The Cursed Play: The Decay of the Harry Potter Legacy


Mollie Quill, Author

The Harry Potter franchise is undoubtedly one of the most successful and well known of the past few decades. From the books that started it all to theme parks, the masses flock to anything carrying the name of “The Boy Who Lived.” It goes without saying that fans are immediately excited when the wizarding world’s creator, J.K Rowling, announces any new project about this extraordinary world.

Of course, after 22 years of providing people everywhere with tales of witchcraft and wizardry, not all have been masterpieces. A main example of this is the five hour abomination of a play titled Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. When the script was released as a book July 31, 2016 fans were pretty disappointed. 

Though it’s unlikely Rowling was scrolling through Twitter and Tumblr for ideas, the plot comes across as a strange mix of fan theories haphazardly thrown together. This may sound harsh, but due to events like the revelation of Voldemort’s daughter, the return of Voldemort, changing the past causing different versions of the future, and Cedric Diggory suddenly being important again, it is hard to say otherwise! It simply lacked the imagination that exploded off the pages of the original series, thus making for an unsatisfactory experience. 

The most unbelievable part of the story was the very fact that Voldemort and Bellatrix had a daughter. This plotline alone defies logic!  Why would Voldemort want an heir? The entire base of his plan was to become immortal, therefore giving him no reason to have to continue his bloodline. Never mind the fact, he doesn’t exactly come across as a family man. On top of that, how was Bellatrix running around making Unbreakable Vows, hunting Mudbloods, and killing Dobby all while nobody noticed she was pregnant?

Various moments just didn’t make sense because of how the play messed with the original series. For example, the infamous line that wrapped up the original series, “The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.” The pain Harry had felt was originally explained as a fragment of Voldemort’s soul trying to escape. Apparently that was a lie. Rowling must have changed her mind, because now Harry’s scar will hurt due to just the possibility of Voldemort’s return, for some inexplicable reason. 

A main problem with Cursed Child is its use of time travel. This is not the first time the Harry Potter universe used time travel, but for some reason the rules have changed. In Prisoner of Azkaban time travel is relatively confusing to understand but it works out so that one can’t modify the past to alter the future. Cursed Child throws this out the window as Albus and Scorpius create entire alternate timelines; a fact that will give you a headache if you think about too long.  

Unfortunately, the main characters could not save the plot due to extreme un-likableness. The lead character, Albus Severus Potter -which is somehow not even the worst name in the play- is an angry, distant, disrespectful kid who thinks he knows everything and is an all around bad friend. Instead of making his character relatable, realistic, and misunderstood he came across as severely repulsive.  

 Despite its imperfections many love and support Cursed Child, mostly because of nostalgia which should in no way excuse its numerous flaws. It is safe to say that if the original Harry Potter books were magical, this play would be a muggle.