So, I finally got around to starting, and finishing, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child yesterday. And I don’t hate it.
The internet and Harry Potter fans as a whole seem to loathe the story, citing that it reads more like fan fiction than true canon – and I have to agree with them on that point. As much as I enjoyed immersing myself into that world again and as much as I ultimately enjoyed the play, there were some glaring issues with the plot, and most importantly, character behaviour that I am having a hard time reconciling with.
I’m sure that the play is a spectacle to behold, but as a story in the Potterverse, it does more to anger me as a fan than create feelings of wonder at being back in that world. Here are some of my gripes and questions regarding Harry Potter and the Cursed Child from a pretty die hard Potter fan!
To be blunt, the very inclusion of Time Turners as a plot point was very frustrating for me. Time travel in any literary universe usually opens up far more paradoxes, inconsistencies, and plot holes than they are worth. JK Rowling was smart enough to realize this and had them all destroyed in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to stop people from wondering why the heroes or villains of the story never use them. It’s also important to note that the original time turners were powerful, but still had significant limitations in how they could be wielded.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, however, centralizes on a super powerful time turner that can go back years, even decades. To be fair, this turner has a new limitation of only working for 5 minutes at a time – but oh wait, there is another freaking time turner that can go back just as far and does not have 5 minute limitation.
They solved a major plot hole in the story caused by a time turner by simply adding in a second, godlier time turner. Dumb.
I like to talk about the motivation of characters a lot. A character’s motivation is the reason a character does, well, anything. The two “protagonists” are the overwhelmingly unlikable Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy. Their entire motivation !and the entire reason for the entire plot of the entire play is based on them wanting to go back in time to save Cedric Diggory.
Let’s first take a step back and ignore the fact that going back 20 years in time to do literally anything is supremely stupid, and instead focus on why they wanted to do this in the first place.
It’s not like either of them ever knew Cedric Diggory. Cedric may be a fan favourite, but who would he be to the son of a Potter and a Malfoy? It hurts my brain trying to wrap my head around what possible (realistic) reason these two boys would have to risk everything in order to save a man they’ve never met.
The stated reason is that Amos Diggory hears that the ministry has uncovered a powerful time turner, so he visits Harry to beg him to use it and save his son. Harry obviously refuses, as it’s an insane idea. Unfortunately, Albus overhears the conversation and somehow mistakes his father’s refusal to use the time turner as evidence that Harry is a heartless asshole or something. Why the hell does Amos blame Harry so much, anyway?
The only rationalization I have been able to come up with is a combination of Delphi whispering in his ear like a sexy Gríma Wormtongue, or possibly dementia. Amos lives at an old age home and apparently has a reputation of being a mean old bastard. And also enough of a bastard to allow two underage wizards to go back 20 years in time to save his son.
There were also some moments in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child that made me stop and think, “whoa, that’s not right!”. These moments always occurred after a well-established character did something completely out of character.
Amos Diggory, as stated above, was one of those characters who just felt off. The Amos I remember loved his son more than anything imaginable, but the idea of him even flirting with the possibility of sending two boys 20 years back in time to save his son is absurd. His new-found hatred of Harry is more than just misplaced, it goes against what we already knew about Amos.
They did not blame him for what had happened; on the contrary, both thanked him for returning Cedric’s body to them. Mr. Diggory sobbed through most of the interview. Mrs. Diggory’s grief seemed to be beyond tears.Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 37
However, I think the worst change was not to Amos, but TO his son Cedric.
During one of the alternate timelines, an embarrassed Cedric turns into a death eater, fights against Harry in the battle of Hogwarts, and murders Neville. Cedric Diggory. Death Eater. Because he was humiliated. This is such an intimately wrong idea that I don’t think I need to explain to any Harry Potter why such a timeline of events would be literally impossible.
Ultimately, I did, in fact, enjoy the script and am happy that it was released, but I do not think I will be including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in my own personal headcanon; I’ll stick to the original series thanks!
I originally posted this on designbypixl.com