This is the last warning that there is a story spoiler of which I’m about to write. If you have not read Harry Potter or plan to do so and do not like knowing the plot ahead of time, please close this post immediately. (I do not like spoilers AT ALL, so I completely understand.)
Every time I watch the death of Dobby, the house elf, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1, I am reminded again of great storytelling, great character development, and investment in characters, whether they be human or not.
Just like Bambi, Old Yeller, and Hedwig, Dobby is a non-human character that I will always love. I know that sometimes, characters have to die, for a variety of reasons, but Dobby’s death still brings tears to my eyes even though I have read the books and seen the films many times.
Tonight, as I watched it again on film, I wondered why his death is so moving for me. I realized it’s because of his pure heart, his innocence, and the nature that he is free by all elf standards. Just like when the elderly, children, or animals are harmed or die, it’s sickening for me to see his death or read about it.
The other part for me is that I’m invested in the character, human or otherwise. I’ve grown to love (or sometimes, instantly love) the character, and in Dobby’s case, he was so likable from the minute he entered the story; he became a beacon for goodness and how freedom helps a person, or character, become who they really are meant to be.
Characters are always a part of me, the writer, representing someone, some thing, or some aspect of my life. It’s no wonder it’s hard to let them go, even if I know I can visit them all over again on the page or the screen.