Since hearing about the release of a new Harry Potter book, I have been eagerly awaiting its arrival on July 31st 2016.
With Rowling concluding the Harry Potter series with Harry and his wife Ginny, saying their goodbyes to their second child, Albus Severus, on platform 9 ¾. It seemed a very definitive ending, or perhaps the perfect moment to revive the store and bring the newest instalment of Harry Potter’s story.
The Harry Potter and the Cursed child, is a script of the two-part play that has recently opened up in Londons West End. Although Rowling has been involved in writing the story, Jack Thorne wrote the script. I found that this is an obvious mistake from the outset, as the story was not compelling. I was unable to restore the emotional connection that I felt with the characters I have loved so dearly. Additionally, the characters that I fell in love with all those years ago were not the same. Their attitudes and remarks were often different to how they were perceived in the initial series, making it very difficult for me to enjoy the story.
In regards to the characters, the majority of major characters from the series return in one shape of form, although they are less compelling and featured compared to the two young ‘heroes’ of the play, Albus Severus Potter and Scorpious Malfoy, the sons of Harry and Draco. As both Albus and Scorpius struggle with living under the shadow of their fathers, the cursed child, seem to wrestle with their legacy. Albus is an awkward hero; he is Harry’s middle child whilst Scorpious appears to be a sweet boy, who is an outcast due to rumours that he is the son of You Know Who. During the story, I tried to engage and sympathise for both characters, however I felt that they lacked depth and charisma. This made me find it difficult to empathise with them throughout the story, and care for them when things got difficult.
Additionally, the villain in the story is very half hearted. Although it is nearly impossible to come up with a villain who is as cruel, malevolent and as fascinating as Lord Voldemort, the cursed child appears to try to create a character equally as evil. However, it does not work. I found it difficult to convince myself that this villain would ever triumph, or actually fear for the Wizard World.
I also felt that the story did not do the Harry Potter Series justice. I believe that ‘time travelling stories’ need to be done well. The stories were all too similar and all to repeated from the initial series, and that as a Harry Potter fan has disappointed me. Albus and Scorpius could have many adventures in Hogwarts without needing to revisit the past, or try and bring the old Harry Potter series to the forefront. Overall, the story did not work, and despite having some twists and turns at many points I felt I was reading a well-crafted fan fiction. The characters names were the same, the places were the same, but it was apparent that this was an uncreative imitation nonetheless.
It is entirely possible that seeing the stage show will help bring this story to life, but currently for me Rowling risks undermining the powerful legacy of Harry Potter.
Have you read Harry Potter and The Cursed Child yet? If so what did you think?
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CYA LATER ALLIGATORS!