Harry Potter and the flogging of a dead horse

[dropcap]I[/dropcap] don’t remember what I did when I first watched the trailer for the new Harry Potter film spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but I do recall my excitement. So why am I so bummed for the new Harry Potter book that’s also to be released this year?

Perhaps it’s the fact the Fantastic Beasts spinoff is only situated in the wizarding world, and is bereft of the boy wizard himself? The book series belonged to Harry; it followed him through his school life, transforming from the child-like wonder of the first novel to the dark, edgy nature later in the series.

Now imagine my surprise when Scholastic Canada confirmed that it’s publishing a script-book version of the upcoming play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. After researching the play, I noticed several things that bothered me.

First, the play will be published in two parts. This decision only reinforces the idea that revenue plays a large part in the creation of the latest addition to the Potter world.

‘But Josh!’ I hear the cries. ‘They need two parts to fit all the story in!’ Fine, that’s a possibility. But the play features a Harry Potter who is “an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children,” according to the official website.

The Harry Potter series captivated me when I was young because of how wondrous the world was. As a child, Harry grew up in a non-magical environment, just like me. Hearing the fantastic explanations of how specific magic worked and what different incantations did, it was interesting to experience all of the crazy magical shenanigans alongside Harry.

But now, we have a world-weary Potter, overworked by his job, and once again he is thrown into the adventure. I may be a little naïve about this, but my interest in hearing about Harry’s life, now that it has become too much like my own, is waning. His story concluded in the seventh novel, and now his character seems left to enjoy the mundanely magical, but hopefully happy ending. I don’t think I can handle two separate plays about this!

It is all for nought, evidently. J.K. Rowling did the unthinkable and resurrected Harry from the literary grave of happy endings. And what’s more, Jack Thorne, who based it on Rowling’s story, is writing the actual play. This means the play isn’t even J.K. Rowling’s original work.

While some people may feel that I’m being too cynical about this, I stand by the notion that Harry’s tale has already been told. Bringing him back as an adult will simply ruin the timeless magic.

No matter what I think, the magical world of Harry Potter will continue with this new tale of the boy wizard and his magical shenanigans. It’s only a matter of time before this new storyline potentially ruins the character’s classic conclusion.