Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne

Friday, August 12, 2016

These days there are so many ways for Potterheads to soothe their magical cravings. I've seen wizarding themed cosplay events, Quidditch matches, themed weddings and parties. I have read endless fan fiction and fan theories, and I have participated in and explored all the activities and events that the Harry Potter websites have to offer. One of my favorite experiences was visiting Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade at Universal Orlando. All of the buildings, window displays, and signs looked like they jumped right out of the Harry Potter movies. The food at the Leaky Cauldron was delicious, and the frozen Butterbeer was amazing. I felt like my inner childhood dreams and fantasies had been realized, but then came the rumors and news about Harry Pottery and the Cursed Child.

A long 9 years after I attended my first midnight release event for Harry Pottery and the Deathly Hallows, there I was at the bookstore, and it felt so good to feel the feverish Harry Potter hysteria once more. I dawned my Ravenclaw cloak and dusted off my Sirius Black replica wand. I joined other Potterheads for a night filled with Harry Pottery trivia (which of course, my team Ravenclaw won), games, delicious potions, and all around excitement. We counted down the minutes to midnight, and before I knew it, the book was in my hands. I waited until the next day to start reading it, and I tried to put myself in the right frame of mind. I knew this was written as a script and would be very different from reading the original books.

***************************** Spoiler Alert *****************************

When I began reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child parts I & II, I had no idea what to expect as far as the story was concerned. As I was reading, I tried to picture the characters on a stage acting out the scenes, but as much as I attempted to enjoy the script, I found myself put off by the characters and the story line. Ron was always one of my favorites, and he did often act as a source of comedic relief; however, Ron was portrayed as an absolute buffoon in the Cursed Child. Many other readers have pointed out that our characters 
are much older now and have felt the after-effects of the Battle of Hogwarts which could account for such a change in personality and behavior. This idea doesn't really sit with me. While people do change over time, I feel like these characters that we all loved were taken and changed just to suit a story line. Harry, for example, does nothing for years as his son becomes distant and struggles at school. I find it extremely hard to believe that Harry Potter, who taught Dumbledore's Army how to defend themselves and loved Hogwarts school like a home, would sit back and watch his son fail. It works great for the story line, but it feels like an injustice to portray Harry in that way. Speaking of his son, Albus Severus is a complete jerk. Reading the story from his perspective was extremely difficult. He just seemed like a cliche "I've got a chip on my shoulder" and "I've got something to prove" whiny teenager. It's hard to like a story when you don't care about the main character. 

The only aspect that I truly enjoyed was seeing Severus Snape again. <3 I loved seeing how the world might have turned out if Harry hadn't defeated Voldemort. If given the option, I would definitely go see the play. I have heard nothing but good things about the production, and I would love to see if the acting has any effect on my opinion about the script. Read the script and decide for yourself; most fans seems to be split between either loving it or hating, so there's a 50/50 chance that you will enjoy the Cursed Child more than I did.

Although I was a bit disappointed this go around, I am so excited to see the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which hits theaters in November! I love that even though my Harry Potter journey began roughly 19 years ago, the fandom has thrived and lives on, and that there continue to be new ways to enjoy the Harry Potter universe.