I want to apologize for the decided lack of posts last week. It turns out fever delirium makes it sort of hard to write….
So, as always with these, I want to start out with a couple of random ideas that occurred to me while rereading. And I actually have quite a few here!
As much as I like the last book, Prisoner of Azkaban is really where things start to get going. If Philospher’s Stone is all the setup of the world, and Chamber of Secrets has all of the secret magical mechanics for Voldemort’s story squirreled away, then this one has all of the character development for the previous generation and war tucked into its corners. Maybe it’s just because these were the three that I never had to wait for, but I think between them they form the foundation for the series. And I’m pretty sure that’s intentional. As we all know, everything’s going to come crashing down next book, and that bedrock’s necessary for the audience to see the ways that crash changes things.
Again, I’m about halfway through this book: around the point where we find out Sirius “betrayed” the Potters.
If you’ve read any tumblr post, ever, you probably know the way in which the current fandom likes to try and cram Muggle technology into the Wizarding World. These ideas are usually hit and miss for me: sometimes they’re creative and interesting, sometimes they seem out of character for the setting. This is mostly to say I completely get the urge, though. When Harry’s messing around with a dip pen and inkwell under the sheets in the middle of the night, and complaining about ink stains on the bed, I sort of want to shake him. Child! Get a ballpoint and a notebook! Recopy it onto parchment later!
I find myself wondering if Ron’s rhapsody about Honeyduke’s is what got turned into “Ron loves food” for the movies. I don’t think we’ve seen him quite so gleeful about it before.
Lupin’s reaction to Snape in their early scenes is very interesting on reread. Not knowing the background you assume his pleasantness in the face of Snape’s viciousness is either just a personality trait or an attempt to avoid a feud with a coworker. Understanding what went on in the past, though, it seems like an offer of an olive branch. Lupin’s trying to put the grudge behind him, and isn’t being met in turn. Snape either can’t or won’t forget.
Speaking of whom, did Snape know that Sirius wasn’t actually a Death Eater? Would he have known that Peter was?
It’s easy to think that Harry’s being incredibly stupid by using the Marauder’s Map to sneak into Hogsmeade. For all he knows there’s a murderer after him, and regardless of the actual case there are still horrific, soul-sucking monsters that he’s weak against guarding the village.
But it’s also completely understandable from the perspective of a teenager who’s been completely ostracized from any sort of group all his life. He’s probably thinking that once again he’s been left out of things more than he’s thinking about the risk; it’s not like Harry’s a character that takes personal risk into account that much in the first place.
I would also like to point out how Hermione is the only one who has any sense here. Wasn’t there a meme at one point about how Harry and Ron both should just listen to her all the time?
This was never one of my favorite books in the series; in fact it’s actually pretty low on the list. I’m definitely enjoying it more this time around than I ever have before though. From a character perspective it’s sort of a gold mine.