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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 21)

What if Harry having his mother's eyes, which are able to "see the beauty in people" even when they don't see it in them self, means that Harry use his only weapon against Voldemort, love, towards Voldemort? Forgive Voldemort for all his evil deeds, and that somehow gives him a way to defeat him.

Posted by Hollis Jamison from North Florida on June 9, 2007 01:56 AM

I definitely think JKR was talking about the Ron/Hermione foreshadowing, both the accidental handholding and there was another moment when Hermione says, "Should we move closer?" Ron took it to mean closer together, while Hermione meant closer to Hagrid's cabin.

Posted by megan from CT on June 13, 2007 2:35 PM

Here's some things I noticed when re-watching PoA... Some of them I feel strongly about, some of them are just me thinking out loud. All of them, however, are things that were different from the book, and therefore things that stuck out with the idea that there was unintentional foreshadowing in the movie.

#1. Crookshanks is an animagus. In the scene where the dementor attacks Harry on the train, there are some reaction shots of the characters in the cabin. There is a shot of Scabbers cowering from the dementor. There is also a shot of Crookshanks hissing in terror at the dementor. If I'm correct - Dementors are only visible to magic folk, and do not affect animals - they feed off of HUMAN emotion. This makes sense with Scabbers, who is actually the animagus, Peter Pettigrew. But, could this mean that Crookshanks, who reacts strongly to the dementor, is also an animagus?

#2. Stan Shunpike is actually a Eater. I know, I know, Stan Shunpike is in Azkaban on suspicion of Eater activity. But could this have been foretold in PoA? In the scene where Harry first sees Sirius (as a dog), the dog growls loudly at Harry, who then falls to the ground. Immediately after this, Harry meets a new character for the first time: Stan Shunpike. Could Sirius have been trying to scare Harry away so he wouldn't meed Shunpike on the Knight Bus? Shunpike is certainly a shady character, and also has the double S's, like Salazar Slytherin & Severus Snape.

#3. All the clocks. Time travel is an important theme in PoA, and should be present in the movie, but the prevalence of all the shots of clocks seems a strong message. There are also shots of the solar system model in the ASTRONOMY TOWER, where Lupin teaches Harry about the Patronus Charm. Where have we seen these things before? In a very important place: the first chapter of Sorcerer's Stone. In the first conversation in the series between Dumbledore & McGonagall on Privet Drive, McGonagall asks Dumbledore: "After all he's done... after all the people he's ed... He couldn't a little boy? It's just astounding... of all the things to stop him... but how in the name of heaven did Harry survive?" The very first thing Dumbledore does after this is look at his pocket watch, which features 12 hands, no numbers, and planets rotating on the edge. Could it be possible that time travel was important during the events at the end of HBP, or that time travel has something to do with Harry surviving Voldemort's attack as a baby?

Posted by Blake from West Chester, PA on June 13, 2007 3:54 PM

Here's some more...

#4. Dumbledore�s opening speech. After telling the students about dementors, Dumbledore gives this short speech: �Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.� This caught my eye, because the opening sequence of the movie shows Harry repeating the illumination charm, �Lumos� over and over� Not sure where this may fit, but it caught my eye�

#5. Dumbledore�s second speech. After the fat lady�s portrait has been shredded, the students are sent to sleep in the great hall. During this scene, Dumbledore gives another short speech: �For in dreams, we enter a world that is entirely our own. Let them swim in the deepest ocean, or glide over the highest cloud.� The interesting this about this speech, is that behind Dumbledore, the enchanted ceiling can be seen, with the stars and planets swirling above. This ties into the astronomy & watch themes, but I�m nor sure how it fits. My fear if this is in fact foreshadowing, is that the entire seven volumes of the Harry Potter series may just be a dream of Harry�s� Let us hope not.

#6. The cabinet in Lupin�s first D.A.D.A. class. Cabinets come to play an important role in both OotP & HBP. What I found interesting about this scene was its last shot. It begins with Lupin forcing the balloon-shaped boggart into the cabinet, and ends with a zoom-in shot of Harry in reverse in the mirrored door of the cabinet as the class exits the room behind him. What I found interesting was that immediately after one of the definitive characteristics of Lupin is revealed (that he�s a werewolf & therefore afraid of the moon) there is a shot of Harry, which seems to highlight his scar, except that it�s in reverse, which made me think of two things. One, the allusion that Harry is the mirrored reflection of someone, which of course we find out he is (he & Voldemort can�t exist without one another). Two, that that scar doesn�t really look like a lightning bolt in reverse � it looks like the letter S. S for Snape? S for Slytherin? And then I thought about the scar as a letter without reflection. It most closely resembles not a Z, but an N. N for Neville? This could also hint at the duplicity of the prophecy?

Posted by Blake from West Chester, PA on June 13, 2007 3:56 PM

i seriously believe that Hermione is an old witch because when you read the books she says V-voldemort instead of Voldemort. Harry says Voldemort's name like it's nothing because he didn't grow up fearing it. Hermione should be the same because she has muggle parents. She shouldn't know who Voldemort is because she grew up a muggle until she was 11. so she shouldn't be scared of saying his name, so the fact of Hermione being an old witch must really be true!

Posted by Mack Skarts from Macon, Georgia on June 16, 2007 3:03 PM

We've seen small and big things recur throughout the books, and I think time travel is something too big, not to come up again. Aside from a small mention in OotP, there's no other reference to time travel, it come into play again in DH?

Posted by mmc from sa, australia on June 17, 2007 05:58 AM

i think all these theories are good but isn't it reading a bit to much into it? from what jk said, the things that happened in the film PoA that were foreshadowings of the next books where accidents more than plans. i don't think that the director thought things like i think lupin and sirius are going to be so il make snape say quaralling like an old married couple. i think that it was more things that he put in to the film inadvertently.

Posted by Anonymous on June 18, 2007 11:34 AM

I haven't seen mention of the fact that when Ron is facing his boggert in the DADA class, there is a brief moment (4 frames when stop motioned) that a red haired screaming witch with smoke around her is seen. This occurs just before we see the spider. Is this a subliminal foreshadowing? Has anyone else seen this? It is there. The question is why is it there?

Posted by Shawn from Visalia on June 19, 2007 11:36 AM

Oh my! I've watched PoA many times over and had never noticed it before. Is it Ron's mother? It doesn't look like her. That's incredible. At first I thought maybe it was foreshadowing Ron's mother seeing the bogert in OoP but when i pause that moment on my DVD player it looks like someone younger. She even has an almost plastic look to her. It's quite unsettling.

Posted by Rez from Idaho on June 20, 2007 1:06 PM

I can't say I agree with any of the conclusions in this article, although i'll only address a few.

1) The scene on the bridge, may well be a foreshadowing, but i believe it's due to the "Your mother's eyes". I'll leave it at, I believe Harry truly has his mother's eyes.

2) Snapes protection, there has always been real unexplained contradiction in Snapes character from day one.
Book 3 makes a strong case for it too; Snape heard the conversation about Sirius/James and it is revealed that James indeed saved Snapes life, NEVER put it in peril, that the Joke was all Sirius's doing; Yet Snape still loathes Harry/Dad. Plus seemingly, he was ready to do Sirius in, yet he saw the marauder's map, and should have seen Peter Pettigrew's name on the map;
With the above said, i'm not entirely sure what kind of foreshadowing the Moview portray's on that front.

3) As for Lily and her relationships with her fellow students; I don't think anything has been revealed in the Movie; Book 6 heavily implies that She too was a beneficiary of the half-blood prince's Potion's book.

4) Professor Trelawney, commenting about Hermione...From what i know, Ron and Hermione represent how her Parents met; On a train... I think that her comment may be a reference to Hermione's time travel; If you do the math, Hermione probably did live about 1-2 months more than everyone else due to her reliving hours...
And to correct, she's not smarter than her years. She's just an incredibly bright young witch who works hard. I wouldn't be surprised if Ginny's grades turn out to be better.

Posted by scout on June 20, 2007 2:04 PM

i dont think hermione is an old witch. if she was then the sorting hat would have probably pointed out this. if she was old she would have known about nicholas flamel, horcruxes without looking in the books.
another thing, ron and hermione are definitely not harry's parents.

Posted by sona on June 21, 2007 03:35 AM

Unlike Harry, Hermione found out as much about the wizarding world when she found out she was a Witch which i think we can assume, heavily, heavily dismayed the use of Lord Voldemort's name.

The fact that she didn't grow up in the Wizard World, possibly explains why she so quickly adapted to using Voldemort's name.

Also, if you watch Movie 2, she already uses the name and chastised Ron about once (i believe in Flourish & Blotts)...I believe this is one (or two) books early.

Posted by scout on June 21, 2007 10:04 AM

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