Disjointed SPOILERY Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

September 6, 2016 Fantasy 8

Hi Bookworms,

I’ve had some time to ruminate on this, and I think I’m finally ready to discuss Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. In case you couldn’t tell by the title, this is the SPOILERIEST POST OF ALL TIME when it comes to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER if you have not read the script, okay? Assuming you actually care about spoilers. If you don’t care, proceed. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

In case you are living under a rock, a play was written as a sequel to the much loved and adored Harry Potter series. Because the play was only being put on in London and the fandom is absolutely rabid, the script of the two part play was released to the public. The script was “based on an original new story” by JK Rowling but written by John Tiffany and Jack Thorne. I’ll start by saying I didn’t HATE this. I mean, I certainly wasn’t thrilled by it, but I think it would be really cool to see in the theater. It was wonderful to step back into this world, and there were a few things that made me really happy. Mostly though? It wasn’t great. Rants and raves commencing in 3…2…1….

HPCursedchildFIRST: The time turner was always SUCH a problematic element of the original story. I think Rowling realized that by book 5 when she smashed them all. I get that the crux of this play tried to address some of those problems by screaming BUTTERFLY EFFECT into the ether, but it was kind of like trying to touch up an imperfect paint line by blobbing paint all over the wall. The time turners also seemed like a ploy to bring back dead characters. If I were a dead character, this would annoy me. I can only imagine the epic eye roll Snape would produce. Though I did sort of appreciate the look at Voldemort’s hellscape. The fact that THIS was the gimmick used to center this whole story just irked me.

SECOND: Has wizard kind not figured out a way to make sugary treats somehow devoid of calories? Why is everyone off sugar? This is a level of adulting I never wanted to see in the wizarding world. What’s next, kale smoothies?

THIRD: Alternate timeline Hermione was so bitter. I mean, girl is a catch, you think she wouldn’t have found somebody else if the Ron thing hadn’t panned out? Though, she was pretty badass in the Voldemort hellscape timeline, so I guess it wasn’t all bad.

FOURTH: Scorpius and Albus. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here when I say these fellas were more than platonically in love. I like to think they’ll figure this out eventually.

FIFTH: Ron + Padma = Panju? I’m no expert on Indian names, but I’ve heard from several reliable sources that “Panju” isn’t an Indian name at all. It’s not even a word. Like… Couldn’t that have been googled? (Apparently Cho Chang’s name is also pretty awful because it’s basically two last names which is not a thing that happens in Chinese. Unless, of course, Cho’s parents were heavily influenced by the whole last-name-as-first-name trend that was happening in the English speaking muggle world? Yeah, I know. It’s a stretch.)

SIXTH: Okay, you guys. I think the sorting hat is smarter than we give it credit for. It KNEW that Albus had trouble making friends and had already bonded with Scorpius. Since Scorpius was sorted before Albus, don’t you think a little part of him was thinking “I want to hang out with my friend and be my own wizard.” Personally, I think that’s part of how Harry landed in Gryffindor, a knowledge that it was probably where his new BFF Ron was headed…

SEVENTH: The lack of internal monologue makes this play super frustrating. I was discussing this with a friend, and we decided that if we just SAW book 5 Harry out of context he’d come across as suuuuuuuuuuch a whiny pain in the ass (which, even with the benefit of being inside his head, he still comes across as whiny pain in the ass). Maybe missing out on being inside the characters’ heads made the whole thing harder to swallow.

EIGHTH: At one point in the original series, McGonagall takes several stunning spells to the chest which is rough, especially “at her age.” And now she’s headmistress of Hogwarts. 20+ years later. Can the woman not retire? She must be EXHAUSTED. (Right now in some alternate universe, Minerva McGonagall is giving me a NASTY look.)

NINTH: Ron in the play was way more of a buffoon than book Ron. He seemed… Stoned.

TENTH: That damn baby blanket. Does nobody do laundry?! A good washing would have destroyed that secret message. And since a blanket is NOT clothing, it doesn’t even feed into my AS YET UNANSWERED query about House Elves and laundry. If this play could have cleared up ONE SINGLE THING, I’d have liked that to be it.

Alright Bookworms, SOUND OFF! What did y’all think of the play?

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8 Responses to “Disjointed SPOILERY Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

  1. Megan M.

    I haven’t read it, but I’ve read several reviews and reactions, and the consensus so far seems to be that Scorpius is the greatest thing about it and the rest is just kind of meh or strange – like the sugar thing. I wasn’t in a big hurry to read it and now that I’ve read reviews I’m in even less of a hurry, but I’m sure that actually seeing the play is still an exciting and (at least slightly) better experience.

  2. Heather J Merchant

    I 100% agree with all of these points! I thought the baby blanket thing was the absolute WORST plot device. Where the hell were James and Lily while these unknown teens were painting potion all over Harry’s blankie? Also, instead of milling around with their thumbs in their butts while they waited for a message to appear on a blanket, why didn’t the adult wizards just use the time turner to go back to the time and place where they know Craig was killed and apprehend Delphi there? It’s like, totally cool to use a time turner to save a grumpy hippogriff, but Craig Bowker Jr. is just out of luck? And what was with Harry making everyone, including two children, stay and watch his parents get murdered? That was pretty macabre…

    That said, I would still see the shit out of this play.

  3. JoulesDellinger

    I love the Harry Potter series, obviously. And I really don’t have any interest in this at all. You would think I’d be all over it, but I just don’t want it to ruin any of my HP love.

  4. Stephanie Cauthen

    Oh Katie,
    You are spot on with these observations, my friend! I read while traveling and was beyond disappointed. Part of the reason I love the HP series is because of the detail and thought placed into each book. Though it was sad to know the series had reached an end, as a reader, I was satisfied. In my opinion, bringing this play into the mix has now muddied the story. ?


  5. Jenny @ Reading the End

    I will always defend fifth book Harry! IN ALL CAPS IF I MUST.

    So, yeah, I haven’t heard much good about this play, and even people who enjoyed reading it haven’t seemed wild about it. I’d possibly go see the play if it were performed, but reading it, eh, I’m giving it a miss for now. It’s so disappointing to hear that Play!Ron is a buffoon. I guess they were influenced by Movie!Ron? I was always irritated that the movies made Ron such a dope and gave all his good lines and knowledge and skills to Hermione. Ron is a useful member of the trio, dammit!

  6. Lindsay

    I’m with you… it was fun to get back to the HP universe, but I didn’t love the book. My biggest problem was the lack of descriptive and atmospheric details, which made the original books so wonderful. I kinda wish they hadn’t published the script but instead maybe recorded the play and showed it in movie theaters or something. I looked at some photos of the play after reading and it looked amazing — all those missing details were filled in. I share several of your other gripes too, like what the heck was up with Ron?!

  7. ThatAshGirl

    I have no desire to read this. I think a few people didn’t understand before it came out (and even after) that this wasn’t actually written by JK and was a screenplay. For me, HP is one of those things that is done. The books are over, leave it alone. I’m looking forward to Beasts but that’s not a continuation by any means. It’s a totally different story set in that world and I’m ok with that.

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