‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’: Reviews Are Glowing, But a Plot Hole Is Upsetting Fans

     July 26, 2016

It looks like lightning has struck again for J.K. Rowling and the creative team behind the new stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. As the new installment in the Harry Potter saga preps to open in earnest at London’s West End this Saturday, a bevy of five-star reviews for advance showings are spreading across the internet today. They praise the charming cast, the spectacular effects, and the sheer magic of seeing the wizarding story unfold within the intimate confines of live theater.

And yet not all Harry Potter fans are pleased with this new iteration. It seems that there’s a particular plot hole in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child that not only robs viewers and readers of the story they wanted to experience (in their own words), but alters a major facet of Rowling’s previous writing. The plot details of the play get a bit spoilery, and will remain so for most folks at least until the book adaptation of the script hits shelves this weekend. With that in mind, we’ve provided a wealth of reviews praising Harry Potter and the Cursed Child below, followed by a spoilery complaint section explaining the play’s perceived plot hole.

Take a look at some of the reactions and reviews below, along with bonus images from the stage play:


And now, the spoilery section. If you’d rather skip this entirely, scroll on down to the end where you can find info as to how to get your hands on a copy of the play, officially. As Tech Insider reports, there’s an apparent change to the time-traveling device known as a Time-Turner in the play that negates (or at least complicates) the plot of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” In that book and movie adaptation, Hermione has been using the time-traveling trinket as a way to double the amount of classes she’s taking, essentially letting her be in two places at the same time. This was, admittedly, a rather frivolous approach to time-travel in the wizarding world, one made a bit more serious later on as Harry and Hermione use it to prevent a number of deaths; still later, in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” the teen wizards accidentally destroy the Time-Turners in the Department of Mysteries, wiping out the ease of time-travel for future wizards.


Image via Warner Bros.

And yet Harry Potter and the Cursed Child takes place 19 years after the conclusion of the Harry Potter saga … but it sees “Harry’s son Albus, and Draco Malfoy’s son Scorpius, getting their hands on a Time-Turner and using it to meddle with the past. During the course of their adventures, they accidentally set off a butterfly effect which creates an alternate timeline in which Harry dies and Voldemort rules the world.” That’s a pretty big change of the world’s logic, going from a mechanic that essentially works as a closed causal loop to one that can effect future events. That change has stirred up a sub-section of reddit quite a bit. The gripes may only come from the most hardcore of Harry Potter fans as most reviewers so far have been focusing on the play’s overall performance and not the change in the mythology. Still, it’ll be interesting to see how this effects the wider fan base and any future Harry Potter stories going forward.

While the script will be available to read in book form starting this weekend, Andrew Sims, editor-in-chief for Hypable who also hosts the “Harry Potter” podcast MuggleCast and saw the premiere of “Cursed Child,” believes it’s a story better told through a play:

Here’s a look at the official synopsis of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script-turned-book (via Amazon):

The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.


Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne,Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.


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.


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