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.