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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 9)

if you look at the armour above "Rowling" on the Uk kids cover i think the thing on top looks like a baby dragon. it has got small spike going down its back and on its head and it has also got wings. i think that it is definitely not a phoenix although i can't see where a dragon could fit into the plot, except if the were at Gringotts (hagrid said there may be dragons guarding it in PS) which would also explain the treasure.

Posted by carl from birmingham, england on March 30, 2007 03:30 AM

Helga Hufflepuff's cup, and a suspected horcrux, had a badger engraved on it. As Badgers symbolize earth the cup is suspected to be kept underground. Either under Borgin and Burkes or at Gringotts.

Posted by IT on March 30, 2007 04:05 AM

About the treasure: could they possibly in Voldemorts hiding place (his home) where he is keeping all his treasures? We know he likes to collect things, and valuable gold and jewellery would also be needed to help him in his quest for power

Posted by Toy from Pretoria on March 30, 2007 04:37 AM

As far as the UK children's cover. Has anyone considered that they are at someones home. Perhaps like Miss Hepzibah. She was visited by young Tom Riddle while he was still working at Borgin and Burke's. Upon arriving to visit Miss Hepzibah he told her that he was there because "Mr. Burke would like to make an improved offer for the goblin-made armor". That could be the armor that we see on the cover. Since Miss Hepzibah possessed both the golden cup that belonged to Helga Hufflepuff, and the locket, it would make sense that Harry would return to this house to attempt to locate a Horcrux.

Posted by hemlock from TX on March 30, 2007 05:32 AM

1.Referring to the dress robes, I don't think the event could be either wedding. Both grooms are werewolves (or at least a partial one in the case of Bill), and the full moon is pictured. Of course, this assumes that the front and back covers depict the same night.
2.I also do not believe they are attending a graduation. Such an event is never mentioned in any other book. I went to secondary school in Ireland, which has a similar system of exam levels as the British system, although in mundane subjects, not the arcane subjects of Hogwarts. We took the exams at the end of the school year, then waited for 6 to 8 long weeks for the envelopes to arrive with our results. We had no graduation ceremonies. There was no mention of Percy or anyone else graduating. To introduce it now would seem strange to me.
3.I still think the smoke/mist is from a fire. Each depiction of sky looks ruddy to me, like flames just out of view. I wonder if Fawkes' connection was never to Dumbledore personally but to Hogwarts and the headmaster. Hogwarts might be consumed in flame, only to rise from the ashes again.
4.This could also be a reason for Dumbledore's . Others have commented that fire is Dumbledore's "thing". His and appearence as a hallow may be instumental to accessing protections the founders placed within Hogwarts and its grounds. Fire has been present in some form throughout the series, specifically in scenes involving Dumbledore versus Riddle/Voldemort or his enchantments, starting with firing the wardrobe in the orphanage and ending with using fire to ward off the Inferi. The dark background under the Slytherin locket could be burnt wood.
5.I think this arena is somewhere we have not seen before, possibly within the Forbidden Forest. There have been many things on Filch's list of forbidden items, but the Forest is one of the few things ever forbidden by Dumbledore.
6.JKR has said we learn more about the relationship between wizards and their wands and yet there are no wands on any cover. I wonder if the wands had been taken by "Expelliarmus" on the UK children's cover. Would the sword be affected by that spell?

Posted by Patty from Quincy,Massachusetts on March 30, 2007 06:03 AM

They aren't falling down. You can tell by the way they a groping that they are falling backwards.

Posted by hammons on March 30, 2007 06:11 AM

If they are indeed being pulled backwards then the treasure items are also being pulled with them. Oddly, the Elf/Goblin with the sword seems unaffected though. The idea that the treasure was being kicked up by their entry being negated if it is their departure, then we may say that what they touched is not a portkey but some other defense of the area is expelling them and the treasure somewhere.

Posted by Charlie Tarbox from Gettysburg, Pa on March 30, 2007 07:54 AM

The beast on the helmet seems to be a gryffin, not a dragon: it has a bird beak. Maybe, the helmet was Godric Gryffindor's helmet.

If the creature holding the sword is a goblin, this should be inside Gringotts (a vault?). Maybe, the goblin is sent by Charlie.

Everything seems to be moving around. Is it an effect of the charms, or is there a huge magic creature (a snake? a basilisk?!) underneath, who is waking up?

Whereever it is, this place must be a significant one, in which there is something to find.

It could be:
(1) Voldemort's vault
(2) Slytherin's vault (did Gringotts already exist at Slytherin's time?)
(3) as I suggested, Slytherin burial place, in which he put his treasure (like pharaons)

Posted by herve from strasbourg on March 30, 2007 08:48 AM

In the UK cover right below Hermoine's right hand, there is a golden cup. You can see the handle on it. Could that possibly be the Hufflepuff cup? Although from the angle it is laying there, the only thing we can tell is that it is gold with rubies on it.

Posted by Kyle from Kearney, Ne on March 30, 2007 09:13 AM

Since Harry seems to be receiving something in the cover of the U.S. version, and Voldemort seems to be pushing it away, I think that the object in question is Fawkes. Harry would be welcoming Fawkes, and Voldemort would be afraid of him.

Posted by Lisa on March 30, 2007 10:23 AM

Am I the only one who sees a face in the pouch Harry is wearing around his neck in the U.S. cover? It's a 3/4 view, the head turned slightly to the left (right when looking at it from our perspective)with round glasses (Harry's?). Strangely, it is most apparent in the full cover view --the rectangle that shows both Harry and Voldemort.

Also, all the rubies, both free-falling and set into the various objects that we see in the U.K. cover tell me that wherever they are, it's Gryffindor treasure around them. The reflection in the armor under Ron is of a bird's head (snakes don't have beaks)although the neck looks a bit too long.

Posted by Rickie from Illinois on March 30, 2007 10:33 AM

i actually cant see this pouch...anyway these covers are certainly giving us a lot of info about the books...can the apitheatorial sort of place be the Qudditch stadium? I know there is very less chance of this...but still it is a possibility and i did think all those treasures are of gringotts...then they might be searching for the badger or the locket.

Posted by SMK on March 30, 2007 10:45 AM

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