Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

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Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

Daniel S
This plot hole exists in the book and the movie I saw the movie first it bugged me, read the book thinking the book would set things straight it didn't (I was ready to blame Hollywood but the root of this error lies with the author of the book.)  

Dobby try's to keep Harry out of school because Harry is in "great danger" (Danger that he became aware of as one of the Malfoy's House elves)

What we know about the plan from the book and the movie is that Mr. Weasley and his family were the target and Harry only became a target of opportunity after the plan was set in motion.

This is the Malfoys motive and plan:
Mr. Weasley was annoying the Malfoys and their ilk with his investigations that he was performing for the ministry of magic so the plan was to plant Tom Riddle's diary in Jenny Weasley's bag.  She being a girl would obviously seek to write in this strange diary that appeared 'magically' in her bag, the diary would possess her she would open the chamber of secrets and kill some mud bloods. When the dust settled the Weasley family would be blamed and Mr. Weasley would be discredited and disgraced.  

(No where in this plan is Harry mentioned as a Target.  So why does Dobby seek to protect Harry??? why not protect Jenny or better yet Hermione she's a mudblood and HER LIFE IS IN DANGER if the plan get's carried out.)

"But, but, Harry was in danger these books are perfect I've read them umpteen bagillion times and am blind to any flaws, you just don't understand"

If you actually listen to and read Tom Riddles villainous monologue we learn that he only was made aware of Harry and subsequently decided to target Harry from Jenny Weasley (because she is a girl and will 'obviously' pour her heart out about her crush on Harry writing in the diary the Malfoy's should really think these things through and only by dumb luck were about to get two birds with one stone.)

So in order for Dobby to 'know' that Harry was in Danger Dobby would have to know about Jenny's crush on Harry(something tells me Jenny's crushes wouldn't be the topic of conversation in the Malfoy household unless of course Drako.......but I digress). He would also need to know that Tom Riddle was in fact the Dark lord and know that Jenny would write about her crush in said diary and know that the Dark lord would react the way he did to the information Jenny would write.  

The book and movie didn't seem to mention what level of mudbloddedness was in danger Harry being half mudblood.  

All indications are that the only protagonist friends that were in real mortal danger were Jenny and Hermione so why didn't Dobby try to keep them out of school that year??  The only way to save this plot hole is to assume that Dobby is a lucky idiot that was only kinda right by sheer dumb luck.  

(From the Books: Had Dobby tried to protect Hermione at all, even just a little, Hermione's house elf advocacy would have had greater weight just sayin')
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Re: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

magmarama
Well, we have to assume that the Malfoys knew about the horcruxes and that the diary, being one, could "resurect" the Dark Lord (it almost did). So after killing some random mudbloods, the first target of Voldemort would be Harry because of the prophecy.

Seing the amount of self inflicted pain that Dobby put on himself by trying to protect ONE student, we can guess that he would have commited suicide if he tried to protect everyone...

But I adgree that it's far fetched...
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Re: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

Daniel S.
From the book Chapter 19 Voldomort/ Tom Riddles villainous monologue.

"......."Haven't I already told you," said Riddle quietly, "that killing Mudbloods doesn't matter to me anymore? For many months now, my new target has been -you."

In tom riddle's own words Harry was not the original target mud bloods were..."Mudbloods doesn't matter to me anymore?...."

Dobby's motives are full of holes.  Dobby knew nothing of the horcruxes(as far as we know very few people did and it would be very silly of the malfoys to place a piece of their dark lord's soul in such peril of being discovered and destroyed if they did know) he should have been attempting to protect hermione who was the only mudblood I seem to remember knowing by name in any of the books or movies besides Harry's mother.  

Hermione should have been the one he sought to protect, unless harry being half mudblood would have put him in peril (the basilisk did attack him so it is entirely plausible) but the story as outlined in the book and film does not provide such clarification.
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Re: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

Nineshadows
In reply to this post by Daniel S
Dobby knew that Mr. Malfoy was a death eater, and he could have easily over heard them talking about what the book would do. (open the chamber). It's not too far fetched to assume Dobby would think harry is a target, whether he was or not, and try to stop him from returning. Although, it would have been much easier to tell the Headmaster that harry couldn't not return( he couldn't betray the Malfoys and intentionally reveal the plan, but Dumbledore could have easily retrieved that information once he knew something was amiss.)  
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Re: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

Daniel S.
@Nine Shaddows then you agree with the sentiment that we have to believe Dobby to be not smart and making huge assumptions, that prove to be partially true, regardless the plan was never to attack Harry, but the Weasleys and any Mud-bloods.  Dobby went against his duty and training to save Harry from a perceived danger and just wrote off Hermiony and the Weasleys as collateral damage making no attempt to prevent them from attending Hogwarts or thwarting the plan itself.  (This reminds me of a Dumb and Dumber... "what if they shot you in the face?!?" ...... that's a risk we were willing to take)    

Anyone can fill plot-holes with their own imagination in order to maintain the illusion of  infallibility but the reality is that this Movie/Book has this plot hole built into the story it's how it was written.
 
If you don't believe me read the book again for yourself and watch the movie the plot hole exists in both below are some excerpts from the book.  The diary is an early artifact created by Tom Riddle before he became Lord Voldemort created for the purpose of one day hopefully reopening the Chamber of secrets Tom riddle even says so (an ulterior motive exists but we don't learn that until the last movie/book).  

From Chapter 1 of the Book Dobby warns Harry and reveals that he has no knowledge of Voldemort's involvement in the Malfoys plot. taken from http://www.readfreeonline.net/ (Edited by me into a dialogue or script)

[Dobby]..."Harry Potter must stay where he is safe. He is too great, too good, to lose. If Harry Potter goes back to Hogwarts, he will be in mortal danger."
  
[Harry]"Why?"...........
  
[Dobby]"There is a plot, Harry Potter. A plot to make most terrible things happen at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this year," ...... "Dobby has known it for months, sir. Harry Potter must not put himself in peril. He is too important, sir!"

[Harry]"What terrible things?" ........ "Who's plotting them?"

[Dobby]made a funny choking noise and then banged his head frantically against the wall. (because he can't betray the Malfoys directly)

[Harry ]"All right!"..... "You can't tell me. I understand. But why are you warning me?" .... "Hang on - this hasn't got anything to do with Vol- - sorry - with You-Know-Who, has it? You could just shake or nod," .........

[Dobby]"Not -not He- Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, sir ='
  
[Harry]"He hasn't got a brother, has he?"
  
[Dobby] shook his head, his eyes wider than ever.
  
[Harry]"Well then, I can't think who else would have a chance of making horrible things happen at Hogwarts,".........

Later in Chapter 1 Harry witnesses an Lucious Malfoy revealing his contempt for Mr. Weasley and why.


[Mr. Borgin] "Mr. Malfoy, what a pleasure to see you again,.....and young Master Malfoy, too - charmed. How may I be of assistance?....."

[LM]" I'm not buying today, Mr. Borgin, but selling," said Mr. Malfoy.

[Mr. Borgin]"Selling?" ....

[LM] "You have heard, of course, that the Ministry is conducting more raids," .......... "I have a few - ah - items at home that might embarrass me, if the Ministry were to call ......"
  
[Mr. Borgin]"The Ministry wouldn't presume to trouble you, sir, surely?".....

[LM]"I have not been visited yet. The name Malfoy still commands a certain respect, yet the Ministry grows ever more meddlesome. There are rumors about a new Muggle Protection Act - no doubt that flea- bitten, Muggle-loving fool Arthur Weasley is behind it....- and as you see, certain of these poisons might make it appear -"
  
[Mr. Borgin]"I understand, sir, of course,...Let me see....................................

[LM]................"I am in something of a hurry, Borgin, I have important business elsewhere today -"(like planting and enchanted Muggle Artifact on the daughter of the head of "The Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office.")

from page 309 of the book taken from http://www.readfreeonline.net/ (Edited by me into a dialogue or script)

[Harry]"And why did you want to meet me?" said Harry. ......

[Tom Riddle]"Well, you see, Ginny told me all about you, Harry," ..... "Your whole fascinating history. " His eyes roved over the lightning scar on Harry's forehead, and their expression grew hungrier. "I knew I must find out more about you, talk to you, meet you if I could.......................

....."I decided to leave behind a diary, preserving my sixteen-year-old self in its pages, so that one day, with luck, I would be able to lead another in my footsteps, and finish Salazar Slytherin's noble work...."


[Harry]"Well, you haven't finished it,"...... "No one's died this time, not even the cat. In a few hours the Mandrake Draught will be ready and everyone who was Petrified will be all right again -"

[Tom Riddle]"Haven't I already told you," ......, "that killing Mudbloods doesn't matter to me anymore? For many months now, my new target has been -you."
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Re: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

ericb
In reply to this post by Daniel S
Its pretty clear why Dobby does not want Harry to go to Hogwarts that year...Dobby most likely does not know why the Malfoy's are doing this, but either way, its going to be pretty dangerous at Hogwarts during some part of Harry's year. So why not try and stop him from going? Dumb plot hole post
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Re: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

ericb
its also not mentioned in the book why the malfoy's are doing this to hogwarts that year so it can be anything. the only valid argument you make is that MAYBE J.K. Rowlling could have explained the Malfoy's villainous intentions at the end of the book/movie when dobby opens up the book to find a sock freeing him from his house elf captivity. Although, this would be quite cliche, and would probably make you comment more on the fact this its too cliche, so maybe its a good thing that its not explained...
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Re: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

Daniel S.
Sorry but the Malfoys intent is pretty clear it wast to open the chamber of secrets by way of an enchanted diary.  

the diary was created by tom riddle during his time at Hogwarts for the stated purpose of hopefully opening the chamber one day and letting someone else take the blame.   The Malfoy's were happy to let a Weasly take the blame due to Mr weasly's position at the ministry.

pretty dumb to attack a post with no other evidence showing that the hole does not exist.

So Hogwarts is going to be dangerous why just try to save harry who would only be in danger if he put himself in it by trying to thwart the plan, what about erveryone else at hogwarts if harry stayed home??? Dobby is so caring that he was willing to write everyone else off so long as harry was safe that in and of itself is pretty dumb??


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Re: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

Daniel S.
sorry the other part of the plan, which is pretty clearly shown in the story, was to get dumbledor removed as headmaster since the chamber was opened on his watch why didn't dobby warn dumbledor the greatest wizard of all time?? and they were successful at doing this briefly.

Harry was not the target of the malfoy plan so therefore Dobby should have warned those that were actually targeted by the malfoy plan, simple enough.
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Re: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

ericb
OK so Dobby knows Mr. Malfoy is a death eater, I'm pretty sure we're all in agreement on that one. Dobby, then, must know that every Death Eater's Public Enemy #1 is Harry Potter. Im just saying, Harry is the chosen one, the one to defeat voldemort, or vice versa (according to the prophecy). So why not warn him, even if the plan isn't to target Harry. If  maybe Dobby does warn Dumbledore and he just plays dumb like in book 6 knowing what Draco was trying to do the entire time (even though he was dying anyway). Ill admit that this was not explained entirely too well, and that maybe J.K. could have mentioned in at the end where in all the books, Harry sits down with Dumbeldore for that tasteless choice moment between wizards. Point is, its not farfetched to try and stop the chosen one from going to a school where death eaters are planning on releasing a massive snake-worm-dragon-monster that, if looked at, turns people into stone (not to mention its a dragon-monster, with huge teeth and other dragon-monster-type qualities), especially since he is the chosen one. I havent read the book in a while, but I do think my argument makes sense. You should probably focus more on the plot hole in book 3, where J.K. introduces a time machine..........Oh, and copying what the writers of this website have already mentioned about this movie is kinda unoriginal.  
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Re: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

Daniel S.
My post on this message board predates the website posting about the same subject so nice try. (if anything my post was copied at some points but i'm not complaining)

What we have to go on is what is explained in the book and movie.. not made up scenes and actions that  take place in the minds of fanboys and girls and not in the pages of the book or scenes from the movie.  The plot hole first stood out to me as I watched the movie and I was willing to believe that the book tied it up better it does not.

Fill in the hole with your own imagination if you would like but it will only be filled in your own mind.  

But if I take your argument that Harry is enemy #1 that only opens another plot hole, why try to kill harry when you need his blood to raise your leader from the dead?? but I digress..

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Re: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

ericb
As you stated earlier, Dobby only knows what he overheard from the Malfoys, which mentions nothing about how Voldemort needs Harry's blood to be resurrected or whatever. But, he does know that a gigantic snake-like monster is being released on Hogwarts this year. Why not warn the chosen one. Forgive J.K. for making you think a little about this story, which is actually full of more interesting plot holes...but I digress.
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Re: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

Daniel S.
and supposedly opening the chamber of secrets releasing that gigantic snake like monster will only be lethal to mudbloods of which Harry is not one otherwise the Malfoys would have kept their kid out of school that year don't you think.(So it goes back to my original premise that in order for this to go away I have to believe that Dobby is not smart and misunderstood the Malfoys plan, which is plausible i guess but unless J.K. puts that or another explanation on paper then the hole will remain.)  

If you find this so uninteresting then why are you so fixated on it and go make your own post rather than hijacking this one??


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Re: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

lliam
In reply to this post by Daniel S
Dobby says that harry is too important to be put in danger.

Thats all there is too it.
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Re: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

Daniel S.
So potentially killing harry in a quidditch match with a bludger later in the movie is meant  to "keep him out of danger?" Does dobby have acceptable levels of danger for Harry??

Harry was never in danger for all we know of the plan Dobby was privy to, that is the whole point I am trying to make.  The plot was never to attack Harry.  The Malfoys were using Tom Riddles diary to carry out Tom's childhood plot to open the chamber of secrets at a later date and let someone else take the fall.  The Malfoys Chose the Wesley's to take the fall in order to discredit the ministry of magic and their "muggle protection act" and more specifically disgrace Mr Weasley.  Additionally their plan was to remove Dumbledore as headmaster something they succeeded at briefly.

So dobby couldn't care less about those that were in real mortal danger namely Ginny Weasley and Hermione and every other mudblood at Hogwarts who were actually targeted by the Malfoy/Riddle plan. Neither did he attempt to warn Dumbledore who was also targeted.

So if I buy this argument, that Dobby just wanted to keep Harry out of perceived Danger because Harry is too important, then it definitely reduces Dobby a few notches in the likeability realm making his character less endearing and more of a selfish coward.  Oh let me protect Harry and while Mudbloods die and the Weasleys and Dumbledoor take the fall, sounds a bit misguided and selfish in my opinion.

Dobby was used as a plot device to create a red herring in the story so as to maintain a certain level of suspense and we could have our standard Harry and Dumbledore end of movie tying up of all loose ends except for this one..... still loose or unsatisfying to say the least.

(I am a fan of this universe created by JK and love the movies.  It is overall a great and fun story, I think the political intrigue within the stories is much more interesting and very well told. I just think this film in particular has a major flaw with one of the main characters used to drive it.  Fandom does not have to be fan-dumb and willful blindness to a major character flaws need not be a prerequisite.

in the same way that JK can come out and speak to Dumbledoors sexuality she could easily clarify this characters motives so as to fill this major hole in a character that many love but as currently presented I find incomplete)
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Re: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

cthomas
I want to THANK YOU, Daniel S., for such as great post!  I love the HP series and so have been analyzing JK's writing style for some time.  However, I came across this same plot hole and google'd it to see if anyone else out there noticed it too or if I was mistaken.  Your careful analyses saved me the research.  It doesn't take away my respect for JK's extraordinary work.  It just a minor imperfection that I now know is a result of the plot, and not my understanding of it.  Nobody is perfect, including JK, and I do agree with your post 100%.  
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Re: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

Daniel S
Thanks glad to see that I am not the only one that is not willfully blind to this galring plot hole.  I love the universe that Rowling created and any time I try to discuss this with with other fans they act like I have just spit on their mothers grave.  
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Re: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

Harrydiehard
In reply to this post by Daniel S
Is no one going to mention that fact of WHY dobby wants to protect harry? Was it just because he is harry potter ... Idk .... Having never met harry potter and knowing how "humble and kind" he is having only heard about it why go out of his way to disobey his masters no matter how much he may dislike them? They put such an emphasis on the houself master bond/ connection thing of not being able to disobey. So why risk it or try to get around it for someone who he never met? Just because dobby is good and knowing harry is good and defeated voldemort? It just seems far fetched to me ... Every time I watch/ read it I always ask myself "why is dobby trying so hard to help him to begin with? Especially since Harry wasn't the target and it was simply " dangerous" for him to return
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Re: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

Daniel S
That is the hole "Why Harry??"  neither the book nor the film fill it in a satisfying manner.  


The Story would have been just as good and had better continuity in the books if Dobby had been pestering Hermione( a mud-blood) trying to protect her from whatever was in the chamber of secrets.  In later Books she becomes an advocate for house elves dobby saving her life or at least attempting to do so would strengthen her motives in this regard.  As is it seems really silly if you look at the whole situation frm her perspective.

****************(my words not JK's)

(Hermione): So you heard that the Malfoys were going to open the chamber of secrets, possibly killing all mud bloods, myself included?????

(DOBBY): [NODS BASHFULLY IN AGREEMENT]

(Hermione): And your first thought was to protect Harry by getting him expelled for using magic at home or severely injuring or killing him yourself in a quditch match???  You were just going to let me die?? Why didn't you warn dumbledoor the greatest wizard ever or the weaslys?? Jinny almost died!!! How were you going to stop the plot??.......... wait you didn't even try to stop the plot you just tried to keep Harry home were he can't use magic or learn how to use it and his family hates him?? why didn't you just steal the diary from jinny?  Did you even try to warn dumbledoor? Mcgonegal? Hagrid?  Mr weasley?? anybody??



********************


and after that saying, "oh house-elves are so great we should free them all"  If one had risked all to protect her her advocacy would have made so much more sense.



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Re: Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: Dobby is an Idiot

Youngbeelzebub66
In all fairness, Dobby might just have heard snippets of information. He probably heard that the diary was important in some way (though not necessarily in a chamber of secretsy sort of way) and was gonna' cause some shit to happen at Hogwarts, heard Draco ranting about the famous Potter, put two and two together, and concluded that Harry was in danger.

As for why he wanted to protect Harry, who knows.
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