Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 12 & 13, ‘The Patronus’ & ‘Gryffindor Versus Ravenclaw’

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Chapters 12 & 13

Mark True statements with a “T” and False statements with an “F.” I will post T/F Answers tomorrow with responses to discussion point posts and my own thoughts. If you disagree with my answers tomorrow, please do send me an explanation about where I went wrong. Click on “Chapter Quiz” for previous quizzes and discussion points.

1. _____ Chapter Twelve, The Patronus, begins with Harry and Ron in the Gryffindor common room, upset with Hermione for telling Professor McGonagall about the Firebolt. Hermione hangs out in the library until vacation ends.

2. _____ Professor Lupin begins private lessons with Harry to teach him the Patronus Charm, which, “when it works correctly, it conjures up a Patronus…a kind of anti-dementor – a guardian that acts as a shield.”

3. _____ Harry’s first lesson is a success. On his third try, while thinking about how he felt when he learned he’d be going to Hogwarts, he was able to stop the Boggart/dementor with a hovering “huge, silver shadow” Patronus.

4. _____ Professor McGonagall tells Harry about the Dementor’s Kiss. The monsters “clamp their jaws upon the mouth of the victim and – and suck out his soul….And your soul is gone forever…lost.”

5. _____ Harry takes his Firebolt up to the Gryffindor dormitory and sees Ron’s sheets have been bloodied. Scabbers is missing and there are ginger colored cat hairs everywhere. Ron flips out and screams at Hermione.

6. _____ Chapter Thirteen, Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw, begins with Harry convinced that “Crookshanks had eaten Scabbers,” worried that Ron and Hermione would not be able to “make up,” and “suggesting that Ron look for Scabbers under all the boys’ beds.”

7. _____ Ron joins Harry at the Gryffindor Quidditch practice to see the new Firebolt in action. Harry has a great practice, Ron gets a Firebolt ride after practice, and Harry thinks he sees the Grim on his walk back to the castle.

8. _____ Harry wins his first Quidditch match on the Firebolt by out-flying the beautiful Cho Chang to catch the Snitch — and by defeating the Draco-dementor with a corporeal Patronus, to Professor Lupin’s delight.

9. _____ Harry has a dream of chasing a “silvery-white” hooved-animal that stays just out of his sight. He wakes up when Ron screams. Ron has had a nightmare about Sirius Black and can’t sleep because of all the fudge flies he ate.

10. _____ Neville Longbottom had written down the week’s passwords on a sheet of paper which had been stolen. The intruder used the list to get by Sir Cadogan.

Discussion Points: Please write out your thoughts about (a) echoes and differences with the previous books, Stone and Chamber, (b) the most interesting elements in this chapter when viewed in the Deathly Hallows rear-view mirror; and (c) the importance of these Prisoner of Azkaban chapters in understanding the meaning of Prisoner and the series as a whole.

Okay, folks. This book is crawling with “Jungian” references from the wolfman and vampire archetypes to the alchemical formula to the synchronicity plot point in the time turner. Does anyone out there think that Harry’s lesson with Lupin is a therapy session? What are we to make, then, of the Patronus being both Jame’s animagus form and a symbol of Christ? And the meaning of expecto patronum? This, couple with the dream Harry is having before Ron’s encounter with Sirius, are pretty heavy stuff. Check out the Jungian interpretation of Prisoner, if you like, and then share your analysis of Lupin’s tutorial with boy Harry.


  1. 1.T/F, 2.T, 3.T, 4.F, 5.F,

    6.F, 7.T, 8.T, 9.F, 10.T

    #1 is T/F because the chapter doesn’t open in the Common Room per se.

    Discussion Point (a): The echoes are the enmity with Draco, the centrality of Quidditch to life in the school, and the agony of any kind of disagreement between Harry, Ron, and Hermione. This is the first real break after Scabbers seems to have been eaten, a break only matched by Goblet’s beginning and Ron’s taking a breather from the DH camping trip. The difference — and it’s a huge one — is Prof. Lupin’s engagement with Harry. This is the first adult who is not a cartoon who tries to help Harry, talks to him, treats him like a human being if not quite an adult, and even shares a few of his vulnerabilities with him. Harry, remarkably, doesn’t make much of it (until his expression of betrayal in the Shrieking Shack) but Lupin’s help is Harry’s first opportunity to peel back the Voldemort agony in his life and he does it in the presence of a werewolf. Given the importance of the wolf-man in Freudian analysis and the history of psychiatry in general, I doubt the wolfman in the room is accidental. The whole idea of animagi is borderline lycanthropic and that Harry is here creating a Patronus, essentially a projection of an animal spirit within him (the identity of his father) again raises the question of what Ms. Rowling thinks therapy is. Someone sympathic and compassionate in the literal sense of “suffering along with” (Lupin is clearly shaken by Harry’s hearing James and Lily) listens and encourages you to bring the best in yourself forward to guard you from you from your fears? That Harry summons an image of Christ, too, is meaningful in this picture, but I’m getting ahead of the story.

    (b) In the DH rear-view mirror, I had to think of Severus revealing his Patronus to Dumbledore, a scene that may be the inverse of Harry/Lupin. The doe and echo of Lily is a shade of Harry’s stag that is an echo of Jame’s animagus form. And what about Lupin and what he suffers and gains in Deathly Hallows? All of it in consequence to trusting in Dumbledore’s parting advice to heed Harry. Lupin scolds Harry after he learns the Boy Who Lived used the Expelliarmus charm against Stan Shunpike and all but says his father and mother died because they were too trusting. Only by trusting in Harry, though, does he return to Tonks and die a hero rather than a man subject to his own fears and feelings of inadequacy (masked by wanting to join H/R/H). This chapter is a landmark in Lupin’s and in Harry’s life — and both seem to be good therapy for the other. Look for the beginning of resolution for both in the Shrieking Shack.

    (c) Remus Lupin is one of Ms. Rowling’s favorite characters and it shows. He was a wounded or more wounded by the events that Halloween in Godric’s Hollow than is at first evident. His three best friends all die or suffer a date worse than death and seemingly because of actions taken by one of those friends. And Lupin carries that friend’s secret and his own shame. He lives as an outsider and excluded because he feels himself to be unworthy or unsafe in properly human company. If you re-read the Patronus chapter (one more time), see if you don’t get the idea that the person being helped or healed is the man seemingly reaching out to help Harry. Remember who Harry looks like and whose eyes he has and reflect on his reactions to hearing that Harry hears their voices or to the suggestion that he knows Sirius Black. Lupin is only nominally talking to the boy; the boy is the projection screen of his own anxieties and the history of his failings. It is Lupin who is going through cathartic therapy here.

    And the Quidditch match? A nice break from the action with the boggart and Harry calling out, “I long for my Savior and Protector!”

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