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'Harry Potter' Fans Are Answering Our Biggest Time-Turner Questions From 'The Prisoner Of Azkaban'

List RulesVote up the most intriguing fan insights about the Time-Turner!

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban is a fan-favorite from the series, with its defining characteristic being the use of Hermione's magical, yet vaguely explained Time-Turner. How does it work? What are the implications of using the Time-Turner? Why didn't Harry use it to save his parents? While The Prisoner of Azkaban is a certified classic in the series, many questions regarding the Time-Turner were left (partially) unanswered, especially in the films. Vote up the most intriguing fan insights about the Time-Turner in Prisoner of Azkaban.

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  • 1

    Where / When Did Hermione Get The Time-Turner?

    Photo: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / Warner Bros. Pictures

    From Quora User Nathan Horton:

    Specifically, just before going into the Great Hall after getting off the Hogwarts Express, McGonagall calls Harry and Hermione out of the crowd and brings them to her office. After a discussion about Harry's encounter with a Dementor on the train, Harry is excused for a moment so McGonagall and Hermione can talk in private. It is not explicitly stated, but this is undoubtedly where Hermione received the Time Turner, since she came out of the office looking very pleased about something, but at that point we don't know what, and probably soon forget about it.

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  • 2

    How Does The Time-Turner Work With Respect To Hermione Never Missing Class?

    Photo: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / Warner Bros. Pictures

    From Quora User Brent Finley:

    This is how I imagine a time turner working, keeping in mind that it worked differently in the book from how it worked in the movie.

    In the book, the time turner took you back one hour per turn, to the location you were at the time you went back to. In the movie, the time turner took you back one hour per turn, leaving you at your current location. Either version is problematic from an execution standpoint.

    If you go back in time, and land where you were at the time you are going to, even if you do not land on yourself, you could materialize right on someone else, or be seen near your prior self by someone as you materialize.

    If you go back in time and land where you are currently standing, you have no idea what was going on at that location, and while you are less likely to appear right next to yourself, you could easily materialize right on or in front of people.

    Now to your direct point. You are making the assumption that because Hermione went back in time everybody in her classes went back in time with her; that hour was repeated with history rewritten each time, and with her appearing in a different classroom each time.

    My take is that they did not go back in time with her. If you were to be able to look down at the castle from above (or if you looked at the Marauder's Map) and you could see the three classrooms, you would see Hermione in all three classes at the same time in the same hour.

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  • 3

    Why Didn't Harry And Hermione Return To The Past With Other People To Prove What Pettigrew Did?

    Photo: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / Warner Bros. Pictures

    From Quora User Eleanor Danquiellitez:

    Because that is not how it works. Forget Cursed Child and let’s focus on the original stuff.

    1. Hermione promised McGonagall to used it for studies only
    2. It’s dangerous and could cause a lot problems
    3. That’s not how it works! As shown in PoA, they didn’t really change the past, they only did stuff to make sure this happened in the future. Another thing is the further back in time you go, the older you get when you come back to the present. For example if you go back 100 years, you can’t go back to the present when you want, you’ll have to live through those 100 years. This is why I hate the Hermione using a time-turner in Fantastic Beasts theory, it’s so stupid. Anyways, there are a lot of things about the time turners but I don’t want to write too long.
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  • 4

    How Much Did Hermione Age When She Used The Time-Turner?

    Photo: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / Warner Bros. Pictures

    From Quora User Claire Jordan:

    Hermione says she used the Time-Turner to attend several classes at once, and for the first two terms of the year she's taking all twelve subjects when normal students take nine. Around Easter she drops out of Divination, and at the end of the year she drops Muggle Studies. In subsequent years she does ten subjects and manages to fit them in without the use of a Time-Turner.

    Hermione says she was given the Time-Turner right at the start of the year. Out of fifty-two weeks in the year, the whole of July and August are holidays, and according to the Lexicon's calculations term ended on the 18th of June that year. In any case exams finished on the 9th, according to the Lexicon, and once the exams were over Hermione had no need to use the Time-Turner (except to rescue Sirius later that day). There are also two-week holidays at Christmas and Easter. So that's sixteen weeks, less a couple of days, when Hermione was not using the Time-Turner, and thirty-six weeks when she was. For twenty-eight of those weeks she was doing three extra subjects, and for the remaining eight weeks, two.

    For each extra subject, she needs to fit in three hours per week in the classroom, plus time for study and homework. Most students take nine subjects and I doubt if they are expected to work more than nine hours a day on average, so that's not more than an average of seven hours per week spent on each subject, three in the classroom and four on study and homework, so Hermione needs to gain around seven hours for each extra subject she is taking. She probably doesn't need to do all that on the Time-Turner - in subsequent years she manages to do one extra subject without one - but if we take the most extreme position and assume that she does use the Time-Turner for seven hours a week for each subject, and let's say nine hours for extra sleep to make up for all the extra study, that's thirty hours a week for twenty-eight weeks, and twenty-three hours for eight weeks. That works out at forty-three days, or six weeks - and that's the maximum it could be.

    In fact, given that in later years she does one extra subject without needing a Time-Turner, and her tendency to work herself too hard, she may be sleeping less and adding fewer study-hours. She's more likely to have added four or five weeks to her life than six.

    Also, Hermione spent three weeks in second year Petrified by the Basilisk, and she certainly appeared to be in some sort of stasis during which she probably didn't age - we don't see any attempts being made to feed her, for example, which suggests her metabolism is on hold. Those three weeks counter the four to six weeks of extra aging caused by the Time-Turner, so overall the Time-Turner only leaves her about a fortnight older than she would otherwise have been.

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