As Harry Potter and the Cursed Child took to the London stage this weekend, the official script book of that play released to the public, offering readers a chance to dive back into the fictional world of Hogwarts for the first time since 2007 when J.K. Rowling released The Deathly Hallows. Fortunately, the play offers up a new story in that universe, and not only allows fans a peek back into what once was, but also a peek into the future of what will be.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is at its heart a book about what if’s, particularly the one surrounding the death of Cedric Diggory that happened so long ago. The play revolves around that death and why it remains important in the legacy left by Harry Potter, and involves a time travel plot that is both wibbly wobbly and timey wimey. Because of that premise, it gives fans a chance to reconnect with previously beloved characters, but also gives them a chance to know new characters, including Albus Severus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy.
Particularly interesting is the relationship between Albus and Scorpius: although it seems unlikely that the two would ever become friends, it is their friendship that lies at the heart of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. This is a story about two boys trying to live up to the legacies of their fathers (or in Scorpius’ case, trying to rise above the rumors about him and his family). In the end, those legacies are impossible to live up to and create two main protagonists that readers will easily identify with.
Fans expecting a story about Harry, Ron and Hermione as adults, though, will probably find this a disappointing read. The trio’s stories have already been told: this is a new story about those who come after. Although Albus is a lot like his father, it becomes quickly clear that he’s also not Harry him in many ways. Fans will need to put all previous ideas aside because Albus is his own person.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, though, does leave out one character fans might expect to see: Teddy Lupin. There is no mention of Teddy anywhere, although Harry was the child’s godfather. This is a little disappointing, particularly for readers who want to know if he and Victoire Weasley ever got married.
Something else fans have already expressed a displeasure over is that this is not a novelization of the play, but a script. That’s important in reading the story because a script will read differently. For example, there are very few details given in a script as one might expect in a novel and it is up to the reader to fill in most of the blanks. That’s often difficult, especially for those who will not see the actual play where actors will fill in those spaces with their choices.
That aside, though, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a nice story that allows Harry Potter fans to revisit that world they love: at times it’s sweet – offering both laughter and tears – and is a worthy addition to any Potterhead’s library.