Friday, June 10, 2011

ReRead 2011: Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban

Warning again: if you haven't read HP, take notice.  Here there be spoilers.

In preparing for this entry, I started to really think about why I consider Prisoner of Azkaban my favorite in the series, why I love it so much, why I always come back to it.  Much like CoS, there are many reasons why I love it; some petty, some not so much.

The first and the most basic reason is that, to me, it's the first time that I didn't feel like I was reading a kid's book.  It's not that the language suddenly expands or becomes overly complicated- not at all.  It's simply that the plot and mood of the whole series get darker, paving the way for what's to come.  It introduces more layers to Harry's background, showing that he lost far more than his parents that Halloween night in 1981.  This is very evident in the movie, and PoA held the title of Jessica's Favorite HP Movie Adaptation for a wicked long time (I just recently changed favorites; keep on reading these entries to find out which one!).

In that same vein, I love this because PoA is when it truly becomes Harry's quest and mission to defeat the enemy.  Yes, he chose to go after the Stone in order to save it and to go into the Chamber in order to save Ginny, but he had no idea at either time that the enemy was Voldemort.  In this, though he chose to go into the secret passage to save Ron and he didn't know who the enemy would be at the end of the tunnel, he DID know who Sirius Black was, knew his history, and knew that he would come at Sirius with all he had in order to end him.  Voldemort may have "pulled the trigger," but he believed Sirius sold his parents out, and that was just as bad.

Finally, I love this book because, quite simply, I love Sirius Black.  Love him.  He is so broken and sad and I just want to give him hugs and carry him around in my pocket.  He is the closest thing that Harry has ever had to a true father figure, and he has loved Harry his entire life.  Plus, I bet he's super hot once he gets back to his fighting weight and takes a shower... Along with Sirius, Harry meets his dad's other BFF, Remus Lupin, who is also awesome in a million different ways.  He's a great teacher and he was a great friend to Harry's parents, another awesome dude for Harry to look up to.  Love it.

I also really like the importance placed on time, how it can make such a difference.  Just when they think all hope is lost, Dumbledore's like, "Turn it, Granger!"  And they save the day!  Granted, there are times when I find the Time-Turner plot to be the deus ex machina of the whole thing, but most of the time, I think it was a fun and interesting way to change what you thought you knew.  This is one of the things I think was shown better in the movie than in the book.  I've actually taken classes in Film Adaptations before, so I know just how difficult it can be to perfectly capture the words on the page.  The PoA movie really enhances this scene, IMO.  (Mostly, I just like SEEING Hermione punch Draco and hug Ron.)

I'm getting a little rambly about this book, but I can't help it.  There are so many things to love about it; sometimes, it's hard to pick just one.  That's why the Favorite Moment and Favorite Chapter were SO TOUGH.

FAVORITE MOMENT: "You truly are your father's son."
This line always gets me, partially because it's so sweet and partially because... well, I love Sirius Black.  This seems like something you know Harry loved to hear, and you know he replayed it over and over again that night in his head.  Harry's always wanted a loving family, and this guy, this crazy misunderstood guy, knows exactly who Harry is after spending barely any time with him.  It is a shame that Sirius got so much time with them and Harry so little.

In keeping with my theme of loving the moments where Harry gets to be a normal kid, I love this first chapter where Harry gets to be a normal kid.  I love that he doesn't even realize he's been 13 for an hour.  I love what he writes for his witch burning essay.  I love how Hedwig had the forethought to go to France to get Hermione's gift.  I love that he is so happy just to receive birthday cards!!  And, I love how happy I get when I read this chapter.  I just... well, can you tell I love it?

Up next, Goblet of Fire.  Many things to love, especially that sparkly Cedric Diggory who is so in love with Cho Chang from Bangkok to DingDang.  Now I'm off to get this song unstuck from my head.

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