Dobby’s death in Harry Potter was one of the most emotional moments from the book series, but the movies didn't do it justice. In 1997, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone marked the beginning of J.K Rowling’s stories set in the Wizarding World, which culminated in 2007 with the publishing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. All seven books were adapted into movies from 2001 to 2011, with the final book being split into a two-part movie.
Like any other book series adapted to the big screen, the Harry Potter movies changed some details and characters or erased them completely to better fit the format. Although each movie included the key characters from the source material, the stories of many were ignored in the sequels, which deeply affected their future appearances. Such was the case of Dobby, the elf, one of the most beloved characters from the Harry Potter books, and a character whose death was wasted in the movies.
Dobby was a house-elf who served the Malfoy family. Although he spent a big part of his life as a servant to this family of dark wizards, Dobby was a brave elf and disobeyed his masters to warn Harry Potter of their plans to have the Chamber of Secrets reopened. Dobby was later freed thanks to Harry tricking Lucius Malfoy into giving him a sock, but Dobby wanted to work and get paid, so he made a deal with Albus Dumbledore to work in the kitchens of Hogwarts. Once there, he looked after another elf, Winky, and became close friends with Aberforth Dumbledore. He remained loyal to Harry, helping him throughout the series and was even the one who told him about the Room of Requirement (where he used to hide Winky when she was drunk). All this, except for his role in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, was ignored in the movies and ended up making his death less significant.
Dobby appeared only twice in the movie saga: in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1. He helped Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Griphook escape from the Malfoy Manor, but Bellatrix Lestrange threw her knife at Harry and it disapparated with them, fatally wounding Dobby, who died in Harry’s arms at Shell Cottage.
In the movies, Dobby was nothing more than the former Malfoy’s house-elf who warned Harry about the Chamber of Secrets and later appeared to save them from the Death Eaters. Dobby did so much more than that in the books, which was what made his death so heartbreaking. Since the movies ignored most of his story, his death was wasted and simply used as a bridge between the two Deathly Hallows movies, turning it into a shallow plot device and taking away all its meaning.
There were many deaths in the Harry Potter series, but Dobby’s was among the most significant ones because of everything he did, not only for Harry and his friends, but for others as well. By ignoring all his actions between his first and last appearances, the movies did a disservice to a great character and denied viewers one of the best friendships in the book series.