The Tales of Beedle the Bard

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The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Beedle cover 7083.jpg
Written by: J. K. Rowling
Central Theme:
Genre(s): Fantasy
Series: Harry Potter
First published: December 4, 2008
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A collection of Fairy Tales that exist in the Potter Verse and which describe the eponymous Mac Guffins of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows. After Deathly Hallows, J. K. Rowling gave Beedle The Bard the Defictionalization treatment. Published in 2008.

The tales are as follows:

The tales are interspersed with commentary by Albus Dumbledore. JK Rowling herself said that The Pardoner's Tale may have provided inspiration for "The Tale of the Three Brothers."

Tropes used in The Tales of Beedle the Bard include:
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: "The Warlock's Hairy Heart" states that many witches were attracted by the warlock's "haughty mien" and fantasized about conquering it.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Dumbledore's commentary occasionally treads into this territory.
  • Anvilicious: Invoked. The Tales of Beedle The Bard were essentially the wizarding equivalents of Aesop's Fables.
  • Asshole Victim: Loxias, according to Dumbledore's notes on The Three Brothers. Even his own mother clamed to have killed him.
  • Beat Still My Heart
  • Be Careful What You Wish For
  • Darker and Edgier: The Warlock's Hairy Heart compared to the other stories in the book. Lampshaded in Dumbledore's commentary.
  • Defictionalization
  • Disneyfication: Spoofed: In one of Dumbledore's commentaries he describes how a Beatrix Bloxam republished Beedle's tales, taking them to ridiculous heights of Tasting Like Diabetes - her wizarding card in one of the video games even says her book was banned for inducing vomiting. He later explains that this happened after she was horrified by "The Warlock's Hairy Heart", which incidentally she was never able to "sweeten" to her satisfaction. All this, and the fact that kids hated the Bloxam versions, might very well be a Take That against the many real-life Moral Guardians who worried that Harry Potter was traumatizing children.
  • Fantastic Aesop: What this book is comprised of.
  • Fictional Document
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The three brothers, or more precisely Death's gifts to them, fall under each of the three archetypes: The Elder Wand, being unbeatable and giving its owner lots of raw power, falls under the fighter archetype; the Resurrection Stone, being preternatural even by wizarding standards, falls under (the wizard equivalent of) the mage archetype; the Invisibility Cloak, naturally, falls under the thief archetype.
  • Footnote Fever
  • Friendly Enemy: "The Tale of the Three Brothers" ends with the youngest brother voluntarily dying after evading Death with the cloak of invisibility after years and years. They had apparently arrived at something resembling friendship at that point.
  • The Grim Reaper
  • It's the Journey That Counts: The Fountain of Fair Fortune.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis
  • Magic Feather: The Fountain of Fair Fortune
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: At the end of "The Fountain of Fair Fortune." Lucius Malfoy apparently did not approve.
  • Misaimed Fandom: In-universe. "The Tale of the Three Brothers" is a story about the futility of beating Death, but many wizards who heard the story figured they could do just that if that had all three Hallows.
    • Dumbledores bemoaning over the continued folly of wizards to seek to defeat death and his observation that "humans have a knack for choosing precisely the things that are worst for them" all take a serious tint of Heroic Self-Deprecation when you remember that he's guilty of every single one of those things, and knows it all too well .
    • Voldemort takes it a step further: having never heard "The Tale of the Three Brothers" in the first place due to his Muggle upbringing, he has no idea of the true significance of the Elder Wand (or that it's part of a set) - he just wants it because he believes it will make him invincible.
  • Moral Guardians: Besides Beatrix Bloxam's revisions mentioned above, Dumbledore notes that some tales got rewrites because they were deemed too pro-Muggle. Specifically, he explains that the Hopping Pot went from causing trouble for the mean wizard to swallowing threatening Muggles until they left the nice wizard alone.
    • Even this probably qualified as too pro-Muggle for some of the more... radical members of the wizarding community (hey, the Muggles are all still alive at the end.)
  • Nightmare Fuel: "The Warlock's Hairy Heart" is an In-Universe example (Dumbledore points out many parents only read it when the children are grown).
  • The Problem with Fighting Death: "The Tale of the Three Brothers"
  • Riding Into the Sunset: The wizard and the hopping pot do this at the happy ending of their story, when the wizard learns his lesson.
  • Romance on the Set: In the commentary for The Fountain of Fair Fortune, Dumbledore mentions the unfortunate casting choices in a theatrical version of the aforementioned story - the students playing "Amata" and "Sir Luckless" had been dating until "one hour before the curtain rose," at which point "Sir Luckless" dumped "Amata" for the girl who was playing "Asha."
  • School Play: In one of his commentaries, Dumbledore describes how Hogwarts once had a disastrous production of "The Fountain of Fair Fortune." The disastrous results prompted a ban on all theatrical productions at Hogwarts.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: The ending of "The Fountain of Fair Fortune" - the third witch, whose heart had been broken, moves past her disastrous first love and comes to love the Muggle Sir Luckless.
  • Sophisticated As Hell: In the commentary on "Babbitty Rabbitty", Dumbledore quotes A Study into the Possibility of Reversing the Actual and Metaphysical Effects of Natural Death, with Particular Regard to the Reintegration of Essence and Matter:

"Give it up. It's never going to happen."

  • Take That: In-Universe, at the end of the commentary for the Fountain of Fair Fortune: "This exchange marked the beginning of Mr. Malfoy's long campagin to have me removed from my post as headmaster of Hogwarts, and mine to have him removed from his position as Lord Voldemort's Favorite Death Eater."
    • The whole last page and a half of the commentary would suffice, including the last footnote.
      • Plus, in the commentary on "The Tale of the Three Brothers", Dumbledore delivers one to those scholars who make up BS about past authors and their works for their Piled High and Deep.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Dumbledore's notes on the Tale of the Three Brothers contradict or omit some things we know he knew about the Hallows. This is lampshaded by the very Prologue of the book, which more or less tells you to make your own opinion as to why Dumbledore acted that way.
  • Women Are Wiser: "No witch in history has ever claimed to own the Elder Wand. Make of that what you will." The implication being, of course, that women are too smart either to want the wand or to advertise that they have it.
  • Youngest Child Wins: "The Tale of the Three Brothers".