There is huge news in the fandom of Harry Potter - author J.K. Rowling recently announced that there would be a stage play about Harry Potter!
This is news that every Harry Potter fan has dreamed of for years! Well, maybe we didn't dream specifically about a play (although I admit that some of you might have), but we certainly hoped there would be more added to the story that we don't yet know, and now there will be.
As of this writing very little is known about the play. In fact, about the only thing we do know is that it is not a prequel. So, what, exactly, do we know?
Keep reading, because I've done as much research as I possibly could to find out everything that is currently known about the upcoming play.
What Is 'Harry Potter And The Cursed Child'?
It will be a play that is scheduled to open at the Palace Theatre in London, England. The expected opening date will be some time in 2016. We know this much because Rowling told us. Here is her Twitter post about it from June 26, 2015:
Who Wrote The Play?
It is tempting to think that this is solely the work of Rowling but it is actually a collaborative effort. The play was written by Jack Thorne who is a British playwright. The play will be based on a story that was written by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany.
From what I was able to find in my research on The Cursed Child, it seems that this has been in the works since at least 2012, possibly earlier.
What Will The Play Be About?
That is an excellent question and is the one everyone wants to know. I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that the story is being kept secret so I honestly don't know. But, we do know this much: the story will be about Harry.
Why Is It A Play And Not A New Book?
J.K. Rowling anticipated this very question and has already answered it.
I can't help but wonder, though, if it the story will eventually be published in book format... Rowling has already told us that the play is based on a book that she helped co-write, so it seems that the book already exists.
Also, something Rowling did in the past indicates that she might publish the book about the Cursed Child, but I'm sure this wouldn't happen until the play has been running for at least a year or so. I say this because she originally wrote The Tales of Beedle The Bard as a very limited edition run. It was so limited that there were only seven of the books made, all handwritten and illustrated by Rowling.
The author gave six of the handwritten versions of the book to people who she wanted to thank who were important to the series. She made one additional book (the seventh book) with the intention of selling it at an auction, which she did, and all the proceeds went to her charity, The Children's Voice. Rowling later allowed the book to be published so that anyone who wanted to book could buy and read it.
Is Tom Riddle The Cursed Child?
On August 21, 2015 someone asked J.K. Rowling if Tom Riddle is the cursed child. That was a great question, and Rowling must have thought so, too, because she answered it. Turns out that it won't be about Tom.
Will It Be A Prequel?
Let me repeat that.
J.K. Rowling has been very clear that the story will not be a prequel. If you browse through her Twitter feed you will see that she has answered this question a lot! All of her answers are, "No." Don't believe me? Here are just a few of Rowling's posts on this matter (I think she is having fun with this!):
What Is An Anti-Prequel?
Did you see that last line of the last image above? Rowling said that the play will be an anti-prequel. Is that a hint? Or is she just teasing us and having fun? I don't know.
Let's assume for a moment that Rowling is being upfront and honest about the play being an anti-prequel. That means it would be a sequel and takes place after the death of Lord Voldemort. That, of course, leads to the biggest question of all...
Who Is The Cursed Child?
The fun has begun with this question! It reminds me of what it was like to read the books as they were published. During that time we had to wait and wait and wait for the next book to be published. We read and reread the already published books many times while waiting for the next book. We also made a lot of guesses as to what would happen next.
There were many guide books published during these years that tried to answer the question of what happens next in the series. I bought several of these interim books and devoured them. Of course, most of the guesses in these books proved to be wrong, but a surprising number of them were right!
Just for fun, here is a picture of my guide books that I bought and spent many hours reading:
So, who is the Cursed Child? I am confident that this question will be eagerly discussed and hotly debated over the next year or so, until the play opens and the world finally learns the true answer to this question.
From what I can see, there are two possibilities. First, the child could be someone we have not yet been introduced to and couldn't possibly guess. Or, it could be someone we have met. My money is on the latter, and I have a guess. I think it could very well be Teddy Lupin.
The reason I think this is because Harry was Teddy's Godfather, which meant he would have been active in Teddy's life after his parents, Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks, died. Teddy was the child of a known werewolf, and Lupin explained to Harry that werewolves were shunned in the magical world. Even if Teddy did not have any of his father's werewolf tendencies he was probably targeted by people who chose to hate him because of his father's condition.
We know almost nothing about Teddy. He was briefly mentioned in the final chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, during a conversation between James (the eldest child of Harry and Ginny), Lily (their youngest), and Harry.
"Teddy's back there," he said breathlessly, pointing back over his shoulder in the the billowing clouds of steam. "Just seen him! And guess what he's doing? Snogging Victoire!"... "Our Teddy! Teddy Lupin! Snogging our Victoire! Our cousin!"...
"Oh, it would be lovely if they got married!" whispered Lily...
"He already comes round for dinner about four times a week," said Harry.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Although that is about all that is said about Teddy, there is one fact we can take away from the above exchange. Teddy Lupin spent a lot of time in the Potter home.
We can also infer a little more about Teddy. Victoire was the daughter of Bill and Fleur Weasley, which means she was part Veela. She probably followed in her mother's footsteps of having the ability to cast a magical spell on the men around her making her desirable, which comes from the Veela in her. If so, she was probably constantly getting attention. This is just a guess, but I suspect that it would take a certain kind of personality to turn Victoire's head and show interest at someone.
If I am right, then I think it is safe to assume that Teddy was full of confidence. Somehow I doubt that Victoire would go after an insecure boy.
So, what is the point of me saying this? If Teddy was a confident as I suspect he was, then he probably managed to get into a lot of mischief as a child. The kind of mischief that might have gotten him hurt, a lot. If Teddy was constantly getting into trouble or getting hurt then it is likely that the people around him jokingly called him cursed, which could make him the Cursed Child.
Lastly, I will tie this train of thought back to where I started. Teddy also might have been called cursed because his father was a werewolf and both his parents died when he was a baby.
Who Do You Think Is The Cursed Child?
Time will eventually tell if I am right about Teddy being the Cursed Child, and I'm sure there are other great possibilities, such as any of the three children of Harry and Ginny. I'd love to hear from you about who you think is the Cursed Child. You can take the poll I made about this, and I invite you to add to the discussion in the comments section below.
When Can I Buy Tickets For The Play?
As of this writing you cannot yet buy any tickets but that is expected to change later this year. According to the play's official website they will start pre-selling tickets towards the end of 2015.
How Can I Stay Updated On Information About The Play?
The official website for the play has a mailing list that you can subscribe to. You can join their email list here.