Harry Potter: 10 Things Only Die-Hard Book Fans Know About Prisoner Of Azkaban

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore had failed to perform at the level of other films from the Harry Potter franchise, only pulling around $96 million in domestic box office sales since its release. It's difficult to say what this is attributed to. It's possible that audiences were reluctant to see the movie after the controversy surrounding actor Johnny Depp's dismissal from the franchise. However, a common complaint from fans in regards to the series is the number of canonical changes the films have made.


Of course, this is nothing new in the world of book-to-screen adaptations. Fans of a book series will often feel frustrated when they see a beloved story changed to better fit the screen. This was certainly the case for many of the Harry Potter movies, notably Prisoner of Azkaban. Overall, the film performed very well with audiences, but those who first read the book couldn't help but be disappointed by all that was left out. From the backstory of the beloved Marauders to the details about the characters and pets, there is a lot about Harry's third year at Hogwarts that movie audiences would have missed out on.

Harry Lived At The Leaky Cauldron For Several Weeks

Harry Potter and the Weasleys at The Leaky Cauldron in Prisoner of Azkaban

In the Prisoner of Azkaban movie, Harry runs away after accidentally blowing up his aunt and finds himself at the Leaky Cauldron. He spends the night at the inn, and the next day, he is pleased to find Ron and Hermione there before they all take off for Hogwarts.

In the book, however, Harry stays by himself at the Leaky Cauldron for several weeks before the Weasleys visit him. In fact, it was one of the most joyous moments of the story. Harry was able to live independently from the abusive Dursleys, visit Diagon Alley, one of the most beautiful locations in Harry Potter, and experience a peek into what it will one day be like when he gets to live full-time in the wizarding world.

The Marauders Played An Important Role

The Marauder's Map as seen in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

In the movie, Harry receives the Marauder's Map from Fred and George, which proves very useful for sneaking around the castle. At one point, the map gets discovered by Lupin, who mysteriously knows exactly what it is. It is never explained where he gets this information, and it is never spoken about again.

The book, however, reveals that Lupin had gone by the nickname Moony during his school days and that he was one of the four Marauders credited with creating the map. Of course, the other members were Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black, and James Potter. The revelation that Harry's father had created the map was highly significant and one of the most disappointing reveals to have been left out of the film.

Harry's Father Was An Animagus

Harry's stag Patronus standing in a forest from Harry Potter

Throughout the Prisoner of Azkaban book, Harry attempts to master the Patronus spell with limited results. However, in the end, when Harry has to fight off hundreds of Dementors to save himself and Sirius, he finally produces a silver stag.

While the big "Execto Patronum" moment is a dramatic one in the PoA movie, it doesn't have the same effect as in the book, where readers know that James Potter could turn into a stag. In fact, all the Marauders could turn into animals. The movie revealed that Sirus and Peter were Animagi, but it was never explained that they did this to better be there for their werewolf pal or that James was one too.

Crookshanks And Sirius Were Friends

A split image showing two different images of Hermione with her can Crookshanks from Harry Potter

Hermione's cat, Crookshanks, was first introduced in Prisoner of Azkaban. In the book, Harry accompanies Hermione to the pet store where she purchased the cranky cat, who continues to be a focal point of the book's central mystery for the remaining chapters.

Crookshanks behaved very strangely throughout his first year with Hermione. He showed apparent hate for Scabbers, who was, of course, the most dangerous pet in Harry Potter. However, what stood out to Harry was the fact that Crookshanks seemed to enjoy the company of a certain haunting big black dog that it had befriended.

Harry Got The Firebolt Before The Big Reveal

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) receives his Firebolt in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

In the Prisoner of Azkaban movie, Harry goes the rest of the school year with no broom after his Nimbus 2000 was destroyed. It was only after the reveal that Sirius was not a murderer that he received a Firebolt in the mail, and the film ends as Harry uses it to streak across the sky.

However, in the book, Harry receives his Firebolt from a mysterious someone long before the events within the Shrieking Shack. Hermione and Professor McGonagall suspected that Sirius had been the sender, and the broom was confiscated to ensure that it wouldn't be dangerous.

Harry And Hermione Had A Falling Out

Harry Ron and Hermione standing outside in Harry Potter

Even though Harry knew that his life was in danger, the gift of the fastest racing broom in the world was just too much for him to resist. Therefore, when a Firebolt mysteriously arrived for him, he was determined not to tell any of the teachers about it, knowing that they would not let him keep it.

However, Hermione decided that the risk was just too high and went behind Harry's back to report the gift to Professor McGonagall. As he suspected, the broom was taken away, and Harry was furious with his friend. While Ron and Hermione often argued and stopped speaking, this was the only time that Harry completely broke off contact with the heartbroken Hermione.

Sirius Thought Lupin Was A Double Agent

Snape confronting Sirius

In the PoA book, Lupin had already suspected that Sirius was leaking information before the Potters' deaths. This suspicion, combined with his belief that Sirius was the Potter's Secret Keeper, led him to conclude that Sirius truly was responsible.

However, in a Sirius quote that should have been in the movie, it is revealed that he had specifically misled Lupin into believing that he was the Secret Keeper since he suspected his old werewolf pal of being a double agent. Sirius had secretly suggested that James give that honor to Peter. Of course, this ultimately ensured that the Potters were killed and that Sirius himself would go to prison without any defense from Lupin.

Ron Was A Strong, Brave Character

Ron wakes up from his sleep Prisoner of Azkaban

There wasn't much positive to say about Ron Weasley's character in the Prisoner of Azkaban movie. Not only was he typically seen as cowardly, but he was overly cruel to Hermione. This was not true for his book counterpart, who, while often lacking in tact, was loyal and brave.

For example, when Snape mocks Hermione as being a "know-it-all," Ron doesn't agree with the teacher as he did in the movie. Instead, he bravely stood up to him and told Snape not to ask questions if he didn't want Hermione to answer. Then, when he thought that Sirius would kill Harry, he bravely stood between them, broken leg and all.

Snape Completely Lost His Cool

Snape protecting Harry Hermione and Ron

Snape was a very flawed character, but the Harry Potter movies often showed him in a much more flattering light. This was the most prevalent in Prisoner of Azkaban, where Snape only made light jokes about Lupin's status as a werewolf and bravely stood in front of his students to protect them.

In the book, however, Snape demonstrated how much he regressed to a schoolboy when it came to James Potter and his friends. The presence of Lupin at the school, combined with the knowledge that Sirius was on the loose, brought back his determination for vengeance. When Sirius escaped, the potions professor kicked and screamed like a child, which perfectly summed up Snape's character in the Harry Potter books.

The Explanation Of How Sirius Escaped

Sirius Black in his cell in Azkaban in Harry Potter.

The Prisoner of Azkaban movie makes it clear that Sirius Black was the first person to have ever escaped from Azkaban prison. The island fortress had always been able to contain its prisoners, especially with the help of the terrifying Dementor guards.

However, in the book, Sirius explains that he had barely existed during his time in prison and that the hopelessness made him unable to transform. That changed, though, when he saw Peter Pettigrew as a rat in a picture of the Weasleys in the Daily Prophet. His need for revenge gave him some life back, and since Dementors could not sense the soul of an animal, he transformed and snuck out.

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