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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 40)

Wow, a few days off line and I get this incredible surprise!

Harry looks determined and focusing on their immediate destination, as does Ron, but Hermione is looking slightly upwards in surprise.

I have always associated mist with Dementors, might there be any close by?

The Dragon is definitely NOT a Hungarian Horntail like some have speculated, the tail has NO horns or spikes.

Posted by Emilio from Mexico City, Mexico on June 11, 2007 11:55 AM

It could, however, easily be a Norwegian Ridgeback. See the ridges on his neck and tail. And how's this for accentuating a clue? Chapter 14 of book one is "Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback".

However, as was mentioned, it also does closely resemble the Antipodean Opaleye, with its "glittering, mutli-colored, pupil-less eyes". Fantastic Beasts also mentions that this dragon "by dragon standards is not very agressive", so the idea of letting three teenagers ride him is not out of the question...

Maybe Norbert is a Ridgeback but also part Opaleye...

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on June 11, 2007 2:08 PM

It would make sense if the dragon on the cover is Norbert, because bringing him back in the 7th book would be a special part of the story and worth putting on the deluxe edition cover. This would also allow the introducion of Charlie Weasley in the series as he is a member of the Order of the Phoenix and be at the wedding. Here's the description of Norbert, the Norwegian Ridgeback, from the first book:

"The baby dragon flopped onto the table. It wasn't exactly pretty; Harry thought it looked like a crumpled, black umbrella. Its spiny wings were huge compared to its skinny jet body, it had a long snout with wide nostrils, the stubs of horns and bulging, orange eyes."

This description is similar to what we see on the new illustration: skinny body (unlike the horntail), wide nostrils, lots of horns on the face and slightly orange eyes (if you zoom in and look close).

Posted by Javed from Vancouver, Canada on June 11, 2007 6:19 PM

I think it would be really cool if this were Norbert! On the other hand, it would make Ron wrong for saying:
"Have we ever come off better from mixing with his *Hagrid'* monster mates?"
But he wasn't kidding so he can't be right!
I don't know how long a dragon's memory is, but in the world of Harry Potter it has been seven years since Harry, Ron, and Hermione have seen Norbert, so he may or may not just remember them, if they have any sort of memory at all.
Also, remember that Ron's brother, Charlie, took care of Norbert for most of Norbert's life. Perhaps Ron just reminds him of Charlie.

Posted by Ashley R. from Missouri on June 11, 2007 6:24 PM

i've noticed that harrys attire in the dh deluxe cover is the same as in the uk cover, where we are possibly seeing the climax. this means that our three heroes are heading for this place on the dragon. on the deluxe cover, the little village down there could be the village where godrics hollow is situated, and the climax scene could be in godrics hollow, where the trio are heading.

ron and hermione are on the deluxe cover, but not on the uk cover, where harry is alone with voldermort. if ron or hermione were present there, they would have definately helped harry. but where are they?

Posted by Mubeen from pune ,maharashtra,India on June 11, 2007 10:10 PM

On the back of the UK child edition cover,
there's a castle thats unmistakeably Hogwarts, but behind hogwarts is what look like the forbidden forest. Only, the trees are completely bare and there is a lot of smoke. (though it could easily be something else)
That's interesting. Does it mean that hogwarts be attacked by the eaters? Will the final battle take place there?

Posted by Saumya from ND on June 11, 2007 11:30 PM

This artwork is great! It shows how much action there is going to be in the final book!

Someone said that Hermione looks injured, but I beg to differ. I think she's just scared of flying and that's the only reason she is ducking. Also, I think Hermione, Ron and even the dragon are looking in the same direction (upwards). Maybe someone else is also flying.

Posted by no0r from india on June 12, 2007 12:42 AM

the village may definitely be godric's hollow. i have a feeling that voldemort, after coming back to power, might have placed a horcrux there. maybe harry finds it somewhere around his parents graves.

the appearance of a dragon is really mysterious, and i don't think now that there is any doubt that it is norbert.

Posted by hassan from pakistan on June 12, 2007 12:56 AM

In the British version, doesn't it look like the heroes are being sucked into the dome shape glowing thing behind them? Maybe the elf is holding on for dear life and Hermione is trying to run away. Harry always has determination on his face, as to defeat Voldemort.

Posted by Ian Weber from Indiana on June 12, 2007 03:52 AM

If the dragon is an animagus then it might be slughorn... Slughorn is very old with white hair, but the beard that's what's striking.

Posted by Bob from NJ on June 12, 2007 05:28 AM

Could this dragon be Draco? The word Draco is another word for Dragon (it is also a star constellation). Maybe Draco has been an animagi all this time and we didn't know it. Could he become one of the good guys?

Posted by Sharon from Michigan on June 12, 2007 06:31 AM

The dragon can't be Dumbledore. Rowling herself said he is and not play a Gandalf. If she really said that, do you think he could come back in another shape?

I believe that if it is not Norbert, it's Aberforth.

Posted by Thiago Leite Cruz from Bel�m, Par�, Brazil on June 12, 2007 10:07 AM

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