What I want from the “Harry Potter” 15th Anniversary covers
Scholastic tells us they will periodically release the covers leading up to the September 2013 release. But until then, we have some time to consider what they might use for the subsequent six books from J.K. Rowling.
On the new Sorcerer’s Stone cover, we get a look at Harry, Hagrid, and Hedwig walking through Diagon Alley for Harry’s first visit. This is a really important scene in the book, as it’s the first time Harry really encounters magic all around him. I remember reading it for the first time, when I was eleven years old, dreaming of such an amazing place. So good job Scholastic and Kibuishi, I think you did a good job with selecting this scene.
But for the other books? Well, here are my thoughts:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The first American cover shows Harry flying away with Fawkes (so… where’s Ron, Lockhart, and Ginny?) from the Chamber of Secrets, with a snake creeping in the background. Of course, the reader doesn’t know what all of this is at first glance.
For the 15th anniversary cover, I would love to see Harry, Ron, and Hermione first finding the writing on the wall. The trio finds the petrified Mrs. Norris and an ominous message on the wall: “The chamber of secrets has been opened, enemies of the heir… beware.” In this scene, everything starts to get connected: petrification, mandrakes, Muggleborns, and the heir of Slytherin. I imagine the cover showing the crowd of students gathered to see the incident, with Filch standing over his beloved cat, recently petrified.
We’ve already seen the actual Chamber in older covers, so Scholastic should give us the scene of what leads us to that fateful place.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The original Scholastic cover of Prisoner of Azkaban shows Harry and Hermione riding Buckbeak, giving us a look at this new Hippogriff creature. The illustration continues the theme of Harry mid-air in some way (broomstick for Sorcerer’s Stone and with Fawkes in Chamber of Secrets).
While that scene gives us a sense of adventure, there are a lot of dark elements in Rowling’s third book in the series. So for this cover’s illustration, I want to see the Dementors entering Harry’s compartment aboard the Hogwarts Express. I’m very interested in how Kibuishi would depict this, with the icy cold, happiness-thieving Dementors invading the usually warm train to Hogwarts.
But please don’t make them look like they did in this particular film.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Originally Scholastic gave us a look at Harry with his three Triwizard competitors: Cedric Diggory, Fleur Delacour, and Viktor Krum. A dragon’s tail lies in the foreground and the hint of a maze sits in the background.
While this is important to the Triwizard Tournament itself, for this new cover I would like to see the Great Hall filled with students from the three Wizarding schools. Center stage: the Goblet of Fire. While Bloomsbury used this for their adult version, I think a new Scholastic cover can dramatize the scene even further, and even include a name shooting out from the goblet.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
My first instinct for this new cover was to go with Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place. I’ve always loved the place and everything associated with it, but it might be hard to capture an interesting scene with just the house itself.
So I decided on a different Department of Mysteries scene from the original Scholastic cover that shows Harry in the rotating room with many doors. I want to see the Death Chamber showing the archway and mysterious veil. An incredible duel takes place in this room, so I would also want unidentifiable members of the Order and Death Eaters dueling in front of this grand platform.
The scene would thus combine two prominent running themes Rowling uses: good versus evil and death.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
I’ll always be a fan of the flood of green in the original Scholastic cover, with Harry and Dumbledore peering over the Pensieve. With this book, I want to stick with Harry and Dumbledore, given the relationship is so important throughout, but I want to see a new scene.
My ideal cover would be the duo on the island inside the cave, trying to escape. I think it would look amazing to have Harry and Dumbledore stuck on the island, the Inferi closing in, and Dumbledore working his mighty magic to get them out of there. This sequence is one of the most intense through the entire series, and I think it could make for a very captivating cover.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Finally, the closing book to the Potter series. This was extremely difficult for me, given it’s my favorite book of the seven. The original Scholastic cover of Harry and Voldemort’s final face-off is amazing, and I think it was the perfect way to close out the series. But, there’s still more to show with a newer cover.
The nineteen years later scene! Nah, just kidding. Let’s not even go there.
What I really want is Harry in Godric’s Hollow, standing in front of what’s left of the former Potter home. The events that took place in that house catalyzed the entire series, and it’s only fitting that Harry visits his one-time home as he aims to finish the job. This cover could show the utter destruction caused by Voldemort, the pain left in its wake, and the Boy Who Lived who is on a quest to overcome evil.
Don’t get me wrong, some of these selections were really tough, and there were quite a few possible options. But I stick with my picks! We’ll see if I get my wish as we get closer to the September releases. What are your thoughts on these cover selections? Would you be happy with these? If not, what would you want instead?