Contents Intro Characters/ Character Disappointments The play The Problems- Bullet pointed a speed read, Read this if you just want a quick review
Intr Contents Intro Characters/ Character Disappointments The play The Problems- Bullet pointed a speed read, Read this if you just want a quick review
Intro Well this book has been highly anticipated and I would class myself as an having a Newt or higher in all things Harry Potter. I have to say though I wish JK Rowling had left it as a play ONLY and not producing the book for the fans. There are so many discrepancies in this book compared to the original series which Harry Potter fans will notice. I loved the fact that all the books connected but this play just destroys all of those connections.
So many things to write about this book I shall start with the actual writing. For anyone who is not familiar with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child this book has been dubbed “the 8th and final potter book” however what you can actually expect is a play jointly written by Rowling, Tiffany and Thorne. From the writing however I would go as far as to say that Rowling only provided the basic storyline and that the entire play is actually written by Thorne and Tiffany. I understand that the book is different being a play however the writing of the book is of a completely different tone to Harry Potter.
The characters speech feels like its written merely there to portray the story and that the characters have no meaning behind what they are saying, and have little value to that character in particular. In contrast to the original series if you removed all of the speech from the original series you would find each character has its own voice. In the original series Rowling had a way of making each characters speech feel distinct and unique in a way that felt you could imagine the character and if someone was to erase who said what in a Potter book you could probably tell because each characters narrative felt distinct. In the Cursed Child all the characters merge into one narrative, I can see no individual personalities in their speech. After all………
At the start of the book I put this down to the fact that Harry had grown up, he was going to converse differently to how he used to however, as every character could have merged into one. As a long time Potter fan my biggest character disappointments of the book resulted from the greatest wizards from the original series. If you are a fan of McGonagall, Snape or Dumbledore be prepared to be disappointed. These characters completely lack their power, emotionality and originality as they merge into the same narrative as the rest of the characters. No longer are they wizards of knowledge they may their ‘voice’ may as well be Harry’s son Albus talking. Lacking are the quotes which made the characters unique and powerful quotes, basically the bulk of what made us fall in love with the characters is gone. You will no longer find quotes such as “There is no point in apportioning blame. What is done, is done”
Specific Character Disappointments
Professor Snape AKA the best character in the whole HP series At one point we are able to go back into a time which enabled Snape to live, we all know the sacrifices this man made in the Harry Potter books. In the main books he has so much depth in both his character and his speech. This enabled him to become such a strong Character that he was willing to die for his cause and to help protect Harry because of his everlasting love for Lilly. In the original books I always got a formidable sense of sadness as well as power from him. I was so excited when I saw Snape’s name appear in the book and I was excited to see what an alternative ending would mean for him. He came across in the Cursed Child as an unimportant passing Character. No hint of his love for Lilly or his sacrifices. No Power behind his voice no well nothing…. He was just there to exist with a completely different powerless narrative I would never have believed if I didn’t know what happened in the Harry Potter books what a significant character he was in the series and now he has been destroyed. For example since when would Snape says “These are very serious allegations, Boy” he would be more likely to rage “How dare you accuse me. If you don’t stop this instant I will force you to test your own poison on yourself” it almost feels like because Snape is alive at this point his personality died with his resurrection. Perhaps they didn’t go back in time maybe Snape was brought back temporarily by the resurrection stone and had been “cold and sad for he did not belong in the mortal world” (yes this was supposed to be how snape was in the series but he turned out to be an amazing guy capable of so much love) that’s the only explanation I Can come up with to explain his lack of character.
Albus Dumbledore- The greatest wizard of all time I understand they are talking to his portrait which McGonagall points out is only partly like the subject itself. I find this statement a little weird in itself because in the Deathly Hallows it was this portrait that was explaining the plans regarding Harry with Snape and was actively planning things as a portrait. Telling Snape he must give Harry the sword and create the replica for example. In the cursed child however he has no aura of ever being a powerful wizard. The first time he spoke to Harry I was again disappointed with his lack of character and knowledge. The only point I felt a bit more like “this is Dumbledore” was on page 275 where he did offer Harry some noble advice. Before this point I thought his character was weak and nothing like the Dumbledore we know and love. I however was touched by a scene by portrait Dumbledore and Harry which I thought was very sweet.
Prof McGonagall I don’t have much to add about her however, I always saw Professor McGonagall as a no nonsense witch. Although she has her moments of feistiness I was disappointed with her lack of it and again I felt as though the character was not McGonagall speaking but a different person entirely.
The Play BEWARE THIS IS A SUMMARY BUT AS THE PLAY IS IN LOTS OF PARTS IT IS LONG AND CONTAINS SPOILERS. Onto the story itself I found so many discrepancies between the series and the play. I guess I had great faith in Rowling. She is the only author I know who is able to intertwine multiple books so beautiful and so seamlessly that there is little to contradict itself. Well I was expecting this from the Cursed Child and for it to fit nicely and perfect after the others. The truth is the play just seems like a random splurge of her thoughts about how Harry Potter could have ended. However none of the scenarios are explored I understand that would be difficult to do in a play but if they just focused on one alternative ending Rowling could have made an incredibly powerful and hard hitting alternative ending. SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER (view spoiler)[ The basic plotline is a continuation from where the film left off. With Harry’s Children Albus, James and Lilly (The whole story is actually only about Albus disappointingly) and Hermione’s and Ron’s children Rose (Hugo although he isn’t mentioned so possibly he was not old enough to go to Hogwarts?) attending school for the first time. On the train Albus becomes friends with Scorpius (Draco’s Son) rather than staying with Rose and one at Hogwarts Albus is sorted into Slytherin along with Scorpius. Not much happens for a few years, we keep seeing each Hogwarts year pass, marked by the parents taking them to the Hogwarts Express another year later. However we do learn a number of things between this. We see that Albus and Harry do not have a very good father son relationship and that Albus does not fit in. He almost feels ashamed of being the child of Harry Potter as he cannot live up to it and is completely different to the rest of his family. Secondly we learn that Scorpius is also a misfit as his mum died, rumors started that he was the son of Voldemort leading to the two being out cast.
The night before Albus is to return to Hogwarts for his fourth year Amos Diggery comes to visit him (Albus is head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement) Amos blames Harry for his son’s death and has heard rumours that the Ministry has found a long lost remaining Timeturner with the power to go back years rather than hours. This had indeed been recovered by Harry years earlier however he denies it and Amos calls him a cold Ministry Man, as Amos wanted to use it to bring his son Cedric back. Albus at this time had been listening from the stairs and hears it all, while listening a girl appears named Delphi. She explains that she is Amos Diggery’s Carer as he is now old and disabled and that she works at St Oswald’s Home for Eldery Witches and Wizards. That night Harry and Albus get into an argument in which they each regret that the other is their dad/son. Meanwhile Harry has been having dreams as well as his scar has been hurting. It is revealed it has not pained him in 22 years so meetings to discuss this were set up at the ministry. Back on the Hogwarts train Albus discusses with Scorpius what he overheard and the boys decide to jump off the Hogwarts Express to go to the home. The boys get up onto the roof at which point the trolley lady (from the Hogwarts express appears) and claws start to come out as she attempts to stop them. However she fails and they reach the home, in which they set up a scheme with Delphi to return Cedric to life, but first they must get hold of the time turner which they know Hermione to be holding at the Ministry of Magic.
They manage to break into the ministry using polyjuice potion get into Hermiones Office (as the Minister for magic) it was incredibly kind of Hermione to only charm her door so that it can be locked with the use of alohomorra. They find its in the bookcase but must answer the riddles which they do and gain access to the time turner.
There are then a series of times where they use the timeturner (they have returned to Hogwarts) to return to the Tri-wizard tournament in Harry’s fourth year. They set about a number of plans to stop Cedric from dieing all with disastrous consequences. Meanwhile Draco and Harry are searching for their sons who have disappeared off the face of the planet.
Due to the changes Scorpius and Draco made it time they experience worlds where both Harry doesn’t exist and is dead (meaning Voldemort is reigning) and a world where Ron marries Padma rather than Hermione. They both realise this is not the way things should be and consult Delphi to tell her they are not willing to meddle anymore and they can’t save Cedric. At this point Delphi snatches the time turner and they go back to the Maze in the triwizard cup, the boys become aware that her plans are actually to bring Voldemort back. They manage to stop her in the maze however she cruses the time turner and they become lost in time.
Meanwhile Harry, Draco and the rest of the ministry are beginning to piece it altogether Ron mentions that he saw Albus with a girl and he describes her. Harry Realizes this is Delphi and they go to the old wizards home to confront Amos. At this point they find out she was not his carer and he was confunded. They enter her room and find a prophecy stating that she is the daughter of Voldemort and will help him to rise again. Draco admits to Harry that the timeturner was made for his father and that he has another one at home.
Back with Scorpius and Albus they realize they are at the date 30th October 1981, a day before Harry’s parents die they realize she is trying to kill Harry before Voldemort does so as not to fulfil the original prophecy with Harry. The boys talk and realize they have no way back and no help they are outside Harry’s old house. They watch Harry’s mother wrap him in a blanket, this blanket was given to Albus earlier in the book but he didn’t want it and spilt love potion over it. The two boys realize this blanket will be with the present day Harry (supposedly Dudley gave him the blanket he was wrapped in when Aunt Petunia died, Harry told Albus every year on the anniversary of their death he gets it out) the boys think of a way to send a message back on the blanket in present day. They realize the love potion would react with a certain ingredient which they retrieve. The ingredient would react on the blanket and burn holes into the blanket, so they write their message on it “HELP DAD Godrics Hollow 3 0 1 0 8 1”.
In the Potters home Harry gets the blanket out thinking of his lost child and his parents at which point he finds the message and realizes Delphi has taken them back to the night his parents died. He sends an owl to the others and asks Draco to bring a time turner. They get to that date and find Albus and Scorpius, however Delphi is no where to be seen. They realize that rather than trying to kill Harry she wants to stop Voldemort from killing him so Voldemort would never lose his power. The others transform Harry into Voldemort and he walks out, this makes Delphi to come out to which she explains she is his son and daughter of Bellatrix. However the plan goes wrong Harry becomes himself again and there is a duel. They eventually subdue and bind Delphi to take her back to present day to Azkaban. The whole family then watches as Harry’s parents are murdered. It is a moving scene. Back in the present day Harry and Albus work on their relationship, Harry takes Albus to Cedrics Grave because he still feels guilty. (hide spoiler)]
Don’t get me wrong I think this would be a very good play however I don’t think the book should have been sold or marketed as the eighth and final story. The reason being is that there are too many discrpencies with the main series that fans would notice. A couple of issues 1. Voldemort Is incapable of love and never felt the need for love or romantic relationships. We are also frequently told that Harry will defeat Voldemort because he can love and Voldemort does not care about other people. Then suddenly we hear he had a child with Bellatrix while in Malfoy Manor. This would have put the time around when Harry was on the run and was destroying horcruxes. So instead of making himself more powerful (the only thing he actually cared about) we suddenly have to believe he was actually having sex rather than chasing Harry!
2. I felt like I had read this before infact it reminded me of a mash of a story incorporating parts from Divergent and Percy Jackson. What is up with this? Rowling has always been original whay do I feel like I have read it before? Some more percy Jackson Moments come from when the trolley lady suddenly becomes some sort of demon trying to stop them getting off the Hogwarts Express. This was very reminiscence of the Percy Jackson where his teacher turns into a Demon. The fact that Voldemorts daughter is called Delphi also reflects the Spirit of Delphi in Percy Jackson. She too tells prophecies.
3. Why is Hermione so thick? She was clever as a child now she is minister for magic she just seals her office with a simple charm so that it can be unlocked with alohomora? Just leaves a time turned completely unprotected in her office, where only a simple riddle is needed to take it? The Hermione I grew up knowing would never have done this.
4. How does Delphi just keep popping up inside Hogwarts magically? Why did Harry not question who she was when she was in his house. I remember a Harry Potter in Deathly Hallows who checked Lupin was Lupin. Also Harry was told to check someones identity. I get that the main threat of Voldemort is gone but Harry worked as an Auror there are still dark wizards and ex death eaters to catch. Also he had been having dreams of Voldemort so I refuse to accept he would just have accepted Delphi without question.
5. Up until the last battle I felt like there was very little magic it almost felt as though the story could have been in an ordinary school. I was disappointed with the lack of sparkle. 6. Scorpius and Albus do at one point get caught at which point they say they lost the time turner but no one bothers to check and they still have it!
7. Grrr what annoys me a lot is why the heck when they go back to the tri-wizard tournament do the competitors suddenly have names like ‘Plucky Potter’ and ‘Krazy Krum’? When they are back at the triwizard each of the competitors has a STUPID nickname. If you are going to go back in time Rowling don’t add stuff that wasn’t there and certainly don’t add childish things like a crowd shouting go go Krazy Krum
8. Why does Cedric suddenly become like a knight in the maze? I mean he says “Name yourselves beasts” to Albus and Scorpius come on this is not Medieval time and Cedric wasn’t like that.
9. Why are Harry’s kids not allowed sweets? I struggle to believe this so Harry went to school and he was in awe of all the wizard sweets because he had been starved and never had any. Ginny was a weasley who couldn’t afford sweets on the train. If we take Ron’s reaction to this as hers she would have been extremely upset and embarrassed she couldn’t afford anything on the train. I therefore DO NOT believe Harry and Ginny would have let their child go to Hogwarts without sweets.
Overall I felt as though had Rowling focused her efforts on just one alternative outcome it could have been very good. However each time they traveled back in time we only got a very tiny glimpse of what life could be like. It felt very half-hearted. I have no doubt it would be entertaining as a play however there are too many discrepancies. I actually laughed when it said Voldemort had a Daughter. I would however say that the end redeemed it a little for me as I thought that was moving. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
All I'm gonna say if she can ever touch people because she would burn up how come the dr felt all her belly? I thought hmm well it did mention the powAll I'm gonna say if she can ever touch people because she would burn up how come the dr felt all her belly? I thought hmm well it did mention the powers may manifests over time but then how do you explain the fact her mum knew so she couldn't have any skin on show.... So that means she would have killed the doctor ...more