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Episode 203: Cursed Child 2.2 – Strong Scots

Brush off your best Scottish accents, because the train is running late and we’ve got lots of emotions to catch! Join hosts Rosie, Alison, and Michael, along with guest Lorrie, as they discuss the ending to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with all of it’s touching moments and…stranger revelations.

On Episode 203 we discuss…

→ We reveal our Patronuses!
→ A new interpretive theory of the play
→ McGonagall: Out of character?
→ Awkward hierarchy
→ Ol’ Reekie train
→ Who can influence a prophecy?
→ Albus’s character progression
→ The need to hear Scorpius’s lines in Anthony Boyle’s voice
→ Paint, memory, and finally confronted trauma
→ Draco’s softening
→ Time Turners and Fawkes and the Elder Wand, oh my!
→ Blanket potentially on fire: the joys of live theatre!
→ How is the Fidelius Charm working here?
→ Theories on Delphi’s, er…origins
→ We have lots of emotions about the end

To listen to the show, simply click the player below or direct download the episode. You can also subscribe to us on iTunes. For more information about the podcast and to find out how to be on the show, check out our Be On The Show! page.

Skype users can send us a message to username AlohomoraMN. And as always, be sure to continue the discussion below!

Listen Now: | Download


RECAP: EPISODE 202

On this recap we discuss…

→ Amos the “stage dad”?
→ Could Cedric really be a Death Eater?
→ Snape’s self destruction
→ Snape and Hermione

Listen Now: | Download

  • Eric

    Three hours for one episode??? I could watch an entire baseball game in less time. I think Alohomora! might be getting a little carried away with its discussion. Let’s tighten things up a bit – think of the poor people who have to transcribe this!

    • SnapesManyButtons

      Sorry, have to disagree. I think the episodes should take however long it takes to cover all the relevant points discussed. Clearly they are not all this long, so when they are I think we can deal with it. Especially now that we have two weeks to listen to it (or transcribe it.)

      • travellinginabluebox

        I have to agree with @SnapesManyButtons – I totally love those long episodes even though you really have to clear up time to listen to them properly. But at least all the things are covered and the hosts don’t really get off topic so it is all relevant. Keep going guys :-)

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          Exactly, it isn’t as if the hosts are rambling off about what they ate for breakfast. As listeners, we are looking for deep and thorough discussions of the topic at hand. As long as that is what we are getting, I have no problem with episode length. Not that I don’t sympathize with having to edit and transcribe these massive episodes; I hope those folks know how much we appreciate all the work they put in.

          • roxyblack

            Just think… This three hours is the edited version and I record in the evenings because of time difference. Sometimes you just have to stay up late for a decent discussion and it can’t even be shortened for sleep…

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Yeah, that time difference is rough, especially considering the other hosts are spread across different time zones in the U.S. too, plus the extra time that is edited out.. phew, y’all are champs! We appreciate all the sleep you’ve sacrificed Rosie; even when sleep deprived you contribute fabulously, so thanks for staying up late for us :)

    • ISeeThestrals

      Well an option is to listen to the podcasts in parts when they get long. That’s what I tended to do sometimes and will do with this one. Sometimes it’s tough for me to sit still and listen to long discussions on something that I love especially if I have little time, other times no, but like listening to an hour now then another hour later, can help. What’s really helpful is that on this site they already lists the points they will make in the discussion so that also makes it easy to find a point to pause at and pick up later :)

  • Igor Moretto

    Some people compared the second Time-turner to Fawkes and the Time-turner in PoA. Don’t.

    Deus ex machina is something unexpected and that wasn’t build-up by the plot prior to its revelation. Fawkes was there in Dumbledore’s office chapters before it blinded the basilisk. Hermione spends the whole PoA book appearing unexpectedly in places and giving clues that something is up. Those weren’t Deus ex machina. Please, you guys say that knowing Rowling is a master in mystery writing…

    The second Time Turner turns up out of the blue when everything is lost and nothing else can be done to fix what’s happened. This is another characteristic of Deus ex machina. It has to solve unsolvable problems. The basilisk being blinded wasn’t the only way out for Harry. The Time-turner in PoA wasn’t the device that would solve unsolvable problems. Fawkes blinding the basilisk and the Time-turner being able to save Sirius sure were nice things, but they sure weren’t unexpected, perfect and only solutions.

    • ScurvyCur

      Not to mention that Dumbledore basically tells Harry to expect Fawkes to show up. He says phoenixes are faithful pets, then says “You will find that I will only truly have left this school when none here are loyal to me.” At the end he says, “You must have shown me real loyalty down in the Chamber. Nothing but that could have called Fawkes to you.” His arrival at the exact moment Harry showed Dumbledore loyalty was hardly unexpected.

  • hufflebird

    Re: the Fidelius Charm- It was my understanding that while the Fidelius Charm is in place, the only way somone can see the subject of the charm is if the Secret-Keeper tells them directly. The only way the characters in the play should have been able to see Lily, James, and Harry while they were under the Charm is if Wormtail directly told them the secret of where they were. It would be similar to 12 Grimmuald Place in which Dumbledore was the Secret Keeper. He was the only one who was able to divulge its location in the OotP. He wrote that note to Harry, thus letting him in on the Secret. No one else would have been able to tell Harry where the house was. Telling somone the secret doesn’t break the Fidelius Charm, it just lets them in on the secret.

    This ties into why I personally don’t have an issue with James and Lily going for a walk with Harry outside because they were under the Charm at the time. No one would (should) have been able to see them. Flitwick stated in PoA regarding the Fidelius Charm: “An immensely complex spell,” he said squeakily, “involving the magical concealment of a secret inside a single, living soul. The information is hidden inside the chosen person, or Secret-Keeper, and is henceforth impossible to find — unless, of course, the Secret-Keeper chooses to divulge it. As long as the Secret-Keeper refused to speak, You-Know-Who could search the village where Lily and James were staying for years and never find them, not even if he had his nose pressed against their sitting room window!” The charm wasn’t placed on their house, it was placed on them. James and Lily could have actually danced in front of Voldemort naked and he wouldn’t have been able to see them until Wormtail let him in on the secret. Grimmuald Place was the subject of its Fidelius Charm, while James and Lily (and by extension Harry) were the subject of theirs.

    I could be wrong, but that’s how I always have interpreted it. I think it’s just an instance where CC violates established HP canon.

  • Lisa

    Thank you so much for the shoutout in the recap! I was so flattered and I sort of did a happy dance.:) That’s the thing about CC, there’s so much stuff in it that we have to figure out for ourselves how it fits in.

    I’ve never considered the parallels between Albus Severus and Voldemort so that was an interesting point. I think Voldemort’s issues have a bit more legitimacy to me than Albus’s which come across as pure defiant teenager behavior, but I appreciate the thematic connection.

    On Michael’s point that Delphi could have been left out of the play: Okay, I’m not even gonna pretend to be objective. Delphi is the only interesting thing in this play for me. I’m glad the trio survived the war but I don’t really care about their family lives. When the girls were being touched about some moments I was kind of like Michael, heart of ice and all. Sorry, I just can’t get emotional about it.

    But back to Delphi whom I _do_ get emotional about. I feel like she has a clear place in the play. Her fate is very sad to me and she’s sort of a foil to Harry. They both grew up with people who disliked them but unlike Harry, she couldn’t accept her fate and her downfall came from that lack of resignation. Her character is very Potter-esque because she embodies all these themes which we know Rowling uses in her books: being an orphan, the importance of a family, of growing up with love, of making good choices. She’s a very tragic villain because she comes across as more misguided than evil (unlike her parents). At least Tom Riddle got to go to Hogwarts where he could have had some positive influence in his life if he’d allowed it. Delphi didn’t get that chance so I can’t really blame her for wanting to mess with time and bring her family back. I don’t think she was interested in her parents’ ideology necessarily and maybe not even so much in having power as in having… well, love. (Obviously she was wasting her time trying to bring back Voldemort; she should have used the time turner to go back to the Battle of Hogwarts and pwn Molly. ”Not my mother, you bitch!” But anyway…).

    It’s a shame that all discussions about Delphi stop at the squick factor of her conception, because once you get past that and discuss her more seriously, she really is a great character and very touching, imo. She is the Cursed Child.

    (PS: Lucius would have never wanted to bring Voldy back. How would he explain that his wife lied to him about Harry being dead and why would he want to bring back the man who threatened to kill his son?)

    • Alison

      I, too, am intrigued by Delphi! Though I have issues on her parentage, I think she herself makes an interesting character and villain. She’s a master manipulator, and like you said, she came from a background similar to Harry’s, which draws parallels. She’s such an interesting character, and I wish more people would dig into her character a bit more!

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        I wish the play would have dug into her character a bit more. Alas..

      • SMills

        I was thinking and for better or for worse I don’t think she will be remembered fondly in the fandom. Do you think 5 years from now anyone will say Delphi is my favourite character? Or say dress up as Delphi for Halloween? I think the fandom will try to forget about her really…

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      are there specific questions you would like to discuss about Delphi? I have just remembered that she’s the granddaughter of Merope Gaunt, and I agree with you about her growing up with people who disliked her, at least I find it hard to imagine her being happy most of the time with the Rowles.

      • Lisa

        Well there are many things about her which are sort of muddy. For example, why didn’t she attend Hogwarts? Were the Rowles on the run and they couldn’t stay in one place long enough for her to go to school? Why didn’t the Malfoys keep in touch with her at all? Also things like when she was born and whether the fatherhood was kept a secret (which I think it was). As a Bella fan I’d also like to know how she felt giving birth to a halfblood baby (which she must have known) in the middle of a war, as well as what kind of mother she would have been.
        It’s ironic because I remember that when we were discussing chapter 36 of DH you asked how the Molly-Bella duel would have played out if Bella had been a mother as well. A hypothetical question at the time but it turned out to be true (not that Molly knew of course).

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          Yes, I remember that discussion, and it would be interesting to look at the scene again with this new knowledge.

          I’m not sure if anyone of his followers truly considers Voldemort a half-blood. Some don’t know that his father was a muggle, and Voldemort certainly emphasized the Slytherin-part often enough that it was the part of his parentage that people remembered. Bellatrix specificly must have had enough distance to the pureblood dogma to make an exception for her favourite wizard in the world.

          Giving birth during a war is certainly one of the harder parts of being a parent. But we don’t know anything about how Bellatrix feels about parenting aside from her remark about her hypothetical sons.

          I imagine her as a mother who wants to be proud of her children, but is less concerned with the day-to-day tasks. Assuming that she grew up in a privileged family who valued status, having servants do the daily chores may be something she is used to – apart from her time in Azkaban. Maybe she wanted her child to be educated by people who are far away from the influence of Dumbledore and his staff, that’s why Delphi never attended Hogwarts. Post-War Hogwarts under McGonagall as headmistress would be a place that teaches values that are different to the ones that the Black family holds on to.

          Maybe some part of the poor health story is true and Delphi had troubles that kept her from being comfortable around lots of other children in a place far from home.

          I guess the Malfoys did not keep in touch because they are more concerned with their own core family being out of trouble than with connecting to their niece. Narcissa visiting Andromeda after Dora’s and Ted’s death? Unlikely.

          • Lisa

            I’m not sure how much of a secret Voldy’s blood status really was. He held a DE meeting near his father’s grave and some of the DEs went to school with him. They must have known both his real name and his less than pureblood origins. Whether Bellatrix herself knew is another issue but I think she at least suspected it but was in denial. The father of Bella’s husband was one of Voldemort’s school “friends” so he might have told his sons.

            I can’t really forgive Narcissa for not visiting Delphi no matter her reasons. I just can’t. It looks like she was punishing Delphi for her mother’s actions. It’s different with Andromeda because the two sisters lost touch long before Tonks died. But Bella and Narcissa seemed to have a somewhat good relationship and Bellatrix helped Draco with Occlumency lessons. (Not to mention the Unbreakable Vow thing).

            I would like to discuss the Molly-Bella duel more in depth now considering the recent revelations but I think I’ll save it for the Women of HP episode that’s coming soon (I hope!).

  • SpinnersEnd

    I have never felt more American than I have listening to Rosie breakdown the Scottish accent.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Haha. I can honestly say I never thought my Irvine Welsh phase would connect to HP, but it certainly served me well here. After 5+ books written in Scots dialect, this line was a piece of cake.

    • travellinginabluebox

      Don’t worry as a German it was quite tough to get as well. And I was with a Londoner in the theatre and she agreed that she only really got the meaning because you see the scene. And I personally love the Scots but I always had a hard time understanding my Scottish co-worker because of her strong accent when speaking English…

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    Thanks so much, Rosie, for addressing my comment about Scorpius. It is helpful to know not only that he IS a geek, but also specifically HOW he is proved to be one outside of the dialogue. Previously the general gist that I’ve gotten from people has mainly been “He’s such a wonderful nerd! Squeeeeee!” and not much on how that is actually put across on stage, so thanks. I would agree with Michael though, that the problem remains that sometimes he does know a bit more than he should as far as specificities.

    I still don’t love a lot of his lines, just because they strike me as really odd for anyone to say; like when have you ever heard someone use the term “a-quivering” in normal conversation, particularly among teenage boys. However, my thoughts have evolved a bit now, and I can honestly see how they would work. If we do buy into Scorpius as this total bookish nerd without many friends, the idea that he would say things that seem a bit odd coming out of a kid’s mouth actually fits. I can see it as a contributing factor in why he might be picked on, more so than just the nonsense rumours about his birth. There is almost a Luna-ish quality there, where other kids only see the “weirdo” and don’t quite know what to make of this kid who is so different, so he becomes an object of ridicule. Poor Scorpius.

    • travellinginabluebox

      Yes the stage directions really don’t measure up to what you actually get to see in the play. It didn’t occur to me that people would have trouble seeing Scorpius as the total geek he is – but the directions really don’t tell you a lot about his bookish behaviour he has on stage. And you certainly hit the nail by comparing him to Luna, he certainly is quite similar to her in a way. More bookish and less dreamy but still the one character that is just happy to has found a friend.
      Still hoping for a screening with the original cast so everyone gets to see these awesome actors 😉

  • On the topic of Patronus charms – I don’t think a Patronus is supposed to be a reflection or representation of the wizard who casts it. Luna’s Patronus is a Hare. Hares are active, fast, bouncy, and wild while Luna is calm, dazed, and dreamy. Hermione’s is an otter which is a playful and snugly animal and we never see Hermione be either.

    I think a Patronus is just random and has nothing to do with someone’s personality. It’s more about the happy memory and emotions associated with that specific memory.

    I got a freaking Nebelung Cat. Twice. I absolutely hate cats.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Nebelung cats are so beautiful though! But how you’re supposed to tell the color since patronuses are silvery and vaporous is a bit weird.

      Anyway, agreed that people are looking at it too much as a reflection of personality. However, I think with a lot of characters we can find an association between them and their patronus, but it is a bit more abstract than just the characteristics of a particular animal’s behavior being representative of the person’s own personality. For instance with Luna and her Hare- in Irish folklore they are associated with the fairy realm, which compliments Luna’s ethereal nature. Also, in many cultures, rather than seeing a “man in the moon”, they see a hare in the shadow patterns, which I think makes a beautiful connection between Luna and her patronus.

      So what’s everyone’s patronus? I got Irish Wolfhound, and I’m pleased with it, especially since my husband got a Mastiff. I thought it was pretty sweet that we both got gigantic dogs.

      • travellinginabluebox

        I got a weasel – didn’t have the chance to look much into them but Arthur Weasley’s Patronus is a weasel so I am fine. And they are quite cute and not easy to get rid off.

      • the head girl

        Mine’s a white mare and my husband got a calico cat. I like mine well enough because I would feel safe with a horse chasing down dementors and my husband is allergic to cats.

    • Efthymia

      I’m sorry, I have to disagree with you, because I got a Blue Russian Cat. If I had gotten something like salmon, or alligator, I would have agreed with you. :)

      HOW CAN YOU HATE CATS?!?!?! Cats are awesome, and you need to reconsider your entire life! (except for your username, which is an excellent choice.)

    • ScurvyCur

      I got a Russian Blue cat. Not only do I hate cats, but my family owns a Russian Blue who has been my least favourite cat in my history of owning cats.

  • SpinnersEnd

    This whole play reminds me of Schrodinger’s cat. Is it alive? Is it dead? We don’t know, so it must be both and neither. Talk about confusing…

  • Don’t defend the entirely random appearance of the second time turner. It’s as if the Slytherin team caught the Snitch, but suddenly there was a second Snitch, so Gryffindor still wins the game. It’s a convenience and is poorly written.

  • SpinnersEnd

    If Harry Potter can admit it, I can, too: I’m terrified of pigeons.

    • Alison

      Last time I was in London, I got attacked by a flock of pigeons while trying to eat cookies outside. I do NOT blame Harry for that fear at all.

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        I’m convinced that London pigeons are a particularly heinous species unto themselves. I had to throw a bag of delicious chips away and run the opposite direction to escape a horde of the suckers. We also had one chase us onto the bus. Harry’s claim is soo legit. Or maybe English pigeons just have it out for Americans…

        • Michael Harle

          I think the thing to remember about what makes this all a bit moot in Harry’s case is that he has . . . you know . . . a wand.

          If he wants to be humane and not just blast the suckers, I’m sure he can cast a sheilding/protective charm of some kind. 😛

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            True, though having the means to deal with them still wouldn’t necessarily make one particulaly eager to HAVE to deal with them.

            Also, nothing screams crazy quite like a grown man running through London blasting pigeons with a stick. There’s a fan-fic I want to read.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            For the record, and because I finally just finished the last 15 mins of the episode, but I totally agree with you Michael that the inclusion of this line was rather absurd, when much more meaningful material might have been referenced. I can laugh at it now, but it was cringeworthy the first time around, and still is.

          • Michael Harle

            I only cringe *because* there is so much more material to mine there otherwise. It’s a cheap shot when there’s so much more pre-existing depth there that could really boost the emotion of the entire scene. :{ /

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Agreed. For me, this brings to mind the scene with Harry and Lupin after the boggart lesson, when Lupin tells him that a dementor-boggart would suggest that the thing Harry fears most is fear itself, and the wisdom in that. This implies so much about the nature of true fear, how paralyzing and demoralizing it can be and how when faced with the thing we fear, the first step is conquering not that thing, but the effects of the fear induced by it. This was such revealing moment, one that created a bond between the two and could have been referenced, not necessarily directly, but in terms of what Harry learned about what it really means to be afraid and how to conquer fear. By comparison it would be as if Lupin at that moment had said something along the lines of “oh well I’m afraid of Madam Pince, har har”. Meh.

          • DoraNympha

            It’s like when the Harry Potter of the AVPSY reveals that his son is called Albus Scarfy Potter – this kinda thing fits into an otherwise emotional scene in a parody/comedy, not into CC. :/

  • travellinginabluebox

    I will just have to agree with Alison and Rosie here: If you didn’t have a tear in your eyes while watching the cast react to the attack on James and Lily at the end of Act 4 you put your hairy heart in the cellar. This moment was just sooooo sad and great at the same time. Brilliant acting! I couldn’t tear my eyes of Albus and Harry!

    Also a bit upset that none of you guys mentioned how scary it was when Voldy walked through the aisle in the theatre. He literally passed me as I sat right next to the aisle and I was sitting there like ‘Don’t move! Don’t react! Just hope he walks past you and doesn’t kill you!’
    This might seem ridiculous to anyone who hasn’t been in the audience but that moment was so scary and the whole theatre was deadly silent. No one wanted to provoke Voldemort while he was passing through. Obviously nothing happened but it still was a very scary moment.

    • Alison

      I don’t think we wanted to spoil it, haha. It’s SUCH a moment. In the balcony, people were practically leaning all the way over the railing to see where he was going and what was going to happen. And like I said, I openly sobbed, which I almost never do in public.

  • travellinginabluebox

    As for Albus and Scorpius being a couple: I can see why people would think that and it would be nice for Potter to have a gay couple. But I agree with Rosie here, they are both 14 and things might still change. Nothing is certain as of now. And a lot of my gay friends didn’t realise they were gay until their mid-twenties. I would certainly appreciate an episode on this topic though, so please make this happen Alohomora-Team :-)

    • Michael Harle

      The idea of “mights” and “possibilities” is still a form of gay coding/queer baiting, especially in this instance. As I mentioned in the episode, unlike the Potter novels, there will (ostensibly) be no follow-up to this play. When it comes to gay couples, it always seems to be left up in the air as “they might” or “they could” and that’s supposed to be enough. And why should that be the case in a world where Rowling has explicitly stated that sexual preference isn’t an issue (notwithstanding that it’s 2016 and barely anyone would bat an eye)?

      I feel like using their age as an excuse is a bit unfair. In the original series, Harry is essentially confirmed to be straight at age 14 (when he actively pursues Cho Chang) and is coupled off with Ginny not two years later. Ron and Hermione begin their love/hate courting ritual in earnest somewhere between ages 12-13. Ginny’s crushing on Harry at age 11. And purely based on their behavior and interactions, these characters are canonically (and quickly) accepted to be straight, and they all end up with friends from school.

      • Phoenix

        I know JK Rowling has said that sexual preference wasn’t stigmatised in the wizarding world, but she clearly hasn’t thought this through. There is most definitely a heterosexual norm in the wizarding world. Every student is expected to pick someone of the opposite gender for the Yule ball; Fred and George say that their love potions vary in effect “depending on the weight of the boy in question and the attractiveness of the girl”, and so on. Girls being interested in boys and vice versa is quite obviously considered the norm. Being seen as deviating from the norm is almost the same as being stigmatised.

        • Michael Harle

          I think an assumption of heterosexuality isn’t necessarily a stigmatization in this instance. While Witches and Wizards might assume heterosexuality, that doesn’t necessarily mean they look down on or demonize it. If we go by what Rowling suggests, the Heads of Houses would be unfazed if a Triwizard Champion brought a same-sex partner to the Yule Ball, and I imagine the effects of Fred and George’s Love Potions aren’t restricted to hetero couples.

          Though I do, to some extent, agree that this may have been a slight oversight on Rowling’s part, more so because Wizards are very much products of a bygone era – an era was not exactly friendly to anyone outside of the heteronormative bubble. Granted, most opposition to the gay community is religion-based and, while Wizards can be religious, it does not seem to dominate their daily lives as much as for some of us non-magic folks.

          • Phoenix

            I agree, especially with your point on religion. I also assume you are right that love potions would work on anyone, but my point is that Fred and George assume a heterosexual love interest.
            It’s true that this isn’t the same as demonising people, but making young people feel that they are outside the norm is never helpful, even if you simultaneously tell them that that’s OK. (I know I’m not telling you anything new here.)

            I don’t want to think about love potions too much, thiugh, since they should have been banned centuries ago. This is another thing JKR hasn’t thought through.

          • Phoenix

            P. S. Maybe that would be another topic for an episode? Which story elements work superficially but pose huge problems when you think about them throroughly, and how do we deal with those elements as fans who love thorough discussion?

    • DoraNympha

      I strongly support a full episode on the topic, too!

  • Anna_

    Thank you for another great episode! I don’t remember whether this has been discussed but when I read this final act I was struck by the behavior of Harry and his mates when they captured Delphi. It looked like they were gloating over her fate quite sadistically, taunting her with what happened to her parents while she was crying and begging to be killed. I don’t know but that just seemed so out of character for them to be so smug about it all. Maybe it’s a theater thing which comes across better on stage but when reading it they mostly come across as well, jerks, honestly. Of course she should pay for her crimes but they could have arrested her and be done with it. I thought this was just me but some folks on tumblr also picked up on this ooc-ness. It ruined a moment which could have been satisfying.

    • Lisa

      Yes I wanted to mention this in my comment but it was getting too long. I agree that the moment is badly written for several reasons. Even leaving aside the fact that they’re all taunting a mentally ill orphan, it also took like five or four of them (don’t remember exactly and don’t wanna reread the scene ever) to overcome her which is just pathetic. They’re grown wizards with excellent careers fighting a girl who didn’t even attend Hogwarts! There’s nothing in this scene which makes Harry and Co look good, on any level.

      Not to mention that Harry’s an Auror or Head of Auror Department or something. Sorry Alison or whoever said Delphi couldn’t be better at magic than Harry, but the mediocrity is strong in this one!

    • Alison

      I think this is another moment of “bad stage direction writing”…because it comes across as so different on stage. As I remember it, Harry is absolutely enraged and is practically screaming to make sure Albus is okay; he’s so angry at Delphi that the fear that he might do something extreme is real. He’s a father, desperately afraid something will happen to his son before he has the chance to do what he wants – make up with him, come to understand him more. The rest of them, for the scene, are trying to calm Harry down and reassuring him that yes, they know she’s done terrible things, but she also deserves to be treated justly. I think they’re also trying to show Delphi that she’s been wrong, which she doesn’t understand at this point.

  • Timothy Walsh

    I liked the book but it leaves a few questions open.
    Draco and Albus forgave Harry but did Amos? Do the students still pick on Albus
    for being a Squib and in the wrong House and on Scorpius for being the
    son of Voldemort, and is McGonagall still mad at them? Are the trolls, the dementors
    and the giants still acting as if they’re being controlled?

    • Michael Harle

      Amos being completely left behind by the plot really bothered me. At least in the original books, Rowling had the grace to give him and his wife a wrap on their story line. Much like Cedric, he is simply used as a means to an end here, and I think there was good reason to have him and Harry come to some kind of understanding.

      As it is, I don’t like that Amos is so bitter towards Harry about the whole thing. While it’s definitely suggested that he could’ve been by his silence towards Harry at the end of Goblet (emphasized by his wife taking the lead on the conversation), it’s unfortunate that it’s not resolved when the play bothers to bring it up. After all, I’d like to hope that after a time, Amos would’ve understood just how much Harry suffered to, at the very least, bring Cedric back to them and relay his message.

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    You know, before you all decided to do _four_ episodes on CC and dedicate two months of shows to it, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to read it. Instead of taking a break from the podcast and returning when other topics were on, I went and read it, and my reaction after my first readthrough was kind of “Why, Jo, why?”

    A second readthrough, five Alohomora episodes and one and a half discussions in person later, the play is growing on me. I can appreciate the layers and small things and what more is in there to find.

    Thank you all for taking the time and putting in the effort to take several looks at CC, I think it is really worth it! While it won’t end up as my best loved Potter text, it’s a great experience to learn to love a piece of writing that seems hard to love at first.

    • Michael Harle

      #BreakTheCurse

    • Raven

      I agree. This has been a great reread. I especially appreciate Michael’s thoughtful analysis. Even though you could sense his disappointment with this “eighth story” he was always respectful of those who did enjoy it and put forth a great effort to find redeeming features in the story. He helped me to like it a bit more however there are so many issues I have with CC that I can’t put it on the same level as the books.

    • DoraNympha

      I agree, Alohomora helped me to at least take the play seriously – previously I just didn’t even want to acknowledge it I hated it so much but now I am at least willing to consider elements in it. Thanks Alohomora, you made me hate CC a lot less. 😀

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        I’m right there with you. I honestly was having a hard time finding anything of worth to examine deeper, but I’m glad to have been proven wrong on that front.

    • Lisa

      I guess that even after eight weeks of discussing CC and listening to the show, I still don’t get some of the intense hatred this play is getting. Which is not the same as saying that the criticism brought against it isn’t valid. It’s just that I can’t think of any issues which CC has that the books didn’t have. Deus ex machina- check! Plot contrivances-check! Female characters incomplete without a man-check! No LGBT representation-check! Magic rules changing from one story to another-check! It was just easier for readers to accept all these problems when they were “baked” into the larger narrative of a series they loved. But maybe the fact that CC came ten years later and that it’s a spin-off makes all its issues far more visible as people are less emotionally engaged with it. I’ve always thought that CC illustrates all the weaknesses in JKR’s writing which is ironic considering that the play isn’t written by her.

      Maybe I’m a weird type of fan because I only care about two or three ideas/characters so as long as those aren’t in any way ruined, I’m good. I can still admit other things are silly or badly written but if I don’t have any emotional investment in them, I don’t really care. I understand that others do care, of course, but I wish those issues people have with CC would be issues they have with the books as well. The same critical POV can be applied.

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        Your comments and arguments in the last few weeks were among those which broadened my view the most! Thank you for voicing your ideas and contributing your unique perspective!

        I guess, at which point in our lives a story crosses our path has an impact on how we perceive it. Many readers loved the Potter books because they gave them something they had been waiting for, and critizising them was not as important. CC ten years later meets those readers at a different point and now I’m wondering how we would have seen CC if it had been published before the Alohomora reread started and we all honed our analyzing skills for years.

        • Lisa

          Thank you! I appreciate your insights as well :)
          And yes, you’re right that timing is everything. With time, we just grew more objective even towards a series we love and especially since this is a spin-off and not exactly Harry’s story we see its flaws more clearly.

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        You’re definitely right that the original books display a lot of the same problems. For me personally though, I just don’t see a lot of those flaws as being as problematic to the overall story as I do with those in CC. To me many of the flaws with the original series are simply better handled than those in CC. Not all, but most. I for one simply just found myself asking “wtf?” far more consistently with CC than I ever did with a single Potter novel, even when reading with my hyper-critical glasses on.

        I think another factor is the fact that the problematic issues with the books are spread out across the seven novels, buried among so much other stuff that is fantastic, whereas CC is stand alone, and it seems like A LOT of issues to be contained within one “book”. And to be fair, I think we often find the book within the series that we individually take most issue with, ends up being our least favorite. So our criticism gets pointed at that book in particular over the series as a whole. CC doesn’t get a pass in that way, and perhaps unfairly so.

        That being said, for many it isn’t even the issues in particular that are the problem; they just simply didn’t enjoy the story itself. A good part of that is the fact that reading the script alone isn’t the same as watching the play, however that isn’t the sole reason. I’ve spoken to people that saw the play, loved the experience, but still didn’t love the story itself as a whole. So I think it is fine and reasonable that not all HP fans are going to enjoy CC as a story, no matter how they experience it because while it may be “the eighth story”, it really isn’t. It is something else entirely, and while it is related and now a part of the HP universe material, we needn’t feel obligated to love it. I think that is where a lot of the animosity is coming from- people wanted to love it, found that they didn’t and somehow felt cheated, which I feel is a direct result of Jo saying we are to take it as canon. I think if it had been left as a take-it-or-leave-it sort of deal, we would be seeing less hatred aimed at it.

        You’re also not weird for singling out the parts of the story that you care about. I think that’s natural and we all do it to some extent. Like, some people are really passionate about their interpretations of Snape; I love the character but don’t find much value in trying to entirely vilify or redeem him. We all connect with a story in our own ways, and that is ultimately a good thing.

        • Lisa

          Yeah I agree that the issues in the books are more spread out so to speak instead of being found in just one story (though many of the things I listed do occur in the same book). I think that for many people it is a new feeling to not be excited or enjoy something that’s HP related. Generally speaking, fans are happy with the books and with the movies so now they have to engage with something they don’t care for and it’s a new kind of feeling. The fact that it isn’t written solely by Rowling also makes people look at it more critically, imo. We’re skeptical of outsiders because it’s something new to have HP content created by someone other than Jo (fics excluded, of course). Many HP fans are also Rowling fans so it’s understandable that they will be on the fence about CC even before they got to read it. So of course if someone else plays with the characters we expect them to deliver quality, especially since we’ve been asked to consider the story canon. I think that for many people some things in CC would be easier to accept if they came from Rowling because we tend to give her the benefit of the doubt and attempt to make sense out of revelations which come directly from her. What we have now is a situation in which many people refuse to even engage with the “nonsense” because they don’t think the ideas came from her in the first place.

  • Raven

    So Harry allowed his obviously frightened teenage son to watch his parents being murdered because he had to work through some things? Talk about bad parenting. You can’t shield your children from everything but that was one traumatizing experience Albus didn’t need to see. Some things are better left in the past.

  • DoraNympha

    Pheww I finally made it to the end! 😀 Good episode, I wonder how discussions about CC will change by the time the final script comes out.

    I just want to add to the discussion about Albus and Scorpius’s relationship. Firstly, I totally agree with their love feeling just natural and not this big thing to introduce to HP, but that’s exactly why it’s such a missed opportunity that they were not actually implied to keep open a romantic angle, if not now but in the future. It wouldn’t have been a big deal because there are two whole plays of build-up about how important they are to each other. This wouldn’t have come out of the blue, like Rose does.

    And secondly, I love all the ideas you discussed about this, and yes, I’d love a stand-alone episode, but they remain ideas, however brilliant they are. Yes, they’re 14 and things might change in the future, but they might not, the point is we get no indication and therefore there is nothing real to discuss. Proposing that x characters may realise that they may have been in love with their best friend all this time, only it took them like ten more years, holds the same validity as proposing that McGonagall’s favourite biscuits are ginger newts. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. There’s a minimal non-clue of ginger newts happening to have been the kind of biscuits on her desk that one time but maybe she had them there for guests because she may actually hate them. We just don’t know.

    And if we look at measures of representation, like… okay, take the Vito Russo test for films and tv shows: one of its main criteria is that characters have to identify themselves, otherwise it’s too questionable to “count” – now, I don’t personally agree with this criterium because straight characters never have to say they are, so I think it’s weird to demand queer characters actually have a moment in their story, even if it’s irrelevant, just for the express purposes of saying they are not straight. That’s a weird, othering, out-singling indicator, but you can see why this is included in the criteria (e.g. to eliminate from serious discussion stuff like Orange is the New Black characters who are clearly bisexual and they do skirt on the edges of the topic and it’s relevant they but don’t say so because writers think it’s edgy or whatever??? don’t ask me why every writer does this, I don’t understand) But on the other side of this, fiction in which they never utter the words to identify characters as straight or queer or whatever (even worse, when they fish for cheap laughs by making puns or jokes or euphemisms instead of using real respectable words) then we’re taken back to about fifty years in time to when the only way to attempt representation was in a half-assed subtextual way. Point is, I would love to think that all the things are plausible that were brought up in the episode, but that’s the equivalent of thinking Mr Weasley prefers coffee over tea. Nothing to stop us thinking that, either. Similarly, all the theories about how Delphi is really Rodolphus’s daughter or maybe so and so is lying – those are very clever and would be brilliant, but there is nothing about them in the actual play. Schrödinger’s plots – they are and they aren’t there.

    I had a feeling the script was a lot more suggestive than the real play, so thank you for confirming that suspicion! But then again, that just irks me for the other reason of THIS IS NOT EVEN WRITTEN BY JO ughhhhhhhhh I wish I could enjoy this story, I wish so much, but… I guess the best things in this are what we’ll never experience, stuff like being in the psysical presence of spells and Umbridge and Voldemort. That would be impressive. And about the pidgeon line: I think the dadjokeyness of it could have worked better if he said something like he’s afraid of bats or pygmy puffs, something from the magical world so it’s less random.

  • Phoenix

    Following the theory that Delphi isn’t really Voldemort’s daughter, there is more than one possibility why she was made to believe it. You all keep saying Rodolphus lied to her out of spite, but he might also have said it because he thought it was the best way to get her interested in Voldemort’s legacy. Rodolphus seems to have been a devoted Death Eater in his own right, despite being overshadowed by his wife. Being locked up in Azkaban, he might have wanted to get a young person interested in following Voldemort’s ways in his stead.
    Another possibility is that he didn’t lie at all but believed it himself, possibly out of hurt feelings. There is no way he could have overlooked Bellatrix’ fondness for Voldemort, so he might not have believed her when she truthfully told him the child was his.

    As for how Rodolphus got out of Azkaban: He didn’t. But with the reformed Ministry, the human rights of prisoners are now respected, and they are allowed to see their closest relatives once in a while.

    • Lisa

      There’s also the timeline to consider here. Rodolphus was absent from Bella’s life about one year (throughout HBP). So if he came out of prison and his wife told him she was pregnant, then there’s no way he’d think the child was his. Or even if Bella didn’t tell him right away but waited a few weeks, Rodolphus could still have done the math.

      In order to have Delphi be Rod’s daughter, she would have to have been conceived either right before the battle in OotP or after Rod’s escape from Azkaban. The latter option doesn’t work as Bella would have most likely been very pregnant in the Malfoy Manor chapter. The former option works as long as we make sure Bella isn’t visibly pregnant during Spinner’s End. However, that would mean Delphi was born more than a year before the battle which seems too long a time for her to say that she was born “before the Battle at Hogwarts”. And there’s also the issue of how Bella could have stayed at Malfoy Manor and given birth there in HBP if she was a wanted criminal. It would be too risky for her to stay in her sister’s house. So it makes sense to me that Delphi was born during DH when Voldemort took over the Ministry and it was safe for Bella to move in with her sister. But that would mean Delphi was conceived sometime during HBP which definitely excludes Rodolphus from the equation.

      And yes, I’ve also wondered how Rod could have been released form Azkaban when he was serving three life sentences. Maybe he made a deal with the Aurors like Karkaroff?

  • the head girl

    I’m seconding Rosie’s thought that this shouldn’t have been published – certainly not the rehearsal script, and maybe not even at all. It sounds like Cursed Child relies so heavily on spectacle and stagecraft that anyone whose only experience of it is the script is missing out on 90% of the experience. If it’s meant to be experienced on stage, then why open it up to an alternate way?

    I certainly appreciate the thoughtful analysis from the hosts and the voices from both sides of the issue, but I’m glad we’ll be moving past it.

    • Lisa

      The problem is that many people won’t get to see the play for a long time, if ever. Does that mean they shouldn’t know what the story is about or only find out about it from second-hand sources? I personally wouldn’t have liked that at all. If they had decided to not publish the script, as you suggest, then the best thing would have been to release the play on DVD so everyone can have access to it (I really hope they do so one day. I’d love to watch it at my own pace in my own livingroom with a bag of chips, rather than at the theater).

      • Phoenix

        I agree with you, it would have been impossible to discuss the story without some kind of international publication. But given the choice, I would have chosen the DVD over the script!

      • the head girl

        I think they absolutely should have filmed it and released it. I live in Chicago, so I can be sure that when Cursed Child does go on tour, it will come here and I will be able to see it at some point. However, a cinema release – even if it was a limited run thing – would be a much more satisfactory way for everyone who wanted to to be able to consume it, because then they would have been able to experience it “the way it’s meant to be.” (There are way too many ‘to’s in that sentence but I think it’s still understandable. ;)) I’m sure it will be released on DVD or streaming or whatever at some point, but I hope they do it soon.

  • Phoenix

    I have a continuity question: How did Albus and Scorpius get from the maze to the train station? Did they walk? (How far is Aviemore from Hogwarts?) And why did they decide to go there in the first place? I felt like I was missing something when I read that scene.

  • badonkaTonks

    So the thoughts and feeling about cursed child and the choices that were made for the plot seem to pretty mixed, and I my experience tend to lean toward and over feeling of just “not great”. I don’t know if want to or can choose the accept that the story is cannon or not. However this is what I’ve been going over in my brain for me to justify it and make it sort of better. Rowling has stood pretty firm in that this story is and was always meant to be seen as a stage play, so this is my cursed child “theory”. I think. That one day Jack Thorne and/or John Tiffany were thinking to themselves about stage special effects, how they could pull off some pretty cool stuff for a live audience. As this idea snowballed they came up with idea that the best vessels to present these awesome new special effects would be a Harry Potter story. So I think that they went to Jo and kind of like “hey, you know all that magic you wrote about in books everyone loves so much, how would you like to see it happen live right before your very eyes”. So I think that Jo, just like the rest of us could not resist and gave the play the green light because she wanted to see some magic too. So my theory is that cursed child was never so much about the plot it would present, I think (or choose to think) that it was more born out of what kind of cool visual effect can they present to people in real life, it was an attempt to make magic real.

  • daveybjones999 .

    Now that the podcast is finished going through the play I’m posting an abbreviated version of my full thoughts on the play. Generally on the whole I quite liked Cursed Child. This is mostly for it’s thematic depth as there are just too many scenes and plot elements that just require too much mental gymnastics in order for it to work as a narrative. The best example I can think of to illustrate my point is the character of Delphi. Up until the forth act I thought she was a very interesting and well thought out character. Though it was pretty obvious to me that she would eventually end up being the final villain there was enough to her character before the reveal that really helped to endear her to me as a character. Even after the reveal that she’s been the villain of the piece she still worked as a credible threat and I was with the story. But the revelation that she’s Voldemort and Bellatrix’s daughter just raises too many questions that just served to take a lot of people out of the story.

    Here are just a few questions that this raises that I’ve seen brought up. Voldemort spend so much time degrading his body and soul to the point where he’s barely human anymore. Is it even possible for him to be able to conceive a child? If he can conceive a child why would he want to or was it just an accident? Voldemort just seems so asexual would he even be interested in sex in the first place? Bellatrix is clearly physically attracted to Voldemort throughout the story, but how did she even convince him to have sex with her? If you’re not willing to just go with it and accept the reveal for what it is these questions are just a road block for enjoying the story. When a plot element just ends up raising more questions than it answers, and when those questions are completely irrelevant to the story that the play is trying to tell, it can definitely be a huge flaw.

    There are parts however that the story gets absolutely right for me, mostly dealing with the relationship between Harry and Albus. I enjoyed seeing some of the alternate timelines, especially the one in which Voldemort wins with the Blood Ball and everything I just love it, although it can sometimes feel like something out of a fan fiction that never really bothered me. However the thematic depth and richness of the play more than makes up for it’s narrative deficiencies. The guest host this week did a much better job explaining the themes of the story more than I ever could so I’ll just second those thoughts. Narratively I don’t think that theory works for me, but thematically that’s exactly what the play’s about and it’s handled near flawlessly. When I consume media I’m more than willing to excuse a works narrative issues if the theme and message of the work is poignant or done well enough and with this play that’s exactly what ended up happening. Although I won’t read it every time I finish the seven books, I can definitely see myself re-reading it quite a bit in the future.

  • Rosmerta

    Having been lucky enough to actually see the play, you definitely get a different perspective on the story. I haven’t read the script, I’ll probably wait until the final version us published. However, I do sincerely hope that they film the production for cinema release, as it’s the only way in reality that most Potter fans will get to experience CC.

  • ILoveLunaLoveGood

    I have a HeadCanon that may solve all of our problems.

    This play doesnt describe actual events that happened within the Harry Potter Universe rather it is a fictional story, a script written by an adult Albus Potter for the stage for the Wizarding community. Going into the family businesses didnt appeal to him and he had all this pent up feelings he needed to express, he chose theatre out of pure slytherin ambition (books had become to mainstream and Rita Skeeterish) wanting to go bigger, and got more attention by engaging with the wizarding community. He originally wrote it as a way to express some of his experiences as Harry’s son. (if i find time ill go all out and write the fan fic lol but) basically he fell in love with a girl called Delphi, while writing the play but she shattered his heart dramatically and so he reworked the play, got carried away with the plot and out of spite made the woman who destroyed his life the daughter of Voldy. So the play genuinely gives us the 3 important relationships of his life. That with Harry, with Scorpius, and with this woman. The play’s indulgence in “famous” characters from the wizarding world plus important events that normal witches/wizards recognise starts to make more sense as a fun little yarn for the Wizarding world… but we can dismiss any of the inconsistencies as poetic license by Albus and the time travel stuff as a fun plot device to get to places the audience might recognise… (it might also explain why they didnt just go straight to the third task or have the invisibility cloak from the begining or to the graveyard and try to fake Cedric’s death thus not disturbing the timeline at all, saving his life and keeping him hidden for the 20 or so years :p)

    I do think that he probably did climb out of the train with Scorpius, when he really did try to run away (but not for the reason in the play) and that the trolly lady did follow them out :).

    • Phoenix

      Ingenious, fun interpretation!
      I love that you consider the trolley witch the only “real” element of the story! 😀

      • ILoveLunaLoveGood

        ha. Well beside much of the character stuff, its the only piece of action that kind of makes sense and only bit of plot that is believable :p (i mean albus might have exaggerated it in his retelling but there must be something stopping troublemakers doing something like that…and it is believable that Albus might try to run away just not to go back in time to save some random student he barely knew anything about)

  • Efthymia

    The one time I take too long to listen to the podcast is the one time I could have offered a useful comment!
    Ah, well… In case you’re still interested: “Delphi” (as in, the ancient city and current archaeological site) is pronounced in greek as “the fee”, just with an L in the middle.
    Yes, historically it was the place where the oracle was found, and in was also considered the centre (“navel”) of the world by the ancient Greeks. The thing is, in Harry Potter & The Cursed Child, “Delphi” is short for “Delphini”. Which means dolphin in greek. Make of that what you will.

    Now, removing my Greek Person hat and putting on my Potterhead hat:

    I am so happy that I didn’t want this to exist in the first place. The moment it was announced, before I even knew what the story was, I was groaning and sighing and wishing it had never happened.
    If anyone ever tries to paint my being a cynical pessimist as something negative, I’m going to laugh to their face and say “Well, ‘Harry Potter & The Cursed Child’; your argument is invalid”.

    I’m also very happy that if you had asked me about canon before this was even announced, I would have told you that if it’s in a different format and the original creator is only somewhat involved, you don’t have to consider it canon. Thankfully, Whedonites who follow the various Buffy/Angel/etc. comics and consider them canon don’t view those of us who don’t as idiots who don’t understand that comics are not a TV show and just don’t know how to read comic books.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      I get what you mean by not having really wanted this to exist in the first place. I was apprehensive too, and now I kind of liken it to the way I felt when the movies started coming out. I HATED the idea of a movie when they first announced they were going to be made. I knew they would have to leave so much out, god knows what they were going to screw up…young me very much felt that the sanctity of my beloved books was going to be encrouched upon and that they would just turn HP into a merchandising opportunity. I hated the idea of HP becoming a commodity, so I boycotted the first couple of movies, and then later just didn’t really care to see any. I eventually came around when I finally watched them with kids I was babysitting. Now, I can take them as enjoyable adaptations, and my beef with the the whole commercialisation process has been put to rest (mostly).

      So I wonder if eventually I’ll come around to CC in much the same way, especially if I ever have the opportunity to see it. Like the movies, we don’t necessarilly have to like everything about it to enjoy it. It is just yet another adaptation of sorts to the story we love. I don’t believe there is any reason we should take it as Canon, at least not alongside the original seven.

      • Efthymia

        I have some issues with the movies, too: I cannot rewatch OotP because they left everything that makes the book great out; too much love for Sirius, not enough for Lupin and Arthur Weasley; blatant Harmony shipping, with Ron’s character being very poorly treated in general (except for the first couple of films, I guess); you get my point.
        But at least, as adaptations of the original novels, they don’t stray TOO far, and –most importantly– they did not try to sell us the scripts as awesome new stories.
        The movies LOOK great, and from what I understand the play is amazing as a show, effects-wise and performance-wise. But I still hate the story. It feels like fanfiction written by a Slytherin fanboy who has only watched the movies. So I’m happy I hadn’t gotten excited and hopeful in the first place.

    • Phoenix

      “the fee, just with an L in the middle” is the best possible pronounciation guide! Thank you! 😀

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    So I was piddling around on Pottermore and came across The Best Fan Reactions to HP & the CC. It looks to have been released the day after the midnight book releases and basically just consists of a series of social media posts where people are squeeing about holding another HP book, being at a midnight release parties, getting 20 pages in and “having all the feels” etc. I noticed that it is an entirely positive reflection of fan reception- there certainly is no representation of the “I stayed up all night only to toss this in the garbage” or “WTF have you done, Jo?” variety. It makes sense, Pottermore is in the business of trying to sell the play after all, and this was probably written before much of the fandom had finished reading, so the harsher criticism wasn’t rolling out yet. What gets me, is they don’t have anything else released later that mentions the scriptbook’s reception within the fandom, once the fandom had actually read it. So they published this whole thing going “Look! See how happy we’ve made the Potterheads” but then have ignored every other way this has impacted the fandom since. It’s like what fans think having actually read it, positive or negative, doesn’t matter, and the whole idea of fan-reaction is just being swept under the rug. So I’m wondering if it is a matter of them not seeing any value in doing a follow-up, even one that is skewed towards the positive (surprising because it seems exactly the type of inane fan-fodder that Pottermore seems so keen on these days) or if they recognize that the fandom as a whole hasn’t had an entirely rosy view of CC and maybe it’s better for Pottermore to just leave it alone. I don’t know, anyway I just thought it was an interesting observation.

  • ILoveLunaLoveGood

    Rose Scorpius is actually much more interesting… not only would Harry’s son be best friends with a Malfoy but then Scorpius marries into the family by getting with Rose. Thats so much fun 😀

    • Phoenix

      I agree, that would be an interesting new family connection! But I hope they never get married – this marrying your childhood sweetheart thing has to stop NOW! 😀

      • ILoveLunaLoveGood

        haha. I dno. I always liked it… I get why people are like “its not realistic” and Rowling goes a long way to darkening our childhoods with her books so it seems a bit strange then to make this fairytale kind of ending for relationships… but still I like it for that reason… at least one bit of it all is fairytale-ish

        • Phoenix

          Fair enough. :)

  • SnapesManyButtons

    Off Topic: Is anybody here going to see the Harry Potter movies in Imax theaters this week? I have tickets to see 5 movies on Friday! OotP through Deathly Hallows with Sorcerer’s Stone as a finale. I’ve never seen a Harry Potter movie in a theater so I’m really Excited!

    • Roonil Wazlib

      5 movies in one day is so intense haha! That’ll be awesome. I’m going to see Order on Saturday and Hallows part 1 on Sunday! Can’t wait :)

      • SnapesManyButtons

        It’s gonna be hard core! 1st movie starts at noon and last one starts at 1 am. I originally planned to see HBP and the two DH’s but with the extra fees for single tickets, it wasn’t that much more to get tickets for the whole day’s showings. My daughter wanted to see all 8, so we’re settling for a compromise. So excited to see the movies on the Big Screen!

        • ISeeThestrals

          I’ve seen all the movies on the big screen when they first came out. It’s great. Imax would be a difference from the HP movie marathons they do on abc family, or rather the ‘Freeform” channel. I think it’s cool they’re doing it. Me personally, I can’t sit through a marathon of really anything, lol.

          • SnapesManyButtons

            My daughter and I have marathoned through all 8 before, but it was at home and over two days. It’ll be a looong day, but we’re looking at it as an adventure – and a memory we’ll have together.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      I never saw the movies in theaters either until DH, but even that was at the drive-in. I had no interest in the movies for a long time, so it is nice to get the opportunity again.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      Well, we did it and we survived! It wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be, there was enough time between films to go to the bathroom and move around a bit, and it turned out the drinks were free refills all night long, so I only paid for two and we refilled between every movie. I did start to doze during the last one but we sang along to A Very Potter Musical songs on the 45 min. drive home and I managed to stay awake fine. It was 4:30 am when we got home but totally worth it. So many details I noticed that I hadn’t seen on the TV showings and the sound track and Alan Rickman’s voice in surround sound… beautiful! The biggest surprise was how few people were there. I expected it to be packed and got there early, but nope, literally only a dozen or so at the noon showing and far less than half full for the Deathly Hallows movies. No costumes, no crowds. I kinda wanted a full theater for the experience, but in practice it was better to have room to spread out for all that time so I guess it was okay. Definitely glad we did it.

  • Phoenix

    I would also like to congratulate Lorrie on how well she presented and defended her interpretation. I don’t believe for a second that the script was meant to be read that way, but it is certainly interesting to do so anyway. It is always a joy to hear someone present new thoughts in such an eloquent way.

  • Phoenix

    To wrap up the discussion on Cursed Child, it might also be interesting to look at its translations into other languages, since a lot of translations have come out by now. For instance, the German title is “Harry Potter und das verwunschene Kind” = “Harry Potter and the enchanted child”, which sounds a lot less negative. The Italian title is “Harry Potter e la maledizione dell’erede” = “Harry Potter and the curse of the heir”, which seems to switch the meaning from an innocently cursed child to an heir being responsible for the curse. (Please correct me if necessary, I don’t know Italian very well.) The Spanish title is interesting, too: “Harry Potter y el legado maldito” = “Harry Potter and the cursed heritage” – they chose an abstract noun instead of a person, possibly in order to avoid having to settle on the cursed child’s gender.

    • Phoenix

      I just realised this comment is probably too late for the recap, maybe this would be a topic for another mini episode including a cover discussion, similar to the book wraps you used to do?

  • Phoenix

    I had been looking forward to this discussion and I wasn’t disappointed! Thank you! The only other thing I would have liked to hear was a trans person’s perspective, especially on human transfiguration, Hogwarts dormitories, etc.

    All things considered, I still believe JKR had the best intentions but didn’t quite think it through. She is clearly supportive of LGBTQIA rights, I absolutely believe that her support is sincere. But I don’t think that at the time she wrote the books she had considered what a queer friendly society would really entail. First of all, eliminating discrimination requires some serious reflection and work – it’s not (only) a question of laws, it’s a process that involves the whole society. The Wizarding and Muggle worlds separated at a time when there were certainly no equal rights for queer people. So how did the magical community get there? I suppose it’s possible to get there within that time, but is there anything that indicates that the Wizarding world even tried? You certainly don’t get rid of discrimination by simply never talking about it again.

    They don’t seem to talk about these things at Hogwarts. They have two sets of bathrooms and two sets of dormitories (not to mention that peculiar staircase rule). They are expected to bring a student of the opposite sex to the Yule ball. We don’t know if that’s strictly a rule, it may very well not be, but everyone certainly expects that that’s what everyone else is looking for. When the Weasley twins start to market their product line for girls, it is utterly heteronormative: love potions that must be administered depending on the boy’s weight, daydreams consisting of a “handsome youth” and a “swooning girl” on a pirate ship (ugh). And I can’t even blame them. How are they supposed to imagine that one of their friends, classmates or customers might be queer if they have never met anyone who doesn’t get married and have children a week after leaving school?

    I understand that it might not have been wise to introduce lots of queer characters in 1997. But even in 1997, there was no need to portray such a normative society when it comes to family and relationship concepts.
    Do we ever see a couple live together with no plans of getting married? Do we ever see a happily married couple without children? Apart from Bellatrix, whose marriage is never shown and may well have been a marriage of convenience, and who had to be childless in order to be the Anti-Molly, I don’t think we ever see a married person without children. Apparently, McGonagall and her husband didn’t have any children, and Charlie Weasley (<3) doesn't get married at all, but that's not in the books. Do we see anyone growing up with a single parent? Any adopted children? Any grown-ups sharing a flat? ANYTHING that's not father-mother-child and that's not a tragedy?

    Adding a few variations in familiy concepts would have been easy… and I like to think she would if she was writing the series now. I think that even without explicitly queer characters, a more diverse family concept would have achieved a lot. That, in combination with its rather diverse spectrum of gender representations, would have made the series believably queer friendly. As it is, we have to be content with the fact that it is not explicitly hostile, and fill in the gaps – as you admirably did in this wonderful episode.