For muggles, wizards, and squibs alike, the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is nothing short of miraculous. Not only did many readers believe that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was the last they would see if the be-spectacled young wizard and his world, but when they heard news of a play, those who didn’t live close enough to England to catch its premiere were disappointed. Luckily, J.K. Rowling is releasing the screenplay of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for all to read and it comes out July 30. It is available for pre-order and there are opening night parties planned at bookstores, libraries, and schools everywhere to celebrate this glorious occasion.
While fans are chomping at the bit to get their hands on a copy of Cursed Child, they are also making predictions about what will be included in the book, crossing their fingers and toes that their questions will be answered and their fan theories will come to fruition. Here are 15 Things We Want to See In Harry Potter And The Cursed Child.
Even though Rowling succinctly and patiently doled out answers to her readers’ most burning questions about the lives of her characters following Deathly Hallows on multiple occasions, those brief wrap-ups came up disappointingly short for readers who spent years in her incredibly fleshed-out world. Fans are hoping not only for deeper explanations to “where are they now,” but also to witness the gritty details of Harry’s employment as an Auror and just how high up in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement Hermione could possibly be. In an interview, Rowling said that they made a “whole new world,” and fans are dying to see what that world might look like.
The fates of major secondary characters are also in question. Fans want something more satisfying than the final pages of Deathly Hallows–something to sink their teeth into other than a few weirdly strung together names of dead characters. What is Neville like 19 years in the future, as a teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry? Has Luna discovered any new creatures? What is Hogwarts like today? And every Weasley twin fan will not rest until they witness a day in the life of George and Angelina’s household, complete with their two children. Many fans also speculate that Malfoy’s son, Scorpius, may become a romantic interest for Ron and Hermione’s daughter, Rose.
14. Albus’s Sorting
Many fans have a theory that Albus Severus, son of Harry and Ginny Potter, will become a Slytherin at Hogwarts. Clues in Deathly Hallows support this theory, since Albus is worried about being sorted into the sly house of the serpents and his father reassures him that not only does he have a choice, but that one of the bravest men he’d ever known was a Slytherin. Another possible clue emerged recently when Rowling, writing as reporter Rita Skeeter, noted that Albus wore green robes to support the Brazilian team during a Quidditch match while the rest of his family wore red in support of the Bulgarian team.
Rowling also admits that Albus is living in his father’s shadow. Of Potter’s three children, Albus looks most like his father. He is also the middle child, a position notorious for having a complex relationship with parents. Even the art on the cover of Cursed Child depicts Albus hiding in a nest surrounded by a looming golden snitch, which likely alludes to his father’s time as one of the best seekers Hogwarts had ever seen.
13. The Aftermath of War
As any Potterhead knows, Rowling’s books grow darker and darker to evoke the looming threat of war, finally culminating in a finale of desolation and death. Several key characters were lost forever during the last installment of the series, and that, combined with a struggling, corrupted government, and the usual despair and grieving period that follows any war, has to leave some gaping wounds to heal. Even though Cursed Child takes place 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts, there needs to be some sort of closure and recovery addressed, whether it occurs in flashbacks, conversations about the past with the newest generation or even in bits and pieces woven throughout the play.
Fans are especially anxious to find out how George Weasley fares without his other half, but other characters to look out for include Harry’s godchild, Teddy Lupin, whose father and mother both died during the Second Wizarding War, Rubeus Hagrid, a series staple whom Rowling says never finds love, and the Malfoys, who were forever changed by the war.
12. Beyond Toilet Travel
As interesting as the scenes at the Ministry of Magic were in the series, now that the trio is grown and working for the Ministry, Rowling should be able to divulge many more secrets and behind-the-scenes peeks at how wizarding law enforcement works. After seeing how monochromatic and dark the Ministry was during wartime, there not only so many floors and secret places within it yet to be explored, but also more vibrant possibilities since it has changed so much since we last saw it. Given that Hermione has a high-ranking job as a Ministry official and Harry and Ron are both Aurors, they should all have access to interesting, high-level security clearance areas.
Even so, Rowling has stated that Harry is an overworked father. His adventures within the Auror field may not be as exhilarating as they sounded to him as a child, or even when compared to the exploits he got into before puberty. “Overworked” may also simply mean that he has a huge caseload hunting down Voldemort’s supporters, and if that is the case, readers should be very happy to watch that go down.
11. Trouble in Paradise
Rowling has admitted that Ron and Hermione might not have been soulmate material in interviews, acknowledging that Hermione might not be satisfied with Ron’s earnest, yet goofy and often obtuse personality. In fact, she believes that Hermione should have married the titular character himself, saying that Ron might not have been able to make Hermione happy. Fans who wanted Hermione paired with other characters are especially eager to witness tension between the couple, but even without an ulterior motive some marital strain would be normal between the constantly quibbling pair. While not everyone is advocating that the pair split forever, every couple fights on occasion, and it simply makes sense that Rowling would insert some kind of nod toward her admission somewhere within the play.
If a Granger-Weasly squabble is destined to occur, it should be about something a bit more meaningful than her cat chasing his rat. Even so, a fun allusion to one of their famous quarrels would be appreciated by the fans.
10. The Phoenix and the Serpent
Even without the context of their great hardship and sacrifice, the importance of both Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape in Harry’s life are pretty obvious, given that he named his middle child after the former headmasters of Hogwarts. Given that the two were such prevalent forces throughout the entire series as well as two of the biggest fan favorites, they ought to be recognized somehow in Cursed Child.
Many fans are hoping to catch a glimpse of both men’s portraits in the Headmaster’s office at Hogwarts, but there are numerous ways that Rowling could do this. After finding Snape’s old potions book in Half-Blood Prince, perhaps Rowling could add a nod to that and have Albus find a note written to his grandmother, Lily Potter, from his namesake. As often as Dumbledore left posthumous clues for Harry to find, he, too, could appear in another fashion, whether it be via a magical object, a diary, or even a memory. Perhaps Harry will share one via a pensieve to help introduce Albus to both men. Flashbacks could also occur.
9. The Famous Potters
Gilderoy Lockhart once told Harry, “Celebrity is as celebrity does!” while Severus Snape reminded him that, “Clearly, fame isn’t everything.” Harry’s fame, mostly unwanted during his childhood, is sure to follow him into adulthood, spilling over onto his three children. The issues that Albus will have to deal with at Hogwarts are likely to stem from simply being the son of The Boy Who Lived. As uncomfortable as Harry’s scar made him when recognized as the baby that Voldemort couldn’t Avada Kedavra, his children will be even more famous after all of his adventures at Hogwarts and beyond.
There is also the possibility that his father’s fame will cause Albus to become the target of jealousy, fear, resentment, and adoration, depending upon his classmates and their families. As annoyed as fans became with Harry’s constant fame issues throughout the series, they will want to know how that translates for the rest of his family as well as how they cope with it.
8. Harry Loves Ginny
Some fans felt that Ginny was a “Mary Sue” who entered Harry’s life out of left field, but others cited sources supporting the development of their relationship from Chamber of Secrets onward. Ginny was Harry’s only friend to call him on his self-piteous bull when his best friends walked around him on eggshells during Order of the Phoenix, and some of the most enjoyable moments of their relationship occurred before they were even an item. Each time Harry witnessed Ginny with one of her boyfriends, an angry beast would roar up in his chest. Their first kiss, a much more satisfying moment in the book, stemmed from their mutual love of Quidditch. After Ginny subbed in as seeker for Harry during his detention with Snape and won, they snogged in front of the whole Gryffindor common room, truly a PDA to remember.
Ginny and Harry’s relationship also featured the Weasleys’ sarcastic wit and humor, so a moment that features both aspects of their relationship would solidify their dynamic during Cursed Child. A nod to Ginny’s time with the Holyhead Harpies Quidditch team, further proof of her awesomeness, would also be quite welcome.
7. Leftover Conflict From the War
The synopsis of Cursed Child reads, “While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.” A logical interpretation of this description would be that Harry still has to overcome some kind of conflict that was either a part of or arose from the ashes of the Second Wizarding War. This will likely have bearing on why he is so “overworked.”
As far as Albus’s legacy, if the young wizard is sorted into Slytherin it would make sense that his father’s reputation could make him unpopular with his housemates. Given that the darkness they face comes from “unexpected places,” its source may simply be one another. Fans are eager to discover exactly what this mysterious synopsis means.
6. Dark Times
Parents have been advised that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is intended for ages 10 and older, but rumor has it that it has rather grim moments in store. It will likely be much darker than the first few installments of the series. While Sorcerer’s Stone, published in 1997, and Chamber of Secrets, released in 1998, are both considered appropriate reading for elementary-aged children, Prisoner of Azkaban, published in 1999, is listed as a more suitable choice for for middle school children. From Goblet of Fire on, Rowling’s work cast bleaker and bleaker shadows in order to prepare both her characters and readers for war. It is also a given that after the bloody events of Deathly Hallows Rowling isn’t going to write a play about pumpkin juice and chocolate frogs.
5. Fun Spells and Magic
Now that Harry and Ron are Aurors, they should have access to a plethora of spells and magic that they had previously never known as mere students, no matter their experiences. Part of the allure of the series has always been its wide scope of magic and spells, and fans could always count on Rowling to introduce a new wizarding gadget, gizmo, or curse to render everything up to that point dull and outdated. It isn’t as if the trio is able to simply graduate from Hogwarts and become Ministry employees, either. Although the audience may unfortunately not get a glimpse of their training given the number of years between the books (though there are always flashbacks), anything that Harry, Hermione, and Ron have learned or used should since should be fair game.
4. New Creatures
As Potter fans eagerly await the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them this fall, they are hoping for some pretty incredible creatures. Those who’ve read the book, which Rowling wrote as a Hogwarts textbook for charity along with Quidditch Through the Ages, already know that it’s chock full of cool monsters, critters, and magical beings absent from the films and even the books themselves. They are also hoping to glimpse a few of these creatures in Cursed Child.
Which creatures will be present, if any, are anyone’s guess. Fans may want to find out what a yeti is like in the wizarding world or catch a glimpse of a hairy quintaped. If a Polyjuice potion is brewed, perhaps a bicorn will be included in the script. Possibilities could include the dugbog, a finned creature with pointed teeth; the flitterby, a magical moth used in the Harry Potter video games, or any other magical beast from Newt Scamander’s tome. Given that Luna Lovegood has dedicated her career to discovering new creatures and, according to Rowling’s interviews, has married Scamander’s grandson, this would also be a logical time to give her a small role in the story.
3. The Next Generation
Relationships among the main characters’ children have been a huge cause for speculation among Harry Potter fans for years. Countless fanfiction stories have been penned about their children growing up together, becoming friends, and even getting married. Rowling fueled the fan frenzy by hinting at romantic pairings during the epilogue of Deathly Hallows, insinuating that Victoire Weasley, daughter of Bill and Fleur (Delacour) Weasley, was involved with Teddy Lupin. Most of the trio’s children may be a little young to become romantic just yet, but developing friendships and even rivalries would be interesting to witness.
Many fans are especially eager to find out if Scorpius will be as nasty as his father was in school. It is very possible that he could be a good friend or a great foe of Albus in Cursed Child. Fans are also eager to find out if other characters, such as Dean Thomas, Neville or Luna, had any children that will be attending Hogwarts at the same time. Since Luna married later in life, it may be a stretch, but it’s not impossible.
2. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Recalling how awestruck Harry was upon realizing he was a wizard after living the first decade of his life with muggles, readers are dying to know what it will be like for his children to grow up in a world that was magical for their father on so many levels. In Cursed Child, Rowling has the opportunity to expand the intricate world she so carefully constructed, building upon her previous books with the trio’s new experiences as adults. Between Neville’s Hogwarts job, the trio’s work with the Ministry of Magic and all of the experiences of their friends, readers are expecting to learn even more secrets about the wizarding world.
Will Ron and Harry go out for a pint after work? Will Harry and Ginny homeschool their kids up until Hogwarts or choose to let them attend a muggle school? What does wizard homeschooling even look like? Questions about everything from how the birth of a new wizard is handled to how wizards are paid may run through readers’ heads on a disjointed but eager loop, so even a few new tidbits from Rowling would be happily devoured by her devoted fans.
1. An Unforgettable “Curse”
Any fan of Harry Potter knows that Rowling’s titles are not always what they seem. The announcement of the sixth book’s title, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, provided months of gossipy speculation, little of which hit the mark. While some may be expecting a complicated curse worthy of a seasoned Auror’s skills, others are expecting that “cursed” may mean something different altogether. The term could allude to something the child deems a curse but is not technically magical, but more of an emotional burden. Given Rowling’s charitable works and stance against bullying, it is even possible that the curse refers to maltreatment, perhaps at Hogwarts.
Fans are also speculating about whether or not the child in question is Albus, a child that Albus may need to rescue somehow, or someone that Harry encounters at work. As antsy as fans are to discover the true identity and meaning behind the title, the wait is almost over.