J.K. Rowling has released a new Harry Potter story on her website, Pottermore.
This time it’s a biography of Dolores Umbridge, the pink-loving, sweet-smiling, Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.
A complex personality, Dolores Umbridge dabbled in the kind of nastiness that was plastered over with a sweet childish grin.
With her love of kittens and teacups, Dolores Umbridge often manages to hide her true nature from authority.
Dolores Umbridge first appears in the Order of The Phoenix and was not only Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts but also worked at the Ministry for Magic as Senior Under-Secretary.
Her evil was different from Lord Voldemort’s and she operated within the system.
Nonetheless her soft, fluffy exterior masks a dark, sadistic character.
It was perhaps first revealed when she made Harry Potter write lines in his own blood after giving him a magical quill that etched whatever he wrote into his skin.
J.K. Rowling reveals that Dolores Umbridge is the character she hates the most.
“Her desire to control, to punish, and to inflict pain, all in the name of law and order, are, I think, every bit as reprehensible as Lord Voldemort’s unvarnished espousal of evil,” she says.
J.K. Rowling’s dislike of Dolores Umbridge can be seen in some of the details in the books.
For example, Dolores Umbridge has a short stubby wand which is meant to reflect her stunted, imperfect character.
The author also says in the new Pottermore essay that Dolores Umbridge is based on a real person.
J.K. Rowling said she once shared an office with a woman who liked “pictures of fluffy kitties” as well as frills, bows and undersized handbags.
She said this woman was also “the most bigoted, spiteful champion of the death penalty”.
J.K. Rowling explains: “I have noticed more than once in life that a taste for the ineffably twee can go hand-in-hand with a distinctly uncharitable outlook on the world.
“A love of all things saccharine often seems present where there is a lack of real warmth or charity.”
It is also revealed that Dolores Umbridge is a half-blood in the 1,700 word essay.
This is important because Dolores Umbridge is particularly cruel to non-magical humans in her role as Head of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission, where she sends many supposed muggles to Azkaban, the wizarding prison, for “stealing magic” from magical beings.
The reason J.K. Rowling chose the name Dolores Jane Umbridge is also explained.
The author writes: “Dolores means sorrow, something she undoubtedly inflicts on all around her.
“Umbridge is a play on <<umbrage>> from the British expression to <<take umbrage>> meaning to take offence.
“Dolores is offended by any challenge to her limited world view; I felt her surname conveyed the pettiness and rigidity of her character.”
J.K. Rowling published several other entries on the site on October 31, including a history of Azkaban prison and details of everyone who has held the post of Minister for Magic.
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