(Guys, put the guns away.)
The Cursed Child is a very controversial book. Some people hate it, some love it, and some are neutral on it. It’s written as a play, and a lot of the people who actually go to see the play are some of the people who end up loving it. Unfortunately for a lot of people, the play is really expensive to see, as well as not always being shown in the area some people live.
I’m pretty much is the neutral category. There are definitely issues and problems with The Cursed Child, but it also has some really good, sweet, funny, and cute scenes in it, as well as some nice character stuff.
Some people just don’t like it because they don’t like that it’s written in the form of a play, and yes, it is kind of strange to read in that style, especially when you’re not used to reading in it and when this book is supposed to be a sequel to a series that isn’t written the same way. And it can definitely be weird when the book says things like “the stage” and “we cut to black”, because that makes you imagine the play in your head instead of imagining it as a movie, which is kind of annoying because when you’re reading a book and not watching a play, you probably want to think of it more as a movie in your head instead of as a play in your head, even if it’s written as a play.
But other than that, come on, just the fact that it’s written differently, as a play instead of a regular book, doesn’t make it terrible. It’s about the characters and story, not about the fact that it’s a play.
One problem people have is how Harry acts in it. He’s kind of out of character, I agree. However, people do tend to exaggerate it a little sometimes.
“Harry said he regretted having Albus as a son!”
No, he said “There are times where I wish you weren’t my son.” in response to Albus saying “There are times I wish you weren’t my father.”
Harry said it as an angry response, not really meaning what he said.
That still doesn’t mean that it was okay for him to say it though, in general or as a parent, although just because someone does some bad things sometimes, it doesn’t make them all-around a bad person. No one wants a perfect person as a fictional character, anyway, and Harry is not a perfect person, which is one reason I actually appreciate him as a main character in the original books.
However, just because of Harry’s flaws and anger issues, I still can’t entirely see him saying something like this to his son, and I do think it was a bit out of character for him. And on top of that, there were other things he said and did that were really out of character for him. He started to buy into the rumor that Scorpius was Voldemort’s son (and there are soooo many reasons that rumor doesn’t make any sense and was probably just made up by someone who hated the Malfoys. I could go on about it.), and he tried to split Scorpius and Albus up, even though they were best friends (and were really the only friend each of them had).
I did feel a little better about it after I read that it was because a centaur told Harry that there was a “dark cloud” around Albus, and Harry thought it was referring to Scorpius, so Harry didn’t completely come up with his idea on his own, but I still don’t think the “real Harry” would jump to that sort of conclusion that easily. He would’ve tried to investigate it more, instead of being all “Welp, Scorpius is evil then, lmao.”
Yes, Harry can be stupid and jump to conclusions sometimes, but I don’t think he would act that way about his son’s best friend!
He also threatened Mcgonagall that he would have the Ministry shut down the whole school if Scorpius and Albus were ever together, which is definitely not something he would do. And he accused Scorpius of being the son of Voldemort to Draco (Scorpius’s actual father)’s face! Who even does that!? Not Harry!
Now, one good thing that came out of it was Draco’s reaction and the whole fight he had with Harry. I think that scene was hilarious, especially when Ginny walked in, then the scene ends and the book goes to something else for a few pages, before going back to Harry, Draco, and Ginny, and giving us some more funny stuff before actually getting kind of emotional.
The one other thing I can say about Harry’s character in this book, is that I like how, even if he acted really badly, and even if it was out of character, he did still at least apologize for it in the end, at least to Albus (but I also like to imagine that he apologized to Draco, just like I imagine Draco apologizing to him). Generally speaking, Harry is a person who does bad things and makes mistakes, but then he does apologize and set everything right. He’s human- he makes mistakes, but he’s also good- he does the best he can. What The Cursed Child got right about Harry, is that he does bad things and makes mistakes, but then he does apologize for it. What it got wrong, were the specific bad things Harry did.
This is very similar to what happened with Tigerheart’s character in Warriors: The Raging Storm.
Tigerheart is a good “person” who does sometimes make mistakes and do bad things but then apologizes and make it right.
In The Raging Storm, he was out of character and did some bad things that he really wouldn’t do, but he was still in character enough to at least apologize in the end.
The Raging Storm was also still an enjoyable book, despite its inconsistencies with Tigerheart.
There’s another major character inconsistency in The Cursed Child, which is probably worse than Harry’s: Cedric Diggory.
Cedric Diggory became a Death Eater because he was embarrassed that Scorpius and Albus rescued him during the second task by expanding his head and getting him disqualified from the tournament.
This is just not Cedric Diggory. The only way I could ever see Cedric becoming a Death Eater, is if Voldemort threatened to torture and/or kill one or more people who Cedric loves, or something like that, but definitely not because he was embarrassed.
In fact, Draco, who actually did become a Death Eater, didn’t become one “because he was embarrassed about something.” There were many times where Draco got embarrassed for whatever reason, including when Barty Crouch Jr./Mad-Eye Moody turned him into a ferret and bounced him around. But Draco did not become a Death Eater because of his embarrassment, he became a Death Eater later on for much different reasons.
At least it was the Cedric from an alternate timeline, so the “real” Cedric from the “real” timeline is still the same one, but I still think there’s a problem with how, just because Scorpius and Albus changed something and caused him to be embarrassed, he became a Death Eater.
Now I’ll move on to some things I think are really good about The Cursed Child! First, I’m going to talk about Scorpius Malfoy!
Scorpius is a very precious and sweet bean. He has this “adorkableness” about him. He also gets mistreated by other people sometimes, either because he’s Draco’s son or because the think he’s the son of Voldemort, which really upsets Draco.
Scorpius is also a generally relatable character because of his social anxiety and his general social awkwardness. Okay, I feel that on a personal level.
I also love the friendship he has with Albus. I think they have a nice, sweet and cute friendship, and I like how it’s a Malfoy and a Potter.
While we’re on the subject of Malfoys, another thing I really like about The Cursed Child, is how it handled Draco and his redemption arc! I also love his relationship with Astoria, and I ship DracoxAstoria with my life!
There is another Warriors book I’m going to compare to this, and that is Crowfeather’s Trial. Crowfeather’s Trial was probably all-around better than The Cursed Child, but there is one thing The Cursed Child did better, and that is its redemption arc.
Draco’s redemption was better than Breezepelt’s. Draco actually took responsibility for his actions and regretted them and wanted to do better. He put hard work and effort into becoming a better person, which is much more meaningful than him just snapping his fingers and all of a sudden being good. He was a bad person who became good and he was portrayed that way. He wasn’t portrayed as a misunderstood baby who never actually did anything wrong.
Breezepelt on the hand, never really took much responsibility for his actions, and they were pretty much just blamed on his father. He was treated like he was always just a misunderstood kit who never did anything wrong, and it really just seemed like he had just woken up and all of sudden become good.
I did love Crowfeather’s Trial, and I enjoyed reading about Breezpelt in it- he was very cute an funny, and his relationship with Heathertail was cute and sweet, but his character and redemption could’ve been done better.
Draco’s character and redemption was done wonderfully in The Cursed Child.
His relationship with his wife is very sweet, beautiful, and pure.
We don’t see his wife actually appear throughout the entire book, but we can just use our imagination to figure out that Astoria had to be strong enough to put up with Draco 24/7, but she also had to have a soft and gentle side to comfort him and help him with his PTSD. She has to be calm and soothing sometimes, but also fierce and has to yell at him other times.
We also know Astoria has a blood curse which causes her to be weaker and frailer. Draco is very devoted to her and does everything he can to take care of her. I find it really sweet how Astoria takes care of his mental needs, while he takes care of her physical ones.
They’re similar enough to understand each other’s problems but also different enough to help each other with them.
We know that Lucius and Narcissa didn’t like Astoria or approve of Draco’s marriage to her, so Draco stood up to Lucius, and I also imagine that he stood up to Narcissa too but probably directed it more at Lucius because I feel like he’d be the main one disapproving of it and would probably throw some mean things at Astoria sometimes (which would really make Draco angry).
Scorpius: She said that Grandfather didn’t like her very much – opposed the match – thought she was too Muggle-loving – too weak – but that you defied him for her. She said it was the bravest thing she’d ever seen.The Cursed Child, page 173
I could go on and on about their relationship and why I love them, but I think that should be covered in a separate thing (I actually do have Character in the Spotlight: Astoria (Greengrass) Malfoy that talks about it.), but I will talk about one other thing that has to do with this, and that is her death.
Eventually, Astoria died due to her blood curse. Draco stayed with her right up to the very end, doing everything he could to take care of her and make her as comfortable as possible. When she died, Draco was heartbroken. It makes the story (Draco’s side in particular) more sad and bittersweet. The way that Draco talks about his wife after she died is so heartbreakingly sad and sweet – it actually made me feel an emotion! Her death definitely adds a lot to the story and to Draco’s relationship with her.
Also, Scorpius was very devastated when his mother died, and his and Draco’s father-son relationship kind of started to falter, but Draco still did his best to be the best father he could be, and in the end, I think they ended up having a stronger bond than they did before.
Scorpius trots up to his dad.
Draco: We can hug too if you like…
Scorpius looks at his dad, unsure for a moment. And then they sort of half hug in a very awkward way. Draco smiles.The Cursed Child, page 274
One more major thing about The Cursed Child I want to talk about is the plot.
The plot was really weird and strange. Albus and Scorpius went back in time to save Cedric Diggory, and because of that one change, it made everything much worse. I already talked about the inconsistency with Cedric, but other than that, I do understand how it can be interesting to see what would happen if things had been different and why it would be dangerous to time-travel, but I don’t think this idea really fits well into Harry Potter.
There are people who just think the idea of using a Time Turner to go back as far as they did is inconsistent with the original series, when, in Prisoner of Azkaban, they only went back to earlier in the day, and no Time Turner could be used to go back very far. But the Time Turner Scorpius and Albus used was specifically made as one that could go back farther in time, and later on, Draco, Harry, Ginny, Hermione, and Ron used the same kind of Time Turner, only one that could stay back in time for a longer period of time than the one Scorpius and Albus used.
I don’t think the idea of creating a new kind of Time Turner like this is unrealistic for Harry Potter. I just don’t think the whole plot works for a series like this.
There were some nice scenes and quotes that were in the book that wouldn’t have been in it if the plot had been different, like Scorpius saying “It’s time time-travel became a thing of the past.” There would definitely still be other hilarious and dorky things Scorpius would say if the plot had been different though.
There are also more random inconsistencies with what happened because of the changes Scorpius and Albus made, like, why would this change cause this to happen?
One weird thing that came to my mind, was just that, in the alternate timeline where Voldemort took over, Draco was still a Death Eater and was pretty much the same way he was as a kid, unlike in the real timeline where he redeemed himself and change for the better, and yet, he was still married to Astoria, even though she wouldn’t ave married him if he hadn’t changed or at least shown signs of changing. I don’t even know if Draco would still be alive if Voldemort had taken over though; it’s possible Voldemort would’ve killed him and his parents not long after he fully took over.
This is really just something that stood out to me that I could just try to ignore.
It just seems like the book wanted to focus more on family, friendship, romance, and love more than on the actual plot , and sure, the original series has lots of elements of those things too, but I think The Cursed Child wanted to make them stronger, and there really isn’t anything wrong with that. I honestly love stories focusing on those things more than just a plot, but there still does need to be a good plot to help convey these elements, even if the story itself isn’t really about the plot. I don’t really think The Curse Child needed a major villain, let alone the daughter of Voldemort.
I feel like the “villain” should’ve been more internal. Both Harry and Draco could have this, though I would like to focus more on Draco, as I really do think his story in The Cursed Child is somewhat the center of the story.
There could still be a human villain just to kind of make the plot work and convey the messages, but it doesn’t have to be a super major villain, certainly not Voldemort’s daughter.
Crowfeather’s Trial and Tigerheart’s Shadow are two Warriors books like this. There really isn’t any major villain in either of them, but there are still lots of obstacles the characters had to face. Crowfeather’s Trail was about Crowfeather’s broken family coming closer together, and Tigerheart’s Shadow was basically a romance novel. Both of these books heavily focus on love.
And sure, The Curse Child is different than the original series and would still be different even with my ideas on changing it, but different doesn’t always mean bad.
“My father thought he was protecting me. Most of the time. I think you have to make a choice – at a certain point – of the man you want to be. And I tell you that at that time you need a parent or a friend. And if you’ve learnt to hate your parent by then and you have no friends… then you’re all alone. And being alone – that’s so hard. I was alone. And it sent me to a truly dark place. For a long time.”
–Draco MalfoyThe Cursed Child, page 136