‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban‘ by J. K. Rowling has a brand new mood in terms of school years in that there are a lot of new developments in the third year. Firstly, there are a lot of new classes the students are taking, including Arithmancy, Astronomy, Ancient Runes, Divination, Care of Magical Creatures, and much more. Furthermore, the students are given an opportunity to visit the Hogsmeade village. This introduces the reader to a lot more new characters that were not present in the first two books. Other new characters include the ones related to Sirius Black and general additions like that from the Knight Bus or the new juniors who have just arrived at Hogwarts.
Harry Potter is the protagonist of this book. He is 13 years old and is probably the most popular student in Hogwarts. He undergoes a lot of trauma in ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban‘ as the notorious murderer who escaped prison, Sirius Black, is initially said to be hunting down Harry. Harry is also constantly attacked by the dementors throughout the book, but he eventually learns to fight them off. At the end of the book, Harry successfully travels back in time with Hermione and saves his godfather, Sirius, and Buckbeak, the hippogriff, from wrongfully getting punished.
Hermione Granger is a friend of Harry and Ron. She is a very bright student and is crucial to the plot of this book. She takes up almost every subject that is offered for a third-year student and simultaneously attends the classes using a time turner, which is a time-traveling device which is also one of the main themes in ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.’ At the end of the book, she and Harry both use the same device to go back in time and save both Buckbeak and Sirius.
Ron is Harry’s best friend. A tall gangly boy, Ron, is 13 years old and has red hair. Ron has a pet rat called Scabbers, and he is worried about his health and is angry with Hermione for getting a ginger cat called Crookshanks as her pet. At the end of the book, Ron gets dragged into the Shrieking Shack by Sirius, and it is eventually found out that Scabbers is, in fact, a man named Peter Pettigrew.
Sirius Black is a prisoner at Azkaban who escaped without a trace right before the beginning of Harry’s third year. He is all over the muggle news, dubbed as a murderer, and the dementors constantly search for him everywhere. However, he hides in plain sight from the dementors and everyone else by transforming into his Animagus form of a shaggy black dog, as it is eventually found out. He is wrongfully accused of betraying the location of Harry’s parents to Voldemort before they got killed, but it is eventually found out that it was Peter Pettigrew and not Sirius Black who did this.
Remus Lupin is the newly elected Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor at Hogwarts. He is by far the best Defense Against the Dark Arts professor Harry and his classmates have had, and is eventually found out to be a very good friend of Harry’s parents from their time at Hogwarts. He teaches Harry how to fight back the dementors and is very kind to Harry. He also covers for Harry when Snape questions him about the Marauder’s Map. Lupin is eventually found out to be a werewolf and leaves Hogwarts at the end of the third year.
Lord Voldemort, or Tom Riddle, was once a student at Hogwarts but turned into a dark wizard who wanted only pureblooded wizards to be allowed to do magic. He killed Harry’s parents with the help of his servant Peter Pettigrew and was responsible for the deaths of several witches and wizards. ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban‘ is the only book in the Harry Potter series where Voldemort makes no appearance. However, he gets mentioned several times and is crucial to the plot of the book.
Rubeus Hagrid is the gamekeeper and the keeper of keys and grounds at Hogwarts. In this book, he is also given a new post, the Care of Magical Creatures teacher. In his first class, Hagrid gives a very interesting assignment to the students; befriending a hippogriff. However, Draco gets injured, and eventually, the hippogriff Buckbeak is sentenced to death which leaves Hagrid devastated.
Peter Pettigrew is one of the friends of James Potter. He used to be very devoted to the friendship when they were in Hogwarts. It was believed that he got killed by Sirius Black after Harry’s parents died. However, at the end of the book, it is found out that Peter has been hiding in his Animagus form of the rat Scabbers, who Ron kept as a pet. In fact, it was Peter who betrayed Harry’s parents to Voldemort and got them killed.
Albus Dumbledore is the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Perhaps the most accomplished wizard to ever have lived, he is one of the most powerful wizards too. He works as a mentor and a protector to Harry and the other students of Hogwarts. He saves Harry when he falls from his broomstick during the dementor attack at the Quidditch match and is enraged at the dementors. He is also responsible for suggesting time travel as an option to save Sirius and Buckbeak at the end of the book.
Sybill Trelawney is the professor of Divination at Hogwarts. She is a very eccentric woman who smells of sherry and wears thick glasses. She keeps seeing bad omens and threats to people’s lives. In Harry’s first Divination class, she claims that Harry’s life is in grave danger based on the tea leaves that leave the mark of a black dog called a ‘grim.’ Furthermore, she also makes a very serious prophecy about the return of one of the Dark Lord’s faithful servants to him and the return of the Dark Lord himself, which eventually turns out to be true.
Minerva McGonagall is a teacher of Transfiguration at Hogwarts. She is a strict yet empathetic woman who is one of the only legally approved Animagi by the ministry. She can transfigure herself into a cat. She is crucial in the process of checking Harry’s newly arrived Firebolt and is very thorough with it despite being the head of the Gryffindor house. She also declines Harry’s request to sign his Hogsmeade permission forms to keep him safe from any possible run-in with Sirius Black.
Severus Snape is a teacher of potions at Hogwarts. He is very mean to Harry and is constantly bullying him and other students of Gryffindor. He is the head of the Slytherin house and is more friendly to Draco and his friends. Severus Snape had a lot of enmity with James Potter, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin in his school years, which is why he is very bitter when he sees both Lupin and Sirius in the Shrieking Shack.
Professor Filius Flitwick is a teacher of charms at Hogwarts. He is a very gifted wizard and is the head of Ravenclaw house. He described the Fidelius charm in great detail to the minister and the others at the Three Broomsticks, explaining how Sirius Black supposedly betrayed James and Lily Potter. Professor Flitwick was also responsible for thoroughly checking Harry’s new Firebolt for possible jinxes, hexes, or even Dark Magic.
Draco Malfoy is a third-year student at Hogwarts. He belongs to the Slytherin house and is constantly trying to bully Harry and his friends. In the Care of Magical Creatures class, after Harry successfully flies on Buckbeak’s back, Draco tries to force Buckbeak to bow to him, despite warnings from Hagrid to be careful. Eventually, Draco gets attacked by Buckbeak, and he overreacts, causing Buckbeak to be sentenced to death.
Lucius Malfoy is the father of Draco Malfoy. He is a very proud man and is constantly in the act of maintaining his superiority. He is a staunch believer in the pureblooded wizards’ superiority over the rest. He is responsible for the sentencing of the Hippogriff Buckbeak for attacking Draco, his son.
Ginny Weasley is the youngest and only daughter of Molly and Arthur Weasley. She is the sister of Ron and all the other Weasley brothers. She is a second-year student at Hogwarts and is in the Gryffindor house. She seems to have a huge crush on Harry.
Percy Weasley is the third eldest brother of the Weasleys. He is the eldest among the brothers, currently studying at Hogwarts. He is the newly elected head boy and is very proud of it. He also happens to be dating a girl from Ravenclaw’s house called Penelope Clearwater.
Fred and George Weasley
Fred and George Weasley, or the Weasley twins, are the elder brothers of Ron. The two are notorious, funny, and inseparable. Fred and George together hand over Harry the Marauder’s Map so that he can go to Hogsmeade despite not having permission. They admit to having taken it from Filch’s cabin when they were punished for some prank they pulled in their first year. They are constantly getting into trouble for pulling pranks, all for a few laughs.
Molly Weasley is the mother of all the Weasley brothers and Ginny. She is the wife of Arthur Weasley. She is very kind to Harry and is always taking care of him and ensuring his safety. She discusses with her husband how much he should be warned about Sirius Black and also tells her son Percy to keep an eye on Harry for his safety.
Arthur Weasley is the father of all the Weasley brothers and Ginny, and the husband of Molly Weasley. He works at the Ministry of Magic as the Head of the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office. He is a very friendly wizard and is very kind to Harry. He tells Harry to be careful about Sirius Black and makes him promise that he would not go looking for him deliberately once he finds out about Sirius Black.
Lily Potter was the mother of Harry Potter. She is the one who protected Harry from Voldemort, ultimately sacrificing herself to save him. She and James, her husband, had made Sirius Black their secret keeper for the Fidelius Charm on their house, but at the last moment, it was decided to be changed to Peter Pettigrew to confuse Voldemort.
James Potter was the father of Harry Potter. He looked a lot like Harry, except Harry’s eyes which resembled his mother’s. James was very close friends with Sirius, Remus, and Peter, who together created the Marauder’s Map. Harry assumed it was James who cast the Patronus to save him and Sirius, but it was actually Harry himself from the future.
Vernon Dursley is Harry’s uncle and the husband of Petunia Evans. He works at a drilling company and is very rude and dismissive of Harry. He promises to sign Harry’s Hogsmeade forms only if Harry is on his best behavior when Aunt Marge pays them a visit but is in a rage when Harry bloats her into a balloon.
Petunia Dursley is the aunt of Harry Potter and the sister of Lily Potter, Harry’s mother. Petunia Dursley is also very mean to Harry and makes him do a lot of chores in the house. She is very kind and pampers her son Dudley a lot but resents Harry.
Dudley Dursley is the son of Petunia and Vernon Dursley. He is a very spoiled and pampered kid who bullies other children in his school. He is very mean and bullies Harry too, but after realizing that Harry can do magic, he keeps his distance from him.
Aunt Marge is the sister of Vernon Dursley. She has a similar build as Vernon and barely has a neck. She pays a visit to her brother’s house and also a dog with her. She is very mean to Harry and insults his parents constantly before Harry loses his patience and bloats her like a balloon with magic.
Neville Longbottom is a third-year student at Hogwarts and belongs to the Gryffindor house. He is a friend of Harry, Hermione, and Ron and is also the roommate of Harry and Ron. He is a scared and slightly shy boy who is constantly in some form of trouble.
Argus Filch is the caretaker of Hogwarts. He is usually very bitter with the students and keeps finding ways to catch them doing something punishable.
Mrs. Norris is Mr. Filch’s cat. She accompanies him whenever he strolls out in the corridors in search of troublemaking students.
Stan Shunpike is the conductor of the Knight Bus. He is a pimply teenager who is very excited to talk about Sirius Black with Harry.
Ernie Prang is the driver of the Knight Bus. He is a slightly older man with good control over the bus.
Cornelius Fudge is the Minister of Magic. He makes sure that Harry is safe after he storms out from the Dursley’s, and also warns Harry not to wander anywhere outside the Diagon Alley to prevent meeting Sirius Black.
Oliver Wood is the captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. He is a seventh-year student at Hogwarts and badly wants to win the Quidditch cup, as it has been seven years since Gryffindor won the Quidditch cup.
Cedric Diggory is a fifth-year Hufflepuff student and the captain of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team. He is a very handsome boy, as is evident from the attention he gets from a lot of girls. He is also a very kind soul as he asks for a tie when he realizes that Harry fell off the broom during the match.
Cho Chang is a fourth-year student at Hogwarts. She is from the Ravenclaw house and is a seeker in the Ravenclaw Quidditch team. Harry finds her very attractive.
Gregory Goyle is a third-year student at Hogwarts and belongs to the Slytherin house. He is one of the cronies of Draco Malfoy, who constantly supports him in all the bullying and teasing he does.
Vincent Crabbe is the other crony of Draco, and along with Gregory Goyle, he supports Draco’s advances, brandishing fists whenever he is needed to intimidate. He is a third-year student at Hogwarts and is from the Slytherin house.
Penelope Clearwater is a seventh-year student of Hogwarts and is from the Ravenclaw house. She is the girlfriend of Percy Weasley. She also loses a bet with Percy concerning the outcome of a Quidditch match.
Madam Rosmerta is the bartender in the Three Broomsticks pub at Hogsmeade. She is a very attractive woman, and Ron seems to find her very attractive too.
Nicholas De-Mimsy Porpington, or Nearly Headless Nick, is a ghost in Hogwarts Castle. He is a very friendly ghost and represents the Gryffindor house.
Peeves the Poltergeist
Peeves is a poltergeist who constantly creates a ruckus in the castle. He is very noisy and always waits for someone to throw pranks at him.
Buckbeak is a Hippogriff that Hagrid tames. He first appears during the Care of Magical Creatures classes, and Harry makes friends with him, but Draco insults him, and he attacks Draco. This leads to his death sentence, but Hermione and Harry carefully help him escape from this sad fate.
Hedwig is Harry’s pet owl. She is snowy white in color.
Scabbers is Ron’s pet rat. He has a finger missing and is found to be very sick in recent days. Eventually, it is found out that Scabbers is, in fact, Peter Pettigrew in his Animagus form.
Crookshanks is Hermione’s pet cat. He is a ginger-colored furry cat, and Ron hates him because he constantly tries to attack Scabbers.
How do you befriend a Hippogriff?
Hippogriffs are friendly yet proud creatures, and therefore, one must slowly approach the hippogriff and perform a low bow. If the hippogriff trusts you, it will bow too, which is a sign of consent. You can then move on to petting it or even flying with it.
Why did Harry say that he was Neville Longbottom in the Knight Bus?
Harry had just bloated Aunt Marge like a balloon with magic, and he was really nervous as he had stormed out of the only house he had. So, when Stan Shunpike, the conductor of the Knight bus, asked him who he was, he responded with the first name that came to his mind, that of Neville Longbottom.
How does the Fidelius Charm work?
The Fidelius Charm is a very strong magical process that binds a house or location to a person known as the secret keeper. Only the secret keeper can know where the location of the house, and it is impossible to locate the house unless the secret keeper gives away the information.