Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two
(Harry Potter #8)
By: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
Publisher: Little, Brown UK
Publication Date: July 31, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Script
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.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child follows Harry’s youngest son, Albus. We follow Albus throughout his first few years of Hogwarts. We learn that he has a not so great relationship with his dad, he’s an outcast at school, and his best friend is Malfoy’s son who is accused of being Voldemort’s secret son. Needless to say, Albus is not in a good place in this story. When he gets his hands on a time turner, he decides to go back in time to save Cedric Diggory’s life at the Triwizard Tournament. However, his desire to save Cedrick starts a chain of events that may actually bring back Voldemort in the present time and threatens the lives of those around him, including his own existence.
I have a confession to make, I did not read the Harry Potter books. I read the last book and that was about it, and that was mainly because I was so in love with the movies that I couldn’t wait for the last movie to come out in order to find out what happened next. I am also horrible at reading books that are not written as a novel. I tried reading a book once that was written in verse and I couldn’t do it. So, I was a little apprehensive going into this since you’re essentially reading a script. Thankfully, I had no problems getting in the correct mind-frame for the book. Sure, the italic parts that talked about people entering or exiting the stage took me out of the story, but it didn’t ruin it for me. There’s also a huge lack of internal dialogue, emotions, and a sense of connection with Albus since this is just a script. However, I still found myself rooting for him and his friend, Scorpius. I was still really invested in the story, even if I wasn’t emotionally attached to him as much as I would be if it were written as a novel. Basically, this would be a phenomenal novel and I would be all too happy if they made it into a movie.
Even though this is a script and we are not looking through the eyes of a specific character but rather getting glimpses of different characters during various time-frames, I found myself really liking Albus and Scorpius (Draco’s son). I mean, right from the start we watch as Albus makes his first run through 9 3/4’s, as he befriends a boy who is sitting by himself on the Hogwarts Express, a boy who’s all about eating the magical candy and excited to have a new friend, and we watch on as Hermione’s daughter sticks her nose up at Scorpius. It just took me back in time. Then to find out that Albus is both very much like his father and yet completely unlike him was mind-boggling. I mean, Harry seemed to do great at everything, and here we have Albus who can’t even get his broom to come up off the ground.
While Harry Potter and the Cursed Child does follow Albus and Scorpios on their journey both in the past and present, we also follow Harry as well. He knows his relationship with his son is not the best and he tries to find ways to mend it, but he goes about it the wrong way and ends up making matters worse. When he realizes the danger his son is in, he goes to some extreme lengths to bring him back. I’m not going to lie, I think a big draw to this book is being back with the gang. We get a lot of time with Harry, Ginny, Hermione, Ron, and even Draco. Draco was a huge surprise and one I really enjoyed. I’ve only ever seen him in a very unforgiving way, and in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, he’s the good guy! I wound up feeling for him and wanting the group to accept him as their own. He really took a 180 for me with this story.
One last thing I want to point out is that because Albus and Scorpios go back in time, we see what that means for present time. We watch as they live their current lives in the world they manipulated. Let’s just say that it never fully worked out since they kept trying to go back and change it, hoping for the outcome they wanted. For me, these alternate realities were really interesting and really showed you what could have been for Harry Potter and the gang if things didn’t go exactly as they did in the series. Plus, with going back in time we got to see some old favorites that are no longer around.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was surprisingly good. I didn’t think I’d be able to get into a script but there’s more dialog than there is directive, so it goes pretty smoothly. I would love to see this as a play but more importantly, as a movie. I mean, it’s not like they’d have to cut things out to meet a time max for the movie, and they wouldn’t even need to really adapt it! Just saying, I would totally see it in theaters. 😉
“Harry, there is never a perfect answer 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.”