Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Published: July 31st, 2016
Page Count: 330
“Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”
Reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has truly brought back so many fond and nostalgic memories that I had while growing up reading and watching the Harry Potter series. I feel so grateful that this book has been made and has allowed all of us fans to delve back into this magical world and experience what the other seven books had previously given us. This book was not perfect by any means, but I still loved it and am thankful for the experience it has given me.
Now before I began reading, I had some serious doubts as to whether reading a Harry Potter book in play form would cause some serious issues in my head, but surprisingly enough, I found myself falling into the pacing and writing pretty quickly. Provided that you have either read the previous seven books or watched the movies, it’s fairly easy to picture exactly where the characters are and how the setting looks like, despite the fact that there isn’t a lot of descriptive text to inform you.
Another thing that took me by surprise was just how little time it took me to finish reading the play. I flew through the book in under five hours and think that might be a good encouragement to people who want to know what the story is about but aren’t big readers.
Now, although I did love the storyline and think that there are so many hilarious lines delivered by some of our beloved characters, there were some issues that I had. (I won’t go into too much detail, if you want to see what I mean, you can head over to my spoilery review down below.) Let’s just say that most of these issues were about the general laws set in place in the wizarding world (I’m looking at you, book three!). Someone else once mentioned that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child somehow felt like FanFiction and I actually couldn’t agree more.
All in all, I would recommend every and any Harry Potter fan to read this. While it did have some problems, it’s still worth a read, if not just to see our old beloved characters interact. I truly thought it was a great book and although there are some inconsistencies that don’t make much sense to me, the storyline was overall really entertaining.
WARNING. SPOILERY REVIEW.
Now, before I start, I would like to say just how much I applaud J.K. Rowling for creating such an amazing new character as Scorpius. Oh sure, Albus is the son of Harry Potter and the guy who we were all previously looking forward to hearing about, but for me, Scorpius truly stole the show. It was that mixture of vulnerability, humor and nerdiness that really made him steal my heart.
“My geekness is a-quivering.”
If I’m being completely honest, Albus somewhat annoyed me in the beginning. I can understand that living in your father’s shadow and having people expecting you to become just like him can become somewhat tedious and annoying, but everyone could tell that Harry was truly trying to make a difference in their relationship and Albus just kept pushing him away. Also, I don’t in any way consider it to be ok to mock your father about his past traumas and make lightly of them. That was one of the few moments where Albus truly got on my nerves. Of course, I don’t think Harry was handling the situation perfectly, but he was still trying to reach out and be there for Albus and Albus just completely disregarded him.
I absolutely loved the dynamic between Hermione/Ron and Harry/Draco. Ron was still completely himself, and had some amazing witty lines that just made me laugh so hard.
“Honestly, every time I sit down now I make an ‘ooof’ noise. An ‘ooof’. And my feet – the trouble I’m having with my feet – I could write songs about the pain my feet give me – maybe your scar is like that.”
“Nothing scares me. Apart from Mum.”
“I think you’ve got really nice hair. Draco.”
More surprisingly was that by the end of the book, Draco had practically become friends with all of them. I didn’t realize until now just how important that was to me. At the end of Deathly Hallows we’re left knowing that Draco had detached himself from his family’s history, but we also don’t really get that confirmation that Draco has changed for the better and it was just so great to see it play out in action. Oh, there were still some really snarky lines between him and Harry but in the end, you can tell that the relationship between them has pretty much been mended.
Something else that felt quite satisfying was that Harry finally let out all of his feelings towards Dumbledore’s painting. I think it was nice to see Harry addressing that he felt abandoned by his ex-headmaster and telling him all of those pent up feelings. It felt like we as readers finally got to see the closure between the two of them and made us love Dumbledore just a little bit more than we already do. And also, as usual, he whipped up more great lines to quote.
“Harry, there is never a perfect in this messy, emotional world. Perfection is beyond the reach of humankind, beyond the reach of magic. In every shining moment of happiness is that drop of poison: the knowledge that pain will come again. Be honest to those you love, show your pain. To suffer is as human as to breathe.”
Now, I really did enjoy the plot. I want to put that out there before I quickly mention the things that have been bothering me about certain aspects of it. Most of the things that I didn’t like only really have to do with the inconsistencies in the world as a whole.
Most of my issues come from the Time Turner and the fundamental time traveling laws that we see set up in the third Harry Potter book.
Now I’m not really good at explaining exactly why I think some of the things that happened went against those laws, but the entire situation with there being alternate dimensions of time just felt off, since we saw in the third book that going back in time always resulted in the person going back already being there in the past (if that makes sense???). Like we see with Hermione throwing the rock at Harry’s head or Harry fending off the dementors. In the Cursed Child it felt like you could go back in time multiple times and change things an infinite amount of times which just didn’t go along with what we learned in the third book. I’m just going to write that off to the idea that there are different Time Turners that can do different things and not dwell on it too long.
Aside from all of that, there were only a few moments in the play where I had a serious ‘WTF’ moment. One of them was when Albus and Scorpius managed to find the Time Turner in Hermione’s office. I would have thought that after all the riddles that Harry, Ron and Hermione solved in their seven years of adventuring together, she wouldn’t have considered it safe to protect this majorly rare and dangerous Time Turner with a couple riddles. Why wouldn’t she just put it in a safe? *scratches head*
I actually felt incredibly stupid when Delphi was revealed to be the antagonist – and actual daughter of Voldemort. I know that a lot of people who were reading this play already felt like there was something off about Delphi, but I honestly didn’t see that coming.
What I did enjoy was seeing the two parts of her parentage come together: her evilness and deviousness clearly inherited by Voldemort and her sense of longing for being close to her loved ones, which comes from her human side.
Another thing I have to address was the general vibes I got off of Albus and Scorpius’s friendship. Now I know that it is totally possible for two guys to be best friends and hug and share feelings and be open with each other, but who else felt some serious feelings between the two of them? Maybe it’s just me, but I still think it would have been totally awesome to have two main characters in the canon Harry Potter world go openly gay. *unwraps rainbow flag*
Either way, the friendship between the two of them is truly something to look up to and something all of us can learn from.
“That’s the thing, isn’t it? About friendships. You don’t know what he needs. You only know he needs it. Find him, Scorpius. You two – you belong together.”
“Because I don’t think Voldemort is capable of having a kind son – and you’re kind, Scorpius. To the depths of your belly, to the tips of your fingers. I truly believe Voldemort – Voldemort couldn’t have a child like that.”
“It’s probably rubbish. I mean…look, you’ve got a nose.”
“Well as fun as you clearly look, I have to go after my friend.”
“My father proved you don’t have to be grown-up to change the wizarding world.”
“Let’s have another baby.”
“I, uh, I opened a book. Something which has – in all my years on this planet – never been a particularly dangerous activity.”