4 Essential Facts About New Harry Potter Story

It all started with this Harry Potter tweet from J.K. Rowling. Everyone was fooled to believe that Cursed Child would be a Harry Potter prequel, but the truth is far more sinister. If you’ve been following the Harry Potter news like I have, you might already be saving up for that airfare to London. However, as we Potterheads wait for something filling, let’s look at the story a bit closer.

What we can expect from the new Harry Potter

Credit: Cursed Child Artwork from Pottermore.

1. The Cursed Child is Tom Riddle…or is it?

First, we have to dispell all of the rumors that started about the Cursed Child being Tom Riddle. As great of an idea that might have been (and even JK said it was a great idea), the cards turn to a different direction. Would we all want to see a prequel about Tom Riddle and his rise to evil power? Merlin’s beard, yes! We still might get it, but this isn’t the time. Yet.

2. Harry Potter’s past catches up with him.

The past isn’t quite done with Harry Potter. As this ominous note from JK shows:

“Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs.”

At the end of the Deathly Hallows, we see a story wrap up with an adult version of the Harry Potter crew. Everyone seems all smiles (and a big plumper). Now we see that maybe everything isn’t as it appears in the ending. We know Harry is safe and sound (as much as an Auror can be) for a little while, but what from his past comes back to haunt him? Is the cursed child related to Riddle? Was something in the world actually possessing Voldemort from the beginning? Only time (and hopefully JK!) will tell.

3. Do the sins of the father reflect on Albus Potter and turn him evil?

Not only is the past not done with Harry Potter, but it seems that it isn’t done with his child either. As we see from this quote from the press release, “both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places,” there are things that will come to a head that might split father and son apart forever. We know that Albus will struggle with the legacy of his father. We saw a shadow of this when Harry Potter conversed with Sirius. In fact, the shadow eventually contributed to the death of Sirius Black. While the larger shadow of being the “boy who lived” eclipsed anything Harry’s dad could have left, Albus doesn’t have that crisis. Albus is directly in the shadow of what his dad did and, if the Sorting Hat does find him in Slytherin, it might spell disaster for the young wizard. Could this seed of envy be enough to grow into hatred? Could, in an attempt to escape his father’s shadow, Albus unleash something sinister into the world? Does the emotional Albus actually invite, for a moment, a power he doesn’t understand or control? After all, evil in the Potter world seems to be quite seductive when it sees someone in emotional turmoil.

4. JK is a Goddess, but does Jack Thorne know Potter?

We know JK is the driving force of a power that shaped a generation. I remember seeing “Deathly Hallows Part 2” in Lancaster, England. You want to talk about excitement? The place was packed full of people from school kids (they were let out early to see the movie) to the rare adult. You could hear a pin drop when that first WB logo rolled up on the screen. JK’s story is eternal. She is a brilliant writer who actually improved with each book, something many of her counterparts couldn’t manage (I’m looking at you, Twilight fans). She cared about her craft and her story. The films (mostly) did the books justice; however, this isn’t the film. This is a play that is centered around a concept. How much does Jack Thorne really know about the Potterverse? We’ve seen some pretty horrible adaptations in the past for other franchises (e.g. the first ST:NG film) from people who didn’t know a Hogwarts from a Dumbledore.

Credit: From Flickr by iKobe! under a Creative Commons Share Alike license.


Jo Szewczyk is an American scholar who earned his PhD from Lancaster University in the UK. He is currently an ex-pat American living in Montreal, Canada where he spends his time with his cat, Chuck Finley.