Villain Spotlight: Dolores Jane Umbridge
Hello there kiddies! Your boy with all the toys is back for another spotlight on one of my favorite villains. Today’s choice was actually given to me by one of our faithful readers and real life friends (yes…we have those…even girlfriends and stuff too. Suck it), @Nobes85. This one also goes out to our fellow Geek LadyLumos, who I feel is really going to like this one. Ladies and Germs, I give to you….The Hogwarts High Inquisitor herself…Dolores Jane Umbridge.
Hailing from the Ministry of Magic, Dolores comes to us on orders from Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge. Not wanting to believe everyone’s favorite Dark Wizard (Oh Voldy, I’d be upset too if I looked like a giant snake baby) has returned, Fudge tasks Umbridge with keeping an eye on Harry and Dumbledore to make sure they don’t spread anymore “lies” at any cost. Most of us have known a teacher or two in our lifetime that we just wanted to throw over a cliff, but Umbridge takes it to a whole new level. Imagine if the teacher you hated could do Magic? Now think about all of the ways she could make your life miserable when she could turn you into something unnatural (sorry Samwise)? It’s a combination made straight out of your adolescent fears.
Immediately getting right down to business and interfering with the teachers and staff of Hogwarts, Umbridge attempts to sway everyone towards a more Ministry approved approach to education. In short, no practical magic ( don’t even mention that Bullock vehicle of sappiness), just reading from books and going on theory. If you know the practical uses for magic, you shouldn’t need to use your wand to learn them properly. That’s almost the same as saying you totally know how to sword fight, as long as you’ve seen Braveheart. Its ridiculous. However, it does make for a great character. Someone you just absolutely love to hate. Not one to shy away from dishing out punishment either, she has a very devious way of making sure you remember what you did…for a looooong time. I won’t spoil it for those who don’t know, but its pretty gnarly. It will make you want to break her face.
Never the ones to back down from issues they find harmful to the students, the staff oppose her whenever they can, but that doesn’t stop the High Inquisitor from doing what is expected of her. Going over everyone’s head and straight to the minister himself (which isn’t that difficult when he put you there in the first place,) she acquires almost just as much, or more power than the Headmaster himself (although in office, not in sheer magical ability or badassness,) eventually leading to her usurping control of the school in the name of the Ministry. Instituting martial law where she sees fit, and passing school decrees daily that make living in the castle more than unbearable for most, especially our lightning bolted hero. However, naturally characters like these always get their just desserts. Trust me, what she gets at the end of this, with in many ways implied assault(of the human stallion variety…pervs,) is very satisfying. Seeing someone lose control quickly over something they feel they had an iron grip on, is entirely mouth watering. Especially since she looks like an overgrown toad. Her affection towards cats also makes her someone Reddit would love….or the whole internet.
In the film adaptation of the book, Imelda Staunton plays Umbridge with such juicy evilness, that it is actually sad that she is only around for one book/film. I really felt like I wanted to yell at her through the screen, but then I realized I was in the theater, and it would be immensely rude. She exudes such disdain and contempt that you have no choice but to hate her. It really just goes to show what a good actor can do with the roles given to them. We all knew Umbridge was a raging asshole, but now we had a real life face to put to it. Staunton took the reins to the Umbridge character and really made it her own. She seemed right at home in the Potter universe, and like stated earlier, I wish she was in more than just one movie. She would’ve eaten up the screen if given more time. The thing about her, is that Umbridge has this sort of sweetness that coats the evilly nougat in the middle, and it makes it that much more unsettling when she is dishing out punishment. There’s something very unnerving of being punished by someone who is smiling at you with wicked delight. Makes the whole thing seems that much more malicious when you know they are enjoying it.
Honestly, there are so many things I could write about the amazing character that is Umbridge, but there simply just isn’t enough time or room for me to do so. Its one of the burdens of enjoying characters/situations like this because everything has to come to an end eventually, even if it is a well deserved/earned/ you fucking deserve this end. It makes the moment that much more special in the long run, because in such a short time, this character made such a lasting impact on you that you will remember them forever. Just like your good buddy Arthur. Till next time readers! Just make sure to promise me that you will not tell lies in my classroom. We do not have any room for that, and there is a blood red quill with your name on it.
All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners