Let the obsession over the Harry Potter mystery play(s) resume! Not much is known about the anticipated stage production that’s in the works, but Harry Potter and the Cursed Child did just release its official artwork, which gives us a look at a child who could very well be the titular “Cursed Child.” Take a look…
This official artwork was shared on the Pottermore Facebook page. To get to the obvious parts first, the right of the poster focuses on the title of the West End stage production, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, noting that there are two parts to this new installment to the Harry Potter universe, and it’s based on an original new story from Harry Potter scribe J.K. Rowling, along with Jack Thorne and John Tiffany.
But we knew all of that already. The real business is on the left, as we’re looking at two wings spread out above what appears to be a nest, inside of which is a kid, who’s huddled inside. It’s not a lot to go on… or is it?
First, there are the wings. Owl wings? Phoenix wings? Or… snitch wings? Seeing them set above the circular nest does conjure the image of a snitch. The snitch would be particularly significant to Harry Potter, as he played Seeker for the Gryffindor quidditch team. And, let’s not forget that the snitch played a significant role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, as it served as the container for one of the Hallows. So, there may be a clue to work out there, though it’s just as possible that the wings represent something else. A bird would be the most obvious guess, which brings us to the nest...
Not sure what to make of the nest. Might it signify family? I’m still not ready to abandon the theory that the Cursed Child is Harry’s son James (although this artwork gives me doubts, but we’ll get to that in a minute.) But taking the imagery more literally, if we combine the wings with the nest, it’s very possible that owls or a phoenix are directly involved in the plot of this story somehow.
Last, but not least, there’s the kid huddled inside the nest.
The child appears to be a boy with a shaggy haircut. It's hard to say with all certainty that the child is a boy, but I'm going with that assumption for now. He's barefoot and dressed in what looks like muggle clothing. He looks scared and vulnerable. It seems safe to assume he’s the Cursed Child. But is he a wizard? I don’t see a wand anywhere, and the muggle clothing makes me think that either he’s a muggle, or that he’s either muggle born or muggle raised.
Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort were both raised by muggles, unaware that witches and wizards existed until they were old enough to attend Hogwarts. Both had the opportunity to rise to greatness. But they went in very different directions. With that in mind, and factoring in the appearance of the child — bare feet, grown out hair, potentially worn clothes (it’s hard to tell) — I’m going to toss a new theory out there, and speculate that maybe the Cursed Child — like Harry and Tom Riddle — was also orphaned and grew up outside the magical community. Maybe he doesn’t even know he’s a wizard, and believes himself to be (or was told he was) cursed, because he's different. If the story is set in the present day, Harry is an Auror for the ministry. Perhaps he's assigned to track down the child, and maybe this story will be about him trying to steer him toward goodness, and possibly even have to redirect him off the path Voldemort took.
If any of the above theory proves to be remotely accurate, I realize that contradicts my guess that James S. Potter is the cursed child. And I haven’t entirely abandoned that theory, especially given this child’s reddish looking hair. But it would be interesting to see Harry getting to be the "Dumbledore" of another child's life, wouldn't it?
Hopefully an official description for the plot is released sometime in the near future. (Update: It was! The full description arrived early Friday morning. Read it here!)In the meantime, this new artwork is beautiful, and it's great to have some new clues to ponder.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is set to debut in London’s West End next Summer (2016). Fans eager to get tickets the moment they go on sale should sign up for priority booking at HarryPotterthePlay.com.