July 31st 2016 came and went and the world feels a bit more magical, doesn't it?
Well, that can be attributed to the fact that it was Harry Potter's and creator J.K. Rowling's birthdays — but that's every year, so what makes this 2016 so special?
If you haven't guessed it already, that would be the release of the script to the new play, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child — which arrives nine years after the last book and five years after the last film. It has been long indeed. I was there, at the midnight launch of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2007, just as I was there for the midnight launch of this one last night. It honestly felt like traveling back in time because the Potter fandom showed the same level of passion, enthusiasm and excitement that they always have and it was incredible.
The story picks up 19 years after the events of the original series, and is an absolute delight. Without going into a full-fledged review, I'll just say that while far from flawless (it's definitely made for the stage and not for the page), reading through the script of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was undoubtedly an exciting, emotional and fun experience. Reading the book may also inspire you to go back and revisit the movies — which are full of a few things that don't happen in the original HP books (check out a few of them in the video below):
Now, without further ado, let's jump in to what I thought were the seven best moments:
7. Albus Severus Potter Getting Sorted Into Slytherin
Something about this just seemed right. It is one of those things that you don't think the writers would actually do but are glad when they decide to go through with it.
Having all three of Harry's children sorted into Gryffindor would have been boring and predictable, but this early development in the plot instantly added a unique touch to Albus's character, making him a more interesting protagonist to follow.
6. Hermione Granger Is The Minister For Magic
We all knew Hermione Granger, the smartest and brightest witch of her age, would go on to do incredible things and have a bright future. So, it's no surprise that she rapidly progressed to this prestigious position! It's a nice touch that does justice to the character and makes us proud of the Hermione we grew up with. Additionally, I felt very happy and satisfied that she had realized her potential.
5. Scorpius Malfoy Asking Out Rose
This was a pleasant surprise and humorous touch towards the end. Scorpius Malfoy was certainly the most likable character and seeing him make progress with Rose (although slight) took me right back to how it felt when Harry first asked Cho to the Yule Ball or finally made a move on Ginny.
4. Harry Potter And Draco Malfoy's Duel
A rivalry that started almost three decades ago, now mostly simmered down, resurfaced for a brief moment in a tense and exciting duel between Harry and Draco in Harry's kitchen. It seemed natural and not forced under the circumstances and was a nice throwback to the olden days. However, the fact that it resulted in both of them (now mature adults) joining forces and having a somewhat heart-to-heart discussion about the challenges of fatherhood was the cherry on the cake.
3. The Second Alternate Reality
Every Harry Potter fan has at one point wondered: "What would have happened if Harry died and Voldemort was allowed to rule over the wizarding world?"
Thanks to some time traveling and universe-altering magic, we get the answer to that question, and it's everything you'd have imaged. Harry is dead, Ron and Hermione are wanted criminals leading a rebellion with none other than Severus Snape. Meanwhile, Dolores Umbridge is back as the Headmistress of Hogwarts. It's a cruel, harsh reality that makes you all the more relieved that Voldemort didn't have his way. The setting, dialog, character interactions and dynamics were perfect during this entire segment!
2. Delphi's Reveal
From Lord Voldemort to Dolores Umbridge, the Harry Potter universe has served up some truly memorable villains. That standard is maintained in the form of Delphi, who in a late twist is revealed to be the daughter of Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange.
She's cunning and powerful with clear justified motivations and poses a legitimate and real threat to our heroes and the peaceful world they've fought so hard to create.
1. Albus's Relationships With Harry and Scorpius
While less of a moment and more of a series of moments — the true heart of this tale is in Albus Severus Potter's relationships with his father and his best friend. Some of the best dialog and most heartfelt moments are a result of these interactions.
Scorpius Malfoy is the unlikely hero and best friend to Albus. He proves to be the voice of reason in many instances and their camaraderie is the closest thing we get to a re-creation of the bond that Harry, Ron and Hermione shared on their adventures.
Additionally, while we've seen Harry overcome the most challenging obstacles, it's refreshing and human to see him struggle with being a father to a struggling son. The manner in which their relationship is a driving force for much of the plot and evolves over the course of it is remarkable.
Well, that's a wrap! Once again, I much enjoyed reading through this script and can't wait to watch the play when it comes to North America. Hope you had a fun time with it too and I'd love to hear about some of your favorite moments or segments from the story! Fire off in the comments below.