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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Question: When Harry and Hermione are rescuing Sirius, Hermione blasts open the door using a different spell than the one she used in The Philosopher's Stone to open the door to where Fluffy was. I can understand that the reason the spell would be stronger on Sirius's cell is so he can't escape and it's more secure. But the Philosopher's Stone had to be secured well, so why was the lock so easy to unlock?

Answer: It's never stated that one spell is stronger than the other. There may be different spells that achieve similar results, and Hermione simply chose one over the other. Therefore, it should not be assumed that one lock was easier to open than the other. Also, the "bombarda" spell was never mentioned in the books. It was invented by the filmmakers for the movie, probably because it sounded stronger and was more descriptive (as in to bombard).

raywest

New this week Question: When freeing Sirius Black, then flying around the School, why did they whoop and holler and make so much noise if they were trying to be secretive?

Question: Is it possible to tell what Hermione was doing to Ron in the background when Harry and Sirius are talking after they get out of the whomping willow? I thought she was untying his shoelaces but his laces are still tied so what was she doing?

Answer: She was tending to the bite wound on Ron's leg.

Question: When the lady knocks on the door and says "House keeping" which causes some monster wind thing, If you look on the right side of the screen, what's inside the room?

Answer: It's not known what it is. It is left to the audience's imagination of what exactly is in the room or what some witch or wizard was doing in there. This is only meant to be a humorous bit and is unrelated to the plot. It didn't happen in the book.

raywest

Question: When Sirius is a dog dragging Ron down the hole, why didn't the Whomping Willow attack him? And when they're leaving the hole (Sirius, Ron, Hermione, and Harry) the Whomping Willow stays still. Why is that?

Answer: In the books, the Whomping Willow had a knot on its trunk that, when pressed, froze the tree. In the movie, the tree is stilled by using the "Immobilus" spell. When Sirius, in his dog form, pulls Ron into the opening at the base of the Whomping Willow, he does it fast enough that the tree has not responded yet to someone being there. It starts whomping moments later just as Harry and Hermione arrive. Later, when Lupin arrived, he stopped the tree by casting Immobilus. (Harry and Hermione watch him doing this when they go back in time.) The spell was still effect when everyone left the Shrieking Shack.

raywest

Question: When Harry and Hermione were sitting with Buckbeak waiting to see themselves as Lupin turned into a werewolf, why didn't one of them go to where Pettigrew escaped to capture him?

Answer: Their focus was to save Sirius from the Dementors. It would have been too dangerous for Harry and Hermione to split up at that time and try to handle each situation separately. They would also risk being seen by the other Harry and Hermione, which could have derailed the entire plan.

raywest

Question: How could Hermione attend classes back in time, when all the others were seeing her? When she travelled with Harry, they were told they can't be seen.

Answer: Hermione had special permission, arranged by Dumbledore from the Ministry of Magic to use the Time Turner to take classes that were scheduled at the same time. Its use was carefully regulated and Hermione was instructed on how to utilize it so that she could attend multiple classes without other students noticing. When she is traveling with Harry to rescue Sirius, she is explaining to Harry that they must not be seen at the same time as the "other" Harry and Hermione that are in the past.

raywest

Question: Not sure if anybody will have an answer to this, but I would appreciate any good guesses. I read the book and it describes Remus' suitcase as having the name "Professor RJ Lupin" in "peeling" letters, so the letters have been there for a while. Did he teach at Hogwarts in the past, or could there be smaller magical schools in Britain?

Answer: Lupin did not work at other schools as none would have allowed a werewolf to teach children. Only Dumbledore ever offered him a teaching position. Regarding the title "Professor" on his suitcase that had appeared to be there for some time, I believe this is actually a movie mistake. He did not previously have this title for any reason.

raywest

Question: Sirius receives a serious wound from Lupin when he's a werewolf. According to legend, if you're bitten by a werewolf, you become one. Why doesn't Sirius? I watched this scene several times, and Padfoot (Sirius) was bit by Lupin.

Answer: In the book Lupin says to harry "Werewolf bites are only fatal to humans". Sirius Black does not become infected with lycanthropy because he was in his animagus form of the dog "the grim" at the time of the bite.

Question: Why does Dumbledore purposely hit Ron's injured leg?

Answer: This didn't happen in the book. It appears to be done purely for comic effect in the movie, showing Dumbledore's eccentric and quirky nature. He's seemingly oblivious to what he's doing and how it affects Ron.

raywest

Question: Does Lily Potter scream anything in particular when she dies? Some fans (according to Google searches) seem to think that she is screaming "Always", but it sounds more like "Harry" to me. Has JK Rowling ever answered this?

Answer: I've listened to this a number of times, and her scream is just that - a scream, somewhat enhanced with special sound effects. It's too unintelligible to make out if she was saying anything. I have not found anything about J.K. Rowling commenting on whether Lily said anything.

raywest

Question: I'm confused about Lupin's friendship with Lily, James, Peter, and Sirius. Lupin says that Lily was there for him at a time "when no one else was." Was he not friends with James, Peter, and Sirius? Didn't they learn the Animagus spell so that they could spend time with him at night?

Answer: He didn't mean it quite so literally. Yes, he was friends with James, Sirius, and also Peter Pettigrew, but Lily was an especially close and caring friend to him and was among the very first to reach out to him in true friendship.

raywest

Question: What is supposed to happen if you say Voldemort's name? Harry says it throughout the series many times, and nothing happens to him. Why do Arthur Weasley (in this movie) and other people always tell him to stop?

Answer: Actually, nothing happens to anyone who says it. The idea is that Voldemort was so evil that nearly everyone feared saying his name aloud, referring to him only as "You-Know-Who" or "The Dark Lord." Only Harry and Dumbledore freely spoke his name aloud, having no fear of it. However, in HP and the Deathly Hallows, Voldemort, knowing this about Harry, places a jinx on his own name, and anyone saying it will immediately reveal their location. Hermione happened to say "Voldemort" out loud right after she, Harry, and Ron escaped the attack at the wedding and were in the coffee shop. Two Death Eaters appear immediately after she says it, and almost capture the trio.

raywest

Question: In the book, Snape and Lupin look at the Marauder's Map to see that Ron, Peter, Hermione, Harry and Sirius are all in the Shrieking Shack. How come Snape and Lupin didn't notice the second/future Harry and Hermione when they were near the whomping willow on the map?

Answer: They didn't notice the second ones because they weren't close enough to the tree when they were focused on that part of the map. There are hundreds of dots moving around the castle and it is possible they were just missed.

Question: This occured to me after watching all the movies. Until the end of this movie, everyone thought Sirius Black supported Voldemort. Therefore, if Severus Snape wants Voldemort to believe that he is loyal to him and is only faking his allegiance to Dumbledore, why does he attempt to capture Sirius and turn him over to the Dementors? Wouldn't he have to explain to Voldemort why he attacked a fellow servant?

Answer: This is not explained well in the movie. Snape was motivated purely by hatred toward Sirius that extended back to when they were students at Hogwarts together. Young Sirius bullied Snape relentlessly and nearly got him killed by playing a trick on him. Like others, he also erroneously believed Black had betrayed the Potters. Snape never forgave him and was so blinded by wanting revenge that he would let the Dementors suck out his soul. Snape would not have to explain anything to Voldemort because Sirius, unlike his family, was never a Death Eater nor did he ever serve the Dark Lord. In fact, he joined the Order of the Phoenix and fought against Voldemort. The Dark Lord knew this.

raywest

Question: Can students arrive at Hogwarts without riding on the train first? Surely some of the Hogsmeade residents have children, and it doesn't make sense for them to go to London and get on a train just to go right back to the Hogsmeade/Hogwarts area.

Answer: Children from anywhere but Hogsmeade must take the train.

Question: This is a two-part question. 1. When the Dementors first appear on the train, why does frost cover the windows and the train become so cold? 2. If the Dementors were sent to capture Sirius Black, why would they be on a train full of Hogwarts students?

Answer: The frost appearing whenever the Dementors are nearby never happened in the books. It was solely a creation for the movie as a device to foreshadow their oncoming and ominous presence. This same freezing over plays a part later in the movie when Harry saves Sirius from the Dementors by the lake. The audience already knows it signals something bad is about to happen. Regarding the second part of your question, When Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban, it was known that he wanted to kill someone who was at Hogwarts. Because he was convicted as Voldemort's accomplice in Lily and James Potters' murders, it was assumed he was on his way to kill Harry. The Dementors are on the Hogwarts express, and later at the school, to protect Harry as well as hunt for Sirius. However, the Dementors have overstepped their purpose and become a threat to Harry, who has a particularly strong reaction whenever they approach him.

raywest

Question: When the Fat Lady portrait is found shredded (by Sirius) there is a baby crying. In the scene you can see a youngish girl holding a crying baby, off to the left in the screen. Why is there a baby at Hogwarts?

Answer: It is not an actual mother and baby. Like the Fat Lady, they are one of the many moving portraits hanging on Hogwarts' walls. Look a little closer and you'll see the picture frame surrounding them.

raywest

Question: Do some Hogwarts students arrive at school before others? I ask because of the choir singing in this movie, on the first day of the term. Wouldn't they have needed at least a day to practice the song?

Answer: All the students arrive on the train, but it is feasible they took part or all of the afternoon on the train to practise. They also could have met a few times over the summer.

Question: In the answer to another question here, it says that Dumbledore wanted the other teachers to keep Remus' werewolf condition a secret. Wouldn't Severus get into trouble for trying to teach the Defense Against Dark Arts class about werewolves?

Answer: Snape is clever enough to know how to circumvent getting into any serious trouble, though Dumbledore probably was displeased by what he did. Werewolves were a standard part of the Defense Against the Dark Arts curriculum, though, when subbing for Lupin, he decided to cover the subject weeks ahead of schedule in the hopes a student would recognize that Lupin was a werewolf without it being him directly giving away the secret. Of course, it was Hermione who figured it out, though she kept that knowledge to herself until it became necessary to reveal it.

raywest

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Quotes

Sirius Black: Brilliant, Snape. Once again you've put your keen and penetrating mind to the task and as usual come to the wrong conclusion.

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Mistakes

At Hagrid's, when Harry, Ron and Hermione are there the first time in the film, there is a large birdcage, blue cup and saucer, watering can and small wood planter (with seedlings) on the windowsill. Later, when Hermione visibly throws the first stone, as the stone flies through the window the watering can and blue cup's positions differ and the wood planter and large birdcage are actually gone! When she throws the second stone they are back on the windowsill.

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Trivia

In order to acquaint himself with his three lead actors, director Alfonso Cuaron had each of them write an essay about their characters, from a first-person point of view. Emma Watson, in true Hermione fashion, went a little overboard and wrote an 16-page essay, Daniel Radcliffe wrote a simple one page paper, and Rupert Grint never even turned his in, as he said that is what Ron would have done.

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