Rowling told a creepy story.
A little help for those who are not familiar with the Harry Potter universe. Azkaban is a prison for wizards who have committed serious crimes in the magical world. The territory of the prison is guarded by dementors: dangerous creatures that suck out the soul.
The prison building is a triangular tower, it stands on a lonely island. And it is almost impossible to destroy its high walls. J. K. Rowling told a lot of interesting things about how she came up with this place.
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In Azkaban, the writer combined the realities of the real and the magical world. Therefore it the name is a combination of two words: the real Alcatraz prison and the word abaddon (avaddon), which in Hebrew means “the place of death, destruction, the depths of hell”. If you look closely, Alcatraz even outwardly resembles Azkaban, because both are located on the island and are known for their horrifying and tragic history.
Where did Azkaban come from? What is known about him?
According to the canon, Azkaban has been mentioned by wizards since the 15th century, but it was not immediately used as a prison. Previously, the island was not on the geographical maps of sorcerers or Muggles. There is a version that the island in the North Sea and the fortress on it were created by dark magic.
A sorcerer named Ekrizdis lived in the fortress. He was a powerful but insane wizard, and often used the most terrible rituals of dark magic. Lonely Ekrizdis lured Muggle sailors for fun — and then brutally tortured and killed them. Yes, he did it just like that, for fun.
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Ekrizdis created special cloaking charms around Azkaban to prevent the Ministry of Magic from finding him. After the death of the wizard, the spell broke, and the fortress was discovered. Then the magicians conducted an investigation. Out of horror, they refused to comment on what they found in the fortress. To make matters worse, the island was infested with Dementors. It seemed that every centimeter of the fortress was saturated with their essence, and the walls themselves were filled with the suffering of those who died here.
Many great wizards were sure: the island is the abode of evil, it is better to destroy it. Others feared the revenge of the Dementors if they were deprived of their homes. The creatures were already very strong, it was impossible to kill them.
In addition, experts studying the buildings erected with the help of dark magic argued that the destruction of Azkaban could end badly. Therefore, the fortress remained intact and served as a habitat for the Dementors.
How did Azkaban become a prison? What happened to the Dementors?
In 1692, the Ministry of Magic was looking for an alternative to small prisons for magicians. Prisons were scattered throughout the country and created a lot of problems: when prisoners tried to escape, Muggles watched a whole show of explosions, smoke, sparks and light. At first they wanted to build a special fortress for prisoners, but Damocles Rowley destroyed the plans.
Rowley was a dictator, a sadist and hated Muggles. Damocles was in the upper levels of power and suggested that Azkaban be used as a prison. He argued that the Dementors were only good for the Ministry: they would be guards, which would save a lot of time and money, and also save them unnecessary problems. After that, the first batches of prisoners were taken to the sinister island — many of them went missing, and someone went crazy.
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Eldrich Diggory, Cedric Diggory’s great-great-grandfather, later took over as Minister for Magic. He personally visited the prison — and was horrified by the conditions in which the prisoners are kept. Back in London, Diggory tried to look for a replacement for Azkaban or remove the Dementors from the security system. But the experts explained to the Minister that the Dementors do not leave the island only because they are regularly supplied with the souls of prisoners.
If you do not keep criminals in Azkaban, then the Dementors will leave the island and will certainly go to the mainland. Eldritch Diggory still looked for a way out of the situation, but did not have time — he fell ill with smallpox and died.
Albus Dumbledore never approved of using Dementors as guardians. Not only because of the inhuman treatment of prisoners, but also because he foresaw a change in the allegiance of these dark creatures and the transition to Voldemort’s side.
Remember Auror Kingsley Brewwork? After the Battle of Hogwarts, he became Minister for Magic, and Azkaban was completely cleared of Dementors. The fortress still serves as a prison, but it is guarded by Aurors who are on duty in shifts. After the introduction of such a system, not a single escape occurred.