Why I Will Never Read “Cursed Child”
It’s no secret that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has Potterheads divided. I, however, do have a secret to tell you: I didn’t read Cursed Child. I won’t be seeing it onstage either. I’ve avoided spoilers as much as possible, and I honestly don’t really know what happens or what it’s about. The few spoilers that I have stumbled upon have left me baffled and confused. Something about Voldemort and Bellatrix having a baby? I’m concerned, y’all. Does that make me a bad fan? Maybe. Does it make me one of those annoying canon purists? Definitely.
The few people whose opinions I trust who have read Cursed Child seem to all say the same thing to me: “I wish I hadn’t.” I even heard one say, “It soured me slightly on everything Harry Potter.” As someone who wrote what you’re reading right now for the world’s #1 Harry Potter fansite, it’s pretty easy to gauge just how much the series means to me, and I would never knowingly put something so near and dear to my heart in danger. I know, I know, I’m a big ole nerd. But Harry Potter has been with me for (I literally just calculated this) 73.9% of my life, and I’m not letting go anytime soon.
I have to admit, avoiding having “my” Harry tainted has made it difficult to truly be immersed in the fandom. I’ve heard plenty of people who didn’t like Cursed Child, but I don’t know of anyone else who refused to even read the script. I can’t join Harry Potter groups on Facebook without being exposed to the storyline. I can’t follow fan pages without seeing “spoilers” – because they literally could spoil Harry Potter for me. Still, I don’t regret it whatsoever. For me, Harry’s story ended 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts, in the Deathly Hallows epilogue.
Maybe it’s because I want to believe that Harry got the happy ending he always deserved. Maybe it’s because I don’t think that Ginny and Harry could’ve realistically maintained their relationship. Maybe it’s because I don’t want a “canon” confirmation that Luna and Neville don’t end up together. I could go on and on, but essentially, I am content with how JKR ended Harry Potter, and that’s enough for me. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not against us readers altering or creating our own related stories through fan fiction, but I feel that should be left to the fans, not the original author.
I know that some people are beyond welcoming to every bit of information JKR leaks after-the-fact, but I guess I’m not as open as they are. For example, with the identity of the Maledictus revealed, I can’t help but feel bad for (my favorite character) Neville and how people are now going to look at him for what he did. I wasn’t even going to watch any of the Fantastic Beasts films, but I’m glad I changed my mind on that one. I can deal with – and I even enjoy – that series because it’s not about the trio. I have to admit, however, that the closer it gets to Harry’s world, the more nervous I become.
Cursed Child, on the other hand, completely scares me. It makes sense that Harry’s childhood would have had some lifelong effects on him, but I’m just a wannabe optimist, choosing to ignore the lasting scars left by the hardships that he faced (I’m talking more emotional scars than the lightning bolt here, people). He went through so much! For his sake, I wanted the trials to be “officially” over. And I guess that’s my biggest beef with Cursed Child: Although I don’t even know what happens, I gather that Harry continued to suffer. For me, it’s like watching a friend who I have grown up with my entire life never. Getting. A. Break. He’ll always have to find happiness despite his struggles, and my heart breaks for him.
I know that I’m probably being naive, but I just have hope that Harry got his happily ever after. Between you and me, I feel like I’ve been through more than anyone should, and yet my adversities are nothing in comparison to Harry’s. He should get to be happy just like the rest of us – maybe even more so! I refused to read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child because, when it comes to the Boy Who Lived, I guess that ignorance really is bliss.