Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dobby the House Elf

The movie version of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is now out, so it seems like a good time to share some thoughts about Dobby. J.K. Rowling did not write about any faeries living in the wizarding world, but there are plenty of elves -- house elves to be exact. These magical creatures are the obedient, unpaid servants of wizards and are bound to a house, rather than to any person or family. If a wizard buys or inherits a home with an elf, he gets him or her along with the property. House elves possess their own form of extremely powerful magic, but they generally only use it when commanded to do so by their masters. The Harry Potter books include many house elves, and several are introduced by name. One of them, called Dobby, is decidedly the most involved in Harry’s life and struggles against dark wizards.

Dobby is introduced early in the series -- he first appears at the beginning of the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Although he initially tries to sabotage Harry’s efforts to return to Hogwarts (out of misguided concern, not malice), the elf later becomes an invaluable ally. In the books, Dobby helps the young wizard by showing him the secret Room of Requirement, which Harry uses to train with his friends for the fight against Voldemort. The elf later spies on dark wizard Draco Malfoy and heroically rescues seven people when they are imprisoned at Malfoy Manner.

Dobby is an interesting character in the Harry Potter universe, and he has many fans ... there’s a good bit of fan fiction on the internet featuring him! There’s something appealing about the combination of incredible magic power combined with such obsequiousness. Of course, he’s also extremely loyal to Harry, to the point of valuing the young wizard’s life above his own. Wouldn’t you like to purchase a home that comes complete with its own house elf? Perhaps adding them to properties for sale would help with the world’s current economic woes ...


1 comment:

  1. I love Dobby, and, sadly, he's been left out of the movies. As a fan of faeries (elves are a type of faery) it's disappointint to me that they're not in there.

    Book 2 had Cornish Pixies. I believe those are a type of faery, also.