Look, we respect J.K. Rowling. She wrote The Harry Potter series, she’s a wildly entertaining writer who is generally the best. It’s not that we don’t want to honor her bequest to keep the secrets of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. But she decided to continue the story in play form, and in doing so, limited the Potter fan’s access to it. We are here for those fans; the people who can’t fly to London or afford theater tickets but want to know what happens when others are finding out. The Potter stories are all about equality, so we’re just here to even the score. We’ve collected everything we know about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and we solemnly swear that we are up to no good. So if you aren’t onboard with spoilers, run away now like you’re being chased by a swarm of Doxys.
Before we dive in spoilers, to briefly reiterate the premise. Courtesy of Pottermore:
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
We had questions about who on earth is overworking the hero of the Wizarding world, but wave those aside because there are many more questions to be asked. The tale picks up directly where the epilogue in Deathly Hallows leaves off, on that train platform dropping Harry’s son Albus off for his first year (hopefully it includes the best part of the epilogue, “Why are they all staring?” demanded Albus as he and Rose craned around to look at the other students. “Don’t let it worry you,” said Ron. “It’s me, I’m extremely famous.”) Now onto the spoilers.
Sorting for the next generation
First things first: Harry’s questionably named son Albus Severus and Draco’s excellently named son Scorpious are both in Slytherin while Ron and Hermione’s daughter Rose Weasely is in Gryffindor. Albus’s Sorting is not a surprise, as it was heavily telegraphed by his “what if I’m in Slytherin?” concern in the Deathly Hallows epilogue, but as Harry told him he could choose (“if it matter to you, you’ll be able to choose Gryffindor over Slytherin. The Sorting Hat takes your choice into account”) it is somewhat surprising that he’d be okay with it.
Onto the plot….
The plot is Prizoner of Azkaban meets Back to the Future meets that Harry Potter fanfiction you wrote in eight grade. Meaning, yes, it involves Time Turners, even though even J.K. Rowling conveniently smashed them in Order of the Phoenix precisely to get rid of their plot-hole creating ability. It’s quite baffling why she has now said, “Forget any of the thousands of other awesome and logical magical ideas I came up with — let’s return to the shakiest one!” But she did.
Here is your own last chance to turn back your own Time-Turner if you don’t want spoilers.
Still with us?
According to reports on Reddit, the plot is as follows: Harry has a Time Turner in his office — the same office where the hero of the Wizarding world is nothing more than a stressed bureaucrat working for the government that once persecuted him.
Amos Diggory — father of Cedric, whose yells of “my son!” stand as one of the only moments where a Potter movie gave the book some competition in the realm of emotion — asks Harry to use it to bring Cedric back. Presumably the “why now” of this is addressed in the play, as Cedric has been dead for over twenty years by this point.
Albus and Scorpius — the next generation’s Harry and Ron, best friends by virtue of their proximity — steal the Time Turners. On a jaunt through time, they accidentally make it so Ron and Hermione are no longer together, and Rose is never born.
The events of the rest of the series are not affected, but the “nineteen years later” epilogue part is. As this is Part 1 of the play, it ends on a cliffhanger.
If you are concerned this sounds like it’s not the best plot, one Reddit user who has seen the play said the following:
there have been quite a few people on here vocalizing their disappointment in the storyline. JK Rowling has previously said that the stage is the only way to tell this story and I largely agree; written on here the plot can sound a little suspect but when actually seeing it on the stage it works very well. The crowds reaction to the play was nuts, everyone was loving every part of it and upon leaving the theatre all everyone was saying was how it was even better than they were expecting.
It’s also gotten positive critical acclaim, so perhaps it really is not as questionable as it sounds. At any rate, even if it is, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will hopefully make it smoother to swallow.