By: Kayla Hewitt
I read the Harry Potter series for the first time when I was nine years old. I can vividly remember falling into the immaculate creation of the Wizarding World. I would read vigorously for a few days, only for the opportunity to return to the library and retrieve the next book. Since then, I have continued to love masterpiece that is the Harry Potter series, and nine years later, I still regard it as one of the best pieces of literature I have ever read.
With that being said, I absolutely refuse to read the so-called “eighth Potter story,” The Cursed Child for about nineteen reason, but as I’m sure a list of that length would become extremely tedious, here are three of them.
The story of Harry Potter starts and ends with books 1-7. When JK Rowling sat down to write the Harry Potter series, she had an idea of where the story would end up. Therefore, the world she crafted bent to the will of the endgame. With some exceptions, every scene and every character had a purpose, pushing the story to its ultimate conclusion. That connectivity is part of what makes the series so brilliant, it’s also what makes the fantastical world so believable. As far as the series is concerned, the true “reality” of Harry Potter is confined to the pages of those books, no more, no less. Stories have a beginning, middle, and end, it’s an inescapable fact. The end of the Harry Potter’s story is on the last page of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and as much as we wish there were more story for us to enjoy, there really isn’t. Stories are finite, it’s just something we all have to accept.
The Cursed Child is no more a valid part of the Harry Potter series than any other piece of fanfiction. If I were to decide right now to write a ninth installment to the Harry Potter series in which Harry decides to renounce his name and run off to join the circus where he lives out his days as a clown named Bozo, you wouldn’t care. You would see it for what it was, a piece of fan fiction, one person’s best guess as to where Harry ends up. Now, ask yourself what you would do if JK Rowling wrote and published the very same story. Would you accept clownhood as Harry’s inevitable fate or would you carry on with your own ideas? The truth is, outside of the pages of the books (see reason #1), all other ideas about the lives of the characters, including the ideas of the original author, are nothing more than guesses.
I am sick of nostalgia driven reboots, sequels, and remakes. Yes, the occasional retelling of our favorite stories, reminds of simpler times and makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. In small doses these reiterations can be imaginative, even refreshing. However, the deluge of these types of stories has reached a point where they not only lack creativity, but also harm it. Yes, The Cursed Child made and will continue to make a lot of money, there is no doubt about that. Without even trying, the book had millions of potential readers. It’s the exact same story when it comes to Star Wars, Star Trek, Ghostbusters, Jurassic World, the list goes on, and on, and on. These half baked attempts to recreate the genius of previous storytellers simply take money and attention from original stories and ideas. Stories that we could one day hold as near to our heart as we do Harry Potter and his wizarding world.
Have you read The Cursed Child? What did you think? Is there room for both originals and remakes to be successful? Do you agree with me? or am I just extraordinarily pretentious?