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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 5)

Amazing Covers! Amazing article Dave and observations by everyone! I think it's a house elf behind Harry because it's holding a sword (possibly Gryffindor's) (although the ear shape compared to the back of the 'Order of the Phoenix' cover suggests a Goblin). In the Bloomsbury cover, the trio seems to be at Gringotts - maybe they are attending Bill/Fleur's wedding there? It is after all 'the safest place other than Hogwarts' and Bill also works there.

In the Scholastic version, Harry and Voldemort seemed to have somehow crossed the veil in the chamber, but it is closing. Voldemort is trying to escape, but Harry is trying to reach for Fawkes who take him to the other side. Or it could also be that Harry is trying to close the veil, but Voldemort is trying to keep it open as the one thing he fears the most is (but this would mean Harry also s with Voldemort).

The snake (Nagini) is seen inside a crystal ball (not a remembrall � because remembralls only change colour). There is a stag in the cover which suggests there are going to be more dementors (but it could also be Harry�s animagus form).

Dave, the illustration on the Half-Blood Prince cover does not show the pensieve, but it shows both Harry and Dumbledore in the cave, standing around the mysterious potion emitting �green� light. Even I thought that the picture was of the pensieve at first, but they�re not standing in Dumbledore�s office.

Posted by Javed from Vancouver, Canada on March 28, 2007 10:16 PM

Remember this description from Philosopher�s Stone, while Harry and Hagrid are in Gringotts Bank with Griphook the Goblin:

"Vault seven hundred and thirteen had no keyhole. "Stand back," said Griphook importantly. He stroked the door gently with one of his long fingers and it simply melted away. "If anyone but a Gringotts goblin tried that, they'd be sucked through the door and trapped in there," said Griphook."

It definitely looks like Harry, Ron, Hermoine and Dobby are being sucked into Tom Riddle�s vault in the Bloomsbury cover.

Posted by Javed from Vancouver, Canada on March 28, 2007 10:49 PM

Glorfindel: It does look like the train bridge. It almost looks like there could be a train on it also. And I do believe those are eaters.

To me it looks like it could be Fawkes on the breastplate.

Posted by Kyle from Kearney, Ne on March 28, 2007 11:06 PM

I think the comments above about the cover artwork revealing something of the storyline are valid - the artwork has always revealed SOMETHING about the books.

But I just want to add one thing: It's not always a MAJOR part of the book that is revealed. Take the Goblet of Fire for instance. While it does show Harry completing one of the Tri Wizard tasks, this isn't the climax of the book. Or take the Philosophers Stone. Harry standing next to the Hogwarts Express on platform 9 3/4 reveals something of the story, but not it's climax. The flying car on front of Chamber of Secrets is another example, as is Fawkes on the cover of Order of the Phoenix.

Obviously sometimes it DOES reveal a major part of the book - as with Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry and Hermione flying on the Hippogriff) and Half Blood Prince (Harry and Dumbledore fighting). Indeed, the detail of Dumbledore's hand hiding behind his back reminds us of the importance of detail in the artwork (since Dumbledore's hand had been damaged destroying a Horcrux).

My point being: the UK cover (which I think is someone's Gringotts vault - whoever that someone may be, most likely Godric Griffindor if you ask me) may or may not be a major point of the story. It may be early on in the book, and relatively unimportant. Then again, it could be massively significant - Horcrux galore! We just can't tell at this early stage.

I think it must be on the same day as Fleur and Bill's wedding - hence the dress robes (as already noted above). But surely there be other circumstances requiring dress robes during a final year at Hogwarts - A formal? A ? A graduation (is Harry not dressed similarly because he doesn't graduate?) Could this even be right at the end of the book - after 2 main characters have d (Voldemort being one of them), and Harry has been lead to what's been left to him?

We'll have to wait and see....

Posted by Peter Yock from Lismore, Australia on March 29, 2007 01:06 AM

I agree Dave:
"But, a second look shows Harry's hand in a receptive position, while Voldeort's hand is in the position of pushing something away."
It also seems that volermort and Harry have somehow been removed to finish this struggle Alone, watched over by the powers that be.

Posted by gordon from uk on March 29, 2007 01:15 AM

glorfindel, i too think the onlookers are eaters and woldermort is being pulled by them.. only eaters have power to destroy woldermort completely.. no magic an finish him..

Posted by jyoti from india on March 29, 2007 02:26 AM

It looks a lot more like they're falling than fighting to me

Posted by Zub from Edmonton, Alberta on March 29, 2007 03:02 AM

I think we have all missed one of the most fundamentally important things on the british cover of the childrens book. The small picture of the triangle enclosing a circle with a line through it.

It seems to be engraved in white marble.

A small picture like this appears in the same place on all of the uk children's covers, and they ALWAYS have massive importance to the plot of the book.

In HBP, the picture was of Slytherins ring, which turned out to be one of Voldemort's Horcruxes.

In OoTP it was a Phoenix feather, which obviously had a lot to do with the book.

I think we should think about what this symbol could mean, and where it seems to be engraved. I think it be a key feature in the final book.

Posted by Darren from Leamington on March 29, 2007 03:47 AM

i was thinking about the circular entrance on the British cover - what about the Gryffindor common room?

Posted by Joe from UK on March 29, 2007 04:14 AM

[Dave bows to Javed] How silly of me, of course. The image on the cover of Half-Blood Prince is the stone basin in the cave, not Dumbledore's pensieve. (Which makes it an illustration of an even more important scene...)

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on March 29, 2007 05:07 AM

(UK childre's edition) By the way, i was just wondering, is it a snake engraved on the armour right at Ron's foot? The armour appears to be scaly as well; like a snake. Another thing, only Ron is looking on our left side. Perhaps he was the only one who noticed something coming towards them? There is also something a little below Hermione's hands which is silver and not like the others. What is it? Do you also realise that Harry's eyes are brown instead of green?

Posted by sashy from singapore on March 29, 2007 05:33 AM

In the U.K. version, if that is a Gringotts vault then that is probably a goblin on Harry's shoulder. Maybe it came to help fight off an intruder in the vault? (Such as Voldemort.)

Posted by Andy from Korea on March 29, 2007 05:36 AM

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