Against the Grain

Slightly more than just jibba jabba

HP:DH Cover Art Tells Us Precious Little

Posted by Patrick on 28 Mar 2007

Here is the full wraparound of the US version. It’s sure to soon be released with its bookjacket information similar to the Bloomsbury ones for the UK editions.

Here is the full wraparound of the UK Children’s version. I don’t necessarily live in the UK, but what were they thinking? It doesn’t even fit well with the other six covers in this line.
DH UK Children’s Cover

The UK Adult cover is mostly black and centrally features a locket with a serpentine, aquamarine S emblazoned on it. Of the three major ones, I think this one is the best by far.
DH UK Adult Cover

Now, let’s see what we can extract from these covers.
The US cover tells us just a little bit.

  • Harry is wearing something with a round pendant or pouch around his neck. From the UK adult cover we might suggest that this is the locket.
  • Voldemort (we presume) and Harry are both reaching outward as if trying to catch something, but neither has their wand pulled on the other. Voldemort’s hand is flat in that direction, making it look as if he’s trying to stop something, but Harry’s hand is open as if ready to receive something. In talking to a few other HP sleuths I know, we agree it may be Fawkes just outside the scene.
  • In the foreground there are broken things, suggesting some kind of destruction or a battle in the same area.
  • Also between them and behind Harry’s left in the background there are silhouettes of onlookers. We have to presume these are death eaters or Order members or both, but they appear to be merely watching.
  • Voldemort and Harry are wearing the same color robes. This may be for artistic blending but it may have a ceremonial implication, which would mold well with the audience of onlookers being “witnesses”
  • Clearly they are in some sort of arena – perhaps this is where the deathly hallows idea comes into play. Or, it could just be an arena, but it looks like the old Coliseum.

The UK children’s edition is almost unlookable, but it looks like it contains good information.

  • The text on the back cover indicates the story will open, once again, on Privet Drive, and not in some mad manhunt for Severus.
  • Harry’s left arm and robe look like they’ve recently been mangled by something. He’s got visible scabs/bruises on his forearm. Something like an Osirian eye is on his robes. Hard to tell what it should be.
  • What looks like a house elf is on Harry’s back wielding a sword in its left hand. We don’t know if this is Dobby or Kreacher, who is ordered to serve Harry as his master, but the motive of each to be holding a sword in an offense position is vastly varied
  • We presume from the scene that they are in a Gringott’s vault. There are gallons of galleons everywhere along with jeweled potion bottles and the like. Gringott’s, or any of Diagon Alley, comes as no surprise.
  • The background Gryffindor colors may be of significance.
  • Hermione is falling forward and Ron is falling backwards making it seem as though there is a struggle underway somehow.

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