6 Things to Know About 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' – And How it Fits Into the 'Potter' Universe

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be released this weekend

Photo: Charlie Gray

A new Harry Potter book? It feels like 2007 all over again!

Potter author J.K. Rowling is finally releasing new material set in the original universe – though it’s not exactly what fans were expecting.

We’ve put together a comprehensive list of everything a Muggle (the name for a non-magical human) needs to know about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child before its release this weekend.

1. Cursed Child is a play, not a book.
The book released on July 31 will actually be a script with new ideas from Rowling that expand the Harry Potter universe. Divided into Part 1 and Part 2, the script book will reveal how Harry has been coping with life after defeating Voldemort.

2. The play takes place 19 years after the closing of the seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
The play will pick up right where Rowling left off – at platform 9 and 3/4 as Harry and his wife, Ginny Weasley, say goodbye to their son Albus as he heads off to his first year at Hogwarts.

The epilogue scene in both the books and the movies left fans with the question of whether 11-year-old Albus will be sorted into Gryffindor or Slytheryn. Look for the play to quickly answer that question!

3. Cursed Child comes from the brain of JK Rowling – but she didn t write it.
Although Rowling has been involved with the project throughout, Jack Thorne actually penned the script with help from Rowling and the director of the play, John Tiffany.

4. The plot centers around an "overworked" Harry and his son, Albus Severus, as they each struggle with the Potter legacy
19 years after defeating Voldemort, Harry Potter is now just like anyone else – and overworked government employee. The story finds Harry struggling under the pressures of working as an Auror (basically like a detective in the Wizarding World) while also being the father of three children.

His son, Albus Severus – named after Dumbledore and Snape – will also be struggling with the pressure to live up to the men he has been named after as well as the legacy his father left behind at Hogwarts. It will lead him to make interesting friendships and find himself in the middle of changing history as they know it.

The play will also offer a look into life post-Voldemort for the Wizarding World 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts.

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5. The play opens officially when the book drops on July 31, but it s been running previews in London since early June.
The anticipation for what can be seen as the eighth Harry Potter book has been building to a fever pitch these last few months. Early reviews, from fans and critics, have been heralding it as a great addition to the canon.

The play has also been getting great reviews for another unexpected surprise – the actress playing Hermione is black! Noma Dumezweni was cast to play the fan-favorite Hermione in the play to mixed reactions earlier in the year with most fans, along with Rowling, applauding the casting.

And she has some big hitters in her camp – including the OG Hermione, Emma Watson Watson raved about Dumezweni’s performance after she attended a showing, later praising the actress on social media.

6. Don t worry, all your favorites are back!
That’s right, the story will also tell us how Ron, Hermione – and even Draco Malfoy – are doing! The major players from the series now all have children heading off to Hogwarts and will be present throughout the play.

But you won’t have to book a trip to London to see the actors step into their famous roles! Cast pictures were released before previews of the Potters and the Weasleys posing for a family picture.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will celebrate Harry and Rowling’s birthday by dropping July 31 in books stores nationwide.

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