**Warning: Spoilers up ahead**

My love for Harry Potter runs deep. Its a novel that has taught me values and given me wisdom. Lessons about friendship and relationships, and responsibility. That powerful men are not usually the best suited for power and that discrimination, no matter what form it takes, is wrong. It takes a great deal of skill to be able to communicate these ideals and values, and there’s no doubt that these children’s books have served as a great source of enjoyment for both kids and adults. That being said, due to Rowling’s very protective nature of her works and her private life, The Cursed Child came as a very big surprise. Debuting nearly 10 years after the final book in the series, the Cursed Child, later revealed to be canon within the Harry Potter Universe was revealed to be a play. A few were surprised by this fact, but many more were surprised by the fact that it was not written by Rowling herself. I, as many fans were, was initially excited to indulge myself in this new story expecting it to be utterly amazing. It was something amazing and I would finally be returning to the world I called home. Boy, was I sorely disappointed.

The Cursed Child was written so haphazardly, like the authors knew nothing about the world they were writing. It is true, plays never translate well to pen and paper, however this is nothing more than a farce. The characters are not only misrepresented, but driven forward by silly motives and less than juvenile aspirations. Its as if the lore, background and depth of the Harry Potter world has been overlooked in order to create a cash-grab of a novel that appeals to the eagerness of Harry Potter fans. A screenplay is not nearly enough to cover the any new characters that appear in the universe. And with many of the moments, such as Diggory’ transformation into a Death Eater reading like bad fanfic. So many things feel so out of place, from Harry’s awful parenting, to the lack of coherence between recurring characters. They feel plain and one dimensional, serving as tropes rather than fully fleshed out people that Rowling so wonderfully created.

Furthermore, many of the things are hastily thrown together with no real explanation. There’s no explanation as to why Harry still hates Malfoy,  It makes no sense to hardcore Potterheads why one of Harry’s sons would be named after Snape and make Snape of all people proud. Why Albus Potter is such an insufferable prat, and how he uses the weakest excuses to do the stupidest things teenagers could do. I don’t know, like messing the timeline up so much that the world is utterly fucked, perhaps? Perhaps the only silver lining in all this is the characterisation of Scorpius Malfoy, who felt like a new and interesting character. The rest are subjected to “been there, done that” elements in the other Harry Potter novels. Using time turners, an unspeakable evil and even a (misguided) quest. Even the use of time turners has fundamentally changed, resulting in alternate timelines rather than multiple characters in said timelines. These are all things that have been used in other Harry Potter novels that are merely recycled to fit a new generation of readers.

But by far, one of the biggest sins that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child committed, is that of Delphi. The child of Bellatrix Lestrange and Lord Voldemort. Any true Potterhead would know that Voldemort can neither feel love, nor appreciate it in any form. How Bellatrix or Voldemort could conceive children is beyond me. However, she is clearly a pitiful homage to Voldemort, who truly inspired fear and was the poster child for evil. She falls short of a convincing villain, and event though she is Voldemort’s child, the fact that she could overpower the veteran Auror Harry Potter is beyond me. However,it seems a right shame that this work was put in the same realm as Harry Potter. I’ve read fanfics that put it to shame, and it isn’t fair to think that Harry Potter fans can rightly accept this drivel with open arms.

the book wasn’t utter trash, however it contained so many flaws that it’s embarrassing in the slightest to see Rowling toting this work that isn’t fully hers. She created many wonderful things, but this is, by far her worst work. One that can’t come close to competing with the worst out of the Harry potter series. Now, most people would say, “Percy, don’t get all high and mighty. You wouldn’t have been able to do better.” Forgive my arrogance, but I beg to differ. I believe I, and many other talented Potterheads would have done a greater job writing the eighth Harry Potter book. You see, when an a creative mind comes up with a world they’ve created, it is, in the end, their responsibility to entrust it to someone who they believe would do the series justice by the fans. A good example of this is Rick Riordan, who made the talented Viria the official character artist of his various series. Even though he continues to write, he has recognised the talent that exists within his fandom and given a real fan the opportunity to do what they truly love. Perhaps many works of fiction would improve if fans were trusted as much as corporate money hounds.

Perhaps most importantly, is the realisation that even the greatest authors, directors and writers can create works that fall short of what we, the loyal fans expect of them. And it is up to us to never forget that everything can fall under some scrutiny, whether large or minuscule. At this point, it should be clear that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, as memorable as some of its moments were, did not Exceed Expectations.

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