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 Wizard and the Hopping Pot
This one was my least favourite. It was too short for me to really get to enjoy it. I wanted more detail. It is a fairy tale, so I knew not to expect something really long, but not that short! The commentary was a lot better. Being the Harry Potter nerd that I am, I found the history of parts of the wizarding world really interesting. I also like the little details Rowling puts in there, like Brutus Malfoy being anti-Muggle.
The Fountain of Fair Fortune
This one was probably my favourite. I liked how the magic wasn’t what made it end in happily ever after. There was sort of a Muggle moral. I loved how they could all be happy without magic. Each one of them had a problem, and they were all fixed, and they lived happily ever after. Hooray! The illustrations in this one was so pretty. The commentary wasn’t that interesting though. The story of the chaotic pantomime was funny, but I liked the commentary in the first story better.
The Warlock’s Hairy Heart
This one was just plain gross! I’m not entirely sure how it would’ve worked, even with Dark magic. How could he live without a heart for so long, but then all of a sudden die when he tries to take it out the second time? I know, I’m being picky about quite a weird thing, but it confused me! Other than that, I really liked this one, in that creepy way of mine. I like crazy people, and he was definitely crazy enough for me. The commentary wasn’t very exciting. I expected a lot more criticism for something so violent and gross. Obviously they only like to criticise stories with Muggles in them…
Babbitty Rabbity and the Cackling Stump
I don’t think that ‘foolish king’ was as much of an idiot as they seemed to think he was. Giving away all that money was a bit dumb, but believing in the ‘wand’ (twig) and ‘spells’ (yelling random words) made complete sense for someone who knew barely anything about magic. I liked Babbitty. She was clever, and like it said in the introduction, a woman who stood up for herself. Every other fairytale girl would be killed in that situation. Transforming was a brilliant idea. The commentary was interesting, talking about the laws of being an Animagus. I think I subconsciously knew the difference between that and being Transfigured, but it was good to have it officially pointed out. This one might be my favourite. Maybe second to the Fountain of Fair Fortune. It’s so hard to choose!
Tale of Three Brothers
Well, we all know this story already from the Deathly Hallows. But it was still nice to re-read it, and be reminded of it. It was the commentary that was really interesting. First of all, like it said in the introduction, Dumbledore didn’t mention a lot of the stuff he knew about the true three objects. I don’t know if that’s because Rowling didn’t want to spoil it for us, or if Dumbledore was trying to hide what he knew. I liked reading about the possible history of the Elder Wand. It’s odd how many people believed they had it. I wonder how many claimed to when they didn’t? And no witches had it! That’s really odd. This story had the most messages in it I think. Like if I had to study one, or write an essay on one, this would be the one I’d choose.
If I wasn’t a massive Harry Potter fan, I probably wouldn’t enjoy this as much as I did. There were bits I didn’t like that much, but most of it I loved. If you want to read this, make sure you read the Deathly Hallows first. They don’t spoil that book, but they come close. And it makes a lot more sense if you know what happened in that final book. It’s great for when you’re suffering from Harry Potter withdrawal (which is always!) but don’t want to re-read the entire series.