Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Author: JK Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne
Date Read: 20th August 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.”
The anticipation of another story from the magical world of Harry Potter was very high, I bought the book and I have to admit, I didn’t read it straight away. I read a few reviews of the script and the stage show in London. I found that the script itself received very mixed reviews which made me dubious about reading it. The show however, I had only read good things about so instinctively I didn’t want to read it and instead just wanted to go and watch the show. Although after a few weeks I finally told myself that I should probably read it and make a decision for myself whether I like it or not. I’m glad I made this choice as I really enjoyed reading it, full of twists and turns and well-loved familiar characters; I enjoyed it so much that I read it in a day.
Firstly, this book is not written in the same style as the Harry Potter’s we’re familiar with: it’s a play script. Again, I had doubts about whether this style of writing and Harry Potter would go together but it definitely worked. I’d say after reading the script, it has made me curious as to what the stage show looks like and how it will portray certain events in the book. Now I just need to be lucky enough to secure tickets to see the show – my next task! One part of the play that I’d be very interested to see brought to life in the stage show would be travelling in time using the Time Turner, we’ve seen time travelling in the films and read it in the books but seeing it carried out in a theatre in real life would be fascinating.
One aspect of the play was that it reminded me a lot of the film Groundhog Day, in the way that Albus and Scorpius are travelling back and forth in time to try and change the events in order to bring back Cedric Diggory who was killed by Voldemort, instead of Harry Potter. However along the way things don’t go quite to plan, there wouldn’t be anything to write about if they did, right?
However each attempt at trying to keep Cedric alive impacts differently on their futures, mostly for worse which ends up resulting in their attempts being futile and everything staying exactly the same. I think this was quite an important revelation as it suggests that the power of magic and moving through time is ineffective in trying to change events however it is up to the wit, courage and moral strength of the individuals to overcome Voldemort and his daughter, Delphi.
I thought this play was incredibly good at portraying the broken, but on the mend, relationship that Harry has with Albus. Instead of showing at the end of the play, Albus and Harry’s relationship suddenly be close and intimate, it shows that they’re more accepting of each other, and willing to be closer to each other. This I feel is more important than it miraculously being better at the end and instead shows that their relationship will definitely improve over time. Similarly, the play also shows Harry and Draco’s relationship, which I think was immensely important at showing how these two adults had to reconcile their differences in order to save their children. Regardless, these two characters are nowhere near being friends at the end of the play but I think it’s better that the audience see’s them both bearing each other and being civil at the end, through their mutual understanding of raising children. Very glad that they didn’t become friends and really close at the end, as I would have found this incredibly unrealistic and very far-fetched.
However Delphi remains a character that I can’t quite understand, I have many questions! At the beginning of the play, the reader is alerted that Voldemort has a child, however, throughout Harry Potter it is explained that the sole reason Harry survived Voldemort’s attack was because of his mother’s love and that Voldemort was incapable of love which is the reason he was unsuccessful in killing Harry in the first place. Now surely, the process of making a child would surely involve love, so how was Voldemort able to do this? In my head, Voldemort is this dark entity, incapable of loving anyone except himself. Also, Bellatrix is Delphi’s mother, which makes me wonder when did her engagement with Voldemort take place as their close relationship is never hinted at during the novels. So I thought that explaining firstly that Voldemort has a child was only put in to shock the audience and secondly, shocking the audience even further by saying that Bellatrix is the mother! (Plot twist!)
Overall I really enjoyed reading it, I found it especially refreshing reading about the magical wizarding world in the format of a play. Would definitely recommend this to those who are a fan of Harry Potter. The only thing I’d warn you is that it may make you want to reread all of the Harry Potter books, a task I am now halfway through doing. Now all I’m going to try is desperately try and get my hands on tickets to see The Cursed Child in London, my fingers are crossed (tightly!)