|Dolores Jane Umbridge|
|Also known as||
Old toadface (by Ron Weasley)
Selwyn family (claimed)
- "When they entered the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom they found Professor Umbridge already seated at the teacher’s desk, wearing the fluffy pink cardigan of the night before and the black velvet bow on top of her head. Harry was again reminded forcibly of a large fly perched unwisely on top of an even larger toad."
- —Harry's impression of Dolores Umbridge[src]
Madam Professor Dolores Jane Umbridge was a Ministry of Magic bureaucrat who served as Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic under Ministers Cornelius Fudge, Rufus Scrimgeour and Pius Thicknesse. By order of the Ministry, she was installed as Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where she taught the students basic defensive theory as opposed to real spells that would prepare them for the outside world, and then later Hogwarts High Inquisitor and Headmistress where she had enormous power of the students, teachers, and the curriculum.
Her time at Hogwarts was characterized by cruelty and abusive punishments against students, and because of her interfering and condescending ways she was generally hated by most students and teachers alike. After her suspension from these additional posts and the Fall of the Ministry of Magic, Umbridge ran the Muggle-Born Registration Commission and sadistically prosecuted many innocent people. After the Second Wizarding War, she was sentenced to Azkaban for her crimes against Muggle-borns.
Little is known of Dolores Umbridge's early life. At the age of eleven, she purchased her wand, an unusually short one, at Diagon Alley, most likely at Ollivanders Wand Shop, and attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It is unknown which house she was sorted into.
After her graduation, Umbridge quickly rose to influential positions in the British Ministry of Magic. She became Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic and had a place amongst the Wizengamot.
Career at the MinistryEdit
Due to Umbridge's hatred towards "half-breeds," at some point in her life she drafted a piece of anti-werewolf legislation, which made it nearly impossible for werewolves, such as Remus Lupin, to find work. She also suggested that the merpeople be rounded up and tagged, but it was never put to action.
As Senior Under-Secretary to the Minister for Magic in 1995, Umbridge used her power to intimidate Harry Potter during an interrogation before the Wizengamot. Harry was to be punished for inadvertently violating the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery; however, thanks to the efforts of Albus Dumbledore, he was released without punishment.
What Umbridge did not reveal at the time was that she herself had ordered the Dementor attack on Harry and his cousin Dudley Dursley, leaving him no choice but to violate the Decree by casting a Patronus. She claimed such an order was impossible. However, in June the next year, she revealed to a crowd of Hogwarts students she had in fact made that order, believing that it was the most effective way to silence his claims about Voldemort's return.
Defence Against the Dark Arts professorEdit
- Dumbledore: " tryouts for the house Quidditch teams will take place on the—"
- Umbridge: "Hem-Hem... Thank you, headmaster, for those kind words of welcome. [...] The Ministry of Magic has always considered the education of young witches and wizards to be of a vital importance. Although each headmaster has brought something new to this... historic school, progress for the sake of progress must be discouraged. Let us preserve what must be preserved, perfect what can be perfected and prune practices that ought to be... prohibited!"
- Dumbledore: "Thank you Professor Umbridge. That really was most illuminating."
- — Dolores Umbridge interrupts Albus Dumbledore in the 1995 welcoming feast.[src]
In 1995, Umbridge was placed at Hogwarts as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, by order of the Ministry of Magic, under the terms of Educational Decree Number 22, without Albus Dumbledore's consent. She was supplied by the Ministry mostly as a spy and was not fond of children. She also rudely interrupted Dumbledore's opening feast announcements, which no new teacher had done before. She gave a very dull speech that Hermione Granger summed up rather well: "The Ministry is interfering at Hogwarts"; the other students simply drifted off to talk with each other or some prefects pretending to listen to live up to their duties, while the teachers looked displeased at every word that came out of her mouth.
- Hermione: "There's nothing in here about using defensive spells."
- Umbridge: "Using spells?! Well, I can't imagine why you would need to use spells in my classroom. You'll be learning about defensive spells in a secure, risk-free way."
- — Hermione Granger and Dolores Umbridge, their first D.A.D.A lesson.[src]
She taught according to a politically-restricted curriculum which entailed learning strictly the theory of Defence Against the Dark Arts, without any practical applications. She, and the Ministry for that matter, believed that a theoretical knowledge would be more than sufficient to get the students through their examinations and that as long as the students had studied the theory hard enough, there would be no reason why they should not be able to perform the spells.
Most students were concerned and felt they would be left defenceless against the Dark Arts. Some spoke out openly in class, such as Hermione, Ron, Harry, Dean Thomas, and Parvati Patil, but were immediately silenced or punished by Umbridge. For instance, when Harry contradicted the Ministry of Magic's official position that Lord Voldemort was dead, Umbridge punished him with torture. She forced him to write the phrase "I must not tell lies" repeatedly with a special quill that caused those words to be carved into the back of his hand and transfer his blood to the pen to be used as ink, eventually leaving him scarred. She became a heavily disliked person by the majority of the school in a very short time.
- "Having already revolutionized the teaching of Defence Against the Dark Arts, Dolores Jane Umbridge will, as High Inquisitor, have powers to address the seriously falling standards at Hogwarts School."
- —Cornelius Fudge[src]
After working at Hogwarts for a short while and having a discussion with the Minister, Educational Decree Number 23 increased Umbridge's power as she was appointed the first-ever "High Inquisitor of Hogwarts." She used this position to evaluate and harass the teachers at Hogwarts. When Harry formed a group to teach practical Defence Against the Dark Arts, Umbridge abolished all student groups of three or more members, meaning students were not allowed to be seen together in a larger number of three or they would be suspected of rule breaking. This also included Quidditch teams. She permitted them to be reformed if they ask for permission, and only if she deemed them to be allowable, which meant that Dumbledore's Army became an illegal organisation.
These actions were sanctioned by the Ministry of Magic in the form of Educational Decrees, but students merely found ways to circumvent them. With her new power, she dismissed Sybill Trelawney as Professor of Divination; however, she was foiled in her attempt to send Trelawney away from the school, since Albus Dumbledore still had the power to keep Trelawney on school grounds and chose to do so.
Umbridge was horrified when Dumbledore replaced Trelawney with a centaur named Firenze; however, she was unable to do anything about it, as the Ministry's rules only allowed her to appoint a new teacher if Dumbledore could not find one himself. Umbridge considered Firenze, like all centaurs, a "filthy half-breed", an opinion which would later get her into trouble.
- "You know... I really do hate children."
- —Dolores Umbridge[src]
In 1996, Umbridge and many other Slytherins found the D.A. in the Room of Requirement, after they were betrayed by Marietta Edgecombe, when Umbridge threatened to make sure her mother would lose her job at the Ministry. She tried to prosecute Harry for forming the Defence of Dark Arts club, but Dumbledore took advantage of the organisation's name to take the blame- claiming that he had invited the group to attend this meeting and no other such gatherings had taken place in the intervening time- and he disappeared from Hogwarts, after a minor scuffle with Aurors and the Minister for Magic himself. She soon after formed the Inquisitorial Squad, which rewarded certain students for reporting on others and sanctioned them to act as enforcement goons. Umbridge replaced him as Headmistress, but found herself in over her head as she became the target of numerous pranks, many of which were orchestrated by Fred and George Weasley. Before Fred and George flew away on their brooms, they gave the mission of making Umbridge's rule of the school as hard as possible, to Peeves. This included doing things that made her work harder like bursting out of blackboards, pushing over statues, toppling neatly stacked piles of parchment into fires, and following Umbridge around blowing raspberries every time she spoke. The Defence Against the Dark Arts professor's office also became the Headmistress's Office, as the Headmaster's Tower, which apparently realised that she was not the true Head of the school, sealed itself against her.
The teachers, who disliked Umbridge intensely, did as little to help her in her duties as possible, many going out of their way to make things difficult for her by requesting her assistance in removing various charms and pranks by claiming that they weren't sure they had the 'authority' to do so. The teachers also lavished favours on Harry in the form of House Points and even sweets, specifically Squeaking Sugar Mice from Professor Flitwick. Minerva McGonagall, someone who intensly disliked Peeves and his antics, refused to stop him and even gave him advice on how to perform his actions. The only staff member who supported Umbridge whole-heartedly was the caretaker, Argus Filch, who grew to like her methods, as well as being given permission to torture students himself. She later fired Gamekeeper Rubeus Hagrid, as he was also of mixed race. When attempting to subdue Hagrid with five Ministry of Magic officials, they seriously injured Professor Minerva McGonagall, who was protesting the force used to wrangle Hagrid.
Umbridge interfered with as much as she could while in her various positions at Hogwarts. She tried to prevent Harry Potter from contacting his godfather Sirius Black. She read all incoming and outgoing student mail, and even Hedwig, Harry Potter's owl, was injured. It was hypothetically suggested that Hedwig was attacked by a Thestral, but there is also the more likely possibility that she was manhandled by Umbridge herself or Argus Filch, who gleefully assisted Umbridge in anything she requested of him.
Soon afterward, Umbridge caught Harry trying to use the Floo Network in her office, and he and his friends and fellow D.A. members Hermione Granger, Ron and Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom, and Luna Lovegood were held in her office by Inquisitorial Squad members. When Harry refused to tell her what he had been doing, Umbridge first attempted to dose him with Veritaserum, but Professor Snape told her he had no more. She then claimed that the Cruciatus Curse might "loosen his tongue". Hermione then spoke up, and tricked Umbridge into following her and Harry into the Forbidden Forest in search of an alleged "secret weapon" of the Order of the Phoenix. There, Umbridge was confronted by a herd of centaurs, whom she shamelessly insulted with racial slurs and arrogance. Umbridge then attacked one of the centaurs near her. She was chased and nearly killed by them. Although she survived, her wand was snapped in half when one of the centaurs stepped on it.
Umbridge was ultimately rescued by Dumbledore, although she was apparently left with a significant fear of centaurs afterwards, reacting violently at even the sound of hoofbeats. How Dumbledore managed to rescue her from the human-hating centaurs without suffering any injury himself remained a mystery, though it is likely that centaurs had respect for Albus, based on their salute at his funeral.
After Voldemort appeared in the Ministry of Magic and was seen by a number of people, including Cornelius Fudge, Dumbledore was restored as the Headmaster. Umbridge, who had been in the school's hospital wing, attempted to leave the castle without anyone noticing. Peeves the Poltergeist discovered her and chased her out, beating her over the head alternatively with a walking stick and a sock full of chalk, leading a crowd of students. Professor Minerva McGonagall expressed regret at not being able to chase Umbridge herself because Peeves had borrowed her walking stick and she was not fully recovered.
Return to the MinistryEdit
Umbridge later returned to the position of Senior Under-Secretary at the Ministry and told the new Minister, Rufus Scrimgeour about Harry's wish to become an Auror (to Harry's anger). She was later seen at Albus Dumbledore's funeral at Hogwarts, though she did not speak, and fled at the sight of Firenze.
Muggle-Born Registration CommissionEdit
- Alderton: "No, no, I'm half-blood, I tell you! My father was a wizard, he was, look him up, Arkie Alderton, he's a well known broomstick designer, look him up, I tell you – get your hands off me, get your hands off-"
- Dolores Umbridge: "This is your final warning. If you struggle, you will be subjected to the Dementor's Kiss. Take him away."
- — Dolores Umbridge overseeing a biased trial as head of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission[src]
Following Voldemort's takeover of the Ministry of Magic in 1997, Umbridge resumed her post as Under-Secretary and oversaw the registration and persecution of Muggle-born witches and wizards. She conducted trials with sadistic pleasure, subjecting innocent Muggle-borns to the presence of Dementors and sending them to Azkaban for supposedly stealing magic from "real" witches and wizards. She also wrote the prejudiced propaganda booklet Mudbloods and the Dangers They Pose to a Peaceful Pure-Blood Society. which featured a cover including a rose being strangled by green weeds.
Following Alastor Moody's murder at the hands of Death Eaters in the Battle over Little Whinging, Umbridge took possession of his magical eye. Affixing it to her office door, she was able to terrorize all Ministry employees with the mere concept that she could observe their every move. This, in addition to her manner of causing general misery, would suggest that Umbridge was in league with Voldemort, though it was never explicitly stated until she was seen working with Death Eater Yaxley.
At some point, Umbridge received a locket as a bribe from petty thief Mundungus Fletcher. This locket was, in fact, Salazar Slytherin's Locket, the one once owned by Merope Gaunt as well as Hepzibah Smith. Although Umbridge was unaware that the locket was one of Voldemort's Horcruxes (or belonged to him at all), she chose to lie about the meaning of the cloisonné S, stating it was a Selwyn family heirloom, a name which she believed would bolster her pure-blood credentials (the family has dark connections as a Death Eater who responds to Xenophilius Lovegood was named thus, meaning that Dolores chose the name as it commanded a degree of respect among the supporters of Lord Voldemort's regime). She boasted of this supposed connection to Hermione Granger, who was in the guise of Ministry employee Mafalda Hopkirk, during one of Umbridge's blood purity hearings. At that moment, full of rage, Harry Potter attacked both Umbridge and Yaxley. Umbridge was stunned, leaving Harry and Hermione free to snatch the locket from around Umbridge's neck and flee the scene. Hermione created a copy of the locket to leave with Umbridge, so that she did not become suspicious.
It is not clear exactly why Umbridge felt it necessary to emphasise her wizarding ancestry, though in the case of some other wizards this has been because they wished to distract attention from some non-wizarding ancestors. When the locket was in the possession of Harry Potter and companions, it exerted a malign influence on each of them when they wore it. Due to Umbridge's nature, the Horcrux, rather than impart a negative effect on her, actually strengthened her.
After Voldemort's final defeat by Harry Potter and the revolution of the Ministry of Magic by Kingsley Shacklebolt, Umbridge was arrested, tried and sent to Azkaban for her crimes against Muggle-borns, where she remained for the rest of her life.
Dolores Umbridge is described to be a short, squat woman resembling a large pale toad. She has a broad, flabby face, a wide mouth, and bulging pouchy eyes and mousy hair where she often wears a black velvet bow. This gives Harry the impression of a "large fly perched on an even larger toad". Umbridge's stubby fingers were adorned with several gaudy rings.
Umbridge is seen wearing various green tweed outfits, usually with a pink fuzzy cardigan on top, giving her greater toad-like qualities. The head-to-toe matching outfits, usually in shades of pink, were worn while she taught and during her duties as High Inquisitor. During Harry's hearing regarding underage magic, Umbridge wore the black robes of the Wizengamot with a silver "W" on it. Also, while she interrogated Muggle-borns, she worn Salazar Slytherin's locket ontop of her frilly, girlish pink outfits to show her blood purity. However, since her imprisonment in Azkaban, it is unlikely that she still wears any of her old outfits but instead wears the black and white striped uniform of the prison.
Personality and traitsEdit
- Umbridge: "Not with your quill, you're going to be using a rather special one of mine. Now I want you to write, I must not tell lies."
- Harry: "How many times?"
- Umbridge: "Well, let's just say, as long as it takes for the message to - sink in."
- — Dolores Umbridge making Harry use a Blood Quill[src]
Umbridge was nothing short of a sadist, which earned her the utter dislike of many people around her. Her torturous methods of punishment and discipline made Harry and Ron consider her to be "sick". She had a high, girlish voice that has been described as sounding like poisoned honey. It was also said on various occasions that the sweeter her voice was the more dangerous she was. She also tended to give her signature fake cough, "Hem-Hem", when she wanted someone's attention, rudely interrupting them. Umbridge was fanatically prejudiced against part-humans (such as werewolves and half-giants), which she called "half-breeds." It was her prejudice that caused her to pass a series of anti-werewolf legislation, which made it almost illegal for those afflicted with lycanthropy to hold jobs. Her prejudice also led to her mistakenly believing that mermaids and centaurs are part-humans, when in fact they are seperate species. However, after the incident with the Hogwarts centaurs, she has developed a phobia of centaurs. An odd derivative from this prejudice is that, despite her hatred of half-breeds, Umbridge did not seem to hate part-goblin Filius Flitwick, as Fred Weasley stated that she marked him good on his inspection.
She seemed to be loyal to no one but herself, following the side that gave her the most power, as seen when she was loyal to Fudge over Dumbledore, due to the many powers the Ministry offered her, rather than accepting the truth. However, Umbridge was as ruthless in maintaining her power as she was in seeking it. She enjoyed having people under her thumb, and had no trouble disobeying powerful authorities by using any methods available in order to make people obey her. At one point, she said "what Cornelius [Fudge] doesn't know won't hurt him" as she proceeded to perform Unforgivable Curses, such as attempting to use the Cruciatus Curse on Harry Potter when he would not supply her with information. Umbridge also liked to showcase her statuses, as she arrogantly told the centaurs in the Forbidden Forest of her many titles, and mounted plaques on her office doors to diplay these titles. Unaware that she was in possession of Salazar Slytherin's Locket, she falsely claimed it was an heirloom and proof her relation to the Selwyn family.
When Fudge was dismissed, Umbridge continued to support the Ministry, and seemed to try to get to the same position of power she had had with the new Minister Rufus Scrimgeour. When the Death Eaters took over, she stood by their side and persecuted Muggle-borns for them. Although she was not a Death Eater, she showed no qualms about indirectly supporting them with her work at the Ministry while it was under Voldemort's control.
- Umbridge: "Yes?"
- Harry: "Nothing"
- Umbridge: "That's right, because you know deep down. You deserve to be punished, don't you Mr. Potter?"
- — Dolores Umbridge after Harry used the Blood Quill[src]
She seemed to show particular dislike for Harry Potter, as she cruelly punished Harry during detentions, and deemed him "undesirable number one" during the Death Eaters' reign. During her year as a professor at Hogwarts, she acted as disciplinarian, insisting the students to greet her loudly and clearly at the beginning of every class, as well as answer her questions in the same manner. Despite her feigned politeness, the other teachers found her infuriating. Umbridge became more openly authoritative and cruel as she gained influence over the school, especially during her time as the High Inquisitor, as seen when she interrupted teachers and her leading questions, passive agressive comments, and disruptive note taking. She was especially insulting to Hagrid, whom she knew to be a "half-breed," and was blatantly condescending and rude to him during her inspection of his class.
Umbridge was also a cool-demeanoured sadist who rarely expressed the extent of her anger openly, casually making decrees and handing out torturous punishments with a smile (most notably, forcing Harry to carve "I will not tell lies" into the back of his hand with a Blood Quill). She created several new rules and regulations in order to increase control and chances to punish students, despite many of them being ridiculous and unfair.
Though it was rare, Umbridge did occasionally lose her temper, as when Fred and George Weasley began a rebellion against her during her time as Headmistress. When Marietta Edgecombe had her memories secretly modified by Kingsley Shacklebolt and did not tell the truth about Dumbledore's Army, Umbridge physically shook Marietta very hard, and only stopped when Dumbledore pointed his wand at her. She also had a tantrum when the Gargoyle of the Headmaster's office refused to let her in when she became headmistress, and an outburst against "half-breeds" led her to be carried away by centaurs in the Forbidden Forest.
Umbridge was also a hypocrite, as although she claimed during the Welcoming Feast that she was sure that she and the students would all be very good friends, she admitted later that she actually hated children (although this was only in the film). Also, despite claiming to be a "tolerant woman" (also only in the film), she frequently attempted to silence those she disagreed with.
Umbridge was presumably capable and fairly intelligent, as she was high-ranking in the Ministry at relatively a young age. However, this was probably more a credit to her ability to manipulate and her unabashed opportunism, and not inidicative of any remarkable magical ability. In fact, her general magical knowledge seemed limited, as she unreasonably demanded Snape that brew Veritaserum in less than the required month after squandering the entire bottle on one interrogation. She also could not figure out how the students were suffering from the symptoms of Umbridge-itis, nor how to remove the Weasleys' Wildfire Whiz-bangs and the Portable Swamp left by Fred and George Weasley, something which other teachers easily cleaned up.
Magical abilities and skillsEdit
Despite her high ranking position in the Ministry, at first glance Umbridge doesn't appear to be a particularly powerful witch. She had no knowledge of the brewing process for Veritaserum and due to the fact that she required it, it is unlikely that she is a Legilimens. She had great difficulty in eliminating the Weasleys' Wildfire Whiz-bangs and was unable to eliminate their Portable Swamp. She was also unable to remove Marietta Edgecombe's "SNEAK" pimple formation, implying that she may not be very skilled with counter-jinxes (although it is possible that no counter-jinx existed for Hermione's spell), as she agrees with Wilbert Slinkhard's theories of not using counter-spells in the first place. Her power, however, is instead focused almost exclusively on offensive and defensive magic, as she is quite proficient in attacking and defending herself.
- Patronus Charm: Umbridge was able to conjure a Patronus even under the influence of Dark Magic; in fact, due to her malice and the locket Horcrux being compatible with one other, her Patronus was actually strengthened by Lord Voldemort's fragmented soul. It took the form of a Persian cat.
- Unforgivable Curses: Umbridge was sure of her ability to cast the Cruciatus Curse. It is possible she contemplated using the Killing Curse on Harry and Hermione when she realised that they tricked her before the centaurs appeared.
- "As I told you once before, Mr. Potter. Naughty children deserve to be punished."
- —Dolores Umbridge about her punishments which are given to Harry.[src]
Harry Potter and Dolores Umbridge were never on good terms with one another. In the summer of 1995, Umbridge sent two Dementors after Harry and his cousin Dudley. This was an attempt to silence him from contradicting the Ministry's official opinion that Lord Voldemort had not returned. In order to save himself and his cousin, Harry was forced to produce a Patronus. Harry then received a letter from the Ministry telling him that he would need to attend a hearing. If he was convicted, Harry would have his wand destroyed and not have been able to return to Hogwarts. Umbridge was one of his jurors when he was summoned to the Ministry, and she wanted him to be convicted, but he was acquitted due to the efforts of Albus Dumbledore and Arabella Figg. When Harry went to Hogwarts that same year, he found none other than Dolores Umbridge herself as his new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. Harry found himself hating Umbridge the moment he set his eyes on her, from her fluffy pink cardigan to her high-pitched girlish voice, even though he did not know the precise reason at the time (though it may be due to her voting for his conviction and refusing to believe in him). He often was outspoken in class and would serve detention several times with her during that year. Minerva McGonagall was highly critical of Umbridge's methods, and warned Harry not to cross her because he would get into big trouble at school, and possibly even with the Ministry.
Dolores' punishments were particularly cruel. She forced Harry to write lines with his own blood using a special quill, magically scarring Harry's hand. She banned Harry, Fred, and George from playing Quidditch after they attacked Draco Malfoy (though their bans were all lifted following Umbridge's eventual removal from Hogwarts). Umbridge monitored all incoming and outgoing mail, and Harry's owl Hedwig was injured on Umbridge's orders. She made it difficult for Harry, Ron, and Hermione to visit Hagrid. When Rita Skeeter published an article in The Quibbler about Harry's past experiences with Voldemort during the Triwizard Tournament, Dolores banned Harry from trips to Hogsmeade.
All of this led to the formation of Dumbledore's Army. Harry, with help from Ron and Hermione, taught a group of students different sorts of spells in case they were ever in any danger. They were ultimately betrayed by Marietta Edgecombe. Although later Kingsley Shacklebolt performed a powerful Memory Charm on her so that she could not further implicate Albus Dumbledore and Harry. Harry was saved once again by Albus Dumbledore. Dumbledore told them that Harry formed this organisation after he told him to. Dumbledore then fled Hogwarts and was on the run from the Ministry for several months.
Umbridge became Headmistress of Hogwarts and was intent on taking over the entire school. After Professor McGonagall was injured trying to protect Hagrid from being arrested on Umbridge's orders, Harry was caught trying to use Umbridge's fire to check on Sirius. Umbridge nearly used the Cruciatus Curse in order to get Harry to talk. Hermione intervened and together with Harry, tricked Umbridge into going into the Forest to show her "Dumbledore's weapon." This resulted in Umbridge being carried off by the Centaurs because she had attacked them first due to her hatred of half-breeds.
After the Ministry had finally acknowledged Voldemort's return to power, Umbridge was removed from Hogwarts. However, Harry was furious to learn later that year that Umbridge was still working for the Ministry of Magic. The following year, Voldemort took over the Ministry. Umbridge showed her respect for Voldemort and the Death Eaters by taking part in the hunt for Harry Potter. She branded Harry as "Undesirable Number 1." In addition, Umbridge was Head of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission. This involved sadistically sentencing innocent Muggle-borns to Azkaban on the false charge of stealing magic. Harry learned that Umbridge had one of Voldemort's Horcruxes in her possession. Harry broke into the Ministry and saw Umbridge ruthlessly interrogating a poor Muggle-born. Enraged, Harry cursed Umbridge and retrieved the Horcrux.
Umbridge was Cornelius Fudge's right-hand woman, being his Senior-Undersecretary, and he trusted her greatly to place her into Hogwarts to control it. He granted her many powers through Educational Decrees, and full-heartedly agreed with all of her comments and mockeries against Dumbledore and Harry. Fudge seems to be unaware of Umbridge's sadistic and dark nature. In return, Umbridge was loyal to Fudge only because of the power he is offering her, and felt no true attachments to the misguided man. She was also willing to break the law behind the Minister's back to achieve results, such as summoning Dementors in an attempt to expel Harry, as well as using the illegal Cruciatus Curse for interrogation, all the while stating that "what Cornelius doesn't know won't hurt him". In short, Umbridge used Fudge to further her lust for power. When Fudge was dismissed, Umbridge stood beside the new Ministers instead.
Ministry of MagicEdit
As the Senior Undersecretary of the Minister for Magic, Umbridge managed to kiss up to her superiors greatly, such as Ministers Fudge, Scrimgeour, and Thicknesse. During their respective downfalls, Umbridge did not try to stand up for them, meaning that she only served them loyally for the power that she was offered, and felt no true attachments towards any of them. Some of her equals also respected her enough. In fact, Percy Weasley sent a letter to his younger brother, stating that Umbridge was a "really delightful woman", and that Ron should side with her instead of continuing to associate with Harry. However, others, like Amelia Bones and Arthur Weasley didn't appear to like her. Furthermore, some lower-ranking employees tended to talk ill of her behind her back, as seen when she was the head of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission, when some pamphlet makers complained about her usage of Alastor Moody's magical eye to monitor them. After the Ministry reformed under Kingsley Shacklebolt's guidance, Umbridge was arrested, tried, and imprisoned for her crimes against Muggle-borns.
Minerva McGonagall disliked Umbridge right from the beginning when she invaded Hogwarts with her High Inquisitor position. She stood up to Dolores when no one else seemed to do anything, not even Dumbledore. Minerva did not approve of her methods of punishment and made sure that Umbridge knew about it. When Dolores took over Hogwarts, replacing Dumbledore, Minerva even put aside her dislike of Sybill and advised Peeves on how to cause trouble for the interloper. Dolores was pleased with the attack on Minerva, which provided Umbridge with full control over Hogwarts. After Minerva's return to Hogwarts, Minerva did nothing to curb the students' enthusiasm when Peeves chased Dolores from Hogwarts, only lamenting that she could not watch with them because the poltergeist had taken her walking stick to hit Dolores with as he followed her from the school.
Fred and George WeasleyEdit
- Umbridge: "As I told you once before, Mr. Potter, naughty children deserve to be punished."
- George and Fred: "F: I've always thought our place was outside the world of academic achievement.
G: You know, Fred, I've been thinking exactly the same thing."
- — Dolores Umbridge talking to some students who were punished for something, and Fred and George planning their firework show.
Fred and George Weasley hated Umbridge, who was appointed by the Ministry of Magic as the Defence Against the Dark Arts professor in 1995. Umbridge was a sadistic woman who enjoyed punishing and torturing students. Almost every resident of Hogwarts at the time hated Umbridge, but she particularly hated Harry Potter, Fred and George. When George and Harry attacked Draco Malfoy after a Gryffindor - Slytherin Quidditch match, Umbridge kicked them off the team, along with Fred. Fred and George were the only ones who opposed Umbridge. They developed special fireworks which they set off within the castle after Umbridge was appointed Head of Hogwarts which took fantastical forms such as a monstrous light dragon and Catherine wheels. They also created a Portable Swamp which was commended by Charms Professor Filius Flitwick as a bit of "really good magic," in order to anger Umbridge just before leaving Hogwarts. When she attempted to punish them, Fred and George insulted her in front of the whole school and then fled with their broomsticks, much to her absolute fury, as she ordered her Inquisitorial Squad to apprehend the two, which failed. In response, the twins "strongly suggested" that Peeves "give her hell from us" before flying out of the castle grounds, a departure that would become something of a legend at the school.
Some of the Slytherin students as well as the caretaker, Argus Filch, happily supported Umbridge during her reign as the High Inquisitor and later Headmistress of Hogwarts; relating to her cruelty and sadism with their own ambitions. In fact, Filch claimed that Umbridge was the best thing to happen to Hogwarts, falling for her ploy to gain his trust by rewarding him with, for example, permission to use torture as a form of punishment. However, Umbridge was fully aware that she could rely only on herself in the more crucial situations, evidenced in her reaction to Draco Malfoy's greedy facial expression upon hearing of Dumbledore's fabled "secret weapon" from an apparently distraught Hermione Granger. Umbridge, believing Hermione's bluff, then took it upon herself to discover this weapon first-hand rather than send one of her Slytherin cronies to do it for her. Other members of the Inquisitorial Squad were Vincent Crabbe, Gregory Goyle and Pansy Parkinson.
Other Hogwarts residentsEdit
- Sybill Trelawney: "16 years I've lived and taught here! Hogwarts is my home! You can't do this!"
- Dolores Umbridge: "Actually, I can."
- — Dolores Umbridge expelling Sybill Trelawney
Dolores Umbridge is, overall, an unpleasant person to be around. As such, she was highly unpopular to most students and teachers in Hogwarts school. The students who despised her cruelty started a massive rebellion inspired by Fred and George Weasley after they set off a Portable Swamp and fled the school. The teachers and staff, most of whom despised Umbridge's methods, did little to support her, and instead allowed the students to run rampant. Some of them were Filius Flitwick, Pomona Sprout, Poppy Pomfrey and Severus Snape.
Umbridge was particularly offensive and prejudice towards Hagrid, due to his half-giant blood, and to Professor Trelawney, who Umbridge believed was a fraud. In addition, Umbridge liked to intimidate Snape, despite both of them sharing a dislike of Harry Potter. Unlike Trelawney, who took these horrible comments to heart, Snape rarely took any of her tauntings seriously.
- Umbridge: "You're on Probation!"
- Snape: "*looks back at her, his eyebrows slightly raised*"
- Umbridge: "You are being deliberately unhelpful! I expected better, Lucius Malfoy always speaks most highly of you! Now get out of my office!"
- — Umbridge's assessment of Snape after he tells her that he has no more Veritaserum[src]
Umbridge especially disliked Albus Dumbledore, as he kept undermining her attempts to wrest control of Hogwarts. She, like Cornelius Fudge, believed that Dumbledore was trying to overthrow the Ministry of Magic and hence usurp the position of Minister for Magic.
After Umbridge's departure, the renewed Potions master Horace Slughorn claimed that he thought of her as an "idiotic woman" and that he never liked her, especially after hearing that she foolishly angered the herd of already riled Centaurs.
Dumbledore's Army was an organisation founded by Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger and led by Harry, in order to teach the members Defence Against the Dark Arts, something that Umbridge didn't. Dumbledore's Army was also an organisation founded in order to directly oppose Umbridge and her supporters. When Umbridge found out about the organisation, she utilised the powers of Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four to have them all expelled, but failed due to Dumbledore taking the blame.
Some of the members were Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, Fred and George Weasley, Ernie Macmillan, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Susan Bones, Hannah Abbott, Cho Chang, Alicia Spinnet, Katie Bell, Angelina Johnson, Colin and Dennis Creevey, Michael Corner, Terry Boot, Anthony Goldstein, Zacharias Smith, Padma and Parvati Patil, and Marietta Edgecombe. All of them, aside from Marietta, disliked Umbridge.
However, Marietta betrayed the army to Umbridge, because of her parents' loyalty to the ministry. Although Umbridge feigned kindness in encouraging Marietta to do "the right thing," when Kingsley Shacklebolt secretly modified Marietta's memory, Umbridge was furious with young girl for being unable to answer her questions. This caused the High Inquisitor to shake Marietta violently, until Dumbledore quickly stepped in.
"Half-breeds" and "Mudbloods"Edit
- "Filthy half-breeds! Beasts! Uncontrolled animals!"
- —Umbridge insulting a herd of centaur in fear.[src]
Umbridge always had a prejudiced view on those who are part-humans. She used the derogatory term "half-breed," and treated them particularly horribly. This extended to creatures that look like part-humans, but are in fact a separate breed, such as centaurs, merpeople, and werewolves, as she either mistakes them to be human-animal hybrids or simply finds their appearances of being partially human revolting. Regardless of her definition of "half-breeds," she was extremely cruel to them, writing an anti-werewolf legislation so they could barely find employment, and suggesting merpeople to be rounded up and tagged.
In particular, Umbridge was horrible to half-giant Rubeus Hagrid, treating him like a dimwitted and violent troll, and ultimately tried to attack him under the cover of darkness. Umbridge was also horrified at the appointment of the new Divination teacher, the centaur Firenze. Her prejudice eventually led her to foolishly insult and anger a herd of centaurs who dragged her away, which led her to develop a phobia towards centaurs.
However, despite her hatred towards half-breeds, Umbridge did not seem to hate part-goblin Filius Flitwick, judging by Fred Weasley's statement that she passed him on his inspection. Although, this is most likely a result of Umbridge's lack of knowledge on Flitwick's ancestry.
One year prior to her incarceration in Azkaban, Umbridge's cruel prejudice extended to Muggle-borns, due to her conformity of the ideology of blood purity. She sadistically interrogated them alongside Yaxley, two prime victims being Alderton and Mary Cattermole. She also published a pamphlet stating the dangers of Muggles and referred to them as "Mudbloods." Her crimes against Muggle-borns led to her life imprisonment in Azkaban following the defeat of Lord Voldemort.
Although Umbridge was not a Death Eater, and had no direct contact with Lord Voldemort, she showed that she was fairly in line with their goals. This is due to Umbridge's callous nature and her prejudiced beliefs, both of which are similar to Death Eater behaviour. She was an antagonist to both Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore, and tried to hinder or thwart them on several occasions. Umbridge seemed to be on friendly terms with Lucius Malfoy, a known Death Eater who had close connections with the Ministry. In addition, Umbridge was seen working alongside Yaxley, another Death Eater, who was part of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission which Umbridge was in charge of. Umbridge's duties as the head of this commission involved sadistically prosecuting innocent Muggle-borns who were the enemies of the Death Eaters. However, Umbridge was never actually part of Voldemort's ring of Death Eaters, although it appears that with her Mudblood prejudice leaflet, she supports Mudblood segregation. However, it was never indicated that Umbridge was actually joining Voldemort, or if she was aware of the truth of their involvement in the changed attitude at the Ministry in 1998.
- Dolores is a common Spanish name, although it also occurs as an English name. In Spanish, "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. "Dolores" is also a tributary in the Colorado River. "Dolores River", approximately 250 miles long. Dolor is the Danish name of the Cruciatus Curse.
- Jane is a sweet name for a girl, adding a cruel irony to her nomenclature. Because her middle name is "Jane," J.K. Rowling changed Hermione Granger's middle name (which was also Jane) to "Jean" in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
- "Umbridge" may be a pun on the English "umbrage" meaning "offence or insult", indicates that Dolores Umbridge is destined to do only harm and cause only unhappiness. It also may derive from the Latin "umbra", referring to the darkest part of a shadow.
Behind the scenesEdit
- Umbridge is portrayed by British actress Imelda Staunton in the film adaptations of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
- Professor Umbridge is one of the least popular Harry Potter characters in the opinions of the main characters, sometimes even surpassing Lord Voldemort. But in Deathly Hallows, Neville Longbottom claimed that Umbridge seems tame compared to Alecto and Amycus Carrow; this is likely because the Carrows were completely unconstrained in their abilities to punish students, and in fact, were probably encouraged to use Dark magic against defiant students. J. K. Rowling herself has noted that Umbridge is "a nasty piece of work." One of the producers of the series movies described her as a splice between Doris Day and Freddy Kreuger.
- Novelist Stephen King, writing as a book reviewer for the 11 July, 2003 Entertainment Weekly, noted that the success of any fantasy novel depends on a great villain, and called Umbridge the "greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter."
- The film version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix omits the detail that Umbridge was the person who sent the Dementors to attack Harry, nor does it identify the one who was responsible.
- Umbridge may be related to Death Eater Selwyn, as she claimed in Deathly Hallows that she was related to the Selwyn family, though this may have been a lie to "bolster her own pure-blood credentials".
- Interestingly enough, when she finds Hermione (disguised as Mafalda Hopkirk) she says "Travers sent you, did he?" Travers is also a Death Eater. Perhaps by coincidence, Travers and Selwyn are the two Death Eaters that attack Harry, Ron, and Hermione when they go to see Xenophilius Lovegood.
- The only staff member to ever like Umbridge was Argus Filch, who thought she was the best thing to happen to Hogwarts.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, there is a figure of Umbridge balancing on a rope shouting "I really hate children." and "I will have order!" repeatedly in the Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes Joke Shop.
- According to J. K. Rowling, in early drafts of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Umbridge's first name was Elvira.
- Despite her hatred towards half-breeds, Umbridge did not seem to hate part-goblin Filius Flitwick, as Fred Weasley stated that she marked him well on his inspection. (This may be due to the fact that the goblin blood comes from a distant ancestor.) In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix however, she does harass Flitwick by measuring him as if there is a height requirement.
- In the Order of the Phoenix film adaptation Umbridge is shown with blue eyes, but in the book she is described to have "slitted brown" eyes.
- In the film adaptations of both Order of the the Phoenix and Part I of the Deathly Hallows, Umbridge's Kitten Brooch and Ring were custom-made by Israeli jewelery designer Michal Negrin, who then subsequently made a small collection of pieces with similar a pattern.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) (Voice only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- Harry Potter LEGO Sets
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- ↑ J.K. Rowling Web Chat
- ↑ A deleted scene from the film version of Order of the Phoenix, and included on the DVD, shows Umbridge talking herself into taking extreme action against Harry and Hermione after they take her into the forest. She raises her wand, but is interrupted by the arrival of the centaurs. Although no spell is uttered by her, the context of her actions — that she felt she was acting for the greater good — could suggest she was preparing to cast the Killing Curse.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ Heyman: Imelda Staunton to Return as Umbridge for Deathly Hallows
- ↑ As part of a special unlockable extra on J.K. Rowling's official website, there is an early draft of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, where Rowling describes a character very much like Dolores Umbridge, but who is named Elvira. Rowling has admitted that Elvira was her original name.