Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has introduced its lead characters: The Potter, Granger-Weasley, and Malfoy families, including Rose, Albus and Scorpius.
We know very little about Cursed Child, the Harry Potter play opening in London next week. But after this week we know a lot more than we did — certainly enough to start speculating wildly, as only Potter fans can!
Written by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Cursed Child picks up Harry’s story 19 years later, following the adult trio Harry, Ron and Hermione and their kids.
The official description of the play reads:
“It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
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.”
Just as in the Deathly Hallows epilogue, the Harry Potter play will see Harry’s son Albus, Ron and Hermione’s daughter Rose, and Draco’s son Scorpius all start Hogwarts at the same time.
Over the course of the past three days we’ve been treated to gorgeous character portraits introducing our new main characters in costume.
The three reveals have showcased what appears to be the play’s eight lead characters: Harry (Jamie Parker), Ron (Paul Thornley), Hermione (Noma Dumezweni), Ginny (Poppy Miller), Draco (Alex Price), and their kids Albus (Sam Clemmett), Rose (Cherrelle Skeete), and Scorpius (Anthony Boyle):
Considering that before today we didn’t even know Scorpius was going to be in the play (all we knew before now was that Draco and Ginny had wands), no less that he’d be featured as one of the only three next-generation characters!
Harry’s children James and Lily are nowhere to be seen, and neither is Ron and Hermione’s son Hugo, yet Scorpius gets a portrait all to himself. There is no Teddy Lupin, or Neville Longbottom, or Luna Lovegood. This is very curious indeed.
Even more curious is the fact that J.K. Rowling has said of Scorpius that he “is going to do nothing to turn girls off the Malfoy men.”
Considering how vehemently J.K. Rowling has always denied that Draco was a character fans should fall in love with, could she perhaps be doing with Scorpius what fanfiction has done with Draco for years: Have him break away from his stern Malfoy family and befriend our heroes?
An inter-House friendship
What makes this idea even more appealing is that, if our theories are correct, our new trio would all be in different Hogwarts Houses.
Everyone is speculating that Albus Potter will be a Slytherin, and the fact that they put him in non-House-specific robes only emphasizes that fact — especially because Rose Granger-Weasley appears to be wearing a Hufflepuff jumper.
Just like Albus, Scorpius Malfoy is notably House-less in his pre-sorting robes, and while he could very well end up in Slytherin (making it easier for him and Albus to become friends), wouldn’t it be interesting if he didn’t?
If a Malfoy became a Gryffindor while a Potter became a Slytherin, this would certainly give Draco and Harry something to bond/fight over, and if Scorpius were to become a Ravenclaw, we’d suddenly have a set of main characters who showcased all the Houses that were neglected in the Harry Potter series due to an overwhelming majority of Gryffindor leads.
We imagine that one of the fallouts from Voldemort’s destruction would be a newfound inter-House unity. When Harry sees Albus off on Platform 9 3/4, he specifically tells him not to worry about ending up in Slytherin.
“Then Slytherin house will have gained an excellent student. It doesn’t matter to us,” Harry said (Deathly Hallows, page 607). And while Ron joked about disinheriting Rose if she wasn’t in Gryffindor, it seems the house resentments have somehow faded over time. The kids weren’t born into a paranoid world, and likely, they don’t hold the same prejudices their parents did.
Having them all be in different houses would be a great way to reinvent the trio formula, and whatever the three of them stumble into together (the Cursed Child mystery, most likely), it will give their parents a reason to band together.
Scorpius could be the Malfoy that Draco never was
Draco Malfoy is probably one of the most bastardized characters in the history of fandom. As Rowling continues to express bafflement at young fans’ obsession with him, fans continue treating him like the precious sunflower we all knew he secretly was, romantically pairing him up with Harry, Hermione or Ginny and sending him swiftly down the path of reluctant heroism.
Although canon never really reflected the compassionate side of Draco so often explored in fanfiction, the Malfoy family did reveal itself to be much less evil than they could have been with Narcissa’s love for Draco mirroring Lily’s love for Harry, and the three of them getting the hell out of dodge before Voldemort was even defeated. By “19 Years Later,” Draco and Harry were civil enough to acknowledge each other politely (even if Ron’s dislike for the family still shone through).
It’s not unlikely that Scorpius will be what Draco could have been, had he been raised in a less bigoted household. He could start off where we left Draco in Deathly Hallows, and evolve from that point. And if Slytherin has become the kind of house Harry wouldn’t mind seeing his son in, it’s likely that Slytherins themselves aren’t what they’d been made out to be during the Voldemort wars.
After all, with everyone (including the teachers) treating them like villains due to Voldemort and the Death Eaters’ affiliation with the house, it would have been natural for the Slytherins to isolate themselves from the other students. But without this prejudice, Slytherins are likely not as defensive or confrontational as Harry found them to be during his time at Hogwarts.
With Albus Potter seeming a lot more mellow than his dad, and Rose Granger-Weasley described as someone who “just wants to do the right thing,” Scorpius, Rose and Albus could easily find each other, unaware (or uncaring) of their parents’ complicated history.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child could introduce a new trio of characters, familiar to us via their parents but free to evolve and win us over in their own right. By making them friends, Rowling could show that while these kids have a lot in common with the previous generation, they’ve also got their own personalities and preferences, and will carve their own paths in life that don’t reflect their families’ prejudices.
Some of us only have to wait a week to find out, others can look forward to the script book being released on July 31 — until then, however, you can let your imagination run wild and allow yourself to speculate like we haven’t been able to since 2007. It’s a good time to be a Harry Potter fan.