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Prisoner of Azkaban chapters 1-4 discussion

Hogwarts Express

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1foggidawn
Edited: Nov 5, 2007, 9:36am Top

Good morning, Hogwarts Express! Let's talk about the first four chapters of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban!

Those chapters are:

  • Owl Post
  • Aunt Marge's Big Mistake
  • The Knight Bus
  • The Leaky Cauldron

  • Have at it!

    2foggidawn
    Edited: Nov 5, 2007, 10:49am Top

    Okay, a couple of unrelated thoughts from my reading of the chapters:

    "Owl Post" -- I'm considering going through the books and finding out how many chapters share this name. Two in this book ("Owl Post" and "Owl Post Again") and I'm pretty sure it comes up later, as well.

    Upon reflection, I'm pretty sure Aunt Petunia can't really like Aunt Marge. I mean, Marge insults Petunia's family, and she brings along a dirty slobbering dog! Petunia is an interesting character. All of the Dursleys come across as caricatures for the first several books, but by the end of the series, at least Petunia and Dudley get a little more depth.

    For some reason, the Dursley sequence in this book didn't bother me as much. In our discussion of the last book, we mentioned that the whole "Dursleys treating Harry like a redheaded stepchild" theme gets old fast. Maybe it's that the Dursley portion of this book was so short.

    I would have liked to know more about the Trace (the way that the Ministry of Magic knows how an underage wizard has performed magic) -- even in the seventh book, when it's named, we don't learn much about how it works. It seems like JKR could have made that clearer -- I would think Fred and George, for example, would have made a study of avoiding detection. And, of course, Hermione would have read all about it!

    The Knight Bus -- I'd like to ride it at least once! It reminds me of the night train that I took from Moscow to St. Petersburg.

    Fudge -- this is where we really find out what a waffling idiot he is.

    Do all mirrors in magical households/establishments talk, I wonder? I think I'd be kinda put off by that -- normal mirrors are bad enough on their own!

    3foggidawn
    Nov 5, 2007, 10:53am Top

    Okay, scanned the table of contents -- "Owl Post" as a chapter title only appears in this book, though "A Peck of Owls" shows up later -- that must be what I was thinking of.

    4pollysmith
    Nov 5, 2007, 2:03pm Top

    I was sure even the first time I read this book that petunia was one of those people who are really bitter and don't like anyone so she tries to acheive a better than you attitude

    5pollysmith
    Nov 5, 2007, 2:07pm Top

    I think mirrors need to be enchanted to talk

    6littlegeek
    Nov 5, 2007, 2:22pm Top

    Dursley's still make me gag. I do like blowing up Marge, tho.

    I finished the whole book over the weekend. I just couldn't put it down. I'll try to be good, tho.

    there are so many differences in the movie version, yet I pretty much don't mind, other than leaving out an important exposition near the end. I don't know how movie-only people knew what was going on.

    7foggidawn
    Nov 5, 2007, 2:23pm Top

    Yes, but unless you're attempting that "who's the fairest of them all?" stuff, who'd want a talking mirror? I mean, the ones we've heard from haven't been exactly flattering. . . .

    8littlegeek
    Nov 5, 2007, 3:27pm Top

    Love:

    Ron not knowing how to use a phone.
    Monster Book of Monsters.
    Harry actually reading A History of Magic.
    Bighead Boy.
    Fred & George greeting Harry like pompous twits.
    The Ron & Hermione show starts right away and goes full steam through the whole book. (by this time, I had them figured.)
    Crookshanks v. Scabbers.
    The mirror at the Leaky Cauldron.

    9foggidawn
    Nov 5, 2007, 3:36pm Top

    Yes! And The Invisible Book of Invisibility. I'm tempted to add it to my LT catalog. ;-)

    10gpwts
    Nov 5, 2007, 4:58pm Top

    I'd add it with you FD!

    I had Hermione and Ron together from book 2, but by this time I knew for sure

    Fred and George crack me up as always, but I love how they just nag percy to no end. Imagine how unbearable he'd be if they didn't!!

    I always found it very interesting that Crookshanks hated Scabbers from the beginning. Even in the pet shop the cat had it out for Scabbers. I always thoguht that maybe in book 7 it would turn out Crookshanks was more then he appeared but..

    I want a talking mirror, it would crack me up!

    11LettaAvanell
    Nov 5, 2007, 5:04pm Top

    something I've always wondered: in the movie, where did the talking shrunken head on the knight bus come from?

    12pollysmith
    Nov 5, 2007, 5:28pm Top

    me too. It was funny but had nothing to do with the story

    13foggidawn
    Nov 5, 2007, 6:07pm Top

    #11 -- From watching the bonus stuff on the DVD, it sounds like it was just the whim of the director -- he ran it past JKR, and she said to go with it. In my imagination, there are no shrunken heads on the Knight bus . . . thank goodness!

    14megkrahl
    Edited: Nov 6, 2007, 11:47am Top

    My favorite part of this book is when Harry is in Diagon Alley by himself for a while. I can just imagine sitting at Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor reading a book I picked up at Flourish and Blotts. In the book you get a chance to really experience what it would be like there. I was disappointed they left that out of the movie.

    15compskibook
    Nov 6, 2007, 4:42pm Top

    14: Meg

    I love that part, too. What could be better than spend all that time hanging around Diagon Alley!

    16LettaAvanell
    Nov 7, 2007, 10:45am Top

    I thought it was odd that this is the only book where they mention Hermione or ron's birthdays. Hermione says that Crookshanks was an early birhtday present from her parents, so that must mean that her birthday is in September or very late august but they never mention it again.

    17Kerian
    Edited: Nov 9, 2007, 12:50pm Top

    #2 foggi:
    I agree that Petunia really must not like Marge all that much.

    #5 polly:
    Sounds right to me.

    #7 foggi:
    Here's an example of perhaps not flattering, but kind. :)
    "'I'm not going to be murdered,' Harry said out loud.
    'That's the spirit, dear,' said his mirror sleepily." (68)

    #8 littlegeek:
    I always love the part when Fred and George greet Harry after Percy does, no matter how many times I've read this book. :)

    #11 Letta:
    I've wondered that as well. *reads post #13* Ah! :)

    #14 meg:
    I agree that must have been a wonderful time for Harry. The first time of doing something on one's own like that is always exciting. I envy Harry that he was so young at the time, versus I was, hmm, maybe twenty-one. ;)

    #16 Letta:
    She said her birthday is in September. I agree - I've always wondered why her birthday is never brought up again later in the series.

    Just because I love when Harry does magic without a wand, I placed a flag in my book where it says "The cupboard door magically burst open," (29). I know there was other magic like this as well, such as the possibility of it being why Marge's glass broke, and the reason Marge blew up, but the cupboard bit oddly seemed more impressive to me. (Maybe because it was locked?)

    Did anyone notice we never actually read that Ron paid for the rat tonic though Hermione brings it to him? That always seems to bug me. Now with this reading, I'm wondering if Hermione was actually the one who bought it, and kept the information to herself.

    Found some typos.

    18foggidawn
    Nov 9, 2007, 12:00pm Top

    #17 -- Good point about Harry doing magic without a wand! Apparently that sort of thing is common with young wizards just learning about their powers, but it's interesting that they don't seem to be taught to use magic without a wand once they get to school. I mean, the wand seems to be how they focus their power, but you'd think it would be handy to have a few spells you could do without one, for when a wand gets lost or broken or whatever. Anybody else have thoughts on this?

    And about the rat tonic -- I bet she did pay for it when she paid for Crookshanks, and just never mentioned it! Good call on that one, too.

    19Kerian
    Nov 9, 2007, 12:52pm Top

    Thanks. :)

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