Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

by

J. K. Rowling

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Dementors Symbol Icon

Dementors are the non-human guards of the wizard prison Azkaban; they're tall, hooded figures with rotting flesh. They feed on happiness and souls and guard prisoners by sapping them of any happy thoughts, thereby compromising prisoners' abilities to even remember what life is like on the outside. Though Harry initially believes that the dementors are a fair punishment for hardened criminals, especially those in league with Voldemort, he soon learns that the dementors themselves aren't at all fair. They're indiscriminate when it comes to sucking the life out of people and will prey on an excited crowd of Quidditch spectators, innocent children, and criminals alike. With this realization, the dementors become a symbol for the corruption of the Ministry of Magic as a whole. Like the dementors, the Ministry is willing to prey on whomever is an easy target for a given crime, and it's far more interested in scaring people and acting in its own best interest than it is in actually doling out real, impartial justice.

Dementors Quotes in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban quotes below all refer to the symbol of Dementors. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Justice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scholastic edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban published in 2001.
Chapter Four Quotes

"The guards told Fudge that Black's been talking in his sleep for a while now. Always the same words: 'He's at Hogwarts...he's at Hogwarts.' Black is deranged, Molly, and he wants Harry's dead. If you ask me, he thinks murdering Harry will bring You-Know-Who back to power. Black lost everything the night Harry stopped You-Know-Who, and he's had twelve years alone in Azkaban to brood on that."

Related Symbols: Dementors
Page Number: 66
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Nine Quotes

"Didn't they want to help, sir?" said Percy.

"Oh yes," said Dumbledore coldly. "But I'm afraid no dementor will cross the threshold of this castle while I am headmaster."

Related Symbols: Dementors
Page Number: 165
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Eleven Quotes

"But you were innocent!" said Hermione.

Hagrid snorted.

"Think that matters to them? They don' care. Long as they've got a couple o' hundred humans stuck there with 'em, so they can leech all the happiness out of 'em, they don' give a damn who's guilty an' who's not."

Related Characters: Hermione Granger (speaker), Rubeus Hagrid (speaker), Harry Potter, Ron Weasley
Related Symbols: Dementors
Page Number: 221
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Twenty-One Quotes

"Did anyone see you?"

"Yes, haven't you been listening? I saw me but I thought I was my dad! It's okay!"

Related Characters: Harry Potter (speaker), Hermione Granger (speaker), Sirius Black, James Potter
Related Symbols: Dementors
Page Number: 393
Explanation and Analysis:
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Dementors Symbol Timeline in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The timeline below shows where the symbol Dementors appears in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Five
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...up a bar of chocolate and distributes the pieces. He explains that that was a dementor and goes to talk to the conductor. (full context)
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...what happened, and Ron explains that Harry started having a fit. Professor Lupin approached the dementor and when it didn't move, he shot something silvery out of his wand at it.... (full context)
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...coaches drawn by invisible horses and begin the ride to the castle. Harry notices two dementors on either side of the gate. To make things worse, when he gets out of... (full context)
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...Ron what McGonagall wanted, Professor Dumbledore stands to address the school. He explains that the dementors of Azkaban are at the school and that nobody may leave without permission. He says... (full context)
Chapter Six
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...mock swooning fit. The Slytherins all laugh and Pansy Parkinson yells at Harry that the dementors are coming. George passes out schedules at the Gryffindor table and asks Harry what's wrong.... (full context)
Chapter Seven
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...on the boggart in turn. Harry first thinks of Voldemort but realizes he fears the dementors more. Lupin begins the exercise before Harry is ready. Neville successfully forces the boggart Snape... (full context)
Chapter Eight
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...over Crookshanks to promise to bring Harry candy from Honeydukes. Malfoy taunts Harry about the dementors as Harry walks Ron and Hermione to the door and then wanders around the castle.... (full context)
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...the staff room would be a good idea. Harry admits that he's more scared of dementors than Voldemort, which impresses Lupin—he says that this means Harry fears fear, and asks if... (full context)
Chapter Nine
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...which annoys Hermione: according to Hogwarts: A History, a person can't Apparate in, and the dementors see through disguises. (full context)
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...says that nobody in the castle would've helped Black get in. Percy asks if the dementors wanted to help search the castle, but Dumbledore replies that dementors won't enter the castle... (full context)
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Friendship and Growing Up Theme Icon
...and suddenly feels a familiar sense of cold. He looks down and sees a hundred dementors below him. Harry hears a woman screaming and thinks he needs to help her as... (full context)
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...team out. Hermione and Ron stay and tell Harry that Dumbledore was furious with the dementors. Harry is barely listening; he's thinking about the screaming in his head. Harry asks about... (full context)
Chapter Ten
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...taunts Harry by imitating Harry falling off during the match and, during Potions, he mimes dementors. Ron throws a crocodile heart at him and Snape takes 50 points from Gryffindor. Fortunately,... (full context)
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...arrived at Hogwarts and is a vicious tree. Harry asks if Lupin heard about the dementors and then asks why the dementors affect him so much. Lupin tells Harry that he's... (full context)
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Lupin awkwardly almost touches Harry's shoulder and then curtly says that the dementors are getting angry since Dumbledore won't let them on the grounds. He says that at... (full context)
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...Black knows about the passage to Honeydukes. Ron, however, points to a notice saying that dementors patrol the streets of Hogsmeade at night and says that Black doesn't stand a chance. (full context)
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...join them. Fudge is in town because of Sirius Black and assures Rosmerta that the dementors are a necessary precaution. McGonagall and Flitwick both express anger that they want to get... (full context)
Chapter Eleven
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...their best man. Harry thinks that Black doesn't have to hear Lily screaming whenever the dementors get close, slams the album closed, and crawls into bed. When Ron comes up moments... (full context)
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...Hagrid starts to calm down, though he says that nobody likes his classes and the dementors make him feel terrible. This is the first time Hagrid has ever spoken about his... (full context)
Chapter Twelve
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...back. Right before term starts, Oliver finds Harry to ask about his progress on the dementors and on ordering a new broom. When he learns that McGonagall confiscated Harry's brand new... (full context)
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...short. After Defense Against the Dark Arts, Harry asks Lupin if they can start their anti-dementor lessons. Lupin asks Harry to meet him Thursday evening. As Harry and Ron head for... (full context)
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...as Lupin tells him about the Patronus charm, which conjures a positive force that a dementor can feed on. To conjure it, a wizard must think of a happy memory and... (full context)
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...suggests they call it a night, Harry insists he has to learn to fight the dementors. Lupin suggests that Harry choose a stronger memory, so Harry thinks of winning the House... (full context)
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...out of Harry's wand and after a few seconds, Lupin shouts "Riddikulus" and the boggart dementor vanishes. Lupin praises Harry, gives him a huge bar of chocolate, and asks Harry to... (full context)
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McGonagall continues to refuse to give Harry the Firebolt. To make things worse, the dementor lessons with Lupin stall and Harry's Patronus never gets distinct. After four weeks, Lupin tells... (full context)
Chapter Thirteen
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...finally sees the Snitch. As he races for it, Cho screams and points to three dementors on the field. Harry pulls his wand out, shouts "Expecto Patronum," and continues towards the... (full context)
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...him on his Patronus. When Harry says he didn't feel anything, Lupin explains that the dementors weren't real and leads him to where Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle, and the Slytherin Quidditch captain... (full context)
Chapter Nineteen
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...brings Scabbers to the castle nobody will go to Azkaban. Snape threatens to call the dementors and Harry notices a crazy glint in Snape's eye. (full context)
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...dark magic. Black says that the knowledge he was innocent wasn't exactly happy, so the dementors couldn't take it. He spent time as a dog, which made his emotions less complex... (full context)
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...point their wands at him, Harry leaps in front. Harry says that Pettigrew deserves the dementors, and he doesn't think James would've wanted his friends to be killers. Lupin ties up... (full context)
Chapter Twenty
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...run after Sirius. They find him at the lake, back in his human form, with dementors closing in on him. Harry thinks of living with Sirius and starts to shout "Expecto... (full context)
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...as silvery wisps come out of Harry's wand. Harry collapses as well and watches a dementor approach and lower its hood to expose a face with only a mouth. Harry's Patronus... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-One
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...highly of himself and has been given too much leeway. Fudge asks about the retreating dementors, but Snape doesn't know why they left Harry, Hermione, and Black alone. At this, Harry... (full context)
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As they wait, Hermione asks why the dementors didn't get Sirius. Harry explains what he saw and says that he knows someone conjured... (full context)
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...not to interfere but goes back outside to keep tabs on events. He hears the dementors swarming himself, Hermione, and Sirius, and decides that he needs to see if James is... (full context)
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...checks her watch and when they see Macnair leave the castle, presumably to get the dementors, she and Harry get on Buckbeak and fly to the appropriate window. Sirius looks surprised... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Two
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...trouble once the news of Black and Buckbeak gets out. Fudge does say that the dementors will be removed from the school, as they can't be attacking students. After the adults... (full context)