One of the best things about waiting for a new Harry Potter book has always been the fan theories. Remember the days when the big questions were the identity of R.A.B., whether Dumbledore was really dead, and what that line, “neither can live while the other survives”, would mean for Harry’s survival? I’ve been a bit nervous to speculate on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, or read other people’s speculation, because of the full synopsis that leaked out a while back. While I love thinking about what might happen, I don’t actually want to know all the answers ahead of time. But it’s only a couple of days now until the script release, and I can’t resist sharing a few of my theories.
Disclaimer: I have not read the full synopsis, but I have read the “spoiler-free” reviews, which reveal some minor details such as the house Albus Potter is sorted into, the names of new characters, etc. Those things do show up in my theories, so if you want to go into it totally spoiler-free, this is not for you.
- They are all “cursed children”, and they are cursed by their parents’ legacies. Albus, being Harry Potter’s son, might feel pressured to be someone he’s not – or not ready to be yet – based on his father’s childhood heroism and widespread fame. This would be compounded by the fact that he is a Slytherin, a house where he might not find many friends and which might make him feel cut off from the rest of his Gryffindor family. Rose is the daughter of the Minister of Magic, and like Albus, her parents did amazing things when they were teenagers that leave her with a lot to live up to. Scorpius, on the other hand, has a lot to live down. The reviews seem to indicate that he’s a decent person and a good friend, but his last name alone would probably keep a lot of people from believing that. I imagine that at some point, he will be forced to confront the demons in his family’s past. As for Delphi Diggory, I’m not sure what’s going on with her except that she has to be important. It’s possible that she could be under a literal curse or be haunted by her much older cousin’s death, which would have happened before she was born.
- Parent/child relationships will be central to the story, especially the relationship between Harry and Albus. This goes hand in hand with the idea that the child characters will struggle with their parents’ legacies. I think, and hope, that Harry’s relationship with his son will be tested and probably go through a rocky period, but come out strong and loving.
- Delphi Diggory has to be important. If Rowling just wanted another next generation character, she could have used the children of Neville, Luna, or any of Harry’s other classmates. But Delphi is connected to Cedric, whose death was a turning point in the original series and something that affected Harry strongly. One of my theories is that Delphi will be put in danger or literally cursed, and Harry will feel an obligation to save her because he was unable to save Cedric. I also think she might be a seer, since her name is an obvious reference to the ancient Greek oracles.
- I would love to see Scorpius and Rose as a couple. That line in the epilogue is just too perfect to pass up, and their fathers’ reactions would be priceless. If he’s friends with her cousin, I could really see it happening. (However, I expect that, much like the original Harry Potter series, the play will spend less time on romance than on friendship and familial love.)
- This is going out on a limb a bit more, but if Neville shows up as the Hogwarts herbology teacher, I think it would be very fitting for him to play a similar role in Albus’ life to the role Professor Lupin played for Harry: encouraging him, inspiring him, pushing him to live up to his potential, and above all, understanding his struggles. Neville knows better than anyone what it’s like to feel inadequate and struggle to live up to people’s expectations.
- Scorpius’ mother, Astoria, might be important. She’s not in the pictures, but J.K. Rowling has released way too much information on a minor character whose name was never mentioned in the books for her to not have some significance in what happens next. Judging by Pottermore, she’s a decent person, so if nothing else, she’s probably the reason Scorpius grew up to be the sort of kid who would befriend Harry Potter’s son.
- I think the main villain should be someone who is loyal to Voldemort. That way, the kids will be able to fight a Voldemort-related threat without actually bringing him back. An actual third war against Voldemort would ruin the “all was well” ending, but surely even in a much-improved world nineteen years later, there are still people who think he had the right idea.