"There were once three brothers who were travelling along a lonely, winding road at twilight—"
“The Tale of the Three Brothers” is one of the stories in the book “Tales of Beedle the Bard“, which was left to Hermione by Albus Dumbledore in his will (DH7), and is the original source of the Deathly Hallows legend (DH21).
Three brothers use magic to cheat death. Death appears and offers them each one magical item. The choices of the older two brothers lead to their undoing and early deaths, while the youngest brother chooses wisely and lives to a ripe old age.
- eldest son
- middle son
- youngest and wisest son
Items and other details:
- the 'elder wand'
- the 'cloak of invisibility'
- the 'resurrection stone'
A probable source of influence for this story is The Pardoner's Tale from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. The Pardoner's Tale is about three young men who set out to kill Death (source: "The Pardoner's Tale"). The Squire's Tale, with its plot involving three siblings and powerful magical gifts from a mysterious stranger, may also be an influence (source: "The Squire's Tale").-BB