Dolores Umbridge Rewrote Her Own History—What We Learn From J.K. Rowling’s New Story

Rowling delivered her Halloween story as promised, giving fans more information on Dolores Umbridge (better known as Harry’s fifth year DADA professor, and one of the worst Headmistresses that Hogwarts has ever had). Here is a breakdown of the reveals contained in the story!

Spoilers ahead.

  • Umbridge was the daughter of a wizard father and a muggle mother. Her brother was a Squib, which both Dolores and her father blamed her mother for.
  • Dolores also took issue with her father for never being more ambition in the wizarding world. He was basically a janitor at the Ministry.
  • When Dolores came to work for the Ministry, she rose quickly through the ranks. Once she reached a high enough position, she paid her father a monthly stipend to disappear and never spoke of her true family again, claiming that she was a pure-blood whose dead father was a member of the Wizengamot. People tended not to question her because bad things happened when they did.
  • Umbridge never managed to secure a husband, though she wanted one to advance her career; she put people off with her vile rhetoric.
  • Her propensity toward pink and frilly accessories only grew as she got older.
  • She has phobias of non-human beings.
  • She invented her punishment quill, the one she uses on Harry.
  • Dolores was put on trial for her crimes after the war, and was convicted, though her punishment is unknown.

Rowling has a few personal notes on the character and the whole piece up on (Turns out the character was based on a person she did know, particularly the woman’s like for twee accessories. Yikes.)


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