“The scar had not pained Harry for 19 years. All was well.”
The last sentence of the final Harry Potter installment, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’, has been such a source of confusion for many of us in the fandom for so long. Would Queen Joanne Rowling bestow us with some more wizard goodness? Or was she just J.K? (I’ve been working on that for weeks, don’t hate.) With the recent release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a theatrical production in London’s West End, came answers to so many of our burning Harry Potter questions, and allowed us to travel back to Hogwarts once more. Except, oh wait, I don’t have unlimited funds to fly to London, so the release of the script will have to do!
Although I didn’t do the midnight release, I did read ‘Cursed Child’ within a matter of hours, staying up all night to finish it. The fandom is almost divided on their opinions of the continuation of our beloved Harry Potter series. I don’t see many in between responses: many people loved it or hated it. I mean, like, REALLY hated it. I saw a gif on Tumblr of someone burning their copy. It’s insane. But, if you wanted my opinion on this, look no further! [Warning: I’m going to have a ton of spoilers. So if you haven’t read the book and are planning to do so, spoiler free, you should probably save this article for later.]
Unless you’ve read stuff on Pottermore religiously you likely didn’t know much about the HP squad after the Battle of Hogwarts. I mean, let’s be honest, most of us just joined to be sorted and abandoned our Pottermore accounts like nobody’s business, but I digress. The script of the play literally starts where the book leaves off, Nineteen Years Later. Our precious lil’ Albus Severus Potter is off to his first year at Hogwarts, and his family sees him off at the station. He’s terrified, naturally, being Harry Potter’s son requires some big shoes to be filled, and undoubtably holds some heavy weight on him. This scene gave me goosebumps and I must say it was SO awesome to be journeying back into the world of Hogwarts once more. I’ve wanted to know what Albus was like since the ending of Deathly Hallows. And, much to my joy and excitement, Albus’ first friend is none other than Scorpius Malfoy, son of Draco Malfoy. Even more exciting still: Albus Severus Potter is a Slytherin.
Let me tell you all something. The hatred toward Slytherin was one of the things that bothered me most about the initial Harry Potter series. (#NotALLSlytherin) Slytherin get such a bad rep because a few Slytherin turned out to be some scary mofos. But Slytherin does not equal Death Eater. It just so happens a lot of people who had Death Eater ties were IN Slytherin house. I have always been a subscriber to the theory that if Harry hadn’t shunned Draco on the Hogwarts Express, if he had shown him some kindness during his school days, that he ultimately would have fought with Harry’s side during The Battle of Hogwarts. Through the dynamic and endearing friendship of Albus and Scorpius, this book rights the gross injustices imparted on Slytherin. (Before I’m accused of sympathizing because I’m a Slytherin or something, I’d like to have it known I’m actually a Hufflepuff. And we are very good finders.) Malfoy and Harry manage to even settle their differences in this story, and Malfoy even receives a sort of ‘apology’ from Harry and his gang for demonizing Malfoy and his son throughout the events of the ‘Cursed Child’ plot. However, you can see the impact their demonization has had on the younger generations, i.e: Rose Granger-Weasley. I drew a parallel between Slytherin hatred and the racism in today’s world: often time it’s passed on to younger generations who simply don’t question it and don’t know enough to know any better. That being said, Rose’s character really didn’t exist for more than just “Ew yuck, a Slytherin! Gross!”
Also noticeably absent from this continuation altogether was Teddy Lupin, son of Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks. James Potter, the eldest Potter son and Lily Potter, the youngest Potter daughter are featured in this play, although not for a long or significant time. I was rather impressed with the amount of characters they chose to include in this story, though. Snape and Dumbledore even make an appearance. I was really happy that some of those wrongs were righted in the plot of ‘Cursed Child’ as well. Harry says it best in this script: they were great men, but they were not without their faults.
Now, onto the things that have the entire HP fandom up in arms. Albus and Scorpius. J.K. Rowling has been accused a number of times for the erasure of LGBT+ characters within her series, and to be honest, reading the story and the way that Scorpius and Albus address each other, it was a stretch to say that they have a friendly, heterosexual relationship. I’m normally the first person to shut Tumblr down for their antics, but the evidence is all there in the fine print. Look at this Tumblr post below.
Not convinced? What about this one?
Okay, still not satisfied?
Like I said, it’s pretty cut and dry here. The Drarry shippers, while entertaining, are really off base there…but this…this definitely seems like something more. But, I can respect the decision to make these characters however the writer sees fit. Which, by the way, is NOT actually J.K Rowling. She’s written bits and pieces, yes, and she had something to do with the production, clearly, but I don’t really understand how she’s getting all this hate for ‘CC’. She should at least share it with the other writers.
While I did overall really enjoy ‘Cursed Child’, there were some pretty ridiculous moments. Ron as a character was pretty off base and weird. I can kind of excuse that by saying that perhaps Ron became a little more ‘out there’ after Fred died because he was trying to fill the void that his brother had left. He also seems to be the owner of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, and being around joke candies and toys all day has got to make you a little loony. Cedric Diggory literally becomes a Death Eater in an alternate timeline, which occurs when Albus and Scorpius get their hands on a time turner. You read that correctly. Cedric Diggory. Death Eater. And because he was embarrassed? That seems like a HUGE stretch. I understand what they were trying to do, but come on, guys. It’s Cedric. Many people have been complaining heavily about the plot, but I found it gripping and wished I could see all the action play out on the stage. Seriously, how amazing must those magical effects look? In some ways, I’m glad I couldn’t see it on the stage; it was nice to read through the script picturing the characters acting as I want them to. I think it would be almost jarring for me to see older/different actors playing these parts. I like being able to picture things on my own. It’s fun to imagine. That being said: kudos to the Cursed Child casting directors for casting an African American woman in the role of Hermione. A Tumblr post put this in words that I couldn’t, so I’ll share them below.
Hermione isn’t black. Hermione isn’t white. Jk Rowling is such a smart woman. Her decision to make Hermione black on the Harry Potter and the cursed child showed that everyone can imagine their favourite character as they want. My Hermione is white. Your Hermione is black. Someone else’s Hermione is chinese. In your mind your can imagine your favourite character as you want.
In this story, Harry is kind of a jerk, but I guess the part I’m referring to was Harry affected by the magic of the Time Turner as well? I absolutely LOVED the idea of Delfini, even though I didn’t like her character from the get go. Bellatrix as a mom and Voldemort as a dad? Talk about badass. But, I don’t know. Her character just didn’t do it for me. She just felt bland and I don’t think her purpose was fleshed out enough. I mean, I certainly get the why of her actions, but, I don’t know, I feel like there could have been something more.
Favorite line in the entire play has to be Umbridge in an alternate timeline, “Stop ruining Voldemort Day.” I would love to celebrate Voldemort day. What do you even do on Voldemort Day?
Anyway – I’m giving this a solid 5/5 just because I enjoyed my journey back to Hogwarts that much. I highly HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this to anyone who’s a fan of Harry Potter. It gave me closure on so many things and I hope it will do the same for you.
Now, someone pass me some Bertie Botts’ Every Flavored Beans…just not the boogey flavored ones.