Thursday, 15 July 2010

Character Connection – Dolores Umbridge

character connection

Character connection is hosted by The Introverted Reader every Thursday. Check it out and join in with your favourite characters!

We all have characters we love. Let's spotlight these fantastic creations! Whether you want to be friends with them or you have a full-blown crush on them, you know you love them and want everyone else to love them too! 

I’m not going with a character I love, I’m going with a character that I love to hate. Actually no, I think I just plain old hate Dolores Umbridge, the ghastly creation of J.K Rowling, first introduced in The Order of the Phoenix.


She encompasses all the kind of traits that I loathe – the passive aggressive, simpering evil – but ever so nice. Can’t fault her behaviour as she hides behind a polite little mask and blends in with the rest of society – only showing her ugly side while everyone else’s backs are turned. Unfortunately such nasty people exist in this world – but hopefully they are few and far between.

Umbridge, unlike Imelda Staunton (who is a brilliant actress, played her to a tea but doesn’t look anything like her) resembles a stout, flabby toad, wearing a criminal amount of pink and likes all things cutesy and adorable. Sickening.

Umbridge works for good old Fudge in the Ministry – showing yet again how remarkably corrupt the MoM has become. It’s a rather cynical and exaggerated view of government, although when looking back over the donations and expenses scandal in the British government, perhaps not so cynical after all. Umbridge is the personification of hypocrisy, corruption and red tape. Fudge – although not a supporter of Voldemort as Umbridge, is happy to overlook certain things – like laws – and close his eyes to what’s going on around him.

On one side, she is a one sided villain, easy to hate – in fact loathe – more then anyone else in the whole Harry Potter series – even more then Voldemort. He is after all a complete and utter nutter. Lucius Malfoy’s position is more clear and he is a Death Eater, he is attracted more to the power. Umbridge though, she is not a visible supporter – she is the kind of person you could live next door to and consider a good neighbour. She would not become a Death Eater – she is just happy to reap the benefits of such a regime.

She represents all those kinds of people – the ones that come out of the cupboard, the ones you thought you knew until they shrug their respectable shells off to reveal their truer selves beneath. So Umbridge is not quite the caricature of evil that she might be mistaken for in the Order of the Phoenix.

Yet, she isn’t taken laying down by the Hogwarts students. Harry forms Dumbledore’s Army, paralleling the Order of the Phoenix by gathering Hogwarts students together in union, which later becomes important in book seven at the battle of Hogwarts. Umbridge isn’t abided by, or put up with – she is fought against and it is immensely satisfactory.


  1. +JMJ+

    The Order of the Phoenix was the last Harry Potter book I ever read, and although that was years ago, I remember how delicious it was to be disgusted by Dolores Umbridge.

    You're right that she is such a hateful villain precisely because she's not outright evil or mad. She's a self-serving opportunist who would try to get along with whichever group happens to be in power. I'm glad she chose Voldemort's side (whether or not she actually realises it) because she'd be awful to have on Dumbledore's.

  2. I just had a conversation with a friend about how evil Umbridge is. It went a lot like you're points here, especially in comparison to Voldemort. With every other villain we get to see something more to them, but with Umbridge she's just so perfectly hateable.
    lovely post!

  3. Umbridge brought out such intense hate I never knew I could have for a book character!

  4. Ohmy gosh, I love this post! Umbridge is so evil! This is fantastic. Thank you, Fi!

  5. Sigh. I hate Umbridge. LOATHE HER.

    That makes me think of this song called This Isn't Hogwarts by Hank Green, where he goes "I'd do pretty much anything to go to wizard school I'd even call Dolores Umbridge my friend"

  6. Oh, man. Umbridge. Hate that character. I work with a guy who reminds me of her. He's not quite as bad, but I learned the hard way that he will throw you under the bus the minute it suits his needs. People like that just make me all itchy inside. I can't describe what I mean by that, but they frustrate me. Give me a straightforward bad guy any day.

  7. I know what you mean. They make you itchy because there's little you can do about it as I bet people who haven't come across that side of them will know what they're really like - and so you're left feeling angry but you can't do anything about it without making yourself look bad. Is he one of those?

  8. oh yes she was nasty wasnt she!. maybe i should read the later books, i only read the first 3 *runs away*

  9. !!!!!!!! Ooh bad Bear! *chases after him*



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