With the full introduction of the Marauders characters (James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew) into the Harry Potter series in The Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling shifted away from the storybook tone of the first two volumes to something darker and widened the scope of her story in depth and breadth. This paper examines how Rowling uses these characters to create what J.R.R. Tolkien called the “impression of depth” in her fictional world. While contrasting Rowling’s specific techniques with Tolkien’s, this paper argues that Rowling scales this literary device down to meet her young hero (and implied reader[s]), focusing primarily on character and personal history to create this effect. Specific attention will be paid to the way in which the Marauders are characterized before their proper appearances in the narrative, the function of questions and answers, the craft of exposition, the use of backstory and untold tales, and the role of tragedy. This paper will demonstrate how Prisoner, and the Marauders in particular, laid the foundation for the darker and more mature novels later in the series.

Copyright held by Artist



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.