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Foreshadowings in Prisoner of Azkaban

by David Haber

In an interview released around the time of the theatrical premiere of Prisoner of Azkaban, an interview which is also on the Prisoner of Azkaban DVD, J.K. Rowling said, "Alfonso Cuaron had very good intuition about what would and wouldn't work. He's put things in the film that, without knowing it, foreshadow things that are going to happen in the final two books."

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Reader Comments: (Page 15)

Mikey, I doubt that Rowling would have been surprised by the visuals, except perhaps in not knowing exactly HOW they were going to pull off a particular effect. Usually when you get a script for a screenplay or theatre piece, it has directions in it as well as the dialogue. Instructions to tell an actor how to say something, and/or to indicate what action is taking place at the time. Scripts are very, very detailed so everyone knows what's got to happen. So we have to assume that when Rowling looked at the script for PoA she would have seen an instruction for Snape along the lines of; [Leaps in front of children to shield them from werewolf].

Orlando, I think you are right about Dumbledore stalling for time in that scene before the execution of Buckbeak. I always wondered about that even from reading the book. What I thought though was that perhaps he had spotted Harry and the others and thought to try and give them time to steal Buckbeak. Although whether he saw the "real time" kids or the "back from the future Harry and Hermione" is a moot point. Or possibly he saw them all, partially realised what was going on, since he knew about the timeturner and simply did what he could to help things along without interfering. He was very quick to realise what needed to be done in the hospital wing.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on February 11, 2007 06:34 AM

Orlando: it looks sometimes as if Dumbeldore could forecast the future, and we know two ways for that: prophecy and timeturners. Since it doesn't look like a prophecy, I would pick up that Dumbledore somehow came back from the future.

About Lily's eyes, the more I think of it, the more I realize it is always the same wordings: "you have your mother's eyes" and never "your eyes remind me of your mother" or "look like your mother's". Should it be taken literaly? And how could Lily's eyes be inside Harry's body?

Posted by herve from strasbourg on February 15, 2007 01:56 AM

I don't think Dumbledore travels in time. I can't recall where but I remember reading somewhere that JKR said that Dumbledore doesn't do that. I think he can tell when Harry is under his cloak, maybe by Legilimency. He saw both sets of Harry and Hermione and in the hospital wing later, put it all together and took the opportunity that presented itself.

Posted by Patty from Quincy,Massachusetts on February 16, 2007 05:36 AM

its at the end when sirius tells harry that its cruel that he got to spend so much time with lilly and james and so little with harry, and he's right isn't he, just two years later, he falls through the veil and s.

Posted by david from south windsor CT on February 18, 2007 10:23 AM

I dont think that it is possible for Hermione to be a double-agent as Harry identified her as "Hermione Granger " on the Marauders Map. It is never mentioned that he spotted her on the Map but if he had found something unusual then we would have known by now.
But you might say that it is possible that Hermione retained her actual name. You might recall that Slughorn had asked Hermione her full name and related her to Dagworth Granger. If Hermione is an elder witch then why did Slughorn not recognize her and why does she have Muggle parents ( they do not seem to be that old to me)?

Posted by Juhi from Mumbai, Maharashtra on February 20, 2007 02:38 AM

Has anyone mentioned the fact that in the film of POA, Lupin casts his spell on the train against the dementor SILENTLY -- with no words spoken...and wordless spells weren't introduced until later books? That, combined with occlumency (and its opposite) as well as Snape's final comment to Harry in Book 6 about (paraphrasing) "when you learn to keep your mind closed and your mouth shut" makes me think all of that play a very significant role in the final book.

Posted by Trish from Alameda, CA on February 20, 2007 7:28 PM

Oooo! Trish! That's a good one! I just watched the movie coincidentally last weekend, and although I noticed that, it didn't register with me that he was doing a spell nonverbally, and we don't learn about those until way later. Well done!

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on February 20, 2007 7:38 PM

ok, so we know that hermione has a time-turner, what happened to it then? did she give it up or keep it? i think it's more likely she gave it up because she said it was driving her crazy. BUT, during the one year she had it did she abuse it? Travelling into the future for example? If so then she would have seen harry hearing the prophecy, or seeing harry's future, ing or ing voldermort, but i'm at a lost here, what she do? Any theories?

Posted by Melissa from Australia on February 23, 2007 7:24 PM

Your last posting begs the following question. If J.K. did infact proof-read the screenplay, then what could have given her the goose bumps when she viewed the movie that went unnoticed when she read the script.
Trish's suggestion of Lupin's non-verbal patronus charm could be a candidate.

Posted by mikey from New Jersey on February 23, 2007 9:50 PM

I've got a few comments I'd like to add....first to the whole casting people discussion that's going on. What about Gerard Butler as Fenrir Greyback? And I've always thought Billy Connolly would make a great Rufus Scrimgeour. Just a thought.

Okay as to the whole Hermione being a werewolf theory. I certainly doubt it. JKR always puts little hints into the books about people and there is nothing whatsoever that could possibly imply that Hermione is a werewolf in the books. But there is another character who is connected with werewolves A LOT both in book 6 and in the 3rd movie. Draco Malfoy. Yup, I'm a proponent of the Draco-is-a-werewolf theory. He howls like a werewolf in PoA (the movie) and not in the book. That's the part that makes me shiver it's so eery. Because in HBP he is continually connected with werewolves AND is frequently described in terms that JRK has already used to describe another werewolf: Lupin. We generally assume that he is just tired from his whole Eater task stuff because that's what Harry wants to believe. But do we ever see that he's got the dark mark on his arm? Nope. We just know he's got something there....could it be a werewolf scratch/bite? Because that would certainly be the best punishment for Lucius' mistake wouldn't it? For a man who's OBSESSED with purity of blood to suddenly have a son who is no longer even purely human? Also, Draco is definitely not happy to see Fenrir at the school at the end of HBP. And the exact moment that he shows something (we assume his arm because harry believe's it's the dark mark) to Borgin, he mentions knowing Fenrir Greyback as a threat. Finally, we know Draco's been sick a lot (every month in fact) in HBP and he's described as having a "greyish tinge" to his skin....same way JRK describes Lupin in PoA. Snape is also worried about him and tries to help....what if he's not trying to help Draco with his vanishing cabinet problem but with his werewolf problem? Because we know Snape was very concerned about Lupin in PoA and made sure that he took his potion each month. And Narcissa asking for Snape's help for her son could be also her asking him to make that potion each month since there's no way Draco could do it himself. The final thing that I found interesting in HBP is that every time Draco is mentioned during the final fight scenes is after "the werewolf". JKR is a master of words and she never puts anything in by mistake. And yet it always says "the eaters, the werewolf and draco" when she describes them in order. He's never lumped in with the DEs but always comes after the werewolf.

Just a thought! I'm almost certain about this theory and it really hit home when she made that comment about eery foreshadowing in the PoA movie....

Posted by Eilan on February 24, 2007 07:21 AM

nice point, i never noticed that werewolf theory and it does seem to fit especially as "malfoy did not seem to want to look at greyback". but has anyone considered that maybe its just the ron and hermione thing? i mean she goes to grab his hand when harrys with buckbeak and when buckbeaks 'executed' she cries on Rons shoulder and harry is left as a tag along to the hug. rather how he feels when he believes Ron and Hermione may get together in HBP. As for Lupin and Sirius being i dont think so but the fact that in the fifth book while in the exam sirus does not seem to notice the attention he's getting from the girl behind him but concentrates on James...

Posted by shelley on February 25, 2007 11:54 AM

also the whole thing about snape loving lilly and maybe having extra potions lessons with her kinda fits after lilly defending him and seeming confused when snape insults her

Posted by shelley on February 25, 2007 5:04 PM

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