Last year it was announced that the Harry Potter story would continue in a new work, this time a play. Rowling was to work with a small team to carry on the story, this time focusing on the next generation of Potter’s, Granger-Weasley’s and Malfoy’s.
I wrote last week about how I was going to queue up at midnight to get my copy of The Cursed Child, along with Abbie and my Mum. I’ve been a Harry Potter fan since I was a little girl and I hoped, like all the other Potterheads out there that this was going to be something incredible, although I was disappointed it wasn’t going to be a novel. So I eagerly tucked in to what was billed the eighth story in the Harry Potter universe and read a little when I got home and the rest the morning after and, well, I kind of wish I hadn’t. While I was nervous about reading this and quite apprehensive, as many of the people I spoke to were, I didn’t think this was going to be the final product, especially after the incredible reviews the play has received. Please note this is ONLY MY OPINION I respect other’s opinions :).
The play starts where Deathly Hallows finishes, on Platform 9 and 3/4, where Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione are about to wave off their children. For Albus Potter and Rose Granger Weasley this is the first time they’ll take the trip to Hogwarts and start their magical education in a place we’ve all firmly kept in our hearts. While the first part of the play almost completely matches the novel, that is where I feel the similarities end. The first shock was Rose Granger-Weasley, while I think the aim was to create similarities between Rose and Hermione at the same age, she came across as a brat, not how I imagined her at all.
I can’t go into a lot of detail because of spoilers and the fact I would probably ramble on for hours. I think the main issue with it is that you can tell this wasn’t written by J.K Rowling, it may have been her idea but this does not read like her work at all. At best this reads like a fan fiction, and not necessarily a good one. In fact knowing that Rowling is supposed to have come up with this entire plot makes me very sad, the energy and passion isn’t there. It has so many classic fan fiction tropes that just made me mad. I wanted to shout at the book, what are you doing to the world we’ve all fallen in love with.
The hardest thing though was the trio themselves. It didn’t feel like I was reading about the character’s I’d grown up with. Harry said certain things that I felt Harry just wouldn’t say, Hermione had lost her spark of being able to take control of a situation and Ron was probably the hardest of all. When he was in the play, which wasn’t a lot, he just milled around and was used as minor comic relief but, as will Harry and Hermione, had lost what made Ron, Ron. I will say though that I absolutely loved Draco Malfoy in this, we really got to see him come into his own and develop as a character so gold stars for that. Ginny Weasley, however, is pushed to the side in this play as she was in the films, in fact I felt like all the women were pushed aside which was very disappointing.
When it comes to the new generation again it was a Malfoy that I liked, the character of Scorpio was probably my favourite and reminded me of someone from the original novels, although not his father. The relationship between Scorpio and Albus was sweet and there was an understanding between them. I wish I like the character of Albus as much but I didn’t, thankfully Scorpio will tell his friend when he is being ridiculous, because someone has to. There were rumors there would be a romance between the two and as great as that would have been, I can confirm it is not true.
There are some surprising characters that appear throughout the play and some…interesting concepts too. Other than that we are mostly following Albus, Scorpius and their parents over about three years.
I’m only giving this 2 stars (**), frankly I am heartbroken that this is now canon in the word of Harry Potter. While I’m sure this is a lot better in the medium is was written for, it doesn’t feel like Harry Potter to me. At most this is a basic plot relying heavily on fan fiction tropes and in some cases completely ignoring what happened in the previous seven books and the wizarding law within them. I have a ticket for the play next year and I’m kind of curios to see how it looks on stage (because, you know I already paid for it) but it’s safe to say this doesn’t work in the same way the books do. Do I think it should have been published and given the hype it did? Not at all. In my mind there are 7 Harry Potter books, that’s all the canon we need and want.
What did you guys think? Love it, hate it? Let me know in the comments below!