Harry Potter: 20 Strange Details About Dobby’s Anatomy

When Dobby the House-elf first appeared in the Harry Potter franchise, he was a mischief-maker, messing up the Dursley's kitchen, making Harry Potter's life hard , and almost getting the Boy Wizard kicked out of Hogwarts. However, Harry and fans of the J.K. Rowling franchise soon learned that Dobby was doing all of this for a noble reason. Dobby was someone who gave Harry a lot of trouble, but he also became one of young Potter's closest friends and allies. He did everything he could to do what was right and was loyal to those who proved themselves as trustworthy to him, whether that was Harry Potter, Hermione, or his old friend, Aberforth Dumbledore. With all that in mind, the Dobby that fans met in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets came a long way to the point where he gave his life to save Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. His journey was a little more in depth in the books, as he appeared in more books than movies, but his character arc in the films was just as touching and saddening. Along the way, Dobby became the one who pushed Hermione to try to fight for the freedom of all House-elves from servitude and proved to be a powerful magical creature, one that Harry Potter could count on when the chips were down. Here is a look at Harry Potter: 20 Strange Details About Dobby’s Anatomy.

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One thing that made the entire Harry Potter movie franchise feel a little disjointed at times was the change in directors. There were eight films in the series, with Chris Columbus helming the first two, followed by Alfonso Cuarón and Mike Newell, and then finished off with David Yates, who stuck with the franchise until the end. The first appearance for Dobby was in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, where Chris Columbus made kid-friendly movies of awe.

In that movie, Dobby had bright green eyes; however, when directors change, there are often aesthetic changes as well. This happened as Dobby had changed by the end, where his eyes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 were a dark blue-green, the reason likely being a change in directors.


There are always changes made to books when they are adapted into movies. Many times, the changes are drastic, such as The Shining, where the haunted hotel was replaced by a story of an abusive father. Other times, though, the changes are a bit more subtle. That is what happened with Dobby when it came to the way he dressed in the books compared to the movies.

In the books, Dobby had a long storyline where Hermione was working hard to get the House-elves freed from their years of servitude. As a result, Dobby was wearing regular clothes that Hermione had given him by the time Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came around. However, in the movie, that storyline barely existed and he was still wearing the pillowcase instead of regular garments.


Dobbys Death in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

When it comes to the characters in the Harry Potter franchise who have lost their lives, and there are a surprisingly large number for a young adult book series, almost everyone fell to one form of magic or another. The Avada Kedavra spell is one that has one purpose: to end someone's life, just as it did to both of Harry's parents.

However, in some interesting trivia, only one major character in the franchise lost their life to something that had nothing to do with magic: Dobby. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the Death Eaters had Harry and his friends held captive. It was Dobby who saved them through a Disapparition spell, but Bellatrix threw her silver knife and hit Dobby instead of Harry, resulting in the House-elf giving his life in order to save the Boy Wizard.


Dobby is freed

Dobby always spoke in the third person in the Harry Potter books. The thing about this world is that it isn't just Dobby who does this, but every House-elf in the series. Even Winky and the ones that work at Hogwarts all spoke in the third person as well. The main reason for this is that House-elves, over history, were always used as loyal servants and always spoke in the third person as a way of showing their loyalty.

As creatures that were seen as lower beings, the House-elves never used terms like “I” because it would show that they valued themselves. Instead, Dobby would say things like “Dobby will have to punish himself most grievously” to show that he is just an object and not a real human-type character. House-elves had their identities stripped from them at birth.


While Dobby and all House-elves in the Harry Potter series always spoke in the third person and referred to themselves in the third person, there were moments in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 that went back on this idea. It was also an interesting decision by director David Yates. In the movies, the idea of the House-elves rising up behind the support of Hermione was mostly glossed over.

That might be why Dobby still wore the pillowcase in Deathly Hallows instead of real clothes. However, while that was not changed, there was a change in how Dobby spoke in that movie. Dobby began to speak in the first person with no explanation, something that didn't even happen in the books despite the more in-depth House-elf storylines.


Dobby in Harry Potter

When Chris Columbus directed Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, he introduced Dobby to movie audiences. Dobby had giant bright green eyes, but he also had many wrinkles and walked around barefoot. Now, the idea that he was barefoot made sense because it wasn't until Harry gave him socks that Dobby was free and started to wear them. He even began wearing shoes later on.

However, the idea that Dobby was wrinkled when fans first saw him in the movie is puzzling. This is because, by the time Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 came around, Dobby was no longer wrinkled and was now smooth-skinned. Now, some might believe that Dobby was healthier due to his freedom, but it was likely a design change based on the different directors in the two Harry Potter movies.


Dobby the House Elf

While he was a House-elf, Dobby had a lot of magical powers, and it turns out that all House-elves are powerful magical creatures, they just don't use their more powerful abilities due to their role in life being servants to wizards. One of Dobby's magical skills came in very handy at a time of need. That is the magical ability of Apparition.

Of course, Apparition is the ability to transport one's body from one place to another. This was done to great effect in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. In the world of House-elves, they use it to get into areas normally forbidden. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Dobby uses this power to rescue Harry at the expense of his life.


When Dobby first appeared in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, it was not known if he was a friend or foe. As a matter of fact, most of what Dobby did in that book and movie made him look like an enemy – albeit a mischievous enemy rather than a dangerous one. What Dobby did was show up at Harry's home and try everything he could to stop him from going to Hogwarts that year.

This included his magical power of levitating items. At a party at the Dursley's, Dobby constantly did what he could to get Harry in trouble, which included levitating and hovering an entire cake over Mrs. Mason before dropping it on her head. In the book, he levitates dessert before causing it to explode.


Dobby in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Dobby was a nuisance for much of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, as he did everything he could to keep Harry away from Hogwarts. He used his levitation magic to cause a mess at the Dursley's party, but he also used what is known as tampering magic as well to try to cause problems for Potter.

Basically, tampering magic is a simple term for using magic to tamper with items. An example of this came when Dobby tampered with a Bludger in the Quidditch match, causing it to chase after Harry. His goal was for the Bludger to injure him and cause Hogwarts to have to send him home. It was dangerous, but Dobby had a single-minded goal in his head. Dobby also tampered with the entrance to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters, causing Harry to miss the train to school.


Dobby and all House-elves have another interesting power that is not expected from the servants: they can shoot magical blasts from their hands. This is interesting because House-elves are all capable fighters and are very capable of dueling. While Dobby showed many times that he had strong magical powers, including tampering and levitating, the fact that he was an accomplished fighter was not shown until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Many of the House-elves at Hogwarts helped in defending the school from the Death Eaters; they used knives and cleavers with great success. Earlier in the movies, Dobby actually used a blasting or stunning spell to save Potter from an attacking Lucius Malfoy, who was trying to curse Harry. This was something that came as a surprise to both Potter and Malfoy.


Dobby in Harry Potter books

Another very powerful magical tool at the arsenal of most House-elves, including Dobby, is the ability to disarm a wizard or witch. The Disarming Charm is also known in the Harry Potter world as the Expelliarmus Spell and is a defensive charm, which forces an enemy to let go of whatever they are holding. This is most effective in duels, used when Severus Snape disarmed Harry after Dumbledore fell.

Dobby has the same powers and used them in a very important battle. This happened in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Dobby was trying to help save Harry from the Death Eaters. In the battle, Dobby used the spell to disarm Narcissa Malfoy during their confrontation.


Dobby Rescues Ollivander and Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

There are two things that make House-elves more powerful than average wizards and witches. While most practitioners of magic work within the confines of the rules of magic, creatures like Dobby have little to no problem using dark magic. Dobby hexed the entrance to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters and also forced a Bludger to chase Harry and injure him – both are examples of dark magic. On top of that, House-elves such as Dobby do not need wands to cast spells. As he showed in the party scene with the cake and in the battles with both Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy, Dobby can cast his spells with his fingers. Only the most experienced and powerful wizards can cast spells without the use of a wand.


JK Rowling and Dobby

After Dobby gave his life to save that of his friend and companion Harry Potter, it saddened the kids as they had really developed an intense friendship with the House-elf. Actress Emma Watson (Hermione) said that the passing of Dobby destroyed her more than anything else in any of the books. J.K. Rowling even apologized for taking the life of the House-elf.

With that said, Rowling paid a great tribute to Dobby. While his age remains unknown, Rowling did let it be known that his birthday was June 28th. This is significant because Dobby was Rowling's sister Dianne's favorite character, who coincidentally, was born on this day as well. While the beloved House-elf did not make it to the end, the author loved him enough to give him that very special day for celebration.


Dobby fan art

While Dobby is able to shoot magical blasts, as well as use the Disarming spell, there are some Harry Potter fans who believe it was neither of those spells that the House-elf used when saving Harry Potter from Lucius Malfoy. Instead, it is believed that he used the Knockback Jinx in that specific situation.

The Knockback Jinx is used mostly in duels to repel an opponent or knock something away from them, making it very similar to the Disarming spell. It can also be used to break fragile objects. The spell delivers what feels like a blow to the chest and, when watching Dobby blast Lucius with it in the movie, that is exactly what happens. This happened in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets after Harry freed Dobby by giving him a sock.


Originally, when Dobby was created in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, there was nothing there. In that movie, Dobby was a completely digitalized character created from computers. The cast had to look in the direction of the creature, although in other cases, veteran actor Warwick Davis (Professor Filius Flitwick and Griphook) brought in some extras to stand where Dobby would end up. At the same time, Toby Jones, the actor who voiced Dobby, would stand off to the side and feed the dialogue on occasion.

That all changed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, though. Diane Gibbins was the actress who portrayed Dobby in the last two movies. She was one of 60 small actors to appear in the final two movies, with the others starring as goblins in the final battles as well. In these movies, she was shot in front of a green screen.


Diane Gibbons, the actress who portrayed Dobby in the final two movies, stands three-feet and a quarter-inch tall; however, that is actually a bit shorter than Dobby in the movie and books. In the story, Dobby is actually about three-feet, six inches tall, or 1.06 meters. This often made it hard for the actors in the movies to get the eye line correct when speaking and interacting with the creature.

When it comes to Daniel Radcliffe in the original movies, there was no actor for him to speak to. It was all digital effects created after the fact. As a result, things like plates and balls were used to give the young actor something to look at when talking. Soon the special effects team came up with the smart idea to create a lifelike model of Dobby and put that where the House-elf will later be created.


Dobby had a very rough life and like all House-elves, he was dangerously loyal to those who he was in debt to. This gave Dobby a sad trait, where he would hurt himself if he did something that he perceived to be wrong. Often, Dobby would find something to hit himself with as punishment for his perceived wrongdoings. At one time, Dobby even ironed his own hands.

Dobby would also punish himself for doing things that he felt was against the code of the House-elves, who were all supposed to be in servitude to the wizarding families that owned them. It took Hermione a long time to convince Dobby that he didn't need to hurt himself and she fought hard to instill confidence and self-worth for House-elves everywhere.


There is a tragic thing to remember about Dobby. He lived as a loyal House-elf: first to his masters and then to his friends and loved ones. That meant that the one person in the world that he was most fiercely loyal to was Harry. At first, this was just out of duty, but by the time Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came along, it was out of love and respect to the boy who freed him and accepted him as a friend.

That makes it sad to realize that the first time Dobby ever appeared in both the book and movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the first thing he said was “Harry Potter.” Then, after he gave his own life to save that of Harry and he passed away in the arms of Potter, his final words, in both the movies and the books, were “Harry Potter” as well.


Dobby and other House-elves have distinguishing appearances. These are elves, so they look similar to what people expect to see when they hear that word. They are magical creatures that are very small in size. They have extremely large bat-like ears and giant bulging eyes, about the size of tennis balls. They all stand anywhere from two- to three-feet tall, making Dobby a bit taller than the average House-elf.

Their arms and legs are spindly and their entire head is oversized compared to their body. They also have voices that are high and squeaky and almost only wear discarded items – which ties into the only way that they can be freed from their lives of servitude to the older wizarding families.


Dobby Sock

When Harry met Dobby, he was barefoot and wore an old pillowcase for clothes. Over time, Harry would learn that this was because House-elves had little to no self-worth and that they simply wore what was discarded. It is also because the only way to free a House-elf from this life of servitude is for someone to gift them with a piece of clothing. Harry did this, freeing Dobby from the Malfoy's by giving him a pair of socks to wear.

When this happened, Dobby was free and helped Hermione start the movement to free other House-elves and create the S.P.E.W. organization to look out for them. As a result, Dobby developed a love for socks and in the books, he often wore mismatched socks everywhere with great pride.


What were your favorite Dobby moments? Let us know in the comments!

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