On July 31st, 2016, the world was blessed with an 8th Harry Potter story. I mean, I think we all would have preferred another 7 book series, but we’ll take what we can get. The hype for Cursed Child reminded us all of the good ol’ days when we anxiously awaited the next Harry Potter book. The stage production of Cursed Child has been running for months in England, but fans and crew alike have been excellent at staying quiet about the new story. J.K. Rowling herself asked that anyone who was lucky enough to see the show keep the secrets for those of us who had to wait until the script was released (#KeepTheSecrets). The sheer respect for Rowling and her story really blew me away, because I am dedicated Potterhead and through all my internet searching, the only spoiler I ever saw from the production was a few set photos a week or so before the script release.
So how does the next chapter of the lives of Harry Potter and his friends stack up? The Game of Nerds recaps the pros and cons of Cursed Child!
SPOILERS AHEAD! DO NOT PROCEED IF YOU HAVE NOT READ CURSED CHILD!
We’ll start with the pros, because there really were a lot of them. As an avid Harry Potter fan, this story had me crying, laughing, screaming, and questioning whether or not this was story was legit. It is. The story was written by J.K. Rowling, but she wasn’t alone this time. She recruited John Tiffany and Jack Thorne to help her write her first play. So truthfully, not every ounce of this story is from Rowling herself, but Rowling had to approve everything in it. This play was an emotional, nostalgic rollercoaster, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
All the Ron/Hermione Scenes:
I am a longtime lover of Ron & Hermione’s love story. These two melt my heart in such profound ways that they will forever remain my OTP. However, their romantic involvement was pretty subdued in the books, and even more so in the movies. The more times I read the books, the more I see of their affection for each other, but I’ll admit that I was pretty angry that after all the angst and tension between them for all of books 5 and 6, we only 1 Romione kiss in the entire series, at the very end of book 7. And I was further upset when J.K. Rowling revealed that she did not actually prefer Ron and Hermione together and she truthfully didn’t think a relationship between them could last. OH MY GOD JK ROWLING JUST RIP MY HEART OUT WHY DON’T YOU.
But thanks to Cursed Child, all my Romione dreams came true! Without giving away too much of the plot, over the course of the story Ron and Hermione got the chance to rekindle their love multiple times, and every time I got that warm fuzzy feeling in my chest. It was probably my heart exploding. And then when Ron asked to renew their marriage vows, I had to put the book down for a solid 10 minutes while I regained my composure.
Ron in General:
Actually every Ron scene in this story was amazing. As I’ve grown older, Ron has become one of my favorite characters in the Harry Potter books. My love for him was deepened with Cursed Child, because his character was given all of his best humorous qualities from the original series, while adding a new touch of genuine compassion that Ron exhibits throughout the story.
Hermione as Minister for Magic:
This was just awesome. Like really really awesome.
Harry and Draco Developing a Friendship:
Now that we’re past all the Ron/Hermione bits, we get into the actual bulk of the plot of Cursed Child. I was admittedly very happy to see Harry and Draco develop a friendship by way of their sons. Even if it wasn’t quite a friendship, it was a mutual understanding of each other, and also a great partnership in defeating evil. And they’re both trying so hard to be good fathers and bless their little hearts!!
Draco in General:
I was in awe of Draco’s pure love for his son, Scorpius. Just like his father, Draco would do anything for his son, but unlike his father, Draco had genuine interest in respecting Scorpius’ desires and personality. Plus, Draco’s wry humor and witty lines just made me smile.
If Cursed Child did not have J.K. Rowling’s name written right on the cover, I’d think it was fanfiction. And I put friendship in quotes because that’s what the story calls it, but the relationship between Scorpius and Albus is romantic (at least in my opinion, and the opinion of every fan who read the story). Throughout the story, they try to suggest that the relationship is purely platonic, and even state that Scorpius has a crush on Ron & Hermione’s daughter, Rose. But let me tell you, the evidence of this romance is pretty clear. They even go so far as to suggest that Albus is the person Scorpius must think of to escape the Dementors, and the story compares this to Snape thinking of Lily to escape the Dementors! That’s love, guys.
Scorpius in General:
This kid is awesome. He’s very different from his father, which makes the relationship between them even more dynamic and profound. Scorpius lacks confidence, and he’s an outcast in school. But the fact is, he’s a genuinely nice person. He’s a very good hearted person with the greater good in mind, and he’s the voice of reason to Albus’ insane plots. He’s funny and charismatic, and he’s a huge dork. He’s a Slytherin sweetheart and I love him for it.
All the References to the Harry Potter Series:
This story made me really nostalgic. More nostalgic than I had anticipated.
That Scene Where Albus Kisses Hermione:
I’m not going to go into detail. It was really weird. I mean ya, he was disguised as Ron and it was desperate measure, but MAN IT WAS WEIRD.
The Fact that Albus and Scorpius Don’t Actually End Up as a Couple:
Like I said earlier, their relationship was so beautiful and so fun to read. HOWEVER, the story did not end with them admitting their love for each other and living happily ever after. Instead they still tried to convince me Scorpius and Rose were going to get together.
Cedric Diggory, Death Eater:
Under no circumstances would the sweet and perfect Cedric Diggory become a Death Eater. Certainly not under the circumstances which the story suggested he became a Death Eater.
The Fact that Teddy Lupin Never Made an Appearance:
Seriously. Someone get J.K. Rowling on the phone — I want an all new play/story/book about Teddy Lupin!
Ginny was Once Again Gipped of Her Story:
As if the movies haven’t already done enough injustice to Ginny (Weasley) Potter, Cursed Child had a serious lack of this beautiful, precious redhead.
The Fact That Rose Granger-Weasley is a B!*$%:
Look, no child of Hermione’s would be as rude or intolerant as Rose is. And she never really got redemption at the end of the story.
There were definitely parts of Cursed Child that caught me off guard, but overall this was an amazing read and a great addition to the Harry Potter canon. I loved reading about my favorite characters and how they’ve changed (or have not changed) in the 20+ years since we saw them last. I think the good outweighs the bad here, and even the bad isn’t really that bad. It’s a Harry Potter story, there’s no real bad.
I really loved Cursed Child and I’m so grateful that J.K. Rowling decided to share this story with us. She didn’t have write an eighth story, but she did so out of love for these characters and love for her fans. I’ll always be excited for more Harry Potter and more stories. I’m not sure if we’ll ever get more Harry Potter, but in the meantime I will be able to fill my magical desire with J.K. Rowling’s first screenplay, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, premiering this November. Check back here at The Game of Nerds for more of the wizarding world of Harry Potter!