|Occupation:||Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic, Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Hogwarts High Inquisitor, Head of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission|
|Other:||born 1965 or earlier|
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Dolores Umbridge is a minor villain in the Harry Potter series, first introduced in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Dolores Umbridge is a high-ranking official at the Ministry of Magic. She appears most prominently in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, in which she is introduced as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. She uses this position to enforce the Ministry line that Voldemort has not returned. Using her connections at the Ministry, she gradually takes over Hogwarts, eventually replacing Dumbledore as the school's head. Harry and his allies spend much of the year rebelling against her authority, particularly by forming Dumbledore's Army. Ultimately, she is defeated when she is carried off by centaurs in the Forbidden Forest.
In Half-Blood Prince, Umbridge is mentioned to have returned to work at the Ministry. Despite the events of Phoenix, her stature at the Ministry seems to be essentially undamaged.
In Deathly Hallows, she collaborates with the Voldemort-controlled Ministry, leading the campaign against "Mudbloods." Her last appearance in the series occurs when Harry, Ron, and Hermione break into the Ministry to get the locket Horcrux from her.
Umbridge is widely hated by the fandom, with few, if any, defenders. It's a common meme to note that she is more hatable than Voldemort himself. The usual reason given for this is that she is a more relatable type of villain.
Building on how centaurs are portrayed in classical mythology, it's fanon (or perhaps wishful thinking) that Umbridge was gang-raped by the centaurs who carried her off. It's clear enough in canon that she was traumatized by her experience with them.
There is a point of controversy with regards to Umbridge's motives. She spends the whole of the fifth book insisting that Voldemort has not returned, but it's never made clear whether she:
- Really believes that Voldemort has not returned, in which case she's a fanatic who truly believes in what she's doing.
- Doesn't care one way or the other whether Voldemort has returned, in which case she only cares about power and is willing to parrot whatever line will get her ahead.
- Knows that Voldemort has returned, in which case she's actively supporting him.
Imelda Staunton, who played Umbridge in the films, has implied that her performance was based on the first interpretation. However, most fans tend to subscribe to the second interpretation. The third interpretation was brought up in-universe and dismissed by Sirius Black.
Meta & Headcanons
- meta about Hufflepuff Umbridge by vifetoile, siriushufflepunk, and bronzedragon (2014)
Links & Resources
Umbridge-centric Sites & Communities
- umbridged, a LiveJournal community for discussion and fanworks about Umbridge
- Dolores Umbridge Official Fanlisting (defunct, archived by the Wayback Machine)
- Dolores Umbridge character tag at Archive of Our Own
- Dolores Umbridge Bashing tag at Archive of Our Own
- Dolores U. filter at FanFiction.Net
- Umbridge-centric fic listing at FictionAlley Park
- Dolores Umbridge Masterlist, compiled by obliviatethis (last updated 7 October 2005)
- Special Edition: Dolores Umbridge at the Daily Snitch
- Dolores Umbridge at the Harry Potter Wiki
- Dolores Umbridge at the Harry Potter Lexicon
- Explore the Story: Dolores Umbridge and New Writing by J.K. Rowling at Pottermore
- Dolores Umbridge at Wikipedia
- ^ Her Pottermore profile states that she became Head of the Improper Use of Magic Office "before she was thirty"; and she was promoted to Senior Undersecretary sometime before the disciplinary hearing of Harry Potter (12 August 1995), making 1965 her latest possible year of birth.