I’ve been trying to work out how I want to talk about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, what with it being a such a huge new release that basically everyone and their mother is reading/planning to read.
So, I’ve decided to do this in two parts. This part will be a purely critical review of it with absolutely no spoilers. So, if you’re hesitant to pick it up,I hope this helps. The next part will basically be me ranting and gushing (although there will certainly be a lot more ranting than gushing) about the plots and the characters and therefore will be very spoilery.
So, with no further ado. Here are my opinions. Side note, if you are a die-hard fan of this play and feel very protective of it, probably best not to continue because the first thing I have to say about it is I didn’t enjoy it and I can not accept this as the ‘eighth story.’
There are a lot of things that annoy me about this play, and one of those things is the marketing of it. It actually angers me that J.K. Rowling’s name on the cover of the script book is bigger and bolder than the actual writers, Jack Thorne. Fine, Jo might have helped with the plot but the actual script she had nothing to do with. That is why I can’t see anything that happened in this ‘sequel’ as ‘canon’ and it annoys me that this is being sold to people as ‘the eighth story.’
A lot of people are saying that this reads like fanfiction and I completely agree. I read my fair share of fanfiction when I first finished the HP series when I was 13 and I know there are a lot of fanfictions that follow almost the exact same same story line. I don’t know whether I would appreciate this more if fanfiction just wasn’t a thing. It makes me feel like J.K Rowling just doesn’t she care about this play because the quality of character building and plot development is no where near the level of the books.
To me this felt like something you would see on The Disney Channel. If you’ve watched TV shows like Suite Life on Deck you might understand where I’m going with this. You know those random episodes that didn’t really flow with the rest of the show and was completely forgotten about in the next one, like when Cody lived the same day over and over until he did it perfectly or they were all suddenly playing Wizard of Oz characters. That’s what this felt like. It didn’t feel like a Harry Potter story because it didn’t flow.
For me, a lot of the characters seem really out-of-character and/or are not what I expected. Ginny resorted back to movie Ginny and was only in this as a support system for Harry rather than being her own character, Professor Mcgonagall was way too much of a push-over at one point and a couple of other characters (which I can’t actually talk about because spoilers) just didn’t reflect what J.K. Rowling created. Not to mention that some of the characters ceased to exist, like, where’s Teddy at? Am I the only person who actually wants to see this kid, cause first the movies, now the play.
I know what you’re thinking. It’s a play, I should experience the play before deciding how I feel about this. But the fact that this is only a script didn’t really bother me. I still found it really easy to follow and at certain points I could actually picture how it would play out on stage and how the actors would say certain lines. For me it was the story line I had an issue with and I honestly don’t think seeing the play could change my mind on that, although I’m sure it is a fun experience.
On a more positive note I did really like the comedy moments in this novel, Scorpius Malfoy and his innocent remarks made me chuckle and think ‘aww’ at the same time and I can see those moments played out on the stage so clearly. If I had went into this seeing it as a comedic, non-canon, spin-off to Harry Potter rather than the ‘eighth story’ I would have enjoyed a lot more.
In all honesty, I wish this world and Harry’s story had just been left alone. Deathly Hallows had such a satisfying and concluding ending and while we yearned for more we didn’t actually need it. I just wish that when Jo was approached with the idea of an eighth story, she had said no.
While reading the script I wrote down so many random thoughts so here are a few that I thought you should see but I don’t actually have anything to add onto.
- Part of me wishes this was a musical so we could have Harry Potter songs (Hamilton anyone?)
- Still hate that Jo called Harry’s children James, Lily and Albus. Blugh.
So those are my rather harsh opinions on the Cursed Child. Let me know what you thought, did you enjoy it? Have you seen the play? And if so, did that change your opinions on it?
Thanks for reading