Friday, August 5, 2016

Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (WARNING: SPOILERS)

Reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was oddly satisfying. Hermione is Minister for Magic. Ginny edits the sports pages for The Daily Prophet. Harry did become an Auror after all and is now Head of Magical Law Enforcement.

Fans who had a strong desire to see Harry and Draco Malfoy bury the hatchet will also be glad to see that the two have done just that. Taking it a step further, Albus and Scorpius are the new Harry and Ron/Hermione, sharing everything from their sweets from the Trolley Lady to bending the dimensions of time.

As was bound to happen, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child broke sales records this week but many JK Rowling fans are seething. ‘You owe yourfans a BOOK!’ they shout from this headline in The Telegragh. But does she? Really?

Rowling swore never to write another Harry Potter novel after The Deathly Hallows and she has upheld that vow. That, I think, is deserving of respect because why overexploit a winning franchise and risk brewing the Drought of the Living Dead?

Nobody wants another Harry Potter book more than I. Written by JK Rowling, not a playwright working off a short story she wrote. The Cursed Child has been accused for playing out like fan fiction. I’m pretty certain I read a tale woven around the theory that Voldermort might have had a child with Bellatrix and that is just how the book rounds off to close for its finale.

If this were a JK Rowling original, none of these theories would have been given any credence in the final product. As the creator of this world, she managed to keep her fans on tenterhooks until the very end. She was the one who designed the pillars, dungeons and secret chambers, and fan fiction just spun like webs around them. It must have been very hard work for her, if you ask me. To have so many traps to get caught in and yet, in the course of seven spectacular books, not once was her storytelling influenced by these theories, no matter how creative, fantastical or fantastic. Somehow, Rowling masterfully steered her story towards more exciting – unexpected and fulfilling – avenues because she is the maker of this, a god in her own right, a master of fantasy fiction.

I have read the Harry Potter series so many times, I actually found myself creating a quiz for Potterheads at pubs and themed parties after it ended. I envy every woman, man and child who hasn’t yet read the book because you only get to discover Rowling’s world of magic for the first time, once. But when I finished the final book, I was, once again, oddly satisfied because I believe that this series I had followed for over a decade was, much like life, made more precious by the fact that it had ended. I really appreciated that.

I read Harry Potter and The Cursed Child for a whole day and a night – under the blanket by torchlight, no less – and yes, it was oddly satisfying. Except, not in the manner in which I was used to given my love for the original series. I kept waiting for something to jump out and shout, “Boo”. Sadly, it was in vain. 

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