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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 6)

It may be just me, but Harry still looks like a 12-year-old on the cover of the US version. He hasn't aged on any of the US covers.

Posted by Josh from Greensboro, NC on March 29, 2007 05:36 AM

I would just like to say how much I like the U.S cover. This depiction of Voldemort I especially like, he looks as dark lords should look: Subtle, not too human (almost beyond human) and whilst looking determined, I think he does not look out of control of the situation. Mind you, I would have thought Harry would have looked even a little perspired or panicked.

Posted by Ivor from Edinburgh on March 29, 2007 05:51 AM

I seem to remember a part in Philosopher's Stone where Harry sees into a vault with a "small fortune" in it his parents left for him. If the UK cover is showing Gringotts, could it be showing Harry's vault? If that's the case, then could the Gryffin and all the rubies be tying Harry's family to Gryffindor's?...

Posted by Ernest from Ontario, Canada on March 29, 2007 06:11 AM

i think the UK adult cover is brilliant. definitely the one i be buying.

Somebody said that this cover does not tell us anything about the story like the UK childrens and the american version does. i think this is untrue. i believe this shows that harry gets the locket somehow and that it is probably one of the most important and difficult to destroy horcrux as i do not believe that R.A.B destroyed like he wrote in the note. for those who haven't seen the adult edition of OotP and HBP this is what they show, OotP shows a phoenix which is an important part of the story and HBP shows the the prince's potions book which is important to the story.

Posted by carl from birmingham, england on March 29, 2007 06:29 AM

Oh! It is the stone basin in the cave on the HBP cover! I've always thought it was Dumbledore's pensieve!

I think the front cover of the US version shows the department of mysteries because of all those doors forming a circle. I think the room that Voldemort is standing in front of is the love room that's always locked. I think Harry's power of love opened it, and it seems as though Voldemort is falling through it while desperatly trying to cling on to something. Harry could be reaching out for Fawks. The people watching could be symbolizing what happens in the book, but not exactly what happens, just like the US HBP cover. There's broken wood on the ground, which could mean that they had a huge fight there. On the British cover, it's possible that Harry, Ron, and Hermione could be bursting through the place wherever Mundungus keeps his treasure. For some reason, he might have the locket, and they have to search through all the stuff in order to find it. Maybe it's not Mundungus' but I still think they're looking for the Slytherin locket, which might be the last horcrux Harry finds because it's shown on the adult version. Could the lit, open door to Hogwarts be symbolizing something? I can't tell what's reflected in Harry's glasses.
If you look closely, you can see the scar on Harry's forehead in the US version. It could have been easily mistaken for his hair.

Posted by Dumbledore's Fan on March 29, 2007 07:22 AM

On the children's UK cover it looks like Harry and Hermione are going forward through that archway/door whereas Ron is being pulled back in. Symbol of Ron's demise? I think so.

Posted by Laura from Cleveland, OH on March 29, 2007 07:42 AM

I really like the covers...they really give a lot of informations..I just can agree with all you said...

When I first saw the Uk children cover I thought it was in gringotts though I dropped the Idea directly as I believed this wouldn't make sense, but after I read all post I'm not really unsure with the idea it is in gringotts..

then have you realised that it is a whole knight's armour, you see the protective for the body (with a snake on it) directly, and then there is a helmet under Harrys left arm..(so on the right side on the book) the right corner you see something round, this could be a shield and then when you look under Hermione's outstretched hands, you see something strange looking in silver (same color like the rest of the armour) for me it look like a gauntlet...if I'm right, we see a whole armour of a knight of slytherin..

and then (I wonder why no one pointed at this yet):
when you look on the hogwarts...all say that you see the bright door entrance and the moon, but when you look beside hogwarts...a little bit above the isbn-code you the smoke rising into the becomes bigger and almost hide the moon, but no one ever mentioned it...I wonder what is burning in hogwarts.....maybe the illustrator just draw it as he wants to show that there is a mess in hogwarts, but it's too unconsiderable, I think.

Posted by Franziska from J�lich, Germany on March 29, 2007 08:13 AM

Oddly the only British children's cover I have is OOP. The fountain of magical bretherin is on the back cover.. of course it figures in that story, including comments on the 'lie' it depects. Indeed, the relationship between the magical bretherin should be an integral part of DH as well.

In that regard it is of critical importance to DH's resolution to see if the Goblins or the House Elves can and take sides with Harry & the Order, with Voldemort or remain neutral. This is just another reason that the hint of one of the magical bretherin on the cover is a clue to be resolved in the story.

Having said that, the artist appears to have been deliberately vague with the part of the head that shows! The goblin from OOP has a hat on and you cannot see the top of the head features. The House elf's skull shape is different than that on the new cover. The ear on the new cover is not the classical 'bat like' ear shown or described for the house elf but also does not fit the 'long triangle' effect of the goblin's ear either because it bends. It should not depict Kreacher's ear because his ears have prominent white hairs which stick out of them. (OOP)

After looking at the Fountain's house elf it would appear that the skull on house elves has a slight point or ridge at the top center... the new cover has a flat skull. And yet I believe that they have deliberately conspired to give an ambiguous picture as just ANOTHER red herring to follow.

That means that the only plot conclusion we can safely draw is that at least one of the magical bretherin (Dobby frequently does things which other house elves would find unthinkable) be there on Harry's side.

Posted by Charlie Tarbox from Gettysburg, Pa on March 29, 2007 08:38 AM

Ernest from Ontario. For me its Black's (Harry's) fortune in Gringotts.

Posted by alicja from swidnica on March 29, 2007 08:48 AM

On the kids' UK cover, everyone thinks they are in Gringotts; that Dobby is wielding the sword because Kreacher is more wrinkly; the adult UK cover: on all of the descriptions, there are no jewels, what's up with that? And on the US cover: Who do you think the shadows in the background are?

Posted by HermioneLo from Miami, FL on March 29, 2007 09:14 AM

(US cover) Why are the robes worn by Harry and Voldemort brown? Harry appears very calm and collected, like he is in control of the situation. He does not seem to be freaking out at all.

Posted by buckwheat from Wheaton, Illiniois on March 29, 2007 09:26 AM

About the back of the cover... It's obvious the castle is Hogwarts... Does that means that Harry Potter is going to go back to it? also... there is the forbidden Forest, and theres smoke... or is the usual clouds?

Posted by ZaYoOoD from Bahrain on March 29, 2007 09:39 AM

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