The Spy for A Cause: Kreacher (and other house elves)


The Spy for Cause—Patriotic: Kreacher

A spy who could be deemed patriotic without connection to a particular nation is Kreacher. As a member of and servant to the House of Black, he has absorbed all of their biases and prejudices. Kreacher’s patriotism lies with his understanding of the history and values of the Black family. Importantly, in the last book, Kreacher is able to unlearn these biases and prejudices (as we all are able to do) and actually assists Harry, Hermione, and Ron when they are hiding out at number twelve, Grimmauld Place, and in the final battle.

Kreacher Analysis

Recruitment by: Presumably Voldemort himself

Incentive Used: At first, Voldemort and co. used Kreacher’s obligation to the House of Black and then specifically to R.A.B. (Regulus Black), but later Kreacher behaved according to his perception of what R.A.B. believed or desired. His attitude changed once he discovered that Regulus betrayed Voldemort (with Kreacher’s help), thus Harry was able to recruit Kreacher through friendship and convince him to accept the ideals of Harry and his friends as parallel to Kreacher’s beloved master, Regulus Black.

Handler: Initially Regulus Black; later Harry, after Kreacher was turned

Method of Communication: Face-to-face

Memorable Quotes:

Hermione: “What do wizard wars mean to an elf like Kreacher? He’s loyal to people who are kind to him, and Mrs. Black must have been, and Regulus certainly was, so he served them willingly and parroted their beliefs” (DH 198).

Kreacher: “Fight! Fight! Fight for my Master, defender of house-elves! Fight the Dark Lord, in the name of brave Regulus! Fight!” (DH 734).


The patriotic spy normally owes allegiance to his or her own country. In most countries, when people assume a public office, they take an oath. In the United States the oath includes the obligation to support and defend the Constitution from any enemies, foreign or domestic. In other words, it is possible that we might need to defend our country and Constitution not only from those outside its borders, but also from those within it. Although there are some who argue convincingly that the nation-state is disintegrating or becoming less important, and that we are entering instead a clash of civilizations (discussed at pagesn572-73 in the Appendix), spies are presently and primarily organized by nations and thus are sent out to do a nation’s bidding.

Other House Elves:

Think about Dobby and Winky. Who were there masters? How did they become intelligence assets for Harry, Ron, and Hermione? The answer, as usual, lies with Hermione. She said that Kreacher was “loyal to people who are kind to him.” By being kind to Dobby and Winky, the Trio won the hearts of creatures who were more often ignored. However, they were valuable precisely because they were ignored. Dobby was a wealth of information about the Malfoy family because they never thought to censor themselves around a servant. When he escaped their employ, Dobby was more than willing to share his former master’s secrets!