I have to respectfully warn you now that, if you intend to read the book but haven’t got round to reading/haven’t purchased it yet, or are going to see the play, please please refrain from reading my review on The Cursed Child as it WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS. I’ve tried to create a review without them but it’s quite impossible (you mean improbable; nothing’s impossible! … *ahem* sorry I… I drifted off there, ha… *nervous laughter.*)
Anyway. Piss off if you’ve not read it. You’ve been warned!
I had Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on pre-order since February 2016, and when it was finally released, I was excited to read every single word. And while I was anxiously waiting for my delivery of my copy, I couldn’t help but see tweets saying that it was fan-fiction. Badly written fan-fiction. My spirits dipped ever so slightly at the prospect of reading a script book that could possibly read as though a twelve year old had written it. I have to admit, I was slightly dubious reading it after seeing those certain tweets. Nevertheless, once I had it in my grasp, I started reading it, whether I’d encounter fan-fiction or not.
I’ve got to be honest with you, in some parts of it, I did encounter fan-fiction. The very beginning in a few scenes and some parts here and there. And, from my observations of the script book, some immaturity. Not from the children, but from the adults.
Yep. That’s right.
Harry, Ron, Hermione, Draco and Ginny all portrayed some kind of immaturity, or still possessed some of their silly teenage personality traits nineteen years later. That bothered me, and I think that’s where people assume it was fan-fiction. These are hard working adults, some with respectable careers, and were emitting some ridiculousness that you’d expect from young teenagers. And because of that, because we saw this immaturity from fully grown adults, it probably irked some readers and led them to believe it was fan-fiction.
And why is Ron so dumb? Has he developed a benign mind or something? I know he wasn’t a highly attributing member of working out the mysteries that the Golden Trio had to fathom, but in this script he’s poorly portrayed. Embarrassingly portrayed. He had some moments within the script book where I just thought; even younger Ron wouldn’t have done/said that! Also, he’s probably the character that is categorically that most immature, and I really didn’t like that. He was so much more in the seven Harry Potter books than a complete tool. The script book made him come across as though he was as thick as a submarine door.
Don’t worry, I will be subsiding my negativity, and will be positive about the script further in the review, I just need to highlight a couple of things. Which brings me to my second enlightenment.
I’ve seen a few reviews/blogs on the friendship between Albus and Scorpius. I personally believe it’s friendship only. You have to remember that they both had a lot of pressure with the fact that their parents, more so Harry, are extremely well known. That can make any child feel isolated, afraid, the odd one out, and a lot to live up to. Albus and Scorpious were two lonely individuals that sought each other, and found out that they were more alike than they could’ve dreamed of. That kind of friendship can become like super glue, and not homosexual tendencies. Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against homosexuality or same sex relationships. Love is love. However, I do think that the Albus/Scorpius ship has been greatly exaggerated. If the people involved creating and writing this play intended for them to be gay, they wouldn’t have included both boys having interests in girls, or asking them out. Jealousy, heartbreak and friendship was shown between these two boys simply because, even though they were no longer trapped in their lonely little worlds, they were afraid they’d lose their only refuge. Which were each other.
But let’s side step from the debatable scenarios now and allow me emit my thoughts on the actual plot.
I really enjoyed it! At first, at the beginning of the play, it was a bit ropey, but once it got half way through the first act I personally thought the plot was decent. It took a turn I wasn’t expecting. It was interesting how they altered the past with different outcomes, and how certain characters changed due to these alterations. We had a glimpse at what could’ve happened should things have panned out differently. It got me asking myself questions, wondering what would’ve happened if certain people had died and others had lived. What would it have been like if everything did change. Having said that, I don’t believe for a second that Cedric Diggory would’ve become a Death Eater. I just can’t see it. He was a Hufflepuff; they’re loyal and patient individuals, not to mention that he was a decent bloke (as Ron would have said.)
The story defintely thickened during part two and it flowed a lot more smoothly. The writing got better, the younger characters developed, and the plot got a lot more interesting. I was also drawn to a character I thought I’d still despise after all these years. Draco.
As much as I detested the little shit in all the Harry Potter books, he really did flourish in this one. Yes, he was still a little aloof and like I said above, immature, but he had changed a lot. He had grown physically and mentally, just like an adult is supposed to. You’re not the same person, or you are far from that person you used to be when you were a teenager, and Draco had shown that (in parts) throughout the script. Unfortunately, that was not what I encountered with some of the other older characters. Which was a shame.
And as for the Delphi thing. You know…. Her being Lord Voldermorts daughter. Another debatable subject…
After thinking about, it kind of makes sense. Not the timeline thing, I’ll get to that shortly but, this is the Dark Lord we’re talking about. He’s going to want to carry on his maniacal legacy on even if he does die (much to his crazy obsession to avoid.)
Bellatrix was clearly the one to spawn his child. She was doubtlessly a devoted Death Eater, and would (obviously, ew) do anything for him. And her husband Rodolphus had to oblige, didn’t he? I mean, come on, it’s the Dark Lord; you don’t mess with him. So it’s best to just nod with strained tight lips and let Lord Voldemort heartlessly bang his wife instead of meeting a sickening death like Wormtail. Yes, Voldemort didn’t and couldn’t feel or express love but sometimes, and I will say this carelessly yet truthfully, sex can be meaningless. It’s not always made with love and deep emotion.
But, with all the tweets I’ve seen circulating on Twitter, the timeline doesn’t add up. I can’t seem to work it out because she does appear sporadically in the books after the mass Azkaban breakout. It definitely needs clarification. Plus, I don’t think Rowling would’ve allowed such a flaw if the timeline didn’t add up either. She’s far too clever and dedicated to permit a mistake such as that.
As a wrap-up, I did thoroughly enjoy it. Albus and Scorpious were great characters, with the latter being surprisingly loveable and well liked considering he’s a Malfoy. Admittedly it wasn’t the exact same magic as Rowling brought to us with her original novels, but it was great to delve back into the wizarding world we all love, know and cherish. To go back to Hogwarts and still feel that same warmth we all had when reading Rowlings work on the great magical school. To know that McGonagall is still alive and well, that Professor Longbottom is still blooming in Herbology and that the Sorting Hat is still sorting. Even if it is nineteen years later, it’s still home.