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The Cursed Child Questions (Spoilers Abound) Part 1

You have been warned. There are spoilers in this post. Like huge, plot-revealing spoilers. Okay, maybe not this one, per se, but certainly in one of the other posts I’m planning to write. There is a lot to discuss in JK Rowling’s The Cursed Child.

So shall we begin?

Really, click away if you haven’t read it. This is your last warning…

Okay, coast is clear.

First and foremost, I mostly liked The Cursed Child. It was a little rough, sort of in the same way that the Sorcerer’s Stone was a bit rough. Rowling grew as a writer during the series, and I have full faith that if she churned out six more plays, she would become a great playwright, too.

Infertility and childlessness reared their head just as often as parenthood, which was interesting to see — especially in terms of which characters were fertile and which were not.  So shall we begin with Astoria?

The big rumour is that Astoria and Draco were unable to conceive, implying that it was male factor infertility.  Astoria, wanting a child (as well as Draco and Lucius wanting a powerful heir), went back in time using a secret Time-Turner and procreated with Voldemort.  So third party reproduction using donor sperm from the Dark Lord.

Interesting twist but…

Why go back in time for donor gametes?  If all they want were “superior” genes (in the non-Mudblood, Death Eater sense), why not go for donor sperm from one of the Sacred 28 families?  I mean, a Time-Turner seems like a lot of work when there are LeStranges around.

Next, are we really to believe that Voldemort would take time out of his killing schedule to procreate with Astoria at least once, but more likely several times?  I know I’m seeing the world through an infertility lens, but even the most fertile people need more than one bonking to get and stay pregnant.  When did he take a break to have sex with her?  When he was hanging out at Malfoy Manor before the Battle of Hogwarts?

And lastly, I can’t believe that time travel wouldn’t affect an unborn fetus.  I know very little about human cells and even less about the logistics of time travel, but I can’t see moving through time conducive to a healthy pregnancy.  So, again, donor gametes from a nearby wizard seem superior to ones from the past.

And do we really believe Astoria would bypass a cautious route for a dangerous one when we’re talking about a hard-won pregnancy after infertility?  I don’t know about you, but I was pretty reluctant to do anything that could possibly negatively affect the pregnancy (even to a superstitious degree), which I think is a pretty common way of behaving when something has taken so long to achieve.  So… the lack of care seemed a little unbelievable.

Voldemort babies is a plot twist that will bubble up again, so let’s save anything involving the Augurey et al for another discussion.

I guess, for me, the most interesting part was trying to decipher the reaction of the other wizards to this rumour.  Was the issue donor gametes or was the issue that the donor gametes came from Voldemort?  Because the other students tease Scorpius about it — which would point to an issue with the donor gametes themselves — vs. live in fear of him — which would point to an issue with the Voldemort connection.  The other students take it too lightly for the problem to be with the gamete donor.

Which makes me wonder: Why are the students at Hogwarts such dicks about family building?

So discuss: Astoria Malfoy, donor gametes, and the reaction of the other students.



1 nicoleandmaggie { 08.16.16 at 9:49 am }

Have you seen the How it Should Have Ended for Harry Potter? One, Two, …

Sidenote: I am so tired of the “misunderstood son of hero turns into angsty bad guy” trope complete with immature hero dad, mature loving mom, etc.. Disappointed. I didn’t like it in Kenshin, Star Wars, etc. I wonder what the original that they’re all taking from is. (And I guess that implies that the dude in Star Wars will turn over a new leaf at some point. Since that’s what they do.) Hm… maybe tvtropes can tell me, though that’s a rabbit hole that will keep me from doing any work for hours.

2 torthuil { 08.17.16 at 12:16 am }

Now I’m wondering how time travel would work as a fertility treatment. Could my husband travel back in time and get a younger me pregnant…. Then I’d suddenly have an older child in the present. Or convince a younger me to freeze eggs and carry back to the present. ugh, that’s all really creepy.. Anyway. Interesting how infertility makes you super sensitive to how it’s used as a plot. I agree that logically she would have avoided extra risks while pregnant.

3 Jess { 08.18.16 at 9:23 pm }

Hmmmm, maybe I need to reread, because I thought it was all a rumor that Voldemort was actually Scorpius’s biological father, that they had the Time Turner, yes, but that they didn’t actually conceive in that way… that the rumor was reinforced by the fact that Astoria had a blood disorder and needed to be hidden away to regain strength, and he didn’t want anyone to know that his father had the Time Turner because it would give credence to the rumor. I didn’t think it was actually the case, and because I am a huge nerd I reference page 203 for Harry stating that he made a mistake in believing the rumor and page 261 for Draco explaining what really happened when Astoria conceived Scorpius…

I can’t help but think of The Time Traveler’s Wife with reference to time traveling while pregnant, if that was the case…tricky business and not likely to succeed unless things were synced just so. I guess magic would be helpful in that regard. And ew, if you were going to pick a sperm donor, I don’t know why Voldemort, who had no nose, would be your first pick, even if you’re going for pure blood. He had some problems with keeping human form and stuff, and I feel like you’d be setting yourself up for some seriously bad teenage years. 🙂

And yeah, the Hogwarts students are total dicks about family building. I felt bad for Draco and Astoria, and the Steel-Magnolias-like twist that the pregnancy just wore her poor body out. Just years later.

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