Welcome to the Chamber of Secrets, everyone! And also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HARRY!
Here on Muggles and Mocha, we’ve reached the second book in the Harry Potter series. I’m beyond excited to keep going. If you missed the end of Sorcerer’s Stone, you can check out the video and article here. It was a celebration!
I had a lot of nice comments about the end of the first book, so thank you very, very much for that. I’ve enjoyed this so much, and I hope you have, too.
But now… on to book two! In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, we’re familiar with the Wizarding World and we get to move on to some of the deeper elements of the story. Keep an eye out—A LOT from this story comes back in later books!
In the video today, we’re covering two chapters—chapters one and two. We focus on Dobby and the news he’s come to tell Harry. Let’s get to it!
As we start the second book, we’re back at the Dursleys’, who are just as bad as last year… if not worse! However, we do get a spot of happiness in this chapter due to the introduction of a character who’s a fan favorite. It’s a certain house-elf we all know and (most) love—DOBBY!
Now, the reason I’m writing this article is to dive into Dobby’s character and analyze an opinion of him I’ve heard floating around. Some believe Dobby is flat-out annoying without acknowledging any of his other qualities! After pondering this thought for a while, I’ve come to a conclusion for why this is the case. Let’s talk about it!
Many of us use the “Movie Dobby” mindset when thinking of this character, which is extremely unfair to him. After Chamber of Secrets, Dobby grows and changes during a couple of the later books and becomes an extremely lovable character. We get to watch his relationship with Harry grow, too, which makes his death simply tragic. Goodness, it’s painful to think about.
BUT CONSIDER THIS: Dobby is in five of the books. HE’S ONLY IN TWO OF THE MOVIES.
Yes, you heard that right. Poor Dobby was cut from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (it’s been so long since I’ve read that one, I can’t even remember where he appears). The disrespect! What did Dobby do to deserve this?
Dobby being cut from the movies has done more than hurt my feelings, though—it’s hurt our perception of him! I doubt many of us read the books constantly (props if you do). Movies are much quicker if you’re looking for a Harry Potter fix, so this version of Dobby is the one we most commonly receive. This means we only see:
- Chamber of Secrets Dobby, who’s trying to cause bodily harm to Harry for the majority of the time.
- Deathly Hallows Part 1 Dobby, who pops in to interact with Kreacher for a quick second, saves Harry, and dies.
But with this being all we see of Dobby, we don’t have the opportunity to fully appreciate who he is. We miss out on ALL the character development, all the relationship building—EVERYTHING. And all of his good deeds are stolen!
His contribution of gillyweed to the second task in the Triwizard Tournament? Nope, now it’s Neville.
His presentation of the Room of Requirement to Dumbledore’s Army as a practice space? Also Neville, actually (the movies realized cutting Neville’s scenes from earlier films was a mistake, I suppose).
His lovely example of house-elf rights as he wore clothes, demanded a paycheck for working in the kitchens, and assisted Winky, a newly-freed house-elf, with the transition process? Nobody stole that one BECAUSE THE FILMMAKERS COMPLETELY CUT HOUSE-ELVES AND S.P.E.W. FROM THE FOURTH MOVIE.
I’m tempted to keep caps lock on for the remainder of this article.
The movies did Dobby wrong, and because of that, viewers everywhere think Dobby is just some annoying house-elf who tried to kill Harry for an entire movie then died for him. There’s no investment in his character, which means viewers aren’t invested either.
This is extremely sad because Dobby is more than what the movies show us. Now, does Dobby make some questionable decisions in this book to save Harry? Yes. But once we get to know him better, they become more endearing! And if you consider the danger he put himself in by approaching Harry in the first place, you realize the sacrifices he made in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
We learn Dobby works for the Malfoy family, and at the beginning of the book, he overhears Lucius Malfoy’s plot regarding Voldemort and the Chamber of Secrets. As a result, he seeks out a stranger—Harry—to warn him about the potential danger, disobeying his master in the process. As I mention in a bit more detail in the video, I’m definitely going to be talking about house-elves and the idea behind that system in the future, but for now, I’ll just say disobeying for house-elves is painful, a true sacrifice for Dobby to make for a person he doesn’t know. Dobby shows a lot of courage in this book, even with the bad decisions he makes to keep Harry from Hogwarts. The point is Dobby is willing to do whatever’s necessary to save the great Harry Potter’s life.
I mean… how could you not love him, though? He’s protecting Harry, this boy he’s heard wonderful things about, at great risk to himself.
Honestly, I think Dobby is the most pure-hearted character in the books—change my mind! Though misguided in his actions at times, Dobby is always working to help and encourage others, even when it’s not in his best interest.
We’ll be talking more about Dobby as this book progresses, especially in the videos. And like I mentioned, we’ll tackle the subject of house-elves in general a little later in the series. For now… cut Dobby some slack. I think we’ll realize how wonderful of a character he is as the series continues!
Next week, we’re flying this coop—let’s go to the Burrow. It’ll be our first visit there, and as always, I’m pumped! Let’s go meet the best family in the book series! Read chapter three in preparation for next week.
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of the Harry Potter series.