Hello my lovelies and welcome back to my blog.
Today, I want to discuss my thoughts on the written script of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’. I haven’t been able to actually go and see the play as much as it breaks my heart. (Last night I was 222,000 in the queue so it won’t be happening any time soon). I think, given that it would be impossible to keep everything spoiler free, it was a wise move to release the script for all us Potter-Heads to read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I study drama and so the marriage of Potter on the stage is the perfect combination for me. My fellow the Book Club drama nerd Jemima summed it up perfectly “I never went to cinemas to see it so it was a special thing for me cause plays are my things” For me, a play of Harry Potter is like a Christmas present come early.
I have also never actually experienced the book hype, choosing to wait for the audiobooks. I was younger and the books seemed daunting to me so this was a brand new experience for me. I bought on the Google book app on my tablet and as soon as I woke up, I started it.
Oh, this is gonna be super spoilery. If you haven’t read the play the please don’t read any more!
Summary and my thoughts:
- The play starts with the epilogue which was perfect because it threw you head first back into the world. This was a good decision because instantly, the audience know where they’re at and who’s who. It prevents time-wasting from exposition and introductions.
- Albus meets Scorpius Malfoy, a character who has captured the hearts of all of us. He is funny, witty and nerdy. They are both sorted into Slytherin, while Rose is put in Gryffindor – the siblings become distant and don’t really have a relationship by their third year.
- We see the original three friends, 19 years after the end of the 7th book, all grown up and doing boring adult things. However, Hermione is Minister of Magic, yes! I love Hermione and it’s great to see her so high at the top. I always though Harry would be an auror, but actually, he is head of Magical Law Enforcement, which is alright I guess. Ron co-manages Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes with George, who never got over the loss of Fred. (And neither have I).
- In order to protect the Wizarding World, the Ministry have banned time turners. One still remains and Hermione has it. Amos Diggory pleads with Harry to use it to save Cedric, in earshot of the two boys. I wasn’t expecting Cedric to come back but I am so glad that that’s what they decided to focus on. Cedric’s death had such a huge impact on Harry. It was the first death Harry witnessed and kind of triggered his growth into a man, from a boy. It made sense to go back to what sparked the rebirth of Voldemort. Cedric never should have been “a spare.” Albus meets Delphi, Amos’ niece who is also keen on saving Cedric. This all made perfect sense to me. Let’s be real, Cedric’s death was one of the hardest pills to swallow because it was SO sudden.
- Harry offers Albus the blanket his mum wrapped him in the night she died, Albus rejects it and spills love potion on it. Albus is basically Order Of The Pheonix Potter.
- When Rosie tries to reconcile her relationship she lets on that there is still a timetable at the ministry. This prompts the boys to leave the train to the disdain of the (apparently hardcore) trolley lady. They go to meet Delphi and they toke Polyjuice potion to disguise themselves as the three original heroes.
- They crack Philosopher’s Stone-esque task to steal the time turner from Hermione’s office. It was nice to see the children face similar challenges and doing similar things to their parents.
- The whole time travel thing (though I had issues I’ll go into later) was AMAZING. Like YES QUEEN. I got shivers when I saw they’d gone back to G.O.F it was so fun to read about them disguised as Durmstrang students to infiltrate Cedric in the tournament. The boys changed the timeline. Albus was a Gryffindor, Ron is married to Padma and they erased their friend Rose, out of existence. It got REAL.
- Although I don’t like the way Harry spoke to McGonagall it made sense in the way that he was trying to save his son. I loved the way that he finally cleared the air with Dumbledore too, it was like he was able to actually be an adult now and not feel guilty or uncomfortable about his relationship with him.
- The boys try again to stop Cedric winning by humiliating him in the second task, forcing him to float to the top.
- In the present, Harry and Malfoy have an old-school argument but this time about their sons. Eventually the adults realise the boys are in possession of a time turner.
- The boys meanwhile, have altered the time line AGAIN and Umbridge is headmistress and everyone stands “for Voldemort and valour” NOPE NOPE NOPE. And the first part ends! Such a good cliffhanger.
- Part Two opens where we left off. Due to his humiliation, Cedric became a death eater who kills Neville, meaning no one killed Nagini so Voldemort triumphed. Scorpius goes to see Snape (cue the tears) and he says that he is proud that Albus carries his name. It was so nice to see Snape as the good guy as he dies before we really see that in the previous cannon. Dementors arrive at the hideout Snape lead Scorpius too where Ron and Hermione hideout ad they kiss the three of them, Ron and Hermione die together, sacrificing themselves for each other. This proves that they love eachother, in ALL timelines.
- The boys, back in the present decide to go to the owlery to destroy the time turner but Delphi takes them hostage, revealing her evil intent. She makes them all travel back in time, to the third task where the come across Cedric who thinks they are an obstacle. He frees the boys but Delphi leaves them in the past.
- Back in the present the adults find a prophecy whilst the boys are missing revealing Delphi’s true identity as Voldemort’s daughter.
- The boys work out that they have gone back to Oct 30th 1981. The night harry’s parents are killed. In a bid to send a message to his parents, Albus recovers the blanket he spilt love potion on and rejected from Harry. They burn a message into the blanket meaning it will come up on the blanket in the present.Harry and Ginny see it and alert Hermione, Ron and Draco. They use Draco’s secret time turner to give chase.
- In order to stop Delphi, they transfigure Harry into Voldemort and we see the big reveal as Delphi says she “just wants her father to recognise her”, her mother being Bellatrix. meaning she had an affair with Voldemort at some point in the 6th/7th book. I believe this was totally believable. Harry says you “just can’t change the past.” With little resolution, Delphi is sent back to the present as a failure.
- The actual Voldemort turns up and Harry watches the death of his parents, along with those who love him. We are all, including us readers, left to watch the events unfold that sparked the series that shaped all of our lives. It’s an emotional read as we see Hagrid retrieve Harry as a baby and take him away.
- To end the play, Albus and Harry visit Cedric’s grave. They reconcile their relationship and once again reinforcing the massive impact that Cedric’s death had on Harry. All’s well that ends well. It’s a rollercoaster of a read but a definite must for any Potter fan.
There are a FEW issues I would like to address:
- I feel like Ron as a character has been slightly downplayed. Although the reason for him co-owning Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes makes sense, I feel like he deserves so much more. Hermione and HArry have the most elite of elite jobs. It shows the Weasley spirit but I feel like it was so “typically Ron.”
- Although there is resolution in the end, I don’t like the lack of family values. It was shocking to see Harry say that he wished Albus wasn’t his son and Scorpius and Draco barely have a relationship. I guess the values come out in the love that Amos and Delphi show but it would have been better placed in our main characters, I think.
- Jk admitted to making mistakes with the time turners in the HArry Potter books, hence she got rid of them in Order. It was odd to see them back again and on a whole different timeline system. I imagine there’s a dark magic explantaiton or something that we just miss because it’s a play and not a novel. All the same, it was frustrating that everything was so “easy” for them.
- A lot of criticism has surrounded the play for it being “queer baiting” in terms of Albius (who, I totally ship). It is not unrealistic to think that the boys just aren’t ready, if they are in love, to explore that side of themselves yet. They are mere children when the action takes place. I think they deserve to grow as characters first.
- Equally the whole canon of Bellatrix and Voldemort has been criticised but I could totally see it. All she needed was a pregnancy concealment charm, she is a witch after all.
I don’t for a second think that J.K owes us a novel in any way. I was satisfied with the play, just as it was. It reads quickly and easily and you have seven novels and (8) films to build your imagination. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I thought it was clever and intricate. You don’t have to accept it as caon if you don’t want to but I will definitely be including it in all my re-reads. I CANNOT WAIT to see it on stage.
A solid, definite, magical 5/5 stars.
Do let me know what you thought about the play!
Thank you lovelies and happy reading! xo