Having finished the (main) Harry Potter series for the second or third time, books and films, I was left with that same empty feeling that I had to come to know when finishing any kid of series with nothing to follow. The first time I finished the series, all the movies had already been released and that was the end of that. I was content with the books ending, perfectly wrapped with a bow, a little less content with the movies after realizing how much they left out. As much as I wanted to know about the wizarding world, I would move on to other series’ that caught my attention. That is, until The Cursed Child. I didn’t exactly know about The Cursed Child until maybe a year or two after it was released. Like any fan, I was excited to hear that this would somehow continue Harry’s story, but having experienced other sequels that did not exactly live up to its predecessor, I was hesitant to read it. That being said, I didn’t read it until this class, three years after it was released. I only read a summary that I found online. Just with reading the summary, I already had issues with the story. These issues remained constant for the most part once I read the script.
One of the key issues that this play brought up was the storyline that Voldemort and Bellatrix had a child. It is hard to believe that during the time between the events of Goblet of Fire and the Deathly Hallows that Voldemort would have had any leisure time or would even desire any leisure time to have a child with his most loyal servant. It was made clear throughout the seven books that Voldemort had an all-consuming obsession to kill Harry after hearing the prophecy, and most likely would have spent the majority of his time planning, executing said plans, and devoting his attention to anything that would ensure his immortality and reign over the wizarding world. I think it is important to mention that Bellatrix was a devout follower of Voldemort, and she treasured every ounce of attention and task he gave her. She also had zero respect for any life that wasn’t pureblood or a supporter of Voldemort, so she would had valued this child as a treasure that was bestowed only for her by the Dark Lord. Based on this, it would seem unlikely that she put the pregnancy in harms way. But as evident with what happens in the books, she participates in multiple battles in order to further Voldemort’s plans.
Another plot point that has its issues is the use of the Time Turner. JK Rowling has stated that she, at first, created Time Turners with little restrictions, which would create problems for her stories (“Time-Turner”). In turn, she created the five-hour travel restriction and eventually destroyed all of the remaining Time Turners. However, the writers of The Cursed Child ignored such restrictions and destruction of all Time Turners and created two Time-Turners that were far more dangerous and advanced that the ones created by Rowling. It seems that the Time-Turners were created without any forward thought about the consequences it would bring a witch or wizard’s physical self and the changes that happen to the timelines (which isn’t supposed to happen with original Time-Turners). These “advanced” Time-Turners create so many problems that it’s hard to imagine that Harry, Hermione, and Ron would even think about allowing their existence; let alone keep one with them for any amount of time.
There are other issues that have been called out on like how the script is a strange format to put this sequel in, and the fact that many feel it’s a rushed story without any details. I As a theatre major, I am familiar with the play and script format, so I understand that plays are left up to the interpretation of the actors and the director. I will happily give this play the benefit of the doubt if I ever get the chance to see it in person. However, for the time being, this is not the sequel for me.
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Scholastic Inc., 2007.
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Scholastic Inc., 2000.
Rowling, J.K. “Time-Turner.” Wizarding World, 10 Aug. 2015, www.wizardingworld.com/writing-by-jk-rowling/time-turner.
Thorne, Jack, et al. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2016.