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The final of the Beedle tales, the Tale of the Three Brothers is the crux of the entire final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, as it the origin of the legend of the three deathly hallows, the indestructable Invisibilty Cloak, the Resurrection Stone, and the Elder Wand.
|Title||The Tale of the Three Brothers|
|Part of Collection||The Tales of Beedle the Bard|
|Published Date||December 2008|
|Referenced in Books||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows|
|Referenced in Movies||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1|
The Tale of the Three Brothers holds a position of prominence within The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a revered collection of wizarding fairy tales by J.K. Rowling. First published in December 2008, this anthology has established itself as a fundamental component of the rich tapestry of wizarding folklore. “The Tale of the Three Brothers” is particularly integral to the Harry Potter series, making a notable appearance in the seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and is vividly brought to life in the corresponding film adaptation.
The story begins with three brothers who, while traveling together, encounter a river too treacherous to pass. Using their magic, they conjure a bridge to cross. Upon reaching the middle of the bridge, they meet Death, who is upset for being cheated of three potential victims. Appearing as a humble old man, Death cunningly congratulates them and offers each brother a gift of their choosing as a reward for their powerful magic.
The eldest brother asks for the most powerful wand ever made, so Death crafts him one from an elder tree nearby. The middle brother, who is filled with sorrow over a lost love, asks for the power to bring the dead back to life. Death gives him a resurrection stone. The youngest brother, who is more humble and wise, doesn’t trust Death and asks for something that will allow him to leave without being followed by Death. Reluctantly, Death hands over his own invisibility cloak.
Soon after, the eldest brother boasts about his powerful wand and gets murdered in his sleep, and the wand is stolen. The middle brother uses the resurrection stone to bring back his lost love, but she is sad and distant in the mortal world, leading him to take his own life in despair. The youngest brother, however, lives a full and happy life, and only when he is old and satisfied does he greet Death as an old friend, going with him willingly and as equals.
The story symbolizes the theme of mortality and the acceptance of death. Each brother’s choice reflects different attitudes towards death, with the youngest brother’s choice being celebrated for its wisdom and humility, as he chooses to live a meaningful life without fearing or defying death.