In the second half of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I don’t know what to do with any of this. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read something that vaguely resembles Harry Potter.
What the ever living fuck, y’all.
- I can definitely say I got through Part II much quicker than I did the first half. Part of that came from getting used to the text itself, and that’s a good thing. It became easier to read once you got used to the format!
- Which is a blessing if only because the content of the text is… Well, decidedly not as easy to get through.
- I absolutely did not buy the idea that humiliating Cedric Diggory turns him into a Death Eater who murders Neville Longbottom.
- There is no timeline where this happens.
- And look, I get that this is how time travel fiction works. One act spirals into another, creating a cascading chain of events that leads to another end. But often, these paths are not nearly as linear or literal as Rowling and the other writers want them to be. In this world, one change leads to a second one, and then that’s it. There’s no chain here. It’s just like, two levels of cause-and-effect, and that is, frankly, boring.
- I’ll give you example. Voldemort survives because Neville, murdered by Cedric, isn’t around to kill Nagini.
- Are you telling me that no one else figured out that they should kill Nagini?
- History is not that simple!
- This script feels like it’s going for some type of Through The Looking Glass weirdness and surreality, and instead, it comes off as… Damn it. It is so weird to invoke Fanfiction here because I am far from the days when that could have been an insult. I HAVE READ SO MANY ALTERNATE UNIVERSE AND ALTERNATE HISTORY FICS THAT WERE DONE WITH FAR MORE ATTENTION TO DETAIL THAN PRETTY MUCH ALL OF THIS.
- Ultimately, that’s one major reason why this cannot ever work for me. All of J.K. Rowling’s worldbuilding is cast aside just to make the point that time travel is bad. I don’t get a sense of wonder from this. Very little is told to me about this new world except that everything is just the opposite of ours. Voldemort won, Draco is the head of the Magical Law Enforcement organization, everyone worships Voldemort, and Scorpius is popular and a bully.
- Writing as if it’s Opposite Day isn’t all that compelling.
- SNAPE. SNAPE. SEVERUS SNAPE.
- Oh my god, it was just so weird. He’s dead! He can’t talk or appear in this book and it is too weird for me.
- I do have some positive things to say, I promise, but in a book about confronting the past, The Cursed Child seems obsessed with going out of its way to make sure we all know that Snape is a hero who did heroic things while being a hero. I get it. He did sacrifice a lot for the good of the Wizarding world, and he was also an abusive asshole to a bunch of children for years. No, Rowling/Thorne/Tiffany, stop trying to make Hero Snape happen.
- Hey, Ron and Hermione are timeless and not limited by alternate universe! Which is kind of cute, but lord, why is this all so awkward? I could not see Rowling’s writing or her style in most of this.
- The Dementor scene was fucked up.
- Professor McGonagall is still my eternal favorite, and there’s literally no one else in this entire script who is more consistently characterized based on canon than her. God, I loved reading her chewing out Albus and Scorpius.
- I still have major problems with the way that the Albus/Harry conflict was introduced to us. It’s just there with no real build-up, and I couldn’t ignore it even when the two started to reconcile. That scene in the Slytherin dormitory was pretty cool, though, and it’s a neat sign of the potential for this relationship.
- WHY. WHY WOULD THESE TWO CHARACTERS OPENLY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THEY DON’T TRUST ADULTS TO DESTROY THE TIME TURNER, BUT THEN GIVE THE TIME TURNER TO THE LITERAL FIRST ADULT THEY SEE.
- This book enraged me so many times. Delphi had virtually no significant characterization in the first half of the book, and then is suddenly the Big Bad as soon as she shows up here.
- Poor Craig. Killed by the need to make the antagonist scarier because the writers had no idea how to do that naturally. We hardly knew you.
- WHICH IS A HUGE PROBLEM. THIS CHARACTER HAD NO SIGNIFICANCE TO ANYONE SO I DID NOT FEEL SAD WHEN HE DIED. He was literally the spare again except actually the spare because not even the book itself considered him a worthy character.
- The only super interesting thing in Act III was the maze in the Triwizard Tournament. Having Cedric free the boys and stop Delphi? A wonderful twist. Having Delphi strand Albus and Scorpius in the past? EVEN BETTER.
- Harry Potter as a series relies on prophecies, and for this book to put forth a prophecy attached to no one is offensive to me. Who made it? Who wrote it down? How can it just exist and have meaning? NO, STOP IT.
- I hate the blanket and the love potion thing.
- I hate the convenience of Draco having a Time Turner this whole time and never mentioning it after learning that his son is traveling through time. He is portrayed as desperate and reckless to get Scorpius back, but never once acts desperate and reckless with a device that is the most ideal form of desperate and reckless in the actual universe. That is so infuriating because what if this story had been about multiple characters flashing through time, trying to find clues through interrupted timelines in order to locate Scorpius and Albus?
- What the fuck happened to all of these couples’ other children??? WHERE ARE THEY DURING ANY OF THIS??? Do they just abandon and ignore them for the whole book???
- Where the goddamn fuck is Teddy Lupin??? If he in a closet under the stairs somewhere I am burning every copy of every book.
- Okay, something great: Ron suggesting he should be Voldemort because he’s the “most chill” out of the group.
- I’m tired of the whole “Ron is the comic relief all the time” trope, but I’ll be damned if that wasn’t one of the funniest things in the entire script.
- Another great thing: the expertly written scene where Harry finally confronts Dumbledore about leaving him with the Dursleys. I was on a plane and I nearly started whooping out of joy. That scene is precisely what I needed from another story in this series, and it’s one of the truly great things about The Cursed Child. Thematically, it fits in with what the novel attempts, which then makes me sad because so many other parts of this novel don’t come close to the power of this
- “Poor kid saved the world. That blanket was masterful. I mean, he also almost destroyed the world, but probably best not to focus on that bit.” GINNY WEASLEY FOR THE MOTHERFUCKING KILL, OH MY GOD.
- Which is about the last moment of awesome before the moment of No. Nope. Please Stop. Why.
- I just can’t. I cannot accept that Voldemort had sex with Bellatrix and that somehow, this entire thing was hidden throughout Deathly Hallows. Someone had to notice. Someone had to say something. This cannot be a real thing that I am allowed to accept.
- Yeah, I got sad reading about James and Lily being murdered again. I can’t lie. That scene is so important to the whole series, and having Harry watch it alongside his friends and family was rough.
- Except HAGRID DOES NOT APPEAR THIS WAY IN CANON. OH MY GOD, WE LITERALLY KNOW HOW THIS WORKS. WHERE IS SIRIUS. THIS IS WRONG WRONG WRONG.
- And then Rowling completely abandons all the clear romantic shit she set up with Albus and Scorpius and I. Am. So. Tired. I am a Tired Gay who is Tired of Waiting for an author to do the Bare Minimum. This book baits us, only to give us another heterosexual relationship between the main characters. (Is Rose even a main character at this point?)
- All this made me angry, and then that final scene… Goddamn you, J.K. Rowling. It’s so good. Like… Really really really good, thematically fitting, and a great conclusion to the confusing Albus/Harry plot.
So I read this book. How about all of you?
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