Review: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child

by annamchoudhry

It goes without saying that there will be spoilers in this article.


In short, I was both thrilled and disappointed with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Parts of the play, and maybe because it was written as a play, it read like a really long fan fiction as opposed to a Rowling masterpiece. Some of our favorite people make a cameo in a very cliche manner, so much so that the characters seem like caricatures of their former selves from the original books. The story itself had really good potential, but then the plot weakens after the middle. I felt like the story should have lingered a little longer in the darker timeline.

It is clear that JK doesn’t want to write anymore books for us, because there is no time for character development as we speed off into year 4 for Albus and Scorpius at Hogwarts. For an author of 7 memorable books, I think the playwritten form is a cop out from writing a fleshed out novel (or three). Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy reading play writing, so it is not as though I am speaking as someone who had trouble with the format. I just think that the story could have easily made for a fantastic trilogy.

Some specific aspects of the story had major plot holes. I mean Bellatrix had a kid with Voldermort? Come on. Voldermort having intimate relations is beyond unthinkable–its uncharacteristic. Voldermort is not capable of love, so how can he have a child? Of course there are horrifying ways to force someone to sew their seed inside you that don’t require mutual love, and there are also possibly some magical spells that could help you have a kid (more on why that might not actually be possible later). Even if Bellatrix might have been the only woman worthy of carrying his progeny due to her loyalty and power as a witch, I doubt he felt he needed a successor since he had so many horcruxes as a life insurance policy. The whole Voldermort-had-a-kid plot twist just made me wanna gag to be honest. Yet it humanizes him, and in a way, that is necessary to understand how weak he really was even tho he wanted to be all powerful and immortal, and seemed as much in our heads.

The time traveling in Cursed Child would have made for an okay plot element had I not binge-watched so many episodes of Family guy where Stewie did this multiple times. It just became clear that when the writers on the show ran out of ideas, they had Stewie build a time machine. Not sure if this is the reason that Rowling and Co. also do this. Been watching the new season of The Flash as well and the whole Flashpoint/alternate timeline craziness (it makes sense to use this as a plot element here because of his powers) generally has me thinking I’m over time travel. Except in Dr. Strange. I think Dr. Strange uses a cooler, more inventive use of time than merely time travel and the butterfly effect–off topic! In all honesty, the whole time-turner plot in Prisoner of Azkaban did blow my 12 yr old mind, but I feel like this plot element in Cursed Child is another a caricature of its former badass self in its over use, which lends to the whole fan-fic feel I mentioned earlier.

Despite all the bashing I’ve done, I actually really enjoyed every minute of the book! Surprised? I know. Just missed reading those stories every summer so much. The nostalgia was more than I could handle. I devoured that book as soon as I had time to sit down and read it. Took a bit longer than most readers, finished it in about 8 hours.Through the story, I kept wondering who the cursed child from the title was: Albus, Scorpius, or Delphi. In the beginning I kept thinking it was Albus because he’s practically a Squib. Then with the time-turner reveal, I thought maybe the rumors about Scorpius are true after all and he is the cursed one. Towards the end it is clear that it must be Delphi. I like that the reader is left wondering until pretty much the very end.

My favorite character was definitely Draco’s son, reminded me of Ron and Hermoine in that he was both full of humor AND nerdy–its no wonder that his character is love with their daughter, Rose. I think the most gut wrenching part of the story was when they altered the timeline so that Rose was never born. Hating Albus’s attitude throughout the majority of the story also reminded me of how much I hated Harry in Order of the Phoenix. That rebel-without-a-cause-angst-because-my-life-is-worse-than-you-can-ever-imagine-and-you-can-never-know-what-its-like-to-be-me Harry. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. ❤

Did you read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? Have you always been a fan of the books? Tell me what you thought!