By TESSA CAIT
July 21, 2007 marked the beginning of the end as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” was released at midnight. Or at least Potter heads thought it did.
Potter heads of the Wizarding World have been in an absolute frenzy following the announcement made concerning the release of a new Harry Potter book, now the eighth in the franchise. According to Pottermore, an interactive Harry Potter-based internet site, the book titled “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is set for release on July 31, 2016. The date coincidentally coincides with both Rowling’s and Harry’s birthdays.
As both anticipation and excitement build, so does confusion. Rowling tweeted to her followers on Feb. 11, “To be clear! The SCRIPT of #CursedChild is being published. #NotANovel #NotAPrequel.” Pottermore goes into more detail to explain that the book being published both digitally and in print is actually the script for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” a stage play based on an original story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, and is set to debut in London’s West End this upcoming July.
Our last interaction with Harry took place in the epilogue of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts with Harry standing on Platform Nine and Three-Quarters as he waved goodbye to his children aboard the Hogwarts Express. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” picks up right where Rowling left off.
Young millennials spent their childhoods reading and re-reading Rowling’s tales of magic in their beds until they absolutely had to turn off the lights for bed. They raced into Barnes and Noble, robe and circular glasses-clad for the midnight book releases, leaving their parents in the dust and all the way out in the parking lot.
They waited impatiently to turn 11 for their Hogwarts letters and were filled with a crushing disappointment when Hagrid didn’t break down their door and take them to Diagon Alley to purchase a wand and an owl.
J.K. Rowling gave them the gift of characters to grow up with, look up to and learn from. Harry allowed them to stick by him from the very beginning until the very end. Hermione fought Wizarding World adversity and proved that what you do with your life matters more than where you come from. Severus Snape taught them what boundless and abiding love is and showed it through each and every one of his actions, even if it wasn’t apparent at the time.
These lessons and experiences have been held dear since the last book was released, but now fans have a new way to celebrate the magic that is Harry Potter. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” will give readers and theatre patrons a glimpse into Harry’s life post-Hogwarts and a way to keep the magic alive and well.