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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 6)

Thanks so much for this article. For me, your suggestions divide into two distinct groups � �very possible� and �so unlikely I�ll send JK a howler if they turn out to be right�.

Very possibly significant
1. Snape physically protecting the kids against werewolf Lupin: When I first saw the movie, I thought this must be a mistake, JK can�t possibly have approved this. Snape is a nasty, vindictive, petty, viscious brute, and he instinctively springs to the defence of children whom he loathes? As far as one can tell, the werewolf actually hits Snape (on the shoulder), before Snape falls and all four of them go down. Sirius attacks the werewolf, and Snape and the kids stand up again � and Snape again positions himself protectively in front of them. When Harry runs off to help Sirius, and Hermione tries to follow, Snape pulls her back and continues to hold her protectively. I can only think that JK must have had a good reason for allowing this scene to be shot as it was.

2. I think it likely that Draco does have a vendetta against Hermione. He hates all mudbloods, but he may particularly resent Hermione because she is such a clever witch, and because she is Harry�s friend. Of course, Lucius Malfoy and Filch have both used that ominous �mark my words� as well, but in reference to harming Harry.

3. The scene of Lupin on the bridge is almost sure to tie in in different ways later. I didn�t see any evidence of a romance as such between Lupin and Lilly: rather, he looks like a man mourning the loss of two very good friends, turning away because such feeling is a private thing. Harry had just spoken of hearing his mother screaming before she d, and as her friend, that would be hard for Lupin to hear.
I�d say the significant part is Harry�s resemblance to his father - Lupin says: �Your father James, on the other hand, he had a certain � what shall we say? � talent for trouble. A talent, rumour has it, he passed on to you.� In contrast, Sirius is disappointed with Harry at one point because Harry wants to be careful � I can�t remember now the circumstances, but Sirius made it clear that James loved risk for the sake of it. Sirius feels James should be more like his father.
In the book, Harry has �bright-green eyes�. Nobody has �bright-green� eyes, not even the way someone can be said to have bright blue eyes. Such �bright-green� eyes would be as distinctive as Madam Hooch�s eyes, and if Harry has his mother�s eyes, then one would be able to see from across a room that he has the same � extremely distinctive - eyes. (These eyes are about physical appearance, and can have nothing to do with how Lilly �sees� people!) I think his having her eyes may well be signifiant, but in the sense that someone may end up on the verge of harming him, and then may find himself looking into those eyes � Lilly�s eyes - and find himself unable to follow through.
I do think that Lilly�s character is significant, but in a different way: She seems to be the �glue� that holds a lot of people together. But also I see a very strong resemblance between Lilly and Ginny, and it would be interesting to see whether Ginny brings out the best in Harry, as Lilly apparently brought out the best in James. Both Lilly and Ginny are particularly kind, both stick up for misfits, both are principled, moral people, both are talented witches, both are very loyal to their friends, both have strong personalities � I think we�d find even more parallels if we looked for them.

So unlikely I�ll send JK a howler...
1. I don�t think JKR would deliberately mislead us, and there is nothing in the books to indicate that Hermione might be an older witch in the guise of a young girl. She is not smart �beyond her years�, she is just smart. (We don�t become cleverer as we become older, we just become better informed.) Hermione is a clever girl, with good all-round smarts: she has very good analytical ss, and an excellent memory, and as we see in her reading of Cho�s state of mind after Cedrics , she is also empathetic and understands people. She reads compulsively � and it�s always non-fiction � and she listens carefully to what people say. She is well-informed and she thinks things through.
Professor Trelawney, poor thing, is at the opposite end of the scale: woolly thinking is her speciality. It is not surprising that Trelawney isn�t wild about Hermione. When I first heard this speech by Trelawney, I thought �Well, that is rich, coming from you, my girl!� Trelawney is herself a shrivelled old maid, an isolated, alcoholic misfit with nowhere else to go, and no with useful ss � a very sad character.

2. JKR has been clear on there being no return from � even in the wizarding world � so I don�t think there is any chance that Sirius come back.

3. Lupin gets together with Tonks: he isn�t . (Although JK sticks up for the rights of every conceivable grouping, so no doubt some of our characters are , and it�s just not important that we know this about them.)

Posted by Teresa from Cape Town, South Africa on October 28, 2006 05:52 AM

Is it possible that not all the clues that JKR refers to are additional scenes, as such, but simply slightly different treatments of scenes that already occur in the book? It could be that small dialogue changes fit in particularly well with things that happen later. For example:

1. Lupin and Harry are walking alongside the lake, after the Quidditch match in which Harry fell off his broom:
Harry: �I�m scared, professor.�
Lupin: �Well, I�d consider you a fool if you weren�t.� And then later, when Harry asks Lupin to teach him the patronus charm: �I don�t pretend to be an expert, Harry, but as the dementors seem to have developed a particular interest in you, perhaps I should.�
In the book, Harry is more embarrassed by the effect that the dementors have on him, than scared, and there is no reference to them having a particular interest in Harry. We know from HBP that the dementors are �breeding�: might the dementors play a significant role?

2. Dumbledore leaving the hospital wing after advising Hermione to use the time-turner:
�Oh by the way, when in doubt, I find retracing my steps to be a wise place to begin!�
We assume that Dumbledore is familiar with timeturners, but the book doesn�t tell us whether or not he has personally used them. This dialogue in the movie tells us that he has, and quite often, by the sound of it. Might this be relevant?

3. Lupin to Harry after Snape confiscates the Marauders� Map:
�Did it ever occur to you that this in the hands of Sirius Black is a map to you?�
Might the map be stolen later and then used to track Harry in Hogwarts?

4. After Peter Pettigrew has been exposed as an animagus:
In the book, Peter says: �You don�t understand! He would have ed me, Sirius.� In the movie, he says: �The dark Lord, you have no idea the weapons he possesses!�, which is somehow far more sinister.

5. Snape comes into the shrieking shack and threatens Sirius:
Sirius: �Brilliant, Snape, once again you have put your keen and penetrating mind to the task and as usual have come to the wrong conclusion.� Snape�s eyes flicker, and he doesn�t look as though he is dismissing this � it looks as though he is considering, if briefly, where he might have misunderstood. This could have any one of a number of implications.

Posted by Teresa from Cape Town, South Africa on October 28, 2006 05:55 AM

I don't think there is any chance of Ron betraying Harry. We have already seen him stand by Harry, against Percy. Ron and Percy may not be close, but they are still brothers � Ron loves Percy, and yet chose to stand by Harry without so much as a second thought. Hermione was so touched by seeing this that she relented and checked the boys' homework for them.

Posted by Teresa from Cape Town, South Africa on October 28, 2006 05:59 AM

I was reading them and agree w/ them all accept for the last about hermione possibly being an older witch? I disagree for more than one reason

1: She has parents... Did they bewitch the muggles to play the role of parents to a witch?

2: The quote by the professor of divinations stated "You may be YOUNG IN YEARS.

3: Why would Magonagol give her a Time Turner if she was an undercover wizard...? Would Dumbledore also keep this from her?

4: THere has never been any other indication about this theory and some people are just plain smart,,, in this day and age, we have kids graduating from High School at age 12.... So its not THAT unordinary for a young person to be smart and want to learn as much as possible.

I could be wrong, but eh those are just my opinions

Posted by Hermiones Older SIster on October 28, 2006 6:37 PM

Forgive me if I overlooked this question in the books or forum: If Hermione's parents are muggles, where are they getting the galleons to send her to school, buy her uniforms, books, and Crookshanks? I supposed it's possible that Hermione's witch/wizards relatives are making donations. I don't think Hermione is an older witch in a younger body, but it does strike me as odd that we (the readers) have never 'met' her parents; we only know them by word of mouth.

Posted by Linda from Fort Wayne, IN on October 29, 2006 07:46 AM

Linda: we did meet Hermione's muggle parents in book 2 in diagon alley and Lucius Malfoy insults Arthur weasley for associating with them. I think it's also mentioned in the same book how they had to exchange their muggle money for galleons in order to buy Hermione's books.

Posted by pamela from Munich on October 29, 2006 09:34 AM

in the movie when snape says:
"Oh, listen to you two, quarelling like an old married couple."

i think this links with his own parents. for example in OOTP during harry's occlumency lessons when harry manages to fight back against snape he lives some of snapes memories "harry's mind was teeming with memories that were not his: a hooked-nosed man was shouting at a cowering woman, while a small dark-haired boy cried in a corner..." and in the HBP we see find out some more about snapes hatred of his father(being muggle).

just a thought.

Posted by natalie from sydney, australia on October 29, 2006 11:17 PM

I agree with you natalie i think he is thinking of his parents.

Thinking that Lupin is a I think is going a bit too far, but the other things you said I think is very interesting

Posted by Matte from Lund, Sweden on November 3, 2006 04:49 AM

I also thought, even when watching the movie for the first time, that the Lupin quote about Lily had some signifigance, as did the Ron/Hermione hand-holding thing.

Hermione as an older witch? Don't think so. Besides, it'd be really creepy for an adult to grab Ron's hand like that, no?

My mom also picked up on the Lupin and Siruis "old married couple" stuff. I'm having a lot of trouble believing that Lupin and Sirius are , but it's a cool thought.

Posted by Emma from Saint Paul, MN on November 6, 2006 4:04 PM

I've been re-reading the theories in this forum and would like to modify two.

Instead of Ron Weasley betraying Harry Potter, could a possible traitor be Neville Longbottom. Would Longbottom become a traitor if Voldemort offered to 'cure' his parents.

Second, assuming Snape is 'good', he might put himself between Harry Potter and Fenir Greyback the werewolf.

Just a couple of ideas...

Posted by Linda from Fort Wayne, IN on November 9, 2006 10:26 AM

ok so i think that Neville wouldn't betray harry but i do think he have an important part. Why else would he be the only other character to possibly have the power to voldemort? I do think that voldamort think about trying to get Neville to his side just because of his potential to him, but i don't think Neville turn. remember in book 5 he shows a lot of bravery against the eaters. I think he hates them too much to ever turn bad.

But what about Percy. I think i remember Ron mentioning in the 4th book that percy would betray if it got in the way of his career and chance at power. I do belive Percy could possibly be the betrayer.

As for this whole Hermione thing. Its just plain weird. I agree with most of the forshadowings but the Hermione and the lupin being one is reading WAY to far into simple quotes.

Snape is bad. I do not think that Dumbledor is or at leaste I think that Harry still get help form him somehow but Snape is bad. Im sure of it.

I have a few more ideas that popped into my mide while i read these comments.

1. what if James Potter is not . We know that Lilly is because she d to save Harry but we are really just given the impression that James d. As far as we know, James left the room Lilly and Harry was in to go and battle Voldemort so lilly has the chance to get away. The next thing we know Lilly is begging Voldmort to spare Harry. Just a thought.... mybe James come back and help harry finish of Voldemort

2. Oh about the whole eyes thing with Harry and Lily. Harry's eyes aren't even green in the movies!

3.I do belive that Draco does not like Hermione but is is way to big a wimp to do anything. He won't have the guts to do any kind of damage to anyone in book 7. (even if you look all the way back to book 1, Draco didn't even show up to the "duel" that him and Harry were going to have.) I think it is a very good possibiliy that Draco and his family be ed by Voldemort.

4.remember in book 3 when Harry is in Lupin's office right after Lupin left, Dumbledor and Harry were talking and Dumbledor mentions that Peter Petegrew now ows his life to Harry and that Voldemort would not like having a servant who is in dept to Harry. I think Peter is a wimp but end up as a help to Harry.

Posted by Bridget from Chicago. Ill on November 9, 2006 4:06 PM

I'm not sure why people are looking out for who might "betray" Harry. I'm thinking he has enough enemies out in the open. Neither Ron nor Neville would betray Harry - on the contrary, both may turn out to be surprisingly brave, when push comes to shove.

Posted by Teresa from Cape Town, South Africa on November 10, 2006 2:09 PM

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