|“||I will have order!||„|
|~ Dolores Umbridge's famous quote.|
|“||Now, I want you to write, "I must not tell lies".||„|
|~ Umbridge before torturing Harry.|
Professor Dolores Jane Umbridge is the main antagonist of the 2003 book Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and its film adaptation of the same name and a minor antagonist in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and its separate two-part film adaptations of the same name. She was a Ministry of Magic official and served as Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic under three successive ministers: Cornelius Fudge, Rufus Scrimgeour and Pius Thicknesse. Umbridge was designated as Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry by order of the Ministry in 1995 and was later promoted to Hogwarts High Inquisitor and eventually Headmistress. This was part of a Ministry effort to keep the school and Harry under control. She was removed from these positions later on in 1996 and returned to the ministry, reappearing as a minor antagonist in the final book/films Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, working as a judge under Voldemort's supremacist reign.
She was portrayed by Imelda Staunton in the Order of the Phoenix and Part 1 of the Deathly Hallows films, who also portrayed Mrs. Lovett at the Chichester Theatre Festival's adaptation of Sweeney Todd and Alexandrina Victoria Hannover in The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!
Umbridge was an extremely immoral, ambitious, manipulative, and sadistic person who possessed an extremely high opinion of herself. Umbridge obviously believes herself above the law which was shown when she used the Black Quill (which was a torture device that causes the user to write in their own blood) on Harry and then the entire DA. She was prepared to use the Cruciatus Curse on Harry again despite him being a boy and it being illegal to use on anyone but she justifies this this by saying "what Cornelious doesn't know won't hurt him". When she was placed in charge of registrating Muggle-borns, she was incredibly corrupt and malevolent, as she had imprisoned muggle-borns under outrageous accusations and under the prejudiced beliefs that these witches and wizards stole their magic from Pure-bloods.
Despite being a teacher at Hogwarts Academy, she openly hates children and because of this took a great pleasure in enforcing torturous punishments on students. When Hermione and Harry lure Umbridge to the Forbidden Forest and realises that she was tricked, Umbridge flatly said "I really hate children.". While under control of Hogwarts, she enforced strict and somewhat tyrannical rules that the kids were forced to comply; one of the few was that boys and girl could not be in close vicinity of one another, and broke up a wizard and witch kissing with her wand. Umbridge was a colossally prejudiced and inequitable woman as well, she believed that half-bloods (or Mudbloods) were inherently inferior and registered them with extreme cruelty at the Ministry of Magic under Lord Voldemort's fascist reign.
Umbridge was xenophobic and intolerant towards half-breeds as well and because of this she was extremely impertinent and argumentative towards Hagrid the Gamekeeper as he was half-giant and spoke in an insulting and scornful tone towards the centaurs in the Forbidden Forest.
Umbridge was condescending and even cruel towards her fellow teachers, she interrupted Dumbledore's start of year speech by pretending to cough and the same with McGonagel which prompted her to offer a cough sweet. Umbridge was also especially vituperative and disrespectful towards Professor Trelawney who was a fortune teller and asked her to predict something for Umbridge for her to reply "you are in terrible danger" which Umbridge replies as "good". She antagonized Reubeus Hagrid as well and considered him below her as he was half-giant.
Umbridge was also a dishonest and fraudulent liar, she would have preformed one of the Unforgivable Curses on a teenager and would never have told the Minister. When being confronted by Harry, Hermione, and Ron under disguise and asked how she came into the possession of a locket which was also a Horcrux for her to reply that it was in her family for generations, enraged at her hypocrisy Harry reminds Dolores of what she brutally taught him at school before throwing a spell at her.
Depsite her wickedness, Umbridge gave off a sweet and pleasant demeanor, she dressed and spoke as a person's grandmother; the creator of Umbridge (J.K. Rowling) describes her personality as "poisoned honey". She dressed only in pink and wore a decorative bow on her head (in the novels only), she decorated her office with cats and enjoyed to drink tea along with cakes and sweets. When first meeting her in her office Harry resembled Umbridge's appearance with that of a toad. She appears to be good friends with Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic referring to him by a first name basis and Fudge placed Umbridge in control of Hogwarts but this didn't stop her from lying to him about using the Cruciatus Curse on Harry.
Another similarity between Cornelious and Umbridge was that they were both quite paranoid and were worried that Dumbledore was amassing a secret army and weapon that would end the Ministry of Magic. However, Dolores was more heartless in pursuit of her answers, when she became the Defence Against the Dark Arts Teacher she forbade any students from using their wands or magic as she believed it would only further Dumbledore's Army.
A sadistic and cold-blooded woman who rarely ever raised her voice or lost her cool, Umbridge was able to maintain a calm, nearly worry-less persona. Her voice was incredibly relaxed and rarely displayed genuine emotion, aside from sinisterly smiling while making Harry use her "special quill". It's extremely rare but Umbridge would occasionally lose her temper, this was shown when she screeched at Harry Potter for insinuating that Lord Voldemort had returned and actually slapped him when Umbridge caught Harry and Dumbledore's army sneaking into her office. While being dragged deeper into the Forbidden Forest by centaurs she was seen screaming in terror.
Umbridge was always a glutton for power to the point of immorality in its pursuit, but in a position of respect she viciously abused it. Her corruption carried out by the way she gave people who grovelled or sucked up to her, such as Malfoy power in her ranks. She wasn't one for violence and wouldn't normally use her magic but if Umbridge's hand was forced she would get her hands dirty, as was shown when she slapped Harry square across the face and when being charged at by a centaur Umbridge used a spell to control him.
Although she was a noticeably powerless witch, Umbridge was a very intelligent woman which was shown when she was nineteen years old she enrolled in Improper Use of Magic Office and thirteen years later she became the head of the office. She is quite conniving and manipulative, as shown when she was able to let loose a Dementor on Harry Potter and his cousin Dudley which only highlighted her ruthlessness. Despite her intelligence, Umbridge was extremely gullible and unsophisticated at times, and easily fell for Hermione's deception that led her into the Forbidden Forest simply because it claimed a certain power and a glowing view from the Minister for Magic.
But what makes Umbridge more despicable than other Death Eaters is that she was abnormally sanctimonious and self-righteous, she cruelly forced Harry to write in his own blood using the Blood Quill and after the boy finished wrighting the single sentence "I must not tell lies" and then coldly says "you know deep down, you deserve to be punished" despite the fact that the only thing that Harry had done was speak out of line and didn't remotely deserve something so monstrous as a punishment. Even after it being clearly obvious that Umbridge was an evil person she still kept her sweet personality which only ascertained how much of a monster she truly was. Umbridge dished out a vast multitude of sadistic and vicious punishments on a myriad of pupils simply to instill people's fear for her, showing that she didn't want to be respected but feared, as respect would imply that she was equal to others, when she wanted to be above everybody else.
Even at a young age, Umbridge lacked any moral center whatsoever which carried out by the size of her wand and not her height.
Umbridge was a half-blood witch and the first child of a wizard named Orford Umbridge and a Muggle Ellen Cracknell. Her younger brother was a Squib but she herself was born a witch. Under her father's influence, she despised her Muggle mother and her Squib brother, considering them inferior to her and her father, and they both denounced them. Ellen and her son returned to the Muggle world, never to be heard of again. At the age of eleven, she purchased her wand, an unusually short one, at Diagon Alley, most likely at Ollivanders. According to Garrick Ollivander, abnormally short wands usually selected those whose moral character was stunted, rather than because they were physically short. Umbridge attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where she was sorted into Slytherin.
After leaving Hogwarts, Umbridge quickly rose to influential positions in the British Ministry of Magic. At the age of 17, she started an internship at the Improper Use of Magic Office, and by the age of 30, she became the Head of the Office, due to her ruthless tactics and tyrannical leadership under her sweet attitude. She also, while gaining power, overthrew her own father and had him fired from his job, severing all of ties to him and also denying she was related to him, from that point on considering herself only a pure-blood rather than a half-blood. She became Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic and had a place amongst the Wizengamot.
Taking over Hogwarts
|“||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!||„|
|~ Umbridge becoming Headmistress of Hogwarts.|
When Harry Potter began his fifth year at Hogwarts, he discovered that Umbridge had been appointed as the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher by the Ministry (due to a lack of interest in the position). Throughout the story, it became more clear that the Ministry was interfering at Hogwarts through Umbridge, which was first demonstrated when Umbridge refused to let Dumbledore finish his traditional headmaster's speech.
Later in the year, she was made the High Inquisitor of Hogwarts by Fudge, in order to combat what he claimed to be the seriously falling standards at Hogwarts. In truth, this was just the Ministry's latest attempt to override Dumbledore and take full control at Hogwarts, since they believed that Dumbledore was trying to stir up trouble by claiming that Lord Voldemort was back, and was using the school as a recruitment/training ground.
This new position gave Umbridge power to override the Headmaster in many aspects, issue out punishments to the students, create/enforce new rules and dismiss the teachers. Far from being for the benefit of the student's education, the later order was to allow Umbridge to establish and remove those teachers that were ultimately more loyal to Dumbledore than the Ministry. To this end, she inspected every professor at Hogwarts though she was unable to find fault with most of them. She did, however, attempt to banish Professor Trelawney from Hogwarts permanently but was stopped at Dumbledore's intervention (since she did not have the authority to remove them from the castle). In the novel, Dumbledore made sure that Trelawney stayed at the castle (for her own safety) and that the centaur Firenze was brought in to replace her, which further insulted Umbridge because she hated half-breeds and those who outmanoeuvred her. In the movie, when Dumbledore explained that the power to remove people from the premises was still within his power, Umbridge simply replied, "For now!"
Dumbledore's Army and Fighting Against Umbridge
From the moment Umbridge arrived at Hogwarts, Harry Potter was a marked man. Following the allegations made by Rita Skeeter the previous year (about his questionable sanity), and Harry's claim that Voldemort had returned, Fudge convinced himself and the Ministry that Harry was an insane troublemaker, who liked to tell tall stories because he enjoyed being famous. Supporting Fudges claims, Umbridge was placed at Hogwarts to stop these "wicked, nasty attention-seeking stories" from spreading any further, to punish anyone that reinforced or questioned them, and if necessary find a way to remove Harry from the school permanently.
Throughout the Umbridge took sadistic pleasure in depriving Harry and many of the other students of the things that made Hogwarts life enjoyable. When Harry spoke out against her during his first Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson, she put him detention and forced him to carve the words "I must not tell lies" into the back of his hand with a Blood Quill, leaving a scar that never truly healed. She deliberately delayed the re-establishment of the Hogwarts Quidditch teams (with the exception of the Slytherins to whom Umbridge showed favour) and when Harry, Fred and George got into a fight with Malfoy and Crabbe, she banned them from the team and confiscated their brooms. Finally, when Harry gave an interview at Hogsmeade about what he saw on the night Voldemort returned, Umbridge banned him from visiting the village again and put Harry in detention. Whilst these acts specifically targeted Harry, it is implied in the novel that she inflicted similar punishments on other students (as Lee Jordan's hand was bleeding badly at one point), and is outright confirmed in the film where she made the whole of Dumbledores Army write lines with a blood quill, and a first-year student was shown crying after undergoing a similar experience. Her excuse was simply, "Naughty children deserve to be punished!"
These actions inevitably turned both the staff and the students against her, with the apparent exception of the Slytherins (or at the very least Malfoy and his gang) who benefitted from them. In a desperate bid escape Professor Umbridge's restriction from using magic in her class, and learn practical defensive skills, Harry and his friends created a secret organization of students, called "Dumbledore's Army" to improve their duelling skills. Umbridge was aware if the group's existence but thanks to effective measures taken was originally unable to catch them. In the end, Marietta Edgecombe, Cho Chang's friend and a member of the group, betrayed the group to Umbridge exposing their location. Catching them in the act, Umbridge brought Harry, along with the list of other members to Dumbledores office, where the Headmaster, several Aurors, Fudge, Percy Weasley and Professor McGonagall were waiting. After Dumbledore falsely admitted that he was responsible, Fudge ordered Dumbledore's immediate sentence to Azkaban, awaiting trial. When Dumbledore escaped, Umbridge became the new headmaster, and she enacted severe punishments on students suspected of participating in secret organizations, as well as establishing a band of loyal students to carry out her orders, the Inquisitorial Squad.
Fall from Power
|“||What are you doing!? I am Senior Undersecretary Dolores Jane Umbridge! Let me GOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!||„|
|~ Dolores Umbridge being carried off by the centaurs thinking they will put her down. (some chance).|
When Harry Potter had a prophetic nightmare, showing Voldemort torturing Sirius, he broke into Umbridge's office in an attempt to contact his Godfather. He was quickly discovered due to a series of unfortunate circumstances and with his friends restrained interrogated by Umbridge. When Harry refused to co-operate, Umbridge declared she would force him to tell her, but when Snape likewise proved unhelpful, she then attempted to perform the Cruciatus Curse on Harry in front of several Hogwarts students (his friends and the Inquisitorial Squad). It is here that her true colours are revealed because when Hermione reminds her that performing the Cruciatus curse is actually illegal; she responds by saying "What Cornelius doesn't know won't hurt him!". In the novel Umbridge went on to reveal that she was the one who sent the Dementors after Harry the previous summer, pointing out that she was the only one who acted, whilst other Ministry officials were "all bleating about silencing you somehow - discrediting you".
However, before she was able to follow through with the curse, Hermione Granger stopped Umbridge. She told her about Dumbledore's "secret weapon", (which didn't actually exist), and successfully fooled Umbridge into following her to the "weapon's" location. Hermione, along with Harry, led her into the Forbidden Forest, a location which, forbidden to students, contained monstrous creatures and dark alleys. It was during this venture that they attracted the attention of centaurs, in the books this was intentional on Hermione's part, whereas in the film it happened by pure coincidence after Umbridge realised she was being manipulated. In both cases, Umbridge proceeded to insult the Centaurs, resulting in them capturing and dragging her away out of rage. In the film, Harry got a belated revenge upon Umbridge at this point, as she ordered him to tell the Centaurs she meant no harm, to which Harry spitefully replied, "Sorry Professor, but one must not tell lies!"
It is not known what the Centaurs did to Umbridge whilst she was confined within the Forbidden Forest, but the experience left her traumatised. During her captivity, the Ministry discovered that Harry and Dumbledore had been telling the truth for an entire year when several high ranking officials (including Fudge) walked into the Ministry atrium and saw Voldemort with their own eyes. Owing to this revelation, the Ministry withdrew from Hogwarts affairs. Umbridge herself was rescued the following day by a reinstated Dumbledore but was removed from her position and her decrees became null and void. She left the castle the day before the end of year feast but ran into Peeves, who along with several students chased her from the castle. This was her last appearance in the fifth book.
The Half-Blood Prince
Umbridge made a brief appearance in the final chapter of the Half-Blood Prince, where alongside several other Ministry officials she attended the funeral of Albus Dumbledore. Harry noted that she was terrified of Firenze, but did not seem particularly upset. This was her only physical appearance.
Despite this, she was mentioned on a few occasions earlier in the novel and in these instances it was made very clear that Harry was still very bitter towards her. During Harry's meeting with Rufus Scrimgeour, who replaced Cornelius Fudge as Minister when the public voted him out of office, during Christmas 1996 the Minister revealed that despite everything she had done, Umbridge had returned to her position as senior undersecretary and had mentioned about Harry's ambitions to become an Auror. Scrimgeour wanted to use Harry as a poster boy to ensure the public that the Ministry was doing a good job at fighting Voldemort, which was not true. Harry, however, called him out on this hypocrisy, pointing out that the Ministry had originally been far from helpful when he originally tried to tell them about Voldemort and showed him the scars Umbridge had forced him to carve into his skin. Harry like many of his friends felt that the Ministry had a real cheek to ask for his help after everything they had put him through.
It has not been revealed exactly how Umbridge was able to retain her position, given the nature of her dark deeds throughout her tenure at Hogwarts School. It is likely though that the Ministry were not aware of them, and given the outbreak of a war, did not have the time or resources to investigate them properly. Alternatively, given her manipulative nature, Umbridge may have simply lied; claiming she was acting under Fudge's authority, thus shifting the blame away from her.
Deathly Hallows and later life
Imelda Staunton reprised the role for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
Her role in the novel and movie is much shorter and she is only important when Harry, Ron and Hermione disguise themselves as Ministry officials to get into the Ministry and steal a locket that Umbridge was wearing, which turned out to be one of Voldemorts Horcruxes.
Umbridge acquired the locket from Mundungus Fletcher, taking it as a bribe after she caught him selling stolen goods. During Harry, Ron and Hermione's brief visit to the Ministry, it is made perfectly clear that Umbridge has sided with the Death Eaters, and is working alongside them to torture/imprison innocent muggle borns. She is head of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission and has a large wanted poster of Harry in her office, to which she has added the words "To be punished" indicating her hatred of him.
Finding Umbridge in the courtroom, about to sentence another innocent muggle born Harry uses a spell to knock her out instead of killing her, to retrieve the locket intact, rescuing several innocent people as well. In the book, he did so discretely underneath the invisibility cloak, whilst in the film, under the disguise of Albert Runcorn, he openly called Umbridge a liar, before stating her famous phrase "one mustn't tell lies!". After Harry and his friends escape, Dolores regained her conciousness, likely unaware that the locket she was wearing was fake.
This was her final appearance in both the film and the book. It's not known what Umbridge did following the events at the Ministry but she more than likely continued to play an active role in establishing the new regime. It was revealed on Pottermore that after Voldemort's final defeat at the Battle of Hogwarts, her actions finally caught up with her. Following Voldemort's death, the newly appointed Minister, Kingsley Shacklebolt led a systematic purge in the Ministry removing many pro-pureblood laws/motive and bringing several witches/wizards who supported the new regime to account for their actions. As such, Umbridge was soon arrested and put on trial for crimes against humanity during the second Wizarding War. She was found guilty on all counts and sentenced to life imprisonment in Azkaban for her actions, as not all Muggle-borns sentenced to Azkaban survived the ordeal. Branded as a pathological liar and disgraced, Umbridge remained locked away for the rest of her life.
|“||I am a tolerant woman, but the one thing I will not stand for is disloyalty. Things at Hogwarts are far worse than I feared! Cornelius will want to take immediate action.||„|
|~ Umbridge to McGonagall.|
|“|| Study hard, and you will be rewarded. Fail to do so, and the consequences may be, severe. Our previous instructions of this subject has been disturbingly uneven. But you'll be pleased to know, now on, you will be following a carefully structured ministry approved course, of defensive magic.|
(There's something in here about using defensive spells?)
USING spells? Heh heh, well I can't imagine why you would need to use spells in my classroom.(We're not gonna use magic?)
You'll be learning about defensive spells in a secure, riskfree way.
(Potter: What use is that, if we're gonna get attacked it won't be riskfree)
Students will raise their hands when they speak in my class! It is the view, of the ministry, that a theoretical knowledge would be sufficient to get you through your examinations, which, after all, is what school, is all about.
(Potter: And how is theory supposed to prepare us for what's out there?)
There is nothing out there dear, who do you image would want to attack children, like yourself?
(Potter: Oh, I don't know, pfffttt, maybe Lord Voldemort!)
(Students: Oh no, did he just say that.)
Now let me make this, quite plain, you have been told, that a certain, dark, wizard, is at large once again. This, is, a, lie!
(Potter: It's not a lie! I saw him i fought...)
DETENTION! MR. POTTER!
(Potter: So according to you Cedric Diggory dropped dead of his own accord)
Cedric Diggory's death, was a tragic accident!
(Potter:It was murder! Voldemort killed him you must know that!)
ENOUGH! Enough... See me later, Mr. Potter, my office.
|~ Umbridge having an argument with Harry Potter.|
|“|| Come in, good evening, Mr. Potter, sit.|
You're going to be doing some lines for me today, Mr. Potter, no, not with your quill, you're going to use a rather special one of mine. Now, i want you to write... i must not tell lies.
(Potter: How many times?)
Well, let's say... for as long as it takes for the message to sink in.
(Potter: You haven't given me any ink)
Oh you wouldn't need any ink.
(Potter starts writing, as the message eventually starts getting on his hand)
That's right, because you know, deep down, you deserve to be punished. Don't you Mr. Potter.
|~ Umbridge to Potter while giving him an unfair detention.|
- Dolores Umbridge is considered by fans to be one of the most hated Harry Potter characters (sometimes even surpassing Voldemort and Bellatrix.) Though not part of Voldemort's Death Eaters, she forms an alliance at least with two of them, Lucius Malfoy and Yaxley. She also has no qualms about working in a Death Eater controlled Ministry of Magic, and agreed to send the Muggle-Borns to Azkaban.
- Additionally, she's considered one of the crueler examples of evil fictional teachers considering the harsh punishments she doled out to students who dared to cross her (such as when she forced Harry Potter to slash "I must not tell lies" onto his hand with a magical quill), the obvious favoritism she showed towards those who sucked up to her, and her feverish desire to place Hogwarts firmly under Ministry control with her as a proxy.
- She is revealed to be extremely racist, as Remus Lupin noted that Umbridge was one of the main supporters of proposed anti-werewolf, legislation, advocated for merpeople to be rounded up and tagged, and considered centaurs to be inferior to wizards. In the seventh book she then became a Ministry Judge who determines the "blood purity" of witches and wizards and was one of the main forces behind the anti-Muggle propaganda distributed by the Ministry.
- In the Order of the Phoenix book, it is revealed that Umbridge was the one who sent the Dementors after Harry in order to silence his claims of the Dark Lord returning. This isn't, however, mentioned in the film.
- While Harry couldn't cast a Patronus charm while wearing the locket, Umbridge manages to conjure a Patronus which takes form of a cat. The reason she is able to cast the Patronus charm is because the horcrux helped her rather than hindered her due to the fact that she was already evil.
- She is portrayed by Imelda Staunton, who also voices Aardman characters like Queen Victoria in Pirates! Band of Misfits, Bunty in Chicken Run and Mrs. Claus in Arthur Christmas.
- Novelist Stephen King noted that Umbridge is the greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter.
- Actress Imelda Staunton said that she nearly vomited when she had to film the scene where Umbridge makes Harry write in his own blood. She said it was one of the most "sickening parts she ever filmed".
- She is the only character in the series, apart from Lord Voldemort, to leave a permanent physical scar on Harry Potter.
- Umbridge, Bellatrix Lestrange, Fenrir Greyback and Lord Voldemort are the only four Harry Potter villains who are Pure Evil. She is the only Pure Evil in the series who never died.
- WatchMojo.com listed Dolores Umbridge as #3 on their Top 10 "Most Evil Harry Potter Characters" list.