Tuesday, 2 August 2016
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - no spoilers
When the play was announced I wasn't especially excited, and I haven't been very into Fantastic Beasts either. Somehow I felt like my Harry Potter affection and obsession was dying. Then came the announcement that they would be releasing the script as a book. A new book?! I was suddenly over the moon with anticipation. I knew it was a script. I knew she hadn't written it completely on her own. But nevertheless it was a new Harry Potter book (not a novel, but a book even so) 8 years after book 7 was released.
When I realised I wouldn't be able to be at the midnight release due to work I was very disappointed. I was at the midnight release of Deathly Hallows in 2007, and then at the midnight premiere of Deathly Hallows part 2 in 2011. I really wanted to be there for the midnight release of Cursed Child. But I had to resign myself to not being able to go there and instead I pre-ordered the book at the end of May.
On the 29th I got an e-mail telling me that my order had shipped. My book was officially on its way. On the 31st I was seated in the lunch room at work scrolling through my Facebook wall looking at all the updates and pictures from people I know who had been at the midnight release. And I was so jealous that they already had the book and already had started reading. On August 1st, yesterday, at work I got a text that my order had been delivered to my local post office and I could go pick it up. Said and done! After work I picked it up and when I came home I immediately started reading despite being very, very tired after getting up 4am in the morning for two days in a row.
The fact that it was a script didn't bother me. Of course the descriptions sometimes were a little poorer than I would've liked, but that's what you can expect from a script that's mostly dialogue and just some annotations to how the stage shifts and changes between each scene. When I studied French my favourite book that we read was Waiting for Godot, and that was also in script format. So I knew from before-hand that a script didn't bother my reading.
I only read the first act yesterday and then stopped because I wanted it to last as long as possible. I spent the rest of the evening just looking at my new book and holding it. Today I started reading as soon as I got out of bed and finished it before 3pm.
I want to go into extensive detail over the story, because I really liked it and I want to emphasize that in a world where the haters always are the loudest. But let me give you hints without really spoiling the story. It includes redemption. It includes the partial return of a character previously only seen in one single book. It includes a lot of nostalgia for what happened in the original seven books. It includes the exploration to a lot of 'what if?'s, and it includes a plot-twist that I didn't expect and that everyone is discussing loudly and fervently. I liked the plot-twist because it turned one of my old headcanons into canon. You do what you will with this information.
I know Rowling didn't write it alone, but I could still see her hand in it. And just like a good book should, this one has made me laugh out loud and giggle, it has made my heart race, and it has made me cry. Towards the end I couldn't help crying at a scene, and then I couldn't stop crying as I continued reading. And as I read the last page I cried even more. It felt like finishing the last book in 2007 and realising with some sort of horribly empty finality that there was nothing more. The movies don't really count in the same way, and now it was over. Completely over. Even more so now. In 2007 Rowling wasn't opposed to revisiting Harry's story at a later time. This time, though, she has expressed that she's done with Harry's story. There will be no more. No more. And the thought that it was truly over had me crying for a good fifteen minutes, and it still makes me teary.
I thought my obsession had died, but it was merely sleeping...