by BRANDI ORTIZ//News Editor
One curse. One Legend. One family.
On July 3, the world went wild for the book version of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” the smashing play that debuted in London. Written by Jack Thorne, and based on the original Harry Potter series written by J.K. Rowling, the first of two parts of the play starts off 19 years later on Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station.
In the beginning, the Potter brothers, Albus (12) and James (16), are bickering about Albus’ possible placement in Slytherin. With both parents belonging to Gryffindor, the chance that Albus may be placed in the other is a big deal for young Potter.
For those who do not know, in the Harry Potter series, Rowling created four “houses.” Think of them as Greek houses, except instead of rushing a house, first years get placed by a magical hat called the “Sorting Hat.” Once the hat is placed on the head of the wizard or witch, it begins to read your thoughts, judging your actions and the way you think. Immediately, it will place you in one of the four houses: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, or Hufflepuff. Each house is known for certain characteristics.
Gryffindor, founded by Godrick Gryffindor, is commonly known for bravery and their great need for adventure. Ravenclaw, founded by Rowena Ravenclaw, are known best for their great academic skills and curiosity. Founded by Salazar Slytherin, the house of Slytherin is best known for seeking individual greatness, and tend to be more cunning and confrontational. Helga Hufflepuff founded the Hufflepuff house, which is best known for their love for family, tradition, and all living things.
After it is revealed that Albus is in fact a Slytherin, he begins going through what many of us have gone through, the awkward years. Like all of us muggles, non-magical people, even talented witches and wizards go through the “Middle school experience.” It’s a phase in our lives when we begin to figure out who we are, who we want to be, and who our friends are. With Albus being the second Potter child to attend Hogwarts, (James, who is in Gryffindor, being the first), the stakes are high.
Soon Albus and Scorpius, the son of Draco Malfoy, Harry’s arch enemy, begin a close friendship based on each other’s daddy issues. Since Albus absolutely hates being one of the sons of “the Chosen One,” and Scorpius is questioning his true identity due to a rumor that he is actually Voldemort’s secret son, they quickly bond and become outcasts.
Even though Potter fans would have loved to have had the endless details and the freedom of imagination, as was in the novels, Thorne keeps true to the dynamics of Rowling’s writing. He continues to recognize the continuous themes of the original series throughout: the clash between the characters’ destiny and their free will, how love and friendship can help defeat evil, and the constant battle between light and dark.
“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” brings back the journey of a group of kids who take on dark forces that may or may not be linked to the Dark Lord, Voldemort. As in the novels, Albus and Scorpius are forced to meddle with time in order to save the magical world. So what are they going to use? That’s right. The infamous time turner.
In the play, the time turner is like a lost jewel, one that everyone and anyone are searching for. In the novels, the Time-Turner that Hermione used during “The Prisoner of Azkaban” in order to squeeze in extra classes and save the kind-hearted hippogriff, Buckbeak, was destroyed, along with all others, after the Battle of Hogwarts.
Like all objects that could meddle with time, the Time-Turner has its consequences. Even the slightest misstep could alter the rest of time. Dumbledore gave the biggest “Use with caution” warning in “The Prisoner of Azkaban”: “The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.”
As in the Harry Potter series, the script is just as suspenseful and absorbing. Thorne also does a great job of basing the story around events that happened in the original Potter novels, involving scenes from the Triwizard Tournament, from the time Harry, Hermione, and Ron break into the Ministry of Magic, and times from their visit to Godric’s Hollow.
With that being said, I am not going to lie. I was a little disappointed. With all the media frenzy and constant talks with fellow Potterheads of what “Cursed Child” could be, it was a bit over hyped. (Please don’t hate me for not being absolutely in love with it.)
Even with Thorne’s amazing job of writing and directing the play, I really wish he would have transformed the script into a true novel, with details. I give “Harry Potter and the Curse Child” 4 out of 5 stars.