Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Fan-fiction vs. true story
September 4, 2016
Just a fan fiction
After finishing The Deathly Hallows, I wondered what would be next for Hermione, Ron and Harry. When I heard there would be a new story coming out based off the Harry Potter series, I was ecstatic! I kept trying to imagine what it might be about and who would be the new antagonist since Voldemort was supposedly killed in The Deathly Hallows.
I remember reading all the Harry Potter books’ throughout my childhood. My imagination was stretched so far and so wide, that I too wished I could be a wizard. I got hooked on the idea that there could be a whole other world out there with magic, muggles and of course chocolate frogs.
I pre-ordered the book two weeks before it was released, and started reading right away. I loved how Jack Thorne[the author] started the book where it left off in The Deathly Hallows. From reading the book, I found that it wasn’t really a continuum of the Harry Potter series, but more of a ‘fan-fiction’ type book. It seems as though it was only created to bring it back for the fans and not to continue Harry’s story. Yes, Harry dodges through the hardships of trying to be a good father to his children, and still carry the burdened nickname he’s had all his life. He witnesses what it’s like to be in other people’s shoes and feels guilty of putting his fame onto his children, but soon realizes what it feels like to be a young wizard again.
I loved that the book was written in script form, and how the novel focused on friendship and real life relationships. I was expecting the story to have more life to it and to end with the feeling of excitement and hopes for another book to come out soon after. I think Thorne could’ve included Harry’s oldest son, James, in the book more. He also could have elaborated more on why certain things happened. For example, in the beginning when it talks about Draco’s wife dying, the book never really said how she died or why it was important.
I will always be a fan of all of the Harry Potter books, and I will continue to reread and relive the magic in each story. However, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child disappointed me and did not fulfill the expectations that I, and a lot of other fans had.
An amazing continuation of a beloved series
Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to watch or read anything related to Harry Potter. My mother found it’s connection to the dark arts a bit disturbing, and forbade me from taking part of a ‘magical’ point in time. Imagine my surprise when, at one Christmas, I was presented with blu ray editions of all eight of the Harry Potter movies.
The world of Hogwarts pulled me in and made me fall in love, and soon thereafter I began avidly reading the series. I followed the stories of Ron, Harry, and Hermione and their escapades, and when I had turned the final page of The Deathly Hallows, I wanted more. I wondered what their futures would amount to, but accepted that I probably wouldn’t know, as nothing had been published for over 6 years at the time. I, like so many other Harry Potter fans, simply created my own future for the characters I had put so much time into getting to know. Then it was announced that a play would be debuted sometime in 2016, showing what the novelised world of wizardry had become, and I was surprisingly wary.
I knew the script wasn’t written by J.K Rowling, and I felt that no one but her could capture the spirit of the magical world she had meticulously created. Still, I kept up to date on the production, and was overjoyed when I discovered that a novelized version of the rehearsal script would be released. Written by Rowling or not, I had always wanted to know the future of the golden trio, and almost immediately nabbed a copy to read. I was awestruck. Jack Thorne, the playwright, took the futures of the characters and made it heartbreakingly realistic.
The resentment Albus, Harry Potter’s second son, feels towards his father strikes a chord with anyone forced to live in the shadow of their parent or sibling when they don’t quite live up to the expectations. We get to see how the boy-who-lived doesn’t have a life as perfect as he would like it to be, riddled with the stress of being famous and the guilt of pushing that fame and expectation onto his children.
We also get to see the hardships that Draco, one of the beautifully written antagonists of the original series, has to endure as the choices he made come back to haunt his child, Scorpius. Harry too, grapples with the past and forgiving those who claimed to love him, but ultimately made him make decisions no child should have to. Each character’s storyline is honest and accurate, as Thorne brings real life familial issues into a magical world that perhaps isn’t so wonderful.
My original wariness was proven unwarranted, as Thorne was able to brilliantly capture the spirits of every character I had grown enamored with so many years ago. It is more than a ‘fan fic’ as many people have complained, but rather a unique, grounded lens to view the world of Harry Potter through.