Please note that this is only a review of the book, not the performance. Also, spoilers ahead!
On July 31st, Harry Potter fans were treated to a new book/script and play: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I didn’t watch the play, but I have read the script, and as a devout Potterhead, I must say that I am disappointed. The story, written by Jack Thorne under the supervision of J. K. Rowling, carries on from the “19 Years Later” scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It gives readers an insight into the age-old trio’s adult lives as well as new characters such as Albus Severus Potter (Harry’s son) and Scorpius Malfoy (Draco’s son). For a detailed summary of the plot, click here.
The book does have its strong points. The writing was interesting to read and flowed nicely. I was expecting the book to be extremely dull especially as it was written as a script, but I was proven wrong.
The characters of Scorpius and Draco Malfoy were also very well done. Scorpius was my favourite character from this book. He first meets Albus on the Hogwarts Express, and they end up becoming best friends. Scorpius is a sensitive nerd – which he admits himself, “Wow. Squeak. My geekness is a-quivering.” He’s also brave and extremely loyal towards Albus which kind of makes me question why he was put into Slytherin over Gryffindor. I loved the contrast between Scorpius’ personality and Draco’s. Draco Malfoy was portrayed as a very cold and cruel student in the original Harry Potter books. But in The Cursed Child, we get to see another side of Draco. A side where he’s a father who is worried about his son.
However, the book’s weak points outweigh the few strong points it has.
First, I hated Albus’ character. I tend to enjoy books more if I actually like the protagonist. Albus came off as an obnoxious, arrogant and ungrateful teenager. I think the book would have been far more enjoyable if it had been written from Scorpius’ perspective.
Second, what was up with Delphi? The fact that she was Voldemort’s daughter did not make sense. Voldemort is incapable of feeling love as he was conceived under the influence of a love potion. Thus for him and Bellatrix Lestrange to conceive a child was very strange. What’s stranger is that Bellatrix actually had a husband – Rudolphus Lestrange. Worse, Rudolphus was in charge of looking after Delphi. If I were married, I know I wouldn’t be okay if my husband cheated on me, let alone made me bring up their child.
Third, Jack Thorne completely ruined Ron Weasley’s character. Throughout the Harry Potter series, Ron’s character development is one of the most drastic. Ron changed from a bumbling eleven-year-old to a courageous, mature and loyal adult. But in The Cursed Child, he was used as a tool to make crude jokes and to act the fool.
Besides these points, there were many plot holes. Why didn’t the Sorting Hat take Albus’ feelings into account when placing him into Slytherin? If it is possible to use transfiguration to change into a person, why did the characters use Polyjuice Potion in the first place? Also, there was a random prophecy thrown into the mix without being properly explained.
Overall, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child seemed to be a work of fan-fiction rather than the “eight book of the Harry Potter series” as it has been marketed. The book was a jumble of random things thrown in which resulted in the disappointing book that The Cursed Child is. Hopefully, the play as a performance had more success.
Featured image from: http://www.westendtheatre.com/38405/shows-coming-soon/harry-potter-and-the-cursed-child-at-the-palace-theatre/