Everything Wrong With The Cursed Child

cursed child

I was hesitant when I purchased J. K. Rowling’s Cursed Child script, and as it turns out, this was for good reason. The beloved characters of the Harry Potter series have been described in completely uncharacteristic ways, and the plot either has holes or tears down previously understood rules of the magical world. It should also be noted that while it is based on a story she came up with, she did not write it, Jack Thorne did. From now on, this post will contain spoilers.

  • It’s not a massive problem, but the wording from the “nineteen years later” ending of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was changed in the opening of Cursed Child.
  • Despite Harry’s upbringing with the Dursleys and the experience of being hated and isolated he had, he tells his son Albus that “there are times when I wish you weren’t my son.” Harry is rude, even to Professor McGonagall, one of the people he respects most: “This map will reveal to you where my son is at all times – I expect you to use it. And if I hear I don’t – then I will come down on this school as hard as I can – using the full force of the Ministry – is that understood?” Fearless McGonagall has been turned into a pushover.
  • How can Harry speak Parseltongue when the Horcux which was enabling him to do so is gone?
  • Hermione has little to no personality. She may be the Minister of Magic, but she is beige, and amongst her old friends is more of a sheep than a leader. One of the smartest witches ever would not have been so stupid as to hide the time-turner in a bookshelf which asked three very simple riddles that the majority of people (and Scorpius) could solve, especially after her experience of fighting to get to the Philosopher’s Stone.
  • Ron is nothing more than comic relief. His character is written so differently that he is unrecognisable.
  • It had been established at the end of the Harry Potter series that Draco had changed, and yet in the alternative universe in which Voldemort won at the Battle of Hogwarts Draco is firmly and happily working for him. He had regretted being a Death Eater since he became one in the series, and yet in the alternate world in Cursed Child he is painted as nothing but dark.
  • It’s  hard to imagine that Harry and Draco would have a full-on wizard fight after the Sectumsempra incident in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
  • Scorpius, the son of Draco, is a Slytherin, but appears to show no characteristics of a Slytherin. Fans feel that Scorpius should have been placed in Ravenclaw, which I agree with.
  • Albus is unlikeable, spending most of the play moaning.
  • The majority of the fandom is positive that Albus and Scorpius belong together as a romantic couple, and find the pairing of Scorpius and Rose ridiculous. Whilst I don’t go so far as to believe that Rowling deliberately did this as a hetero-normative insult, the script undoubtedly implies that they have a romantic interest in each other.
  • Teddy Lupin is never mentioned – for a play about fatherhood and the understanding that Harry is godfather to Teddy and cares about him deeply, he should probably have come up at some point. Then again, Harry’s other two children James and Lily are rarely mentioned as Albus is the central focus of this play.
  • The Trolley Witch is said to be at least 190 years old seems a little far-fetched, although Rowling did say on one occasion that Dumbledore died at 115 and at another at 150 years old.
  • How on earth did Albus, Scoripus and Delphi get onto the Hogwarts grounds when they were not attending school? How did they gain access to one of the safest places in the magical universe?
  • Albus and Scorpius travel back in time with a time-turner that goes back not just hours, but years. When they time-travel, they completely change things in the world – this is something which it is established in the Harry Potter series does not happen. In Prisoner of Azkaban Harry, Ron and Hermione change small things which fit into the past they experienced. They remember the things that they change before they do them – the werewolf that is about to attack Harry doesn’t because it is distracted by Hermione’s howl from the woods, even though there is also a Hermione standing behind Harry out of the woods. However, in the Cursed Child completely different worlds are created, changing a rule of the magical world.
  • It is established in Cursed Child that by going back years, the time-turner only allows them to exist there for five minutes at a time before it pulls them back to the present. However, this is not consistent – it seems that Scorpius is with Snape and everyone is in Godric’s hollow for far longer.
  • When Cedric Diggory’s head is grown by a curse and he fails in the second task of the Triwizard Tournament, he is humiliated. Outrageously, it is scripted that this humiliation caused Cedric to become a Death Eater and murder Neville Longbottom. Cedric has been known as a great man, someone who was “kind, and honest, and brave, and true. Right to the very end.”
  • That Voldemort is found to have had a daughter with Bellatrix Lestrange destroys the previously understood notion amongst the majority of people that Voldemort was asexual, completely disinterested in sex, and had a lust only for power.
  • Overall, this script is also pretty lame. Phrases such “Oh for Potter’s sake” or “Thank Dumbledore” and the new Voldemort and Valor hand signal instead of the typical Dark Mark is really quite pathetic.

Do you disagree with this list? Do you have something to add?

Co-written by Rachael Elizabeth Miles and Florence Miles.

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