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The Problems With Harry Potter And The Cursed Child

1 August, 2016

harry potter and the cursed child book

After reading it through twice now (you can do it in about three hours flat easy), some initial thoughts (to add to as and when they pop up).

Voldermort’s Love Child

The central plank and the silliest. Beyond silly in fact – Rowling stealing from Ira Levin’s The Boys From Brazil about supposed children of Hitler and showing she has no clue what to do with the Harry Potter series other than run along the tired plot line of goodies versus baddies.

In the middle of Voldermort’s first war with the original Order of the Phoenix and the Ministry of Magic, and having no history of any interest in matters of the flesh, Voldermort cuckolds one of his most trusted allies, impregnates his wife Bellatrix Lestrange, and the entire of his Death Eaters are supposed to have been happy with this?

Such actions would be more likely to lead to lost support from those deciding that their undying loyalty to the Pure Blood cause did not come with Voldermort being granted carnal rights with their family members at will. Severus Snape turned spy merely because Voldermort threatened the life of his unrequited love Lily Potter.

To give some examples from the real world, the Branch Davidians Waco cult began first falling apart when husbands objected to their wives being used as the receptacles for David Koresh’s seed; similarly the People’s Temple under the equally evil Jimmie Jones. Even the most charismatic or despotic leader can push their followers too far.

What logic would Voldermort have for such an action anyway? An heir? He was going to live forever via his Horcruxes, remember? Why would he want to procreate a potential rival to his supremacy for malcontented Death Eaters to rally around seventeen years (the wizarding world’s age of ascent) later?

Hermione Grainger as Minister of Magic

This one does not make sense. While the Wizarding world of Harry Potter is no democracy, and the British Ministry of Magic little more than a dictatorship by Civil Service without any checks or balances to its power, there is no way someone like Hermione Grainger would make it to the top.

Not because of her Muggle parentage, nineteen years after Voldermort’s vanquishment it would be expected that the Ministry of Magic would see such an appointment as a fine show of how much the British wizarding world had changed for the better.

Hermione Grainger would not get the job for the simple reason the Minister of Magic has to be able to work with people and get along with them, and this was one field where she continually tripped up.

Severus Snape accused her of taking pleasure in being an insufferable know it all in Prisoner of Azkaban, and he wasn’t far wrong. Every waking moment of her life when not learning appears dedicated to demonstrating to lesser mortals ‘I’m smart and you’re not’ – two books on from Prisoner of Azkaban later she treats Luna Lovegood like dirt, putting her down at every opportunity over her bizarre beliefs.

By the end of Deathly Hallows, little of her sense of self-righteous intellectual superiority over all has changed since Chamber of Secrets.  It is equally apparent she doesn’t love Ron Weasley, she loves her sense of superiority over him, as demonstrated by her sense of shock whenever he does something clever – despite being a brilliant chess player. 

In all likelihood it would have been Percy Weasley – who combined ruthless ambition with making mistakes and learning from them. He’s shown humility with his fallibility when he originally backed the Ministry over his family regarding Voldermort’s return.

Grainger by contrast developed a petted lip over being poor at Divination (eventually storming out in a huff) and over Harry’s potions book which made him the best in his year at Potions thanks to Severus Snape’s additional comments. In the latter case she demanded he get rid of it, similarly when he acquired the Marauder’s Map whilst keeping quiet about her own Time Turner from the Ministry. Clearly she doesn’t like anyone having access to knowledge and powers she does not. After the disaster which was Cornelius Fudge, would the Minister appoint another control freak who refuses to ever accept others may know better?

Scorpius Malfoy

Scorpius Malfoy is grandad Lucius’ worst nightmare – and in some respects The Cursed Child’s. Like Luna Lovegood in Order Of The Phoenix, he’s the breakout character J K Rowling badly underestimated the ultimate impact of.

Witty, nerdy, self-deprecating, fiercely loyal to his friends (even after they’ve seriously hacked him off) to the point he’ll risk his life for them without a second thought, even when they’re being so utterly stupid no one would blame him for walking away.

Even indeed to the extent it is to his everlasting advantage to walk away. Scorpius is presented at one stage with a glorious future where he is the Scorpion King of all he surveys, which reflexively repulsed by the price which comes with it he seeks to eradicate root to stem without a split-second’s hesitation.

Oh, and kind. Even if disarmingly frank in a manner which would have made Luna Lovegood blush, Scorpius is kind to a fault bordering on the levels of the Weasley family or Harry Potter himself.

Despite his brilliant smell-the-coffee moment to Potter later, there’s little doubt that being bullied and ostracised because of his parents poor choices have neither warped or wilted him. He bears the casual detachment of someone that can take the punches of the wizarding community, no matter how unjust, and remain unbowed, his own man.

No surprise, thus, his fixation on the less than impressed Rose Weasley is less James Potter for Lily and more Cormac McLaggan with Hermione Grainger in Half Blood Prince – albeit with plenty of Willow Rosenberg style awkward charm (the bread scene in particular was a treasured moment).

That’s the problem, see? He’s too good to be true, every Potterhead’s wet dream of the Good Slytherin. He’s the best part of the whole damn story – you want Harry, Hermione, Draco and Ron to keep their noses out and let’s have more Scorpius damn you! Especially when a no longer Moaning Myrtle, but a Myrtle Warren come to terms with her own legacy, makes a welcome reappearence to roll back the years. Damn that Scorpius, he even makes Moaning Myrtle loveable. Let’s have a six book series about his adventures instead.

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