|Dolores Jane Umbridge|
|Also known as|
Selwyn family (claimed)
- "When they entered the Defence 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 witch and 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, and then later Hogwarts High Inquisitor and Headmistress. In all three of these positions at Hogwarts she had enormous power over the students, teachers, and the curriculum, which she wielded despotically.
Her time at Hogwarts was characterised 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 arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment in Azkaban for her crimes against Muggle-borns.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Physical appearance
- 3 Personality and traits
- 4 Magical abilities and skills
- 5 Relationships
- 6 Etymology
- 7 Behind the scenes
- 8 Appearances
- 9 Notes and references
Biography[edit | edit source]
Early life[edit | edit source]
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 Ministry[edit | edit source]
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 professor[edit | edit source]
- 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 Twenty-Two, 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]
D.A.D.A - Defence Against the Dark Arts
She taught according to a politically-restricted curriculum which entailed learning strictly the theory of Defence Against the Dark Arts, without any practical applications. By teaching basic defensive theory as opposed to real spells that would prepare her students for the outside world, she and the Ministry hoped to decrease the chance that Dumbledore could form a wizard army of students to overthrow the Ministry.
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 Blood Quill that caused those words to be carved into the back of his hand and transfer his blood to the quill 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.
High Inquisitor[edit | edit source]
After working at Hogwarts for a short while and having a discussion with the Minister, Educational Decree Number Twenty-Three increased Umbridge's power as she was appointed the first-ever "Hogwarts High Inquisitor." She used this position to evaluate, harass, and fire any teachers at Hogwarts deemed unsatisfactory by her or the Ministry.
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.
After Harry, Fred and George got into a physical fight with Draco Malfoy following a Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Slytherin, Minerva McGonagall gave the trio a severe tongue-lashing and a week's worth of detentions. However, to the further fury of McGonagall, Umbridge stepped in and altered the punishment further, banning Harry, Fred and George from playing Quidditch permanently. When Harry gave an interview about Lord Voldemort to The Quibbler, Umbridge then banned possession of the magazine, and revoked Harry's Hogsmeade privileges. However, by committing the former, Umbridge only caused the entire school to secretly read and discuss the Quibbler.
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, as a "filthy half-breed", an opinion which would later get her into trouble.
Headmistress[edit | edit source]
- "You filthy little beasts would never have dropped Stink Pellets if you'd known I had it in my power to whip you raw, would you, now? Nobody would have thought of throwing Fanged Frisbees down the corridors if I could've strung you up by the ankles in my office, would they? But when Educational Decree Number Twenty-Nine comes in...I'll be allowed to do them things...oh, things are going to be very different around here with her in charge! "
- —Argus Filch on his happiness for Umbridge becoming Headmistress of Hogwarts[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.
Thanks to the newly passed Educational Decree Number 28, Umbridge replaced Dumbledore 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 intensely 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.
Skirmish in the Forbidden Forest[edit | edit source]
- Hermione: "We're in this together!"
- Umbridge: "That. You. Are!"
- — Umbridge catches Harry, Ron, and Hermione using her fireplace.[src]
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, who 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.
Suspension[edit | edit source]
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 the day before the end of the school year. However, Peeves the Poltergeist discovered her and ousted her from the school, 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 Ministry[edit | edit source]
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 fury). 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 Commission[edit | edit source]
- 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 of the Seven Potters, Umbridge took possession of his magical eye. Affixing it to her office door, she was able to terrorise 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 Selwyn family has dark connections, as evidenced by the fact that one of the Death Eaters who tortured Xenophilius Lovegood had the surname Selwyn, suggesting 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 already evil nature, she hadd developed an "affinity" for the object and so the Horcrux - rather than impart a negative effect on her - actually strengthened her.
Imprisonment[edit | edit source]
After Voldemort's final defeat at the hands of Harry Potter and the mass revolution of the Ministry of Magic by Kingsley Shacklebolt, Umbridge was arrested and put on trial for crimes against Muggle-borns, working with Voldemort and his Death Eaters and abuse of power at both Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic. She was found guilty of all charges and sentenced to life imprisonment in Azkaban.
Physical appearance[edit | edit source]
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. She speaks with a simpering, childish, high-pitched, breathless, girlish voice, and has her office decorated with kittens and other cute pink things. She had a wide, toad-like smile and would after say cruel things in a sugary, sweet voice. Umbridge's thick, stubby fingers were adorned with several gaudy, ugly old 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 under-age 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 on top of her frilly, girlish pink outfits in an attempt to prove her blood purity claiming that the S stood for the pure-blood Selwyn family. 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 traits[edit | edit source]
- 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]
Dolores Umbridge was clearly an evil woman - nothing short of a sadist - earning her the utter contempt of many around her. Her draconian ideals of discipline, such as having the victim write with their own blood and the message carved into the back of his or her hand, made Harry and Ron consider her to be "sick". She had a high, girlish voice and a personality that has been described as "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 separate 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 well on his inspection.
Dolores is what could be described as a textbook example of "Lawful Evil". She placed a blind faith in authority, believing that it could not possibly be wrong and this went hand-in-hand with her self-serving nature; she liked power a lot, naturally siding with those who would give her the most authority (as is clearly seen when she was loyal to Fudge over Dumbledore, rather than accepting the truth). 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 using any methods available in order to make people obey her, even if they violated wizarding laws, such as attempting torture Harry Potter with the Cruciatus Curse, which was one of the three Unforgivable Curses, when he would not supply her with information. Indeed, she was known to rapidly resort to cruel and unusual punishments over perceived slights and take great pleasure in such punishments. 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 display 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 (such was her devotion to authority) and seemed to try to get to the same position of power she had had with the new Minister Rufus Scrimgeour. Even 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, and freely espoused many of their virtues (even before they gained Ministry 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-aggressive 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 must 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 unreasonable.
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. Also, despite claiming to be a "tolerant woman", she frequently attempted to silence those she disagreed with. Her raciscm and hatred of both "half-breeds" and "Mudbloods" show that she has not an ounce of tolerance in her.
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 indicative 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.
It was through her incessant persecution of Muggle-borns and "half-breeds", and possibly her use of the illegal Blood Quill to torture those who went against her (including her attempt to torture Harry with the Cruciatus Curse), that contributed to her eventual downfall and life imprisonment in Azkaban.
Magical abilities and skills[edit | edit source]
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 was unable to eliminate either the Weasleys' Wildfire Whiz-bangs and their Portable Swamp, feats that other professors easily did (which they refused to at first, just to give Umbridge trouble). 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). Her real magical power and knowledge were mainly focused in offensive and defensive magic, particularly of a darker variety.
- Charms: Umbridge was able to cast a Shield Charm strong enough to repel projectiles with ease in a fraction of a second. She could also 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.
- Dark Arts: 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.
- Transfiguration: The true extent of Umbridge's transfiguration skill is unknown, though she was able to effectively cast Incarcerous at a moment's notice, suggesting she was at least moderately well-versed in this art.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Harry Potter[edit | edit source]
Dolores Umbridge did everything in her power to make Harry Potter's life as miserable as possible. 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 Charm. 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 confiscated and destroyed, rendering him unable 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.
- "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]
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. He often was outspoken in class and suffered for his inability to control his temper; he would serve detention several times with her during that year if which he would be forced to write lines with his own blood using a special quill, magically scarring Harry's hand. Though Minerva McGonagall was highly critical of Umbridge's methods, she warned Harry not to cross her as not only would he risk getting into serious trouble at school, but possibly with the Ministry as well.
- Harry Potter: "Well, I'm...I'm on the Gryffindor Quidditch team. And I was supposed to be at the tryouts for the new Keeper at five o'clock on Friday and I was--was wondering whether I could skip detention that night and do it--do it another night...instead..."
- Dolores Umbridge: "Oh no. Oh no, no, no. This is your punishment for spreading evil, nasty, attention-seeking stories, Mr. Potter, and punishments certainly cannot be adjusted to suit the guilty one's convenience. No you will come here at five o'clock tomorrow, and the next day, and on Friday too, and you will do your detentions as planned. I think it rather a good thing that you are missing something you really want to do. It ought to reinforce the lesson I am trying to teach you"
- — Umbridge telling Harry he can't miss her Blood Quill detentions for Quidditch and as she said it looking like she had "just swallowed a particularly juicy fly"[src]
Dolores' punishments were particularly cruel. As well has making Harry use a quill that would slice open his hand and cause him to write in his own blood, she banned Harry, Fred, and George from playing Quidditch after they got into a scuffle with Draco Malfoy (though their bans were all lifted following Umbridge's eventual removal from Hogwarts) following his cruel insults. 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 (with the exception of the Quibbler interview incident, which happened after) 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, and the true purpose of the group was to stand up to Dolores Umbridge's tyrannical regime and to learn the spells she refused to teach them. They were ultimately betrayed by Marietta Edgecombe, and despite Kingsley Shacklebolt performed a powerful Memory Charm on her so that she could not further implicate Albus Dumbledore and Harry, Dumbledore was forced to flee the school to save Harry from expulsion once again.
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 immediately 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.
After the Ministry of Magic was extensively reformed under the leadership of Kingsley Shacklebolt following the end of the Second Wizarding War, it is highly possible that Harry was one of the many witnesses present when Umbridge was placed on trial and sentenced to life imprisonment in Azkaban.
Cornelius Fudge[edit | edit source]
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 was 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 Magic[edit | edit source]
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 sentenced to life imprisonment in Azkaban for her crimes against Muggle-borns.
Minerva McGonagall[edit | edit source]
- McGonagall: "He has achieved high marks in all of his Defence against the Dark Arts tests —"
- Umbridge: "I'm terribly sorry to have to contradict you, Minerva, but as you will see from my note, Harry has been achieving very poor results in his classes with me —"
- McGonagall: "I should have made my meaning plainer ... He has achieved high marks in all Defence Against the Dark Arts tests set by a competent teacher."
- — McGonagall discussing Harry Potter with Dolores Umbridge[src]
Minerva McGonagall disliked Dolores Umbridge right from the beginning when the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher began to invade Hogwarts with her Hogwarts High Inquisitor position and did everything she could in her power to circumvent Umbridge's authority without risking the loss of her job. During Umbridge's inspections of McGonagall's class, Minerva tried for the most part to ignore Umbridge. This was difficult, due to Umbrige's constant interruptions of McGongall using her signature soft, girlish cough of "Hem hem". When forced to acknowledge Umbridge's presence, McGonagall treated her with a cold and harsh demeanour.
Despite Umbridge having the power to put Minerva on probation or even sack her, Minerva was not afraid to show her disgust and hatred of Umbridge to the woman's face. Despite this, she understood that Umbridge had a lot of power and that she was reporting directly to Cornelius Fudge, and so Minerva once warned Harry Potter to tread carefully around Umbridge. Minerva was also visibly displeased when Umbridge kicked Harry, Fred and George off the Gryffindor Quidditch Team after they got into a fight with Draco Malfoy following a Gryffindor - Slytherin Quidditch match. Even so, she vehemently vouched for Harry during their Career Advice session, claiming that she would coach him nightly if she had to in order to realise his dream of becoming an Auror, after Umbridge's furious protests that Harry would never become one. After Umbridge fired Sybill Trelawney from her post as Divination teacher, Minerva even put aside her mild dislike of Sybill to focuse even more on her hatred of Umbridge.
Even when Dolores took over Hogwarts, replacing Albus Dumbledore as Head of the school, Minerva continued to help undermine Umbridge's reign, preferring to watch her struggle with the chaos that was being caused by the students and Peeves (and sometimes even helping with it). When Minerva was attacked and sent to St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, Dolores was pleased that she had full control of 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 ousted her from the school.
Fred and George Weasley[edit | edit source]
- Fred: "We won't be seeing you"
- George: "Yeah, don't bother to keep in touch."
- Fred: "If anybody fancies buying a Portable Swamp, as demonstrated upstairs, come to number ninety-three Diagon Alley -- Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. Our new premises!"
- George: "Special discounts to Hogwarts students who swear they're going to use our products to get rid of this old bat"
- — Fred and Weasley before they departed Hogwarts giving their last sentiments to Professor Umbridge[src]
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 got into a fight with 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.
Inquisitorial Squad[edit | edit source]
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 residents[edit | edit source]
- Sybill Trelawney: "No! NO! This cannot be happening...It cannot...I refuse to accept it!"
- Dolores Umbridge: "You didn't realise this was coming? Incapable though you are of predicting even tomorrow's weather, you must surely have realised that your pitiful performance during my inspections, and lack of any improvement, would make it inevitable you would be sacked?"
- — Dolores Umbrige, soundly callously amused, insulting Trelawney while she sacks her[src]
While at Hogwarts, Dolores Umbridge was, overall, an unpleasant person to be around. As such, she was highly unpopular to most students and teachers in Hogwarts school. She would constantly interrupt teachers, such as Dumbledore during his welcoming speech, with her high-pictched girlish cough of "Hem-hem" and treat students with condescention, but Dumbledore could not do anything about her due to her being appointed by the Ministry. 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 and interfering in their classes, 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 and was deeply insulted, 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. It is highly possible that as her Head of House during her schooling days, Slughorn saw through Umbridge and somehow knew that she would instantly start abusing her positions if he had granted her the positions of 'Prefect' or 'Head Girl'.
Dumbledore's Army[edit | edit source]
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 | edit source]
- "Filthy half-breeds! Beasts! Uncontrolled animals!"
- —Umbridge insulting a herd of centaur in fear.[src]
Umbridge always had a prejudiced view on those who were part-humans. She used the derogatory term "half-breed," and treated them particularly horribly. This extended to creatures that looked like part-humans, but were in fact a separate breed, such as centaurs, merpeople, and werewolves, as she either mistook them to be human-animal hybrids or simply found 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.
- Umbridge: "It's hidden in Hagrid's hut, is it?"
- Hermione: "Of course not. Hagrid might have set it off accidentally."
- Umbridge: "Yes, yes, he would have done, of course, the great half-breed oaf..."
- — Hermione Granger and Harry Potter leading Umbridge into the Forbidden Forest to show her "Dumbledore's secret weapon"[src]
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.
Death Eaters[edit | edit source]
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 was due to Umbridge's callous nature and her prejudiced beliefs, both of which were 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 supported 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.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
- 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. 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 scenes[edit | edit source]
- 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 Krueger.
- 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.
- Given her prejudices as well as her ambitious, cunning nature it is quite likely that Umbridge was sorted into Slytherin.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game), the Expulso spellbook is located in her office, squarely in the centre of her desktop. It is not elaborated on why she possessed this item, though it is quite possible that she'd confiscated it. It is also possible that it was actually hers, since her magical power was concentrated in offensive and defensive magic.
- The influence of the Locket on Umbridge is notably similar to the influence of the Ring of Power on Galadriel, in that both experienced amplified magical power and malice. Both were also being influenced by the rehoused soul of a Dark wizard, more or less (although, unlike Galadriel, Umbridge was already evil). Had she continued to wear the locket indefinitely, Umbridge may even have become like Voldemort himself.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, during the infiltration of the Ministry of Magic, Umbridge's Patronus was very clearly seen several times in the same scene and often looked less like a cat and more like a reanimated, feline corpse, with the skeletal features visible. This is odd for a Patronus (they usually looks quite "alive" and well) and its twisted form may be a nod to both Umbridge's nature and the circumstances under which it was cast.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- 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)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter LEGO Sets
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- "(Umbridge) is a very nasty piece of work. She has an affinity for this horrible object" - JK, Online Chat script, accessed 30/7/2011
- J.K. Rowling Web Chat
- "She's a pretty evil character" - JK, mugglenet/leaky cauldron interview, accessed 30/7/2011
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- 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, or some equally nasty piece of Dark magic.
- 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.