If "you can't domesticate a dragon"*....

....how do you explain the new U.S. Deluxe Deathly Hallows cover art?  (To really see the details properly, go look at Scholastic's magnifiable version.)



We'll save the biggest one for last, and instead start with the trio's clothing.  Similarly to the British edition, Ron and Hermione are in robes and Harry is not.  In fact, it's not clear what Harry is wearing.  It may just be a fuzzy "Weasley sweater", but if you look at it under magnification it looks kind of funny--maybe like it's growing things or something.

Additionally, poor Hermione looks like she's about to fall off.  Is this meant to simply reflect her fear of flying?  Or is a disaster about to occur?

Next, where are they?  I have no speculations on that whatsoever, except to say somewhere with mountains, rivers, cute tiny houses.

Last, but certainly not least, the dragon.  This was not my original discovery, of course, but speculations by other quickly led me to the "Dragons" section of "Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them".  There I found an entry regarding the "Antipodean Opaleye", a dragon with "iridescent, pearly scales" and "pupil-less eyes" just like our pretty cover dragon.  Although, as noted in the title of this post, J.K. Rowling has said "You can't domesticate a dragon whatever Hagrid thinks. . . ." FBAWTFT indicates the Opaleye is "not particularly aggressive". 

Even more strange, the Opaleye is native to Australia.  Given what we've seen as far as dragons being imported (both legally and otherwise) this may not mean anything--it does seem far-fetched to send the trio to Australia.  At the same time...what if that's exactly what it means?

(If you don't have "Fantastic Beasts" some of this information can be found on the HP Lexicon, but really, just go buy the book--it's very funny and it's for charity for goodness sake!)