the Shrieking Shack just that much more exciting to uncover. There is so much more behind the names Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs that movie-watchers will never fully understand.
Though I suspected that those nicknames had something to do with James Potter and his friends, it makes much more sense when it’s out in the open, fully explained to you. It’s also much more satisfying and intriguing to read it and understand it for yourself. It’s a shame it wasn’t fully explained in the movie.
With that said, I still find the movie to have been very well done considering what time it did have to tell such a complex story. It certainly remains to be my favorite among all the movies.
One reason is because of the growth that I felt in the book. It’s translated so well in the movie. We can see that our main trio have certainly grown up both physically and emotionally. We see more of the grounds of Hogwarts unlike in the last two. We see Harry perform incredible magic and Hermione take on all her subjects with ease and passion. We see them all stand up to their enemies with a bit more guts than they did last year. It was just fantastic to see all that.
Secondly, there are too many gems in this film that made it perfect:
The Knight bus and the shrunken head kill me absolutely every time. There’s the Whomping Willow’s special scenes at the start of each season and its ongoing battle with the poor little blue bird, the scene with the gryffindor boys eating their sweets at the very beginning of the movie, the choir with the toads at the start of the feast; Dumbledore’s constant brilliant lines of pure wisdom, Hermione’s sass and her awkward, adorable scenes with Ron, Buckbeak’s animated poop!
It’s just all too amazing.
Lastly, I just have to mention the film itself, particularly the music and the cinematography. The filming of the movie was just brilliant from the use of going through the giant clock tower to distinguish the two different time frames when using the time-turner, to the use of the wardrobe mirror to give us an incredible illusion during the class scene with the boggart, to the very clever way of showing us the iconic title with Harry studying Lumos. It was very well done.
The music is very unique to this particular film which makes it even more memorable.
Oh, John Williams, you really outdid yourself with this one. Just listen to it!
Within an instant, you not only know it’s Harry Potter, but it’s this specific film and that just shows the power of music in a film.
I think the final and most important reason I thoroughly enjoy this part of Harry’s life is just the simple fact that Harry got the most unexpected gift: a family member.
Sirius Black, the Prisoner of Azkaban, turned out to be a loyal godfather in the end, and Harry must have counted this as a very happy memory when he found out that his godfather was innocent. I love it, and though, through the films, I know Sirius’ fate, it warms my heart to see that Harry, at least, get to have this moment.
A moment not even Hermione and Ron could really give him. A moment that must’ve filled the hole in his heart that is the loss of his parents just a tiny bit.
I love that for just a moment, he had a chance to dream and truly hope for something magical: a family member that cares for him and a home.
As he said in the movie, a place out in the country, somewhere where he and Sirius can see the sky. I think they both deserve that.