The Boy Who Lived Is Now All Grown Up.
And His Son Must Now Learn To Live.
That’s not the best way to describe this tale, and I am sure J.K. would magically come up with something a billion times better, but that’s because she’s J.K.
My babbling is about the greatness that is Harry Potter and the Curse Child, the two part award winning play was written by Jack Thorne and based on a story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany.
We pick up right after the end of the last Harry Potter book, with nineteen years passing since Harry defeated Voldermort. Harry works for the Ministry of Magic and has trouble relating to his younger son, the already shown Albus Severus Potter, who is off to Hogwarts. Hermione and Ron are also sending a child to Hogwarts, and we see what became of several of our beloved characters.
On the train Albus meets Scorpius Malfoy, the son of Draco Malfoy. The two become unlikely friends, united by having famous and infamous fathers, and also because they are targeted for bullying. Neither of their fathers are happy with pairing, and both deal with it in certain ways. An added complication is Delphi Diggory, who also befriends the boys and wants their help to change time and save her relative Cedric.
Thus sets in motion a journey that lands them in time and popping into different adventures in Harry Potter’s life. Adventures their fathers soon follow them into. Which brings about twists and turns in the story, and the Harry Potter mythos, that proved to be slightly controversial to small minded members of the fandom.
J.K. has always bravely tackled important subjects, but not controversial, in Harry Potter and all her writings. And I definitely state not controversial since one of the main themes in Potter is how racism is bad, which should really be common sense and the human view of humanity. But in Cursed Child, we see a Harry Potter at a different stage of his life, as a worried not sure of himself dad, who never really learned how to have a normal childhood with a normal family. While Harry made mistakes and got angry in the earlier books, which was considered okay by the fandoms, here they expect Harry to be perfect and wonderful and caring. They fail to see how obvious this progression is, and how Harry learned how to fight a magic war because it was thrust upon him by destiny, one he had to win to save everyone, but now parenting a child might seem a smaller task, but many would say it is by far the harder task.
This frustration of Harry’s comes out several times, with one part involving McGonagall that many found awful, but really makes perfect sense. Harry is searching, oh so desperately searching, not for Horcruxes or Chamber entrances, but a solution to the pain his child faces. Is Harry’s idea to save his son a good one? No, it is not, but it is all Harry can think of.
As for his son Albus, part of his problem is that he is the son of Harry Potter. This animosity is shared by Scorpuis, who also has issues with his father Draco. The boys form a strong bond, which some think is actually showing a homosexual relationship and I can see why, that causes their fathers to have to interact more. This is a vital part of the story is so many ways, and plays into a big twist that so many fandoms hated. Their problem is they simply do not understand all the implications of this concept, and how it’s mere existence effects Scorpuis and Draco very early on. J.K. plays the long game and the deals with the emotions that go with it, so all the parts of the play make sense and hits real issues these characters would face.
Albus and Scorpuis are fascinating together and apart. They want to live their lives but are constantly being held up to what happened decades ago. But when they see some of these events from the other side, they slowly gain empathy for decisions of the past. Parts of this echoes a subplot from Deathly Hallows, when Harry, Hermione and Ron learn of Dumbledore’s past working with Grindelwald. And even earlier in the series, when Harry finds out his dad and the Marauders were jerks and bullies while at Hogwarts. Both boys have enormous potential to be their own people, with real flaws and all just like their fathers, and part of this story is the boys learning this.
A final ignorant criticism of The Cursed Child is the time travel element being used and alternative realities showcased. This is not simply fanfic, but are actually paths not taken because of decisions made. They serve a valuable point in teaching lessons to Albus and Scorpuis of understanding the past and people. It surprises me this simple concept has to be explained to these “fans” since this is a theme J.K. played with alot in the series.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is an excellent and worthy addition to J.K.’s canon, showing us that evil and how the good fights against it have repercussions. Good and bad.
…is currently reading Star Trek Voyager Violations by Susan Wright.