If you follow me on any social media, you know that I recently went to go see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the play that picks up where the epilogue leaves off, and focuses on Harry’s second child, Albus Potter.
Now, this play was not written by J.K Rowling, however she did work on it and sign off on it. This immediately turned a lot of people off of the show. I read a little bit of the play and saw spoilers, and once I saw them, I was angry about what one of plot lines was about. Now, I’m not going to spoil it for you lovely people (unless you want me to), but I didn’t suspect that hidden under all this weird plot line, was the story of a Slytherin redemption and the humanizing of heroes.
When you take a look at both Hogwarts houses, most think “good and evil”. We’ve got the almighty Boy Who Lived showing us a Gryffindor’s fight for what’s right and a Draco Malfoy who fights for what is best for him. As a Slytherin (and a very proud one at that), this is frustrating. What we lose in the Half-Blood Prince movie, is Draco Malfoy being a victim of circumstance, and going through with his “task” to save his mom.
The number one thing I always talk about in relation to more Harry Potter stories, is that I want a redemption for Draco Malfoy, the boy who had no choice. And wow did I get what I have always wanted during this play.
My favorite line in the play is when Draco talks to Harry and Ginny and says,
“I think you have to make a choice- at a certain point – of the man you want to be. And I tell you at that time you need a parent or a friend. And if you’ve learned to hate your parent by then and you have no friends…then you’re all alone. And being alone- that’s so hard. I was alone. And it sent me to a truly dark place.”
At this moment, a lot of things clicked for the audience. Malfoy was not pure evil. Yes, he did make a lot of mistakes and was very hateful. But I will also remind people to look at his father…and as he said, when the time came for him to decide what man he was going to be, he didn’t have a choice. He was a child of unfortunate circumstance. So, what we gain is seeing Draco’s positive qualities represented in his son Scorpius, a Slytherin who radiates pure joy and intelligence. A character who is now my favorite character in the whole Potter series. Which, everyone knows my dedication to Luna Lovegood so this is a pretty big deal.
I always say that people who are in Slytherin are very pack mentality type people (which is me to a T). And whereas Gryffindors do things for the good of the world (or try to), Slytherins do what’s good for the pack. Neither are wrong, they’re just different. In the play, Albus and Scorpius are best friends. At two points, they each make a decision to sacrifice something/someone to save the other, for their pack. Harry then has a line saying how he would do anything to save Albus, in which Ginny retaliates, “You would do anything to save anyone.” Again, neither wrong, just different.
I walked out of this 5 hour, 2 part show amazed by what I just saw. The story of redemption. The fanfiction-made-play that took a perspective of a house that was called evil because it was being based off a group of extremist. In doing so, finds the flaws of the ‘perfection’ that is Gryffindor and calls to the fact that even the hero of their world, made mistakes and continues to do so. Slytherins can be introverted and meek, Gryffindors can be scared, Ravenclaws can not do well in school, and Hufflepuffs can be the strongest of them all. As usual, there were many words of wisdom that came out of this show, but to summarize all of it, I will leave you with my second favorite line from the play.
“Harry, there is never a perfect answer in this messy, emotional world. Perfection is beyond the reach of humankind, beyond the reach of magic. In every shining moment of happiness is that drop of poison: the knowledge that pain will come again. Be honest to those you love, show your pain. To suffer is as human as to breathe.”