Disclaimer: All judgement reserved until I have actually seen the play live. These are just my thoughts on the physical copy of the play. This is not a review. Spoilers obviously.
A lot of these have probably been mentioned before but it’s always nice to put your own take out there and to see if they change when I re-read it. I’ve split this into positives and negatives.
- Friendship/possible relationship between Scorpius and Albus – I thought this was such a sweet friendship that most definitely had the potential to turn into a relationship, as others had noticed too. I mean, Scorpius looking after Albus heartbroken? Not liking seeing Albus with a girl? More on this later.
- Relationship between Dumbledore and Harry being explained more – I really liked and appreciated this aspect of the story, because I always felt as though Harry should be angry at Dumbledore. Dumbledore constantly ignored Harry’s questions and manipulated him many a time, not to mention leaving him in an abusive household (the Dursley’s) for all those years with full knowledge of the way they treated him. Their confrontation thus felt refreshing and was gave the play an extra star in my opinion.
- Delphi – I’m sorry, but who even thought a girl like Delphi would be a good idea and why would Albus like her? She had no real character development, and Albus suddenly has a crush on her? That just felt forced to me. Also, Voldemort having a daughter at all? I genuinely cannot imagine Voldemort either wanting or needing to have a child considering he still had some horcruxes at the point of Delphi’s birth.
- The major heteronormativity – Especially concerning Scorpius and Albus. Scorpius’s supposed crush on Rose fell completely flat and felt nonsensical to me, just as Albus’s crush on Delphi felt very much enforced, probably to overshadow the clear connection and strong feelings Albus and Scorpius have for each other.
- Lack of positive female representation/severe undermining of female characters – Poor Rose, Ginny and Hermione. Rose was quite honestly jut a plot device as mentioned above, and her obvious dislike of Scorpius made no sense. Hermione and Ron may have disliked Draco, but surely they would not tell their daughter to essentially exclude his son purely because of his parentage? Ginny had little to no proper scenes or significant lines, which is really strange considering she’s always been a headstrong character. Also, that weird alternate reality where Hermione was a horribly mean professor, which is fine until I found out she was acting that way because she and Ron were not together. Hermione has never seemingly needed someone else to make her happy, so that part just felt like lazy writing to fit the plot, which brings me on to my next point.
- No coherent plot – Things like Voldemort Day, the Trolley Lady ‘twist’ and the Blood Ball were silly but I went with the flow of it all in the hopes the plot would eventually come together. It didn’t. At the end of the play I felt unsatisfied and there was a lot of loose ends and plot holes that I picked up on just in my first read. As a large majority have pointed out, it did just read like a plethora of randomly picked bad fanfiction tropes.
- Ron being reduced to comic relief as he generally was in the movies – Poor Ron. He was basically there for comic relief. His character had no real substance, and this annoyed me, because Ron is so much more than someone who tells ‘lame jokes’ for people to enjoy their ‘lameness’. Maybe once or twice he could be comedic, sure, but it felt as though that was honestly all he was there for in the entire play. There is already debate about whether Ron deserved Hermione etc, and this goofy caricature of his character only serves to emphasise that he does not.
- Albus kissing his aunt – Maybe this is nitpicking, and I get this is probably quite funny on stage but it came across really weird to me – surely the writers could have thought of another way for ‘Ron’ to distract Hermione.
- Harry saying he wished Albus weren’t his son – This was a crazy red flag for me. I understand it was in the heat of the moment and Harry is very hot-headed but in my opinion Harry would never ever say a thing like that because he knows how miserable it is when you’re unwanted and unloved and I’m pretty sure he would want his children to feel the opposite of that no matter how upset he was.