Ever since the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I’ve always looked for new ways to rediscover the magic of Hogwarts and the magical world presented in these novels. I went to the midnight release of books 6 and 7. I’ve watched the movies. I’ve been a part of Pottermore (I’m a Hufflepuff, a Thunderbird, and my patrons is an Ibizan Hound). Of course I was excited when this novel (or script) was announced.
I can’t honestly say what my expectations were other than I hoped for a new story involving Harry Potter and co. It’s hard to say goodbye to loved ones, and after reading Harry Potter from the ages of around 10 until the age of 16, he felt like a loved one. Heck, I’d spent more time with him through the novels than some of my extended family members who I still love. I welcomed the chance to say hello again and peek into his world.
I am now 25. Harry Potter is 40 in the Cursed Child. His son, Albus, spent most of the play as a 14 year old. Unfortunately, I found it pretty hard to relate to either character too much. Much of the supporting cast failed to make an appearance. I was disappointed that much of the play took place in the past. I felt that this decision was stupid.
Boy, was I wrong. After I took time to reflect, I realized just how often I dwell on the past. “What if I had said that? Why didn’t I do ______?” I realized this was precisely what J.K Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne wanted. In this way, I found that I did relate to the characters. Harry obviously carries a lot of guilt about the sacrifices made in the war against Voldemort. His son, Albus, carries the weight of Dumbledore and Snape on his shoulders. He has big shoes to fill because of the things they’d done. Not to mention his dad is Harry Potter!
The contrast between Albus and Harry is great. Albus has a Malfoy as a best friend. He’s a Slytherin. Harry even tells him that he’s more Ginny than Harry. We see Harry struggle with parenthood and even with married life, we see Ron and Hermione rediscover love, we see the beginnings of a friendship between old enemies. These are moments we didn’t have in the original series and in the end, we know that the characters are successful at this point in their lives.What more can you ask for?
The original 7 books dealt with a boy wizard who would rid the world of a big bad Dark Wizard. They also dealt with growing up, falling in love, creating mischief, realizing your faults and doing things in spite of them. Essentially, the parts of the books which weren’t about fighting Voldemort, were about life. In that way, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child captures this beautifully. The story might leave a bit to be desired as soon think of it more as a character study than a new story but it was enjoyable, it kept me hooked, and it brought me back to a world I cared about.