Review of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on Pottermore

Prisoner of AzkabanThis week Pottermore launched the final chapters of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

The third book in the series, Prisoner of Azkaban marked our first encounter with the Knight Bus, Hogsmeade, and two of the most beloved characters in the Harry Potter books – Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. Overall, the book had a lot of potential going into the Pottermore adaptation. So, did Pottermore live up to the anticipation? Find out what we think in the review below.


Pottermore released the book in three installments. The first installment was made available to fans just in time for Christmas 2012, and the second in April 2013. The release of the concluding chapters fell on the birthday of J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter, July 31 (like we had to remind you!🙂.

First off, the artwork was again an improvement. Although there was not much to improve, as the artwork is always beautiful, we noticed that it was more realistic this time around. They looked like actual pieces of art, and the first Moment of Chapter 18 is one in particular that I actually wouldn’t mind displaying in my house. (Take note Pottermore – that’s something you could sell at the Pottermore Shop!) The trio and other students also looked older (even from their backsides), which is something that will hopefully continue throughout the rest of the series.

The animation this time around was an improvement as well. These small additions made the Moments more enjoyable and include the disappearing rabbit in the Magical Menagerie, the fire in Lupin’s hand, the falling snow in Hogsmeade, when Ron flew out the picture on the Firebolt, and so much more. There was a part of us that missed the mini-games from book two (the only mini-game in the third book was in the Boggarts Moment), but we do realize that there was not much of an opportunity in the third book.

CHECK OUT our Top 15 Moments That Stood Out for Their Artwork or Animation on our Tumblr page

J.K. Rowling’s entries continued to be a delight, too. Some entries, like the pieces on Professor Kettleburn and Gobstones, were unexpected, in that we never gave the subjects a second-thought. We will admit that in the beginning, the length of some entries lacked – the two-paragraph “Dementors and Chocolate” for starters – but this got better as the story went on. By the time we reached the final installment, we were back to the full-fledged entries we love.

Top 7 Entries in Prisoner of Azkaban:

#1: Remus Lupin

#2: The Patronus Charm

#3: The Marauder’s Map

#4: Time-Turners

#5: The Knight Bus

Honorable Mentions: Aunt Marge & Sir Cadogan

Overall, Pottermore really stepped up the game in Prisoner of Azkaban. Although there was not as big of a difference between the first two books, the one aspect that was improved was the artwork. (It’s so beautiful that we struggled singling out certain Moments for our top 15 — which went from top 5 to top 10 to top 15!) All the aspects of the book described above prove that Prisoner of Azkaban is the best book on Pottermore so far.

And now, we wait for book 4… Until next time, Keep Calm and Potter More!

Discover new J.K. Rowling content on Pottermore

With the release of the final chapters of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban came five new exclusive content entries from J.K. Rowling.

The first entry readers will encounter is ‘Secret Keeper’, which can be unlocked in the second moment of chapter 17 by clicking on Sirius, once the door of the Shrieking Shack is closed.

The Fidelius Charm is extremely ancient and still used to this day. It involves the concealment of information inside a living person. The chosen person, or Secret Keeper, is the only person who is thenceforth capable of revealing the protected information to others, however many previously knew it. If the Secret Keeper shares the hidden information, the person to whom he or she has confided it will be bound by the Fidelius Charm and find it impossible to pass the information on.

You can also read about Werewolves in chapter 20, moment one. Click on the werewolf (Lupin) to learn more about the controversial creatures.

The monthly transformation of a werewolf is extremely painful if untreated and is usually preceded and succeeded by a few days of pallor and ill health. While in his or her wolfish form, the werewolf loses entirely its human sense of right or wrong. However, it is incorrect to state (as some authorities have, notably Professor Emerett Picardy in his book Lupine Lawlessness: Why Lycanthropes Don’t Deserve to Live) that they suffer from a permanent loss of moral sense. While human, the werewolf may be as good or kind as the next person. Alternatively, they may be dangerous even while human, as in the case of Fenrir Greyback, who attempts to bite and maim as a man and keeps his nails sharpened into claw-like points for the purpose.

In the first moment of chapter 21, read new information and J.K. Rowling’s insights on Time-Turners by clicking on the Time Turner.

From J.K. Rowling’s Thoughts:

I went far too light-heartedly into the subject of time travel in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. While I do not regret it (Prisoner of Azkaban is one of my favorite books in the series), it opened up a vast number of problems for me, because after all, if wizards could go back and undo problems, where were my future plots?

Find out how Rowling solved her plot problems and more on

You can click Harry’s stag in chapter 21, moment 3 to discover more about the most famous charm, the Patronus Charm.

The form of a Patronus may change during the course of a witch or wizard’s life. Instances have been known of the form of the Patronus transforming due to bereavement, falling in love or profound shifts in a person’s character. Thus Nymphadora Tonks’s Patronus changes from a jack rabbit to a wolf (not a werewolf) when she falls in love with Remus Lupin. Some witches and wizards may be unable to produce a Patronus at all until they have undergone some kind of psychic shock.

The comment about Remus and Nymphadora brings us to the final exclusive content you will find in the concluding chapters of this book – a biography of Remus Lupin. In forty-five beautifully-written paragraphs, J.K. Rowling introduces readers to a side of Remus Lupin we’ve never seen before, including his first love, his initial encounter with Tonks, and more. In addition to the new information, she also reveals her insights, and in them she compares to being a werewolf to having AIDs or HIV in the Muggle world. We don’t want to spoil it for anyone,  so if you would like to read the full biography, click here.

Have you read all of the entries from J.K. Rowling? If you have, which one is your favorite, and why? Share with us in the comments below!

All content copyright of Pottermore Limited and J.K. Rowling. Pottermore News is not affiliated with Pottermore and therefore owns no copyrights or trademarks of the Harry Potter books, films, etc. Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Ent.

Pottermore talks with a member of the creative team about the final installment of Prisoner of Azkaban

Image courtesy of Pottermore

Image courtesy of Pottermore

The Pottermore Insider has posted a new interview with a member of the Pottermore creative team.

In the interview, the worker revealed some interesting new information about the making of the third installment of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. She talks about the “Red Caps” being the most difficult animations they’ve created so far, what she thinks fans will be most excited about in the chapters, and more.

From the interview:

Q: Describe your role in Moment production at Pottermore

A: I work within the creative team and together we come up with ideas for Moments, then discuss and develop them with our artists. Once our artists have sketched them we provide feedback on what should be changed in order to make sure that the Moments look beautiful and that they’re completely fictionally accurate before we take them to colour. We also work on trying to fit as much interactivity, animation and life into the Moments as possible.

Q: When you were re-reading [the ‘Prisoner of Azkaban book] and thinking about these future Moments, what were you really excited about creating?
A: The Moment I was most excited to create was ‘Exam Time’ because in the story it always seemed such a fun scene. It’s really rich in description and so different to the sort of thing you normally associate with taking an exam! It’s also one of the Moments that wasn’t visualised in the films, so we really wanted to include it on The books are packed with detail and it’s always so nice to be able to show something that hasn’t already been covered. 

Another Moment that I was excited to create was the full moon scene with Sirius and Lupin fighting, as it is a really iconic scene from the third book. As soon as we started talking about it we knew we could make it look very striking and beautiful.

Q: You’re now applying the finishing touches to the final Moments of Book 3. Which of the upcoming Moments are your favourite?
A: Personally, I think the Moment that looks most beautiful in this instalment is ‘The Committee’. It depicts the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures approaching Hagrid’s hut at dusk, and a whole host of other things. I think it’s such a lovely Moment; it was really well executed by the illustrators. As a reader you return to this particular scene more than once in the third book and, likewise on, our users will be seeing this Moment more than once, so I’m glad it’s turned out so well.

Q: Is there anything that was particularly challenging, but that you were passionate about getting right?
A: Red Caps, in the ‘Exam Time’ Moment, are the most complicated animations we’ve created so far. Red Caps are little dwarf-goblin-type creatures who are quite malicious. In the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we learn that they live in potholes and clobber people to death with clubs and that they like to hang around on battlefields or wherever human blood has been spilled. In mythology it’s said that their hats are dyed in human blood… they are not pleasant!

Q: What was it about the Red Caps that was so complicated?
A: One of the most difficult aspects was getting the animation of their gestures right. In the books, Red Caps are Dark creatures so we wanted to create this gruff, threatening persona. At the same time we wanted people to have fun with the Moment so we didn’t want it to look like a horror film. We had to work hard to get that balance right, and not make them look comic in any way either! 

For this Moment we did two separate pieces of work: we worked with the artists to create the background artwork; then created concept art for each of the creatures separately, so that when we placed the creatures in the Moment we were 100% happy with how they looked.

Q: Speaking of the new writing from J.K. Rowling, the final instalment will contain even more exclusive information from the author. Which piece do you think the Pottermore community will be particularly excited about?

A: I think fans will be most interested to read the new writing on Remus Lupin, which describes how Lupin and Tonks fell in love amongst other things, and which includes a description of Lupin’s childhood and how he became a werewolf. 

Q: If you could only collect one of the collectibles in the next instalment, which one would it be? 

A: There is one collectible that I hope everyone will love, which is hidden in Lupin’s office. I don’t want to reveal what it is because I want it to be a surprise, but I hope the community find it as funny as we did when we thought of it.

If you want to read more of the interview, click here — there’s a lot more left to read.

Are you excited about the Lupin backstory? Can you guess the collectible object in Lupin’s office? We can’t, but share your predictions in the comments below.

Recap of J.K. Rowling’s webcast

For the first time in years, J.K. Rowling is hosting a webcast to talk about the world of Harry Potter.

You can watch the webcast right here at the new Harry Potter Reading Club’s website. An education tool, the Harry Potter Reading Club provides educators with the resources they need to start a Harry Potter book club. These resources include discussion guides, monthly activities, and more. The webcast is part of the launch of the Club.

UPDATE: The webcast has ended but you will be able to watch a replay on the Harry Potter Reading Club’s website shortly. It will also be available for viewing next week on the Pottermore Insider.

Here are some of the highlights from the webcast:

  • On Edinburgh: Jo says some things in the books wouldn’t have happened without living in the town. Names and street names came out of the books. The town also has great coffee shops and is respectful of her privacy.
  • Jo got Gilderoy’s surname from a graveyard in Edinburgh
  • Jo says that she had several teachers over the years that encouraged her to write.
  • One of Jo’s favorite moments from the books was Luna’s appearance, the Graveyard scene in Goblet of Fire, and some small moments: “stupid jingles that Peeves says” were fun to do.
  • The second American tour Jo did was “unbelievable” – she can remember traveling in a car towards her first signing and there were blocks of people queuing. She thought a sale was going on, but they were actually in line for Jo.
  • The first sentence she wrote of Harry Potter had something to do with Dark’s Hollow, which became Godric’s Hollow. She says of the first sentence, “So you saw what happened in Godric’s Hollow very early in the series, unlike how it turned out, where you see the story at the end of the series” (paraphrasing)
  • She read from Chapter 5 of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Diagon Alley. She wrote the passage under a tree in a park.
  • One of my favorite ever comments from a very early reader, in 1999, about 10 years old, he said to me: “Harry doesn’t often ever know what’s going on, and nor do I.” That reader was semi-joking, but he meant it at the same time. We all had the feeling of, ‘I’m not sure what’s going on.’ We all felt that at school.”
  • On Pottermore: “The initial idea was, it’s time. People were asking for eBooks. It felt like it was the right time to do it. Then I wanted it to be more than that, because as you say, the internet offers amazing possibilities. I saw it as a way to create an environment where you could see extra tidbits, we can go inside illustrations. It’s making a book – it’s putting a book in that world. It’s still a reading experience – you still need to be able to read the books. But I was excited that we could put a really good reading experience online. I think it’s important to say that this is completely free. But the REALLY exciting thing for me – again, for free – is I had a way to put extra material online. It was a way of making sure any fan could access it. If I loved a series of books, to be able to learn more about a character – it’d be a great experience.”
  • Jo wrote a full biography of Remus Lupin which made her very emotional. Presumably we will see this in Prisoner of Azkaban
  • They showed an exclusive preview of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on Pottermore – check it out below:

Knight Bus Moment from Prisoner of Azkaban

  • Jo revealed that she has taken her own Sorting Questionnaire on Pottermore, and got sorted into Gryffindor
  • Jessica Rowling told her mother, “I think everyone should want to be in Hufflepuff.”
  • Jo revealed that her favorite house is not Gryffindor, but Hufflepuff!
  • Once again, Jo hesitantly says that her next book will be for children.