A Harry Potter Fan’s Dissection of ‘The Cursed Child’

Anahita Padmanabhan ’18/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Official art for Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. Photo Credit: Pottermore
Official art for Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. Photo Credit: Pottermore

There’s obvious excitement surrounding J.K. Rowling’s newest release—after all, no one really wanted Harry Potter to ever end, and lucky for all us fans, it hasn’t. With the Fantastic Beasts film coming out this year, along with the release of the play and book, The Cursed Child, Harry Potter fans have quite a bit to look forward to. But with all the buzz over the release of this new Harry Potter book, it seems that no one is really questioning if we really needed this. Is this book pushing Harry Potter a little too far?

Fans have such little information from official sources, no one really knows what to expect from this new story, and that’s kind of scary. The official synopsis of The Cursed Child, is that both Potter’s struggle with the legacy Harry has created, and this is a story of what the two go through because of that legacy. The unofficial plot reads more like fan fiction, as many people have been quick to point out, that’s filled with time travel, questionable parentage, romance and drama. Reading the plot elicits, at the very least a confused, “huh.”

Still, thanks to preview showings of the play, the story seems to be a success. It’s important to remember that the book is just the script of the play, so reviews of the play, as far as story is concerned, should be applicable to the book. So far the reviews are looking good. But is that because it’s actually good or just because it’s another Harry Potter story and they are looking at it through rose-tinted glasses? It’s hard to tell. I doubt anyone wants to see this story be a let down. For many of us the story of Harry Potter is a story of our childhoods. Now Harry isn’t a kid, and neither are we. This story is about so much. It is the story of us growing up in a way, and it marks a transition of adolescence into adulthood that we really haven’t seen. This story is growing up with us, and that’s what makes this so important. The fact that Harry Potter was so intrinsic to our youth, and now has the potential to be intrinsic to our adulthood, sets the stakes very high.

So again, it begs the question, will the expectations be exceeded, met, or failed? But instead of going over and over a question we can’t answer, here’s a question we can: is this the story we wanted?

Since the end of the original series, Rowling has been giving us glimpses into the wizarding world. Pottermore, the theme parks, the textbooks—all of these things serve as windows into this world that has fascinated us ever since we first joined the Harry Potter fan club. Through things like releasing the history of American Wizardry, Rowling has expanded the wizarding world and made more accessible for us.

It is why the premise of Fantastic Beasts was so fascinating to me. It is this deeper look into the world of Harry Potter. Rowling gave us access into wizardry by taking books that our favorite characters read, and allowing us to read them too. That was what I was hoping for.The Cursed Child deviates from that idea of world building. We all believed that Rowling wouldn’t release another Harry Potter book, and with all these other stories we got, that was something I had come to terms with and I was genuinely okay with.The ending of Harry Potter truly felt that Harry’s story had ended, and it set up the next generation. I really don’t know if I want to see Harry past his prime. I definitely don’t want to see him and the golden trio get pushed and pulled and extended past their breaking point, just to sort of be exploited in a new story.

That being said, I am still very excited to read The Cursed Child. Rowling has provided many of us with our favorite literary journey, our favorite characters, quotes, pretty much everything. I can’t imagine her disappointing us now. It’s just when you love something so much, you don’t want to see it break. There are so many emotions surrounding this book; excitement, nervousness, curiosity. The only thing we can do is wait. With The Cursed Child already pre-ordered, I will anxiously count down the days until July 31st. Rowling has yet to let me down, and she is now asking for my trust in her, and for all she has given me, it’s the least I can do.


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