On 30th July, I happily donned Ravenclaw facepaint and red lippie to stand in line at Waterstones Piccadilly and gleefully grab my copy of the much-awaited script of The Cursed Child. I was pumped. For a lifelong fan, it was the perfect way to bid a fond farewell to the franchise that changed, no, shaped, my very existence.
How very disappointed I was.
Look, everybody knows that there's been a whole mixed bag of feeling towards the script in general. The plot's iffy, the writers seem to shy away from what, on page, CLEARLY seems to imply the start of a homosocial relationship between Scorpius and Albus, and some of the stage directions are just plain awful (I'm thinking particularly of the very last page, where Harry and Albus 'just slightly melt together' following their reunion. Come on, guys).
But there's one part of the script that I just can't look past, or forgive. And that's JK's massive betrayal of the female characters, and how badly she has let down so many female fans in doing so.
*WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD*.
Let's start with the most offensive example, because this is the one that REALLY grinds my gears: Professor Hermione Granger, professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts, in a parallel universe which doesn't involve a husband named one Ronald Bilius Weasley.
In this universe, The Yule Ball obviously went a bit more smoothly for Ron, who has ended up married to Padma Patil. And despite having brains, beauty, humour, kindness, and intellect, Hermione... ends up with nothing. And to put it bluntly, she's a massive dick.
|Portraying Hermione as a bitter, disenchanted shrew is a gross offence to her character|
'Ron: Have you done something with your hair?
Hermione: Just combed it I suspect.
Ron: Well...combing it suits you.'
Not cool, JK.
The female characters in general are reduced to nothing more than props with mouths - there to jump in with little one-liners to help move the action on whenever Jack Thorne remembers that, hmm, nope, this play really does need more than Harry, Albus, and Scorpius in it.
Would Professor Minerva McGonagall, the one who duelled Snape right out of the castle to protect her students, really bow down to Harry Potter's 35 year old tantrums? The Professor McGonagall that I grew up with would've told Harry where to go.
And, look, we all know what Warner Bros did to Ginny Weasley. I can't believe that JK has willingly approved something AGAIN that portrays Ginny as nothing more than a sounding board for Harry's gigantic ego and ill-informed opinions. And would Ginny Weasley, Sports Editor of The Daily Prophet and famous ex-Quidditch legend, say this to Minerva McGonagall, who she hasn't seen, presumably, in nearly twenty years?
'GINNY is first through the fireplace, and then HARRY.
Ginny: Professor, I can't say that ever gets more dignified.'
|Have the female characters in the franchise not suffered enough?|
These are just a few examples of the ways in which the female characters of The Cursed Child are reduced to slim shadows of their former fictional selves. I don't know what I was expecting when I opened the script at 1.30am on 31st July, cheese toastie and tea in hand, but it definitely wasn't this.
You fucked it, Jack Thorne. You fucked it.
BRB, just going to try and Obliviate The Cursed Child from my sad, weary brain.
Feature image © We Heart It
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