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Harry Potter is a widely acclaimed film series based on the eponymous novel series by J.K. Rowling. It spans over eight parts, released from 2001 to 2011 and distributed by Warner Bros. It became a massive success worldwide and is still prevalent across the Globe. All the books became bestsellers, were translated into 60 languages and sold in 200 countries. In addition, almost all the movies were among the highest-grossing films of all time. They received a tremendous response from the general audience and critics.
The story is set in the late 20th century and depicts a fictional world where the use of magic is commonplace. It is about a young 11-year-old orphan boy, Harry Potter, a Wizarding prodigy, a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and his fight against the Dark Wizard, Lord Voldemort.
A mind-blowing storyline, epic plot twists, action-packed scenes, fabulous costumes, impressive set design, and top-level cinematography/visual effects made Harry Potter a considerable success. It attracted loyal fandom from across the world. However, the characters in the series are what makes it so unique. They are not only portrayed wonderfully, but each has a different back-story and development.
One of such characters, Dolores Umbridge, is an evil witch working in the Ministry of Magic as a bureaucrat. Later, she worked as a Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor at Hogwarts. Her cruelty against the children and her crimes against muggle-borns made her one of the most hated characters in the Harry Potter series.
Quick Facts About Dolores Umbridge
Full Name: Dolores Jane Umbridge
Birth Date: 26 August 1961
Birth Place: Great Britain
Also Known as:
- Senior Undersecretary (former)
- High Inquisitor (briefly)
- Headmistress (briefly)
- Zodiac sign: Virgo
Siblings: Mr. Umbridge
Most Memorable Moment:
- Attacking Professor McGonagall and Hagrid (Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix)
- Disciplinary Hearing of Harry Potter (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)
- Firing Professor Trelawney (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)
Magical Heritage: Half-blood
Hogwarts House: Slytherin
Wand: 8″, Birch, Dragon Heartstring
Patronus: Persian Cat
Actors Who Played: Imelda Staunton
Dolores Umbridge’s Birthplace And Parents
Dolores Umbridge was born on 26 August 1961 to Orford Umbridge and Ellen Cracknell in Great Britain. Her father was a Wizard, while her mother was a muggle-born. She was the first-born child and her younger brother, Mr. Umbridge, was a Squib.
Dolores’s father was a low-level worker in the Department of Magical Maintenance, a fact Dolores was ashamed of. Later in her life, she used to refer to herself as pure-blood and denied any allegiance with the Umbridge’s.
Dolores Umbridge’s Physical Traits
Dolores Umbridge was a short, stout woman, and she was often referred to as resembling a giant pale toad. Her face was big and slack, her mouth was wide and floppy, and her neck was short. She had blue bulging and pouchy eyes. Her hair was short and mouse brown colored, and she usually wore a big black velvet bow.
Dolores had a pinching, high-pitched, girlish voice reflecting her cunning and manipulative personality. Her sinister laugh portrayed how patronizing her character was. She had thick stubby fingers, which she adorned with old gaudy rings.
Dolores Umbridge usually wore green tweed outfits with a pink fuzzy cardigan on the top. Pink was her color, and single-colored pink outfits were her signature style. She even used to keep kittens and pink paraphernalia in her office. According to Harry, she dressed as someone half her age and looked like someone’s maiden aunt. She wore a Salazar Slytherin locket on top of her girlish pink outfit to prove her pure-blood heritage. She claimed that the ‘S’ stood for the Selwyn family.
Dolores Umbridge’s Early Life
Dolores Umbridge was always a cunning, manipulative person who felt insecure about her half-blood heritage. This insecurity shaped her behavior and her future ill-treatment and hatred towards muggle-borns. Dolores took great pride in being a witch and despised her half-Blood heritage and, consequently, her mother and brother.
As soon as she turned 15, she and her Wizard father denounced them, and they left the town and were never seen again. Much is not known about her early life adventures. Still, one thing is for sure, she was always the evil woman who despised others and could go to any length to achieve what she wanted.
Dolores Umbridge’s Hogwarts Years
Dolores began attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry when she turned Eleven. She was sorted into House Slytherin. Her house head was Horace Slughorn, whom she did not share an amicable relationship with. Both held each other in low regard and even disliked each other. Slughorn considered her “an idiotic woman” he never liked.
Dolores was an average student. She did not hold any extraordinary skills and was often ignored by teachers. Her level of intellect was low, and her relationship with her peers was also not good. She never held any position of power in Hogwarts like Prefect or Head Girl. This deprivation led to her hunger for gaining power at any cost and through any means. Dolores’s time at Hogwarts was not something she ever liked, enjoyed, or missed.
A Hogwarts Professor
Without Headmaster Dumbledore’s consent, Dolores was appointed as the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts by the Ministry of Magic in 1995. It was their attempt to interfere in the School’s internal matters and to keep an eye on Dumbledore and Harry. Dolores hated children, and it was evident from her behavior toward them. She was cruel and sadistic and enjoyed punishing students for minor mistakes.
Due to orders from Ministry, she only taught Defence Against the Dark Arts theory without any practical application and activities. As a result, students started fearing that they were defenseless against the Dark Arts. Dolores failed as an educator and also in gaining any respect from the students,
“I Must Not Tell Lies.”
The Ministry denied the return of Voldemort and tried everything to discredit Harry’s claim that the Dark Wizard had returned. Dolores stuck to Ministry’s stance, and hence, it was one of her reasons to hate Harry. She silenced other students with severe punishments, but Harry was the most outspoken.
She punished him with detention and forced him to write “I must not tell lies” with the Black Quill. He had to write it with his own blood and on his flesh. This lined got carved out on Harry’s hand, thus scarring him for life.
Becoming The High Inquisitor
By manipulating the Minister, Dolores became the first-ever High Inquisitor of Hogwarts. It gave her power and influence over other teaching staff, and she could even fire them. Being the evil witch she was, she misused this power and humiliated other teachers in many ways.
Banning The Student Groups
Harry formed a group at Hogwarts to teach students practical Defence Against the Dark Arts. Fearing that the students would rebel against her, Dolores abolished all student groups of three or more members. She also banned the Quidditch game and only allowed it when the teams took permission from her.
She favored the Slytherin house and eventually banned Harry, George, and Fred from the Quidditch games and confiscated their brooms. She even banned the Quibbler, in which Harry’s interview was published claiming that Voldemort had returned. Dolores’s time at Hogwarts was filled with sanctions and punishments inflicted upon students who dared to go against her.
The Headmistress Of Hogwarts
Dolores replaced Dumbledore and became the Headmistress of Hogwarts. Students and other staff members retaliated against this appointment, resulting in a full-fledge rebellion against her.
Fred and George Weasley led a resistance movement against her and made her tenure at Hogwarts a living hell. Staff members also did not help her perform her duties. Even the Headmaster’s tower did not let her inside and refused to recognize her as a legitimate Head.
Dolores adopted many other tactics to maintain authority and influence over the School, like expelling Hagrid and interfering with the communication between Harry and Sirius Black, but she failed miserably.
Dolores was so evil that she was once about to cast one of the Unforgiveable Curses on Harry, the Cruciatus Curse, to “loosen his tongue.” She was later tricked into the forbidden forest by Hermione, where she infuriated the Centaurs. Hence, they attacked her and broke her Wand. Dolores somehow managed to escape and was later rescued by Dumbledore.
Dolores Umbridge’s After-Hogwarts Years
Her Career At The Ministry
After graduating from Hogwarts, Dolores joined the Ministry of Magic as an intern in the Improper Use of Magic office. She quickly climbed up the higher ranks, owing to her cunning and manipulative personality and the discrediting of her juniors and taking credits for their work. At the age of 30, Dolores became the Head of the Office. Her career was full of malicious acts, ruthless tactics, sugar-coated talks, and blunt lies she told other staff members about her heritage. She later became the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic.
Hatred For Heritage
Dolores hated her half-blood heritage. So, she told everyone at the office that she was a true-blood witch descending from the Selwyn family. It was, of course, a lie.
She was ashamed of her father, so she forced him to take early retirement in exchange for a monthly allowance for getting away from Public life. Whoever asked Dolores about her father faced the consequences.
The Anti-Werewolf Legislation
Dolores hated and feared the half-breed/semi-humans like werewolves and Centaurs for an unknown reason. So, she treated them harshly and even drafted anti-werewolf legislation in 1993 to stop them from getting jobs. She even called Firenze, a Centaur, and a teacher appointed by Dumbledore, a “filthy half-breed.”
Discrediting Harry And Dumbledore
Harry Potter faced a Disciplinary hearing before Wizengamot for violating the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery by casting a Patronus Charm in front of his muggle cousin, Dudley Dursley. Harry’s claim was that he cast the Charm because he saw Dementors. Being a member of Wizengamot, Dolores advocated strongly against Harry. She discredited his claim, saying that Ministry-controlled Dementors couldn’t wander in Muggle areas. In reality, Dolores herself ordered the Dementors to attack Harry as the Ministry wanted to expel him. But, much to her disappointment, Harry was released free of all the charges.
“Running Away” From Hogwarts
The Ministry had to accept the return of Hogwarts, thus reinstating Dumbledore and removing Dolores from the post of Headmistress. Peeves, the Poltergeist, practically “kicked” her out of the Hogwarts while students cheered, and the staff remained silent.
The Return To Ministry And The Muggle-Born Registration Commission
During the Second Wizarding War, Dolores was reinstated as Undersecretary to the minister. She was never punished for her acts at Hogwarts.
Dolores ran the Muggle-born Registration Commission and depicted her true feelings of hatred toward them through it. She prosecuted many muggles and inflicted harm on them beyond imagination, and her evil side indeed came out. She also wrote the propaganda booklet “Mudbloods and the Dangers They Pose to a Peaceful Pure-Blood Society.”
She got hold of the Slytherin locket (Voldemort Horcrux) and boasted about her true-blood heritage by referring to the ‘S’ on the locket representing the Selwyn family. Harry and Hermione managed to take it from her.
After Voldemort was defeated and the Ministry of Magic was restored, Dolores faced trial for crimes against the Muggle-borns. She was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in Azkaban, where she spent the rest of her life.
The Alternate Timeline
In the Alternate timeline created by Scorpius Malfoy and Dumbledore, Voldemort was still alive, and Harry was dead after being beaten by Voldemort during the Battle at Hogwarts. In this timeline, Dolores was the Headmistress of Hogwarts.
Dolores Umbridge’s Family
Dolores was a lonely woman. Her spiteful, cunning, insecure, and jealous nature never let her have any meaningful relationship in her life. Feelings of hatred were sowed into her heart from a very young age, and she did not feel any attachment to any other human being. Emotions like love, care, and affection were alien to her, and all she cared about was herself, her image, and her power.
Dolores Umbridge’s Magical Abilities
Dolores Umbridge was a half-blood witch who served as a bureaucrat in the British Ministry of Magic. She was an undersecretary to Minister Cornelius Fudge, Rufus Scrimgeour, and Pius Thicknesse.
Also, Dolores held high ranks in the Ministry and was promoted frequently; she wasn’t a powerful, talented, or very knowledgeable witch. Her areas of interest and knowledge were offensive and defensive magic, and she was inclined particularly toward Dark Arts.
Dolores Umbridge was an evil and sadistic woman who enjoyed inflicting harm on people who she considered weak or inferior to her. Her inclination towards and a significant amount of talent in Dark Arts was evidence of that. For example, she could cast the Cruciatus Curse, one of the three Unforgivable Curses, and was once going to curse Harry with it.
Dolores was able to handle Dark artifacts as she invented Black Quill, a dark Magical torture device that she used to punish students at Hogwarts. She was also capable of handling and commanding Dementors, as evidenced when she summoned and ordered the Dementors to attack Harry Potter and Dudley Dursley.
Dolores was very adept at casting Charms. She could cast many Charms, such as Shield Charm, Fire-making Spell, parchment-sealing Charm, stunning spell, Blackboard writing spell, and the most advanced of all, the Patronus Charm. Her Patronus took the form of a Persian cat after being strengthened with Voldemort’s fragmented soul (due to the Slytherin locket aka Voldemort’s Horcrux she wore).
Dolores Umbridge was also highly skilled in Transfiguration, as she could effectively conjure ropes with Incarcerous Spell. She was also skillful in gathering glasses and cups of various drinks.
Dolores was also capable of performing non-verbal magic just by raising or pointing her Wand. This was evident from her ability to cast a non-verbal spell, the Stunning Spell. She could also cast the Revulsion jinx, which she usually used to torture students at Hogwarts.
Dolores Umbridge’s Wand
Dolores Umbridge’s Wand was made of Birch and Dragon Heartstring. It was only 8 inches long, unusually short for most magic wands. Her Wand was snapped into the half when a Centaur stomped on it in the Forbidden Forest, but she got a replacement. Garrick Ollivander once mentioned that the Wands, usually short in length, select those as their Masters who lack moral character. However, it has nothing to do with their short heights.
Trivial and Fun Facts
Do you Know the Meaning Dolores’s Name Holds?
Well, Dolores’s name was an accurate representation of her personality. ‘Dolores’ is taken from the Latin word ‘dolor,’ which means sorrow. While Umbridge is derived from the word “umbrage. Taking umbrage means to get offended, representing how easily she got offended by whoever dared to go against her views. It also means ‘insult,’ depicting how she was only destined to inflict harm on others.
Do you Know She was One of Two People to Leave a Scar on Harry Potter?
Lord Voldemort gave Harry a Scar (his Horcrux) on his forehead. Well, he was not the only one to scar him. Using her Black Quill, a medieval torture device that she invented to inflict harm on students, Dolores left Harry with a permanent Scar on his hand. It read, “I must not tell lies.” This was proof of how evil she was.
Do you Know who Inspired J.K. Rowling to Create the Character of Dolores?
Like many other characters in Harry Potter who were inspired by real-life people in Rowling’s life, Dolores’s character was inspired by an ‘evil’ teacher she had. She, like Dolores, wore a yellow bow (like Dolores wore a black one) and had cruel behavior towards children. One of Rowling’s co-workers, who liked decorating her desk with pictures of kittens, and was spiteful, rude, and vile, also inspired Rowling to curate the character of Dolores.
Do you Know What Dolores was Phobic to?
Apart from children, Dolores was also phobic of semi-human /half-breed creatures like Centaurs, Werewolves, Merpeople, and Half-giants. She even drafted anti-werewolf legislation in 1993 to stop them from working. Her hatred towards Hagrid and his Aragog was another proof of her fear. Her dread probably began when she was attacked by a Centaur in the Forbidden Forest.
Dolores Umbridge’s Appearances In The Books
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (first appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Dolores Umbridge’s Appearances In The Movies
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (first appearance) (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 1 (film)
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (play)
Dolores Umbridge’s Famous Quotes
- “Things at Hogwarts are far worse than I feared.” – Dolores Umbridge, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
- “You know, I really hate children.” – Dolores Umbridge, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
- “Boys and Girls are not to be within 6 inches of each other”. – The Decree created by Dolores Umbridge, Harry Potter, and the Order of the Phoenix.
- “You have been told a certain Dark Wizard is at large once again. This is a lie.” – Dolores Umbridge, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
- “I must not tell lies.” – Dolores Umbridge’s Motto, Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: No, Dolores Umbridge did not die in the Harry Potter series. However, after the Battle at Hogwarts and the defeat of Lord Voldemort, Dolores was put on trial for her involvement in the Muggle-born Registration Commission. She was also tried for her crimes against the muggle-borns by the newly constituted Ministry of Magic. As a result, she was sentenced to life imprisonment and sent to Azkaban to spend the rest of her life.
Answer: Despite her views being in line with Voldemort’s plan, such as hatred for muggle-borns and their removal from the face of the Earth, Dolores was not a Death Eater. She had no direct involvement with Lord Voldemort, although she served in the Ministry while it was under his influence.
Answer: Dolores did try to find a powerful husband within the ranks of the Ministry of Magic. Still, anyone who got to know her soon realized how evil, sadistic and prejudiced she was. As a result, her quest for a husband failed, and she never married.
Answer: Dolores taught Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts in 1995 for only a year. Her appointment was ordered by the Ministry of Magic without the consent of Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster. She, however, taught only according to the politically limited Ministry-approved curriculum, i.e., only the Defence Against the Dark Arts theory.