I relived my childhood and read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in less than 24 hours. I stayed up super late. I missed train stops and accidentally ended up in Brooklyn twice. I was less than functional at work. But I did it.
I was so excited to get this book. I love Harry Potter so much. The kind of love where I’ve been on a studio tour in London and may or may not have licked Diagon Alley. (OK, fine, I did.) I love Harry Potter at levels of love that are probably considered odd for a person who doesn’t really exist. I’ve been at every Harry Potter midnight book release since the third book came out. I cried when the seventh book came out, much to the dismay of my embarrassed mother and sister. We were definitely in public and I was far too old to be crying about a book series (I was 15) but I just kept sobbing, going, “It’s all over! I’ll never get to read about them again!! My whole life is over!” Well, lesson learned: Never say never, and don’t cry every time something looks like it’s going to end, because almost 10 years later, you may get a follow up.
So here are some sleep deprived thoughts on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child:
It’s a play. This means that all of the words in this book comes from the characters themselves. Some people have been asking me if I think that this is odd. I don’t, actually—because Rowling has done such a good job of letting us into the heads of her characters over the years that it felt natural to me. I barely noticed the play format. When I did, it was because sets were being described that sounded epic, and I can only begin to imagine how amazingly magical this magical world must looks on the Palace Theatre stage in London.
The story has all of our favorites—Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Malfoy, a bit of Hagrid, and even some good old Moaning Myrtle. I found myself surprised, because I really missed the adults of the seven-part series, like the Weasley family, and the Dursleys. Of course, this is to make room for new adults, (our beloved teenage heroes) and new teens. (Their children).
Yes, Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione all have children (and grown-up jobs). I have to admit, this aspect drove me crazy. I didn’t think anything could be more stressful than fighting Voldemort, but Harry Potter working a civil servant job and having three children is a lot worse. Maybe it’s because I’m in my mid-20s and going through some growing pains, and Harry Potter touches a nerve, but I guess everyone has to grow up sometimes. Even the boy who lived has to become the man who lived.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child explores Harry’s relationship with his middle son, Albus Severus Potter, who is nothing like him. I mean, guess who his best friend is? (SPOILER:) Draco Malfoy’s son. His name is Scorpius, and he and Albus quickly become friends. This is one of the most brilliant, lovely, unexpected friendships that J.K. Rowling has ever written.
Overall, there is so much teen wizard angst in this script. If you’re not familiar with this concept, watch this Potter Puppet Pals video.
There’s a lot of heated father-son “I DON’T UNDERSTAND YOU!” scenes that will hit you right in the daddy issues. If you thought Harry was angsty, wait until you read about his son. Admittedly, reading about Harry Potter sometimes being a shitty dad is way harder than watching him be a shitty angsty teenager who has to save the world.
Ron and Hermione’s daughter, Rose, is totally perfect (of course). I do wish there was more about her. I think that was one of my only problems with this book—I wanted more. But it is a play, so there are constraints and I’m really impressed by how much Rowling was able to squeeze into this epic story. In thousands of years, I hope this is read in high school English classes. I want more. I want six more plays.
Love and friendship are still so important, as in any Potter book. Your heart will melt. Honestly, it made me wish that I could go back in time and be a teen reading Harry Potter. But you can’t go back in time—which is a huge theme throughout this play. With the central plot, and the return of a time turner, Rowling has left a message about the danger of wanting to travel back in time and living in the past. As always, love prevails, which is so desperately needed in today’s time.
In addition to her message about time travel and the past, the time travel element makes it possible for you to live out your Potter nostalgia. If you love Harry, and you love Hogwarts, and you love wizards, and you love plays, don’t miss out on this.
And don’t cry too hard when it’s over…because maybe in 10 years, there will be another one!
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