Rowling | Tiffany | Thorne

Harry Potter and the Sanctioned Follow-On Work (or, Fanfiction vs. the Patriarchy)

How we talk about The Cursed Child—and why it matters.

I’ve known this response was coming for weeks, ever since I gave in and read the spoilers for The Cursed Child after its West-End premiere. Set 19 years after the action of The Deathly Hallows, the play was penned by playwright and screenwriter Jack Thorne, who worked with J. K. Rowling and director John Tiffany to develop the story. TCC went into previews in June, and one enterprising reporter blessed those who couldn’t see it onstage or wait for the printed version of the script with a point-by-point plot summary of the action. There was…a lot of action. I was curious about the response to all those plot points — I sure as hell had a few ideas of my own — so I took to the Tumblr tags to see how others felt about it. To my dismay, one phrase cropped up again and again: “This is fanfiction.”

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