Friday, April 27, 2018

Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.jpg
The third installment of author J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series opens with the eponymous protagonist doing his summer homework from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the middle of the night due to his bigoted relatives, the Dursleys, who have a very medieval attitude towards sorcery. He receives owl post that includes a permission slip necessary to visit Hogsmeade, the Scottish village adjacent to Hogwarts, which a guardian must sign, and needless to say, the Dursley patriarch and matriarch certainly aren’t happy to oblige, although they cut a deal that if Harry acts “normal” in front of the former’s sister, Aunt Marge, he might sign it.

Things, however, don’t go as planned, and Harry finds himself on the run from his relatives, taking a magical form of transportation known as the Knight Bus to Diagon Alley in London, where he spends the rest of his holiday, having a better time than with his puritanical relations, and given that he has and had had similar superior accommodations (having spent part of the holidays before his second year at Hogwarts with the wizarding Weasley family), this begs the question of why Harry just completely forewent the Dursleys, unless he has some form of Stockholm Syndrome.

Harry gets his shopping done for the following term at Hogwarts and reunites with his best friends Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger, and go on the train headed for the academy, where dark-cloaked entities known as the dementors are present for security reasons, on account of a criminal with ties to Harry’s past named Sirius Black, wanted by both the Muggle (non-magical) and wizarding worlds, having escaped the wizard prison Azkaban, with one causing the Boy Who Lived to go unconscious, after which he awakes in the school infirmary.

Some new classes Harry and friends take include Divination with the enigmatic Professor Trelawney, where arises the omen of a black dog known as a Grim, and Magical Creatures with Hogwarts gamekeeper Rubeus Hagrid, who introduces the hippogriff Buckbeak, Harry having a good flight with the hybrid but Harry’s nemesis Draco Malfoy getting attacked due to his rudeness, causing him to complain to his father Lucius and result in the beast getting treated as pariah, with an appeal and death sentence ultimately coming for the creature, at least for the time.

Harry and company also have a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, the equally-enigmatic R.J. Lupin, whom they, except for the Slytherins, regard as the best instructor in the allegedly-cursed position they’ve ever had, and gives hands-on lessons with entities such as the shapeshifting boggarts, which Harry uses as practice, since dementors cause him to faint and his Quidditch team to lose a match due to his incapacitation, for Patronus Charms, helpful in repelling the dark creatures, and at one point giving Draco and his cronies a scare at another Quidditch match where they dress black like the beings and are foiled.

As Harry’s initial broomstick broke during the unsuccessful Quidditch match, he’s elated to get a replacement from a person later identified, although it’s checked for jinxes for a few chapters, due to fear of Sirius Black infiltrating the school, and allegedly slashing the Fat Lady’s portrait serving as the entrance to the Gryffindor dormitories. He also receives the helpful Marauder’s Map, authored by a group of four also eventually revealed, which, along with his father’s Invisibility Cloak, allows him some time in secret with his friends in Hogsmeade.

The tertiary entry ultimately climaxes with a confrontation against Sirius Black, who might have had a hand in the death of Harry’s parents, with several twists abounding that result in another satisfying book in the series, although the introduction of a time-travel element somewhat creates plot holes in future entries where tragedies make themselves known. Even so, Rowling’s books are definitely more than readable and memorable, and, given the introduction of some mature content such as somewhat-coarse language, definitely grew with their readers.

No comments:

Post a Comment