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Judging a book by its cover

by David Haber

We finally have images of the covers of the American and British versions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and if these covers are anything like previous Harry Potter book covers have been, these new covers potentially tell us a lot of what is going to happen in Book 7.

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Reader Comments: (Page 11)

there are so many questions you account for in this book. The ones that the cover allude to are simultaneously high and low in the pecking order. One thing that immediately sprang to mind is that kreacher is like an instant messenger service for harry. All harry has to say is kreacher's name and he is honour bound to serve him. You cannot apparate inside hogwarts unless you are a house elf. So if harry needed griffindors sword from hogwarts then the quickest way would be to send kreacher. I'd also wager that any anti apparition charm in situ in this treasure room would not negate the ability of house elfs because and i quote "they have their own brand of magic".

The english cover also made me ask the question what did Lily and James do to leave harry with so much money? It is a lingering half question which i think may have some significance.

Ron and hermione are wearing flashy robes? Could they have eloped? Certainly fits with mr and mrs weasley's marriage pattern which got a rowling-esque fleeting mention in previous book.

The arch coupled with the curtain in the american version definitely make compelling room connections. Orange sky? Either dusk or dawn. End or beginning. Probably both.

The whomping ow and the full moon on the british cover are obviously connected to werewolves specifically lupin. Probably a faceoff involving lupin seeking retribution from pettigrew. Pettigrew really seems to be lupins battle. Harry be present however because before pettigrew meets his no doubt grisly end he need to share the secret of lily and james' location so harry can find them. Thus fulfilling dumbledores prediction that harry some day be happy that he had spared pettigrew's life.

All in all i think that these covers are a veritable glut of information and teasers. To date i think it is probably the most revealing cover.

Roll on july!

Posted by Des from Korea on March 30, 2007 7:52 PM

The creature on the front of the armor looks like a snake with a beak, so I searched online and the closest I could find was on Wikipedia -- a atrice. We hear Hermione mention one in GOF when she says that one got loose at a Tri-wizard tournament, but that is all we have heard. The short definition is "a legendary monster with a ly glance, supposedly hatched by a serpent from the egg of a , and commonly represented with the head, legs, and wings of a and the body and tail of a serpent."

The atrice is very similar to the basilisk and sometimes they are considered the same creature, but obviously Rowling thinks they are two separate creatures because she names them both. IF the creature is a atrice, then Ron's foot could be covering the wing joint, leaving it unclear whether or not it has wings. Also very interesting... Wikipedia says "the weasel is the only animal that is immune to the glance of a atrice." Could this be what Ron is seeing that has him so scared? I hope not, the atrice is said to turn anyone who looks at it into stone!

I still don't know what would be so significant about a atrice though. There is a picture on Wikipedia.com of a atrice if you are interested.

Emilio, I agree with where the scar should be, but Mary Grandpre has never drawn it over the right eye. She has always placed it directly between his eyebrows or slightly above. She also usually shows Harry holding his wand with his left hand instead of his right and she shows Dumbledore's right hand in perfect health on the cover of HBP. I can't really see a scar there either, but I think that may have been on purpose. Maybe it isn't and we are supposed to think it is just hidden, or maybe it is there, but with all the speculation going on about the scar, she decided to hide it to leave us free to speculate.

Posted by Lisa from North Carolina on March 30, 2007 7:59 PM

Hey guys, if you look closely in on the reflection in harry's glasses, you can actually see another eye reflecting on the left lens. There also seems to be a jet of fire being reflected, so my guess would be its a dragon, with the whole gringotts angle, but then why does harry seem do interested and curious rather than scared like ron and hermione?

Posted by lily from india on March 31, 2007 03:26 AM

the curtain must be the set of curtain that was mentioned in the Order of The phoenix...the one in the ministry of magic where sirius black was ed...it must be the set of curtain separating this side and on the "other" side...where the are...lily potter, james potter and sirius black....thats just my conjecture

Posted by Vanessa on March 31, 2007 03:43 AM

i also can the see the face quite clearly on harrys pouch in the US cover, its wearing glasses, and it looks like its the face of a man. was it drawn on purpose or do you think its just for the fun of it?

Posted by moony from UAE on March 31, 2007 03:59 AM

It could be that in the US version Harry is trying to grab something, if you look at the curtain it looks like a cup, could it be that he is summoning some cup that aid him in some way?
If you look the left curtain is not in the shape of a cup and it hasn't been damaged or something...

Posted by Sa�o from Slovenia, Europe on March 31, 2007 04:02 AM

Lisa and Des, excellent points about the covers. I wonder though how much information the cover artists are being given. Rowling has been very careful to not allow too much to escape prior to the books' release dates for the past three book at least. Normally an author fills in some sort of Art Brief, giving suggested scenes and appearance details to the cover artist for the characters to be depicted. With illustrated books I think the artist gets a proof copy of the manuscript, but in this case I'm not entirely sure how much JKR would be prepared to reveal to the artist. Usually authors don't have to contend with hordes of fans waiting to pounce on each and every clue to dissect in grisly detail. She might not have told Grandpre about Dumbledore's hand.

A atrice would fit well - the egg of a ; clearly that is a violation of the natural order of things, and it certainly echoes the basilisk.

I'm wondering who owns the old Riddle house these days. At the start of GOF it is said to belong to a wealthy owner who keeps it for mysterious "tax reasons". Is the ownership significant? Voldemort uses it as a hideout; does he actually own it? Could a horcrux be hidden there?

Pettigrew with his silver hand has lots of possibilities. Could he take out Greyback to save Lupin and/or Harry and repay his that way? I definitely want someone to take out Greyback - he is just purely vile.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on March 31, 2007 05:53 AM

i do not think that it is a serpent on the sheild/armour, because of the beak and the (what looks like) feathers, from this i think of ravenclaw's symbol.
i also think that it dobby the house-elf who is behind harry not kreacher. dobby is a determined house-elf who is ing to do anything for harry!

Posted by shelley from S. Yorks, UK on March 31, 2007 07:16 AM

Des, from Korea - Ron & Hermione eloping to marry is an interesting thought. Could we be facing a teenage tragedy - Ron & Hermione link up at last, marry and then Ron meet his maker sooner rather than later (I still can't get over the look of absolute terror on Ron's face on the cover the UK children's edition)?

The speculation of the absence of the scar on Harry's head for the US edition. IF (big if) Harry's scar were to be a Horcrux it would have to be destroyed before Voldemort was truly mortal again. Perhaps, maybe the scene on the US cover is the final scene of battle, Harry no longer having the scar as what was encased in it having been destroyed. Long shot?

Posted by Orlando from England on March 31, 2007 07:46 AM

elizabeth good point about who owns the riddle house now, maybe its mollys cousin, the accountant?

Posted by emd from columbus ohio on March 31, 2007 10:52 AM

remember how Dumbledore wore the ring that was the horcrux? well if Harry is wearing the necklace like dumbledore wore the ring...maybe it symbolizes something? orlando... maybe the scar was gone because harry's protection with the dursleys was gone. maybe because the love has gone...that is what was protecting him...but what love could it be?

Posted by Jessica on March 31, 2007 11:06 AM

Good point about the Riddle House. If Dumbledore went to the Gaunt cottage he must have considered the Riddle house though as they are so close to each other... perhaps his portrait give Harry Details as to whether or not it should be searched.

The most common reason to explain to anyone in the public why something which seems to be unproductive is being done is 'for tax reasons'. I came to believe for a long time that Voldemort had purchased his family house and kept it.. perhaps as another trophy? It is a good deduction to bring in Molly's cousin the accountant, but that requires coincidence and somehow I really think that JKR would stick with the family connection. It is quite easy for someone with enough money to set up the maintence and management of real estate without even their name being easily discovered. That also fits Voldemort's penchant for secrecy...

Posted by Charlie Tarbox from Gettysburg, Pa on March 31, 2007 11:14 AM

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