The Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 6-7: It’s Cool, It’s School

Oh hey guys! This is my first post on this here re-read.

CHAPTER 6: TALONS AND TEA LEAVES

I have some feelings about this chapter and they’re not all positive. Just getting that out of the way. It’s not like I hate it, but we have some history.

Chapter 6

Of all the blogs in all the internet…

The chapter opens in the great hall. A little disappointingly, we do not hear what any of the characters are eating for breakfast. Toast? Bacon? Cheeri Owls?! I’m genuinely curious! Schedules are passed out and Hermione is taking, like, a thousand classes. Ron and Harry question her, but she just brushes them off. I love her deflections here. They’re brilliant in their simplicity.

On their way to Divination Harry, Ron and Hermione encounter Sir Cadogan, who is a tiny delight. It’s hard not to love a miniature knight with a pudgy pony and too big sword. It’s like a Chihuahua that growls at a Great Dane, but can talk and show you the way to the North Tower. I hope you stick around, little guy. *wink*

So far, so good. Draco being a total dick? Check. Hermione making Ron so confused he just stops asking questions? Check. New part of the castle? Check. New character? CHECK.

It’s Divination time! *cue eerie soft jazz* It actually makes a lot of sense to me that Harry and Ron would sign up for this class, since Divination is the Hogwarts version of Film Studies. Jocks (and Harry is totally a jock) take it because they think it’ll be an easy O. (I was a film studies major; I’m allowed to say such things.) Hermione, you’re better than this and you know it. Think about your choices, boo.

Divination is a beautiful disaster. Trelawney tells Harry he’s going to die and just generally behaves like a game of Light As a Feather Stiff As a Board come to life. Hermione acts like kind of a prat, Lavender and Parvati are adorable and silly, and Neville Nevilles. It’s nice.

Transfiguration passes without incident save for Professor McGonagall throwing some major shade Trelawney’s way. They go to lunch where Ron and Hermione get in a fight (RECORD SCRATCH), then it’s time for Care of Magical Creatures. This is where I have to confront the fact that I have some unresolved feelings about this chapter.

Confession time! I don’t really care for Hagrid. I feel guilty even typing that. What kind of monster dislikes Hagrid? Me! Me and Draco Malfoy! Really keeping good company there, Hannah. I recognize that disliking Hagrid says more about me than it does about Hagrid. Hagrid is good intentions incarnate; he just makes a lot of mistakes. A lot of mistakes. Like, all the time. Just mistakes for days out of that guy. But he means well and he’s loyal, kind and fiercely protective. He just drives me up the wall sometimes.

ImageWho could hate that face?!?!

Hagrid is teaching his very first Care of Magical Creatures class. This is a huge moment for him. He wants to make a splash as a new teacher. What better way to make splash than with the lethal cocktail of Hippogriffs (easily offended), thirteen year olds (known to be jerks) and limited adult supervision. Not so surprisingly things to not end well.  It’s just so frustrating to watch it play out. It’s like watching someone slather themselves in chum before swimming in the ocean. Ah well, Draco did totally have it coming, and it’s not like those spiders actually ate Harry and Ron. Shine on Hagrid, you beautiful naïve diamond!

Draco

WORTH IT.

The thing is, all the things that bother me about this chapter are the things I love about the series. I love that Hermione is a hero, but she can also be kind of a jerk. I love that Hagrid is kind of a fuck up and Harry knows this, but he loves him anyway.

CHAPTER 7!: THE BOGGART IN THE WARDROBE 

Unsurprisingly this chapter also opens with Draco being a complete nightmare, which only leads Snape into being even worse. It’s been a while since I’ve re-read one of the earlier books and it’s shocking what a bully Snape is. He tries to poison Neville’s toad. HE TRIES TO POISON TREVOR! What did Trevor ever do to you, Snape? That is just mega monstrous behavior, Severus.

Following Potions is Defense Against The Dark Arts. We already know Lupin knows his way around Dementor aftercare, but this is our first chance to really see him in action. We haven’t had the best luck with Defense Against The Dark Arts teachers, so you can forgive me (and the third years) for being a little apprehensive. Snape takes another opportunity to bully poor Neville, publicly calling him out in front of his new teacher. Snape, you are seriously the worst.

It’s time for a training montage! I always really loved the Boggart scene. I’m really fond of the other Gryffindors and it’s nice to see them be successful. Neville especially. Dude could use a mark in the win column, you know?

Riddikulus

Snape, the vulture is maybe a bit much?

I also love Ron’s quip at Hermione at the end of the chapter. “What would it have been for you? A piece of homework that only got a nine out of ten?” Hermione’s relationship with Ron is often so fraught with tension, it’s nice to see some good natured ribbing.

Other Thoughts

  • I always wonder about Hermione’s relationship with Lavender and Parvati. They’re the only three girls in their year, so they end up sharing a dorm room for 6 years. I always figured they had a casual friendship we never see because Harry either doesn’t notice or doesn’t care,  but it’s entirely possible they hate each other. I prefer the former.
  • What is the deal with Pansy Parkinson? Is she in love with Draco? Does she want the power that comes with being with him? What’s your deal Pansy?! I should look it up, I bet JK Rowling has talked about it.
  • One thing that’s really struck me re-reading this book is how faithful the film actually was. I had this idea in my head that Alfonso Cuarón took a lot of liberties, but so much of what was on screen is right there on the page.
  • Why is a spider without any legs funny? It seems kind of horrifying to me.
  • We find out later why Lupin didn’t want Harry facing the Boggart, but I wonder why Hermione didn’t get a chance. What would it have turned into when it focused on her?
  • This has no bearing on this chapter, but HUFFLEPUFF FOREVER.
  • Is there any bigger divide than between Snape’s book hair versus his movie hair? I posit there is not

SnapeHair

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22 thoughts on “The Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 6-7: It’s Cool, It’s School

  1. Kevin O'Shea says:

    I remember having that discussion with my friends and my parents when the movie came out. Where Stone and Chamber were pretty much Page-To-Screen, Prisoner was a lot better of an -adaptation-, and took the necessary licenses and liberties to make certain scenes work better for the medium. The pacing and narrative flow was so much better for this movie, and it really started to show what the future installments could be capable of.

    (EVEN THOUGH THEY SHOT THEMSELVES IN THE FOOT WITH NOT EXPLAINING THE MAP)

    • Ashley says:

      WHY DIDN’T THEY SAY WHO MADE THE MAP ARE THEY IDIOTS OR SOMETHING.

      You opened up a can of worms there, my friend. I really like the third movie, except for that part and the ending.

      Freeze-frame ending, Cuaron? Really? What are you, NEW?

      • Kevin O'Shea says:

        WHY STAG WHY IS STAG NO EXPLANATION FOR STAG

        such good
        very patronus

        • Ashley says:

          WHO WERE THE MARAUDERS? Uh, some guys? NO. HOW DOES LUPIN KNOW SIRIUS. HOW DOES SIRIUS KNOW LUPIN? HOW ARE THEY CONNECTED TO PETTIGREW? Uh, they went to school together? I guess? It’s not like they were in a super secret club where they did illegal magic things that were important for the plot- IT’S EXACTLY LIKE THAT. WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH LUPIN BEING A WEREWOLF? Uh, his friends knew or something? It’s not important. IT’S VERY IMPORTANT. THEY WERE ANIMAGI! THEY WERE ALL ANIMAGI!!!!!!! MOONY, WORMTAIL, PADFOOT, PRONGS . . . so what . . . SO WHAT SO WHAT SO THAT’S WHY HARRY CASTING A STAG PATRONUS IS SO IMPORTANT YOU ASSSSSSHHHHOOOOOLLLEEESSSS.

        • Ashley says:

          Oh! Also!

          DID THEY JUST THINK IT WAS A COINCIDENCE THAT BLACK AND PETTIGREW WERE ANIMAGI? Like, it’s never explained at all! Just Ron shrieking ‘He’s an animagus!” while pointing at Sirius.

  2. hannanimal says:

    Agreed! I think the Boggart scene is great in the book, but it really shines in the movie. Same with the Knight Bus.

  3. I’m guessing that Hermione often feels left out of the Hogwarts girl friendship scene. Like, I’m sure that by GoF, she’s on better terms with Lavender and Parvati than she was at first. But looking at it from the roommate perspective, which I’ve never done before, it’s no wonder that Hermione gets SO furious about the Lavender/Ron thing in HBP.

    • Ashley says:

      Hermione’s best friends are books and social justice. (And Ron and Harry, when they’re not being idiots.)

      • Lindsay says:

        I imagine that while she might feel left out of the girl scene at times, she realizes just how silly the average girl is and hangs out with the ladies who are actually worth hanging out with (ie Luna, Ginny). I wouldn’t have wanted to hang with Parvati or Lavendar either. They are such a contrast to the awesome that is Hermione.

    • Jen says:

      I always wondered about this. They have to be living together, so it’s interesting that they seem to have very few conversations.

  4. kerrinify says:

    I think you’re right with the casual friendship between Hermione, Lavender and Parvati (up until Lavender permanently attaches herself to Ron’s face for some time), but I was always sad that we don’t get to explore the trio’s relationships to their classmates more, especially the girl’s.

  5. Jennie says:

    I love the boggart scene so much, but especially in the movie. I think it’s the music. And it’s such a fun, lighthearted scene compared to the one in which Mrs. Weasley and the trio take care of the boggart in the Black house in Order of the Phoenix (HEARTBREAKING).

    Snape’s movie-hair is totally glorious.

  6. Ashley says:

    I kind of love that you’ve made this confession about Hagrid. He’s so lovable, and Harry is so fiercely protective of him, but I’m kind of on Hermione’s side here . . . Hagrid isn’t a very good teacher (at least, when left to his own devices). They basically only do Flobberworms for the rest of the year, and then in book four he lets those damn Skrewts take over and the kids learn hardly anything. If I remember correctly he does okay in their fifth year, with Nifflers and Thestrals and such.

    I love Hagrid, but yeah, well. There’s a reason HRH don’t continue in his classes (poor guy). And I love that the series acknowledges it.

  7. Jen says:

    I love that Ron is so confused and trying to figure out what is up with Hermione the whole book and Harry just sort of ignores him. For once, Harry is the one who is dismissing other people’s nutty suspicions (that are grounded in fact).

  8. Dan says:

    I adore Hagrid, but I can see how he could get on your nerves. I mean, you really just sit there waiting for everything to go horribly wrong, and you’re all like “No, Hagrid. No! Bad! You know this isn’t going to work. Why are you still doing it!?!”

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