Search Beyond Hogwarts:
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 8)
From the UK kids cover.
Notice all of their hair, flowing towards the front, and that they're all reaching in front of them. Wherever they are, Gringott's vault or elsewhere, they and that pile of treasure are being pulled backwards out of that arch while they try to find some sort of handhold. A sudden jerk pulling them backwards so their hair is thrown towards their fronts.
The white bits on Harry's glasses look like light reflections. A standard artistic technique, especially on something round and reflective.
I don't think that's smoke on the back cover, though I could be wrong. The trees could argue in favor of smoke. However, it looks more like clouds, with some fog around the bases of the trees, to me.
Someone said something about a white silhouette in the door on the back cover. Looking at that piece, zoomed in to take up most of my screen, I see no silhouette. Just a slightly brighter bit of the light, possibly the source of said light, flowing out from the doorway.
From the American cover, someone said something about Harry reaching for some mist. That's obviously (obviously to me, at least) just one of the several wispy clouds in the air above the amphitheatre or wherever it is that they are.
And got to agree with those who've said that it looks more like a medicine bag, or some other sort of pouch, around Harry's neck.
Oh, and whoever said the locket on the UK adult cover was sitting on wood, it looks much more like stone to me. A dark slate, I'd say.
Posted by Todd from Monterey, CA on March 29, 2007 3:39 PM
I agree with Todd. Ron and Hermoine's hair seem to be going forward, which means they could be being pulled back. But Harry seems to be going forward still. Maybe they all tried going in, but only Harry was able to get through. Hermione also seems to look like she dropped something as she was being pulled back, but her eyes are looking elsewhere. And Ron's face indeed looks terrified.
Posted by Mary from California on March 29, 2007 4:20 PM
In the UK kids edition we see Ron and Hermoine in dress robes, but Harry isn't wearing any. Maybe this is a foreshadowing meaning that Harry never makes it to the Wedding.
Posted by Kyle from Kearney, Ne on March 29, 2007 5:04 PM
In one of the american pictures, there is a full moon, What does that mean? Werewolf! And in the british version that's a goblin, not a house-elf.
Posted by Smackey ZackeY from Chicago, IL on March 29, 2007 5:29 PM
i was just reading through some coments and i got an idea. the snake in the globe/crystal ball? what if it's a prophesy! you know, like the ones from the last book were all in those little glass balls. and since hary's patrones is there, maybe the snake is voldemorts. we know the dementors are going to be important, and that patronuses are good for more than they seem (sending messages etc.)
Posted by RACHEL from go Massachusets! on March 29, 2007 5:39 PM
Todd... I agree mostly but if they were 'sucked' into a vault wouldnt the hair go in the forward direction as in the illustration? Arguably the coins are displacing forwards as are the kids with whatever is moving them...wind? Suction?
I wish that I were certain you were right about the glasses.. odd that the light display is head and shoulder shaped to me.. but you could easily be right.
Posted by Charlie Tarbox from Gettysburg, Pa on March 29, 2007 5:46 PM
Yes, whoever corrected me and said the snake pictured on the back of the UK cover is on a crystal ball instead of a remembral is 100% correct. It makes much more sense for the snake to be in a crystal ball, perhaps Professor Trelawney has another "real" vision/prediction?
Also, since many of you are conjecturing that the fancy attire of Ron and Hermoine may be connected to the Fleur-wedding.....I am a little worried that something horrible may happen at the wedding.
Posted by china from dallas, tx on March 29, 2007 5:59 PM
I was looking at images of the US book covers, and the UK children's, and UK adult ones too. I noticed an interesting pattern. There is a different "theme" for each of the book sets. I made a chart on a piece of paper that compared the significant subject of each book cover set and what they represented. Since it takes up a lot of space you need to look at the book covers online and make your own chart to see the pattern.
On the US covers they all are depicting part of an Event relating to the retrieval of an object in the book: flying to get a key, a phoenix pulling them after retrieving Ginny, the hippogriff and Sirius, the egg from the dragon, memories from a pensieve, the locket from the cave, and a duel with retrieving the prophesy from the ministry that is out of the picture.
On the UK children's editions the objects are modes of Transportation: the train, the car, hippogriff, broom, phoenix, fire protecting the boat in the cave, and possibly the gringots bank carts. There is also an element of fire in almost all these as well.
On the UK adult covers are powerful Magical Objects, both good and bad (dark): the philosopher's stone, the chamber of secrets door, azkaban, triwizard cup, phoenix, potions book, and slytherin's locket. These objects also refer to powerful magic/spells as well.
The only object common to all three sets is the phoenix. A reference to Dumbledore? Since all these events and objects were important to the stories, maybe they are going to be involved in the last book. JKR may have been using the cover art as another clue all along.
Posted by David Porter from New Mexico, USA on March 29, 2007 6:47 PM
One thing I did notice is that this is the first UK Harry Potter book to have a black background for the cover, which is a symbolism for . Could it mean the of the series or the of Harry...?
Posted by Mike Harper from Devon, UK on March 29, 2007 7:10 PM
I keep thinking that the UK children's cover looks like they are falling into a pile of treasure, after having slid down a chute of some kind, maybe through a trap door that caught them by surprise. Looks like Ron was sliding down feet first, Harry is on his stomach, with a goblin on his back, and Hermione is putting out her hands to break her fall?
At the lower left, on the breastplate of the armour to the lower left you can definitely see a beak, so maybe it is a pheonix? And it would make sense for this to be something to do with Godric Gryffindor because of all the jewels being rubies. Could it be a secret room at Hogwarts somewhere?
Posted by Cheryl from Wichita, KS on March 29, 2007 7:24 PM
You are 100% correct. I hope this doesn't sound antagonistic, but that's why I specifically said they look like they're being "pulled" backward, not "sucked". You're right, if it were suction, their hair would be the first thing to flow in that direction, the hair being lightest and most easily affected by wind or suction. If they're being tugged backward through the arch, especially if it's a sudden voilent jerk, then the hair would be thrown forward, in the opposite direction of their bos' motion.
I suppose they could be being sucked forward, toward the viewer. But their hands' positions, especially Hermione's, appear to be trying to grab hold of something to keep them from going backward. If they were moving forward, they'd look more like they were trying to break a fall.
Posted by Todd from Monterey, CA on March 29, 2007 11:33 PM
I have an idea to suggest about the place we see on the UK cover. What if it is the burial place of Slytherin? I suppose Slytherin loved gold and precious items, and he would have loved to be buried in a cave including all the items he had gathered. Of course, this place would be protected by very strong anti-intrusion charms (and maybe even a basilisk), which would explain why it has remained intact after all these years, and why Ron and Hermione are so frightened. Besides that, there is a snake designed on an object, which would be an additional sign for Slytherin.
It seems to me plausible that they have to get Slytherin from his burial place to Hogwarts, to gather again the founders, as the Sorting Hat suggested.
Posted by herve from strasbourg on March 30, 2007 01:02 AM
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