Reading the “The Cursed Child” in the latest edition in the Harry Potter series left me disappointed to be honest. The play explores the plot device of time travel by time turner with Albus and Severus traveling back into time to prevent Cedric Diggory’s death. Other themes included in the play would be heavy weight of living up father’s sins or shadows and father-son relationship conflicts. From just the plot itself, the whole play should not be a worthy addition to the Harry Potter canon. Here are 10 things I hate about the play.
- Time Travel Plot Device – Why is time travel is essentially the plot? Anytime you introduce time travel in fiction, you would run into logical contradictions and paradoxes. Also, it has been established that time travel ensures a stable time loop and can’t go further than a few hours so why suddenly has the canon regarding time travel been retconned?
- Idiotic Plot – So Albus and Scorpius decided to travel back in time to the Triwizard Tournament in order to prevent Cedric’s death. Not only will this lead to unpredictable consequences, but also they could endanger their lives in the past especially since they have zero knowledge on the Triwizard Tournament. While they are at it, why don’t they prevent Voldemort’s resurrection by sending horcrux information to Dumbledore? This might prevent future casualties of war, including Cedric Diggory.
- Voldemort’s Son Conspiracy Theory– The rumor has to be so outlandish and illogical that I wonder why so many would take it that seriously. I could see conspiracy theorists taking the rumor seriously but having it circulating throughout the mainstream population is unlikely. First of all, it’s established that time turners can’t turn back time that far so why would a lot of people overestimated time turner’s abilities? Also, why would the Malfoys go through the process of time traveling and approach Voldemort in order to him to impregnated Astoria? From the wizarding war, Draco was very fearful of Voldemort in the knowledge that he was disposable pawn so why would he want to meet Voldemort in the past considering the risks and dangers? Voldemort might kill future Malfoy or torture information out of Malfoy, which would affect the outcome of the second wizarding war. In addition, Scorpius is practically a splitting image of young Draco Malfoy down to the hair and face for physical evidence.
- “What the hell, Harry?” – During the argument between Albus and Harry Potter, Harry blurts out the gist that he wishes Albus wasn’t his son. While Harry is impulsive and quick to anger, this somewhat derails his character and maturity. I honesty expected a “tough luck” answer from him while being emotionally affected from his son’s hurtful comment.
- Derailment of Cedric – From the fourth book, Cedric Diggory is shown to be a fair, noble, and kind-hearted individual. However, after being humiliated in the Triwizard Tournament by Albus and Scorpius, Cedric lives and became consumed with anger that he joins the Death Eaters’ side. This consequence resulted in Voldemort winning the war since Cedric killed Neville. Cedric becoming evil after the humiliation degrades and contradicts his character and portrays him as a petty individual.
- Rose the “Best Friend” – Rose and Albus were best friends since childhood only to be torn apart by Rose’s dislike of Scorpius. Dropping Albus suddenly after he befriended Scorpius, Rose didn’t even support him. I get that she would be suspicious of Scorpius because of his father’s sins but wouldn’t eventually she come around considering Scorpius proved to be a nice guy and that she was Albus’s childhood friend? For someone who inherited her mother’s intelligence, this decision to ostracize Scorpius on the basis of his father’s past was irrational and illogical.
- Hermione as Snape 2.0 – In an alternated timeline, Hermione didn’t marry Ron Weasley but became a mean Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. What happened to an independent Hermione? Why is her reciprocated love to Ron required for her to be a nicer individual? Before she and Ron loved each other, Hermione wasn’t spiteful in her youth.
- Troll Witch Big Alligator Lip Moment – Why was the reveal of the Trolley Witch relevant to character development or advancement of the plot? Take out her scene and it wouldn’t have impacted the story. Was she put in as a comedic relief to the story? Here I thought the whole play is a comedy if I hadn’t known better.
- Voldemort – Why after 20 years have been passed is Voldemort a central point in this story? All the nightmares, scar hurting, time traveling, etc have already been done to death in the seven book series. There is too much focus on the past here and not the future of wizarding world. For a villain focus, it would be fresher to focus on something different and explore changes that have occurred since 20 years. Having the main villain being related to Voldemort is exhausting in fiction.
- Delphi Diggory – It turns out that Voldemort did sire a child after all but it isn’t Scorpius. The twist that Delphi Diggory is actually Voldemort’s and Bellatrix’s daughter is so Night Shyamalan that it’s not even funny. Did they consulted Night Shabalabadingdong for the writing? If they were going this route, I rather have said offspring being conflicted with her parentage and prove her own individuality rather than follow father’s footsteps.The twist adds to the credence that this play is canonized bad fanfiction filled with cliches. Her silvery hair doesn’t help matters either considering unnatural hair is a common trope associated with Mary Sues. Considering Voldemort’s confidence in his ability to obtain immortality, he would not likely think about a potential heir. Then again, Voldemort could have just banged Bellatrix simply for the pleasure rather than for producing an heir. Either way, ew.
I am sure the performance is superb but the plot points leaves a lot to be desired. Granted, the play wasn’t written by Rowling so it’s no wonder the play is filled with blatant cliches in fan fiction. If the play is classified as a parody, it would have been an excellent parody exploring said cliches and bad writing in general for a fandom.