The Cursed Child is set with an Adult Harry.

Wikipedia says this

it was confirmed the plays were set nineteen years after the conclusion of the final novel.

This BBC article 'clarifies':

It will pick up the story 19 years after Harry was last seen in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, waving his two eldest children off to Hogwarts.

So by reckoning.

  • Philosophers stone was set in 1991
  • Each book represents a year. + 7 Years
  • The epilogue to Deathly Hallows + 19 Years
  • + 19 years quoted in the articles above


Is this correct, is it verified anywhere that it is set in the future? Would this be a first for Harry Potter?

  • 5
    i think its 19 years from the end of year 7, not 19 from the epilogue, that would make his kids too old for school. though 19 years from the end of year 7 might make most of his kids too old as well, i was lead to believe his kids would be "in school". but maybe not
    – Himarm
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 15:55
  • That would make it about the same time as the epilogue which would make sense. I guess the BBC is wrong, but it would be nice if someone knows for sure . Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 16:01
  • 1
    otherwise were dealing with a 25 ish year old albus and a 40 ish year old harry, but thats no fun!
    – Himarm
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 16:02
  • @Himarm that's assuming he didn't wait a while from leaving school to having children. I had my first when I was 25 and he won't start secondary school for another 3 years. That would have been 18 years since I left 6th form. Harry only had to wait till he was 26 Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 16:04
  • 1
    @CearonO'Flynn well in the epilogue we already know his son is 11(first year of hogwarts i believe) so if its 19 years from the epilogue were dealing with a 30 year old kid that was what sounded weird.
    – Himarm
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 16:07

2 Answers 2


Multiple time periods

The majority of the play is set in the future relative to the epilogue to Deathly Hallows. The epilogue is in 2017, as detailed in the other answer. Since the play recapitulates the epilogue, a decent portion is in 2017.

There is a brief montage at the beginning of the play, covering choice events from several years in the life of Albus Severus, covering the period from 2017 to 2020.

The plurality of the play appears to be set in Albus's fourth year:

ROSE: Albus, it’s the start of the fourth year, and so the start of a new year for us. I want to be friends again.

Thus it would be 2020.

However, a major element of the play is time travel, since both the protagonists and the villain wish to alter the past.

As such, a considerable portion is set in the past, including:

  • A few scenes set during the same time period as Goblet of Fire, which is to say 1995.
  • A scene set in 1981.

Likely sometime between September 1st, 2017 and the end of June, 2018.

Harry was born in 1980. He would have turned 11 in 1991, when he started Hogwarts, and his first year would have ended in June 1992. The events of Chamber of Secrets took place during '92/93, Prisoner of Azkaban was '93/94, Goblet of Fire was '94/95, Order of the Phoenix was '95/96, Half-Blood Prince was '96/97, and Deathly Hallows was '97/98.

According to Google the epilogue in Deathly Hallows was 19 years later (can somebody confirm that's correct?), so September 1st, 2017. I'd assume that the events of The Cursed Child will be the Hogwarts school year immediately following that epilogue. Since the play is being released later this year, it will still be "in the future", but not by quite such a large margin.

Is that a first? No, the epilogue of Deathly Hallows is also technically in the future.

Additional evidence

It definitely can't be 19 years after the epilogue, since his children are (just about) school-age during the epilogue and Hogwarts is only 7 years, and the plot synopsis for the play says:

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

  • 1
    Technically he could be father of three school-age children + older children but that doesn't make sense with Albus discovering his heritage. Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 16:21
  • 1
    @JeremyFrench well we also know the plot will be about albus, "the youngest son" so we already know albus was born and about to go to hogwarts in the epilogue. so unless he had 3 more kids, and names another one albus... lol
    – Himarm
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 17:02
  • 2
    So far, I believe, bookings have been extended until 27 May 2017. I’m guessing it won’t be too long until there’ll be more extensions, and the play will actually end up playing past 1 September 2017, at which point it will be a play that takes place in the present, rather than the future. :-) Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 17:11
  • 1
    And not long after that, it'll be set in the past!
    – ThruGog
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 21:43
  • 2
    @JFA: it seems more likely that the BBC just got it wrong. How else do you explain the plot synopsis for the play? Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 9:03

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