Books

Why I didn’t love Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Guys, this is weighing heavily on me because I worship at the alter of JK Rowling (relax Mommy, I’m only joking!) but I did not love Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I mean, I have all the books and movies, the house pins, I’ve been sorted into my House (Hufflepuff and proud!) and I’ve even got the mug to prove it!

 

So it’s with a heavy heart that I write this. Let’s just say that I didn’t hate it completely but I don’t think I’ll ever re-read it. When I started the outline of this post, I drew up a list of things I liked and disliked about Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. 

It was far too easy to come up with my dislikes and I sat for quite a while trying to remember what I liked. And this makes me really, really sad. Because I really wanted to love this.

Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t read this book yet. No, I’m serious, if you complain about spoilers, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Firstly this whole book just reeked of fan fiction. There’s a big misconception that JK Rowling wrote this play with the help of two other playwrights. But No, Jack Thorpe is the guy responsible for this hot mess and I’m not 100% sure how much JK Rowling was involved.

From the website:

Written by Jack Thorne and directed by Olivier and Tony award winner John Tiffany.

This felt like a rough draft outline of a book but I think that’s another reason why I didn’t enjoy it. When it comes to Harry Potter we have 7 books with so much detail and well rounded characters. But this is the script to the play, so we don’t get that depth. Perhaps it translates better to stage.

But even so the story is weak and just pure fan service. Why base a story around Time Turners when JK Rowling herself has said on the very first version of Pottermore (which was more like a game and treasure trove of extra information) that they were a weak plot device.

jk-time-turner

This just makes me think she had very little to do with this plot or story. Why would she back track on a regret like this?

Character annoyances

There’s a lot to forgive here. They seem to have got Harry and Hermione right but poor old Ron. Once again just there for comic relief. In both the movies and the play he’s just there as the dumb, funny sidekick. But it’s like no one read the books at all because guys, Ron in so much more than that.

He’s loyal, and he balances out the trio. Remember the times when it was just Harry and Hermione? Nope, they both needed Ron to ground them and round them out. Ron is there to guide Harry through the Wizarding world that he so suddenly finds himself in. Sure Ron has his flaws too but so does every character.

Quick question: Is Rose included in this story purely to be annoyed and irritated at everything Albus does? What is the point of her?

Then there’s Cedric. Oh, my beloved Cedric Diggory – pride of Hufflepuff House. Cedric who is fair, just and loyal. Cedric who wouldn’t let something like humilation turn him into a Death Eater. What the hell even with that?! It’s like Jo doesn’t even know her own characters. Get out with that nonsense!

So Bellatrix and old mouldy Voldy had a good old romp in the hay and had a baby. 

whaaat

Please take the time to think about the ridiculousness of that whole situation. Voldermort was arrogant in his belief of his immortality and his Horcruxes. Voldermort did not think about legacy or fatherhood because he has pretty low opinion of fathers in general. Why would he want to continue his legacy when he was so confident that he was going to live forever?

Although Bella wanting to sleep with him is very on point. Sounds about right for her.

And let’s not even talk about brown representation in here because Buzzfeed already did a great job on that point. Read it, it makes some very good points.

Plot hole time! Where was Sirius in that scene where Hagrid gets Harry from the Potter’s house. That just undoes almost the entire Prisoner of Azkaban book. Events were set into motion because Sirius didn’t take Harry.

Fan Service

Guys, fan service can be a really nice thing. An Easter egg here or there is so much fun. But to have the whole story be one is just annoying. I wanted new characters and new stories about those characters. Instead we got new characters who were used to bring old beloved ones back to life like Cedric and Snape (I’m still not on the Snape was the best ever train because despite his good intentions he was still mean as a goddamn rattle snake. But others feel differently.)

Some people feel like bringing back Dumbledore via his portraits was pure fan service, but I quite liked that. Like I said, fan service isn’t all bad. We know he has a portrait, we see it in Half-Blood Prince, so it would’ve been odd to leave it out. But just like in life, in death Dumbledore still gives ambiguous advice but like Mcgonagall reminds us, they’re not the people, but mere echoes. 

In other words: DON’T TAKE GODDAMN ADVICE FROM DEAD PEOPLE’S PORTRAITS HARRY!

But it’s not all gloom and doom

Because Scorpius is the very best, y’all. That child! Man, I love him. He is the antithesis of his father and the fact that Draco accepts him as such just shows how much he’s grown as a character. 

Speaking of Draco. I’m glad that he and Harry had grown out of their childhood rivalry and come together to rescue their kids.

A Potter in Slytherin? High five but let’s be honest, Scorpius is a goddamn Hufflepuff.

That trolley witch, guys 😂😂😂 I don’t know whether to laugh, be outraged or love it. She’s definitely shit at her job if she just let them jump off a moving train though. Still… 

Look, I could nit pick until the hippogriffs came home but that’s just an exercise in madness and depression. 

This book was okay. I didn’t hate it, but I certainly didn’t love it either. I wouldn’t re-read it and I’m rather disappointed with the whole thing. Would I watch the play if I got the chance? Probably. Just to see if it translates better to stage.

I’d much rather spend my money on the Illustrated Editions of the original 7 books. I have The Philosophers Stone already and it’s BEAUTIFUL! So I’m looking forward to the rest.


Have you read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child yet? What did you think? Am I just being a wet blanket? 

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6 Comments

  1. Faziela

    August 22, 2016 at 9:51 am

    So I read the Cursed Child but was already carrying a bias as someone had told me it read like fan fiction, so I think that I was able to enjoy it more because I was warned that it wasn’t a J K Rowling special, I wouldn’t reread it but I can say I enjoyed it. Just my 5c.
    BTW, go Hufflepuffs! I’m a hufflepuff myself.

    1. Zayaan Schroeder

      August 22, 2016 at 10:01 am

      I felt so cheated by the whole thing. Glad you had a heads up so that you could mentally prepare yourself. Also, yay! Hufflepuffs are the best!

  2. Sara Essop

    August 23, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I read the book and was disappointed too. It didn’t hold a candle to the rest of the series. I was even more disappointed because I was really looking forward to it after visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. Feels like someone was just trying to make a quick buck off a quick book!

  3. chastin Dreyer

    August 23, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    I read it and loved it but I had already told myself it was not going to be what I had come to love from JK Rowling, my only issue was I finished it in two days and the script writing was a bit annoying other than that it was nice to get lost in characters that I have missed

  4. August Favourites - Surviving the Madness

    September 2, 2016 at 11:24 am

    […] Before Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released, I thought it would be my book of the month for August. But we all know how that turned out. […]

  5. Lisa

    October 4, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    I LOVED IT…..but honestly, it may be because I was starved for anything new about Harry Potter. I felt so nostalgic reading it like I was getting an update from old friends!

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