The special rehearsal script for the West End’s most magical show, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, hit retailers today. The play, conceptualized by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne and written by Thorne, is a sequel to the book series—and it’s the last Harry adventure we’ll get. “He goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we're done,” Rowling told Reuters. “This is the next generation, you know. So, I'm thrilled to see it realized so beautifully but, no, Harry is done now."
Can't make it to London to see the show, but curious to find out a bit about it? We read the script front to back; here are a few things we learned. (Beware: Some spoilers below!)
1. THE PLAY PICKS UP RIGHT WHERE DEATHLY HALLOWS LEFT OFF.
Just before it ended, in fact—many lines of dialogue come directly from Deathly Hallows’s epilogue, when Harry and Ginny send Albus Severus off to his first year at Hogwarts. Albus’s first three years go by quickly, and within 50 pages, we’re in his fourth year.
2. ALBUS BECOMES BESTIES WITH SCORPIUS ...
On the train to Hogwarts, Albus ditches Rose Weasley to sit with Scorpius Malfoy. The two become fast friends—and, like Scorpius, Albus is sorted into (gasp!) Slytherin.
3. … AND HE’S NOT THAT GOOD AT MAGIC.
Harry and Ginny’s middle child struggles with spells—and Quidditch. In fact, he hates it.
4. THERE'S A NASTY RUMOR ABOUT SCORPIOUS'S PARENTAGE.
According to the rumor mill, Draco Malfoy and Astoria Greengrass had trouble conceiving, so she went back in time and found a more powerful, sinister wizard to father her child: Lord Voldemort himself.
5. HARRY AND ALBUS HAVE A VERY STRAINED RELATIONSHIP.
They just can’t seem to understand each other. After one particularly bad argument, Harry has a nightmare. When he wakes up, his scar is aching—for the first time in 22 years.
6. HERMIONE HAS A BUNCH OF BANNED BOOKS IN HER OFFICE—AND SHE TURNED THEM INTO WEAPONS.
That’s so Hermione. (Oh yeah, she’s also the Minister for Magic.)
7. THERE’S A LOT OF TIME TRAVEL.
Much of Cursed Child’s first two acts revolve around the quest to bring one character back from the dead using time travel. We know what you’re thinking: All of the Ministry’s Time-Turners were rendered useless during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries in Order of the Phoenix. But in Cursed Child, it’s revealed that a wizard named Theodore Nott created a new kind of Time-Turner. In a raid, Harry—now head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement—confiscates it; it’s placed in Hermione’s office, where it’s guarded by her weaponized, riddle-spouting books.
Using Polyjuice Potion, Albus, Scorpius, and a character named Delphi solve the riddles, get past the books, and knick the Time-Turner from Hermione’s office. Messing with time is dangerous, but that is a warning Scorpius and Albus didn’t receive—and their well-intentioned fiddling leads to some very dark days. (“Voldemort Day,” for example.)
8. SOME FAN FAVORITES—AND NOT-SO-FAVORITES—MAKE APPEARANCES.
Hagrid, centaur Bane, Dumbledore, Moaning Myrtle, and Umbridge all pop up in Cursed Child, as well as other characters we won’t spoil here.
9. THERE’S SOME PRETTY AMBITIOUS MAGIC IN THE STAGE DIRECTIONS.
Hermione’s bewitched books, for example, reach out, grab, and swallow characters; there are also fiery magical battles and epic on-stage Transfiguration.
10. HARRY POTTER IS AFRAID OF PIGEONS.
Well, we’re all scared of something.
Pick up your own copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child here.