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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 24)

I think it is interesting to note that the house-elf, or goblin, or whoever it is on Harry's back in the UK children's cover is drawn so that, at first wonton glance, people make the same error Dave did - that Ron is the one holding the sword.

Under the assumption it is a house-elf, it is impossible to tell whether it Dobby or Kreature, or some other elf such a Winky. There is no way to tell if it is wearing clothes, and something may have knocked off Dobby's hats. I also don't see any large quantities of white hair coming out of it's ears as Kreature is described as having. My only conclusion is this: we'll have to wait until July 21st to see.

Posted by monkeeshrines from orlando fl on April 11, 2007 09:35 AM


I don't recall there being an artist's rendition of Hogwarts on any of the UK jackets, and at the moment I am too lazy to get up and check mine. But I was under the impression that it was Hogwarts because of the tree nearby, which I would assume is the Whomping Willow.

I personally think that the veil on the US cover is the veil in the Department of Mysteries, because it seems that Harry is calling someone out of it (Dumbledore, perhaps?) and Voldemort looks ly afraid of whoever it is. I'm of the opinion that the veil is meant for those who have passed on, and since Jo has stated that Dumbledore is (but not necessarily gone permanently, just not coming back to life, or "pulling a Gandalf"), perhaps his spirit come back to help Harry like Harry's parents in GOF.

Posted by Beth from Utah on April 11, 2007 11:40 AM

Hogwarts is drawn on the back of UK kids HP2 and HP4, I'm not sure who the artist is. If they're different artists, it may explain different pictures. Also I read somewhere that the artist for UK kids HP5 was not allowed to read the book to help them draw the cover, so JKR and someone else drew the picture of the phoenix flying over the flames, and the artist worked from that. It could be similar with DH cover.

Posted by mmc from mmc on April 11, 2007 4:23 PM


like i said, the scar SHOULD be vivid/red, it should be easy to spot, and the majority of people who look at the cover can't spot it, and so, it may well be a red herring (bent hair)


the pictures on the covers always alter slightly. harry changes with each book, and the drawings of him get different. therefore, the same goes with the surrounding. even if the same person draws it, it change. in any case, you've only ever seen the top of the castle from the UK covers, as the bottom was covered with smoke. and also, you blatanly see the womping ow!

i'm still not sure about the curtain. a veil is supposed to be thin and the one in the book should be tattered, but the one on the cover is very thick. i still think it MAY be the veil, just the artist's impression: as we all know, after a first impression after reading something for the first time, that impression never goes away.

once again, if i'm wrong, i kick myself, but an awful lot of people (most of them probably) turn out wrong as well, as nobody can predict what JK Rowling write.

PS: i still think there is no scar. i still think it's a bent hair, so don't try and make me see it, i think the scar is a horcrux and harry got rid of it. not sure though...

Posted by Zoe from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England on April 11, 2007 4:37 PM

Nice! I've got a couple of ideas...

I think that locket Harry is wearing in the American version could be slytherins, and why is Harry wearing that odd cloak? Him and Voldemort seem to have matching cloaks. They are obviously wandless because they cant attack with uhh 2 wands of a feather. Could harry be catching the sword that Dobby (or elf) had in the UK edition, to then strike voldemort? I see tombstones in the background too.

In the UK kids edition, dobby seems to be helping out, and that location makes me think of the room of requirement or Gringotts.. It looks like that yellow arc behind them is a portal which they ran through from whereever and ended up in that room full of treasures...

Posted by Davie from Mass, USA on April 11, 2007 6:34 PM

I think Harry is wearing the fake horcrux/locket, but Voldemort thinks it's the real one. As Dumbledore stated in HBP, Voldemort cut his soul nto so many pieces so long ago, he is too detached from them to feel when they are destroyed like when the diary was... Voldemort only knew when he interrogated Lucous Malfoy.

Posted by Gene from Waltham, Ma on April 11, 2007 11:23 PM

New sighting! On the UK children edition, if you look just to the left of the castle where the bright white clouds join up with the 2 small lower turrets and look up, it sorta looks like a face? Something like Gwarp might look?

After reading more comments I am thinking that the castle can not be Hogwarts and the scraggly trees are not the whomping ow. But what if it were Malfoys? and that's where our heros are on the front of the cover. Would the Malfoy's have lots of stuff like on the front cover?

Posted by JOHN from RIVERSIDE CA on April 12, 2007 12:09 AM

If you look at the uk ly hallows cover closely, you can see that the shadowy white thing Harry is summoning is of courseaa Phoenix (may be the soul of a phoenix). Remember voldemort was terrified of phoenix in chamber of secrets also. In this cover also his face is terrified like that.

Posted by Priya from India,TN on April 12, 2007 05:15 AM

If you look left below the big moon at the UK you see in the brightest cloud the head of a lion...just as clear as you can see a face in the locket.

Posted by Wwizard on April 12, 2007 09:26 AM

It seems to me that Voldemort is not looking at whatever he is trying to banish, but at Harry instead. I don't know if this means anything, maybe I am just looking too hard, but it seems that if Harry was trying to Accio something or greet Fawkes, Voldemort would be looking at the object, not at Harry. Maybe there is no object and Harry is doing something that Voldemort cannot fight or understand.

Also, the golden light around them could be that Priori Incantatem happened again. When it happened in GOF, "they were enclosed in a golden, dome-shaped web, a cage of light, beyond which the Eaters circled like jackals." That would explain the distance of the spectators (I don't think they are headstones) and all the golden light, even if they are inside the Chamber. Then, if Priori Incantatem happened again, maybe something else happened this time (after all, the people only emerged because those were the last spells done with Voldemort's wand). We don't know what spells could have been done. Perhaps Harry allowed Voldemort's wand to win so that Voldemort could see the destruction of all his horcruxes. That would be great! That would put a shiver down old Voldemort's spine! To find out that he is no longer immortal and enclosed in this cage with Harry and no help from his Eaters... NOT that I think that happen, this is all just imagination run wild.

Posted by LMN from Fayetteville, NC on April 12, 2007 10:27 AM

I don't see any face (grawps) and Harry can't summon anything without a wand. UK Kids Edition- Another thought is that the arch that i thought was a portal could be that veil in the Ministry of Magic. Hermione and Ron are looking pretty festive compared to Harry in his muggle clothes. And if that castle is Hogwarts, then whats with all the ice? I think this castle is more north. They could be visiting Krum.

Posted by Davie from Mass, USA on April 12, 2007 11:09 AM

Today I listened to HP 4, and the trio entered the Hogwarts Kitchen and talked to Dobby and Winky. Then suddenly in this conversation Dobby says to Harry (I have only the UK Bookversion) "Dobby likes Professor Dumbledore very much, sir, and is proud to keep his SECRETS for him!" The same moment I saw the UK book cover inside my head... this house-elf behind Harry! Dobby knows the secrets... what if it is Dobby leading Harry to Dumbledore Secrets... treasures?

Posted by Su Li from Krefeld / Germany on April 12, 2007 12:35 PM

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