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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 29)

I agree that the amphitheater could be the Hallowed Ground of Sirius' demise in the department of mysteries, and the treasure in the UK version could be in Harry's Gringotts vault. Also, who says the house-elf is one Harry's good side? If it is Kreacher, some momentous act of or giving-of-garments could turn him against Harry. So maybe Kreacher wrested Goderic's blade away from him, caused the wounds on Hermione and Harry, and is now moving in for a coup de grace. Very dark for a children's cover I admit, but the series is progressing ever more darkly, and hey, why should only monsters by the sword? What's the arch doing in the background, by the way?

Posted by Tim de Visser from Moordrecht, Holland on April 25, 2007 2:26 PM

I think the glow in Harry's glasses in the UK version is from a spell. This could be the Expelliarmus spell what explains why they are blown away (or at least Ron and Hermione look like they get blown away).

If you look very closely at the left half of Harry's glasses, right to the glow, you can see something that looks like a white head or mask (Voldemort? eater?) that fires the spell.

But i may be entirely wrong.

Posted by Muur from Holland on April 25, 2007 6:58 PM

dont you think those hooded figures look like dementors? This could possibly explain the inclusion of Harry's pantronous on the UK cover... the people look more like dementors than eaters in my mind and there's loads of them!

Posted by Shaz from Ireland on April 26, 2007 10:35 AM

On the US cover, many believe that Harry is waiting for something and Voldemort is fending off. But if we remember, Harry doesn't need something to defeat the Voldemort, only eliminate the souls bound to this plane by the Horcruxs. What it more seems like is Harry is RELEASING something and Voldemort is REACHING for what it is. To support this, if you look at Harry's uprased hand, his fingers are wide as if releasing something wanting to escape. Further, if you look closer the white cloudy substance above and to right, at first glance it looks to be like the clouds in background but it definitly is more eatheral consistancy and is actually trailing substance from Harry's hand. And for all the "face theorists" out there, there is definatly a profile evident in the wispy stuff (with well defined facial features) as if head is in reposed position.
This wants me to agree with the theorys that this is the Veiled Room in Ministry of Magic and we are looking at Harry releasing the last of the Horcrux Souls (From locket around neck?) to be drawn through the Veil which LV wants to stop. I do have a hard time reconciling the background with the Chamber the veil shoulf be in, but many things have been stylized in past covers to cram in information or for artistic effect.

Posted by KLH from Salt Lake City on April 26, 2007 2:15 PM

Look at the American cover. Do you see the veils on the sides? A possiblity is that Harry could have gone through the veil in the Department of Mysteries to duel with Voldemort. All the people in the backround could be the people... Like Sirius. Remember Harry and Luna could both hear voices coming from the veil? The possibility of people...

Posted by Kaela Noble from Pittsburg, CA on April 26, 2007 7:41 PM

Regarding the British Childrens cover:
"young Tom Riddle liked to collect trophies...These were taken from victims of his bullying behavior, souvenirs... Bear in mind, this magpie-like tendency, for this, particullarly, be important later." [HBP p 277]

I believe the armor is the goblin armor Tom Riddle/Voldemort took from Hephziba Smith when he ed her and retrieved Hufflepuff's cup and Slytherins locket. They are somehow in Voldemort's vault, either at Gringott's (likely) or somewhere else (Riddle House, Gaunt House, etc.)

Also there apears to be atleast one cup there (though you can't tell if it has handles or a badger on it)

As an aside, I am not entirely convinced that the sword is not a horcrux. Dumbledore has been wrong before and there was alot in HBP about silent/wandless spells and we don't know what the spell is for a horcrux.

Posted by Brian from Oak Park, IL on April 26, 2007 8:35 PM

Is Gagsy the only one who agrees with me about the faces and the scar?

There IS a scar. I didn't even notice it wasn't obvious without it being pointed out. The scar probably just isn't the most important thing in the scene.

There are NO mysterious faces. Humans see faces in anything. It's how our brains work.

Posted by Fawkes on April 27, 2007 11:40 AM

The first thing i noticed about the American cover is that it takes place in an amphitheater. And there are curtains... And the title is something to do with ...

They are in the room in the Department of Mysteries. They could be on either side of the veil. The shadows of people in the background could be "ghosts" of people, like the ones of Harry's parents at the end of book 4. But neither have a wand...

Posted by Z. S. on April 27, 2007 8:02 PM

i think the room of requirements is a good idea, this way hogwarts be in the story, although a small part. Hagrid did mention hogwarts was the best place to hide something, and riddle could have hide the horcrux during his school years or after when he returned to ask for a job. didn't dumbledore say he knew riddle wasn't really after a teaching post? He looked more snkae like then, maybe showing damage to his soul, perhaps he hid it on the way out and it be where harry hide snape's potion book!

Posted by mmc from sa on April 27, 2007 9:35 PM

harry has a similar glow in his glasses on uk kids HP6 cover. This is just the reflection of the fire cast by dumbledore to repel the inferi.

Posted by mmc from sa on April 27, 2007 9:38 PM

yes there is a scar, only not too prominent..


if i am not entirely wrong the sword cannot be a horcrux..
the sword was the only relic of griffindor..and it was always inside Hogwarts in the headmaster's office with the sorting hat..remember only a true gryffindor could pull it out.. so its very unlikely that the sword is one of the horcruxes..

your speculation is pretty interesting..but there is another aspect to it..
horcruxes are objects, wih a soul...that is to be
destroyed... there is no definite evidence to say that souls could be "released",you have to "destroy" the soul fragment...

Posted by phoenix from india on April 27, 2007 10:21 PM

At first glance i thought the house elf behind harry was indeed Dobby but in The Order of the Pheonix Pg 341 Uk edition it says:

"Dobby the house-elf was standing beside the table on which Hermione had left half a dozen of her knitted hats. HIS LARGE POINTED EARS WERE NOW STICKING OUT FROM BENEATH WHAT LOOKED LIKE ALL THE HATS HERMIONE HAD EVER KNITTED."

This makes me think it is Kreacher not Dobby. Unless Dobby had took the hats off then it may well be him but why would he take the hats off?

Posted by Daniel From Scotland from scotland on April 28, 2007 10:47 AM

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