It's May 2, which to most people means nothing, but to those deeply invested in the Harry Potter universe — and let's face it, you're either all in or all out — it's the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling often observes anniversaries of the books' events, but she has used the Battle of Hogwarts in recent years to make amends for killing off beloved characters.
She's already apologized for killing off Fred Weasley, Remus Lupin and Snape. This year, however, she pays tribute to a character who died months before the Battle of Hogwarts, but whose loss was deeply felt: Dobby the house elf.
It's that anniversary again. This year, I apologise for killing someone who didn't die during the #BattleofHogwarts, but who laid down his life to save the people who'd win it. I refer, of course, to Dobby the house elf.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 2, 2018
Dobby's death is a critical turning point in the seventh Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Harry has to decide whether he's searching for Hallows or Horcruxes. Essentially does he try to chase after the same power-lending objects that led to Voldemort's transformation into a cruel villain, or continue on the path laid out for him by Dumbledore to search for Voldemort's fractured soul in the Horcruxes hidden around the globe? Dobby saves Harry and his friends after Bellatrix Lestrange locks them up in Malfoy Mansion, but she manages to throw a knife at Dobby right as he apparates.
As a once-enslaved house elf to the Malfoys, saving Harry Potter and company from the place where he was once technically a prisoner resonates deeply. He proclaims on his arrival, “Dobby has no master! Dobby is a free elf, and Dobby has come to save Harry Potter and his friends!”
Reactions to Rowling's tweet have been mostly of sorrow, as even years after the book's (and movie's) release the thought of Dobby's death evokes a response. Of course, plenty of people are still waiting on Rowling's apology for whichever of their favorite character's deaths hurt them most. We'll just have to wait until next year to see who's up next on her personal penance list.
For one, she's yet to apologize for Harry's pet owl Hedwig's death. Just sayin'.