You know how everyone read the To Kill a Mockingbird sequel and was just like, “Why was this necessary?” That book is amazing, legendary, and loved as it was. It’s a great story and it had closure. The sequel destroyed the perception of some of the original themes and characters. The world didn’t need that sequel. Well, that’s how I felt after reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m 1000% a Potterhead, so the problems with this story really upset me. And the longer I think about it, the more flaws I find with it. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t…the worst thing ever. It was wonderful to revisit beloved characters, and I’m glad for the way things played out for some of them. But, at the same time, it felt like they were grasping at straws trying to make the old stories relevant again. Many people have now compared it to fanfic and I would wholeheartedly agree with that.
When the news broke that this would be an eighth story, I was really excited, but I thought Harry’s son would be facing a new foe of his own. Couldn’t we leave Voldemort dead and gone? I guess it wouldn’t be a Harry Potter story if He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named wasn’t named at least 50 times. I just felt that Deathy Hallows really concluded that part of the story. I had closure. The way this played out, especially the big plot twist, felt unnecessary and unrealistic.
Although, I think I felt worse that poor Cedric’s name was brought up (and sometimes dragged) even more times. Just leave him be. He’s gone on to be a much less impressive, but admittedly wealthier, spikity-sparkly vampire. He was also a secondary character, and his major role in this felt…odd.
All of the above said, I am still kind of excited to see this on stage. From what I’ve seen in London theatre combined with this World (plus a hefty budget), it will definitely be a spectacular production. I was humming and hawing about whether or not to read the script before seeing the show, and I’m glad I did. Despite being a script, I was able to picture everything in my head as I wanted to see it, not as they want it shown. Now I can go to London and be satisfied that I was able to see it both ways.
Other loose ends I need cleared up:
(Major spoilers below – read at your own desire. I’m sorry I couldn’t #KeepTheSecrets, but I had too many feelings on this story that I had to get out!)
- The conniption Hermione probably had when she realized she made out with her nephew, not her husband (still find this part a bit gross and creepy. They really should’ve had Scorpius become Ron if they were going to have him do that.) Also in that vein, how did they just happened to have a batch of Polyjuice Potion ready, which takes a month to brew, along with Harry and Ron’s DNA lying around to make it, all immediately after jumping off a train?
- Once she got them alone in the woods with the time turner, why did Delphi keep up the “save Cedric” charade? Obviously she wanted to go back and see Voldie but (1) the boys were going back to the first task, when he wasn’t even back yet, and (2) she could have just bound them and stolen the time turner herself and done what she did in the end much earlier. Also, the prophecy she was trying to fulfill said Cedric still had to die, so what if she made things worse for herself if they had succeeded in saving him?
- And the big one: are you really trying to tell me Voldemort knocked up Draco’s aunt and their offspring was born at his family home and he just didn’t notice? Draco was trying to clear his and his son’s name the whole play so that’s something you’d think he would have known during his research. If she was born before the Battle of Hogwarts (May), Bellatrix would have been pregnant for 9 months before that. He would have definitely seen her at some point while he was home from school on break, especially since he was a “Death Eater” at that time and would’ve been attending meetings or pow wows or sacrificial ceremonies as they did. Furthermore, I can’t believe that she hid her pregnancy as she was a lunatic devoted worshipper and would’ve felt the greatest honor was bestowed upon her to carry the devil’s spawn. Another one who would have gone on to brag about the “honor” of having Voldie Jr. born in his house was Lucius; and even if he did hide it from his son, even if he enjoyed the rumor that his grandson was that child, Narcissa would have never let her son and grandson suffer that. Seriously, this part has to have been a joke??
- The Hogwarts Express Trolley Witch: WUT???
- Can we get some new original names for the next generation of kids? Please?
Bottom line again: Why was this necessary? Probable answer: Cause some people knew they could make a ton of money, obviously. But, the other ways they’ve cashed in on our world, like the studio tour and amusement park, beautifully kept the integrity of the books and films and are all around awesome. Like I said, this really felt like a stretch.
Now, having said alllllll of that, I have not seen the Fantastic Beasts film yet, which is their next bajillion dollar endeavor, but I do think that series will be awesome. New(t) stories in the world we love. NEW STORIES. That is what we really need!
I feel like this review was a little all over the place, so I’m sorry! I’ve been reading many other reviews and one I really enjoyed was this one from “RavingSanity.” I do believe all the time-turning in Cursed Child can (and will) affect the way many people see the original stories, so I particularly enjoyed how she made the comparison to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and the way to properly show a story’s other angles without ruining it. Also agree with the “character assassination of Cedric” – RIP.
Okay, I’m done now. Let me know your thoughts on the play if you’ve seen/read it, and if you’d like to see a follow up review on the stage version of the play!
PS – I refuse to believe this as canon.
Photo of script book cover via Google.