Listen, this book has been out for nearly a month so there will be spoilers.
You should also know that while we keep the Read Brave Comics podcast positive (or try to unless, ya know, something really pisses us off) I can't promise this review will follow the same glass half full standard.
I'll try, Snape. Just for you. Let's hug.
Deep, cleansing breaths to start. Join me, friends. Breathe in...breathe out...breathe in...soonandsoforth.
I'd like to think that all Potter fans had the same reaction when this play was announced. Mine (and likely yours) were as follows, in no particular order.
- Why am I so poor? I'll never see this, my life is a dumpster fire. I hate everything.
- Wait, Hermione is black? Oh hell yes.
- Scorpius is still the worst name, but at least Draco didn't name him Albus. (More on reasons why Albus was in some ways the worst later. Feel free to exit this review now.)
- Okay, we're getting the script in book form.
- I'm excited.
- No, wait, I'm nervous.
- Maybe I shouldn't even bother.
Fairly accurate, right? When it came out and I saw fellow readers flock to Barnes & Noble for midnight releases I had mixed emotions. There was a strong desire to experience a midnight release full of the magic they had way back when along with the want to warn everyone, "You know this is basically fanfiction, right? Let's form a support group for when this all potentially goes wrong."
Jo Rowling is the patron saint of authors in my heart of hearts. She is the bright light in the storm of trying to get your work out there into the world. This feels especially poignant as I write this today because I got turned down by the first two literary agents I queried last week. (Shout out to all the agents and publishers who turn me down for making me even more determined.) Jo's taught me to do the work, keep kicking to keep from drowning, and believe in myself. She's a huge part of why the magical story of Harry Potter means so much to me.
With that in mind, please know that at the very core of it I did love reading this final story. Visiting my old friends was such a treat and I'm so glad it's out there in the world for us to take part in. It's been said that the play touring is a big possibility and you'd better believe that if it comes anywhere close to me I'll do everything I can to witness it first hand.
Now that I've created a cushion to fall on, let's get down to the nitty gritty of it all.
Harry Potter is a bad father. No, really, that's what our playwrights would like us to believe. The proof is in the text. Let us examine this B.S. moment between Harry and his son, Albus.
"You know what? I'm done being made responsible for your unhappiness. At least you've got a dad. Because I didn't, okay?"
"And you think that was unlucky? I don't."
"You wish me dead?"
"No! I just wish you weren't my dad."
"No! I just wish you weren't my dad."
"Well, there are times I wish you weren't my son."
Damn, Harry. When I told Cory the trauma I endured over the idea of Harry being a terrible dad he told me, "Well that just confirms what I thought all along. Harry's a whiny little bitch." This is now canon. Thanks, universe.
The good side though? Draco finally getting some G.D. redemption, y'all. Guess what? Draco had one of the worst dads EVER. Like, ever in young adult fiction. But what did my golden boy do? He overcame and raised an amazing kid.
I'm completely here and all in for Draco teaching Harry valuable lessons in how to not be a brat and stop shutting his kid out.
"...And being alone-that's so hard. I was alone. And it sent me to a truly dark place. For a long time. Tom Riddle was also a lonely child. You may not understand that, Harry, but I do..."
This is the part where Draco dropped the mic and left the room with a swish of his robes.
I'd also like to address the whole ridiculous moments where Harry had heart to heart talks with Dumbledore paintings. First of all, aren't we told over and over again that the paintings at Hogwarts are just memories? Are they really capable of having sentient thoughts and conversations with actual living beings? Umm, McGonagall actually tells Harry in the same exact piece of work that very thing, but no that doesn't matter now because we want to make you cry.
This feels like a good segway into telling you how angry I get when people forget Hagrid. You know, Hagrid, the giant huggable man who loves to nurture and care for children and magical creatures? That guy who took Harry into his arms when he was just a baby? Remember that time he knocked down the door and stomped in to rescue Harry from the abusive people Dumbledore saw fit to leave him with? Yeah, that guy.
Oh, does that gif make you feel all emotional and weepy? That's because Hagrid was an amazing man with a heart even bigger than the rest of him and why do we always forget him? Why did we only get a flashback? Where the hell is Hagrid and we aren't we acknowledging him as a father figure, dammit?
Wait. Unless he's living a perfect life with Madame Olympe Maxime in France making giant babies and raising dragons. This is where he is, I just decided and can finally have some peace.
Which means I can now address my next issue of concern. Do we really believe Voldemort could've fathered a daughter? And even if he could (which let's get real. He couldn't.) there's no way in hell he would've chosen Bellatrix, am I right? I mean, Bellatrix was basically his minion and he kinda hated her. If you were conceived of a love potion and couldn't understand the idea of love you'd probably hate the person who was infatuated with you too, wouldn't you? Not to give Voldemort any credit here, but it sheds some light into why he couldn't stand her.
Delphi so didn't happen, you heard it here first.
Oh my word, unless Voldemort had planned on making Delphi a horcrux. I mean, supposedly she was born just before the Battle of Hogwarts. (This is why writing is good, friends. It can help you work through your emotions and/or thoughts. Still don't think the Dark Lord would have a penis if he didn't have a nose though.)
You know I'm right.
Friends and family, I am a proud Hufflepuff. When Pottermore first became a thing I fell into the trap and let the lying, cheating dummy Sorting Hat sort me. It's important that you know I've been a Hufflepuff since the very beginning and know that to be fact as much as I know that the sun will come out freaking tomorrow. Pottermore is a liar. Pottermore sorted me into Slytherin twice. Pottermore is wrong.
I will protect and defend Cedric Diggory, my fellow Hufflepuff and eternal heart throb, til my last breath.
Cedric would never kill Neville Longbottom. To quote the brilliant Will Ferrell as said in his role as Mugatu, "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!"
Tumblr user voldemxrt wrote an excellent piece on the reasons why Cedric wouldn't even ever. Read it and understand. The most important point made was this. "Cedric Diggory died with his wand out ready to fight along side Harry." The idea that Cedric would go all rage monster and kill Neville just because he was humiliated might be the most ridiculous thing I've ever read. Really? That was the only thing you could think of? Stop using Cedric as a tool just to create a world where Voldemort won 2016. I'm running for angry reader of The Cursed Child President, this is my slogan.
Are you still with me here? Bless you. I had good thoughts and warm fuzzy feelings, too. I won't be storming the castle gates demanding justice any time soon, and here are some reasons why.
Scorpius Malfoy is reason number one. All of the bad is forgotten with what they gave me in this one boy. This one precious, beautiful boy.
Scorpius and Albus sittin' in a tree...seriously.
In the same world where Hagrid and Olympe are snuggled up on the couch together nursing their butterbeers also exists Mr. and Mr. Albus and Scorpius Malfoy. (Albus took Scorpius's name because Harry's the worst dad ever and it turns out that his now father-in-law Draco is actually pretty fantastic.)
Next topic? Ron loves dad jokes. And join me together when we all say, "Well, duh". Because we get no glimpse into what George is doing now I've decided that he and Ron run the joke shop together. George and I are also married, but that's not really relevant to this review.
Love ya, you one earned doll.
McGonagall is so totally McGonadone with everyone being idiots. She also needs to close off the fireplace in her office already. And why is everyone still using floo powder when they can apparate? Seriously, guys, it's weird.
My kids spilled cereal everywhere this morning. I feel your pain, girl.
Harry doing the cooking? I fully support this. Ginny's too busy being a kickass woman to be bothered with domestic things like cooking.
I. Love. Ginny. Weasley. Thank you for giving me more Ginny.
Few moments have brought me more pride and joy as a parent than the time my daughter told me that her favorite character is probably Ginny. A little part of me died inside when Jo said she got it wrong with she wrote Harry and Ginny together, causing all the Harry and Hermione shippers to throw parties and bask in their false ideas of love and destiny.
Dudley sent Harry the blanket Lily had wrapped him in as a baby. I needed a moment. Let's get real, I still do.
A lot of this final story felt almost like emotional manipulation, so let's not even try to hide the fact that they were trying to make us cry. Why else would Harry be forced to watch his parents die again????
And now that I'm cleansed I think I'll take some advice from my dear friend Remus...
Me: Uggggh why didn't they give me closure on Teddy?!
Everyone: The play only lasts for 5 hours.
Me: Shut your mouth.
In conclusion, this was Jo Rowling and her team while writing this play...
I still love you, my queen.