J. K. Rowling, the mastermind behind Harry Potter, has decided to pay tribute to Dobby and apologise to fans for killing off the much-loved house elf in the final chapter of her wizarding series.
The British author describes the character – who was killed during a rescue mission to save "the half-blood prince" from Death Eaters – as someone who "laid down his life" to save other people.
On May 2 every year, Rowling offers up an apology for brutally killing off characters on the anniversary of the fictional 'Battle of Hogwarts', the climactic war between good and evil wizards.
Referring to this traumatising plot-twist in a recent tweet, she said: "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," she explains, "I refer, of course, to 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 died in 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' after suffering a fatal stab wound, inflicted by full-blood witch Bellatrix Lestrange, while under orders from Dumbledore to protect Potter.
Potter dug a grave for Dobby without using magic, and carved into his headstone: "HERE LIES DOBBY, A FREE ELF".
Dobby has no master. Dobby is a free elf. https://t.co/2uhvSt03Tk— darshini (@darshinix) April 27, 2018
Rowling has - understandably - spent the last few years trying to atone for the massive bloodshed that occurred in the seventh book of her widely-read fantasy series.
Last year, she apologised for killing Professor Severus Snape in this monumental battle.
That answer really touched me, Anna.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 2, 2018
"OK, here it is. Please don't start flame wars over it, but this year I'd like to apologise for killing Snape," she tweeted.
"In case the police are reading my notifications, there's a Battle of Hogwarts anniversary tradition going on," she clarifies, "I am not on a murder spree."
In previous years, Rowling has also issued apologies for the deaths of popular characters Fred Weasley and Professor Remus Lupin.
Gone but not forgotten.