[Warning: spoilers for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ahead!]
The much anticipated play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has premiered in London to rave reviews. While many people are keeping their lips locked when it comes to plot spoilers, there are others who are busy gleefully spreading the major plot points far and wide on the interwebs. But it’s not just fans — the UK editor of the online news outlet The Daily Beast attended the double-bill previews, publishing a full summary of the plot a few days later. And honestly, the plot is pretty wild.
The reaction to this summary has been immense (and largely negative) thanks to the article being shared on Tumblr.
If you perused Tumblr at the weekend, you would have found hundreds of reaction posts criticizing the leak and comparing it to My Immortal, a famously bad, and probably parodic, fan fiction set in the world of Harry Potter. With a bunch of new characters and a plot which is bold to say the least, it’s no surprise that the fan response has been divided. So what’s everyone so worked up about?
Cursed Child Plot Highlights
To save you from reading the entire summary (and it is very long), here’s the main points of the plot.
The entire story is a sort of time travel adventure to save Cedric Diggory’s life, as Albus Severus Potter (Harry’s son) and Scorpius Malfoy (Draco’s son) join Delphine Diggory’s quest, using a forbidden time turner. Only there’s a big twist coming when they return to the present and discover an alternate timeline (which in itself doesn’t make a lot of logical sense considering time travel in the Harry Potter universe operates on a closed causality loop theory… but I digress).
In the world where Cedric lived, Voldemort rose to power, because Cedric was all angry about Harry beating him at the Triwizard Tournament (now that’s not very Hufflepuff of him). It’s up to Scorpius — who is literally called the Scorpion King at this grimdark Hogwarts — to travel back in time again and save the day. That’s if he can evade all the girls who want him to take them to the upcoming Blood Ball of course.
Oh, and Dephine Diggory isn’t Cedric’s daughter after all. She’s the love child of Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange, and she’s on a mission to resurrect her dad.
Yeah. I shit you not.
Along the way Harry himself gets involved, at one point telling Albus he wishes he was never born (wow, rude). They eventually travel all the way back to the night of Lily and James Potter’s death and fight Voldemort and Delphine. It does seem pretty exciting, and there’s lots of commentary about the misuse of time turners and wizarding society as a whole.
Also, Delphine has silver blue hair because of course she does.
Fanfic Tropes & Fan Reactions
There’s always a danger in continuing a beloved story that the continuation just won’t live up to the original.
ut Harry Potter has an even bigger conundrum — thanks to the series being so popular, and almost twenty years old, every possible plot point will have been expanded on and explored countless times by fan fiction. There’s lots of tropes for which fanfic is critized, like , shaky AUs (alternate universe plotlines), and OOC (out of character) writing for canon characters. And unfortunately, many fans are pointing out all these tropes in The Cursed Child.
So is this a case of judging the plot out of context? Almost definitely yes. There’s a huge difference between experiencing a plot as part of a well written story (or well produced play), and reading a cold, impersonal breakdown online. And the response to the play itself has been wildly positive.
Rave Reviews From The Previews
Although no magazines or websites have published official reviews yet (probably to avoid spoilers), the fan reviews have flooded the Twittersphere, praising everything from the plot:
was heartbreakingly beautiful. Thank you, for making something so magical
— tyler (@_tylerjohn)
is practically perfect in every way. One needs to go back again already to relive the magic for a second time
— Peter C. Barnett (@PeterCBarnett)
To the casting:
I don’t give a Fawkes what anyone says, as Hermione is EVERYTHING
— Sneha Dave (@sneeeeeeeeeha)
This might be a case similar to Batman v Superman, which also prompted a hugely divided fan reaction, with some praising the film and others tearing it apart. At least we’ll all be able to make up our own minds come August, when the book version of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is released.
The moral of the story is, it’s probably better not to make judgements based on a summary which lacks the emotional intrigue of the book or the play. After all, the plot of the original books might seem pretty silly out of context. But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what anyone else says, fans or critics or otherwise. All that matters is what you think, so here’s hoping you’ll enjoy it.
Are you going to read the book of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?
MP staff writer. I talk about superheroes a lot. Sometimes I’m paid for it.