Never have I ever thought that I would write a 2* review on a Harry Potter play, but as it turned out, one of the most eagerly awaited books of the year is a grand disappointment. First and foremost, it is essential to point out that my opinion of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was by no means influenced by the fact that it is not an actual novel. Amazingly, some of the readers have missed out the Cursed Child is a script, but journalists are quite seriously to blame for this one. They also are to blame for the fact that almost every media outlet mentions something in the lines of “J.K.Rowling’s latest Harry Potter book… etc etc”. J.K.Rowling did NOT write the Cursed Child. The script is based on the original seven novels, and obviously, J.K.Rowling has given her go-ahead for the use of the beloved characters from the series and contributed to the story development together with John Tiffany, but she did not do the writing. Jack Thorne did.
19 years after the the events of the Deathly Hallows, the golden trio is reunited at the platform 9 & 3/4 to send off their children to Hogwarts. Harry’s son Albus Severus is nervous he’d get sorted into Slytherin. Not surprisingly, the boy does get into Slytherin. He also befriends Scorpius Malfoy, son of Draco Malfoy.
The sweet, geeky boy is the rumored to be the offspring of Lord Voldemort himself, which makes him an outcast. Albus Severus and Scorpius bond over their outsider sentiments (Albus being the inadequate “version” of his father, who now is the head of Magical Law Enforcement). Then, the plot gets outrageously bad…
During one of his raids on a former Death Eater, Harry Potter finds an illegal time-turner. Instead of destroying the thing, Hermione Grander (Minister of Magic, married to Ron, who runs Fred and George’s joke shop) decides to keep it. One night, Albus overhears the father of Cedric Diggory visiting Harry Potter and imploring the latter to use the time-turner to save Cedric (who died in the Goblet of Fire). Like any time travel ever ends well…
Harry refuses. Albus, being the rebel, decides to sneak into the Ministry of Magic, steal the time-turner from Hermione’s office and go back to the Triwizard Tournament. This does not end well.
As anyone, who has ever read any book or watched any film relating the story of time travel could tell, the things that are supposed to happen – will happen, and messing with the past could bring about a dark tomorrow.
What makes the Cursed Child such a dreadful story is exactly the time travel. Albus Severus and Scorpius attempt to save Cedric because it was unfair, but in the process they destroy the prospect of marriage between Ron and Hermione (and thus, Rose Granger-Weasley and Hugo Granger-Weasley are never born), then Albus ends up in Gryffindor… One time-travel-savior attempt fails, resulting in Cedric’s death anyway. The second attempt turns Cedric into a Death Eater, who kills Neville in the battle of Hogwarts. Harry also dies in the battle of Hogwarts, and so Albus, the instigator of all this mess is never even born.
Scorpius has to deal with the result of their actions, because their hero complex brought about the victory of Lord Voldemort and this new world with Cedric in it is the world where Mudbloods and muggles are routinely killed. Draco Malfoy’s son saves the day, and when the two irrational teenagers attempt to destroy the time-turner so nobody else would use it, Delphi Diggory, who is revealed to be Lord Voldemort’s long lost DAUGHTER (by Bellatrix) attacks them and forces them back in time in order to stop Cedric during the third task of the Triwizard Tournament…
Poor Cedric saves Albus Severus and Scorpius from Deplhi thinking it’s a task that he has to pass, but yet again, they are stuck in time – and this time, it’s the Halloween of the year Harry Potter’s parents were killed and they have to stop Voldemort from being side-tracked by Delphi, who wants to stop the fall of the Dark Lord… Oh, and in the end Harry Potter has to watch his parents die, because he had to time-travel to save his idiot of a son.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child sure reads like a piece of ridiculous and quite poorly plotted fan-fiction, and frankly, I sure am happy that I did not buy a paper copy, because unlike the original 7, this isn’t the continuation of the story that I’d be re-reading ever again. The Cursed Child is the book that made me convinced that when it comes to our most beloved characters, sometimes, not knowing that happens after the happy ever after is the only way. I was delighted of the prospect of going back to Hogwarts, even briefly, but the this Hogwarts, the one from the Cursed Child sure isn’t the one that is always there to welcome you home. It’s dreadful, the plot has huge holes and many “how the hell was this allowed to happen” moments that make it a complete waste of time.
So, there you go. Cursed Child, overall rating: 2*.