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The Warlock's Hairy Heart

The third Beedle the Bard tale, The Warlock's Hairy Heart, about a Warlock who locks his heart away so he can't be hurt by love, deals with the important lessons of the dangers and unintended consequences of using magic to change yourself or other people, and the tragedy that can happen when magic is taken too far.

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Reader Comments:

OK, are you seeing the pattern yet? The first story deals with Wizards helping Muggles. The second story deals with Wizards and Muggles helping each other and intermarrying. Both things the pure-bloods, the -eaters, were against. Now we have a Warlock, which Dumbledore describes as a talented or powerful Wizard, locking his heart away. Sound like anybody we know?

Dumbledore himself acknowledges the similarity to what the Warlock does in this story and horcruxes, and even though the Warlock isn't aiming to achieve immortality, it's still as bad, separating something from yourself that shouldn't be separated.

The Warlock discounted the importance to people of love, and didn't Voldemort do that, too? He didn't love anyone, and no one loved him (his -eaters would say they did, but what they really did was fear him).

I wonder, what did young Tom Riddle think of this tale?

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on February 21, 2009 4:40 PM

If every story has a moral, what is the moral of The Warlocks Hairy Heart? Hate Something, Learn to Love it, and then it, and yourself?

Posted by Nyx on February 21, 2009 4:41 PM

Although they're very similar, I think this story has more of a lesson than a moral. It is a warning to Wizards, to think very carefully before they do magic, and consider the consequences. As Dumbledore quotes from Adalbert Waffling's Fundamental Laws of Magic:

Tamper with the deepest mysteries --
the source of life, the essence of self --
only if prepared for the consequences of
the most extremre and dnagerous kind.

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on February 21, 2009 4:49 PM

But, Nyx, the warlock didn't learn to love. That's the point. He faked it, and the maiden sensed that. He didn't love her at all.

Dave, I wonder if Voldemort ever read Beedle? He was brought up in a Muggle orphanage. Who would have read him these stories? Hermione and Harry, both brought up with Muggles, got through six years at Hogwarts without hearing of Beedle. I can't imagine Voldemort turning to children's tales. He would have considered them beneath him. In fact, I'm pretty sure Dumbledore says as much in the Kings' Cross chapter of DH.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on February 22, 2009 03:00 AM

He could have heard about them when he got to Hogwarts, but i think you're right, Elizabeth, Tom Riddle ever read Beedle. Would he perhaps have turned out different if he had?

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on February 22, 2009 07:23 AM

I think it might be the chicken and the egg, Dave. As Dumbledore said, if Voldemort had been able to understand the power of what Lily did, then he wouldn't have BEEN Voldemort. Might be like that with Beedle - if he'd been the sort of child who could enjoy those tales and keep them with him the way we remember the fairy tales our parents told us, then he might never have become Voldemort. I'm sure he was told the usual Muggle fairy tales and he probably despised those too, so even if he heard of Beedle at Hogwarts he would have dismissed them. Perhaps later on he might have known their contents, but it would have jarred so badly with his beliefs by then that he still would have dismissed them as weak and despicable.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on February 23, 2009 1:56 PM

Reminds me alot of Pirates of the Caribbean: Man's Chest, the way Davy Jones locks his heart away in a chest to stop the pain...

Posted by Zodac on February 23, 2009 2:16 PM

But of course there is a possibility that Voldemort did read Beedle the Bard, we know that when he'd found out he was a wizard and came to hogwarts was a very "happy" period in his life. So I can also imagine that he wanted to know what he had missed al those years he didn't knew.

But I guess we'll never know.

Posted by Jord from Groningen on February 25, 2009 07:51 AM

Voldy probably never read the tales. and even if he did, it wasn't the original as we already know that Dumbledore was the only one with the orignal and the others where rewritten and changed. all that voldy ever heard of was the elder wand...probably from some dark wizard somewhere.

Posted by Mrs. Prongs from Chesterfield, VA on March 3, 2009 08:02 AM

It gave me nightmares. I just don't thing it is a children's tale. A heart without an warm body or a body without a warm heart, both become cold and monsters.

Posted by Pamela Sue from Ark on March 3, 2009 09:46 AM

"A heart without an warm body or a body without a warm heart, both become cold and monsters."

I think that was the whole point of the story, Pamela Sue. It's meant to be a warning about not messing with this sort of thing. Warnings aren't usually meant to be pretty.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on March 4, 2009 6:29 PM

"Tamper with the deepest mysteries --
the source of life, the essence of self --
only if prepared for the consequences of
the most extremre and dnagerous kind."

Do you think that's part of the reason Dumbledore didn't tell Harry what was going on? He didn't want to try and manipulate at this level, so he just made sure the means and tools were there when Harry needed and understood them? I mean, look what happened when Voldemort tried to mess with the outcome of the prophecy. Dumbledore on the other hand, had the courage and wisdom to let things play out and trust in Harry's courage and integrity.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on March 25, 2009 01:58 AM

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