Book Discussion

Ashley Marie

Staff member
The third book in Rowling's series filled with magic and mystery is an incredible one.

"For Harry Potter, it’s the start of another far-from-ordinary year at Hogwarts when the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and comes to an abrupt halt in front of him.
It turns out that Sirius Black, mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, has escaped – and they say he is coming after Harry.
In his first Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry’s tea leaves.
And perhaps most frightening of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds with their soul-sucking kiss – in search of fresh victims.
" - J.K. Rowling

Starting off the night before Harry turned 13, this story was far from the 'welcome to teenage years' kick off he probably hoped for. Instead, he found out his life was in danger because one of Voldemort's followers had a death wish with his name on it. The following year was full of ups and downs for Harry and his friends and even his enemies, too. This is still one of our favorite Harry Potter books, although it's really hard to pick favorites from a series that gave us all so much.

Which part of The Prisoner of Azkaban was your favorite the first time you read it? Which part is your favorite now? If Sirius Black were coming after you, what would you do? Let's talk about it, here.
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My favorite chapters where those last ones where there was so many shockers!. Like remus being a werewolf, or Sirius not being a bad guy!. Honestly, I was constantly saying to myself 'why can't Sirius just DIE!' While reading POA. and now he's my second favorite HP character!.


Staff member
I have to tell you guys about a thing I discovered about this book that just happened to occur during my two favorite characters' conversations with each other.

So my copy of Prisoner of Azkaban was printed in October of 1999, and it's the 'Americanized' version, with words like 'boot' changed to 'trunk' and other similar changes (including using double quotations for dialogue instead of single). So while I was rereading PoA back in 2005 in preparation for Half Blood Prince to be published, I noticed a flaw in one of my favorite sections. It's the part where Hermione accuses Lupin of being a werewolf, and she says "I trusted you!" and then "and all the time you've been his friend!"

Remus replies to this, and in my original copy of Prisoner of Azkaban, he says this: "You're wrong" and then "I haven't been Sirius's friend, but I am now--let me explain..."


I remember thinking, wow, why would they change the dialogue to Americanize the book! That changes the actual meaning of the scene, because of course Remus was Sirius's friend before now! That's the whole reason Sirius can become Padfoot! So I was so mystified at the time, but in 2007 I didn't have the resources I do now in 2019. I'm in a discord server with other fanfiction writers, now, and I mentioned this in passing last month. Everyone of course hauls out their books, and I haul out my brand new copy of Prisoner of Azkaban, illustrated by Jim Kay. And wouldn't you know it--it's fixed. "I haven't been Sirius's friend for twelve years, but I am now--let me explain..."


So now, I'm curious. Did my Americanized version have a flaw that wasn't in one of the other books published in 1999? Prisoner of Azkaban was released in July of 1999, and my October 1999 version is, I believe after a lot of ISBN research, the first version of PoA published in the US (but if I'm wrong, that doesn't diminish my theory!). One of my fellow Discord members' books was published in December of 1999 in the UK--and it is also fixed. Note how the quotation marks are single, in this version:


My theory is this: the original line was 'I haven't been Sirius's friend, but I am now.' When given the chance, I think JKR fixed the line to make it more clear, and more in line with the canonical friendship between Sirius and Remus that was pre-existing, all the way back to the 1970s. I feel like the book was Americanized before she was able to get the changes in. A few others in the Discord group checked their copies, and pretty much every version whose ISBN data showed it was published after December 1999 had the 'twelve years' part in the line.

The thing that makes this crazypants for me is that my favorite pairing in the whole series of books is Remus/Hermione, and I managed to find a quirky 'flaw' in the dialogue during the only time they directly speak to each other in the whole seven book series.

Thanks for your attention! I hope you enjoyed my discovery!


Active member
This book is my favorite in the series. I LOVED how it was different then the two books that came before it and feel that it set the tone for what was to come. It had so many twists and turns that my head was spinning. Remus was a werewolf, Dumbledore allowed a werewolf/human attend Hogwarts, four of the most amazing best friends are focused on and we see character development throughout that makes me really want more of the Marauder Era.

Also when Harry casts "Expecto Patronum" after thinking he saw his father... "The Patronus turned. It was cantering back toward Harry across the still surface of the water. It wasn't a horse. It wasn't a unicorn, either. It was a stag. It was shining brightly as the moon above... it was coming back to him...
It stopped on the bank. Its hooves made no mark on the soft ground as it stared at Harry with it's large, silver eyes. Slowly, it bowed its antlered head. And Harry realized...

"Prongs," he whispered.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Pg. 411-412 American version.

This gives me goosebumps like never before. All four Marauders were there that night.

Eureka Shadow

Well-known member
The Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite book in the series. I'm not completely sure why. It might be because Harry meets an adult that cares for him other than the teachers at Hogwarts.

I think that my favorite part would have to be the scene in the Shrieking Shack when they find out that Sirius is not the bad guy.

I also have noticed that it is the only book that doesn't have Voldemort as the main Antagonist. In the beginning it is Sirius, and during the whole book it is the Dementors. Not that Voldemort isn't a bad guy. He just doesn't have as large of a part in The Prisoner of Azkaban as he does in the other books.

Ginny Lovegood

Well-known member
POA is probably the book and movie I have seen/read the most. For the movie, it is because loads of my friends haven't watched Harry Potter, but I don't like watching the 1st and 2nd, so we always watch the third. I also claimed it as the less scary (my friend doesn't agree, the Dementors give her nightmares) because like Eureka Shadow said above me, Voldemort isn't in it.

I also think it is the one where the Harry Potter characters start to mature (mostly Hermione, we could see the change), and I enjoyed it because it made the books seem more real. Though HBP is my favorite book, I thoroughly enjoyed POA, as the plot was interesting and unique, with plenty of twists. It was anything but predictable!