Title: The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Series Title: Hogwarts Library
Author: J.K. Rowling
Genre: Mid-Grade/Young Adult, Fantasy
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 28, 2016
Date Completed: August 5, 2016
“The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Wizarding classic, first came to Muggle readers’ attention in the book known as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now, thanks to Hermione Granger’s new translation from the ancient runes, we present this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by J. K. Rowling, and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore. Never before have Muggles been privy to these richly imaginative tales: “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,” “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart,” “Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump,” and of course, “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” But not only are they the equal of fairy tales we now know and love, reading them gives new insight into the world of Harry Potter.”
The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a collection of short wizard “fairy tales” from the Harry Potter universe, a few of which are mentioned by name in the books and the movies. It was a quick, light read of stories meant for wizard children that would certain delight those (and adults) in the muggle world. After each one is an afterword by Professor Albus Dumbledore that gives some insight to how the tale was received in addition to highlighting the lessons that can be taken from it.
The author performs something similar to what GRRM does with his World of Ice and Fire in that Beedle is said to be “translated” by the illustrious Hermione Granger, but gathered by Ms. Rowling herself. It’s a nice little instance of not breaking character in order to keep these stories firmly rooted in the wizarding world. The lessons in them are not dissimilar to ones found in traditional fairy tales.
While I didn’t find the majority of them overtly spectacular, “The Tale of the Three Brothers,” which is my favorite, gives the collection a significant boost. It is fitting that Hermione is the “translator” as it was her reading in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that drew me to the tale at the start.
The reading itself, sepulchral undercurrent, and grim animation style are chill inducing and lend the perfect dark ambience to the telling of the tale. Though the “Three Brothers” story is arguably not the darkest one Beedle boasts. “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart,” despite it’s slightly silly title , is a contender for the title.
Without “The Tale of the Three Brothers” I would’ve given this short compendium a one star less rating than I did, but because it’s a story that combines simplicity with darkness and warning, it elevates the entire book.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a nice foray back into the world of Harry Potter even if most of the stories aren’t overly memorable and the one that manages to be is greatly bolstered by its eerie but fantastic portrayal in the films.