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Crystal Ball - Harry
Posted on Wednesday 28 March 2007 at 9:15 am

DH Cover Art

For those who haven't seen them, the US, UK regular, and UK "adult" covers of Deathly Hallows have been revealed. I'll add my thoughts in a bit. I wanted to make sure the flist knew.

Am I the only one wondering if this will turn out to be an early April Fool's prank? I don't expect it to, but it just seems odd.

First thoughts on the US cover:

While an end showdown between Voldemort and Harry is hardly surprising, the way they seem to be ignoring each other and trying to pull something else to them is very interesting. And is that the Veil on the edges? Is all this taking place in that room in the MoM? And who all is watching? Death Eaters? OotP? Some of DA? Anyone else? Too many questions! Need July, now! EDIT: What is the thing around Harry's neck? Is it the locket?

First thoughts on the UK regular cover:

What the heck? No offense to anyone that likes this, but this one is the reason I'm even considering this all being an April Fool's joke. It's not that it is horrible. It is just very comical. It is more like the style of the Ukranian (I think) covers of the previous books than the UK ones. Ah well. Actual thoughts since there is a lot going on here: OMG! Full moon! The mountain of treasure is interesting. Is Ron's the house elf's sword the sword of Gryffindor from COS? Who is the house elf? Is the castle on the back proof that they will, in fact, return to Hogwarts even if not as students (did anyone really believe they wouldn't?)? And it looks like the return of Prongs!Patronus might be important.

First thoughts on the UK adult cover:

Not much here, is there? We knew the locket would be back. And there it is.


lady_bracknell at 1:44 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, they're interesting, aren't they? Particularly the UK versions. The adult one seems to suggest a big part for that locket, and the standard that Ron and Hermione will be with him til the end.

I can't blow it up to read the text or properly see all the details, but Harry's stag patronus is very...interesting to me, given my possibly now defunct theory that James was a big old red herring and Lily's the one to watch.

One way to liven up a Wednesday, this, isn't it?
bratty_jedi at 1:53 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
There is a lot going on in the UK regular. I'm very excited and have now recorded my incoherent initial reactions for posterity (because I think someone will care?)

The text doesn't actually say much. You can read it typed up here. Lots of vague nonsense about Dumbledore's gone, Harry's facing his biggest challenge, yada yada, yackity smackity. Only actual information I caught on a first read is Harry will be at Privet Drive and the OotP will be fetching him.

I'm supposed to get the results on my Comps today or tomorrow-ish so I am very thankful for this distraction from waiting.
lady_bracknell at 2:00 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
I just read someone say they think it's a house elf in the background with the sword of Gryffindor, Dobby most likely or Kreacher (although it could be Winky I suppose?). Since Leaky appears to have ground to a halt, I can't get back to check, but that would be a very, very interesting direction (although I always thought the house elves and othr magical creatures would play their part).

Again, full moon = major squeeing, re Remus getting a bigger role, but major nail biting because full moon = possible werewolf fight and death....

So. Much. To. Say.

I agree that they're almost comically scared on the UK editition, and that pile of gold is HUGELY interesting - could they be fighting in Gringott's? Is that why the vault numbers are important?
bratty_jedi at 2:08 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
I knew I should have saved the images to my computer before they got swamped and servers crashed. Ah well.

Oh, wait. I got the image to reload. It is totally a houe elf holding the sword. You can see the little head and everything! See what I miss when I'm too bust squeeing over full moon possibilities?

I was wondering about Gringott's. I don't know where else one would find a pile of gold like that.
lady_bracknell at 2:34 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Which begs the question - what are they doing in Gringott's? Storing the horcruxes there until they can figure out how to destroy them? I managed to get the bigger versions saved, and there's some interesting stuff in that pile, like possibly a goblet and a suit of armour, and a helmet with a dragon on....

That snake in the crystal ball on the back's got me thinking, too.
bratty_jedi at 4:56 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Someone on the flist posted something several days ago about Gringott's and Bill and Charlie (because there are dragons in there, duh) being part of the Horcrux hunt. Don't remember who.

The snake in rather the mirror position of the stag is very interesting. I am tempted to read what will likely prove to be way too much into the symbolism of that.

These images are giving me way too many crazy thoughts. Example: is the house elf with the sword Dobby coming to help or Kreacher sneaking up behind to stab in the back or something else entirely?
lady_bracknell at 5:22 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
It's my new theory (and, like, a hundred other people's over on Leaky, because the day I have an original thought is the day the world stops spinning on its axis) that they're in one of the founders' vaults at Gringotts, having gone there to break in with Bill (employee) and Chalrie (handy dragon tamer to deal with those pesky high security dragons). And they could have run into Voldemort there doing the exact same thing, because we know from PS that he knows how to break in, because he told Quirrel. A horcrux tip off? There's armour, and a cup, perhaps, in the picture, and all those rubies are quite suggestive.

I'm also thinking that to win, Harry will have to accept the Slytherin part of himself, rather than reject it - I think that's what the pensive Marauder scene was all about, showing him that someone he considered a hero, his dad, had his flaws, too.

It could be Kreacher - or a goblin, actually, coming up behind Harry to pull him back. It's so hard to tell with only being able to see the ears (although I believ there is a full analysis of Kreacher's distinctive ear hair going on somewhere ;)).
bratty_jedi at 5:28 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
LOL! Harry Potter fans: only people in the world who can act like close analysis of elf ear hair is a reasonable hobby!

Interesting thought about Harry and his Slytherin side. Just adds to the temptation to read far too much into the snake/stag juxtaposition.

I don't know why we (yes, I include myself) all expect to be able to tell so much just from a cover image. If you look back at the other covers, most of them tell you a lot in retrospect but if you didn't know what was happening, you can't deduce much of anything from them. I remember everything surrounding OotP and no on was close to the meaning of the room on the US cover (and the UK cover was absolutely no help). I honestly don't remember much speculation about the HBP covers other than "OMG! YAY! Dumbledore isn't ignoring Harry anymore!" I didn't get into fandom until after the release of GoF so I can't comment further back than that.
lady_bracknell at 5:35 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I daresay we're all about eight hundred miles shy of the mark, and somewhere today JKR is rolling on the floor laughing, rubbing her hands together with glee at how shocked we'll all be when we find out what it's really depicting....

If it does turn out to be some kind of founders' vault (and there do seem to be Slytherin monickers in there as well as rubies), that'd be really interesting, going hand in hand with the Sorting Hat's song and the idea that all must stand together, get over their petty divisions.
bratty_jedi at 5:40 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
I think what I am loving best about the two main covers we have so far is that the three big ideas I've seen for the Hallows is that they are a place, they are the souls/spirits/whatever of the dead, and they are artifacts connected to the Founders/the Horcruxes/both. The US cover adds a great deal of support to the theory of the dead through the Veil and the UK one backs up the artifacts. Very tricky.
What's Taters, Precious?
mrstater at 1:54 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
There's a full moon! We're so going to see Remus and Greyback fight it out in wolf form, and Remus is going to win. :)

I accidentally almost used my Werewolf mating habits icon, which would have been far too wrong, even for me.
bratty_jedi at 1:56 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
You notice my first reaction was "OMG! Full moon!" How many people do you honestly think would notice that first and foremost? I can't wait!
author_by_night at 2:02 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Userpic love!
bratty_jedi at 2:09 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks :)
author_by_night at 1:57 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
The Full Moon interests me, although it could just be the illustrators using dramatic art or whatever. However, then that makesit weird if Remus is there, very much NOT in wolf form...


Remus: Hi Harry! Tonks cured my lycanthropy!

R/T Opposers: *Nudge R/T Shippers*

R/T Shippers: *Facepalm*

Seriously - I say this could either be good or bad news for Remus. Eep.
bratty_jedi at 2:12 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
I did consider artistic license, especially since the full moon is a common element for dramatic purposes and, IIRC, the UK illustrator does not read the book and is told what to draw whereas the US illustrator reads the book before drawing the cover. I'm still going to hold out hope that this will mean something big, and good, for Remus and his fangirls.
drumher at 3:05 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Artistically, I like the US cover best, even tho' it doesn't have as many clues to decipher as the others. Still, my first thought was "Why the heck are they fighting in the Colosseum?" Then I noticed the people in the seats and figured it was at the Ministry. The only thing lacking, I think, are some Lions..and I don't mean Gryffindors.

I would love the full moon to be more than just a dramatic lighting effect. Should there be a showdown, Remus would so kick Greyback's furry butt but I'm beginning to fear for his (Remus') survival. I made a mistake, me thinks, in buying Mugglenet's book on what they think will happen in book 7. Some of their theories have been interesting to ponder but they only give Remus a 1 in 3 chance of making it out alive and it's kind of bummed me out. I needed a shot of Remus fic to lift my spirits and jdbracknell came through brilliantly this morning.

Thanks for sharing the covers with us.
bratty_jedi at 3:20 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
I have convinced myself based entirely on JKR's comments in interviews that she loves Remus too much to ever kill him. I could be wrong, but I am clinging to my hope that JKR is, in fact, a fellow Remus fangirl.

The US one is the best looking so far. It is really quite beautiful in a lot of ways. If the curtains on the side turn out to be anything other than the veil, I think I will be disappointed.
lady_bracknell at 5:28 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
I'm becoming more and more convinced that Remus is safe, because I can't see why she'd go into all that Tonks business and then kill him off - she never bothered to really give Sirius a backstory or anything to live for, and I really think she'll want someone around to tell all those fantastic Marauder stories. I think the deaths are going to be people we totally don't see coming.

I think the full moon on the cover is quite a good sign - because we've never seen Remus so much as scratched in a fight - so he can go from never having been injured at all, to injured in his battle with Greyback, but ultimately victorious as a nice parrallel for Harry's story.

See how I've talked myself into this? If she does kill him, I'm going to need group therapy.
bratty_jedi at 5:33 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Sign me up for that therapy.

Since I'm going to be teaching reading classes this summer, I am 95% certain I will be working Saturdays and Sundays. So my plan is to get the book at midnight Friday/Saturday, read it, hopefully finish it by 7:00 am, and go to teach without any sleep. If Remus dies, this plan will be thrown out the window because I'm not sure I am supposed to teach classes whilst curled up in a ball, crying.
lady_bracknell at 5:38 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
I'm probably DJing on the Friday night til around 4am, so my plan is to dispatch The Boyfriend to the midnight release, and then either start reading straight away by torchlight behind the decks (earning myself a probably irrevocable reputation as Biggest Nerd Ever), or grab a handful of hours' sleep, get up around seven, and try to have it finished by that evening.

Of course, if I'm crying and the pages get soggy, it kind of throws off my schedule....
bratty_jedi at 5:42 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Even working until 4, you'll have the book before me. If you wait until 7 to start reading, I should be reading before you. So unless you do that, I'll be at least a bit jealous.

At least I admit it :)
drumher at 6:10 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
This will be the first Harry Potter book that I will be reading from the day it's released. I haven't made any special plans, other than to brave the lines at Borders to pick up my pre-ordered copy. I'm pretty sure I've got the weekend cleared so I'm thinking of taking it down to the beach to read there whist getting burnt to a crisp. But now that I think about it, it may not be the best idea to read in public as I tend to get a bit dramatic and talk back to my books. Wouldn't want anybody to mistake me for a schizophrenic for yelling at fictional characters and haul me off to the sanitarium before I've a chance to finish it. Rest assured, there will be many shoulders for you to cry on, should you need one.
bratty_jedi at 6:27 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Reading at the beach is lovely, as long as the wind isn't blowing too much sand around. And if your beach is anything like Virginia Beach, you might attract more attention if not talking to yourself.
drumher at 6:33 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm. Maybe I should go a bit further north to Venice Beach, where eccentricity is a way of life. I could probably blend into the background easier.
author_by_night at 5:46 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
I know. Sirius was bad enough! (Dumbledore was sad, but to be honest, I have enough knowledge of the fantasy/sci fi/mythology world that I was more like, "yeah, he's going to croak."
drumher at 6:00 pm on 28 March 2007 (UTC) (Link)
I'm becoming more and more convinced that Remus is safe, because I can't see why she'd go into all that Tonks business and then kill him off

I hope you're right. It would really suck if she were that mean.

- she never bothered to really give Sirius a backstory or anything to live for, and I really think she'll want someone around to tell all those fantastic Marauder stories. I think the deaths are going to be people we totally don't see coming.

As sad as it would be, she should at least kill off one of the trio. It would make a huge dramatic impact. I think what bothers me most about the people at Mugglenet is that they think that Remus' part in the story is done. Just because he was in the background in the last three books doesn't mean that JKR can't bring him out to the forefront in the final one. We can't expect the veterans to just step back and let Harry handle everything.

I think the full moon on the cover is quite a good sign - because we've never seen Remus so much as scratched in a fight - so he can go from never having been injured at all, to injured in his battle with Greyback, but ultimately victorious as a nice parallel for Harry's story.

And that's another point that's often missed...the Hero's Journey and how Harry and Remus are both on one. Again, it could be the Remus fangirl in me that makes me think this, but our Werewolf boy is a powerful wizard and it's about time for him to step out of the shadows and take his place. And a Werewolf fight would totally rock! Tonks could get a couple of shots in there too.

See how I've talked myself into this? If she does kill him, I'm going to need group therapy.

Your arguments have helped to calm my nerves but I agree that therapy will be needed should things not go our way. Hopefully we won't need to create a new community called "The Doctor Is In" to pour out our broken hearts.

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