What's Up With 'The Cursed Child,' J.K. Rowling's Eighth Harry Potter Story

J.K. Rowling adds a confusing extension to the Franchise That Lived.

At the conclusion of the Harry Potter book series, J.K. Rowling wrote a now-infamous epilogue that positioned the series’ major players 19 years later. While it was a sensical thing to do — after all, this is a book series aimed at young readers, some kind of ambiguous open-ended finale was likely out of the question — it read so awkwardly that most fans of the series simply chose to ignore it.

That epilogue will now serve as the bridge for a new play set to open next year in London. To quote the post on Rowling’s Harry Potter portal 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.

I have questions.

Why does Harry even work at the Ministry of Magic?

Throughout the series, it’s well-established that Harry is probably the most famous fucking person in the wizarding universe. It seems unlikely that he would be crammed behind a desk in a slow-moving bureaucracy. Also, who the hell is overworking Harry Potter? I figured this would be some kind of like, former-NFL-player-at-the-Toyota-dealership situation.

Even if Harry did have to work a regular job, it seems like Hogwarts would just make it rain on The Boy Who Lived, giving him tenure and loading up that Gringotts account.

Lastly, just think about the endorsements and public appearances that would be on the table for the midlife Potter. If Big Sean can get $15k for showing up to a club for 20 minutes, you’d think Harry would be stacking Galleons.

Is Harry a Bad Businessman?

Just saying, his name is all over this goddamn thing.

Is the wizarding world a meritocracy?

It can be argued that, of all of his friends, Harry was actually the least talented or interesting — a lot of his ability manifested itself because Voldemort, the most powerful dark wizard of all time, fused a piece of his soul to Harry’s toddler soul. However, if he’s working in some kind of media obsessed culture where he’s still making waves on Daily Prophet covers, I’d think that Harry would be granted a bit more status than say, Arthur Weasley.

But, maybe Hogwarts doesn’t offer scholarships and Harry has to push three kids through that motherfucker. Maybe the epilogue and its aftermath, against all odds, will end up being the most relatable chapter of all.

What is J.K. Rowling’s deal?

This is more of an open-ended question.

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