Released in book form on July 31st, 2016, Directors and co-writers Jack Thorne and John Tiffany created the screenplay for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as the first of the Harry Potter series to be performed on stage. The screenplay is based on an original story written by J. K. Rowling that focuses on the sons of Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy as they travel back in time to prevent the death of Cedric Diggory. The play premiered in London’s West End Theater on July 30th, 2016.
Potter-heads were justifiably excited by this new release, but after devoting hours to consuming all 320 pages of the hardcover edition, many tired-eyed fans were disappointed – some even equating the book to a “bad fan pic” – as it seems to undermine the integrity of the rest of the series by making fundamental changes to the texts we know and love.
- Alternate Dimensions?
Time-turners are initially introduced in the third book of Rowling’s series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, as Hermione’s clever solution to enrolling in classes that are scheduled at the same time.
“I mean, you’re good Hermione, but no one’s that good. How’re you supposed to be in three classes at once?”
“Don’t be silly,” said Hermione shortly. “Of course I won’t be in three classes at once.”
The relic appears throughout the following books and serves the same relative purpose – it allows characters to travel (typically back) in time. However, in the screenplay for The Cursed Child, Albus Potter’s time-turner has the ability to create alternate universes. This leads to the main conflict in the play, as Albus finds himself in a universe where Voldemort defeated Harry Potter. Potter fans were furious with this change. Perhaps it would not have been as controversial if they didn’t BASE THE WHOLE PLOT OF THE PLAY ON IT!
- It’s a girl!
Another large point of contention in the plot of The Cursed Child is when Delphini reveals herself as the daughter of Bellatrix Lestrange and Lord Voldemort. Let’s just consider for a second that Lord Voldemort is so evil that he was capable of fragmenting his soul into 7 pieces (and hiding them in Horcruxes) through killing various witches and wizards in order to attain mortality. Fans found it impossible to fathom the idea of his participation in a sexually intimate act with anyone, let alone one that resulted in fathering a child. Can an immortal father even bear a mortal child? Why would an immortal even need an heir if he’s, you know…immortal?? This make the plot even more complicated and becomes something that Rowling, Thorne and Tiffany choose not to venture into untangling. This really does make the screenplay read like a bad spin off series or fan fiction.
- Cedric Diggory becomes a Death Eater
Like I said, the plot of The Cursed Child centers on Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy’s quest to save Cedric Diggory’s life during the Triwizard Tournament (flashback to Rowling’s fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). In order to save Cedric, Albus and Scorpius hinder his completion of a task in the tournament (that will prevent him from making it into the final round where he is killed) by transforming him into a red balloon. However, this act apparently humiliates Diggory so much that he becomes a Death Eater and abandons the little character development he was given…loyalty, selflessness, etc. For Potter fans this just seems like far too large of a stretch to be a realistic element of the plot. It also results in the implication that the best possible outcome for Diggory is death. Potterheads are simply not satisfied with this decision.