iRead: Harry Potter + The Cursed Child

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I have been hearing so many opinions about Harry’s newest adventures in the script for The Cursed Child, and here is mine.

I was beyond excited to have more Harry in my life, so I devoured this easy read in two evenings (quite the feat when you are a new mom). It is so important to remember the format of this “book.” It is a script, it is meant to be acted out on stage, so sometimes it may read flat. It also doesn’t flesh out the world the way we are used to reading with JK. That is because it is meant to be fleshed out on stage, and I’m sure is mindblowing and gorgeous. These are things to keep in mind before reading this “book,” and things that I have seen that are popping up in reviews as strikes against it, which isn’t fair.

With that said, lets get into the SPOILER FILLED review. You have been warned. Do not continue if you have not read the script or do not to be spoiled.

OK, so I loved it. It had its drawbacks, sure. But overall I found it to be very enjoyable.
JK didn’t write this script, so it does not read like other Potter material. Some characters did not sound like themselves, such as Snape (why so sassy?), but I have a feeling they will use the alternate reality device as an excuse. Which leads me to what I disliked the most about the script: the time travel being used as a plot device. It seemed like a cheap trick to me to get all the old characters we know and love back on the playing field. But, at the same time, I also loved this because I missed some of my Hogwarts babies. I much preferred using the portraits of deceased characters to talk to our current crew, especially those emotionally driven Dumbledore chats. To quote the 10th Doctor, “Oh, I cried…” But if we were going to bring back old characters, why not Sirius? Why not Lupin? I WANTED SIRIUS AND LUPIN.

I was really worried that time would get stuck and that the past would be permanently effected, which would NOT have been cool. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. I loved Scorpius, and his fanfic-worthy relationship with Albus (who else was waiting for the kiss?). Delphi seemed a little flat, but again, it may have been due to the format. I loved that she was Voldemort’s long lost child, but I hated that we had to revisit Godric’s Hollow and witness Harry’s parents death…again. It hurt my heart so much as a new mother. Actually, the entire thing really pulled my heart strings in ways that other Potter material had not because I looked at it with new eyes. Mommy eyes. And everything from the blanket (ugly cries), to Harry being a shitty Dad (parenting is hard, man), to those tragic last words spoken to Cedric (“your Dad loves you very much”) had me a total mess. And you know what? That’s what the Potterverse is all about: the characters and their relationships with one another. The strong bonds we, as fans, have with all of them. This beautiful world. And all of that was there in The Cursed Child.

So if you go in expecting a new format that is not written by JK, but still evokes the same emotions, you will be pleased.
I know I am. But I’m also interested in hearing why you disliked it, if that’s where you stand. As I mentioned above, people have been expressing extreme anger with this piece, but haven’t fleshed it out. Tell me why you didn’t like it – and also why you did if you are in my camp. I can’t wait to hear everyone’s opinions!

  • I haven’t read it but I wanted to say that I totally understand that emotion when seeing something through parents eyes. My boyfriend likes that when anything happens especially if it’s father/daughter. I forgot to warn him about a part in Daredevil and he cried.

    I actually haven’t finished reading Harry Potter. I personally can’t get passed book 4 and with the way book 3 was treated movie wise, I just stopped. I’m actually considering jumping right into book 5!

  • Aliza Samantha

    I really liked it and finished it in one day. I just wanted more. Like you said, things didn’t go as deep as JK would have but I loved having my old friends back for another adventure.

  • While I didn’t love it, I did really enjoy the play for what it was. It was nice to see where the gang is now as adults, and I loved a lot of the themes about love and parenting and grappling with the past. Scorpius is a precious cinnamon roll. Basically, I like it as a diverting side-story and would love to see the actual play, which as you mentioned, would flesh things out a bit more. I bet a lot of the characterization would come across better with the help of acting.

    That said, I’m really uncomfortable with taking this as a piece of the actual HP canon. I think most of that comes from – like you said – the time travel as a major plot thing. While fun by itself, it was worrying seeing it as something that could affect the canon of the book series. Plus, some of the characterizations felt off enough that it would be weird for me to think of them as an extension of the characters I remember from the books. Also, I’m not a fan of Delphi’s whole thing – like I wish the plot of this play had been a little less grand & high-world-stakes because I think that’s the part that makes it the hardest for me to accept as canon. All the parts I loved about the play were the quieter, character-driven arcs, which could easily have been served with a smaller plot.

    Ok, but if we have to do the time travel stuff, seriously – give me Sirius and Lupin!! 😉

  • Danielle Knapp

    I did really like it, just didn’t love it. I loved seeing what my favorites were up to, and was totally expected a little Scorpius/Albus smooch but on a whole it was only ok for me. Some of it just felt really far fetched, like Voldemort even having a love child…I can’t see him ever wanting to partake in such a “mortal” thing. Mom eyes definitely change how I read things, too <3

  • I haven’t read it yet (but don’t really mind spoilers, otherwise I would have stepped away from this blog post! Haha) but it strikes me that a lot of the negative reviews against The Cursed Child are from people who expected a novel from JK Rowling, continuing the original series. Which this just isn’t. It’s a script, NOT from JK Rowling, not really continuing the original series. But as someone who was, is, in love with HP and always wants more I’ll take what I can get. I’m so excited to read this now, after reading yours and a few others positive reviews! x http://www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

  • melificent

    So glad I could get you excited!

  • melificent

    Oh god, me too. It was like a little slice of heaven. The absolute best birthday gift!

  • melificent

    Maybe he liked the idea of an heir?

  • melificent

    I think ultimately it had to do with the fact that it wasn’t written by JK, so our old friends felt a little off.

  • melificent

    I want more too, but I’m greedy that way! I’m hoping we get it in the form of Fantastic Beasts!

  • melificent

    Oh no! Book 4 is my favorite and the third movie is my favorite lol.