The Tales of Beedle the Bard ★★★★★
Good morning, wonderful bookaholics! Shall we move on with the Potter binge? This time I bring you a fairly old, but really interesting, spin-off from the Harry Potter saga: The Tales of Beedle the Bard. And, unlike The Cursed Child, I have a very favourable opinion of it.
But let me elaborate.
This is a small collection of short stories which represent the fairy tales of the wizarding world. They were written by Beedle the Bard, translated from the original runic language by Hermione Granger, and annotated by Albus Dumbledore.
The cool thing about is that we don’t only get the original tales, we also get an insight into the magical world of Harry Potter throughout the historical facts that Dumbledore tells us in the footnotes and after each story. His remarks are both illuminating and hilarious—at times I could not help but laugh out loud at his remarks. One of my favourite passages comes from a footnote, when he says:
This prejudice eventually died in the face of overwhelming evidence that some of the world’s most brilliant wizards3. were, to use the phrase, ‘Muggle-lovers’.
3. Such as myself.
The main of the book is composed by five stories: “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot”, “The Fountain of Fair Fortune”, “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart”, “Habbity Rabbity and her Cackling Stump”, and “The Tale of the Three Brothers”. The main focus in all of them is transmitting the message that not everything can be solved by using magic, and that wizards face more or less the same problems as muggles in their ordinary lives.
Some of these stories are very rosy (like “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot”, where a grumpy, selfish wizard ends up following in his father’s footsteps by helping the muggle townspeople), whereas others are very dark (“The Warlock’s Hairy Heart” is not only disturbing, it’s also quite gory). My favourite one was “The Fountain of Fair Fortune”, since it’s the most fairy tale-like of them all, and also the most satisfying.
Also, if you have read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, you will probably be familiar with “The Tale of the Three Brothers”. That is the story that Xenophilus Lovegood told Harry, Hermione and Ron, and which is the basis for the existence of the Deathly hallows themselves. It also turns out that this story has received an official short film adaptation this week—head over here to watch it for free.
The coolest thing about it all is that the money gained from this book go to Lumos, a charity created by J.K. Rowling whose objective is to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds who are confined to an institution. So when you buy this book, you’re not only getting a very interesting funny and interesting story—you’re also helping children in need.
If you want to know more about Lumos, you can watch J.K. Rowling’s explanation of the problem she’s trying to solve.
All in all, I have to say that I love everything about The Tales of Beedle the Bard. If you haven’t read it yet, then go and do it—you won’t regret it!