Dolores Jane Umbridge is a fictional character from the Harry Potter series created by J.K. Rowling. She serves the primary antagonist of the fifth novel Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (as well as its film adaptation). She was stationed at Hogwarts by the Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge and took power away from Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore, who were informing the Wizarding World of Lord Voldemort's return.
She is described as a fat, toad-like woman, with a wide, slack mouth, and a large bow.
Why She's (Intentionally) a Wicked Toad
NOTE: These reasons apply to ALL of her incarnations.
- Firstly, she is basically a woman who has always seized power no matter what it takes.
- She was ungrateful for her time at Hogwarts as a student since she was never given any positions of power.
- She is known to be abusive, greedy, selfish, manipulative, short-tempered, and egotistical.
- She is a fanatical racist, as she believes that other species and creatures in the Wizarding World, including half-bloods and muggle-born, are far inferior to pure-bloods. Given that she is a half-blood witch, this also makes her a hypocrite.
- In fact, this explains why she fired certain faculty, like Rubeus Hagrid for being a half-giant.
- She and her father denounced her mother and younger brother just because they lacked magic and forced them to return to the Muggle world. As if that wasn't enough, when she made a name for herself in the Ministry, she decided to denounce her father too just because he was a low-level worker, so she pressured him into retiring early and cutting ties with her.
- Although not a Mary Sue, she (alongside the Ministry of Magic as a whole) tried to make herself and everyone/everything around her perfect, civil, and in order with no consideration for flaws or drawbacks. The biggest example of this is her spreading propaganda that Lord Voldemort had not returned.
- She passed anti-werewolf legislation, making it nearly impossible for werewolves to get jobs. This was one of the main reasons why Remus was having such a hard time making a living.
- Fearful that Albus Dumbledore might take the minister's position in the wake of Lord Voldemort's return, she did everything in her power to exile Dumbledore from Hogwarts (which she succeeded at, sadly).
- She repeatedly tortured Harry Potter (as well as all of the other Hogwarts students and faculty) in order to make his life as miserable as possible, so much so that despite being from the same house as her, even Severus Snape hated her.
- She also expressed extreme disdain for the Weasleys, particularly Fred and George.
- Despite being appointed as Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, she inadequately taught the theory of Defence Against the Dark Arts and hampered the students from learning practical magic, leaving them defenseless against the Dark Arts.
- She was the one responsible for sending the Dementors to attack Harry, which almost got both Harry and Dudley killed and also caused Harry to nearly get expelled from Hogwarts with a criminal record.
- Aside from the aforementioned dementor attack on Harry, Umbridge deliberately tried to get Harry expelled from Hogwarts multiple times as she often tried to provoke Harry into breaking the rules so she could have an excuse to expel him. She does this to try to silence him about Voldemort’s return. Several of her educational decrees were also deliberate attempts to get Harry expelled, ranging from the formation of clubs to possession of The Quibbler.
- She banned Harry, Fred, and George from playing Quidditch for the rest of the year as punishment for fighting with Draco, Crabbe, and Goyle. Then, even though Draco was the one who provoked Harry with cruel insults, Draco and the other two got off easy and only had to do lines.
- She casually interrupted people whenever she wanted to talk with a very annoying fake cough, "Hem hem," which is extremely irritating and can get on your nerves.
- She would expel or fire anyone who dared criticize her in any form or matter. The most infamous example of this was the professor of Divination, Sybill Trelawney.
- Upon appointing herself as the head of Hogwarts, she constantly came up with rules and tactics that came across as mean-spirited and even harmful. Examples include:
- Refusing to take questions from students during class (unless they raise their hand or else they get detention).
- Extremely strict dress codes.
- Banning all Weasley products.
- Banning any music during study time.
- Only allowing broomsticks to be flown during Quidditch practice.
- Forcing all student organizations, clubs, teams, societies, and groups to be disbanded and only allowing re-formations under her approval (without approval is an automatic expulsion).
- This rule was particularly useless as all student groups of three or more members, including Quidditch teams, were abolished by her.
- And there were many, many more rules (around 30 in the novel and around 100 in the film).
- She used Black Quills (also known as Blood Quills), which wrote with the blood of the person using it, as a standard punishment for students.
- In fact, look at poor Harry's hand after he was forced to write, "I must not tell lies"!
- She showed blatant favoritism for the Slytherin house, allowing the Slytherin Quidditch team to be the first team reformed and giving the Slytherin students who signed up for the Inquisitorial Squad the power to take away House points.
- She allowed students who had a grudge against others to bust them for any rule breaking as extra credit.
- She decided to have a group of wizards from the Ministry of Magic attack Hagrid to force him off the grounds, and when Professor McGonagall attempted to defend him, she and the others attacked McGonagall simultaneously with Stunning Spells.
- Speaking of which, when confronted by Centaurs alongside Harry and Hermione, Umbridge stands behind the two in fear, showcasing her as nothing more than an unsympathetic coward.
- She is a total bully as she frequently bullies the students and faculty of Hogwarts and uses her job as a ministry worker as an excuse to bully them. She also does nothing to stop the bullying of students at Hogwarts but instead encourages bullying through creating the inquisitorial squad, having the Slytherin house become it’s members, and allowing these members special powers to dock points from other students for petty and stupid reasons.
- She's an ABSOLUTE hypocrite. First, she was willing to cast the Cruciatus Curse on Harry, despite it being illegal, just to get him to talk. Then, under Voldemort's new regime, she sent countless Muggle-borns to Azkaban for the crime of stealing magic from "real" wizards and witches. Later, when asked about her locket, which was one of Voldemort's Horcruxes, she lied and said it was a family heirloom. So, despite having permanently scarred Harry because he told "lies", she herself would blatantly tell lies that would get innocent Muggle-borns imprisoned.
- Without her impact on Hogwarts, Harry, Ron, and Hermione may have never formed "Dumbledore's Army".
- She got her comeuppance in Deathly Hallows for pretty much everything she had done. After the Second Wizarding War, she was imprisoned for life in Azkaban for her crimes against Muggle-borns.
- Imelda Staunton did an amazing portrayal of her in the film adaptations. In addition, Staunton is actually a nice person in real life and admitted that she herself hated Umbridge for how cruel the character is.
- Since J.K. Rowling made Umbridge the primary antagonist of Order of the Phoenix, it's clear that she was meant to be loathed for her racist and abusive behaviour.
- Dolores is a common Spanish name, although it also occurs as an English name. In Spanish and Latin, "dolores" is also the plural form of "dolor", which means pain. In English, the similar-sounding word "Dolorous" means causing or expressing grief and suffering. Coincidentally, Dolor is the Danish name of the Cruciatus Curse.
- Originally, her first name was supposed to be Elvira.
- Dolores Umbridge is often cited as being one of the most, if not the most despised fictional characters of all time, due to her authoritarian stance and her dictator-like presence as well as her racist attitudes and torturing of children. Due to her reputation, Umbridge is often considered to be one of the most hated fictional characters, as well as one of the best literary villains, even occasionally overshadowing Lord Voldemort as the primary antagonist of the series.