‘Harry Potter And The Cursed Child: Parts One And Two’ Is A Script — Will This Fact Be A Backlash For Fans Expecting A Novel? [Op-Ed]

Last night, I anticipated the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two at my local Barnes & Noble. Alongside me were fellow Harry Potter franchise fans. Some were waiting patiently with an open book while sipping a mocha latte from the cafe, while others were dressed in full wizard regalia donning the colors of their respective houses they’ve been sorted into officially on Pottermore. Eventually, I opened a conversation with some of them because I was getting bored, but also because there were two more hours until midnight, the time Barnes & Noble would start selling the book.

We expressed our anticipation for the eighth book in the Harry Potter franchise, one made nine years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Somewhere along our dialogue, I mentioned that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two was technically a script. That statement was a revelation for them, because they were expecting a novel. Eventually, I detailed how the eighth book is based off a stage play, and how the book is the rehearsal script. Needless to say, my talking companions anticipations for the book suddenly changed.

What I realized was that many Harry Potter fans wanting to read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two are expecting an eighth novel. This had me thinking. Will the fact the eighth book is a script result in a negative backlash among fans?

J.K. Rowling, The Casual Vacancy “The Casual Vacancy” is J.K. Rowling’s first novel outside of the Harry Potter Series and also her first foray into adult fiction. [Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images]To truly analyze this argument, we must go back to the two times J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, wrote novels not part of the series or the Harry Potter franchise in general. The first time was her foray into adult fiction with The Casual Vacancy. It was a very dynamic start for Rowling, as her novel touched on social issues, politics, and poverty. However, the novel itself received mixed reviews. Sadly, most of the positive reviews were taken from book sites in which fans of the Harry Potter series gave it perfect scores despite not reading it. Things, however, did change when Harry Potter fans did read The Casual Vacancy, as the majority of them did not like it.

Still, it did receive one of the best opening weekends for a book. Also, The Casual Vacancy was at least good enough for a series adaption, one created on the British Broadcasting Channel (BBC), given the same name as its title.

The Cuckoo's Calling “The Cuckoo’s Calling” is the first novel in the Cormoran Strike Series by Robert Galbraith, a pseudonym used by J.K. Rowling. [Image via Goodreads]As for the second time J.K. Rowling forayed outside of the Harry Potter series, she did under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith for the Cormoran Strike Series, consisting of adult crime fiction. It is believed that Rowling went with a pseudonym to “protect herself,” as she could deny ever creating The Cuckoo’s Calling (the first novel in the series) if it flopped. Fortunately for her, it was a success and highly praised from both critics and readers. This resulted in two more novels being written in the series, TheSilkworm and Career of Evil. Still, many Harry Potter fans did not take to the new series, either. A lot claim it is way too dark and vulgar (given Strike’s character).

Ultimately, many Harry Potter fans found out the hard way they are simply Harry Potter fans and not J.K. Rowling fans. If they were Rowling fans through and through, they would have enjoyed The Casual Vacancy and the Cormoran Strike Series. Instead, they just like the Harry Potter Series and apparently that extends to other books in the franchise. Rowling wrote Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard as supplements to the main series. They read differently, but they are technically still part of the Harry Potter franchise.

Harry Potter fans may have an initial shock when they find out Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two is a script, but will get over it and read on simply because it is Harry Potter. Case and point, the people I was talking to at Barnes & Noble quickly adjusted to the fact what they were buying would be a script. They still wanted to dive back into the magical wizarding world of their favorite heroes and villains.

Ultimately, the majority of Harry Potter fans got over the fact that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two is a script proven by the high amount of sales that still went through followed by the entire Harry Potter community debating, discussing, and preventing online spoilers from leaking so others can enjoy the new “novel.” Still, it is unknown if Harry Potter fans are okay with the new novel being a script or not.

[Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images]