Episode 202: Cursed Child, 2.1 – Cursed Right Off the Page

We’re trapped in another timeline and Voldemort has won! Follow Kristen, Michael, Rosie and guest host Andrea as “they go that way!” through Act 2, Part 3 of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

On Episode 202 we discuss…

→ Seen, unseen and to be seen
→ Taking “The Augurey” seriously
→ Familiar faces for familiarity’s sake
→ Imagination vs. Live Theater
→ The Great Snape Debate continues
→ Polly Chapman and the Missing Direction
→ Scorpius: The Human Pottermore
→ Cedric Diggory goes stupid crazy
→ Ron and Hermione: From teaspoons to ladles
→ Who is the Cursed Child?
→ The Curse of Nineteen Years Later
→ Delphie… something… something

To listen to the show, simply click the player below or direct download the episode. You can also subscribe to us on iTunes. For more information about the podcast and to find out how to be on the show, check out our Be On The Show! page.

Skype users can send us a message to username AlohomoraMN. And as always, be sure to continue the discussion below or on our Forums!

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On this recap we discuss…

→ Something feels familiar…
→ The origins of Del-FEE
→ Time: Wibbly-wobbly or around in circles?
→ Spinster Hermione has no Oppugnos to give
→ The happy medium of reading Cursed Child

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  • daveybjones999 .

    I absolutely adore part 3 of the play. I pretty much love everything about it so I’ll probably be making quite a few comments this week, but I’d like to spend this first one discussing Delphini. I really like using the Augery as a symbol of fear because it really strikes me as something completely in character for Voldemort to take a creature, that’s kind of a joke and somewhat innocent and perverting it into something horrifying. It just feels like something he would do. As far as Delphini actually being Voldemort’s daughter I’m also not a huge fan of that and I very much prefer the theory that she’s not really his daughter she’s just been told that by the Rowles to manipulate and make her into this figure as a somewhat replacement of Voldemort. But if we absolutely must make her Voldy’s daughter I can accept it if you use the argument that was suggested by one of the hosts, or was it one of the guests I can’t really remember who said it, that he did it as an obligation to the prophecy or that it was something that Bellatrix wanted and eventually convinced him to do. As far as his relationship with Delphi, I really can’t see him having anything to do with her. Could you imagine him changing diapers or dealing with temper tantrums? He’d be more likely to just kill or torture the child to get it to behave. He most likely left it up to Bellatrix, and maybe the Malfoy’s, to deal with raising the child and having minimal to no contact with the child until she was old enough to be of use to him. However, I can definitely see him giving her a high position in his regime as a reward for faithful service, or even just as a figurehead.

    • Lisa

      I thought it was pretty obvious that the Augurey in that universe was Delphi herself? The Augurey is a person because people are quoting her and Draco says the Augurey will make him bribe the Minister. So if Voldemort had survived, we know he would have put his daughter in charge of running the wizarding world out in the open while he’s running everything from the shadows, as is his style. This clearly proves that she is his daughter. Why would he give some random Death Eater so much power? Draco had power too but he’s clearly subordinate to the Augurey.

  • Lisa

    Do you guys think it’s possible that after Cedric’s humiliation, his relationship with his father deteriorated so much that Cedric became a Death Eater? I got the feeling his father was sort of a “stage dad” considering how he was going on and on about Cedric’s accomplishments, so maybe after his son not only lost the tournament but was completely humiliated he withdrew some of his affection. It’s still a huge leap for Cedric to go from “my father and I have a bad relationship” to “I want to serve Lord Voldemort and murder in his name” but maybe we’re supposed to think that his humiliation triggered a chain of events which led him to make that choice.

    I can’t remember if this was discussed in the episode, but did anyone understand why Harry’s scar was hurting again and why he was suddenly able to speak Parseltongue again? The scar pain I get because it could be because of Delphi who being Voldemort’s blood might have triggered the pain. But Parseltongue? I don’t remember any explanation given in the play. It seemed to go from “I can no longer speak Parseltongue since the Horcrux was destroyed. Oh wait, I can, nevermind.”

    Draco is acting totally weird. I wouldn’t expect him to know Delphi is Voldemort’s but I think the name Delphini should have rung a bell and he should have remembered something about his infant cousin who was given away after Bellatrix’s death. There are two explanations that I can think of: either Delphini isn’t her real name so there’s no way Draco would recognize it. Or Draco knew it was her and kept his mouth shut because he didn’t want to get his parents or himself in trouble in any way. It’s not like the Malfoys were exactly loved in the wizarding world.

    That scene with Ron knocking on the walls in Delphi’s room and being all “what are you hiding?” just makes me roll my eyes. Since when is Ron such useless comic relief? His character seemed to have been totally demoted.

    I really liked the Voldy-ruled AU. Okay, some things are cheesy like Voldemort Day, Voldemort and Valour and the Scorpion King (Thorne’s favorite movie, perhaps?). But the father-daughter ruling totally warmed my icy Slytherin heart. Not that Voldemort wouldn’t punish Delphi if she stepped out of line but I think he realized that she was more presentable than him so he made her the front figure of his regime. I mean look: http://65.media.tumblr.com/bb6559e99302fcbdb8dfcfb5a717ee49/tumblr_obpgj3yYlE1uo5hwbo1_540.jpg Wouldn’t you rather obey her than Lord Snakeface?

    One of the hosts said something like “We know from Jo that Voldemort couldn’t have children,” and I wondered how we know that? I don’t remember her saying anything about Voldemort’s fertility or lack thereof and it certainly isn’t in the books. Or maybe I misunderstood what the host (I think it was Rosie?) was referring to.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      That’s a good thought about Cedric’s dad. He does seem to live vicariously through Cedric and though I don’t think he’d ever disown him or anything, I can see that maybe Cedric could fall off the pedestal his dad had him on. Losing something like that unwavering faith his father had always had in him could have a negative effect. Maybe cause him to lose some of his confidence or feel more vulnerable. That alone wouldn’t send him to the DE, but perhaps as part of a chain of events that we are not privy to… I still find it improbable, but at least now I have a tiny germ of an idea to attribute it to. Nothing said he walked out of the Triwizard Tournament and straight to the Death Eaters, we don’t know how much time went by. Maybe it was a long chain of events, starting with losing his father’s unwavering admiration and going downhill from there.

  • Can we talk about Bellatrix and Voldemort for a moment? I believe 100% that Bellatrix would give herself up to the Dark Lord if the Dark Lord decided he wanted to have offspring. I also believe that he would know a magical way to impregnate Bellatrix that would not involve physical contact in the usual sense. Voldemort wouldn’t engage in sexual activity. And at his age, I’m not sure it would be possible if he tried, although his body is fairly young…

    Wait a second… Voldemort’s body is like 2 years old when Bellatrix gets knocked up. Does that make Voldemort underage? Has this just become even worse?

    • DoraNympha

      I cannot believe the one time there is a Harry Potter play, authorized to be put on stage, we’re made to imagine the horrific practicalities of Voldemort (who is simultaneously too old and too young to be doing this as you very rightly pointed out) and Bellatrix Lestrange shagging. Congratulations, Thorne and co. you’ve found something more disturbing than Greyback’s character.

      Sooo, this is okay in what is often claimed to be a children’s story but, for example, real queer representation is out of the question? Wow. Actually, while I’m on the subject (yes, again, I know, last week’s discussion but it’s relevant to your comment), there HAS to be a magical way to impregnate someone if Rowling truly wants to claim that a lineage-obsessed society considers sexual orientation a non-issue. Actually, what Jo really said was that it could possibly be a non-issue for the Lucius Malfoys of the world but she can’t speak for every witch and wizard or whatever, so there might be some prejudiced people anyway, even if it’s a non-issue in general. Right… Because Lucius Malfoy would totally be okay with his only son not continuing their ancient family line… The pure-blood mania and absence of homophobia do not add up without artificial fertilization available, and it has to be magical because the pure-blood supremacist people of whatever timeline we’re in would never opt for a muggle hospital. (Well, not unless they are as wildly out of character as Voldemort procreating in the first place but whatever okay sure–)

      Obviously, the creators would never go into such details but I really effing hope they had some magical method of doing all this incredibly disturbing thing if Delphi is really their daughter, because the Riddle I know would never ever so much as shake hands with anyone, let alone carry out acts I can never unthink now, thanks to Cursed Child. Can never unthink, can never unsee in my mind’s eye. If I saw this in the summary of a fanfic or something I’d get the shivers of disgust instantly and close the tab and never think of this if I can. A joke at best, a sick idea at worst. Because of CC, however, this is a thing we have to be figuring out, we have to be creating a scenario in which this is plausible— it seems only yesterday that we were lead to believe the play would be about 6-year-old Harry but a few months later here we are thinking about how Voldemort and Bellatrix had sex. What did we do to deserve this, Jo, what?

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        OMG, I just lolled so hard at this. Like times a million. Amen.

        • DoraNympha

          At least the idea brought joy to at least one person! Some silver lining… Can you tell my mind is exhausted? I want me some major memory erasure. Where’s the Obliviation Squad when you need them???

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Oh trust me, I’m in need of it too. I just love seeing someone else so fervently expressing things I’ve been feeling. Why, dear god, why, indeed.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Also, so on point with the queer representation aspect. Not to rehash that whole arguement, but I think you make a very good and valid point. Ugh… so many cans of worms that needn’t ever have been opened.

          • Septumseverus

            I don’t think it comes down to people thinking voldermorts ugly, I think the character point a lot of fans have, myself included, is that I see Voldermort as pure evil and psycopathic, I personally feel he would not have sexual desires, I feel outs out of character with Voldermort as I read him.

            If you read him differently that is of course fine, but in find the idea of my imagining of Voldermort having sex vile and disgusting. I of course however respect that your opinion and reading of the character may be very different from mine 🙂

            I’m sorry I replied to the wrong comment 😉

      • Lisa

        A sick idea? You must think a large part of the fandom is sick then. The Bella/Voldy ship has plenty of fans and has had so since the end of DH because of the subtext in that book (not to mention how many people ship Voldemort with someone else). I love them both as characters and their dynamics together (whether it’s sexual or not). I can understand if this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it seems a bit much to call it sick or unacceptable. I can’t find anything upsetting about two consenting adults having sex. Regardless of how Voldemort looks. I also no have no problem believing he would engage in sex. He couldn’t love but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy anything or anyone too. Why live forever if you never get to get laid, anyway? 😛

        I have to say that if people are so shocked at Voldemort having sex with one his servants, then they should probably stay away from fantasy series like Game of Thrones and all the crazy s**t going on there…

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          That’s the thing though, this isn’t Game of Thrones. It’s Potter. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy other fantasy like GoT, but that doesn’t mean I want that sort of thing bleeding into HP.

          Some people have no problem seeing Voldy as a sexual being, that’s fine. Everyone has their own interpretation. I personally can’t see it, because I don’t see Voldemort at this point as being fully human anymore. He is a sick version of man, deteriorated by his own misdeeds beyond recognition from the person he once was. So yes, imagining a woman, even Bellatrix, wanting to have sex with that is a bit sick. I also don’t see him having human desires of the flesh. Like DoraNympha said, this is someone who never showed interest in being touched by another person, let alone actively engaging in intercourse. I think textual evidence supports this far more then the idea that he would let Bellatrix get that close. Just because members of the fandom choose to ship it is irrelevant. People chose to ship all sorts of things that would never actually happen in the books. And yes, there is some pretty freaking sick fan-fic that explores the Voldemort-Bellatrix relationship. Not all of it and I’m not knocking those who enjoy it, but I don’t think it is in anyway supported by the canon prior to CC.

          • Lisa

            The fact that Bella wanted to sleep with him was obvious from DH so why didn’t people find that outrageous then? Whether or not it’s supported by canon is a matter of interpretation. It’s very much like Grindelwald/Dumbledore, imo. Not everyone who read the books saw Dumbledore/Grindelwald coming. Not everyone who read the books saw anything between Bella and Voldemort. But both these ships are now confirmed. And looking at the text in hindsight, one can see that they weren’t exactly unexpected. It’s not just fanfics, it’s discussions and theories as well. Mugglenet published an essay which argued that Bella and Voldemort had a child years before CC came out. A similar essay is on Reddit, posted one year before CC. There are discussion threads on Bellatrix and Voldemort on all forums I’ve visited during my years in the fandom. Just google “Voldemort and Bellatrix” and you’ll see. There would be no reason for people to wonder about them if it was that obvious from the books that nothing’s going on.

            We don’t know anything about Voldemort’s sexuality or lack thereof. We know he did not want friends and he could not love. If some readers extrapolate this to mean that he wouldn’t feel lust either, then that’s their business. But their interpretation isn’t more correct than anyone else’s. And not all of us think there has to be a connection between sex and feelings. Sometimes sex is just sex.

          • It seems to me like you may ship Bella and Voldee yourself. Personally, when I read the books, I never get the hint that Bella had any desire to be in a relationship with Voldee. She was in love with his cause and his power and was willing to do anything for him as a leader that he was. However, Bellatrix is a Lestrange. She is married to a man who supported Voldee just as much as she did. They both together were Voldemort’s greatest followers.

            The films build up the idea that there is a thing between Bella and Voldee, but there is far less of it in the books. Voldee and Bella were never a couple. Voldemort was above relationships. He loved snakes more than people. He would never engage in sexual activities. It was beyond him.

          • Lisa

            Are you serious? It’s very clear in the books that she wanted to sleep with him. She talks to him “as if to a lover” and her body is described as “longing for closeness” in chapter one of DH. I don’t see anything between them in the movies, they interact only once. I’m curious why you think this because most people I’ve met definitely think there’s something going on in the books (at least from her side) and I’ve never heard anyone say that something romantic was going on in the movies. What in the movies did you think was romantic?

            After CC, there’s no point in saying Voldy would never engage in sex. He obviously did. That’s like me saying Harry would never marry Ginny or Molly would never kill Bella or Narcissa would never lie to Voldemort. We can disagree about whether it makes sense or not but it’s obviously there because well,.. Delphi!

          • Now I wonder if you believe that Snape actually loved Lilly.

            I’m not trying to deny that Delphi wasn’t created. I’m just trying to discuss HOW she was created, based off of the Voldee we know from the 7 books. His body rose from ingredients in a potion. Could that body even produce sperm? Would it have genitals? It didn’t have a nose so it very likely could have been missing other protruding body parts!

            And you can believe that Voldee can get it on just as anybody else could? What is that like? Afterwards is he like, “well Bellatrix, that was fun, but now I have to get back to trying to murder a child.” (And all in a high pitched voice)

            Does he kiss Bellatrix? There is so much “love” involved in sex, even if it’s phony love during casual sex. Voldee cannot experience love or he would die. I don’t think he would risk it.

            And honestly, maybe a little sec could have calmed him down in life. Stress relief and bonds forming and all..

          • DoraNympha

            That’s so right, he literally noped out of Harry’s mind because the love in Harry hurt him too much. Bellatrix’s love should do that too, however perverted it is. Love to Voldemort is like holy water to vampires. So Bella being hardcore into Voldemort in all ways as Jo said is actually not an argument for the plausability of their union but one against it.

          • You’re amazing

          • DoraNympha

            lol I think the credit goes to you for prompting what was hopefully the last conversation I ever had to participate in about Voldemort and his snake.

          • Once again, amazing. That’s just too funny!

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            I don’t think Bella wanting to sleep with Voldemort is an outrageous idea. It is made pretty clear in the books that she is enamored with him; to what extent exactly isn’t clear, but it isn’t a stretch to imagine she’d be up for it. I take no issue with that. And it certainly makes sense that it would become fodder for all kinds of fan theories and fiction. I just don’t see it happening on Voldemort’s end. I’ve read the theories and essays too, and while I don’t think they are complete BS, I stil find a lot of the supporting evidence to be a stretch and a twisting of the text. But yes, you’re right, it is all a matter of personal interpretation.

            I would actually be interested to know from Jo, honestly, if she had this sort of a backstory in mind for Bella and Voldy during the time she was writing the books, or if this is an entirely new idea. If it wasn’t in anyway part of her original conception, than I don’t take it as truth, especially if the idea came from Thorne and Tiffany. In that case, she can call it canon all she wants, but I still won’t buy it. If she can honestly say that a Voldy/Bella pairing was meant to be implied by the end of DH, then fair enough, all those fan theories are legit. Knowing that is what it would take for me to buy into the whole idea.

            Edit P.S. Sex is wired to feelings and emotions, fact. That doesn’t have to mean love or even attraction, but anyone who is having sex without some sort of emotion, is probably a sociopath. Sex can just be sex, for fun, with no attachment, but there are still feelings involved.

          • Lisa

            The thing is that Voldemort’s character is already sexualized in the books if someone explicitly and on-page lusts for him. So for people who consider Voldemort less than human or some sort of demon or whatever, it should be pretty outrageous that a woman sees such a being as a potential bed partner. It’s more understandable on his end because Bella is a human woman, albeit evil and twisted. But on her end, that’s where the perversity is if someone sees it that way and that’s actually in the books themselves (and Jo also described it as “perverse”). To be honest, I was surprised that JKR would even write a line like “speaking to him as if to a lover” because that’s certainly not something that belongs in a children’s books. Yet already in DH, on page, we’re led to think about Voldemort as a potential lover. So I see his character as already sexualized at that point whether or not he ever reciprocated.

            To me, it doesn’t make such a difference whose idea it was. The point is that she agreed with it. If she thought, like so many fans think, that it’s disgusting, sick or unbelievable then she could have put her foot down. It’s not like she’s so desperate for money that she had to go along with whatever Thorne or Tiffany suggested. As Voldemort’s creator, she clearly doesn’t see it as OOC. I don’t think that JKR planned Delphi all along, no. But I do think that she left the Bella/Voldy thing open when she could have shut it down at anytime, either in interviews or in the books themselves (was there any plot related reason for why Voldemort had to have such a reaction to Bella’s death? No. He could have been shown to be indifferent to it).

            It doesn’t bother me at all that some people don’t buy it or think the clues are weak. That’s not the point. The point is that there are always going to be different readings of a text and what one person considers to be out of the blue, another does not. The problem with discussions on this topic is that the anti-Voldy/Bella side do not accept that anyone has a different reading of the text than them. Opinions are often posted as facts. And I don’t think that’s right with anything in the books, but especially not something as subjective as relationships or feelings. The thing is that even if one rejects the idea that they had sex and make up a different theory to explain Delphi, that theory is still going to have its own issues. However you spin it, it’s going to be OOC for Voldemort on some level. I prefer to think of Delphi as an accident because I think that leads to less assumptions about Voldy’s character (other than the assumption that he has a sex drive). One can also see it as him wanting a child for whatever reason, but that creates its own issues and can also be OOC. Or one can think that he’s actually not the father at all but that creates issues with the Augurey timeline we’re currently on. There is no explanation which is going to be smooth and the question is then which explanation creates less issues. That’s also subjective of course and relates to how much inconsistencies or OOC-ness someone can tolerate . But either way, something is going to be off no matter how one looks at it.

            Well Voldemort is most likely a sociopath or a psychopath so that point is probably moot anyway. Besides, what about the sex industry? I know this is a controversial topic but in many countries brothels are legal and I doubt that all the visitors are either sociopaths or feel a connection to the person they “buy”.

        • DoraNympha

          ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy has said everything I wanted perfectly: I personally would like to keep myself as far away as possible from imagining a genocidal and almost soulless shadow of a human having relations of whatever kind with a woman who takes pleasure in torture and murder, but sure, others can ship it, I truly don’t care. I mean, the most physical they got in the novels was when Voldemort tortured her but okay, surely that’s a sign of attraction, right? Sorry, I just… That’s why I have such a problem with CC: it forces us to actually consider it, for real, as essential to a “canon” plot. I am also aware that there is Hitler/Stalin fanfic online, and I really would love to retain my right to an opinion on that as sick, and I think the idea of Voldemort and Bellatrix is, too. An opinion, not a fact or law, of course, goes without saying. However, since this is an idea that I’d never have considered on the hundredth re-read of the books and I’m intrigued: what subtext is there? Actually curious now. Is it just because Bellatrix is exhilerated or impressed by Voldemort’s sadism? If that’s what the ship builds itself on, I still stand by my opinion and that that is not making it any easier to ship these two! Seriously have I missed something in the text? 😀

          • Lisa

            The subtext is partly her feelings towards him which are obvious, and his behavior towards her, which is implicit. His reaction to her death is one thing. His rescuing her from Dumbledore and the Aurors in OotP is another. He calls her Bella. He punishes her less than his other DEs. It’s not that these things have to mean sex, they can also be seen as platonic. But that doesn’t mean that if it turns out there was something going on between them that it’s completely unexpected. The theory that they might have had a child together has also been put forward by fans long before CC confirmed it.

            Whether they’re evil or good characters is quite irrelevant to whether they would have sex or not. Not everyone has to think Voldemort is in any way eligible in order for it to be believable that Bellatrix would sleep with him. Not everyone has to think Bella is desirable in order to be believable that Voldemort would find her that way. But sure, to each their own. There are ships and characters out there that I don’t understand why anyone would like or find interesting. I’m not objecting to your dislike of the idea, I’m objecting to the idea that it’s impossible/unsupported by the books. Because it isn’t.

          • DoraNympha

            My reading of those points was always this: Voldemort needed his racist followers back, which happened to include Bellatrix. She was one of the, of not THE, most sadistic, violent, enthusiastic followers of the seemingly undefeatable terrifying powerful wizard Voldemort. Losing Bellatrrix was Voldemort losing his best soldier. He screams in the text, just like whenever when his plans go wrong and Harry slips out of his spidery white hands. However, I think we can all ship characters that literally never interact in canon, without reason, so it doesn’t matter if there’s even subtext — just not really characters that we know have been abusive or violent in canon. Eric the wandweigher guy and Florean Fortescue? Sure. Voldemort and Bellatrix? Do we just forget he tortured her and her family? Aside from that, what does matter is that Voldemort can’t have felt anything, whether platonic or romantic or sexual, towards anyone. His one big failure, the mistake he keeps making that costs him his success and his life, is that he literally forgets that affection and love are things that exist among people. It is so irrelevant to his being, his way of thinking by nature, that he forgets to count that in his plans. That’s what makes him lose. And the bone I’m picking with this whole thing isn’t even whether it’s out of character or whether it’s supported in the text, but the fact itself that we have to consider how Bella and Voldy did it, as an important plot point, that we can’t avoid going through mental images of this in order to fully understand the plot of CC, and I just don’t find this an experience I was looking forward to from the Potter play. Why god oh why why why.

          • Lisa

            He didn’t really lose his best soldier, he lost the woman who failed him at pretty much everything two years in a row. But whatever.

            I don’t understand why you think you need to consider how they did it. Do I wonder how Molly and Arthur had seven children? No, I don’t. Because I know how and because THAT’S a mental image I really don’t want (to each their own, once again). Delphi is the least terrible thing Voldemort and Bellatrix did as characters, after all. I never said anything about Voldemort feeling love and affection because sex doesn’t have to involve either of those things. That’s my point.

          • DoraNympha

            The difference is that Molly and Arthur are both regular human beings while Voldemort is a product of love potion rape and lovelessness from the moment of birth and, in Jo’s story, that resulted in a complete lack of ability to love. By the time Delphi was supposed to be conceived he also has split his soul so many times that he barely has any. He is an evil mastermind devoid of sympathy and compassion, who has no problems killing and torturing his own people if it advantages him. Of course we are baffled at the idea of him having a child. Everything needed for that, including if it is purely physical is so alien to everything that he is that I can’t believe Delphi could exist at all. This is a huge problem since she is a major player in CC. That’s why we try to figure out how this went down, however unpleasant the idea. If I can’t explain how Delphi could exist, how can I accept the plot of CC? I hope that explains our reluctance/confusion /disturbedness.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            For me, the mental gymnastics required to come up with a situation in which Delphie could actually exist, conjures such a twisted, dark, and frankly, F-ed up “relationship” that I just want no part of it. Some people can giggle and just picture a Voldy-Bella victory bang after torturing some folks together. “Oh my Lord, I’ve never seen Crucio used with such skill… Take me now!”. I find this to be utterly absurd, but it seems to be the acceptable scenario for many. Personally, I find the reality would be incredibly darker, complex, and disturbing as an examples of a “relationship”.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            To be clear, the idea that because they are evil they couldn’t/wouldn’t/shouldn’t have sex, is not the arguement we are putting forth. Indeed, being “good” or “bad” has nothing to do with it. My arguement is that in analysis of Voldemort’s character, I don’t find it likely that he would have interest in sexual activity, be it with Bellatrix or anyone else, not unless he were to gain something of consequence from it. I simply don’t see lust as a desire he seeks to satisfy anymore. It isn’t that I believe that the sub-text implying otherwise isn’t there, I just don’t think that what is there is a strong or clear enough indicator. Bella on the other hand, I do agree that the text supports her having those feeling towards Voldemort. I just don’t think it is reciprocated.

            If, hypothetically, I were to concede that Voldy would engage in sex with Bella, I don’t think we could, by any stretch of the imagination, think the proceedings would be anything resembling a healthy romp in the sack. To me, whatever type of sex a couple is into, the most important part is that both parties are consenting, and each must seek to give pleasure as well as receive. Given wht we know about Voldemort, he wouldn’t give a damn about Bella enjoying the experience. In life he seeks control, domination and feels pleasure at the suffering and destruction of others. Why would he be any different in bed? This goes beyond the idea of just two consenting adults having sex. It gets into the territory of how willing would Bellatrix be by the end of it? I think the implications for the kind of “lover” that Voldemort would realistically be are getting into that GoT sort of territory. Sex doesn’t have to be romantic, nor is there anything wrong with those who like it rough, so to speak, but there are HUGE problems with sex that is one sided and that most certainly would be the case with Voldemort, at least in my estimation. So no, I’m personally not cool with thinking about it actually happening.

          • Lisa

            I agree that Voldemort would be just as selfish and controlling in bed as in other places. Of course it wouldn’t be a traditional sort of “relationship” or whatever one wants to call it. As for whether it’s consensual– I definitely hope it was. And I think so, because what we see of Bellatrix is her longing for intimacy, not being afraid of it or trying to avoid being in the same room with Voldemort. So I don’t think we’re given any indication to believe that he was in any way abusive, or more abusive to her than to his other followers. We can’t know for sure of course, but I doubt a woman who is that afraid of her “lover” would use a bedroom voice with him in the middle of the battle where it clearly wasn’t the time or the place for it.

            But I definitely agree that this is a more mature relationship perhaps than what belongs in a children’s story where people have fluffy sex with their Weasley sweaters on, and always off page of course. It’s a more reasonable objection to say that it doesn’t belong in HP than to say it could have never happened in general, or that just because someone cannot feel love, they also automatically cannot feel lust either. I’ve even seen people claim that you cannot create children with someone you don’t love. LOL. I think we often mistake the purely biological aspect of sex with feelings or romance or other cultural meanings attached to intimacy. Or assume that because sex, to many people, is connected to emotions such as love or at least liking someone , that it must be so for everyone, including fictional characters. So it could be that because HP is a series aimed mainly at children or young teens people don’t consider the wide range of sexual behaviors which exist in the real world when analyzing the text or the characters. Which I guess is why some objections I’ve seen or heard since the play came out strike me as a bit naive.

        • Septumseverus

          I don’t think it comes down to people thinking voldermorts ugly, I think the character point a lot of fans have, myself included, is that I see Voldermort as pure evil and psycopathic, I personally feel he would not have sexual desires, I feel outs out of character with Voldermort as I read him.

          If you read him differently that is of course fine, but in find the idea of my imagining of Voldermort having sex vile and disgusting. I of course however respect that your opinion and reading of the character may be very different from mine 🙂


      • Crimson Phoenix

        See, I never really believed Bellatrix and Voldy would have “done the deed.” Is there such a thing as wizard IVF? Not that I don’t think Bella would have been 100% down for it, I just don’t think Voldemort has ever been or will ever be a sexual being (ugh, writing that just made me cringe). He set his sights and ambitions much farther than mere mortal pleasures.

        • Maybe there’s a spell…or a spell has been created for dark purposes. An impregnating spell could be used for very dark purposes if you choose to think of it that way, and maybe either Voldemort created the spell, or it’s a spell that isn’t taught or ever mentioned because it can be so misused and have such serious consequences.

      • Septumseverus

        where is there an issue with queer representation within the Harry Potter universe?

        • DoraNympha

          The issue is that it is unrealistically absent from the world, that’s all. Since Jo only said Dumbledore is gay only in an interview and there are only unintentional vaguer than vague clues that we can have picked up on in the text about other characters, Harry Potter does not actually contain any queer representation as it is. This is not a problem if one writes a story that just so happens to be about straight cis-gendered people, but in sci-fi and fantasy the emphasis is on worldbuilding most of the time, and HP has hundreds of characters but there is not even a single mention of any minor characters having anything other than straight attraction, many of them irrelevantly to the plot, sooo basically the issue with queer representation in HP is that there isn’t any and there is no valid excuse for it. Jo has said that wizardkind would be less likely to be homohobic while the one thing they do care about is blood purity, but since there is the consideration that pure-blood families need to keep their ancient lineage going, my assumption would be that the Gaunts and Malfoys of the world would indeed take issue with a gay son or daughter unless they have biological children to continue the blood line. (Wasn’t there something about this in a line in CC also? I forget where and I just can’t be bothered to scan through the whole text for this.)

          • Septumseverus

            I think my fear with is that it may feel shoehorned in. I also really liked the point I think Rosie made that having albus and Scorpius being a platonic friendship and that it shows a softer side of masculinity and is demonstrative of a society that the concept of men not being able to talk about feelings lessening.

            I also think that because the majority of main characters in at least the early Harry Potter books were children-teenagers then having a gay character would open up to bigger can of worms, I just feel like it would jar, and always just went off of the assumption that their were gay characters it just was never stated explicitly. This is probably compounded by the fact we see everything from Harry’s p.o.v. And I feel Harry just would not have an issue with gay people, so theirs no reason for him to comment or mention it, especially as he’s got quite a lot going on!

            Also one of the things I really love about Harry Potter is the way it tackles minority groups, the parallels between blood status and race I feel are made all the more powerful and moving as it is clearly a ridiculous thing to discriminate against a person for, I just feel it makes a stronger point about the commit illogical mindset of a bigot as the assertions made by the characters who are bigoted towards those of non magical lineage are so clearly baseless

            I think I’ve worded this all quite badly I just have a worry that In an attempt to be pc we could end up with a line along the lines of “Harry was walking through the common room where he saw dean Thomas, dean Thomas was gay, Harry liked gay people”

            I suppose I mean, I feel as a works Harry Potter has a very strong message of tolerance and acceptance, and this is done very naturally for me via things like hagrids and lupins treatment, hermione commitment to , and Rons eventual understanding of, spew, the muggle bating and blood staus furore. I think it works better that the potter universe has its own problems with discrimination and that these are different from those in our society, and I personally prefer this method of looking at discrimination. 🙂

          • DoraNympha

            I know, I do the same thing as you and just assume there are queer couples and characters anyway, but one of your points is something we talked about in last week’s comment section too, if you’re interested: the fear of queer characters textually confirmed being forced or just there for the sake of it is only valid if there aren’t straight couples or crushes in there just for the sake of it either. However, fact is, HP has a fair number of those, totally irrelevant to the plot, just to make the world more believable, such as Lee’s crush on Angelina, Fred and George sneaking out of the wedding marquee to make out with Fleur’s cousins, the pictures on Sirius’s bedroom wall, Dean or Seamus’s comment on Padma and Parvati being the best-looking girls in their year, all the couples in the bushes at the Yule Ball, all the couples in Madam Puddifoot’s tearoom, etc. and at least one of those implied to be a same-sex couple wouldn’t have been shoehorned in – on the contrary, it would have been realistic, especially if wizards take it as a non-issue, unlike Muggles. The only valid reason (reason, not an excuse) that I still respect is the fact that, in our real Muggle world, Jo would have been strongly advised against or even prevented from mentioning a same-sex couple like that by her publisher. We all remember book burnings in the wake of Dumbledore’s sexuality being “announced”. The fact that there is no evidence of queer characters or couples in the vast world of Harry Potter doesn’t mean that there aren’t any but it is equivalent to as if Jo never ever described anyone’s appearance and just expected us to instinctively know which characters are Asian/white/black etc. without clues. Except, race doesn’t affect one’s storylines, but sexual orientation might, in case they get a love interest, so maybe this is a wrong comparison but you get the idea. Also, while I understand why there’s a lack of textual representation, it makes me feel like you still have to basically hide if you’re queer at Hogwarts or something. It’s as if dragons and magic and flying broomsticks and time travel are much more plausible than queer people. If anything, it feels like heterosexuality/heteronormativity are showhorned or forced on the story (e.g. why did Lupin and Tonks have to get married like the day after they started dating? What’s wrong about having a kid outside of marriage??? I mean Teddy I would have understood, but the marriage is inexplicable so if anyone wants to tell me wtf that was for….? If that happened AFTER they realize a baby’s on the way, I’d get it but who gets married virtually the day they start dating..???) I like that HP has a fictional thing to divide the population by, the blood thing, which is of course parallel to real world prejudice without it being directly political, which is what fiction is a great tool for – see the fact that the HP generation is more compassionate in their political affiliations. But the lack of evidence that queer people and couples can live freely and safely in the Potterverse is simply weird to me, since there are hundreds of characters, and it’s one of those fantasy stories where worldbuilding is important… I hope that sums up why it’s weird?

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Eww, that gave me weird mental imagery of Voldemort as like, Tom Hanks in a reversed version of the movie BIG.

      Anyway, his body is newish, but it’s still not as though it is the body of a child. He is a fully adult man.

      I agree that Voldy wouldn’t engage in sex, at least not unless it was necessary to gain something, but I don’t see any reason for him to actually want a child. I feel like he has corrupted himself beyond whatever needs one might satisfy via sexual activity, be it emotional or physical. I just don’t see him as human in that way by the point of Delphi’s supposed conception. However, I do think the younger Tom Riddle would most certainly have used seduction and sexuality to his own benefit. I would actually find Delphi’s existance more believable if she was concieved sometime before he returned to Hogwarts to ask for a teaching position.

      Also, certainly if Muggles can create progeny without sex, wizards could too. I just don’t see any reason why he would want to. The prophecy as a factor doesn’t really work for me since we have no idea when and where it came from or if he or Bellatrix even knew about it.

    • Roonil Wazlib

      I agree that Voldemort would not engage in consensual sexual activity. Even casual sex requires a vulnerability that he would never open himself up to. But I would buy that he raped Bellatrix, rape being an expression of power in this case. And given the abusive dynamics of their relationship, I could believe that Bellatrix would continue a pregnancy that resulted from that rape.
      I like the idea that the wizarding world has magical in vitro fertilization as some folks expanded on in previous comments. But I just can’t imagine why Voldemort would go to that trouble. Unfortunately, rape is the only explanation that is even sort of makes sense to me.

      • I can’t even believe physical rape. I’m talking body touching body. It seems like an act above Voldee. Sex comes from attraction and I feel like attraction and love can go hand in hand. Voldee wouldn’t gain a thing from sec or rape and so he wouldn’t even go that far. It would ha to be done through magical means.

        However, I feel like the play is trying to hint at a relationship that never existed between Bellatrix and Voldee.

    • ousley

      I think the majority of the comments here are trying to apply conventional ideas of sex, personality, etc to characters who are very far outside the norm.

      The scenario seems entirely plausible to me: Voldemort is a sociopath: everything he does is calculated for manipulation and gain of power. It’s a classification that’s even more well-fitting when we consider that he was written in a way that eliminates his capability to feel things like love, compassion, remorse.

      Let’s look at part of the definition of the “alienated” type of sociopath: “Many cannot contain violent urges and conduct in criminal behaviour. Numerous individuals show more feelings towards a pet or object than to a human. Common symptoms of this type are manipulation, irresponsibility, refusal to conform to societal norms and exaggerated sexuality.”

      Nagini – horcruxes – manipulation – refusal of norms – and: exaggerated sexuality.

      Subtype of alienated: “disaffiliated type” – “lacked nurturing from a caregiver, which contributed to the sociopath’s underdevelopment of love and attachment.”


      Subtype of alienated: “hostile type” – “prevent themselves from feeling sad and depressed by heavily relying on their anger as a sort of survival mechanism.”

      Using hatred and anger both for power survival and to created horcruxes for ultimate survival.

      Subtype of alienated: “disempathetic type” – “The disempathetic type is able to feel an emotional connection to a restricted group of people. This group may include friends, pets or family members. The sociopath regards people outside of the group as objects.”

      Death eaters and Nagini.

      Then, we look at Bellatrix: she could in some ways be seen as an exaggerated case of histrionic personality disorder that, when Voldemort was angered with her, turned into a twisted form of Stockholm syndrome.

      Histrionic disorder: “characterized by an extreme interest in drawing the attentions of others, favorable or unfavorable, to oneself.” – check out this quick guide to recognizing characteristics. Sounds a lot like Bella to me:

      P – provocative (or seductive) behavior
      R – relationships, considered more intimate than they are
      A – attention, must be at center of
      I – influenced easily
      S – speech (style) – wants to impress, lacks detail
      E – emotional liability, shallowness

      M – make-up – physical appearance used to draw attention to self
      E – exaggerated emotions – theatrical

      That’s the exact type of personality that fits perfectly as the type of follower of Voldemort that she was portrayed as being.

      Now: combine all of that. Voldemort needs to exert his power and dominance in some manner. Bellatrix is so needy that she’ll do anything he wants. To Voldemort, sex would be a power move – it wouldn’t require love, lust, or anything of the sort. He would literally be turned on by the thought of having that power over someone. And to Bellatrix, it would be the ultimate way to fulfill her needs as an attention-seeker.

      If Voldemort happens to impregnate her – from his perspective, that means he’s acquired even more power over someone and has a greater means of manipulation. What better way to keep her under his eye and control when he’s still punishing her for the Department of Mysteries than to force her to keep the child and stay locked up and out of the action? And what better way for her to fulfill her fantasies of being needed and wanted than to twist his power move into thinking he really cares about her?

      As for the visual everyone is concerned about – the image that (unfortunately) flashed to my mind was any 90s or 00s vampire movie, with a strobe light flashing montage of goth sex with dark industrial music playing in the background.

  • The Half Blood Princess

    On alternate-Hermione being like Snape, I can see that too and that was my first thought, but there’s a pretty big difference. Hermione is bitter because the one she loves marries someone else. Snape is bitter because the one he loves marries someone else, ends her friendship with him, gets killed by his master, and he gets stuck being a double agent that neither side completely trusts, while being forced to protect the son of his nemesis and the woman he loved who died for him and being constantly reminded of all that. I could keep on going, and I don’t think I’m doing a good job explaining this, but I think you get the point.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      I agree that Snape has much more reason to become mean and bitter than Hermione does in the AU. I think, though, that they made her that way in part to show that anyone can be negatively affected by adversity and disappointment in their life. I almost see it as a way to show that Snape isn’t inherently evil, but responding (however poorly) to his life’s circumstances because if Hermione can become like him, anyone can.

  • The Half Blood Princess

    On whether Snape would carry his task beyond Harry dying, he does. He thought Harry was going to die since HBP, when DD told him Harry was a horcrux. Afterwards, he still killed DD, still saved Lupin during the battle of the seven Potters, still gave Harry the sword, and gave Harry the info that he thought would lead to his death

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Yeah, I think it is pretty clear that by the time of his death Snape was already devoted to the cause, and not just out of motivation to keep Harry safe for Lily. Protecting Harry was the push he needed to actively work towards Voldemort’s defeat, but Iosing Lily was what made him see how destructive Voldemort’s reign would be; that was what turned his allegiance. Like you said, once he knew what Harry’s fate would be he still carried on because in the end, it was about doing what was necessary to stop Voldemort, even if that meant raising Harry to be the lamb for slaughter.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      Yes! If Snape’s only interest was in saving Harry for Lily, he would have been done as soon as he found out that Dumbledore intended to let him die. At that point he was no longer bound by his promise to help keep Lily’s son alive. He could have walked out, or told Harry the truth, or thrown himself off the Astronomy tower, whatever he wanted. But what he does do is keep following Dumbledore’s orders and doing what he has to do to ensure Voldemort’s defeat. Not for Lily, he has failed to keep her son alive, not for glory because he will likely die with everyone believing he was a loyal Death Eater, but because it was the right thing to do and what had to be done to save the Wizarding World.

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    I don’t buy for one second that simple humiliation would ever lead Cedric into becoming a DE. One of the most likeable things about Cedric was that despite his popularity and exceptional abilities, was that he did have a sense of humility. In all Harry’s interactions with Cedric, he is modest about his accomplishments. I don’t think in his case we can at all confuse confidence with arrogance, which is why I don’t think humiliation would have had this effect, simply because I don’t see him as being so easily humiliated. Would he be embarrased to have been made to fly out of the maze naked on purple feather dusters? Sure, but humiliated to the point of altering his entire personality and beliefs? no way. His confidence and at the same time, humble nature, would have prevented that. Honestly, I see him laughing something like that off, rather than retreating into darkness and evil. It is just too much of a stretch, even if it were followed by a series of humiliations. To me, Cedric’s popularity is the result of being genuinely likable, something that wouldn’t change just because he had an embarassing moment; I don’t see a few embarassments even necessarily turning him into some sort of school pariah. Plus, being in Hufflepuff, he would certainly find support among his housemates, people who would lift his spirits and reassure him even if he was feeling humiliated to an extreme degree.

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    Great to hear you again, Kristen! And Andrea was a fabulous guest!

    one short comment about Snape in this part:
    When Scorpius says “Thank you for being my light in the darkness.” I connect that to the famous light in the darkness from Dumbledore and that makes me smile.

    When we learned that Astoria Greengrass became Draco’s wife and Scorpius’s mother, we were all wondering if there was anything else we would learn about her. I think it’s a pity that she is only mentioned in the play, instead of having an appearance herself. Plot demands that she dies, and from this mysterious disease cause by a… curse! So Astoria is the real cursed child.
    I’d like to know if Narcissa and Astoria got along, or if both of Draco’s parents were against the match.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      I’d like to think that if she realized that Draco truly loved Astoria, Narcissa would have supported the marriage. Given a pure-blood status, I think she would want Draco to be with someone who made him happy. Narcissa isn’t exactly in the habit of telling Draco no. If Astoria weren’t a pure-blood though, I think it might be a different story.

    • I like to think that whilst Astoria does die very early on in the play, and it is a shame that we never meet her, she lives on through Scorpius. Whilst personality isn’t totally genetic, there has to be someone who Scorpius Malfoy inherited this bookish, anxious, sweetness from, and it certainly isn’t Draco….!
      She’s also evident in Draco’s change of personality, because perhaps whilst some of his qualities may be qualities that were buried beneath the Death Eater control, or have become more pronounced since the end of the War, it would be understandable if like in many couples, she could have had an impact on how he is by this point.

  • Roonil Wazlib

    First, I don’t think that getting humiliated one time would make Cedric, a seemingly pretty good guy, become a Death Eater. The writers made way too big of a leap here.
    Second, y’all wanted to talk about toxic masculinity in the last episode, well here’s your real chance! AU Cedric: “I’m a nice humble guy but oh no I’ve been humiliated in front of the whole school!!! Instead of dealing with my feelings I’m gonna become an evil murderous Nazi!!!!!!!”
    Yeah smells like toxic masculinity to me. Anyone else vaguely reminded of all the news stories this year about men murdering women who rejected them? Men whose feelings have been hurt are dangerous in every world apparently.

  • ISeeThestrals

    It still bothers me that Voldemort has a daughter. The first of it having to do with Bellatrix and Voldemort getting together, but more than that the idea that he would sire a child at all. If his goal was to be immortal, he wouldn’t need an offspring to survive by. Besides that, after killing his father and relations, I’ve come to see him as one not wanting to have any blood connections to anyone.
    The focus has been on Voldemort and now ‘Cursed Child’ has the focus shared with his relation, and a relation that’s not even on the same level as Lord Voldemort ??? It’s more like ‘Voldemort’s daughter’ was one of those things purely created for a sequel. As with some movies, if the main villain is gone, they create a son or daughter as a way to keep it going in the next plot.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      I’ve recently watched Disney’s The Descendants and now I want someone to write a crossover with CC . 🙂

  • ISeeThestrals

    While reading ‘Cursed Child’ I kept flipping back and forth between picturing it as a movie then as a play.

  • rptimberwolf

    I was a bit surprised that no one on the podcast understood the significance of the word “augury” and how Rowling was playing with it in Fantastic Beasst and how it was then woven into Cursed Child. Augury is not just the name (spelled slightly differently) of a bird, but is a word meaning “omen” or “presentiment of doom”. Rowling gave the name to a bird that people thought was an omen of death and was possibly playing with the fact that the Roman priests “read the auguries” in the entrails of birds, thus ensuring that augury was an omen of doom at least for a few birds every day.

    Now, in Cursed Child, Delphi (named for a place of prophesy) takes the Augurey as her symbol and speaks of prophesies that would certainly be presentments of doom for Harry and his followers. In the timeline/alternate world of Act III, this symbol has been used for Voldemort’s reign. As with the swastika (a symbol of peace in the Hindu tradition), evil forces have twisted an innocent sign into a symbol of terror. Whether all this is used well or poorly, it is not nonsensical and is well thought out.

    • Lisa

      I agree about the meaning being well thought out. I would also add that Delphi’s hair colors can also be connected to the Augurey symbol as, according to Pottermore, auguries drain ink pots (blue) and emit a silver fluid– so silver blue hair makes sense, after all! Also, the Augurey is not (just) a symbol in Voldemort’s timeline, it’s a person (presumably Delphi).

  • rptimberwolf

    Has anyone discussed how the family order might play into the Harry/Albus relationship. As the middle child, Albus might well be prone to moodiness and rebellion. With James, the eldest, a “chip off the old block” and much the Marauder like his grandfather, Harry probably found James easy to understand and get along with. Lily, the youngest and only daughter, is most likely seen as special, much as Ginny was in the Weasley clan. Albus, trying to find his place in the family, might easily have seen himself as “cursed” and an outsider. He would not be the first middle child to do so.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      That’s a great point. Middle children, and I happen to be one, often see their siblings as having a special place as the oldest and the baby. Add to that the feeling that he would never fit into what he thought “Harry’s son” should be and it’s not hard to believe that Albus would resent his place in the world. He is resentful of things that neither he nor Harry can control, so there really is nothing that Harry can do to “fix” this. Great insight, rptimberwolf.

  • ISeeThestrals

    One thing on Ron and Hermione in Part 2 Act 3; Ron wanting to renew his vows, sober.
    I thought that might be discussed, less I missed it in the Ron/Hermione part of the podcast.

    • I refuse to believe that Ron was drunk! He has his flaws, but I don’t think for a second that he would do that to Hermione. …..That’s all I have to say. [Actually, I thought that scene came in Act 4, maybe I’ve got it wrong…]

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    I really enjoyed the discussion from Rosie about Polly and how her lines as delivered on stage take on an entirely different tone from what we see on the page. It has given me an entirely new appreciation for that scene which I wouldn’t have had otherwise. That is the sort of thing I really want to hear more of from those who have seen the play, because it certainly is one of the biggest disadvantages we have when just reading the script. There are so many lines that I wonder at exactly how they are delivered, because whatever I imagine often just doesn’t work, and comes off feeling poorly written to me. And who knows how many scenes I may be imagining completely different from what is on stage. So yes, Alison, Rosie, more of that please! 🙂

    To a similar point, I wish I could see even just a short clip of Anthony Boyle’s performance, because a lot of the lines I struggle with are Scorpius’. For instance the “my geekyness is a-quivering” bit- I know people love it, but I just can’t hear it in my head without cringing. Like Michael and Kat, I’m not fangirling over Scorpius the way others are, so perhaps that’s part of it; I haven’t bought fully into his character, I still feel like I’m missing something there. I also want to point out a thought about Scorpius as the human Pottermore. People have compared his encyclopedic knowledge to that of Hermione. We didn’t question Hermione to seemingly know everything, so why should it bother us with Scorpius? The thing is, we always knew where Hermione’s information was coming from- not just that she read it, but often WHERE she read it. Hogwarts, A History, The Daily Prophet, the books from Dumbledore’s study, etc. It’s rare that she seems to pull knowledge out of thin air, as it often feels with Scorpius. I think we are meant to assume that he is an avid book nerd in the same way, but we aren’t really shown him actually doing that. It just isn’t pulled off as well. I think it would be easier to buy his nerdy bookishness if we actually saw it more, rather than it being almost entirely self-referential.

  • SnapesManyButtons

    I really enjoyed reading the Cursed Child but as a Snape fan I will always love it for the way it portrays Snape. I have seen quite a few complaints about it on tumblr (where hating Snape is practically a religion) and they practically accuse Rowling of using the play to promote Snape and somehow excuse every bad thing he’s ever done. For them there is only black or white, if you don’t see him as “all bad” then you must see him as “all good.” In reality he is neither, as Rowling herself has said.

    Anyway… here’s how I think those Snape haters believe that Cursed Child came about:

    Rowling (to play writers): Remember, the most important thing to get across in the play is that Snape Was a Hero. I don’t care what else you write as long as everyone walks out of there knowing that Snape Was a Hero.

    Writers: … we can write …anything we want?

    Rowling (speculating wildly): Literally anything. Angsty teens with time turners… Inexplicable Hufflepuff Death Eaters… a secret Voldemort love child… I really don’t care.

    Writers (looking at each other as Rowling walks out): Quick! Write those ideas down, they were gold!

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Yeah, Snape is one of few things I don’t have to complain about in CC. I’ve always seen Snape as complicated and all grey. I’m no Snape apologist but I definitely think he deserves hero status for his role in the war. I thought CC did a nice job with the idea that he doesn’t have to be “good” guy to do good things. I don’t read those scenes as excusing him for any of the terrible things he’s done, but merely as him coming round to ultimately do the right thing in the AU, just as he did in DH.

    • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

      I thought that the portrayal of Snape (in the script — haven’t seen it on stage) was congruent with his character in the books. And I especially loved the interaction between him and Granger. I’ve always thought that, given a chance to get to know one another under different circumstances, Hermione and Snape would respect each other and have snappy debates on various topics. I could see how her personality would tap into the parts of Snape that made him friends with Lily.

      Still, as much as I like these scenes, I almost wish they would have left Snape out of the play to avoid dredging up these same old debates. Any way that they might have portrayed him was bound to be controversial among fans, since there is really no neutral way to write his character (in spite of, or probably because of, how “grey” he is). Would you have been disappointed if he weren’t in the play? I think I would have been a bit relieved.

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        Funny, for me it is the other way round. I think I would not have been disappointed, if Snape didn’t appear in the play. But when he appeared, I was happy to see him and that showed me how much I appreciate his character especially because of the neverending debates.

        • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

          I like your perspective! It is incredible to have characters that we can continue to debate and think about in new ways. In spite of what some tumbler users apparently think, I don’t believe the play is intended to repair the reputations of certain characters or have the final word on any of the longstanding debates — at least, it doesn’t have to be interpreted that way, because it gives us alternate universes/timelines that are really all just “what if” scenarios. For me, the really intriguing questions that the play raises are the new ones, like (as Rosie posed on the show), what would Snape’s life have been like if the other side had won and he survived to experience it? How would he have dealt with that over the course of 20 years? For me personally, though, the story we got in the books felt complete, and I might have preferred if the play had left characters like Snape, Dumbledore, and especially Cedric alone.

  • Crimson Phoenix

    I had a thought on the whole Harry’s scar still hurting in the original timeline thing. Let me preface by saying I am in no way any sort of expert or even have advanced knowledge in time travel theories so this might be completely wrong and I am open to correction.

    So let’s look at time as circular. What has happened will always happen and going back in time is always thought of as part of the original timeline. If we look at time as circular, then it stands to reason that Harry’s scar could be hurting because of these alternate timelines where Voldemort is still alive. If time is a loop, and something in that loop is changed, then I see it as kind of a Venn diagram, one loop touching the other at certain points. Those points just happen to be 22 years after the defeat of Voldemort. Bring in Multiverse theory, with the postulation that time is circular, and these events could be possible. One, or more, of the universes are interconnected with the current universe thus one thing that happens in an alternate universe could affect the original universe in a lesser way. This could explain why Harry’s scar is hurting now in the original universe because there is a Voldemort universe where one of the Voldemort’s and one of the Harry’s are still connected by the horcrux. Though that would mean that one of the Harry’s did not break the horcrux connection by sacrificing himself. It is possible that happened in one of the universes we’ve seen, or it could even be in a universe we didn’t see that Scorpius and Albus affected in some way. That brings even more convolutions into the play (sorry).

    Hope I explained that well enough! Thinking of time travel always gives me a headache.

    • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

      It makes my head hurt, too, and I often get confused when people talk about time travel, but your explanation makes perfect sense to me!

  • rptimberwolf

    Not sure if this post belongs here or in the prior or subsequent episode, but I think CC leaves Albus’ sexuality in question. It’s a well-known GLBT fiction trope that a gay youth (or adult) falls in love with a straight person only to be rejected (lovingly or hatefully) at some point. So, while Scorpius now (think he) is straight, we never see Albus express any interest in girls. In fact, Scorpius’ comments about Albus and Delphi may be teasing or not, but they presume a hetero-normative possibility. Albus seems surprised that Scorpius would think that he would be attracted to her.

    • DoraNympha

      I don’t know if Scorpius is straight because whoever wrote act 4 scene 14 made Scorpius quote Gertrude Stein, of all people… “a Rose is a Rose”? Really? Like, the irony of that line in a scene supposed to put a stop to the possibility of Scorbus… (Sorry, yes, next week’s bone to pick but whatever……)

  • Septumseverus

    So Cedric becomes a death eater, kills Neville, and then nobody kills nagini, Voldermort wins. Ok I feel that that’s somewhat tenuous but I can buy it. Snape dies before that though, nagini kills Snape? How is Snape alive in this Au?

    • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

      Good question. The only explanation I can come up with is that some alteration (unexplained by the play) within this universe eliminated the Elder Wand from this particular history of the war, which would explain why Voldemort never felt the need to kill Snape and also how he could have killed Harry (assuming Harry’s mastery of the Elder Wand was essential to his survival in the original story).

  • FlobberwormFangirl

    First I just want to send some love to Andrea, both for being ab amazing guest host and also because yay a fellow Swedish listener!

    Part three was were Cursed Child completely lost me. I went into reading the play with very low expectations. I turned out liking parts 1.1 and 1.2 better than I expected but this part is just to much for me. I probably could’ve been okay with it if it wasn’t for Delphi being Voldemort’s child though. If the story had ended when Scorpius managed to fix the weird au:s Cursed Child would’ve sucked considerably less imo. It would still have been pretty bad, but the “Delphi is the child of Voldemort”-revelation is what makes it just ridiculous. Ugh.

    Scorpius is the only thing I like about Cursed Child. I can really see your point in your criticism of him, Michael, but it need to hold on to my love for Scorbus or there will be nothing left for me to like about Cursed Child.

    • Michael Harle

      He’s all yours, FlobberwormFangirl. 😉

  • DeadAsADumbledoreNail

    I think that it’s a bit far fetched that Voldemort would even be able father a child. This is a man who has not only fractured his own soul beyond repair but also subjected his body to years and years of Dark magical transformations to make himself as inhuman as possible. What’s to say that Tom Riddle hasn’t been rendered sterile by Dark Magic?

    It would be more plausible, I think, that Delphi is in actuality the daughter of Bellatrix’s husband, Rodolphus. Rowling has said in the past that theirs is a “respectable pure-blood marriage”, and while love may not be involved, intercourse for the sake of propagation is not out of the realm of probability. We know that Bellatrix is one flavor short of a box of Bertie Bott’s, and it would be believable that she could convince herself that the child she was carrying was Voldemort’s.

    Rodolphus wouldn’t have much incentive to continue with this lie, but perhaps upon his release from Azkaban, he saw an opportunity to grab what little bit of power he could in the aftermath. He sought out his wife’s child, revealed the “truth” of her parentage, and fed her a prophecy in order to rope her into helping him. (Side note: exactly when does Rodolphus hear this prophecy himself? Who spoke it? Is it on record in the Hall of Prophecy? Did he pen it himself while sitting in his cell?) He creates the role of mentor for himself, the mind behind the Heir of Voldemort, and sets himself up for power.

    If Delphi’s parentage was a lie, it would parallel the rumors surrounding Scorpious about his own father, even perhaps the slight ambiguity of Albus as well. It would speak to the dangers of rumors, of believing them, and the effects that such a lie may have on people as a whole. How many horrible things have happened in Harry Potter based on lies or half-truths? I think the playwrights could have explored the dangers of rumor rather than the plot-driving convention of the secret love child.

    PS — I’d also like to point out the unlikelihood of Voldemort accepting Delphi as his heir if she had revealed herself in Godric’s Hollow. He’d have sooner murder her as well than to believe her. Or even, she may have even erased herself in the first place because the timeline wouldn’t have played out like it did when Voldemort was destroyed the first time.

    • Lisa

      It’s interesting to speculate on whether Voldemort’s body being produced through dark magic could procreate. I think we can assume that he was “normal” from other aspects, such as eating, drinking, sleeping, breathing air, etc, but the ability to produce life could have been damaged. There’s just no information about it either way so it’s really anyone’s guess.

      This might be more suited for the next episode, but I don’t think the Rodolphus theory makes sense. It’s fine as head canon but there’s too much mental gymnastics involved in it for me to think it’s legit. For instance, Rodolphus was in Azkaban at the time Delphi was supposedly conceived, according to the info we get in the play. Second, she’s a Parselmouth and has extraordinary power. Third, why would Voldemort put Rod’s daughter in charge of the Ministry and give her the permission to fly her own banners with her symbol at the Ministry? Even if she was a loyal servant, it still doesn’t make sense to give her such privileges that he’s never given anyone ever. It does makes sense if she’s his kid and therefore an extension of himself, tho.

      The prophecy is another mystery. Is it genuine or was it made up? In any case, I don’t see why Rodolphus would think it’s possible for Delphi to bring Voldemort back. He didn’t know about the super-duper time turner, right? And why wouldn’t he help her? He seems to be out of the picture by the time the events unfold.

      I get your point about the rumors, but I think it makes for a nice symmetry that a story about the next-gen would also feature the next-gen of evil. Harry’s words to Delphi about being an orphan are less poignant if one of her parents is actually still alive. For thematic purposes, it makes sense to me that she IS Voldemort’s daughter but I think her background needed more development and better explanations. Maybe with a bit more context, this character would be easier for people to accept and come across as less random. I hope that either Pottermore or the final script will elaborate more on her background because it’s not just interesting but quite necessary at this point.

      • DeadAsADumbledoreNail

        Yes, her powers clearly mean that she’s Riddle’a daughter. I actually meant to include that in the post but I forgot it.

        I just think that it may have been just as valid if she wasn’t Voldemort’s daughter. If we accept that Delphi was evil, why can’t she be evil on her own merits rather than inherit Voldemort’s mantle? Do we even see that she hates those of non-magical heritage? Or is she “evil” because she’s told she’s supposed to be? We don’t need another Voldemort. We had one.

        Not everyone has to be the son or daughter of the last Big Bad just like heroes don’t have to have heroic parents (Albus). If everyone is special, then no one is.

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    as the international editions are hitting the shelves, I had been hoping for another cover discussion, but it seems as they’re using the same cover for every language. At first I hesitated to buy the German version, because compared to the other books Cursed Child is not as important to me. But the prospect of comparing the editions made me buy it and so far I’d say it is pretty close to the original.
    Midnight release parties? Not really, one bookshop opened for half an hour after midnight, and I only learned that after the fact, so it really wasn’t advertised.

    The German title is “Harry Potter und das verwunschene Kind”. Sounds way less severe, usually I’d translate “cursed” with “verflucht”. “Verwunschen” or “verwünscht” is closer to “enchanted”

    I’ve looked ahead to see how “valour” was translated and what sounds impressive to me in English sounds absolutely ridiculous in German. “Für Voldemort und Wagemut”. Siriusly.