The moment I heard of this “Eight Story of the Harry Potter series”, I was filled with dread. Why? Let me tell you why: 1) because the story is built directly on top of the steaming pile of manure that is the epilogue of the Harry Potter series (which I still refuse to believe is canon or even exists, for that matter); 2) because the mere thought of the said epilogue causes me pain, and, lastly, 3) because I knew I would eventually read the script of this theatrical play anyway, never mind the lasting damage it might cause to my sanity.
After a year of gathering up my courage, I succumbed to the inevitable and read the Cursed Child. This was a mistake that couldn’t be avoided, but I still wish I hadn’t done it – or rather, I wish this dreadful story had never come to existence in the first place. It was worse than I could have imagined. While reading, I could feel my grasp of reality crumpling away. An endless loop of some sinister variation of Yakety Sax that kept tooting loudly in my head until I felt like crying, and once I had fought my way through the text, the topmost thought in my head was “what the hell was that shit”.
The following post contains major spoilers of this awful mess that is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Read no further, if you wish to be spared.
The story starts from exactly the same scene the epilogue of the final Harry Potter book ends: everyone has grown up, gotten married, bred like rabbits and named their offspring after their friends, relatives and/or mentors. Oh, hooray. The now middle-aged heroes of the original story are sending their kids to Hogwarts. Among them are Albus Severus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy, who are just starting school. They meet on the train and become friends. Somehow this eventually leads to a lot of time travel, alternate universes and other absolutely implausible twists and turns no one can expect me to accept as part of the Potterverse canon, EVER.
But first, before I dig deeper into this mess, let me name the only tiny detail I thought was okay about this whole damn thing: I thought it was amusing how Draco Malfoy’s kid was such a soft, dorky sweetheart. But that’s it. That’s all. Everything else about the Cursed Child made me want to vomit.
None of the characters were believable. Sure, they are meant to be older, but there really was absolutely not a hint left of the characters I’ve known. Ron Weasley, in particular, had been butchered completely, being reduced something that was probably meant to be a comic relief but ended up painfully unfunny and pitiful: an idiot who did nothing but eat and blurt out ill-timed brainless jokes. The way the others were portrayed was not much better or any more accurate.
The whole plot was far-fetched and absolutely ridiculous. It was like the only purpose the plot served was to smear crap all over what was told in the original book series. Massive points from the original series were completely ignored, and as a result there were huge gaping holes in the logic of the story all the way through. None of it made any sense.
Another thing that infuriates me is the blatant queer baiting. Things that scream that Albus and Scorpius have something going on are constantly dropped like bombs, but in the end it is all wrapped in a pretty, heteronormative bow. Come on! As if it wasn’t painfully obvious that if the characters were different genders, the story would have ended with them being married and having a billion children with names like Rubeus, Harry Potter the Second and Pigwidgeon, probably.
And am I really expected to believe that Voldemort had a child with Bellatrix? Really? Really?! Forgive my language, but fuck this shit!
This whole play was like a slap in the face. Sadly, I can’t even imagine how seeing it played on stage would make it any better. I feel personally offended by how bad it was – it’s almost like someone had taken a huge dump right on my precious childhood memories.
To me, this story does not exist. It’s a strange spin-off that has nothing to do with the Harry Potter series, and that can roll into the dumpster for all I care and remain there, WHERE IT BELONGS.
I’ll check subject 18 (there are no less than four words in a book’s name) from the Helmet Reading Challenge 2017 list with this monstrosity.
= Not even sorry for not liking it.
John Tiffany & Jack Thorne: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Little Brown, 2016. Special Edition Rehearsal Script. 343 pages.)