7 Little-Known Facts about House-Elves

In honor of Elf Week, we’ve rounded up some elfish trivia we doubt even the most dedicated of Potter fans knows:

1. As house-elves are typically associated with old money and homes more often referred to as manors, it should come as no surprise that 47 percent of U.S. voters have no family history of house-elf ownership.

2. The reason house-elves are comfortable clothing themselves in discarded items like old pillowcases and tea towels is because they actually have no “private areas” to cover. Scientists have described the elves’ bodies as looking “rather like tiny, pale Ken dolls.” To this day, little is known about how house-elves actually reproduce.

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3. According to a recent Gallup pole, 94 percent of women would prefer to have Tolkien’s Legolas fulfill their every whim than Kreacher.

4. DJ Qualls, an actor best known for his role in the movie “Road Trip,” was originally cast to play Dobby in the Harry Potter films. Director Chris Columbus replaced Qualls with CGI Dobby because he was concerned moviegoers wouldn’t emotionally connect with Qualls’ interpretation of the house-elf.

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5. Genome mapping of house-elves has revealed that the gene responsible for the creature’s prominent ears is genetically linked to a predisposition for masochism and self-defeating personality disorder. Scientists say this sheds light on the elves’ willingness to submit to a lifetime of servitude and their tendency to engage in self-inflicted harm.

6. Upon completing his televised concession, Mitt Romney took off his tie and threw it to the ground in defeat, inadvertently freeing Pokey, the house-elf that had served his family for centuries. Free at the last, the elf disapparated immediately and secured a job in the White House kitchen.

7. In 2003, Russian lawyers filed a lawsuit against Warner Brothers over similarities between Dobby and President Vladimir Putin. Outraged, Dobby’s lawyers fired back by suing Putin’s estate for emotional distress. Dobby’s untimely death in 2007 prevented the matter from ever going to court.

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About the author

Laura J. Moss is an editor and writer whose articles have appeared on MNN.com, CNN.com, The Huffington Post, Forbes.com and Yahoo. She was denied entrance to Hogwarts, so she earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina and now lives in Atlanta with her fiancé and several cats. She also writes young-adult novels, and she co-authored "The Unofficial Harry Potter Insults Handbook: 101 Comebacks for the Slytherin In Your Life."

View all articles by Laura J. Moss