Dobby is one of the most beloved Harry Potter characters of all time. Even at his worst, it’s difficult to not be charmed by Dobby. He risked his life to save Harry's. In return, Dobby became a free elf. Let’s just say that no one can ever truly appreciate a sock the way Dobby can.
After being freed, Dobby became super loyal towards Harry which simply made Dobby that much more delightful. Dobby was a good friend to Harry, which could be seen throughout the novels. Even though Dobby wasn’t in most of the movies, he appears throughout the book series quite often. Dobby offers Harry advice, helps him during his regular excursions, and adds a bit of humor to the series. Dobby doesn’t really get much credit in the films, but his limited time on screen doesn’t mean he wasn’t appreciated by the fans.
There’s a lot to know about Dobby. From random comparisons to famous people to his obsession with socks, there’s more to Dobby than meets the eye. While the adorable, hilarious, valiant house-elf might have only appeared a few times in the movies, he still deserves a whole lot of love.
Here are 15 Things You Never Knew About Dobby The House-Elf.
15 Dobby: The Russian President
A group of Russian lawyers once threatened Warner Bros. with a lawsuit. The issue? They claimed that there were too many similarities between Dobby in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Vladimir Putin. How they found this to be insulting is beyond most people's comprehension. That being said, a lot of people do find that Dobby and Putin have some similarities.
CBBC is the children’s version of the BBC. In 2003, the CBBC posted a poll about whether or not Dobby looked like Vladimir Putin. Out of those who voted, 63% said that Dobby and Putin did look alike. Warner Bros. actually gets sued all the time, so the lawsuit over Putin eventually mellowed out. It has remained as a humorous subject since then, however, and even influenced a pair of “political artists” in Ukraine to create a monument of Putin that looked more like a house-elf than Putin himself.
14 Dobby and Aberforth
A lot of people wonder why Aberforth sent Dobby to save Harry and the gang at Malfoy Manor. Yes, it’s super helpful that house-elf magic has way less restrictions than wizard magic, but there’s more to it than that. Aberforth and Dobby were actually pretty close friends.
Being the rebel that he was, Dobby took complete advantage of being a free elf. He got to go wherever he pleased and buy whatever he wanted to buy. There’s very strong support to the idea that Dobby would regularly go to Hogsmeade, whether it be to shop or just to relax on his days off work. It’s never said as to how Dobby and Aberforth actually met, but their paths clearly crossed at some point. Aberforth was quite fond of Dobby. Their friendship is how Aberforth knew Dobby would want to go and save Harry. Knowing Dobby, he probably spent a lot of his time talking to Aberforth about his famous friend, Harry Potter.
13 Dobby's Voice
It’s no secret that Harry Potter was the most desired franchise that seasoned British actors aspired to be a part of. Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, and Maggie Smith were just a few of the overly renowned actors who became major characters in the movies. However, they were not the only ones. Dobby was also portrayed by a great actor too.
Dobby was voiced by well-known actor, Toby Jones. Jones has been around for a while and has over a hundred on-screen acting credits. He’s part of a lot of notable franchises besides Harry Potter. Jones might be recognized by some fans as Arnim Zola from Captain America, Claudius Templesmith from The Hunger Games, or Culverton Smith from Sherlock. He will also be in the upcoming Jurassic World sequel. While Jones took care of Dobby’s voice, it was actually actress Diane Gibbins who is credited for doing all the Dobby’s physical work in the last two Harry Potter films.
12 Fair Pay for Fair Work
Dobby was always unusual. He didn’t quite fit in with the other house-elves. It might have been because Dobby wasn’t merely a free elf, but that he loved being a free elf. He didn’t want to have a master, whereas the other house-elves desired to be slaves and live within the strict wizard-elf hierarchy. Dobby wanted a free life. Fortunately, that’s what he got when he started working at Hogwarts.
After Dobby got his first sock and became a free elf, he took some time off and then began working at Hogwarts. Dobby demanded to be paid, though. He refused to be enslaved. Professor Dumbledore offered Dobby ten galleons a week, plus weekends off. Since he was still a humble house-elf, Dobby found this to be too much money. He didn’t really care much about being paid or having time off at all. He cared more about being employed rather than being enslaved. Eventually, Dobby and Dumbledore finally agreed on the terms: Dobby would be paid one galleon a week and would have one day off every month instead.
11 Finding Dobby’s Eyeline
The first-time Dobby appears was during Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Dobby arrives at 4 Privet Drive in order to warn Harry of the grave dangers that await him at Hogwarts. Dobby does everything he can to stop Harry from going back to school and essentially destroys Harry’s room in the process. He jumps all over the place, knocks things over, and hits himself again and again with a table lamp.
Dobby’s spastic behavior proved to be a challenge for not only the special effects team, but for the actors as well. Specifically, Daniel Radcliffe needed to be able to focus in on Dobby, speak to him, and look him directly in the eye in some pretty crazy scenes. The special effects team ended up giving actors a lifelike model of Dobby to work with, while leaving the rest of it up to CGI.
10 Directing Dobby
For the smallest amount of time, the Warner Bros. studio tour in London allowed visitors to do motion capture with Dobby. It was the first interactive experience at the studio that used motion capture technology. The tour worked in a very unique way. A visitor would stand in front of a display and be able to control anything and everything that Dobby did in real time.
The tour showed Dobby in three different phases, from his initial creation to how he ended up looking in the films. Visitors had the power to control Dobby’s movements during all three phases. During this small amount of time, the studio reopened the Dursley’s home, 4 Privet Drive, for visitors to see. This was because Dobby could be spotted in the window of the home. It was essentially a Dobby bonanza, but the fun didn’t last long. Directing Dobby was only open from February 4th to March 31st, 2017.
9 Dobby's Sock Collection
Everyone knows that Dobby became a free elf when Harry tricked Lucius Malfoy into giving Dobby a sock. Lucius tried to attack, and potentially kill, Harry in retaliation, but Dobby protected him from Lucius. Socks represented freedom to Dobby, so his love for socks totally makes sense. He even had his own sock collection. Some of the socks he owned were vibrant, while others were lacking, such as an old pair of Uncle Vernon’s that Harry had given him.
Dobby loved socks so much that he had to make sure that his favorite person had a nice pair as well. For Christmas one year, Dobby gave Harry a pair of socks that he had made himself. The socks were two different colors. One sock was bright red and had a broomstick stitched onto it. The other sock was green and covered in snitches. Dobby had saved up all his money just to buy the wool for Harry’s socks and spent all of his free time making the pair.
8 Dobby is Free
There are a few official statues of Dobby located around the world. A specifically famous one can be found at the Warner Bros. Studio in Leavesden, England, where Harry Potter was filmed. During the studio tour, a realistic statue can be seen standing in a glass box. The statue of Dobby is bloodied and his eyes are shut, indicating that the statue is specifically from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
No one has really been able to get over the death of Dobby. The bloodied model saddens fans so much that people started leaving their used socks for him as they go by on the tour. Sometimes people bring in clean ones, but a lot of the time, they’re taking the socks right off their own feet. Dobby always wanted to be happy and free, so hopefully he appreciates the small offerings.
7 Household Pet Similarities
Many fans love to claim that their cats and dogs look very similar to Dobby. Too many of them get way too excited about the idea that their pet might look identical to everyone’s favorite house-elf. One of the original pets is an Oriental Shorthair cat named Teddy. He has pointy ears, green eyes, and lives in Ocean City, New Jersey with his owner.
Since Teddy’s owner posted a picture of him on Reddit (and even before then), tons of people have gone viral due to claims that their pets look exactly like Dobby. While this might sound amusing, most of the animals don’t actually look like Dobby at all. The best ones just have similar pointy ears, though usually they don’t even have that.
There’s only one Dobby and he’s not a household pet. He’s a free house-elf who would do anything for his friends.
6 Emma Watson’s Reaction
A lot of beloved characters died in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, specifically during the battle of Hogwarts. JK Rowling sure knew how to make everyone cry. Lupin, Tonks, Lavender Brown, Colin Creevey, Fred, and Snape all died during the battle. There were also deaths at the beginning of the film, most memorably Hedwig. Basically, almost everyone you ever loved in the series died. Yet Emma Watson claims that the moment she absolutely lost it wasn’t during any of these death scenes.
In one of her interviews, Emma Watson claimed that she cried a lot while reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and that the book basically destroyed her. However, it was Dobby’s death that really got to her more than anything else. She said reading about Dobby getting stabbed made her absolutely hysterical and she couldn’t handle anything after that.
5 Winky the Drinker
Most house-elves weren’t as enthusiastic as Dobby when it came to being a free elf. Winky was an example of one of those house-elves who didn’t want to be freed. Like most house-elves, Winky was loyal to her master, Barty Crouch Senior. After Crouch freed her, Winky fell into a major depression. She didn’t know what to do with herself.
Dobby was known for being extremely loyal and thoughtful. Having been friends with Winky, Dobby got her a job working at Hogwarts. Winky never got over being freed by Crouch and often wondered what he was up to. She became a severely heavy drinker of Butterbeer.
Butterbeer was usually fine for creatures. For house-elves however, it was pretty potent and Winky became heavily dependent on it. Dobby ended up taking care of her all the time and acted as her main support system. He never let his friend down.
4 The New Dobby
JK Rowling selected artist Jim Kay to illustrate the new picture editions of the Harry Potter series. While Kay was happy to be part of the amazing series, he was also deathly afraid of failing. He knew that there were a lot of fans and his biggest worry was displeasing them. It didn’t help that the movies had been out for a while, so he also feared his illustrations would stray too far from what fans would expect.
Jim Kay claims that Dobby was one of the most difficult characters to create. Illustrating Dobby came with a whole lot of pressure. Everyone loves Dobby, so Kay wanted to ensure that he portrayed him well. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Dobby is described in great detail. Kay used this novel as a reference. He created a Dobby figurine out of modeling clay and then created his illustration based on that model in order to get it right.
3 Dobby's Birthday
Dobby famously died after saving Harry Potter and his friends from Malfoy Manor. After being wounded by Bellatrix Lestrange, he died at Shell Cottage in late March of 1998. Harry buried Dobby without using any magic and gave him a gravestone that read: “Here Lies Dobby, A Free Elf.” Reading it in the book and seeing the scene in the movie was extremely emotional for every fan.
When Dobby died, his age was unknown. House-elves weren’t really known for celebrating themselves, let alone their birthdays. Dobby’s birthday is on June 28th, though the year is up in the air. There’s indication that JK Rowling picked Dobby’s birthday to be on that date because of her sister, Dianne. Dobby is one of Dianne’s favorite characters and her birthday is on June 28th, 1967.
So, while the day and month are certain, the year is not. Rowling left Dobby’s age to be mystery.
2 Dobby and the Gillyweed
Everyone knows that Harry was specifically chosen for the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In the film, Neville Longbottom is the one who informs Harry about the Gillyweed that Harry needs for the second task, in order to breathe under water. Neville tells Harry that he found out about the Gillyweed in a book that the fake Moody, or Barty Crouch Jr., had given him.
In the novel, it was actually Dobby who found out about the Gillyweed. The fake Moody compelled Dobby to steal the Gillyweed for Harry's benefit. Dobby was extremely helpful to Harry in the novels. He even showed Harry the Room of Requirement. Dobby’s absence in the films might have been based on not only the time and cost of creating Dobby, but also the amount of CGI work required.
Either way, Dobby was the reason why Harry was able to breathe underwater during the second Triwizard task. He helped Harry a lot of the time, but the movies took that credit away from him.
1 First and Last Words
Harry Potter doesn’t exist. At least, that’s how it was supposed to be when Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia hosted Mr. and Mrs. Mason for dinner in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Dobby surprised Harry by showing up in his room completely uninvited. When Harry greets Dobby, the first thing Dobby shouts is, “Harry Potter!”
Dobby’s death in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was heartbreaking, but one of the most devastating parts of it were his last words. In the film, Dobby says, “Such a beautiful place it is, to be with friends. Dobby is happy to be with his friend, Harry Potter.” In the books, Dobby’s death happens more suddenly. All he says after having fallen into Harry’s arms was the name “Harry Potter.”
Both instances are hard to handle and both include Dobby’s true final words: “Harry Potter.” Dobby was loyal to many, but specifically to Harry. Without Harry, Dobby wouldn’t be a free elf. Harry was Dobby’s friend, family, and hero. Harry was the center of his world, so it is only fitting that his first and last words to Harry were Harry’s name.
Know any other interesting things about Dobby from Harry Potter? Let us know about it in the comments!