Book Reviews

Cursed Child: Follow-up Review

BookAndMugYou guys are going to think I’m crazy. I know I posted a Cursed Child review last night, and I stand by that review. But I wrote that while I was still on the fangirl high after reading it. There was barely any time between my finishing the book and my sitting down to write a review on it. I feel like the non-spoiler portion of the review had some thought put into it. It was coherent. I just feel like I missed a lot in the spoiler portion of the review. I was still high on the story, and I really should have taken the time to process the story and organize my thoughts. So I’m adding to the review in this post, and I promise to be more organized about it. There are going to be spoilers so don’t click Read More if you don’t want to be spoiled.

So I have a few categories for my thoughts so I’m just gonna go through them.

The Characters:

Scorpius Malfoy

Scorpius is my new favorite character. He is such a wonderful addition to this group of characters. He’s the child of Draco Malfoy and Astoria Greengrass. He’s super sweet and nerdy and a Slytherin. Now, I’m a Hufflepuff, but I’m really glad that we get introduced to a Slytherin who isn’t evil or slick or anything. Scorpius is a ray of sunshine. I feel so bad for him because he’s isolated. There’s this rumor going around that he is the son of Voldemort. That the Malfoys sent Astoria back in time to have sex with Voldemort and produce a pureblood heir .I mean obviously, there are a lot of issues with this rumor. Scorpius is the spitting image of his father. And, Voldemort wasn’t a pureblood. He’s a half-blood. I doubt that the world didn’t know that because history books about Voldemort and Harry and the Great Wizarding Wars are frequently mentioned. I’m sure Voldemort’s parentage would have come up at some point. It’s just silly. But kids are cruel. Scorpius is isolated before he even gets to Hogwarts. He has only one friend, Albus Severus Potter.

Albus Severus Potter

I have my issues with Albus. Like I said in my previous review, he’s really angsty. I can’t blame the kid. He has so much societal pressure because he’s Harry Potter’s son. Everyone is expecting him to be like his father, and he’s not. He gets sorted into Slytherin and on his first flying lesson, he’s the only one who can’t get the broomstick to fly to his hand. And people start taunting him and saying that there’s no way he can be Harry Potter’s son. He gets really angsty, and he takes it out on Harry. It’s not entirely fair, but it makes sense. He’s getting so much shit because he doesn’t live up to his father’s name. His only solace is his best friend, Scorpius.

Delphi

Voldemort and Bellatrix’s daughter. The girl with the silver/blue hair who claims to be Amos Diggory’s niece. I have mixed feelings about Delphi. She’s a grown-ass woman so she should set off some sort of alarms in Scorpius’s and Albus’s brains when she volunteers for this stupid ass mission to go back in time with them. Regardless, she’s kind of a badass, and a part of me feels bad for her. Not only is she an orphan, her parents have the worst reputation ever. Not that anyone outside of the hardcore Death Eater community knew anything about that. In the scene where she thinks she’s talking to her father, you can see she’s just a little girl desperate for some love and acceptance from her parent. She’s complicated.

Rose Granger-Weasley

I didn’t have that many thoughts about Rose. I just feel like I need to say that she is exactly what you would think would happen when you combine Ron and Hermione. Her main concern when she’s going to Hogwarts for the first time is if she’s going to break the school’s Quidditch record her first or second year and how soon she can take her OWLs. I’m pretty neutral about her, but I wish she had been a better friend to Albus.

The Relationships:

Scorpius and Albus

This is one of the most homoerotic friendships ever. I love it. I ship it. I will go down with this ship. Fangirling aside, I really am surprised they didn’t end up together. Their very good friends. They really only have each other at Hogwarts. The way they depend on each other goes beyond friendship in my mind. It’s in the little things. The way Albus reacts when he finds out Astoria died and how possessive/jealous Scorpius is when Albus shows some feelings towards Delphi just seems like more than just friends. And don’t even get me started on this:

SCORPIUS: There’s nothing. Still, if I had to choose a companion to be at the return of eternal darkness with, I’d choose you.

Guys. That’s more than just friendship. The homosexual undertones of this relationship are wonderful, and I have a new OTP.

Albus and Harry

This relationship is all kinds of messed up. Albus resents Harry for being Harry, and Harry has no idea how to deal with Albus. Albus is a shitty kid and Harry is a shitty dad. They start working through their issues a bit, and by the end, it seems like they’re on their way to creating a better relationship but it’s rough.

ALBUS: No! I just wish you weren’t my dad.

HARRY: Well, there are times I wish you weren’t my son.

That scene shocked me. Even before we got to this point, I knew something like it would happen. Harry didn’t mean it. He was angry. Albus knows how to get under his skin, and it slipped out. I kind of hated how bad this relationship was for a majority of the story. Mainly because it’s the catalyst for so many things going wrong. These two just need to realize that they’re more alike than they think. Superficially, they’re very different but emotionally, they have a lot in common.

Heartbreaking and awesome scenes

Alternate Reality: Voldemort’s World

I do have some questions about the time travel in this story, but I won’t get into that just yet. I want to focus on the fact that we finally got the answer to the question, “What if Voldemort had won, and Harry had died at the Battle of Hogwarts?” It’s terrifying. I mean, Umbridge is the Headmistress of Hogwarts in that reality.

Basically, this reality is set in motion because Albus and Scorpius go back in time and humiliate Cedric during the second task of the Triwizard Tournament. It’s so bad that he loses. He doesn’t tie with Harry. He doesn’t get killed in the end. But the humiliation was so great, that he got really bitter and mean and evil and became a Death Eater. A Death Eater would eventually kill Neville Longbottom before he could kill Nagini with the sword of Gryffindor. If Neville’s not around to kill Nagini, Voldemort still has a Horcrux and Harry dies. Albus isn’t around for this portion. Because no Harry means no Albus. Scorpius is left alone in this alternate reality and he has to find a way to fix things. He’s out looking for information about Harry Potter and Cedric Diggory when he hears that Snape is still alive and teaching Potions.

Yes, we see Snape again. And best of all, we see him being openly and proudly on Dumbledore’s side. He helps Hermione and Ron who are underground and hiding because they’re wanted. Snape, Hermione, Ron, and Scorpius go back in time to fix Cedric’s humiliations at the Triwizard Tournament to set things right. Hermione and Ron get their souls sucked by dementors after helping with the first task.

Snape and Scorpius head to the lake surrounded by dementors to try to fix the second task.

SNAPE: One person. All it takes is one person. I couldn’t save Harry for Lily. So now I give my allegiance to the cause she believed in. And it’s possible —that along the way I started believing in it myself.

And pretty much right after this, we have to see Snape die. Again. This time by a dementor’s kiss. This alternate reality, as scary as it is, is one of my favorite parts of this play. It really hit me emotionally, which is really hard for a script to do. Plays are visual mediums and reading them doesn’t give the same emotional response as watching them does. I found it impressive that it hit me so hard.

Lily’s and James’s Deaths

We had to watch Lily and James die. What’s worse is that Harry had to watch his parents die. The stage directions have Harry almost collapsing. He’s so heartbroken by what he’s seeing that he’s having trouble holding himself up. Albus is there to hold his hand and support him along with Ginny. I don’t have that many thoughts on this scene. It just very moving and heartbreaking and definitely worth mentioning.

Things That Don’t Make Sense

This is where I get a bit critical. I truly loved this story; I just need to talk about a few things that I don’t think make sense.

Time Turners

We are first introduced to Time Turners in Book Three. Like any story involving time travel, there are certain rules on how time travel works. This is what prevents time travel from getting too complicated for a story. In the series, time travel seems to go by the following principle: there is a single timeline. Anything that person from the future does is already a part of the timeline and has already happened. For instance, everything that Harry and Hermione did when they went back in time in Book 3 had already happened. Hermione threw had already thrown the stone, Hermione had almost revealed herself, and Harry had cast the Patronus Charm. By that logic, they weren’t really altering the past. They were simply following the timeline. It follows the “block universe” theory of time. The past, present, and future are already laid out and exist on their own. Time doesn’t pass; the past and future are just different parts of spacetime. What we think of as the present is simply the part of spacetime we are currently in. I’m not a philosopher or a quantum physicist, so I definitely oversimplified. But that’s the gist of how Time Turners work in Book Three.

Cursed Child throws all of this out the window. Why would they throw away the established rules of time travel? Yes, the story relies on this change, but it’s inconsistent with the cannon. In Cursed Child, you are able to alter the past to change the future. It’s inconsistent because if Albus and Scorpius were meant to go back in time and alter the outcome of the Triwizard Tournament, then it would have already been set. Everything Albus and Scorpius did would have been apparent in Book 4. And Scorpius wouldn’t have had to go back again to restore things to how they originally happened. If these had been the rules from the beginning I would have been okay with it, but they weren’t. I still love the play and the story wouldn’t have happened the way it did without having made this change, but it’s still a glaring inconsistency.

Moving on to another time turner related question, how did Albus, Scorpius, and Delphi get from Hogwarts in 1995 to Godric’s Hollow in 1981? The play establishes that this wonky time turner only moves you through time, not space. And it’s a very confusing scene to read in script form because it’s really unclear what’s going on. Did Delphi travel through time with them and then fly with them to Godric’s Hollow and then destroy the time turner? I’m just really confused about this scene. It just really contradicted and confused what we were told about this time turner.

Hermione’s Treatment of the Time Turner

Why didn’t Hermione destroy the time turner once she had it in her possession? Hermione knows how dangerous time turners can be. It seems so strange to me that she would keep it around, even if all she meant to do was keep it for further investigation.

Now, why did she hide it in a freaking bookcase? Don’t get me wrong, the scene with the weaponized bookcase is awesome, but I can’t help but think it wasn’t Hermione’s best plan. That bookcase is something she could have solved at 11 years old; I think the time turner deserved better protection than that. Maybe she had faith in Ministry security but my god she was able to sneak in there when she was a teenager and wanted by the government. I just feel like Hermione would have done a better job of hiding the time turner, but the plot wouldn’t allow it.

The Message on the Blanket

How did Albus and Scorpius get that message on Harry’s baby blanket? James and Lily were barely leaving the house because they knew Voldemort was hunting them. Baby Harry was wrapped in that blanket. I just want to know how they got their hands on it to write the message without being seen by James and Lily.

Bellatrix’s Pregnancy

Can someone please explain to me when the hell Bellatrix was pregnant? According to Cursed Child, she gave birth to Delphi at Malfoy Manor shortly before the Battle of Hogwarts. That means Bellatrix would have been pregnant when she killed Dobby, which according to Book 7 is around Easter. Now, Harry is unobservant, but I think he would have noticed if Bellatrix was eight, nearly nine, months pregnant. She would have looked different. There’s no mention of it. Even if we give Harry the benefit of the doubt, Draco would have known about Bellatrix being pregnant. She was living at Malfoy Manor and he didn’t go back to school after the Easter holidays. I know Malfoy Manor is huge, but I doubt they would have been able to hide a newborn, especially one born from Bellatrix Lestrange and Voldemort. That baby was probably hellish.

JK Rowling is not very good with dates (I don’t mean that as a criticism. She’s a wonderful author in every other regard). I know this because my friend writes Harry Potter fanfiction, and she gets really frustrated when she’s trying to find historical dates for the full moon, but they don’t match up with the information we’re given in the books. It’s possible that this is what’s happening now. Still, that doesn’t mean I can’t wonder when the fuck Bellatrix had sex with Voldemort and got pregnant.

Scenes and Things I NEED to See Live

This is just an itemized list of scenes I want to see on a stage because I had a hard time visualizing how they’d be done on a stage and I’m really curious.

  • Time turner transitions…all of them
  • Polyjuice scenes
  • The scene where Harry gets transfigured into Voldemort
  • The Draco/Harry duel
  • The bookshelf scene
  • THE FUCKING TROLLEY WITCH
  • Delphi and Harry dueling
  • The scene where the transfiguration spell starts to wear off and Harry turns back into himself slowly
  • Act 1, Scene 4 – the transition scene
  • Dementors

That’s it for my follow-up review. I hope you enjoyed it. I’m sorry it’s so long, but I had a lot of thoughts post-fangirl high, and I needed to share them.

 

 

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