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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 18)

There IS a scar on the American version, it just isn't that clear. I know people have said that before, but some people keep saying he hasn't got a scar in that picture, but he has. If you look closely you can see it - it's a different kind of line and colour to his hair.

I'd like to point out that when we look at the zoomed-in version, it's much closer than we'd actually see it on the cover, so we might be reading too much into this.

Posted by Fawkes on April 4, 2007 09:46 AM

I am starting to think that maybe some the objects, on the UK cover, belong to the founders of Hogwarts. The dragon's helmet, could be Slytherin's. I know he already has a locket, but did JK say that they all only have one special object?
The shield maybe Gryffindor's. I know many people may disagree, but that is what I think. I don't think they are in Gringott's but they are probably in a place we haven't read about yet.

Posted by Tasmeeah from London on April 4, 2007 10:58 AM

Another possibility of why Ron and Hermoine have dress robes and Harry doesn't is because, maybe Ron and Hermoine were in the wedding. For example, maybe Ron was the one of the Best Men. And Hermoine had some other significant part.

Fawkes: Since when has JK described Harry's scar to be in the middle of his forehead. I always thought that it was above his right eye.

Posted by Kyle from Kearney, Ne on April 4, 2007 12:41 PM

glorfindel from aberdeen uk-

i really like your idea of the golden-skied image being behind the veil. it would make a lot of sense for harry to have natural allies in the , and voldemort to have just as many enemies. it would fit in very nicely with the look of calm (almost happiness?) on harry's face, and the hiding/dread on voldemort's.
the question then, is how did voldemort get behind the veil? was there a battle going on in the dept of mysteries again? did harry push him, and then choose to follow? that would be an interesting move: 'and harry stepped though the veil, into the shaddows and the whispering.' ingly accepting his for the good of others....i like that. and it seems very rowlingesque...

Posted by sarah from boston, MA on April 4, 2007 3:00 PM

I don't think that it is Kreacher is holding the sword, because of the way that he thinks of Harry. I personally think that it is Dobby, because he would want to protect Harry and do anything for him.

Posted by Kylazygurl from Evarts Kentucky on April 4, 2007 3:13 PM

This is a random thought, but can Harry just say "Accio Horcrux" and find them that way, esp if he can visualize the ones he knows about (cup, locket, Nagini)?

Posted by Erin from Baltimore on April 4, 2007 5:06 PM

Two thoughts on that:

I don't think Accio has an unlimited range, I'd think you'd have to have some sort of general idea where it was first.

Also, I'm not so sure that Accio would work at all unless you could visualize the exact location of what you're accioing. I seriously doubt Accio is good for something that's lost or hidden.

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on April 4, 2007 6:21 PM

Harry could NOT simply Summon the Horcruxes. He tried that in HBP with the locket, remember? All that happened was he woke up the Inferi. He and Dumbledore still had to go through all the obstacles, but it would be "the simplest way to find out what he's dealing with."
But if you mean for him to actually lay his hands on a Horcrux by Summoning it, that isn't possible. Voldemort's protections would have prevented that, just like it prevented Harry from Summoning the locket.

Posted by Ashley from Missouri on April 4, 2007 6:24 PM

American cover and Harry's scar - As I type this I am looking at the American cover for HBP. If anyone has it, take a look at it. You find that Harry's scar is almost impossible to see and may or may not actually be there. What I am trying to say is that is simply Mary's style of art. Just because you can't see it. That doesn't mean it isn't there.

Now, take a look at the American cover of OOTP. You can see the scar there, but it is not very distinct. The important thing is that it is in the "center" of his forhead. Just because the books put the scar over his eye, that doesn't mean the artist does.

So, is there a scar on Harry's forhead on the cover of DH. Without a doubt!

Now that we have that all cleared up, there should be any doubt in anyone's mind.

As for all of the faces that people are seeing. Have any of the past covers had hidden faces in them? Not that I know of. I am convinced that people are simply seeing things that were never painted. Imagination is the greatest magic of all time. But sometimes it can lead us astray. I see faces in tree bark all the time. That doesn't mean they were put there to give me clues about what is going to happen in my life. It just means that I have an active imagination.

We have now concluded that there is a scar and that there are no faces. Maybe we can now focus on the clues that actually "were" put in the artwork. Like the suit of armor, the house elf, the sword, the curtains, the rubies and so one. Oh, and the background that looks like something burning. Is it outside with an orange sky? Is it inside and on fire? Is it an enchanted ceiling to look like that sky? Lots and lots of clues. I can't wait to see if my theories turn out to be correct.

Posted by Michael Brinkley from Oceanside CA on April 4, 2007 8:59 PM

Wow, okay, I know you get it a million times a day, but once again, to a true master of the clues, Great job Dave.

I saw the cover of the British version and I noticed a couple of things, I won't go as far as to say the house elf may be attacking Harry, but the sword is brandished over his head, and at the coloring of the house elf, and the fact that Harry is falling. It could have been very possible that the house elf may have jumped onto his back, perhaps kreacher trying to dissuade him forcefully of grabbing a horcrux? Now, time to contradict my theory.
If you look closely at the coloring near the bottom of Harry's body... and the Door/Archway(possible time warp/hole) it almost looks as if he is phased through. Now if you pay attention to the stances of the other two characters, leaving out the house elf... Hermione is looking as if she's being pulled away from something, or as if she couldn't grab something in time of being pulled out. Her robe arms are being filled with air, and the back is lifting as though there is air pressure coming from some direction, possibly the archway. This is the same for Ron, except he looks freaked out (about something I think momentarily) and he is falling backwards. Of course as one of the previous posts said, Harry looks if he's reaching out at the last second. This I have absolutely no clue to what it may be exactly, other than the silver gem encrusted statue he might be looking at.

Lastly, if you look at the silver plate armour under Ron's foot, you see the reflection of what looks like a long vulture head almost. Even behind that though, all along the armour, there are scales...which could mean Nagini is very well a part of this scene. Other than that, my best guess would be a Dragon, but the only thing I know for sure is that i've layed way too many knight meval games to know, that the particular set there.. isn't made with scales, and it is definitely a reflection.

Posted by Travis from Holly Hill on April 4, 2007 10:36 PM

Ashley: good remark. Obviously, Jo made some rules to avoid that kind of situation, and there are things you can't do by just using magics, like preparing the meals for dinner.

Coming back to US cover, I think the most relevant is what they do with their hands. It reminds me of the prophecy: "either has to at the hand of the other". We can't know what Harry does with his hands, but clearly, he's preparing the destruction of the Dark Lord.

I still think it has to do with (invisible) dementors.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on April 4, 2007 11:53 PM

Kyle - since when have the covers got everthing exactly right? Ever heard of artistic licence? On the UK kids one, Harry's eyes look brown. I'd say that's a much more serious mistake than not having his scar in exactly the right place.

Posted by Fawkes on April 5, 2007 01:50 AM

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