People ask all the time – which is your favourite in the Harry Potter series? – and I’ve never been able to come up with an answer. I usually go for the Philosopher’s Stone or the Deathly Hallows because the beginning and ending moments are those that really stick with you. But recently I’ve been rewatching all the Harry Potter films and I’ve come to the realisation that The Prisoner of Azkaban is actually notch above the others. Here’s why The Prisoner Of Azkaban is the best Harry Potter book in the series –
NB this post is full of spoilers but if you haven’t seen the film or read the book then like why are you even reading this blog post GO CHECK THEM OUT NOW.
There are so many new magical concepts
I feel like in the first and second books, Harry and his friends are still very much coming to grips with all that is magic. However, from the third instalment onwards, school starts to get a little more serious and they’re no longer newbies to Hogwarts. This is appropriately marked by the huge difference between the main trio in film 2 and in film 3. They noticeably grow up between stories 2 and 3, in the books, on screen and in real life. Compare baby Harry from film two here to teenage Harry from film 3 here.
- The Marauder’s Map
The Marauder’s Map plays such a crucial part in this film and, indeed, the rest of the series. Without this, Harry wouldn’t have been able to sneak out of the castle into Hogsmeade without a permission slip. More importantly, he wouldn’t have known that Peter Pettigrew was still alive and well (excluding the missing toe), proving Sirius’ innocence.
- Time Travel
We all knew it was going to happen eventually. Hermione would have to find a way to spend even more time studying than we ever thought humanly possible. Luckily in the Prisoner of Azkaban she has the help of a time turner so she never misses a class. In the end we learn a bit more about just how powerful and dangerous this little tool is and, in exceptional circumstances, how it can be used to right a wrong.
This is the first time we’re confronted by the terrifying creatures that are the dementors. These are probably one of the scariest types of creatures in the entire series and if you disagree then there’s something seriously wrong with you. I mean, they literally suck happiness from your life until you are left soul-less and empty. Is that not the most terrifying idea?!
- The Knight Bus
The Knight Bus doesn’t appear anywhere as near as much in the series as I would like given how cool it is. It can move at incredible speed and squeeze between all the other cars on the road! Just imagine, if these beauties actually existed then TFL would be out of business pretty quickly and we would all be thankful for quick & efficient transport.
Hogsmeade is pretty high on my list of future travel destinations (no, I’m not mad, I mean the Hogsmeade in Orlando!) and it should be on yours too. Who wouldn’t want to spend the weekend hanging out with friends at the Three Broomsticks or Honeyduke’s!
There are some of the best moments in the series
- “Turn to page 394.”
You know the scene.
- Hermione punches Draco Malfoy in the face.
Draco on Hermione, 10 years later : “This one time, she punched me in the face. It was AWESOME”.
- Dumbledore chimes in which one of my favourite quotes ever.
“Happiness can be found in even the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light”
Here are more of the best Dumbledore quotes.
It was before shit got really Sirius
This is the only instalment in the Harry Potter series that doesn’t really feature Lord Voldemort. In the first, we have Quirrel; in the second we have Riddle; and, of course, from the fourth instalment onwards we have the Dark Lord himself. I know a lot of people would disagree, but, because of this, I feel like the Prisoner of Azkaban is actually one of the most light-hearted and funny in the series. Here’s why:
- Marge is blown up into a balloon.
Need I say more.
“The spiders! They want me to tap dance! I don’t want to tap dance!”
- Buckbeak tries to kill Draco
“Oh, oohhh! He’s killed me- he’s killed me!”
Once again, Draco stuns us all with his bravery.
- We are introduced to Professor Trelawney and the “noble art” of Divination
Professor Trelawney: “You may be young in years, but the heart that beats beneath your bosom is as shrivelled as an old maid’s! Your soul as dry as the pages of the books to which you so desperately cleave.”Hermione Granger: [Storms out]Professor Trelawney: “Have I said something?”
Harry Finally Has a Family
In discovering the Marauders gang, Harry also discovered a loving family he never knew he had. Of course he is sort of adopted by the Weasleys from the get-go but Harry finally gets to meet people that were incredibly close to his dead parents, which is very touching.
- Harry meets his Godfather, Sirius Black
“I want you to listen to me very carefully, Harry. You’re not a bad person. You’re a very good person, who bad things have happened to. Besides, the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”
- Harry finds a friend in Remus Lupin
“The very first time I saw you Harry, I recognised you immediately. Not by your scar, by your eyes. They’re your mother; Lily’s. Yes, I knew her. You mother was there for me at a time when no one else was. Not only was she a singularly gifted witch, she was also an uncommonly kind woman. She had a way of seeing the beauty in others, even, and perhaps most especially, when that person couldn’t see it in themselves. Your father, James, however, had a certain, shall we say, talent for trouble. A talent, rumour has it, he passed onto you. You’re more like them then you know, Harry. In time you’ll come to see just how much.”
Plz. Pass the tissues.
So there are a couple of reasons why The Prisoner Of Azkaban is the best Harry Potter book in the series. Which is your favourite? Let me know in the comments below!
Purchase the new illustrated editions of Harry Potter on Amazon for only £15 each!
Want more Potter posts? Have a look at these!
7 Best Albus Dumbledore Quotes in the Harry Potter series
The Harry Potter Tour of Oxford University
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Warners Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour Review
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Premiere
Film Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Film Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2