Drawing from discussions of transformational leaders in Dr. Goethal’s Theories and Models class, Harry Potter does seem to fill the role of a transformational leader. Following the model of a mythic hero, Harry provides a sense of security and immediacy offered by an active leader. However, Yost is correct in noting how Harry diverges from the typical individual hero and learns throughout the series to collaborate with others. Borrowing James MacGregor Burns’ definition of transforming leadership, discussed in Dr. Goethals’ class, the leader provides both a motivation and moral sense for the followers. As proven by Yost, Harry proves to develop into a staunch motivator, especially in his work with Dumbledore’s Army. Once he realizes that he cannot fight his battle with Voldemort alone, Harry’s leadership changes in order to support his followers to become self-sufficient, eventually aiding him in battle. His hero archetype and the clear struggle of good and evil help to maintain the moral aspect of his transforming nature as well.
It seems as though J.K. Rowling attempted to make a commentary on Harry’s overblown heroic qualities through his son, Albus, in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. However, as a longtime fan of the series, I was extremely disappointed in this play, from what I have read so far. Every instance in which Albus laments living in his father or his siblings’ shadows seems obvious, forced, and awkward. Perhaps Albus’ uncomfortably excessive angst was emphasized as a commentary on Harry’s more nuanced angst and teenage stupidity throughout the series, though I’m afraid this is not the case. Clearly, Act I has set Albus and Scorpius up to (hopefully) act as heroes in the second act, completing the male/male/female trio with Delphi Diggory. Again, the references to the original trio and plot line of the series are absolutely forced into the awkward dialogue, though whatever commentary that might have been attempted is lost to the strained interactions between characters. Of course, character arcs are difficult to fully portray in something as short as a play, though we have yet to see any semblance of Albus’ leadership beyond the painfully obvious hero trope. Hopefully, Act II will develop the plot line beyond the typical “do what’s right” heroism into something more intricate than yet another child living in the shadow of their father.