Prisoner of Azkaban chapters 5-8 discussion
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I find it a bit odd that harry and freinds always seem to have trouble finding a compartment. I have never ridden a train except once in fifth grade and that was just like a bus, no compartments. But it does seem to me that other people would want to sit with harry being as he's so famous and all. Or are they all scared or in awe of him? have I forgotten how teens are wanting to be only with their best freinds? How did it happen that lupin was on the train anyway since he could use other forms of magical travel? Did DD think Harry might react that way to a dementor attack on the train? Prior knowledge? How did harry and co just happen to sit in that compartment.
Also, I'm not sure if the Dementor was sent to that particular compartment or if it was just drawn to Harry. Also, it could have been given orders to find Harry too. But, I do not remember Umbridge sending it to the train, just at his home.
I also wondered, given Lupin's apparent poverty, how he happened to have an "enormous slab" of chocolate on his person. Maybe the professors had been warned that there would be dementors, and he was carrying it just to be prepared? Maybe I'll start carrying around enormous slabs of chocolate for just that reason! I suspect I'll have to be buying replacements frequently, though!
By the by, I love that chocolate helps you recover from encounters with dementors!
More thoughts . . .
I thought McGonagall always oversaw the Sorting, but Flitwick did it in this book because McGonagall was with Harry and Hermione. Now I'm trying to remember if we know who oversees the sorting in other books.
The Divination classroom -- actually, it sounds kind of cozy. I mean, I'd want less perfume and more books, but tea and armchairs definitely sound like nothing to complain about!
Foreshadowing -- this book is so well plotted! Hints are thick on the ground, if you bother to pick them up (both for events in this book, and for the rest of the series). For instance, McGonagall's first lesson was on Animagi. There's also Snape's treatment of Lupin (he appears to hate him just as much as he hates Harry, even before we know Lupin was one of the Marauders), Crookshanks' dislike of Scabbers . . . there's even a hint of the Thestrals -- page 87 in my book, the carriages that take the older students up to school are "each pulled, Harry could only assume, by an invisible horse . . ."
Whatever happened to Penelope Clearwater? Did she have the good sense to dump Percy after they left school? We never hear about whether that relationship continues, do we?
And, one last thought -- when Peeves is telling DD about the attack on the Fat Lady, he calls Dumbledore "Professorhead." Ah, Peeves -- he always makes me giggle.
On Snape and Lupin: I think of all the characters in the book, Lupin could have been Snape's friend (in an alternate universe, and whatever would constitute as a friend). They're both outcasts for reasons they can't control, both living double lives, and both regret events from their youth. Plus, Snape does make the potion for him without screwing it up, even if he does try to expose him in underhanded ways.
That being said, I highly doubt Snape could ever get over Lupin being a witness to his worst memory ever, or his friendship with James Potter. But Lupin seems to hate Snape a lot less than most people. Lupin rules. I wish they had more interaction.
The Dementers scare me. They're the most frightening characters in the books. In some ways, more frightening than Voldemort.
The Fat Lady's attack was really creepy, too. You never think of characters like that getting injured in any way. When they do, it's really jarring.
About Lupin: I think he was the focus of so much hatred (for being a werewolf) that he chose not to spread any more around, if that makes sense. When I think of character attributes for Lupin, "gentle" is one of the first that comes to mind.
After finishing the chapters last night, I was thinking about Lupin's life, and a few other things. Here's what I came up with, in a rather humorous format:
(Note -- the following contains spoilers for books 4-7)
Host: Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to My Miserable Life, the show which presents the lives of three players and allows you to decide which one is the most miserable! So, let's hear it for Player #1!
P1: I was bitten by a werewolf as a child, which has shaped my life in more ways than I can tell. My secret was carefully guarded throughout my younger years, but there was no question of me going away to school like other wizarding children of my age, of course. Then, Albus Dumbledore stepped in and said he could arrange a solution. Well, we were all overjoyed, of course. In fact, those years were some of the best of my life: I had three close friends who would do anything for me. Tragedy struck after we had left school, though -- one of my friends betrayed and killed the other two, and he went to prison for it. Alone again, I soon found myself unemployable, unless I wanted to join others like myself and prey on the weak and innocent. Dumbledore offered me a teaching job, which lasted less than a year. After that, I did some work fighting off the Death Eaters with the Order of the Phoenix, where I met Dora. She insisted she loved me in spite of my condition, and against my better judgment, I allowed myself to fall in love with her, as well. Our marriage lasted a year, and in that time we had a son, but before we could see him grow up, both Dora and I were killed in battle against the Dark Lord. And that's my miserable life.
Host: Yes, that certainly was miserable, wasn't it, folks? (Applause.) But we still have two more contestants with pitiful stories to tell, so let's move along to Player #2!
P2: My family hated me, and I hated them. They were obsessed with social standing and purity of blood. To spite them, I entered Gryffindor house, despite the fact that every other member of my family had been in Slytherin. I made some great friends there, but in the end, our friendship was torn apart by deceit and betrayal: James trusted Peter to be his Secret-Keeper, and Peter sold him out to the Dark Lord. In a rage, I confronted Peter, and he managed to frame me, while he went free. I was sent to Azkaban, surrounded day and night by Dementors, living in absolute despair, with only the fact of my innocent to comfort me. After twelve years, I was able to escape, and for a few minutes I thought my innocence would be established, but it was not to be. Instead, I had to live the life of a fugitive, unable to render service to the Order of the Phoenix or provide a normal home for my godson. And then, only a few short years after my escape, I died in a fight against a group of Death Eaters -- still guilty, in the eyes of the world, of the murder of my best friend.
Host: Another story of incredible misery! (Applause.) But we still have one more tale to hear, and here to present it is Player #3!
P3: My father was abusive, my mother powerless. I had a miserable childhood, with only one source of comfort: my best friend. She didn't care about the strange clothes or the fact that I had no other friends. She even shared my magical abilities. I longed for the day we would go away to school. It would be a fresh start for me. I imagined that she and I would be in the same House, best friends forever. But it was not to be. Not only were we separated, but I was immediately chosen as a target for a group of boys from her own house. They were popular, wealthy, successful . . . everything I was not. They made my schooldays a torment. Even worse, their ringleader held some inexplicable fascination for my friend Lily. She gradually turned away from me, from our friendship, and when she left school, she married him. In despair, I turned to the service of the Dark Lord, where I had power and influence. However, I soon found that he intended to kill her, and her son . . . her entire family. I pleaded for her life, but something deep inside me did not trust his promises. So, I went to Dumbledore, who despised me for what I had become. I asked him to keep her safe -- to keep them all safe, if that was what it took, and agreed to be a double agent in exchange for that. Neither of these measures helped. She died. I was powerless to stop it. Dumbledore made me pledge to protect her son, who had survived the attack. I agreed, even though he was the son of my rival, bound to resemble him in nearly every way. I resigned myself to a life without love, teaching inept students how to brew the most basic potions, over and over again. Eventually her son came to the school, and it was just as I had suspected: he was cocky, arrogant, and not even a good student. Again and again he put his life in danger, try though I might to protect him from himself. Then, the Dark Lord returned. In memory of Lily, I agreed to serve once more as a double agent. I was despised and mistrusted on both sides, though I had the full confidence of both Dumbledore and the Dark Lord. Finally, I agreed to kill Dumbledore rather than allow a young boy to become a murderer. After that, the Order of the Phoenix despised me all the more, and I was lauded by the Death Eaters. I continued to carry out Dumbledore's will, while seeming a faithful servant of the Dark Lord -- but in the midst of the final battle, he sacrificed me, for no reason that I could see. And thus ended my miserable life.
Host: Misery, indeed! (Applause.) Now we've heard from all three of our pitiful contestants, and it's time for you to decide which one will be the champion today on My Miserable Life!
I'd vote for player 3. He's so LONELY. But I'm baised. Very, very biased.
I think Lupin took the train partly to guard the kids, especially Harry, from the Dementors that they all knew would be around. That's why he had the chocolate.
I think Lupin's life is the saddest (cool post, foggi!) because none of it is his fault, and he's an awesome human. He's a better person at heart than either Sirius or Snape.
Yea, I'm a vote for my literary god father, Sirius!
Maybe that is part of why I like this book so much.
In many ways he is a better parental stand in for Harry than any other characters besides the Weasleys and the train is just the begining of that. He also doesn't burden the children with his personal problems something both Snape and Sirius do.
I was noticing how Ginny was effected by the Dementors during this read. Presumably she was reliving being possessed by Voldemort which is pretty horrible itself.
I think this is the best plotted of the books. Rowling drops all the hints in the beginning that play out by the end. Hermione's books and the meeting with McGonagall. Dumbledore's warning about the Dementor's in the forest. There are so many nice details.
And we can't have exhausted all of the possible discussion topics for these chapters, can we? Feel free to chime in, people!
#6 -> Contestant #3.
Runner up: contestant #2.
Please note Lupin is my favorite of these three characters. While he did have a miserable life, he managed to find happiness, however brief it was. I think we can all agree that the happiness he found was of a sort he never thought he would have.
About these three characters, it had me thinking of what each most desired would be. Lupin evidently wanted the world to be one in which _____* could grow up without prejudice, even more than living happily with Dora and said (or unsaid*) person. (* Left blank on purpose to eliminate a spoiler.) Sirius wanted to live freely and in his home with Harry, though of course wanted James to be alive once more, which was simply not possible. Snape wanted Lily, and I'm sure foggi could do a better job of this, so I'll just leave the rest to her. ;) (Btw, you've done wonders with this thread, foggi! :)
Well said! I completely agree about Lupin being the best stand-in parent for Harry besides the Weasleys.
#15 -> You are Polly Smith. (Aren't you so glad you provided a first and last name? ;)
Later Wednesday night after we were in the chatroom, suge told me she was indeed watching that show. Maybe send her an owl?
Edited for misspelling.
As for the parent thing, he didn't remember anything about his mom's death (and he didn't see his dad's). He thought it was in a car crash for years. I don't think that really counts.