Harry Potter and the Cursed Child- Great Addition or Mistake?

By Taylor Dressel

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” published in 2007, was the last book in the beloved Harry Potter series. However, after 10 years, J.K. Rowling’s magical world is back in the limelight with the release of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” and the announcement of the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” movie.

The movie isn’t in theaters yet, so it hasn’t received any praise or criticism, but “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” has.

There are two main difference between the original seven books and the Cursed Child. First, the Cursed Child is written as a script instead of a novel.

In addition to that change, this book is not only written by J.K Rowling like the original seven. This book is co-written by Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany.

Regardless of these two changes, the Cursed Child joined the wizarding world of Harry Potter, when it was released on July 31, 2016.

Megan Maloney, a Youngstown State University student, gave the Cursed Child mixed reviews.

“I have mixed feelings about the play. Am I happy with it? Partially. Am I disappointed? Partially. I enjoyed the relationships that developed or matured over time, like Harry and Draco,” Maloney said. “What I don’t like is the lack of characters. Where is Teddy Lupin? Hugo Weasley? We know Neville is a Hogwarts professor, but he doesn’t show up at all. Where is Hagrid?”

Maloney also said that she was disappointed the Cursed Child was underdeveloped and short. She said that if the play was written as a novel, it may have filled a lot of the holes in the plot she found while reading.

Elaine Remick, another YSU student, was also a little disappointed with the new book.

“As a story on its own, the Cursed Child is entertaining. As a supposed eighth story in the Harry Potter series, I did not enjoy it,” Remick said. “I had hoped for more. As a play, it is good and entertaining but definitely not great. Will I read it again? Probably not.”

Nancy Anderson Wolfgang works in the department of theater and dance at YSU. When asked why she thinks so many haven’t read the Cursed Child, she said that people who read regular books are sometimes uncomfortable reading in play format.

“It is an interesting concept and a good way to get new/returning attention,” Wolfgang said.

Angela Messenger, a faculty member at YSU, hasn’t read the Cursed Child yet, but said she intends to. She also said she thinks the mixed reviews have a lot to do with the book written in a play format.

“I find that her early works are not as sophisticated as her later works,” Messenger said. “Many adult readers were children when they first experienced Harry Potter, and the magic may seem a little duller through their older lens.”

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” has been in the works since August of 2015 and was filmed until January.

Fantastic Beasts is a spinoff of the original Harry Potter series. It is set in New York in 1926, which is years before Harry Potter is born. Fantastic Beasts follows a young man named Newt Scamander played by Eddie Redmayne.

Fantastic Beasts hits theaters on Nov. 18. Only time will tell if this work will live up to the hype or will be met with criticisms similar to those of the Cursed Child.

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