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The Rowling Magazine Issue #38 · February 2020

The Tales of Beedle the Bard Audiobook Announced

Belén Salituri

504 words

Audible has announced its latest project for the Wizarding World: the audiobook of The Tales of Beedle the Bard. The big piece of news? It is narrated by actors that participated in Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts productions.

Noma Dumezweni (the original Hermione in the London production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), and Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick) will unite to narrate the five stories of Tales of Beedle The Bard, all in support of Lumos. Jude Law, who portrays Albus Dumbledore in the Fantastic Beasts films will also participate, probably reading Dumbledore’s notes and comments on each story. The introduction from the author will be narrated by Sally Mortemore, the actress who plays Irma Pince, Hogwarts Librarian, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

“The Wizard and the Hopping Pot” will be read by Warwick Davis (Flitwick), “The Fountain of Fair Fortune” by Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart” by Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), “Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump” by Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), and the the most iconic of Beedle’s stories, “The Tale of the Three Brothers”, that will introduce listeners to the Deathly Hallows, will be read by Noma Dumezweni, who played Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, first in the London production, then in Broadway. It makes sense to be her who will be reading this story, since Hermione Granger shared it with Ron and Harry for the first time in the seventh book.

Most fans welcomed this news with happiness, since The Tales of Beedle the Bard was the only missing Wizarding World book without its own audiobook edition. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is available read by Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander) and Quidditch Through the Ages by Andrew Lincoln (the only star that sofar participated in a Wizarding World audiobook but not in any movie or stage play related to the franchise!). However, the happiness came with some criticism too. Some fans are saying that this is another attempt by Warner Bros. to keep pushing the films into the books, removing the barriers that were once between them in marketing aspects. Remember that the Harry Potter books are not allowed to put any film reference in their marketing: that’s why we haven’t seen a tie-in edition with Daniel Radcliffe on the covers, for example. Could this be different in a few years?

The Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts stars participating in the audiobooks could be another step toward this – remember that a few months ago the logo for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child changed to be the same logo used in the films, so the idea of unifying the brand (books, films and theatre) is already a reality, only time will tell what the limits are and if in the future, films and books of Harry Potter will be marketed in the same way. Let’s hope not, for the sanity of the vintage fans.

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