Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I am an unapologetic Potterhead. I’ve been to midnight releases of Harry Potter books and movies. I’ve read each book in the series multiple times. I know my Hogwarts house (Ravenclaw). Every time there’s a Harry Potter weekend on what used to be ABC Family, I’ve watched…even though I have my own copies of every movie. I delight in recommending the series to my students. I’d dearly love to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but a few things hold me back: money (or lack thereof), dislike of travel (especially driving), and a tendency to freak out in large crowds.

It should come as no surprise, then, that I would be excited about an eighth Harry Potter story. When I first heard about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I was both ecstatic and despondent. Ecstatic because there was a new story; despondent because I wouldn’t get to see it. (Remember that whole “dislike of travel” thing?) Imagine my delight when I realized that I would at least get to read the play. No, it’s nothing like seeing it firsthand in London, but at least it’s something.

Even though Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released on July 31st (the birthday of both Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling), I didn’t receive my copy until yesterday. (Apparently, I’m not the only Amazon customer who pre-ordered the book to have this experience.) I would have gone to a midnight release party, but, again, crowds make me anxious. At any rate, I began reading the book a little after 7:00 last night. By 11:30, I was done. Like the other Harry Potter stories before it, I was engrossed from the first page, and I couldn’t tear myself away from the characters who’ve come to mean so much to me.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child takes readers on a remarkable journey–through settings and scenarios both familiar and brand new. It explores the “what if?” of a world that so many have come to love, and it introduces a threat to the hard-won peace that followed the war with Voldemort.

I’m not going to say much more about what occurs in this remarkable story. (Potterheads who’ve not read the book yet would likely hunt me down if I did.) I will say, however, that I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Harry, Ron, Hermione, and even Draco as adults. And like these familiar characters, their children–particularly Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy–are complex, flawed, relatable, and determined to forge their own paths in the world. Does it always end well? Not so much. (These kids may be more like their parents than either one of them would care to admit.)

(By the way, I think Scorpius Malfoy might be my new favorite HP character. My apologies to my former favorites, Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood.)

I encourage all Harry Potter fans to read this exciting eighth story. You may not love it as much as I do–not everyone enjoys reading a play–but I can promise that you’ll at least find it interesting.

To learn more about this story–and the stage play–visit the Cursed Child page on Pottermore.

Thoughts on the final Harry Potter movie

As many people know, I am a huge fan of Harry Potter, so it should come as no surprise that I was at last night’s midnight premiere of the final film in the series, part two of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  I’ve been waiting a long time for this movie, and, let me tell you, it was totally worth the wait. I really think this is the best movie of the entire series. Were there some things different from the book? Yes. Did that take away from the awesomeness of the movie? Not a bit.

The movie was truly outstanding, and I think other people in the audience would agree with me. There was applause during several scenes, obvious crying at others, and cheering at the end.  I was especially moved by the scenes depicting Snape’s memories.  (I actually had to take off both my regular and 3D glasses so that I could wipe my eyes.  I cried a lot.)  I absolutely adored every scene with Neville, and I thought Professor McGonagall and Molly Weasley just rocked.  I was heartbroken by the deaths of some favorite characters.  (Yes, I knew what was coming, but it still made me sad.)  In the end, though, this movie provided a very satisfying conclusion to the series I’ve loved for the past ten years, and I plan to see the film at least a few more times.

I am sorry to see this series come to an end, but I have the awesome job of sharing Harry Potter with young readers who have never experienced this magical world. I hope they enjoy the journey as much as I have.

Have you seen this movie yet?  What do you think?  How do you think it compares to the book?  Are you as sad about the end of Harry Potter as I am?