This morning J.K. Rowling confirmed that the new Harry Potter stage play is titled Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
While the author didn’t delve into the plot, she did say that the play “is not a prequel” to the Harry Potter books. These comments arrive less than 12 hours after The Daily Mail — who broke the story and has been reputable about its development in the past — said that the play will focus on the lives of Lily and James.
I personally believe that Rowling’s comments don’t prove The Daily Mail wrong about the plot, though at least one colleague of mine will disagree.
In fact, the title of the play seems to confirm The Daily Mail’s report. The title, “The Cursed Child,” may hint that this play will lead up to that fateful moment when Lily’s love for Harry prevented Voldemort from killing the young wizard.
But there’s one issue: “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is a redundant title. If “the Cursed Child” is Harry Potter, then the title actually means “Harry Potter and that Harry Potter kid.”
Or could “the Cursed Child” NOT refer to Harry? Could it refer to Neville? Tom Riddle?
The reason for prefacing “The Cursed Child” with “Harry Potter” may simply have to do with marketing. The preface “Harry Potter and the” was used for every Harry Potter book and has only been used two other times as far as we can recall: With the thrill rides at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Theme Parks, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” and “Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts.”
Rowling said in her announcement this morning that the play will be “a new story” and will be “a real treat for fans.” That makes me think that this story will be something fans have been clamoring for — like, say, new details about the life of Lily and James Potter, and the Marauders.
Then again, Rowling said it’s not a prequel. So what gives? I think she said it’s not a prequel to downplay expectations. When people think “Harry Potter prequel” they have BIG ideas because there are simply so many stories that could be told. Rowling knows — especially in recent months as she’s started being more active on Twitter — that the media likes to spin all of her words out of control, so by downplaying the idea of a prequel, she’s stopping the media from coming up with descriptions of the play that could end up being wrong.
Now it’s time for your take. What’s up with the title? And what’s your best guess as to what this story will be about?
Reps for the play say that new details will be released at the end of July when tickets for the show go on sale. Until then, we’re left to speculate.