Elf's Absence From Next 'Harry Potter' Flick Opens Up Plot Questions

Information character passes on to Harry in books will have to be conveyed another way in film.

SANTA MONICA, California — When Harry Potter tricked Lucius Malfoy into freeing his house elf, Dobby, at the end of "Chamber of Secrets," he might have inadvertently magicked the helpful servant right out of the series. Dobby hasn't appeared in any Potter films since and won't be appearing in the upcoming "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" either, according to Toby Jones, the actor who voiced him in the series' second installment.

"I know that the filmmakers have a problem with each new film because the books are getting longer — there's so much to include in them," Jones remarked.

While Dobby's absence will not shock fans who have been following the films closely, it does open up some plot questions. In the book, it is Dobby who both divulges to Harry the secret of the Room of Requirement (where Harry and the other members of "Dumbledore's Army" meet to practice forbidden defensive spells), and materializes to warn Harry that his secret hideout is no longer safe from the prowling eyes of the increasingly powerful Ministry of Magic informant (and new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher), Dolores Umbridge. With Dobby's absence, it is unclear how these matters will be handled in the film.

(Click here to see the first official photos of Harry, Hermione, Luna Lovegood and the rest in "The Order of the Phoenix.")

Although his character has been written out of the movie sequels thus far, Jones expressed gratitude for being able to voice such a character.

"The thing I feel very, very proud of is the fact that I get mail just about every week of the year from all parts of the world — very nice mail thanking me for that way I voiced the character and saying how accurately I did it," Jones commented. "So it's a great addition to my life and a very unexpected one. I had no idea that the character would have that much impact."

As one house elf leaves, another one enters. Kreacher, servant to Sirius Black's estranged family, will make his first film appearance in "Order."

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The news of Kreacher's emergence should come as no surprise to fans of the original novels, as the nasty house elf rapidly becomes an integral character in the fifth book and beyond. Kreacher, who eventually becomes enslaved to Harry himself, is speculated by fans to have played a large role in securing the missing Horcrux — a locket containing a bit of Voldemort's soul stolen by the mysterious "R.A.B."

One scene to look out for in the movie is whether or not Kreacher is seen taking a locket from Harry or Hermione while the pair clean Sirius' house. Since author J.K. Rowling has informed the screenwriters on what's important to include in the movie adaptations, a shot of Kreacher with the seemingly innocuous silver locket would go a long way towards proving once and for all that "R.A.B." is none other than Sirius' younger brother Regulus, a former Death Eater who was rumored to be hunted down and killed by the Dark Lord himself.

"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" opens worldwide in July 2007.

See everything we've got on "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

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