Thursday, March 29, 2007

Speculating Runs Amok Due to Artwork on Various Harry Potter "Hallows" Covers

How fun. The book isn't here yet, but we have four months to speculate about the events in the novel just from the cover art of the various editions of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS. (Trivia: 784 pages, US edition.)

For those of you dissecting the previous Harry Potter cover we posted here at Mirathon and other sites, make sure you take a look at this lovely close-up of the UK edition over at the Leaky Cauldron.

I've browsed a few of the sites with speculations, which include:

1. An alchemical analysis of the serpent in the globe in the UK children's edition. Additionally, is that a prophecy about Nagini or about Slytherin or about Salazar S.? Or is it a crystal ball and is Trelawney about to prophesy again with key effects?
2. A discourse on the Christ motif in the American edition--what with Harry's body in a cross form, arms outstretched, one high to heaven, and the broken wood (chopping block for execution?) at his feet evocative of a demolished cross.
3. Dobby seemingly piggy-backed on Harry, brandishing a sword. (Will the house elves mass to battle on Harry's side?)
4. The masses of treasure in the UK children's version's art: a vault at Gringott's?
5. The stadium or colisseum background in the American edition: a showdown with an audience? An execution interrupted?
6. And what is that prominent helmet and breastplate with--what, a gryphon? a dragon?--in the UK kid's edition, sitting there amidst the treasure? If it's a gryphon then...Is this a Gryffindor vault? I'm thinking, yes, it's Gryffindor stuff and this is a vault at Gringott's relating to the G. Maybe something key is in there--a horcrux? Or perhaps Harry is assembling some special armor for the showdown. Gryffindor armor, sword, gauntlet, helm, and breastplate and...shield? Is that a shield there? And is that an arm-guard or leg-guard. Hard to tell what the silvery stuff is on the right.
7. Do the hand gestures and sight-lines of the American cover say something? Why are Lord Voldemort and Harry NOT looking at each other, but looking away at someone or something else? Speculations: Snape's surprise revelation of where he REALLY stands. (ie. he's a good guy, as I choose to believe, ergo Voldemort's distress and Harry's open palm.)
8. What do the hand gestures say, magically? Is Lord Voldemort warding off something that Harry has summoned with that upraised and open hand?
9. The UK adult editon has a locket with the Slytherin S and green stones. Just that. Is this the REAL locket that Dumbledore and Harry sought in the cave with the inferi? If so, RAB didn't destroy it, and Harry must find it in the last novel. And if it's on the cover, it's IMPORTANT. (Is this what Harry has around his neck in the US edition, but covered?)
10. The UK kid's edition back cover art has a huge full moon depicted in a landscape with Hogwarts (is it?) at night. Does that refer to werewolf (Lupin) activity being important?
11. And what's with the wounds evident on Hermione's and Harry's arms in the UK children's edition? Is the sword-wielder hidden cause it's NOT Dobby, but Kreacher? Are they cut or burned?
12. If the US cover is the showdown, then it looks like our boy Harry wins, cause Voldemort looks clearly on the shocked defensive. If the Christ imagery is right, then he may need to die to save the world. (I think he will die and somehow live again, as I've said before, completing the Christian imagery.)
13. Any significance to the bright white reflection in Harry's glasses? A patronus? A phoenix (there is also yellow and red). There's a fire feel to both the UK kid's and US covers (lots of reds and oranges), that make one think FIRE, FIRE. Also, Gryffindor colors, so perhaps it symbolizes the supremacy of the G over the S and Voldemort. OR, there will be a heckuva conflagration.
14. What is that thing around Harry's neck that you can't miss in the US edition? Is it a sack with an amulet or some talisman? Is it the locket we see on the UK adult edition, the one with the S in green stones? Why is Harry wearing it at the showdown?
15. What does the "Deathly Hallows" have to do with the cover? In the US editions, some speculate, the cover always shows something key to the title, whether it's the sorcerer's stone, the goblet of fire, the half-blood prince's potions, etc. So, what in the US cover connect to "deathly hallows"? Some say the "hallows" refers to the horcruxes. Some say the hallows refer to PEOPLE, and they might be the spectators that are shadows in the background of the US edition. (I dig that one.) If hallows is some sort of consecration or blessing, then deathly blessings may be some sort of what? Incantation or blessing that comes from the dead? We saw how Harry's mom and dad were able to help him in GofF. Perhaps spirits can aid yet again in some way. (I didn't come across that speculation. It's purely mine, and maybe incredibly stupid.)
Then again, maybe it refers to Halloween. Is it a "Deathly All Hallows Eve"? Will the showdown be on Haloween?
16. The curtains on the cover? I read one theory that it's the "closing curtain", symbolic of the saga's finale. Another theory says it refers to The Veil from OotP, where whispers are heard. Will Harry venture into the Veil? Or will Harry push Voldemart past the veil and into...what? The realm of the dead? Since I am convinced Harry has to, as Christ-figure, die and come back, perhaps it won't be a literal death, but a death of transition, ie., he goes to the "underworld" or the world beyond the veil to retrieve something or get particular knowledge? Perhaps THAT is the deathly hallows--whatever is beyond the veil, whatever is whispered to him or whatever consecration he receives.
17. Back to the curtain--or veil? Is that how Dumbledore appears to us again, given JKR had stated that Dumbledore was giving her fits in writing bookd 7? Will Sirius make an appearance that way? Will we see one or both when Harry enters the realm of the dead? Will the showdown be in that realm, hence the shady outlines in the US cover?

Expect more and wilder last minute theoris and speculations as July nears.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Good questions all. Personally I think that Harry and the Big V decide to settle their differences over a game of Quidditch and they're reaching for the Golden Snitch.