Dobby's death scene is one of the more emotional moments in the Harry Potter movies — so much so that fans go out of their way to visit the location it was filmed in Pembrokeshire, Wales. So many Potterheads were stopping by to contribute socks and other mementos to Dobby's grave that the UK's National Trust reviewed if the memorial would be permitted to stay in place.
Now, in the National Trust's latest press release (via The New York Times), the organization decided that "the memorial to Dobby will remain at Freshwater West in the immediate term for people to enjoy."
Environmental officials are urging the public to only take photos during vists to the memorial, and stay away from bringing socks or other trinkets that could "enter the marine environment and food chain and put wildlife at risk."
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry tricks Dobby's master into giving the house elf a sock. House elves become free when their master presents them with clothes, leading to the iconic line: "Master has given Dobby a sock… Dobby is free!" So, a sock became the fitting item for well-intentioned fans to bring to Dobby's grave.
Along with the footwear, some fans were leaving messages painted on rocks that say, "Here lies Dobby, a free Elf", lining up with the grave Harry creates for the character in the movie.
But, according to the release, Freshwater West is a "Site of Special Scientific Interest" that is home to "large grey seals, harbour porpoise, and some of the largest populations of seabirds in the world." The Trust is asking visitors to leave no trace — in other words — leave no socks.
Elsewhere in the Potterverse, you can read about why Daniel Radcliffe felt he "needed to say something" in support of LGBT youth.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN covering video game and entertainment news. He has over six years of experience in the gaming industry with bylines at IGN, Nintendo Wire, Switch Player Magazine, and Lifewire. Find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.