Magical Parenting Struggles in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling

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5/5 STARS

Genre: Fantasy, Plays
Author: J. K. Rowling
Published: July 2016
Publisher: Little Brown UK
Pages: 343 {Hardcover, Special Rehearsal Edition}

Originally posted on Goodreads

This review is spoiler-free UNTIL I state otherwise


Initial Thoughts Upon Finishing

*dies of feels*


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I enjoyed this book immensely. I read it on the day it came out on a plane going from England to Australia and was keeping my seat neighbours and air stewardesses informed and up to date as to whether I was enjoying it, etc. And when I got off the plane the first thing my family said was Hi – I DIBS READING IT FIRST. You can imagine what that looked like at an airport.


There are so many things that I want to say about this book and I want to say them right. There have been quite a number of really quite awful reviews which makes me sad but of course one book can’t please the world. So the first thing I want to say is this: if you read the Harry Potter series and you think you’d like to see what this is about, read it and make your own opinion.


My Overall Thoughts

As I’ve said. I really enjoyed the book. I thought the story was a lot of fun and I’m extremely jealous of everyone who gets to see this on stage. I think this would make a magnificent stage production. I loved visualising how everything would appear and work for a stage performance and I think this was a safe story to tell in the sense that it provided an opportunity to explore Harry Potter on stage without pumping out another story that makes a profound contribution to the standing story throughout the original seven books. In other words, it doesn’t ruin what’s already there and you’re absolutely not missing out on anything in regards to claiming Potterhead status if you decide not to read this.


I adored the characters. Scorpius is one of my favourite characters of EVER now. I thought the whole thing was cleverly done with where it takes you – if you haven’t been spoiled by someone then you probably have very little chance at guessing the plot.


But I’m afraid that’s where things stop for my spoiler-free section. If you HAVE NOT READ THE BOOK then leave now. That’s your warning.


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SPOILER TIME!

The Story & My Thoughts

So the story follows Albus (Severus) Potter who is Harry’s second child. And he’s a pretty interesting kid. I was really surprised with where the story went in this book (I know it’s a script but for the sake of habit I’mma keep saying book). It wasn’t a bad surprise AT ALL – quite frankly, I loved it. I nearly blurted out to my fellow exhausted plane neighbour that oh my lordy this is picking right up from where we left off. I thought this was a seriously cool idea: the fact that not one blink separates us from the Deathly Hallows to the start of this book. Consider me mind blown.

Of course then events spindle forwards and we end up spending a lot of time more like 23 years later. But let’s take a moment to appreciate the fact that Albus got sorted into Slytherin. This has to be one of my favourite things of the book. Not for one moment in my LIFE since finishing book 7 did I ever think that Albus might end up in a different house. I loved this. This challenged all the little preconceptions that I’d built up in my mind when it came to sorting students into Houses. I sort of assumed that of course families would end up in the same houses and pssht, clearly Albus wanted to be in Gryffindor! But once he was sorted into Slytherin and the world kept turning I just sort of sat back and went, yeah, that’s cool.

I loved that Albus was a very different character to James and the other Potters. I also loved Ginny but let’s get back to that later. Albus was such an insecure boy who obviously was really struggling with things. The whole main focus of this story being on the tense and crumbling relationship between Harry and Albus was heart-breaking but I thought wonderfully apt. Since our characters have grown up and the magic of Harry Potter seems to fade away into the distance we’re dealing with this more mature issue – sure there’s since magic, etc, but the focus of this book is on the serious adult stuff. I thought that was both wonderful and clever.

Moving on, the next thing I liked WAS THAT WE GOT TO IMAGINE THE SLYTHERIN COMMON ROOM *deep breaths*. When Harry makes a comment about the interior design of it when he visits Albus I was like . . . nope, *internally faints*. So. Cool. I’ve always wanted to spend more time in the other common rooms.

The actual adventure side of the plot that centres around the two boys, Albus and Scorpius, I thought was oodles of fun. The main thought that struck me throughout this was how much fun it would be on-stage. Sure, I think there are a few questionable plot elements and crucial things missing out but I didn’t have a problem with those. Why? Because this isn’t the eighth Harry Potter book (in fact, I wish it wasn’t titled as the eighth Harry Potter story – it feels more like epically awesome bonus content). This felt like a good lot of fun that would look beyond spectacular on stage and I am so envious of everyone who gets to see it that I may just combust. Therefore I am okay with minor disjointedness, this is only so much that can happen in a play.

The whole business with the boys deciding to take matters into their own hands after Amos Diggery complains to the very stressed Harry that he could save Cedric because a time turner has been found? ARGH, YES. I loved this. It’s such a classic Potter thing to do – to decide that there’s something that could be fixed and therefore I shall do it! The messing up of the time travel trips was hilarious. The fact that they’re trying to get Cedric to lose to not go through to the final round but with their limited knowledge, ah, I just found it adorably hilarious. I also nearly died of nostalgia to be taken back to the fourth book. Excuse me whilst I bawl my eyes out because THERE ARE TOO MANY FEELS GUYS.

Ahem. I really liked (and was terrified) by the alternate world that we visit with Scorpius after the second screw up. The fact that Cedric killing Neville made all that difference scared the willies out of me. The drastic changes to the world blew my mind. I loved that Umbridge was back, I loved that there was a Voldemort Day (personally, I think this is something that absolutely would have happened) and I love the little saying that was sort of a dark wizard version of a Heil Hitler, *shudders*.

Obviously, the best bit of this alternate world WAS DYING BECAUSE SNAPE. I was very not prepared for his little appearance there and nearly just burst into tears on the plane. I am and always will be a Snape lover. So him being back and still playing the double agent made my heart ache. That moment when he says that he assumes he’s dead in Scorpius’ normal world broke my heart (there’s much heart breaking going on here). The way that he takes it on and knows that he’d be dying for a better world. Argh. Nope. Still too soon.

I need a moment to discuss how JK decided next to shred the rest of the feels we had left. The way that Hermione and Ron and Snape all go with Scorpius to try and make things right from Albus and Scorpius’ mistakes – and then bravely face their deaths. NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. I can’t. I can’t deal with either of those two dying. AND THEN SNAPE DIED AGAIN *stumbles out of the room*.

I’M SORRY. THIS IS A CRUEL GIF.

This is starting to turn into an essay but bear with me, now, I’ve got to get this all off my chest. So perhaps stop for a tea break? I think that’s a good idea. *boils kettle*

Okay. Where was I? Ah yes, the concluding side of the story I enjoyed but not as much. Don’t get me wrong, the final scene with Harry and Albus at Cedric’s grave nearly put me in tears again (you’ll be pleased to know I kept it together on the plane). When Scorpius and Albus get stuck in the past and then are super clever to let Harry know when/where they are, *claps*. The whole Delphi business being Voldemort’s daughter was . . . errr . . . interesting? I’ll get to that in a mo’. What killed me was Harry watching his parents die and the way he sort of melts into his friends (who now totally include Malfoy #Yes – I didn’t even know I liked Malfoy secretly, I’m discovering a dark side to myself, apparently). Yah. That scene.

Anyway, those are my general thoughts on the things that I loved. I’m sure I missed something but I’m going to give your sore eyeballs at this rate. SO. Moving on (har har, you thought I was done).


The Characters

Let’s start by saying I did not have a problem with the characters. Mostly. I didn’t think the characters were out of characters although I do concede that other people have made good arguments. BUT. The characters have grown up. They are no longer teenagers. They’re quite stressed. And to be frank, the idea of those four (I’m including Malfoy) parenting makes me stressed, let alone them. I think they’re all reacting appropriately for their situations. Malfoy is desperately struggling with grief, Harry is at a complete loss of how to get through to his son, Ginny has turned into a slightly less rambunctious version of Molly Weasley, Ron’s sat comfortably into his role of being goofy and wonderful, and Hermione is as golden as ever. I feel like one of the big things this book did for me was solidify the choice of Hermione and Ron being together (especially with all the recent talk of JK saying she apparently regrets it – NEIN, DON’T CHANGE YOUR MIND GURL). But seriously, the pain of knowing that they weren’t together in other parallel worlds, *crumbles*.

I thought the characters of Albus and Scorpius absolutely stole the stage (haha) however. I think that they would make a great couple and this is the one element of the book that makes me almost want a sequel to it – I want to know if they’re both gay because my theory at the moment is that Albus is after Scorpius, who thinks he’s after Rose (and might be) but the vibes he’s getting from Albus is making him question his own sexuality. Because if that’s not the answer then I don’t know what’s going on there.

I didn’t like Delphi and I didn’t enjoy Dumbledore’s brief appearances. The scene with Dumbledore’s portrait talking to Harry in his office made me feel ill – it was just wrong and forced and full of nope and far too much weeping.

I also loved that Neville sort of gets a glory moment of being acknowledged as the key for saving Hogwarts/the world but I have one query over that (see below). I thought it was odd that Cedric became a Death Eater because of his humiliation but for the sake of not giving myself a headache I have simply let it slide.

Ginny was one of my favourite characters in this book. I was never a huge Ginny fan (although I’m dying to reread the original series and see if I think differently now). I thought she was a beautiful person and I loved how she so clearly completed Harry as his other half in this book. I did not doubt for one moment in this book that they were meant to be together. It was perfect. I certainly thought she was good for grounding Harry in those few moments where he acts out of characters, such as telling Albus that he wishes he wasn’t his kid. Phwoah. Epic mistake there, Harry. #BadParenting

The best thing in the book was when Ginny was explaining to Harry was he wasn’t getting through to Albus. When she says you need to show him that you care and he goes, but I’d do anything for him. She replies with, of course you would! You’re Harry Potter, you’d do anything for anyone – you need to show him that he’s special. Ugh. The feels, struck hard and deep. Such a perfect scene. Bet your bottom dollar I’d be sobbing like a baby by that point in the production.


The Small Moments of Doubt

I did, of course, have a couple of hmm moments. Let’s list them.

  1. I didn’t like the scene between Harry and Dumbledore’s painting, as I’ve said.
  2. I didn’t like that Delphi was Voldemort’s daughter. I think the story would have been excellent if it’d stuck with her just desperately wanting Cedric backs as a doting cousin. But you know, a pinch of salt ey?
  3. I didn’t like the confusion over Scorpius’ sexuality.
  4. Cedric being a Death Eater was probably the biggest thing I disagreed with plot wise. I just don’t think it would’ve happened but I thought it was a clever twist (if it’d been believable).
  5. I REALLY DID NOT LIKE THE IDEA OF VOLDEMORT AND BELLETRIX *gags*
  6. I did a bit of Googling to see if killing Neville would have caused Snape to live. But Snape dies before that point and as far as I can tell that wouldn’t necessarily save Snape? But we can hope, right? *sniffles*
  7. I can’t even bear to think of a Neville-less world because NOW WHAT DOES LUNA DO?


Summary

Anyway. Congratulations! You made it to the end of this dissertation review. These are my thoughts on the magnificent bundle of emotions, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I really loved this, I thought it was clever, and I thought it was almost perfect and I definitely think this would be magical to see on stage. If I get the chance to see this on stage, I’ll be taking it. I just loved this and thought it was so good and I can’t even. I really can’t even right now. I’m going to go and lie down now to recover from pulling myself through this emotional turmoil again, now. Whew. *Googles Albus-Scorpius fanfic*

View all my reviews

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 You might also like . . .

If you haven’t read the original Harry Potter series yet, then leave now and read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Actually, yeah, just go and reread the original series anyway. I think we’re all too emotionally scarred at this point to take this section seriously.


 Have you read this book?

Share your thoughts below!


End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~

6 thoughts on “Magical Parenting Struggles in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

  1. My head canon believes Albus is gay and Scorpius is bi and realizes his feelings for Albus only after the whole Rose thing pans out and the two live HAPPILY EVER AFTER BUT WITH SOME AWFUL HORRIBLE BUT SNOG-WORTHY ANGST ON THE WAY.

    I am SO DOWN for this to happen, are you? (And yes, I totally devoured this book the day after the release).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’M SUPER HAPPY YOU ENJOYED IT! This makes me feel (slightly) less scared/apprehensive about buying a copy of my own – I’ve been so worried that it wouldn’t live up to the original series, and have seen a couple 1/5 or 2/5 rating reviews.

    Even though I had to skip half of this for the spoilers (you wrote like an essay – that’s dedication!! *sits in awe*), this has kind of made my mind up that I’LL GIVE IT A GO. *whoops*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah oh my Lordy lord are there some dismal ratings. And to be fair they’re valid points – I think it’s really an individual matter of whether you just enjoy it irrespective of those things anyway. BUT YAY I’m glad you’re going to give it a go (and I apologise for the length, I thought it’d be short and then I just kept going 😩😵😲😫)

      Liked by 1 person

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