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"All the old kids' stories are supposed to be Beedle's, aren't they? The Fountain of Fair Fortune... The Wizard and the Hopping Pot... Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump..."
— Description of Tales of Beedle the Bard[src]

The Tales of Beedle the Bard was a collection of stories written for young wizards and witches by Beedle the Bard. It was published by Chelf Press and had original illustrations by Luxo Karuzos. They were popular bedtime stories for centuries, with the result being that The Wizard and the Hopping Pot and The Fountain of Fair Fortune were as familiar to many of the students at Hogwarts, as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty are to various Muggle children.


Hermione beedle 1

Hermione Granger reading The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Beedle's stories resembled Muggle fairy tales in many respects; for instance, virtue was usually rewarded and wickedness punished. However, there was one very obvious difference. In Muggle fairy tales, magic tended to lie at the root of the hero or heroine's troubles — the wicked witch had poisoned the apple, put the princess into a hundred years' sleep or turned the prince into a hideous beast.[3]

In The Tales of Beedle the Bard, on the other hand, we met heroes and heroines who could perform magic themselves, and yet find it just as hard to solve their problems as the Muggle heroes did. Beedle's stories had helped generations of wizarding parents to explain this painful fact of life to their young children: that magic caused as much trouble as it cured.[3]

Another notable difference between these fables and their Muggle counterparts was that Beedle's witches were much more active in seeking their fortunes than our fairy-tale heroines. Asha, Altheda, Amata and Babbitty Rabbity were all witches who took their fate into their own hands, rather than a prolonged nap or waiting for someone to return a lost shoe. The exception to this rule — the unnamed maiden of 'The Warlock's Hairy Heart' — acted more like a Muggle's idea of a storybook princess, but there was no happily ever after at the end of her tale.[3]

Most of these tales (with the exception of The Warlock's Hairy Heart) had been rewritten by Beatrix Bloxam and compiled into her book The Toadstool Tales, which had since been banned since it had a tendency to induce nausea and vomiting in the children who read, or had to listen to, them.[3]

In 2008, Minerva McGonagall permitted the publication of a new edition which featured a new translation of the stories from Ancient Runes by Hermione Granger, notes by Albus Dumbledore, and an introduction by J. K. Rowling.[3] A Hogwarts student purchased a copy of it around the 2010–2011 school year and bumped into Hermione herself afterwards, who admitted to being the translator of the book.[5]

The Tale of the Three Brothers[]

"That is a children's tale, told to amuse rather than to instruct. Those of us who understand these matters, however, recognise that the ancient story refers to three objects, or Hallows, which, if united, will make the possessor master of Death."
Xenophilius Lovegood[src]

The symbol of the Deathly Hallows. The vertical line represents the Elder Wand; the circle, the Resurrection Stone; the triangle, the Cloak of Invisibility

One story by Beedle was The Tale of the Three Brothers. This story was about brothers who met Death on the road and avoided his clutches; each in turn received a gift from him, although Death attempted to twist each boon into a bane.[3]

In 1998, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley came to hear the legend: The brothers came to a river which was too deep to wade across, and built a bridge using magic. Death appeared before them and congratulated them for their ingenuity, and offered each of them a reward (or so he said; his real intent was to give them traps which would be their undoing, because he felt cheated by their survival). The first brother asked for a weapon that would always win any battle, a weapon worthy of one who had cheated Death. Death snapped a twig off an elder tree and gave it to him — the Elder Wand. The second brother arrogantly wanted to humiliate Death further and asked for something to give him power to bring loved ones back from the grave. Death gave him a river stone, which, by the terms of the deal, became the Resurrection Stone. The third brother, however, did not trust Death, and asked for something that would allow him to continue on his way with Death being able to harm him. Death was trapped by his words, and handed over his own Cloak of Invisibility. The brothers continued on and went their separate ways.[2][3]

Time passed. The first brother provoked a duel with a wizard he disliked, left him for dead, and afterwards boasted of his unbeatable wand. He was killed that very night by someone who had heard his boasting, and wanted the wand. The second brother found misery when he brought his former lover back to life with the Resurrection Stone. She was cold and unhappy, as she didn't belong in the living world anymore. He ultimately committed suicide in order to truly join her. The third brother was able to hide from Death his entire life using the cloak. It was only when he finally reached a ripe old age did he finally remove the cloak and gave it to his son. He and Death finally "met as old friends", and departed as equals.[2][3]

The items mentioned in the tale became legendary artefacts known together as the Deathly Hallows. Ignotus Peverell and his two older brothers, Cadmus and Antioch were believed to be the original owners of the Hallows, and therefore the inspiration for the story. According to legend, if one joined the Hallows together, they would make the wielder extremely powerful, the "Master of Death". (Dumbledore later states that the true Master of Death is one who accepts that it is inevitable, in much the same way Ignotus did. Dumbledore was also the one to reveal finally that the three brothers were the Peverells, though he believes that the tale of how they received the items is a fabrication, which would naturally appear around such powerful items, and that the Peverells were simply talented wizards who created the items themselves.)[3]

Lord Voldemort sought the Elder Wand because he believed it would allow him to defeat Harry Potter. However, it was Harry himself who temporarily became the Master of Death, when he ultimately united all three artefacts.[6][7][8]

Other stories[]

Other tales included:

Behind the scenes[]

The Tales of Beedle the Bard WU

The book as seen in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

  • A real version was written by J. K. Rowling and seven copies were produced on the 1st of November 2007 - a copy for herself, five for her close friends, and one copy being auctioned for charity. A mainstream edition was published for the general public on the 4th December 2008, with all proceeds going to charity.
  • Though the real edition in question contains only five tales, as detailed earlier on this page, Rowling had initially intended there to be as many as thirty Tales of Beedle the Bard[9], before shrinking back before the daunting task of actually writing them. It is possible that this is still the case in-universe even though only five of the tales are available to us.
  • Antioch is also the name of the ancient town (in Phrygia, now southern Turkey) where the disciples of Jesus Christ were first dubbed "Christians".
  • Cadmus was also the name of the legendary Greek founder of Thebes. He introduced the alphabet to the Greeks.
  • Harry is surprised that Ron has heard of the book while Hermione has not; Hermione has to remind Ron that she and Harry were both raised by Muggles.
  • The Warlock's Hairy Heart is the darkest of the five stories within the book, and the only one that has not been censored from its original gruesome version.
  • Unlike her other spin-off works which were written under the name of one of the characters in the book, Rowling writes an in-universe introduction to the book (which ostensibly has been edited and translated by Hermione Granger). As such she establishes that J. K. Rowling also exists in the Potter universe.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the book did not appear to be written in ancient runes because when Hermione shows Harry the symbol of the Deathly Hallows on the introductory page of the book, the title and other information were shown to be in English.
    • On the other hand, in the iPad app for Harry Potter Film Wizardry, there is a behind the scenes look at Hermione's copy which shows that the book was in fact written in runes.


Notes and references[]

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 7 (The Will of Albus Dumbledore)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 21 (The Tale of the Three Brothers)
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 The Tales of Beedle the Bard (real)
  4. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, Side Quest "The Tale of Pumpkin Johnny"
  5. Harry Potter: Magic Awakened, Year 3, Companion: Hermione Granger
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 34 (The Forest Again)
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 35 (King's Cross)
  8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)
  9. PotterCast #130 - Interview with J. K. Rowling

See also[]

The Tales of Beedle the Bard
By Beedle the Bard
Tales of Beedle the Bard

Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump · The Fountain of Fair Fortune · The Warlock's Hairy Heart · The Tale of the Three Brothers · The Wizard and the Hopping Pot


Altheda · Amata · Amata's lover · Antioch Peverell · Antioch Peverell's enemy · Antioch Peverell's killer · Asha · Babbitty · Brigade of Witch-Hunters · Cadmus Peverell · Cadmus Peverell's fiancée · Captain of the Brigade of Witch-Hunters · Charlatan · Death · Evil sorcerer · Gigantic white worm · Ignotus Peverell · Ignotus Peverell's son · King · Maiden · Maiden's kinsfolk · Old man · Old man's donkey · Old man's family · Peasant woman · Peasant woman's granddaughter · Sabre · Sir Luckless · Warlock · Warlock's family · Warlock's friends · Wizard · Wizard's father · Young woman · Young woman's child


Altheda's potion · Altheda's wand · Cloak of Invisibility · Creepers · Crystal casket · Elder Wand · Fountain · Gold statue of Babbitty · Hairy Heart · The Hopping Pot · Poisonous toadstool · Poultice for warts · Resurrection Stone · Silver chalice


Altheda's home · Cadmus Peverell's house · Enchanted garden · Lonely, winding road · Never-ending hill · River