Harry Potter Readalong: This One Is Still My Favorite

Disclaimer: I fell behind in my reading last week and haven't quite caught up, so some of the thoughts below are based on my skim of the end of the book and/or my memory of the story from my first 47 reads of it. I've got a three-day weekend coming my way, though, so I'll catch up for book 4!

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is still my favorite. Sure, the first half is a little slow, but it's also the first time Rowling dives into really setting up more than an obvious good-guy-bad-guy plot, so we can roll with it, right?

Some thoughts on the good guys and bad guys:

I dig Lupin, and hate that he has to leave Hogwarts, because he really is the best DADA professor they've had to date.

Also, does anyone else find that there are times in this book when we can almost side with Snape? I kind of dig it. He's slimy and despicable but also rather pitiable, and god knows the man must be lonely, and imagine if you were Snape and HP comes along and does whatever the hell he wants and gets away with it... yeah, I'd be irked, too. But then he's all willing to throw Sirius back under the bus (A BUS FULL OF DEMENTORS) because of some petty high school nonsense and suddenly I can't side with him anymore, even though he tries to protect the fearsome trio, so screw you, Snape, for being so damn complicated.



And my big revelation of Book 3: I'm not actually a huge fan of Sirius. I mean, sure, his life sucks and he was totally framed for something he didn't do and has since become the most reviled wizard in the wizarding world, and that's completely unfair, but he also kind of acts like a jerk (Shredding the Fat Lady? C'mon!). I guess he comes around eventually with the whole fill-in-parenting thing (the permission slip for Hogsmeade is a nice touch), but I just don't think he's doing himself any favors here.



Other things that generally rock about this book:
  • Patronus Charms (Spells based on happy thoughts? How's that for a good dose of positive thinking therapy?)
  • All the Animagi. So many Animagi.
  • The Marauder's Map

16 comments

  1. Snape does go from normal levels of asshole to especially high ones when he tries to take Sirius to the dementors. BUT I guess Snape doesn't actually know that Sirius is innocent and if you figure he thinks he's responsible for the Potters' deaths, then his rage sorta has some (misguided) backing. Though it still does seem like most of that rage is cos they were mean to him in high school...

    I recommend reading Jenny's defense of Sirius because it is EXCELLENT. (Of course I love Sirius anyway so I may be biased.)

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    1. *Trots off to find Jenny's defense of Sirius*

      Also, I fail to give Snape credit for not actually knowing that Sirius is innocent, which does change that bit about throwing him under a bus full of dementors.

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  2. I love this one. Lupin is one of my favorite characters in the books, but I don't like him in the movies. I also thought the Marauder's Map was one of the best inventions in the series!

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    1. Agreed - Lupin in the movies wasn't cool enough for me. Lupin should be totally awesome in a sly and shy and unobvious way.

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    2. It was the mustache. The mustache was a mistake.

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  3. Yes! Read my defense of Sirius! It semi-convinced EVEN MY MOTHER, who is an ardent anti-Sirius person. I agree that shredding the Fat Lady sucks but also, you know, it's a picture. It appears alive but it is basically a piece of canvas. I can see me doing the same thing to a piece of canvas that was preventing me from protecting my little godson.

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    1. Ok, yes, it is just a picture. But it's a TALKING picture! With FEELINGS!

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  4. Snape is super-complicated. Hate him, love him, you can't help but have strong feelings about him. And I agree about Sirius too - by the end we're supposed to like him but he makes it way too hard, but without being interestingly complex like Snape. He's just a jerk who happens to like Harry because he looks just like his dead best friend.

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  5. I love the idea of Animagi! It reminds me so much of the Animorphs :-)

    Snape is of course an asshole, but he's not alone in believing that OF COURSE Sirius must be the killer and when we think about how much Snape cared for a certain lady Potter, I kind of understand his blind rage. I think him wanting to set the dementors on Sirius has more to do with that than the whole childhood nemesis thing. I just wish he didn't have to be such a dick about it.

    Lupin was the best DADA teacher ever. I wish that he would've let Dumbledore fight for him to remain a teacher. Everyone trusts Dumbledore's judgement. Usually.

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  6. Snape is an asshole, but he's a complicated asshole in this book, and i guess I'm just more drawn to him because of it. But not only is Snape convinced that Black is the murderer of not only a dozen muggles, but of his true love, and about to murder Potter (whom he's sworn to protect, let's not forget) AND that he thinks Black tried to murder him when he was 15 but never even got punished for it. That's a lot of time for resentment to build up and unhinge a person, no? It bothers me that Snape wants Black to get the Kiss, but it doesn't seem unreasonable for his rage and to want Black back inside Azkaban.

    But yeah, patronus charms? Amazing.

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  7. I really really rarely sided with Snape in this book actually. And the thing is, I LOVE Snape, but I'm realising that actually I only like him because of the last book and I'm just remembering how much I hated him before that, because it was A LOT (I was always convinced he was evil, even when my mum and sister were like 'no, I'll bet he's not!' THAT'S how much I hated him!) So yeah, this is a kind of interesting revelation...

    And then, working the other way, I dislike Sirius because of how mean he was/is to Snape! So yeah. Weird.

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  8. Snape is an asshole when it relates back to his past, but he's usually on point at school, although he has a pretty pathetic way of expressing himself. He's absolutely right for getting mad at HP for just sauntering off and doing what he wants, and he has every right to dock points when Ron talks back to him in class. He might be a douche Ron, but he's your teacher! Show some respect (and then bad mouth him behind his back).

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  9. I think that Sirius is...perhaps not the most rational of grown-up adult people. I know it was really important to deal with the Matter of Peter Pettigrew, but slashing through a small child's bed curtains and standing over his bed with a knife? What could possibly go wrong?

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  10. PETTY HIGH SCHOOL NONSENSE MY ASS. They tried to KILL him via PRANKS. i mean, sure, they would probably have felt terrible afterwards, but Snape would be DEAD so he'd STILL be worse off.

    Also, Alan Rickman really gets me going so when Snape has his wand pointed at Sirius and is all, Give me just one reason, I am like DAYUMMMMM.

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  11. We're definitely able to empathize more with Snape in this book, but man does he get hysterical at the end there. Understandably, but dude. And he just won't *listen*. If only the kids hadn't been so Expelliarmus-happy.

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  12. Sorry for taking a while to comment - I was stuck watching your sherlock gif over and over again. Sigh <3

    I totally dig Lupin - the best DADA teacher ever. Too bad he fell subject to the DADA curse too :(

    I love the very concept behind patronus charms and Lupin's coaching!

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