Friday, July 18, 2014

Mischief Managed

Who is ready for some more Harry Potter?  I AM!  Today we shall explore the third book in the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  If you are one of the few people who have not actually read/watched the series then you can get a great summation here, along with some other really cool stuff. I will now jump right to the good stuff, as always SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!
This is a lot of peoples favorite book in the series, and while it is not my very favoritist, I can totally understand why so many people rate it as number one.  Let us list why this book is awesome.
Series Story - For me this is the book that really let me know that the author had a long term story in mind, the first two books definitely had  bits and pieces of a larger story, but I felt that they were more focused on creating the world of Hogwarts and cementing the friendship of Harry, Ron and Hermione.  This book really started expanding the story, showing us a history that went beyond Harry and beyond Hogwarts and affected the whole wizarding world.  This was also the book that really showed how much attention one had to pay while reading, that even the most insignificant happening could come back and be super important.  This story is also where we see all three of the "kids" start to grow up and accept some responsibility outside of themselves and start showing the eventual legends they will become.
New Places - Along with expanding the story, this book also expands our places in the wizarding world beyond Hogwarts.  We get to see Hogsmede, an all wizarding villiage.  We visit the Shrieking Shack and learn it's importance in Harry's personal history.  We learn about more Azkaban, which is a wizarding prison that plays a huge role in the rest of the series and is the home to the super creepy dementors, who may be one of the most terrifying creatures ever.  It is cool to watch our world expand beyond the sheltered and enchanted castle of Hogwarts.
The Maurders Map - Along with learning the history of Padfoot, Prongs, Mooney and Wormtail, we are introduced to one of the most recognized "props" in recent book history, the Maurders Map.  It is nice to see that Harry's up to now "perfect" father had a mischievous streak to him as well.  I love that this map is passed from these four to Fred and George, and then to Harry who uses it to great advantage when combined with his invisibility cloak.
Politics - The politics in the wizarding world are very well thought out and come in to play several times in this book.  We have the underlying prejudice in certain families toward "Muggle-borns" or "Mudbloods" that still prevails.  We have Malfoy employing his wealth and influence to get the poor hippogriff Buckbeak executed, just to spite Hagrid, whom he considers beneath him.  We see Lupin get discriminated against for being a werewolf and Sirrus can never be cleared of the murder of his best friend because of the overriding prejudice.  We start to see the ugly side of this enchanted world and it adds a layer of depth and awesome.
The Movie - I really really liked the movie version of the book.  We got to see more of Hogwarts, I especially loved when Lupin and Harry were talking behind the clock face, just stunning.  I am ambivalent on the casting of Lupin and Sirrius, sometimes I think the casting is perfect, other times I want...I don't
know...more rougeish maybe?  The casting of Wormtail however I felt was dead on and perfect in every way!  There was a lot of the story that was cut out for the movie, which is understandable for time concerns, but it does lose a bit of the richness that I love in the HP books.  The movie however has its share of great moments like when the dementors first appear and everything goes dark and cold.  When the class works on banishing the boggarts and Snape appears dressed in Nevilles grandmothers clothes is priceless!  My favorite moment however is when Hermione slugs Malfoy after one too many insults, GO HERMIONE!
So ends another HP ramble and another happy day remembering an awesome book, I will now go read the next one so I can gush some more!
What do you like about this book?  Do you understand why it is so many peoples favorite?  How badly do you want a Maurders Map?  Is I Solemnly Swear I Am Up To No Good your new phrase? What is your Patronus?

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