On Harry Potter and The Cursed Child…
I remember going to the midnight viewing of ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ with my good friend Shannon B. She and I dressed as Gryffindor and Slytherin students respectively with our hair, make-up and outfits looking like we were fresh off the Hogwarts express. We relished in the stares we received from other movie-goers and saluted fans we saw which were as passionate as us. For me, Harry Potter wasn’t just my childhood, it was my adolescence and coming of age all wrapped into one. Harry, Ron and Hermione were my friends that I could crack open a book and escape with when I felt like nobody understood me. Hogwarts and the Wizarding World which it encompassed welcomed me when I felt many did not, in it I found a sense of belonging that I still feel nearly two decades later. As an avid Fan Fiction writer, I wrote one of the most beloved Draco Malfoy love stories of all time at the age of thirteen that I revisited and re-wrote in my early twenties to compliment the novel. I’m not telling you these facts to tell you how obsessed with Harry Potter I am, I’m writing them here on my blog to show you just how much this franchise inspired me both as a writer and a person. Which is why when J.K. Rowling announced the release of the script to “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” co-written by Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, calling it:’the 8th story, 19 years later’ , I NEEDED to get my grubby Pureblood hands on it.
Now, before I get into my thoughts on ‘The Cursed Child’ I’m going to give you a curtesy disclaimer: This post contains spoilers, therefore, read at your own risk. Some fans love it, some fans hate it, the feelings regarding this script will vary from blog to blog. I’ve read and sympathized with both arguments for and against it being considered a canon. My feelings, however, cannot be summed up in regards to love or hate for this script but rather mixed feelings. I do feel that if J.K. Rowling accepts these events which take place in this script as canon I must accept it too no matter how hard some elements are to embrace.
*Evolved relationships between characters which showed maturity and growth. I adore the fact that we get to see Harry, Ron, Hermione and even Draco as parents who are struggling with their own pasts and trying to navigate parenthood.
*Being able to apparate back into the magical world of Harry Potter. It was pretty brilliant to find myself back in some familiar places like Hogwarts, The Ministry of Magic, and The Triwizard Tournment.
*Scorpius Malfoy: I love how he’s written and I love how quirky and awkward he is.
*Hermione Granger-Weasley is your new Minister of Magic. This is by far my most favorite thing about this script, seeing Hermione be in charge of the entire Wizarding World is so becoming of her and fitting for her character.
*Many of the plot points are bit unrealistic (even for the most outlandish Fan Fiction Readers). Potentially deadly time turners being held by Theodore Nott, going back in time to change the fate of Cedric Diggory, Harry be a jerk to McGonagall and speaking to her in her office the way he had, Delphi Diggory? The confusing plot twists and holes read like horribly written Fan Fiction.
*Jack Thorne crammed in as many references to the original series to connect the classics to this new story. As a longtime fan this came off a bit like someone who tries too hard.
* The play format lacked the same magic captured in the original books; while one can say J.K. didn’t write it, she still put her name and seal of approval on it, I still struggle with approving it. I feel like the lack of details left me with more questions than answers which I do hope Rowling will address on Pottermore.
*We still didn’t really get to know Astoria Malfoy before they killed her off. While we know little things which Scorpius shares about her-(her belief that sweets are the ticket to making new friends, and she was not a Death Eater)-we don’t know too much about her backstory and what experiences shaped her to have a great deal of humility or even fall in love with Draco in the first place.
*It read like bad Fan Fiction, seriously, I’ve wrote way better plots than Jack Thorne managed to cook up.
*That one alternate universe where Cedric, so humiliated by failing the Second Task of the Triwizard Tournament, becomes a Death Eater and murders Neville. Yep, you read that right, Cedric murders Neville. Cedric would never do that or be that way, he was just too good of a guy and I REFUSE to believe that.
*Bellatrix and Voldemort apparently had enough downtime to have a baby, who grows up so desperate to know her homicidal maniac Father that she tricks Albus and Scorpius into fudging up Cedric’s tasks and “spare him” so that Voldemort can re-emerge.
*Cursed Child jumped from one idea to the next so quickly it left little time for reflection or thought. Some might chalk this up to the fact that it is the script for a play and not a novel, but I’ve read plays with much more details than this such as anything written by Andrew Lloyd Webber or William Shakespeare.
*Who drops a bombshell like what I mentioned above regarding Bellatrix and Voldemort without more details? Really? Who does that?
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child had the potential to be a really good novel, including a set-up which could have left an open-ended potential for J.K. Rowling to return to IF she ever wanted to explore the Potterverse through the eyes of Scorpius and Albus.
The introduction of Delphani Diggory as the spawn of both Bellatrix Lestrange and Lord Voldemort has potential to be the new advisory in a novel but falls short in the play. Her defeat is both anti-climatic and almost too easy to be taken seriously. I found myself feeling like “that’s it?” after they hauled her off to Azkaban. I simply find it much too impossible that the child of one of the darkest witches and wizards of all time was so easily thwarted by a pair of eleven-year olds and their overworked Ministry parents.
Ultimately, I would recommend this play for every Potterhead to read just because the potential is there and could inspire some seriously epic Fan Fiction to a writer who wants to take the time to explore the details left out of the script. However, if you’re a Potterhead looking to recapture the magic you received from the last seven books, you may want to hold off.
Did you read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? Leave your thoughts in a comment below as I love hearing from you!
Love you. Mean it.