101 thoughts we had while watching Prisoner of Azkaban for the millionth time
Originally published onPottermore
Published on May 30th 2016
The intro to Prisoner of Azkaban is so dark and brooding. Welcome to the party, director Alfonso Cuarón! This is the only Harry Potter film Cuarón directed, so it’s particularly special.
The arrival of Marjorie Dursley and her bulldog. Some pets really do look like their owners…
Or perhaps the owners look like their pets.
Aunt Petunia is remarkably calm as her sister-in-law swells up like a balloon. Perhaps Petunia secretly doesn’t like Marge that much…
Streetlamps flickering, playground swing set creaking ominously, see-saw see-sawing. Yep, something creepy is about to happen.
Like the arrival of a giant black dog with glowing eyes…
But before Harry can investigate further, the Knight Bus screeches to a halt – and we get to meet good ol’ Stan Shunpike! We’ve always wanted to travel by Knight Bus. Those beds look surprisingly comfy and cosy…
Sirius Black’s screaming mugshot on the cover of The Daily Prophet is genuinely terrifying.
‘Oh come now, Harry. The Ministry doesn’t send people to Azkaban for blowing up their aunts.’ We miss the laidback Cornelius Fudge of yesteryear.
The Monster Book of Monsters is rather cute, despite trying to bite Harry’s face off.
The first scene with Ron and Hermione and already they’re fighting like cat and dog – about Crookshanks and Scabbers.
Or should that be fighting like cat and rat?
Shout out to Mrs Weasley and her sartorial fabulousness. The woman knows how to rock orange and purple.
Ominous aside from Mr Weasley. Why, indeed, would Harry go looking for Sirius Black?
The Hogwarts Express screeches to a halt. Ice creeps across the window pane. Even after all this time, we still get chills.
Dementors really are J.K. Rowling’s most frightening creation.
As cool as a freezing spell, up stands Professor Remus Lupin. And without a word, that Dementor is OUTTA there. Home run, excellent work.
We love that Lupin carries Honeydukes chocolate around in his pocket. You never know when a student might have low blood sugar and/or almost has their soul sucked out of them.
Lovely singing from the choir. Get those kids on some sort of reality TV singing show.
Aside: Ron’s hair game in this movie is his best yet.
Dumbledore using his time in the Great Hall to dish out ambiguous metaphors that contain important moral lessons. Again.
This scene, where some of the Gryffindor boys eat candy and make hilarious animal sounds, does nothing to drive the plot but it’s so perfect. Much-needed silliness, love it.
And Harry gets to be a choo-choo train.
The Whomping Willow Kills an Innocent Little Bluebird count: 1.
We’re excited to see Professor Lupin and all, but Prisoner of Azkaban brings another of our favourite Professors to the screen…
PROFESSOR TRELAWNEY played by none other than EMMA THOMPSON.
Yes, the caps lock letters are necessary.
Ron seems to be the only one who notices when Hermione randomly appears and disappears. Because of course he does.
Everyone makes fun of Professor Trelawney but, to be fair, Harry does have the shape of a big, black dog in his teacup. If your job is to understand portents of doom, it seems fairly cut and dry.
Hagrid does tend to introduce his students to animals that could kill them, but how FUN would it be to ride a Hippogriff? Bucket list, without a doubt.
Oh Slytherin house. You’ve been practicing that Dementor gag all morning, haven’t you?
Now do jazz hands!
Ron and Hermione hold hands when they get worried about Harry.
A second later: Ron and Hermione get incredibly awkward about holding hands. We saw that.
Draco, manners are important to Hippogriffs.
‘It’s killed me, it’s killed me.’ Which is why you can still talk and whimper, Draco.
Finally, a Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson with Lupin! He might be the best teacher the students ever had. After Professor McGonagall, of course.
Ron is again acutely aware of Hermione’s disappearances and reappearances.
Professor Lupin shows Neville what he can accomplish, plays jazz records and teaches his class how to vanquish a Boggart.
We repeat: one of the best teachers Hogwarts ever had.
Off to Hogsmeade Village. D’aww, look at the gang in their ‘normal’ clothes.
‘Not only was she a singularly gifted witch, she was also an uncommonly kind one.’ This line from Remus, about Lily Potter, always stands out as one of the most beautiful from the films.
Who would attack the Fat Lady?! Her singing’s not that bad.
Snape stalks everywhere. Into classrooms, out of classrooms, through the hallways. We’re not even sure whether he can walk like a normal person. Stalking is his only mode of ambulation.
Ugh. Every time we watch the scene where Snape calls Hermione an ‘insufferable know-it-all’ we want to Bat-Bogey Hex him.
Should we cancel this match? Nah, clearly a little bit of lightning is character building.
RIP Harry’s Nimbus Two Thousand. Give the poor thing a Viking funeral – it’s what it would have wanted.
How on earth did Fred and George work out how to use The Marauder’s Map? Actual geniuses.
We actually can’t believe they parted with that map. It’s probably the noblest thing they’ve ever done.
Hogsmeade in winter is so pretty, but don’t get distracted by the scenery because Professor McGonagall and Cornelius Fudge are about to deliver a very important explanation…
Harry’s first Patronus may not be corporeal, but that he manages to do such a difficult spell at all is impressive.
Hagrid feels so strongly for all living creatures– it’s one of the most beautiful things about him. His grief over Buckbeak’s death sentence is palpable.
‘The spiders, the spiders! They want me to tap-dance. I don’t want to tap-dance.’ ‘You tell those spiders, Ron.’ This isn’t the first time you’ve had this conversation, is it Harry?
Peter Pettigrew? The plot thickens.
The Marauders still hate grown-up Snape. That’s some deeply-rooted antagonism.
Snape even gets attitude from bits of parchment about his nose.
Hermione walks out of Divination for good. She’s done. Boom. Mic drop.
Quitting a class is probably the most rebellious thing Hermione has ever done.
Not so sure that an executioner wearing a balaclava mask and ominously sharpening a giant battle-axe, is really the best kind of person to have hanging around school grounds.
RIGHT IN THE FACE! Hermione, that’s a mean right hook you’ve got.
‘That felt good.’
Disclaimer: Violence doesn’t solve anything.
Another adorable Ron and Hermione moment as the trio watch Buckbeak’s execution from afar – Hermione turns to cry on Ron’s shoulder. Such a sad moment, so many cute things happening. Our emotions are all conflicted.
Just as Ron finds Scabbers again, the rat makes a run for it. Maybe it’s time for a serious talk about their relationship?
Suddenly there’s an angry tree, a giant dog and Ron’s being dragged somewhere screaming. Another standard year at Hogwarts.
The prospectus never mentioned angry trees and giant, threatening dogs. Not once.
On the up side, this might be the first time that an ominous, threatening creature hasn’t attacked Harry first. Every cloud.
The look on Harry’s face when he’s grabbed into the Whomping Willow melee is priceless.
Remember the first time you discovered that the Grim following Harry was actually Sirius Black?
Enter Remus Lupin, stage right.
Remus leans down to help Sirius up. Say what?!
So THAT’S why Snape set the essay about werewolves.
Peter Pettigrew is alive and IN THE ROOM. The revelations are coming thick and fast.
Enter Severus Snape, stage left.
At this rate, everyone at Hogwarts will be hanging out in the Shrieking Shack by nightfall.
Snape and Sirius have a little tête-à-tête, until Harry gets bored and hits him with Expelliarmus. Possibly the first time Snape would be totally justified in deducting house points.
Expelliarmus really is Harry’s signature move.
Harry’s all, ‘Can we get back to Peter Pettigrew, guys?’ Which is a very valid point. Sorry, Harry. We got distracted discussing your duelling technique.
Poor Ron. Even though Scabbers turned out to be a creepy bloke, he really did care about that rat.
And just as it appears that everything might work out okay. Then the real villain of Prisoner of Azkaban appears… the full moon.
Seriously, Remus, how could you forget to take your Wolfsbane Potion? Tonight of all nights. Get it together.
As much as Snape has issues with Harry, Ron and Hermione, he still shields them from harm as werewolf Lupin approaches.
All hell breaks loose. Sirius and Lupin fight, Dementors approach, and a mysterious figure casts a Patronus to save Harry’s life. What on earth is going on?
Don’t worry, we’re about to find out.
The third act of the story is always the best. Hermione’s Time-Turner to the rescue!
This is also the moment when you realise just how much homework Hermione has been doing all year. An O for Outstanding.
Poor Ron gets left behind due to his Siriusly mauled leg.
Boom-tish. Okay, okay, we’re siriusly sorry.
Sorry, we can’t help ourselves.
‘Is that really what my hair looks like from the back?’ These are the real dangers of stalking yourself in the past, Hermione. Not what are the ramifications on past events or anything; does my hair look okay?
And now Harry and Hermione get to live through the whole escapade for the second time in one night. It’s exhausting just watching them. I would need a nap first.
And that’s why it’s always a good idea to bow politely to a Hippogriff. Because it might come and rescue you from a different dangerous creature, like a werewolf.
This moment is so beautiful and bittersweet: Harry realises that his dad didn’t save him from the Dementors – he can, and does, save himself.
Sirius whoops with glee as Harry, Hermione and he escape from the tower on Buckbeak’s back. Memo to Sirius: keep it down, you’re a wanted man!
CCTV footage could really get Harry and Hermione in trouble right about now.
The Whomping Willow Kills an Innocent Little Bluebird count: two.
Professor Lupin resigns, but not before imparting some excellent life advice to Harry.
Sirius may be Harry’s godfather, but Remus is perhaps the most stable father figure to him throughout the entire series. He’s kind, endlessly compassionate, and level-headed. Sob.
There goes the best Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher Hogwarts ever had. Now we’re bawling.
But we can’t end the film on such a downer note, so there’s one more scene…
Harry’s new Firebolt is here! The expression on his face as he flies into the sky… Same.
You can watch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and all of the eight Harry Potter movies, currently on demand on Sky Movies.