The special rehearsal script for the West End’s most magical show, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, hit retailers today. The play, conceptualized by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne and written by Thorne, is a sequel to the book series—and it’s the last Harry adventure we’ll get. “He goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we're done,” Rowling told Reuters. “This is the next generation, you know. So, I'm thrilled to see it realized so beautifully but, no, Harry is done now."
Can't make it to London to see the show, but curious to find out a bit about it? We read the script front to back; here are a few things we learned. (Beware: Some spoilers below!)
1. THE PLAY PICKS UP RIGHT WHERE DEATHLY HALLOWS LEFT OFF.
Just before it ended, in fact—many lines of dialogue come directly from Deathly Hallows’s epilogue, when Harry and Ginny send Albus Severus off to his first year at Hogwarts. Albus’s first three years go by quickly, and within 50 pages, we’re in his fourth year.
According to the rumor mill, Draco Malfoy and Astoria Greengrass had trouble conceiving, so she went back in time and found a more powerful, sinister wizard to father her child: Lord Voldemort himself.
5. HARRY AND ALBUS HAVE A VERY STRAINED RELATIONSHIP.
They just can’t seem to understand each other. After one particularly bad argument, Harry has a nightmare. When he wakes up, his scar is aching—for the first time in 22 years.
6. HERMIONE HAS A BUNCH OF BANNED BOOKS IN HER OFFICE—AND SHE TURNED THEM INTO WEAPONS.
That’s so Hermione. (Oh yeah, she’s also the Minister for Magic.)
7. THERE’S A LOT OF TIME TRAVEL.
Much of Cursed Child’s first two acts revolve around the quest to bring one character back from the dead using time travel. We know what you’re thinking: All of the Ministry’s Time-Turners were rendered useless during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries in Order of the Phoenix. But in Cursed Child, it’s revealed that a wizard named Theodore Nott created a new kind of Time-Turner. In a raid, Harry—now head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement—confiscates it; it’s placed in Hermione’s office, where it’s guarded by her weaponized, riddle-spouting books.
Using Polyjuice Potion, Albus, Scorpius, and a character named Delphi solve the riddles, get past the books, and knick the Time-Turner from Hermione’s office. Messing with time is dangerous, but that is a warning Scorpius and Albus didn’t receive—and their well-intentioned fiddling leads to some very dark days. (“Voldemort Day,” for example.)
8. SOME FAN FAVORITES—AND NOT-SO-FAVORITES—MAKE APPEARANCES.
Hagrid, centaur Bane, Dumbledore, Moaning Myrtle, and Umbridge all pop up in Cursed Child, as well as other characters we won’t spoil here.
9. THERE’S SOME PRETTY AMBITIOUS MAGIC IN THE STAGE DIRECTIONS.
Hermione’s bewitched books, for example, reach out, grab, and swallow characters; there are also fiery magical battles and epic on-stage Transfiguration.
10. HARRY POTTER IS AFRAID OF PIGEONS.
Well, we’re all scared of something.
Pick up your own copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Childhere.
Ernest Hemingway was a titan of 20th-century literature, converting his lived experiences in multiple wars into rich, stirring tales like A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls. The avid sportsman also called upon his love for the outdoors to craft bittersweet metaphorical works like Big Two-Hearted River and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Old Man and the Sea. Here are 10 facts about the writer known as Papa, who was born on July 21, 1899.
1. Ernest Hemingway earned the Italian Silver Medal of Valor and a Bronze Star.
Hemingway served as an ambulance driver in Italy during World War I, and on July 8, 1918, he was badly wounded by mortar fire—yet he managed to help Italian soldiers reach safety. The action earned him an Italian Silver Medal of Valor. That honor was paralleled almost 30 years later when the U.S. awarded him a Bronze Star for courage displayed while covering the European theater in World War II as a journalist. His articles appeared in Collier’s and other magazines.
2. Ernest Hemingway was also accused—and cleared—of war crimes.
Following D-Day on June 6, 1944, when Hemingway, a civilian, was not allowed to disembark on Omaha Beach, he led a band of Resistance fighters in the French town of Rambouillet on a mission to gather intelligence. The problem was, war correspondents aren't supposed to lead armed troops, according to the Geneva Convention. The Inspector General of the Third Army charged Hemingway with several serious offenses, including removing patches from his clothing that identified him as a journalist, stockpiling weapons in his hotel room, and commanding a faction of Resistance operatives. Eventually, he was cleared of wrongdoing.
Hemingway always maintained that he’d done nothing but act as an advisor. He wrote to The New York Times in 1951, stating he “had a certain amount of knowledge about guerilla warfare and irregular tactics as well as a grounding in more formal war, and I was willing and happy to work for or be of use to anybody who would give me anything to do within my capabilities.”
3. Gertrude Stein was godmother to Ernest Hemingway's son, Jack.
Renowned American modernist writer Gertude Stein moved to Paris in 1903 and hosted regular salons that were attended by luminaries and artists of the time. They included Pablo Picasso, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and a young Ernest Hemingway. Stein became godmother to Hemingway’s first son, Jack, in 1923.
4. Ernest Hemingway was allegedly a KGB spy—but he wasn't very good at it.
When Collier's sent the legendary war correspondent Martha Gellhorn to China for a story in 1941, Hemingway, her husband, accompanied her and filed dispatches for PM. Documentation from the Stalin-era KGB (revealed in a 2009 book) shows that Hemingway was possibly recruited as a willing, clandestine source just prior to the trip and was given the codename “Argo.” The documents also show that he didn’t deliver any useful political intel, wasn’t trained for espionage, and only stayed on their list of active sources until the end of the decade.
5. Ernest Hemingway checked out F. Scott Fitzgerald's penis in the men's room.
Hemingway chronicled his life in Paris in his 1964 memoir A Moveable Feast, and revealed one notorious encounter with the Great Gatsby author in the book. Fitzgerald remarked that his wife Zelda has mocked his manhood by claiming he wouldn't be able to satisfy a lover. Hemingway suggested he investigate for himself. He took Fitzgerald to the bathroom at Michaud's, a popular restaurant in Paris, to examine his penis. Hemingway ultimately told his friend that his physical endowment was of a totally normal size and suggested he check out some nude statues at the Louvre for confirmation.
6. One of Ernest Hemingway's best works came about from him leaving some luggage at the Ritz Hotel in Paris.
Speaking of A Moveable Feast, Hemingway wrote it later in life (it was published posthumously) after a 1956 stay at the Ritz Hotel in Paris wherein he was reminded that he’d left a steamer trunk (made for him by Louis Vuitton) in the hotel’s basement in 1930. When he opened it, he rediscovered personal letters, menus, outdoor gear, and two stacks of notebooks that became the basis for the memoir of his youth in Paris's café culture.
7. The famous "Baby Shoes" story is most likely a myth.
Oddly enough, a story many people associate with Hemingway probably has nothing to do with him. The legend goes that one night, while drinking, Hemingway bet some friends that he could write a six-word short story. Incredulous, they all put money on the table, and on a napkin Hemingway wrote the words “For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” He won the bet. Unfortunately, there’s no evidence it ever happened. Some newspapers had printed versions of the six-word plotline in the 1910s without crediting Hemingway, and there's no record of his link to the phrase until 1991 (in a book about the publishing business), three decades after Hemingway’s death.
8. Ernest Hemingway almost died in back-to-back plane crashes.
In 1954, Hemingway and his fourth wife, Time and Life correspondent Mary Welsh, were vacationing in Belgian Congo when their sightseeing charter flight clipped a utility pole and crashed. When attempting to reach medical care in Entebbe the following day, they boarded another plane, which exploded upon takeoff, leaving Hemingway with burns, a concussion, and his brain leaking cerebral fluid. When they finally got to Entebbe (by truck), they found journalists had already reported their deaths, so Hemingway got to read his own obituaries.
9. Ernest Hemingway dedicated a book to each of his four wives.
Each time he got divorced, Hemingway was married again within the year—but he always left something behind in print. The dedication for The Sun Also Rises went to his first wife, Elizabeth Hadley Richardson; Death in the Afternoon was dedicated to second wife Pauline Pfeiffer; For Whom the Bell Tolls was for third wife Martha Gellhorn; and Across the River and Into the Trees went “To Mary with Love.”
10. Ernest Hemingway's house in Key West features a urinal from his favorite bar.
Hemingway wrote several iconic works, including To Have and Have Not, at his house in Key West, Florida. It’s also where he converted a urinal from a local bar into a fountain. Local haunt Sloppy Joe’s was a favorite watering hole of the irascible author, so when the place went under renovation, Hemingway took one of the urinals as a memento, quipping that he’d already poured enough money into it to make it his.
Hunter S. Thompson in Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson (2008)
Like any real-life legend, there are many myths surrounding the life and work of Hunter S. Thompson. But in Thompson’s case, most of those stories—particularly the more outlandish ones—are absolutely true. The founder of the “Gonzo journalism” movement is one of the most fascinating figures of the 20th century. Here are some things you might not have known about the eccentric writer, who was born on July 18, 1937.
1. Hunter S. Thompson was named after a famous Scottish surgeon.
Hunter S. Thompson was reportedly named after one of his mother’s ancestors, a Scottish surgeon named Nigel John Hunter. But Hunter wasn't just your run-of-the-mill surgeon. In a 2004 interview with the Independent, Thompson brought along a copy of The Reluctant Surgeon, a Biography of Nigel John Hunter, a biography of his namesake, which read: "A gruff Scotsman, Hunter has been described as the most important naturalist between Aristotle and Darwin, the Shakespeare of medicine and the greatest man the British ever produced. He was the first to trace the lymphatic system. He performed the first human artificial insemination. He was the greatest collector of anatomical specimens in history. He prescribed the orthopaedic shoe that allowed Lord Byron to walk."
When pressed about what that description had to do with him, Thompson responded: "Well, I guess that might be the secret of my survival. Good genes."
2. Hunter S. Thompson missed his high school graduation ... because he was in jail.
Just a few weeks before he was set to graduate from high school, at the age of 17, Thompson was charged as an accessory to robbery and sentenced to 60 days in jail.
“One night Ralston Steenrod, who was in the Athenaeum with Hunter, was driving, and Hunter and another guy he knew were in the car,” Thompson’s childhood friend Neville Blakemore recalled of the incident. “As they were driving through Cherokee Park, the other guy said, ‘Stop. I want to bum a cigarette from that car.’ People used to go park and neck at this spot. And the guy got out and apparently went back and mugged them. The guy who was mugged got their license number and traced the car, and within a very short time they were all three arrested.
“Just before this Hunter had been blamed for a nighttime gas-station robbery,” Blakemore added, “and before that he and some friends got arrested for buying booze underage at Abe's Liquor Store on Frankfort Avenue by the tracks. So Hunter had a record, and he was already on probation. He was given an ultimatum: jail or the military. And Hunter took the Air Force. He didn't graduate with his class.”
3. Hunter S. Thompson's fellow journalist coined the term gonzo.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
While covering the 1968 New Hampshire primary, Thompson met fellow writer and editor Bill Carodoso, editor of The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, which is where Thompson first heard him use the word “Gonzo.” “It meant sort of ‘crazy’ or ‘off-the-wall,’” Thompson said in Anita Thompson’s Ancient Gonzo Wisdom: Interviews with Hunter S. Thompson. Two years later, in June 1970, Thompson wrote an article for Scanlan’s Monthly entitled “The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved,” which became a game-changing moment in journalism because of its offbeat, slightly manic style that was written with first-person subjectivity.
Among the many fellow journalists who praised Thompson for the piece was Cardoso, who sent a letter to Thompson that “said something like, ‘Forget all the sh*t you’ve been writing, this is it; this is pure Gonzo.’ Gonzo. Yeah, of course. That’s what I was doing all the time. Of course, I might be crazy.” Thompson ran with the word, and would use it himself for the first time a year later, in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
4. Hunter S. Thompson typed out famous novels to learn the art of writing.
In order to get the “feel” of being a writer, Thompson used to retype his favorite novels in full. “[H]is true model and hero was F. Scott Fitzgerald,” Louis Menand wrote in The New Yorker. “He used to type out pages from The Great Gatsby, just to get the feeling, he said, of what it was like to write that way, and Fitzgerald’s novel was continually on his mind while he was working on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which was published, after a prolonged and agonizing compositional nightmare, in 1972.”
"If you type out somebody's work, you learn a lot about it,” Thompson said in 1997. “Amazingly it's like music. And from typing out parts of Faulkner, Hemingway, Fitzgerald—these were writers that were very big in my life and the lives of the people around me—so yeah, I wanted to learn from the best I guess."
5. Hunter S. Thompson ran for sheriff in Colorado.
In 1970, Thompson ran for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado on what he called the Freak Power ticket. Among his political tactics: shaving his head so that he could refer to his opponent as his “long-haired opponent,” promising to eat mescaline while on duty, and campaigning to rename Aspen “Fat City” to deter "greed heads, land-rapers, and other human jackals from capitalizing on the name 'Aspen.'" Unfortunately, he lost.
6. Hunter S. Thompson stole a memento from Ernest Hemingway.
In 1964, three years after Ernest Hemingway committed suicide at his cabin in Ketchum, Idaho, Thompson traveled to the late author’s home in order to write “What Lured Hemingway to Ketchum?” While there, according to his widow, Hunter “got caught up in the moment” and took “a big pair of elk horns over the front door.” In 2016, more than a decade after Thompson’s death, Anita returned the antlers to the Hemingway family—which is something she and Hunter had always planned to do. “They were warm and kind of tickled … they were so open and grateful, there was no weirdness,” Anita said.
7. Hunter S. Thompson once used the inside of musician John Oates's colorado cabin as his personal parking space.
Earlier this month, musician John Oates—the latter half of Hall & Oates—shared a story about his ranch in Woody Creek, Colorado, just outside of Aspen, which is currently on the market for $6 million. In an interview with Colorado Public Radio, Oates recalled how when he first purchased the cabin, there was a red convertible parked inside. “I happened to ask the real estate agent who owned the convertible, and he said ‘your neighbor Hunter Thompson,’” Oates said. “Why is he keeping his car in a piece of property he doesn’t own? The real estate agent looked at me and said ‘It’s Woody Creek, you’ll figure this out. It’s a different kind of place.’” After sending several letters to his neighbor to retrieve his vehicle, Oates took matters into his own hands and deposited the car on Thompson’s lawn. Oates said that the two became friends, but never mentioned the incident.
8. Hunter S. Thompson's ashes were shot out of a cannon at his funeral.
On February 20, 2005—at the age of 67—Thompson committed suicide. But Thompson wasn’t about to leave this world quietly. In August of that year, in accordance with his wishes, Thompson's ashes were shot into the air from a cannon while fireworks filled the sky.
“He loved explosions," his widow, Anita, told ESPN, which wrote that, “The private celebration included actors Bill Murray and Johnny Depp, rock bands, blowup dolls and plenty of liquor to honor Thompson, who killed himself six months ago at the age of 67.”