You will rarely find someone who has read the Harry Potter series in childhood, and has not wished for a Hogwarts letter to arrive at their doorstep on their eleventh birthday. My childhood and teenage years have been significantly influenced by the Harry Potter books. Whenever I find an opportunity, I return to these books again and again. I never get bored of reading it.
I have recently finished reading the 3rd book ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’. This is my favourite book in the series. Before I proceed to tell you why I love this one the most, I must warn you that the content you are going to read may have spoilers. If you have not read the book or watched the film, and you are planning to do so in future, I would request you not to read further.
Here are five reasons why ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ appeals to me the most:
- Introduction of Remus Lupin, Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew:
This book introduces three of the most significant characters in the series. All three of them had been the closest friends of Harry’s father James Potter. I have always loved the character of Remus Lupin. The biggest tragedy of his life is that he is a werewolf and he cannot live a normal life like others. Yet he faces the adversities with composure and treats people with kindness. He is a reasonable man, and a gifted teacher who instantly becomes a favourite of his students.
Sirius Black, who spent 12 years of his life amidst the horrors of Azkaban, is sometimes rash and impatient. Yet his love and loyalty for his friends and affection for Harry warms the heart of a reader.
Peter Pettigrew, on the other hand, is afraid of Voldemort and he had betrayed James and Lily Potter to save his own neck.
Each of them have played a pivotal role in the later parts of the series.
- Dementors, Boggarts and Patronus charm:
The author has introduced three interesting magical elements in the book. The Dementors are the formidable guards of Azkaban. These creatures suck out happiness and good memories of people and drive them insane or numb. They seem to bring coldness and despair everywhere they go. The only thing that can defeat a Dementor is a Patronus. And a wizard or witch can produce the Patronus charm with the help of a powerful happy memory.
A Boggart is a shape-shifter, which immediately takes the shape of the worst fears of the person facing it. Only laughter can defeat a Boggart. Therefore you must imagine your worst fears transforming into something funny.
It is clearly understandable that the Dementors, Boggarts and Patronuses are not just fantastical elements. These are representations of human states of mind. J.K. Rowling later revealed that Dementors symbolize her own struggles with depression for a certain period in her life.
- Mysteries revealed:
Many unexplored secrets get revealed through the course of this book. We get to know about events that occurred long before Harry was born: James Potter’s friendship with Remus Lupin, Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew, their rivalry with Severus Snape and the incidents that took place before the death of James and Lily.
We get to know the history of the Whomping Willow and the Shrieking Shack. The reality of Ron’s pet rat Scabbers is exposed which leads to a turning point in the series.
- Hermione’s powerful presence:
I thoroughly enjoyed Hermione’s character development. I could totally relate to her as I am a voracious reader and sometimes I get overworked and exhausted. Hermione stands for the truth and protects her friends even when Ron and Harry are angry with her. She detests the Divination lessons because she thinks logically. She even shows some characteristics which are unlike herself. She abruptly leaves Divination class, slaps Malfoy after Buckbeak’s apparent execution and in the end, gives up two of her subjects as she is unable to handle the pressure.
Without Hermione’s help and presence of mind, nobody could have saved the lives of Buckbeak and Sirius Black.
- Exciting Quidditch matches:
Reading the Quidditch matches in this book gave me an adrenaline rush every time. They felt so real that I could mentally watch every match. I was extremely disappointed when Gryffindor lost to Hufflepuff. The match with Ravenclaw was quite interesting with a little bit of romance between the two Seekers. The final match between Slytherin and Gryffindor was so exciting that I almost wanted to skip a few pages and know which team won the match to release the tension that was building up!
Which book did you like the most in the Harry Potter series? Why do you think it’s the best one?
Let me know in the comments.