Who Is the Cursed Child? Let the Speculation Begin!
After months of mystery, we finally have initial details on J.K. Rowling’s upcoming play based on Harry Potter’s early years with the Dursleys. Let the ticket frenzy for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child begin! But one new detail has everyone stumped, causing a whole new wave of speculation to begin: Just who exactly is this “cursed child”?
1. Harry Potter
The natural assumption is that it’s Harry Potter himself. Obviously, he is the Chosen One, cursed by Lord Voldemort’s misinformation about the prophecy concerning his ultimate demise. But doesn’t this sort of contradict the very nature of the play’s title? If it is referring to Harry, that would essentially make the title, “Harry Potter and Harry Potter,” would it not? The only way I can see this working is if it’s referring to Harry in a sort of third person light before he was actually cursed, but that depends on when the events of the play will take place. Initial press releases promised that the play would focus on Harry’s “early years as an outcast,” while recent rumor mills suggest that we’ll be seeing some of Harry’s life before his parents died. The latter scenario would make this pre-curse reference to Harry option much more plausible in my mind, but we simply don’t have enough details to know for sure yet.
2. Neville Longbottom
Perhaps it’s meant as a reference to Neville. He was, after all, Voldemort’s other possible prophecy candidate to go after. The problem here seems to be that Neville didn’t appear to have much to do with Voldemort and Harry at the time this story will likely take place. Perhaps Jo is waiting to reveal a dual nature to the story in which we see both Harry and Neville’s families go into hiding at the same time in the fear that Voldemort will come after their summer-born children?
3. Teddy Lupin
Or any of the 19 Years Later generation, for that matter. This theory in particular seems to be spreading throughout fandom like wildfire as a literal interpretation of the title pointing to one of Harry’s own children, but for this writer it seems the least likely. Harry and Voldemort’s personal story is so far removed from the future generations of Hogwarts, and I like to think that Jo envisions a more peaceful life for Harry and his kiddos than one in which yet another curse is struck upon them. And again, it also just doesn’t fit the scope of the play as we know it thus far despite the discrepancy over the play’s timeline.
4. Dudley Dursley
Much like the previous option, this one feels like a bit of a stretch, but all the same it’s something to consider. Dudley doesn’t have much to do with Harry before Voldemort’s attack on James and Lily, but once Harry shows up on his doorstep, he does lead a sort of cursed life in his own ridiculously spoiled way. And we know that at least part of the play is going to focus on Harry’s time growing up with the Dursleys, so naturally, we can assume that Dudley will have some sort of role in the play. But can it be called a cursed one?
5. Tom Riddle
Flashbacks to Tom while he grows up à la Half-Blood Prince’s infamous Pensieve moments? It’s possible! Tom Riddle may not have been literally cursed in the way that Harry was, but he certainly led a dark and dangerous life. One could argue that his conception under the Love Potion and its influence on the development of his character is curse enough. And after all, this has always been so much a tale of Harry and Voldemort, the two being so entwined with one another, that Tom Riddle being the other cursed child of the tale and acting as a catalyst for Harry’s story makes a lot of sense.
Personally, I think it’s probably a lot simpler than we’re imagining and that the title either reflects back on itself to Harry or foils Harry to Tom Riddle. Either way, I can’t wait to find out! Whom do you think the cursed child is? Are we in for another Half-Blood Prince reveal in the near future?