Rowling, J.K., John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne: (08) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (spoilers)

This is the spoiler post for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The non-spoiler post is here.

An actual thing that characters in this play actually said, in discussing changes in the timeline:

SCORPIUS: Ron took Hermione to the ball…. As friends. And they danced in a friendly way, and it was nice, and then he danced with Padma Patil and that was nicer, and they started dating and he changed a bit and then they got married and meanwhile Hermione became a —

ALBUS: — psychopath.

Yes. I an not making this up.

Oh and Albus polyjuices into Ron and has to distract Hermione, with the following stage directions: “She tries to get into the room one final time, he blocks her with a kiss. It develops into quite a struggle.

Let me just ride the nopetopus right on out of here, huh?

More generally: the play really doubles down on the lack of queer representation. Snape explicitly compares his feelings for Lily to Scorpius’ feelings for Albus; but Scorpius has an inexplicable crush on Rose, who he keeps asking out even though she hates him, and who also disappears for a very long section of the play, and so really feels like the Obligatory Heterosexual Love Interest. And not a single character in the play is queer, unless I really missed something; no-one’s even mentioned in passing as living with a same-sex partner or dating someone in an alternate timeline.

Instead, Dumbledore apologizes to Harry for hiding things from him, which is good, but reinforces his (closet) tragic queer status in the process: “I am no fit person to love . . . I have never loved without causing harm.” Rowling is perfectly well aware of how controversial it’s been that she only revealed Dumbledore’s sexual orientation outside the books, and this feels like a really rotten response to that: the only even arguably queer person in the series is unfit to love and only does harm by loving. Thanks.

There was a nice little bit with Snape when he said he didn’t act solely for Lily, and it’s awesome than Hermione is Minister for Magic (as long as she has her man to keep her from being evil!), but on the whole it’s too much rehashing the past and daddy issues and not enough moving forward.

Finally: Cedric would not have become a Death Eater.


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  1. Um. Well, thank you for reading it and writing this pair of posts. I’ll just stick to being a fan of the fandom….

    (“Psychopath”?? Cedric as DE??? WTF.)

  2. Yeah. The kids go back in time to try to save Cedric, and one of the methods they use humiliates him, so he joins the Death Eaters, kills Neville, and ushers in the massively unsubtle Voldemort dystopia.

  3. (Honestly, with everything else I could hardly bring myself to care that the villain is Voldemort & Bellatrix Lestrange’s secret daughter.)

  4. (ha!)

  5. Cedric as a Death Eater? Only if the timeline had changed at his birth! Not going to happen.

    I’ll pass: this sort of family drama is my least-favorite of the post-DH stories, anyway.

    I also understand that someone gives Scorpius a love potion to use on Rose? WTF even.

  6. Ron gives him one, which is not specified for use on Rose (a small mercy, at least); later he sees Albus with another girl and says, “Nice to see my love potion being used well, I thought.”

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