Back to Hogwarts: The Spin-Off That Lived

Photo of a stack of the (Carson MacNamara / The Independent)

The opening scene is all too familiar: Harry Potter standing at Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross train station, eagerly awaiting The Hogwarts Express. But this time, he is accompanied by his wife Ginny and their children James, Albus and Lily.  

Harry and Ginny are sending their middle child, 14-year-old Albus, off to his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Little do they know that Albus’ worst fears will soon come true when he is placed in the house of Slytherin, isolating him from his family and casting him in the shadows of his father’s legacy.

His first year at Hogwarts is difficult, as Albus is teased by his classmates for not being skilled at magic, him having been the only one unable to get his broom off the ground during the first flying practice. Albus finds friendship with Scorpius Malfoy, the son of his father’s childhood nemesis. Unable to live up to the expectations placed upon him as a Potter, seeds of hatred are sown deep within Albus, building a wall between him and his father.

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” released July 31, Harry Potter’s birthday, introduces fans to a whole new piece of the wizarding world that was originally created by J. K. Rowling.

Written nine years after the last Harry Potter book was released, “The Cursed Child” is not just another book in the series, but a play script. Written by Rowling, writer Jack Thorne and theatre director John Tiffany, it is shorter than the previous books, and may take a few pages to get used to for people who haven’t read scripts before. The play premiered at the Palace Theatre in London on July 30, one day before the hard-copy of “Cursed Child” was released to the public.

The storyline focuses on Albus’ fourth year at Hogwarts, during which tensions run at an all-time high between him and his father. Things go very wrong when Albus, along with his best friend Scorpius who is speculated to be Voldemort’s long-lost son, tries to use illegal magic to change the past in an ill-fated attempt to spite his father.

For the first time, fans get to observe Harry Potter as more than just “the boy who lived,” but as a clueless father trying to navigate life with a rebellious teenage son.  

The writing trio gives fans exactly what they have been waiting for with “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” diving deeper into each of the beloved characters’ lives and their families. Hermione grew up to become the Minister for Magic, Neville a professor at Hogwarts, Ron runs the Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and Harry is the Head of Magical Law Enforcement.

The authors bring fan favorites back into the spotlight, such as the infamous Time-Turner, Moaning Myrtle, Amos Diggory and Godric’s Hollow.  

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” doesn’t disappoint; it is a must-read for life-long fans and will bring you back to the wizarding world that we have all so desperately missed.

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