by Michael of ThinkingMichael.com
My first Overrated Works article will be about a work that is considered (by literally everyone I’ve ever heard talk about it) to be amazing… Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
I’m not just talking about the book, nor just talking about the film. I’m going to be talking about the third Harry Potter volume as a whole. Why, oh why, is this story considered great? How in the hell can so many people consider it to be the best one in the franchise?
Criticizing Prisoner of Azkaban will be difficult, because part of the problem is that there’s hardly anything to talk about in the first place. Nothing happens in it! Basically, it’s about Harry and friends learning that Sirius Black is a good guy. Okay…. Did that have to be an entire book/movie of its own? We spend an entire book resurrecting Voldemort, we spend an entire book destroying the Horcruxes, but learning Sirius Black is a good guy is on par with those plots? The overall story didn’t advance at all after this volume. It barely even had a conclusion. Hell, I don’t even think Voldemort gets mentioned in the damn thing. In the end, Sirius Black is still on the run. He remains absent in almost all of the 4th volume, and in the 5th volume. So, he goes from being in prison, to being on the run…, and then he dies.
Look, it’s fine that this is Sirius Black’s arc, but devoting an entire volume to just freeing him from prison was a giant waste of time. Sure, people love Prisoner of Azkaban, but I’m trying to figure out why. This volume should be despised by the entire fan base.
“But Michael, it introduced, like, the dementors and werewolves and shit. And it, like, had a hippogriff and time travel in it too.”
That’s basically like saying The Last Jedi was a good movie because it introduced Force Projections. So what? You can put cool things in a story that actually tells a story. But having a volume in the series that’s basically 100% filler isn’t good simply because it has cool things like time travel in it.
NOT TO MENTION the fact that the time travel thing is the franchise’s most gaping plot hole. Adding that element to the lore was immensely shitty writing.
I’ve always found dementors retarded in the first place. And nobody cares about a hippogriff named Buckbeak. And werewolves were already cool; otherwise they wouldn’t have been part of pop culture for centuries like they have.
If you’re curious where I rank the Harry Potter volumes (the books, not movies) from greatest to worst, here’s the list:
- Goblet of Fire
- Deathly Hallows
- Chamber of Secrets (yes, I rank it 3rd)
- Philosopher’s Stone
- Half-Blood Prince
- Prisoner of Azkaban
- Order of the Phoenix
No, I don’t think Azkaban is the worst one, but most people agree that Order of the Phoenix is terrible; otherwise, this article would have been about everyone’s inexplicable love for Phoenix instead. If you’re someone who loves Harry Potter, like me, and you also love Prisoner of Azkaban, unlike me, please comment below and explain why, and try to give real reasons instead of just saying things like “werewolves are cool lol”.
New content daily! Please support us at Patreon.com/FictionCoalition.