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The Tale of the Three Brothers



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  #1  
Old December 4th, 2008, 10:02 pm
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The Tale of the Three Brothers

The fifth and final installment of Beedle the Bard's tales is "The Tale of the Three Brothers." We all know of Antioch, Cadmus, and Ignotus' feuds with Death, so I shall not reiterate.

Feel free to discuss any aspect of the story, as well as information we gleaned from Dumbledore: discussion of the Deathly Hallows, more information on his own character, knowledge about Necromancy, etc.


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  #2  
Old December 5th, 2008, 12:37 am
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Re: The Tale of the Three Brothers

there is an interesting footnote from Jo on the second last page (104). It reads:

"No witch has ever claimed to own the Elder Wand. Make of that what you will."

What do you think Jo is implying here?

It either means that a witch did own the wand and did not brag about it, or no witch has ever owned it. Is Jo implying that women are smarter than men because they do not seek the trouble that comes with the Elder Wand? Or does she mean that women are not power-hungry and would therefore not seek the wand? I'd like to think it was the former...


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Old December 5th, 2008, 4:16 pm
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Re: The Tale of the Three Brothers

I do not believe that was a statement by JKR. All of her footnotes were contained in brackets and ended with "-JKR." Thus, I believe Dumbledore himself said, "No witch has ever claimed to own the Elder Wand. Make of that what you will."

However, I would say this statement references the belief that men are oftentimes more tempted by power and control and enjoy boasting about it than women. I do not necessarily agree with this, but it is a popular stereotype. Even in DH, Hermione scorns wizards specifically (though we do know "wizards" also embodies both genders) for boasting of their "unbeatable wand." I would say it is plausible for a woman to have possessed the Elder Wand (Dumbledore said Loxias's mother claimed to have murdered him, so it is not foolhardy to believe a woman would have won the wand's allegiance), but, along another stereotype, she would not have boasted openly/drawn attention.


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Old December 5th, 2008, 10:13 pm
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Re: The Tale of the Three Brothers

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Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
"No witch has ever claimed to own the Elder Wand. Make of that what you will."

What do you think Jo is implying here?

It either means that a witch did own the wand and did not brag about it, or no witch has ever owned it. Is Jo implying that women are smarter than men because they do not seek the trouble that comes with the Elder Wand? Or does she mean that women are not power-hungry and would therefore not seek the wand? I'd like to think it was the former...
I think she deliberately did not give her own, or Dumbledore’s, interpretation. ‘Make of that what you will’!
Feminism is not a strong point in HP. Bellatrix and Dolores are examples that women do want power in the Potterverse, still both, like McGonagall, seemed quite content to leave the top position to a man.
‘Some wizards always like to boast that their’s is bigger and better than everybody else’s.’ (DH) was a nice double entendre and that would have been ruined if you include witches : IMO that was why JKR left the Elder Wand to wizards.


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Old December 5th, 2008, 11:18 pm
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Re: The Tale of the Three Brothers

I personally would think that it would either be that they wouldn't boast about it and women can be as powerful as men, but those who boast about it tend to end badly. And maybe that men are the ones who are more power hungry


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Old December 5th, 2008, 11:41 pm
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Re: The Tale of the Three Brothers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
there is an interesting footnote from Jo on the second last page (104). It reads:

"No witch has ever claimed to own the Elder Wand. Make of that what you will."

What do you think Jo is implying here?

It either means that a witch did own the wand and did not brag about it, or no witch has ever owned it. Is Jo implying that women are smarter than men because they do not seek the trouble that comes with the Elder Wand? Or does she mean that women are not power-hungry and would therefore not seek the wand? I'd like to think it was the former...
My answer to that is "Make of that what you will"
You can add to that one that maybe it meant that maybe women knew better than to have the Wand and make it known, boasting about it.

I took as a snarky/witty/funny comment on Dumbledore's part, maybe as a "we know better".
(Mostly because, when the footnote was placed, he was calling out previous owners about claiming to have had an 'unbeatable" wand when it had pass through God knows how many hands. ) But old, smart Dumbledore knew better than to get into it, so he leave at that. I do think he had made of his mind about it.


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Old December 7th, 2008, 12:39 am
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Re: The Tale of the Three Brothers

I would have liked to have known more about Grumble the Gurdy Goat.


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Old December 7th, 2008, 12:39 am
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Re: The Tale of the Three Brothers

same here. I really wish that it would be in the book


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Old December 7th, 2008, 2:00 am
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Re: The Tale of the Three Brothers

I think that may have been Dumbledore's note.


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Old December 7th, 2008, 6:10 pm
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Re: The Tale of the Three Brothers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Murzim View Post
I think she deliberately did not give her own, or Dumbledore’s, interpretation. ‘Make of that what you will’!
While you're technically right, of course, I think this footnote became somewhat stronger through the circumstance that it was one of Dumbledore's. I don't read the 'make of that what you will' as free choice but as a statement actually including an obviously intended answer by the author. I got the impression she wants us to think that women indeed do not react to such a longing - technically there are many other interpretations still open just as well, though.


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Old December 7th, 2008, 8:45 pm
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Re: The Tale of the Three Brothers

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Originally Posted by xhanax315 View Post
I would have liked to have known more about Grumble the Gurdy Goat.
Let's start baggering all charity organisations to ask Jo to donate it :

Quote:
Originally Posted by gertiekeddle View Post
While you're technically right, of course, I think this footnote became somewhat stronger through the circumstance that it was one of Dumbledore's. I don't read the 'make of that what you will' as free choice but as a statement actually including an obviously intended answer by the author. I got the impression she wants us to think that women indeed do not react to such a longing - technically there are many other interpretations still open just as well, though.
I agree it indicates that Dumbledore has an answer (he used that 'think for your self' many times with Harry'), but he doesn't say 'No woman ever had the wand, just 'No woman ever boasted about it.'
Let's assume that Dumbledore's idea of women was greatly influenced by his mother (amateur psychology ): She was strong, proud and he learned secrecy at her knees [DH]. So why should he, who kept his possession of the wand a secret, not think that was the 'femal way': Secret power! ?


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Old December 7th, 2008, 10:07 pm
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Re: The Tale of the Three Brothers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Murzim View Post
Let's assume that Dumbledore's idea of women was greatly influenced by his mother (amateur psychology ): She was strong, proud and he learned secrecy at her knees [DH]. So why should he, who kept his possession of the wand a secret, not think that was the 'femal way': Secret power! ?
For sure it's possible. As I said above, technically there are many options. I just understood the term as something set already, but not as open to interpretation as it technically is. That's my interpretation only, though.


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Old December 8th, 2008, 3:00 am
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Re: The Tale of the Three Brothers

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Originally Posted by Voldemorts8thHorcrux View Post
same here. I really wish that it would be in the book
Oh, so do I! There was nothing I wanted to read more, but I imagine that JKR would have had to make it entirely boring and silly, in order for it to fit Dumbledore's reading of it as "gathering flies"!! And for such a talented writer, I don't think even she could do that! Grumbly sounds great though!

I loved the story too. It was short enough that it took two minutes to read (again.. , remembering the last time I read it..) but it was amazing enough that I re read it three times. I just think the language used in it is brilliant. I was just.. ... by it.


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Old December 11th, 2008, 2:28 am
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Re: The Tale of the Three Brothers

I wasn't as excited about this one because we'd heard it before, but I do think that it is the best written of the collection.


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Old December 22nd, 2008, 4:24 pm
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Re: The Tale of the Three Brothers

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Originally Posted by vampiricduck View Post
I loved the story too. It was short enough that it took two minutes to read (again.. , remembering the last time I read it..) but it was amazing enough that I re read it three times. I just think the language used in it is brilliant. I was just.. ... by it.
I read it once, then I read it again. It was just amazing! The words she used... and the pictures, and the feeling of reading something new by Jo again... it was fantastic. This story was the best of the entire book, or so I think. I loved hearing about how the youngest brother was the most wise, and it made me wonder if Dumbledore would have chosen the same... but he said he wouldn't. I guess everyone has flaws, right?

I have a 7 year old cousin who I'm dying to read this book too. She read the first four Harry Potter books and loved them, but when she started waking up in the middle of the night screaming about dementors and giant snakes, my aunt and uncle decided to wait till she was older to read the rest. But I'm sure they wouldn't mind these little bedtime stories. Though I probably won't tell her the one about the Hairy Heart...

Quote:
Originally Posted by xhanax315 View Post
I would have liked to have known more about Grumble the Gurdy Goat.
I very much agree. Aberforth is so funny and Dumbledore was so deep.


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Old December 31st, 2008, 7:46 am
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Re: The Tale of the Three Brothers

Well, he meant for us to make of it what we will. Duh! Isn't that what we're doing here?

I took this comment, on my first reading (before I decided to come on the forums and overanalyze to my heart's content) to mean that Dumbledore was making a wry comment about women's uses of power and secrecy. I know it's a bit of a stereotype that women do not boast as much as men, or lust after power is such conspicuous ways, but I do think there's an element of truth is that line of thought. I'm not sure that this is so much an element of human nature as a product of the ways in which women have been compelled to pursue power over the centuries in which they were characterized as the "weaker vessel": covertly and with subtle manipulation rather than overt command and bullying. Although witches seem to have had more rights than their Muggle counterparts at the same times in history, witches too might have found it necessary to be more subtle in their pursuit of power. Subtlety, as you may be aware, does not involve shouting to all and sundry that you own a legendary and all-powerful wand.

Alternatively, this comment could be construed to mean that witches are too intelligent to yield to the temptation of owning such an object as the Elder Wand. My instinctive answer to this is that yes, most women would not be tempted by such as object, but I really can't think of a rationalization for this and I think that women are just as power-hungry and afraid of death as are men.

Or,as GinnyisGenius posited, Dumbeldore could be commenting on his own secrecy.

Or, knowing Dumbledore, he had all of these thoughts in mind and was simply trying to get us pondering.

Make of this what you will.


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Old December 31st, 2008, 4:58 pm
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Re: The Tale of the Three Brothers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Murzim View Post
‘Some wizards always like to boast that their’s is bigger and better than everybody else’s.’ (DH) was a nice double entendre and that would have been ruined if you include witches : IMO that was why JKR left the Elder Wand to wizards.
LOL! Wow, that's a bit risque for HP. I didn't catch that reading the book, I'll have to go back and look.


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Old January 1st, 2009, 10:06 pm
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Re: The Tale of the Three Brothers

This story is my second favorite, I think. I like it because of its connection to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but I also like it because it has a very mystical feel about it. The most intriguing thing is brought to light in Dumbledore's commentary where he speculates that the story is a coded message for those who believe the Deathly Hallows were real objects (which we know they are), and that the message of the story - that one should make friends with Death because it is inevitable - is actually the opposite of the real message, is quite interesting. I could see how wizards/witches might have been tempted to find and possess these three powerful magical objects.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
there is an interesting footnote from Jo on the second last page (104). It reads:

"No witch has ever claimed to own the Elder Wand. Make of that what you will."

What do you think Jo is implying here?

It either means that a witch did own the wand and did not brag about it, or no witch has ever owned it. Is Jo implying that women are smarter than men because they do not seek the trouble that comes with the Elder Wand? Or does she mean that women are not power-hungry and would therefore not seek the wand? I'd like to think it was the former...
I was interested in that quote too when I read it. I don't think JKR was actually making any implications with that statement. Instead, I think she was leaving it up to the readers' interpretation. As to my own interpretation - I'm not sure. The options presented above are plausible. Another option is that the history of women owning the Elder Wand was simply not recorded (especially if such a history was written by men).


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Old June 1st, 2009, 10:34 am
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Re: The Tale of the Three Brothers

This story made me very sad initially. I remembered Hermione's narration of the tale with Ron's constant interruptions. And the following exchange :

"And Death spoke to them........."
"Sorry, but Death spoke to them?"
"It's a fairy tale, Harry!"


I also loved the brilliant irony in this story that Dumbledore brings up. The whole moral of this tale is that Death is undeafeatable so don't bother trying to put one over him because you will fail. And yet readers think that the message in this tale is the exact opposite. Possess all the three objects and you will be the master of death.

Humans


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Old November 25th, 2009, 5:48 am
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Re: The Tale of the Three Brothers

Death must have been pretty busy guy. The 3 brothers could have been the only wizards trying to cross that river or any other death defying situation in which wizards or witches used magic to save a life. Then he (Death) would have appeared and claimed you cheated him out of souls. There must have been other situations in HP universe in which Death did not appear,i.e., when Harry (while playing quidditch)fell out of the sky and Dumbledore saved him in PoA.

I guess the three bros just had it coming...


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