Despite Rowling’s pleas for fans not to argue over the tweet (which was about as ambitious as a Muggle trying to cast a spell, really), battle lines were drawn almost immediately.
On one side were those Potterheads who have forgiven the notoriously unpleasant Potions Master thanks to his posthumously revealed acts of heroism, and on the other were those who still can’t look past what a jerk he was to Harry and his classmates.
To be honest, I’ve never really understood why the issue of Snape’s redemption always seems to become such a talking point, let alone such a huge bone of contention. To me, not only is Snape one of the most fascinating characters in the Harry Potter series, he’s also – glaring personality flaws included – one of the most heroic.
That was the key takeaway imparted by Harry Potter creator JK Rowling to those of us lucky enough to attend the preview sessions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the new stage play that continues the story of everyone’s favourite boy wizard.
With that in mind, I’ve held off on posting an in-depth review of Cursed Child until after the official release of the play’s script this week, in order to give fans the chance to experience the story – and its many surprises – for themselves first.
But now I think it’s well and truly safe to deliver a verdict, and I’m happy to say that (overlooking a few quibbles) Cursed Child is, well, pure magic.
It’s fair to say that the excitement generated by Warner Bros Studio’s announcement that it would be continuing the Harry Potter film franchise – with JK Rowling on scriptwriting duties no less – was quickly replaced with bewilderment once it was confirmed that these new films would be based off flimsy tie-in novel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Since then, the signing of Eddie Redmayne as lead Newt Scamander and glimpses of never-before-seen magical New York have slowly brought fans on board with this undoubtedly left field choice.
Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that those longing to see a sequel to the series will get their wish with the upcoming West End show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which will surely make the leap to the silver screen in the near future.
Still, one wonders what other tales of the Wizarding World might make it to the big and small screens between now and then, given the richness of the fictional universe Rowling has created – not to mention the willingness of Warner Bros to green light anything related to The Boy Who Lived quicker than you can say,“Accio cash!”.
So despite most wizards and witches looking down at the admittedly-spotty art of Divination, let’s make like Professor Trelawney and see if we can’t forecast five more potential Harry Potter spin-offs headed our way!