Book Reviews

Book Review: Harry Potter And The Cursed Child

Cursed Child is the 8th Harry Potter story, based on Harry and the golden trio’s kids. Unlike the other Harry Potter books, this is the play’s script. Many people seemed to have picked this up expecting an actual 8th Harry Potter book! I have a lot of feelings about this one, so this Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book review will not hold back. 

What Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Is About

a copy of cursed child in front of a bookshelf with a want and a gryffindor scarf

The story picks up where Deathly Hallows concluded; Albus Severus feels he cannot live up to the standard set by his father or his other siblings who are placed in Gryffindor, while Albus finds himself sorted into Slytherin.

Albus befriends Scorpius Malfoy, Draco’s son of all people. When Amos Diggory asks Harry to use the last time-turner in existence to go back and save Cedric, Albus and Scorpius can’t understand why. The two learn very quickly not to meddle with time. 

What I Thought

The gist feels like a magical Back to the Future. Albus and Harry’s relationship is strained, and the dynamic of this relationship is similar to Scorpius and Draco’s, which is why the boys become friends. 

I may be a massive fan of Harry Potter, but I admit that I had my doubts about Cursed Child.

It certainly does feel like the eighth story, and the magic is still alive; characters we adore return, new ones are introduced, and dare I say, even those we hated resurface once more.

Cursed Child Is Not Perfect

a theatre showing harry potter and the cursed child
Photo by Francais a Londres on

*spoilers ahead*

Ron Makes No Sense

Ron’s character was lacking in this. Harry, Hermoine, Ginny, and Draco played pivotal roles in the plot, but Ron seemed to function as a failed attempt at comic relief. He grew up to run the Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes with George, so perhaps the silliness rubbed off on him.

When a story is littered with suspense and tension, we need a good chuckle now and then, but in the original series, the twins added humour but contributed to the plot and had more depth than Ron provided in this. If anything, all Ron seemed to do in Cursed Child was get on my nerves. It felt like Ron had to be there on the basis of being part of the Golden Trio, but he had no reason to be there beyond that. 

Odd Character Progressions

Some of the character progressions also didn’t make sense. Ron and Hermoine’s daughter is like a throwback to pre-troll-in-the-dungeon Hermoine, a snobby know-it-all. Yet, I can’t see the Hermoine ever allowing her daughter to grow up like Rose.

Rose is very proud of the status being a “Granger-Weasley” has brought her, but I don’t see Ron and Hermoine condoning that. Hermoine, as a Muggle-born, definitely wouldn’t raise a daughter to value blood status and a family name like the pure-blood wizards who tormented her when she was young. 

Hermoine also never would have wanted to be the Minister of Magic. Who could forget her telling Cornelius Fudge that she wanted to do something good with her life in Deathly Hallows?

The huge thing was also Voldemort having an heir. Voldemort intended on being immortal, so him wanting an heir makes no sense.

The Casting

a woman in black robe and scarf holding a book
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Image not from Cursed Child.

The big talking point about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the casting of Hermoine. I’m all for it.

J.K. Rowling claimed on Twitter that Hermonie’s skin colour was never specified, but as Book Riot put it; the textual evidence suggests she is white, while it’s explicitly stated that characters like Dean Thomas and Angelina Johnson are Black.

I’d respect her more if she just said she was happy with the Cursed Child casting and left it at that. In fact, a lot of Potterheads are starting to have concerns about J.K. Rowling and the franchise.

The Bottom Line On Cursed Child

harry potter glasses and gryffindor scarf

Perhaps I shouldn’t compare this to the first seven Harry Potter books so much given that Cursed Child was based on J.k. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne’s story but the script was actually wrote by Jack Thorne, and not Rowling.

I will give credit where credit was due, capturing the magic of Harry Potter with only dialogue and sparse stage directions is a difficult task and ultimately I feel Thorne did a fairly good job. However, a lot felt fan-fictiony. As adamant as a lot of Potterheads are that this is not canon, J.K Rowling insists that it is.

Honestly there’s better fan-fiction out there.

I had a good laugh in the Harry Potter gift shop in King’s Cross station where they had a tiny shelf of Cursed Child merch almost hidden in the most remote section of the shop! Even the official Harry Potter store doesn’t seem to love the 8th story. 

For a while, I felt that I was back in the Harry Potter universe and was even sad upon finishing it. But like Crimes of Grindlewald, you might want to repress all your Harry Potter knowledge if the small errors and lapses in canon will bother you. For avid Potterheads, it’s like your childhood is flashing before your eyes – I may even amend that statement to say it’s like viewing your childhood memories through a Pensieve.

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