They also made him Kargish, which is unfortunate given the very first chapter.
Sure, in order to discover that his skin is not light-coloured you have to actually read the book closely enough to realise that the Kargs are considered to look different due to their light skins, or to note that Earthsea itself is more than slightly Polynesian… and reading the book is something publishers have never been good at.
Like Alessandra, my first thought was “gecko!” Then I saw the face, and thought for a second that it was Harlan Ellison. Then I saw the BIG hair (that is VERY BIG hair), and now I don’t know what to think. But I understand why Ursula screamed.
Even though this is the British Penguin cover (you may well ask, what’s a British Penguin, but I’ll leave that for later), Shawn Ashmore does resemble the blonde-haired white guy with sparks. I don’t know why the cover guy has got a giant hedgehog on the back of his head, though.
I think the cover below is the one that LeGuin was complaining of
@Alessandra: Leo and Diane Dillon did a beautiful and accurate cover for the Science Fiction Book Club’s omnibus edition some years back, which can be seen here. I believe their son was the model for Ged.
Pavane is hard to summarise. Most artists haven’t tried, or been given a good enough brief perhaps. I’d submit one of the covers where the Lady Margaret is a railway locomotive, but don’t own any, I’ve got the Classic SF edition. Hint, for anyone out there with a good bad example?