Dobby - Questionable?

Alz

Administrator
Staff member
Ok - I got this from a visitor to the site who was inspired but the 'House Elfs as killers' thread - I really liked it so thought I would post it here for you all to pass comment on....

Thanks to Keith for his email submission!!


House Elves As Killers!

What an interesting thread. I have been working on a hunch I have had for a little while in regards to Dobby. I also found another website where another person there has already laid out similar thoughts to mine.
There was a question asked about Tom Riddle from Tonks, I think, of whom said that Harry was not his prime target. The muggleborn's were. But who was Lucius Malfoy's biggest enemy? The one person of whom could upset his plans once the chamber of secrets had been opened? Harry Potter. Lucius would rather not have Harry returning to Hogwarts that year to foil his plans. Now Lucius cannot go to Privet Drive himself in order to convince Harry that he shouldn't return to school, but his house elf, Dobby, can. The first time Harry ever see's Dobby is when he's jumping on his bed. Amoung Dobby's very first words were "Dobby has heard of you're greatness, sir." Now where could Dobby have heard of Harry Potter? We know very, very little about his background except that he serves the Malfoy family. So it's feasible that Dobby had heard the name banded about by his master, Lucius Malfoy. So Lucius sends Dobby to Privet Drive. Now the elf must be convincing if he is to succeed. So the very first time we ever see this creature, he is beaten down and bedraggled. Immediatly, our hearts go out to him, and any suspicion about him is discarded the moment we see him. I think that J.K. Rowling wrote it this way so that is exactly how we would feel. To convince Harry, Dobby tells him that he had to come, to warn Harry, and if his master ever knew that he was there! So he heaps praise upon praise upon the great Harry Potter and Harry of course, lets down his guard thinking Dobby upright and honest. But another question raises it's ugly head. How did Dobby know that Harry lived at Privet Drive, and the number of his house? Lucius Malfoy, however, would have that information available to him as he holds a high position at Hogwarts. He warns Harry not to return to Hogwarts, but when Harry starts to push the subject and wanting answers, Dobby tells him he cannot reveal the truth. Harry pushes some more to the point where the elf suddenly goes crazy and begins beating up on himself, but, only to a point where Harry relents somewhat and tones down the interogation! We see Dobby pull the same act just a bit later using the light, and beats himself again. Once more, Harry relents and is no closer to the truth. Unfortunatly, Dobby fails to stop Harry from returning to Hogwarts to the point of holding his mail, and Lucius' plan fails and Harry foils the chamber of secrets and kills the basilisk and gets rid of Tom Riddle. Dobby didn't think about Ron Weasley or the flying Ford Anglia because he had no idea that Ron Weasley would interfere and get him away from Privet Drive. Once it's known, Dobby tries to block Harry at the railway station and goes so far as to almost kill him with a rogue bludger! If anyone thinks that Dobby is beyond evil, let me point something out here.
Remember when the cake fell on that lady's head at the Dursley house and how we all laughed? Just how many of you noticed the look of pure, embodied evil that came over Dobby's face? I didn't think of this until sometime later, and then suddenly I remembered it. Another thing is Dobby's ability to appear and disappear inside Hogwarts as he pleases. Now I thought that this was not possible for a normal house elf, so how does Dobby do it? At the end of the Chamber of Secrets, we see Lucius entering Dumbledore's office. But I wonder why Dobby had followed him. Why was he there? Did Lucius know that Ginny Weasley's diary was already in Dumbledore's office, and that Harry might try to free Dobby? We see Lucius clearly, and deliberatly kick Dobby down the steps in plain view of Dumbledore and Harry. Was this a calculated move? The next thing we see is Harry running up behind Lucius and hands him the battered diary with a folded sock inside. The diary was no thicker than a average book and it had soft front and back covers. Isen't it suprising that Lucius didn't feel something amiss the moment the dairy was passed to him? In fact he barely looks at the thing before he passes it to Dobby. Another question. Why does Dobby stand there, not opening the diary the moment it's given to him? In fact he stands there not moving watching Harry and his master debating. Then Lucius turns and leaves and walks off at a brisk clip telling Dobby to come along. The elf still stands there with the book closed. Harry tells him to open it. By this time, Lucius is a safe distance away and then Dobby opens it to find a sock. Yes, he's estatic about getting his freedom. Wouldn't it look strange if he did not? Now Lucius turns but gives Dobby pleanty of time to get between him and Potter before he points his wand. Sure, Dobby zaps Lucius and we see a dramatic display as he goes sliding across the floor. It's all very dramatic. Exactly how Dobby planned it to look.
We have been convinced that house elves have powerful magic, but to date we've not seen any real evidence of that. What Dobby did to Lucius, any wizard could accomplish on a bad day. Period! In fact, Dobby had not even hurt Lucius.
He shook him up to make it look good. It did look good, and we were all taken in.....me included. You have to ask now, why did Dobby not incapacitate Lucius to an extent where he would no longer be a threat to Harry Potter? Why didn't he kill him when he had the chance? Could it be that Dobby is still secretly working for the Malfoy's? Once Dobby got his freedom, he and Lucius had to make a change of plan. So Dobby vanishes, supposidly looking for work. He couldn't find any for something like two years. If that was true, Dobby should not have made an appearance until book five, yet he turns up in book four, convieniently at Hogwarts school and secures a job. Dumbledore out of the goodness of his heart offers Dobby ten galleons a week and ex amount of days off per month.
Dobby refuses and accepts onlya fraction of what was offered. By doing this, Dobby now looks humbled and thankful even in the eyes of the great Professor Dumbledore. So now he has a job inside Hogwarts. What more could Lucius Malfoy ask for than to have a spy inside the school that can appear and vanish at will? Sound fantastic? Ask yourself. Where was Dobby during year three?
Did he visit the school unseen during that period? He seems very knowledgeable about where everything is. How many times may he have visited Dumbledore's office unseen? You may laugh it off, but how can any of us be sure?
In the 4th book Goblet of Fire, who was it that helped Harry swim underwater to succeed in his task? Dobby did by stealing gillyweed. But who else wanted Harry to succeed in his task? Crouch. So yes, Dobby helped Harry, and he also helped Crouch too. Another question now comes to mind and that is the Room of Requirement of which is important to Dumbledore's Army. Now who knew about the room? Dobby did. Who told Harry about the room? Dobby did.
Winky said something very profound to Harry in the 4th book, and she said something about it not being a wise move in giving Dobby his freedom. Does Winky know far more than we do? Why would she say something like that?
We have to remember one thing that house elves are very loyal to their masters no matter how much they are abused. Just look at Winky. She's still very much devoted to Crouch. Now apply the same terminology to Dobby and Lucius Malfoy. But Dobby's different I hear you all say. How can you be absolutly sure? Perhaps Dobby wanted you to feel this way about him the moment you first saw him. J.K.Rowling may have written the story this way to throw us all a loop right at the end of the story. Our real enemy is not always the one we suspect.
More often than not it is the person, or creature that we least expect. But when the time is right, that creature could turn and bite the very hand that freed it.
It could happen. Remember that Dobby is very close now to Hermione, so close in fact, that to her, Dobby can do no wrong. This is exactly what Dobby wants.
He is also very close to Ron Weasley. What is the common factor here is that both of them are close friends to Harry Potter....Lucius Malfoy's sworn enemy.
Remember, Harry has already beaten Voldemort twice! I have not written this to sway any person's thinking one way or another, but I feel a lot out there are missing the point. Had Dobby succeeded in his plan to stop Harry from returning to Hogwarts, Ginny Weasley would certainly had died. I'd be interested in getting any feedback from you in regard to this topic if you have time. Do you think it's possible that I might have something here? I really feel that Dobby needs watching....very closely. Is he so loyal to Harry like he says he is? How can any of us really be sure?
 

Nagini

Time Turners
What a really interesting thread! Well done to Keith whoever you are! :D

I can really see where you are coming from on this, the many instances where Dobby has been seen to be trying to save Harry from the fate that was about to happen at Hogwarts has at times been nothing short of attempted murder! Dobby almost didn't seem to realise his actions were so dangerous and of course, the way he is written he seems to worship Harry.

In OoTP when Dobby was at Hogwarts, he was the one who alerted Harry that Umbridge was on her way. Now Dobby acted like he could not tell Harry she was coming, because Harry was not his master but seemed happy enough to take an order from Harry that he was not to hurt himself - mmmm. Now could Dobby be helping Harry escape the clutches of Umbridge because Umbridge would have sent Harry back home to the Dursleys where we all know that Voldemort cannot touch him. Voldemort wanted Harry to get the orb which held the prophecy, Lucius may well have know about this plan at that stage and informed Dobby to make sure that Harry did not get himself expelled.

We have a thread here or more than one I think about Snape being a spy - Snape purposely defied Umbridge when she asks for Veritaserum to interogate Harry. Now if Snape is onside with Lucius Malfoy and lets face it, they certainly seem close, then it could well be Snape did it not out of loyalty to Dumbledore or for concern for Harry but because Luicus didn't want Potter to get himself into trouble and out of Hogwarts.
 

Boing

Pops in randomly
This is interesting. I don't know how much we can trust Dobby, but I wonder if, as has been reported, they have taken out the house elf storyline with JKR's permission - would she have let them do that if it were going to be so important later on? I guess Dobby could disappear from GoF and then show up later on - he has already been introduced in CoS.

One point about the diary - Harry put the diary inside the sock, so Lucius took the sock off and threw it to the side (where Dobby happened to be standing). He didn't give the diary to Dobby and have Dobby find a sock inside it.

Also, the other house elves can apparate inside Hogwarts like Dobby. JKR said that's how they get their work done.

As for Dobby's ultimate doublecross, I'm not sure either way. All of Dobby's fear of being seen with Harry (like when he tells Harry to go home and then frantically says he has to go when he hears Dumbledore coming) could just be because he doesn't want to get in trouble with his master, Lucius, or because he can't get caught or his plans are foiled . . .

The part about him knowing where Harry lives is really interesting. I wonder if the house elf magic that they have, which is more powerful than wizard magic, somehow helped him locate Harry . . .

Lots to think about here!
 

The SketchWolf

Time Turners
Well, I for one had never thought of this, but I can certainly see it happening.

For one thing, how would Dobby, a House Elf servant who is supposedly kept 'in the dark' be so up-to-date on information, and even know the location of Harry's house and bedroom? Quite disturbing, actually.

Here is a quote taken from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, American hradback edition, Chapter 2, page 14:

"A house-elf must be set free, sir. And the family will never set Dobby free... Dobby will serve the family until he dies, sir...."

Now, when he says, ''serve the family until he dies'' we assume Dobby is talking about himself, but could he actually mean until he kills Harry? Is there some sort of sick agreement between he and Lucius?

Perhaps then, Dobby does not -want- to kill Harry, but is being forced to do so. Probably just another one of my hair-brained ideas, but perhaps....

Also note that everything Dobby does to 'help' ends up with Harry making a narrow escape from death or serious injury. Dobby seems genuine in the fact that he is perhaps just a little clueless, but it seems to me to be just too much.
 

Weasleyfanforever

Time Turners
The SketchWolf said:
Here is a quote taken from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, American hradback edition, Chapter 2, page 14:

"A house-elf must be set free, sir. And the family will never set Dobby free... Dobby will serve the family until he dies, sir...."

I really really like this thread, and I want to come back to it after I have sorted through my thoughts, but I thought I would just add that this could also be taken as Dobby will serve the Malfoy's, no matter what. So, even though he has been set free, he is still serving and working for them, although secretly...
 

Haley's Comet

Time Turners
BOING! bought up a good point here. In the movie,
the sock was folded and inside the diary. In the book
'Chamber of Secrets', the diary was inside Harry's sock.
This makes it even more questionable as to why Lucius
would pull the sock off the diary and toss it in the direction
where it could be easily caught by his house elf!
Now, one has to ask why Lucius didn't throw it in the other
direction, away from Dobby? It's irrelevant if you follow
the movie, or the book here. It is my honest opinion that
Dobby bears watching. We cannot rule out the fact, (as yet)
that the elf is not working for the Malfoy's.
 

Sirius Potter Fan

Night Patroll
Well one thing we have to keep in mind is that Dumbledore hired him, and Dumbledore trusts him. That right there to me, says quite a bit. Second... from what I undrstand, JKR is consulted on anything that is left out, or added for the movies, so she must have approved the elves being left out. You can imply a new meaning to the same group of words, but it just doesn't hold true.

example. "He was sent to prison for murder." The obvious interpretation of that sentance is that someone has been imprisoned because they have been found guilty of commiting a murder. now... as you have been trying to twist Dobby's words, it's like saying the above phrase is interpreted as "He is going to prison in order to commit a murder." it is a valid and possible interpretation, but easily not true.

Also... we know that the House elves do have to punish themselves for doing or saying something against their masters...Even Kreature, that evil little so-and-so, had to punish himself for betraying Sirius. Harry never even knew what a house elf was, so he certainly wouldn't have expected Dobby to punishe himself, so if Dobby wasn't betraying the Malfoy's, he needn't have banged his head etc.
 

Haley's Comet

Time Turners
The latest news now on the movie 'Goblet of Fire', the
house elves will not be left out. For a while, there was
speculation if Dobby was important enough to make a showing.
The latest I have heard is that Dobby and Winky will make an
appearance. Obviously, J.K.Rowling thought them both
important enough to be included.

In the book 'Goblet of Fire' Dobby does tell Harry quite
clearly that he had traveled the country for two whole
years trying to find work. So the question arises once more.
How did Dobby turn up in the 'Goblet of Fire'? He should
not have turned up again until book five. So just where
WAS he during the whole third year?

Also in the book 'Goblet of Fire', all of them were in the
Hogwarts kitchens talking about Winky, and the subject
of Dobby's freedom came up. The elves looked at Dobby
and turned away as if he'd said something rude, or
embarassing. Or perhaps they knew he was lying, or
covering something up. Harry takes Dobby at his word that
the elf scoured the country for two whole years looking
for work. At the moment, J.K. Rowling has given us no
reason to doubt Dobby's words. But on the other hand,
none of us know where he really went for that period of time.

Another thing to think about, in 'Goblet of Fire', there was a
heated discussion between Hermione and Winky and it was
about Dobby's freedom. Dobby didn't want to get caught up
in the argument. He made no bones about it that he wanted
to be kept right out of the conversation.
Is he trying to cover something up? Perhaps he doesn't want
Hermione poking around on dangerous ground in the attempt
that she might unwillingly, open the pandora's box?

Also, how do we explain the fact that Dobby knew of Harry's
address and his home number? Dobby had never met Harry
before until he arrived in the boy's bedroom. From whom
did he hear about the great Harry Potter? One source points
clearly to Lucius Malfoy. Remember, if Dobby HAD SUCEEDED
in his plan to have stopped Harry from returning to Hogwarts,
Ginny Weasley could well have DIED, because Harry would not
have been there to have saved her.
 

Sirius Potter Fan

Night Patroll
If Harry had not been there, Ginny would not have died... Riddle only drew her in to lure Harry to him, perhaps many muggle borns may have died, but not Ginny.


As far as the location of Privit drive. as stated somewhere above, with his position as one of the school governors, Lucious would have had access to Harry's location, something Dobby could easily have gained access to (although punishing himself for it later)

When the other elves looked away as if Dobby had said something rude... it was because he had!!! He was taking payment for his work! Every house elf other than Dobby thinks that utterly shameful! of course the other elves never had to live with the Malfoy's, so didn't understand what Dobby went through there. Even Winky had been well treated, at least till she was blamed for something she didn't do.

I still vote, Dobby is just dobby. Not that he won't have a larger role to play later on, I actualy think he will, but he is not on Voldemorts side.
 

Haley's Comet

Time Turners
Yes. Dumbledore hired Dobby. There was nothing
relevant (at that time) which would have given
Dumbledore recourse not to hire him. I'd like to
think that the elf is 100% and he probably is, but
you must admit, there are an awful lot of questions
out there to make one think. As for me, I think I'm
going to lurk inside the shadows and keep my beady
eyes on this little toe-rag.....for a little while longer.
 

George

Tom Marvolo Riddle
Dobby- to me, reliable

Guys... OK, I just finished reading the other Dobby threads, and I feel that my comments would not be suitable in the "Dobby- Questionable?" thread. So, as is my trademark, I've made a new one, dedicated to those who think that Dobby is very reliable.
The only explanation that I have as to Dobby being around Privet Drive in "Chamber", is the fact that he knew about the Prophecy, and had heard Lucius Malfoy talk about it. Dobby hence knew that if Harry died, then the chances that Voldemort would be defeated, if he ever came back, were zero. This, however, takes Dobby into a whole new echalon of characters. It means that, by the summer depicted in "CoS", Dobby knew about plans to revive Voldemort, which were put into action almost three years after that.
Another point: people, do you think it is pure coincidence that Dobby found himself a job at Hogwarts, so very close to all those fighting evil, and, more importantly, to Harry? No. Dumbledore probably hired him. If Dobby had still been in proper contact with the Malfoys, I am sure that Dumbledore would have seen through his evil side, and not allowed Dobby in. The question I would like answered is WHY Dumbledore hired an elf that had previously been with the darkest of wizards. Surely it is because Dobby was particularly knowledgeable in a matter that the Headmaster of Hogwarts would have liked to look into.
It only makes sense that Dobby is to be at the center of things, when it comes to the ultimate end of the series. Some think it is because of his dark implications, whereas others (like me), only see him as a key good. What do people think?
 

Fortescue

Totally Potterfied!
Re: Dobby- to me, reliable

George said:
The only explanation that I have as to Dobby being around Privet Drive in "Chamber", is the fact that he knew about the Prophecy, and had heard Lucius Malfoy talk about it. Dobby hence knew that if Harry died, then the chances that Voldemort would be defeated, if he ever came back, were zero. This, however, takes Dobby into a whole new echalon of characters. It means that, by the summer depicted in "CoS", Dobby knew about plans to revive Voldemort, which were put into action almost three years after that.

I agree Dobby had a lot of information that might have been useful to Harry, even though he couldn't disclose it, but he didn't know about Voldemort's rebirth as Lucius Malfoy had nothing to do with it and wasn't aware of Voldemort's return until he was summoned with the Dark Mark on Wormtails arm. If Lucius would have known that Voldemort was planning his comeback, Lucius would have helped in any way he could so he could start torturing Muggles again. As for Dobby's info on Tom Riddle's diary - he was around the Malfoys and heard their secrets, but the plan to use Riddle's diary was all Malfoy's. He obviously didn't have any contact with Voldemort or he would have aided him in an earlier return. What I don't understand about the diary - was Malfoy using it to contact Riddle all those years after Voldemort first disappeared? We will probably never know. :rolleyes:

George said:
Another point: people, do you think it is pure coincidence that Dobby found himself a job at Hogwarts, so very close to all those fighting evil, and, more importantly, to Harry? No. Dumbledore probably hired him. If Dobby had still been in proper contact with the Malfoys, I am sure that Dumbledore would have seen through his evil side, and not allowed Dobby in. The question I would like answered is WHY Dumbledore hired an elf that had previously been with the darkest of wizards. Surely it is because Dobby was particularly knowledgeable in a matter that the Headmaster of Hogwarts would have liked to look into.

Dumbledore knew Dobby wasn't your standard house-elf. He obviously cared about Harry and respected him. Dumbledore saw how Dobby had tried to help Harry and keep him from danger, sort of the same way Dumbledore constantly does. Dumbledore probably figured he could use all the help he could protecting Harry. :D

George said:
It only makes sense that Dobby is to be at the center of things, when it comes to the ultimate end of the series. Some think it is because of his dark implications, whereas others (like me), only see him as a key good. What do people think?

I don't think Dobby is done helping Harry. Knowing the Malfoy's secrets can only be a bonus to the good guys and Dobby will surely get of his fear of speaking Malfoy's secrets, especially if it will help Harry and save him from a dangerous situation.
 

Haley's Comet

Time Turners
Re: Dobby- to me, reliable

George, I think that you're comments on Dobby, the house elf, would have been entirely appropriate under the 'Dobby-Questionable' . You make some very good points in the house elves favour. I think that why there MAY be some sceptisism in regards to Dobby, is the fact that he did work for the Malfoy's, and more importantly, is the fact that we really know very, very little about him. Unfortunatly, it seems that we will not see either Dobby, or Winky, in the 'Goblet of Fire' movie. Perhaps to some, this is a blessing. To others, a let down. I am not sure just where the elves will fit in with everything as yet. 'The Half Blood Prince' will, I am sure, be one heck of a sizzling book....the one that will light the fuse to the dynamite book seven, where anything, and everything, breaks loose into full scale war. What a wild ride this will be! We will all, in time, find out just where Dobby does stand in all of this. I'm sure.

"I'm your huckleberry."
 

Alz

Administrator
Staff member
Re: Dobby- to me, reliable

Agreed with HC - this is a good addition to the Dobby - Questionable thread and as such I have merged it.

I'm not sure how much interest Dumbledore had in Dobby until the point Harry freed him - and as a reward for helping Harry out and because he was out of a job - Dumbledore took him as staff in Hogwarts.
It would have been more useful for Dobby to be in Malfoys employ for Dumbledore than not.
Also - I am sure House Elf's cant tell their master secrets - as such even after he was liberated by the sock - can he really tell all the secrets of the Malfoys?
And if so - why hasnt he done it or even started - been a few books since he was introduced and all ...
 

Haley's Comet

Time Turners
I agree with you, Blaise. If Dobby had still been working for the Malfoy's, there would have been tremendous advantages for Dumbledore. But, just how much longer could Dobby have put up with the abuse? You're other point, and a darned good one, can Dobby tell ALL the secrets of the Malfoy's that he knows, even after he has been liberated? There are so many if's and but's here. From Dobby's standpoint, he was more than glad to have been freed from the Malfoy's clutches and to be given a job at Hogwarts by Dumbledore. If we think about it, yes, there would have been great advantages for Dumbledore had Dobby stayed with his abusive master, but, would Dumbledore have met up with Dobby had he NOT been freed by Harry? I don't think so. I also agree with you're other point, Blaise, that Dobby has become very distant as the Potter series progresses, (not so much in the books, but certainly in the movies) and I have to wonder just where the house elves will fit in the final finale. But I do feel certain that Dobby must make an appearance again. Somewhere.
 

Alz

Administrator
Staff member
I think JKR might get down the the facts of how the House Elfs lost the war that made them slaves ...
I think she might even have them all liberated to partake in the fight against Voldemort and who knows they might get the respect of their Wizard masters that they are allowed their freedom.
Wandering slightly back to the initial thread starter - I just wonder if they would actually make a great partnership to the Wizarding race in the battle ... the way Dobby dealt with Malfoy in CoS showed us they possess great powers and those powers could be all important in the war.
I think they will have their place and this will lead them to the liberation they so deserve ... but we must not forget how they ended up where they are - a war between the Wizarding race and the Elfs ...
 

Angelis

Time Turners
this is really intresting, but i think dobby is good, why would dobby hurt himself if he was sent to harry & he does help harry in GOF he gives him gillyweed to help him, i truely think he's good it's just a shame they left him out the films
 

Alz

Administrator
Staff member
Dobby's actions in CoS when 'helping' Harry seemed anything but helping!
Harry still remembers the injustice of being blamed for doing magic out of Hogwarts because of Dobby ...
It was possible that Dobby was doing these things in the guise of helping Harry but instead was under direction from Malfoy ...
All things being equal thou - by book 6 he is being a lot more helpful and loyal to Harry - so I don't think he is an evil little elf but then again, if he was acting under instruction from Malfoy he could just be under cover till his master calls on him again ... unlikely but still a twist is a twist!
 

SnarkologyMajor

Time Turners
JKR wrote Dobby in such a way that you want to believe that he is good, and she made us feel sorry for him. I've gone back and forth on what to think about our fiesty houself, and truthfully am still confused:rolleyes: One thing that was made crystal clear in 6, Will and Won't-houselves have absolutely no choice in a matter if their master gives them an order. This was obvious when Kreacher had to obey Harry, and clearly that was the very last thing on earth Kreacher wanted to do. So I quess I'm back to questioning Dobby's true motivations, given the evidence how does Dobby completely go against Malfoy? Was what happened-actually what Lucius wanted to happen all along? I don't know, but certainly something to ponder....:D
 
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