Can You Compare Dolores Umbridge to Lord Voldemort?

By Maryann Yin 

Dolores UmbridgeFor a Halloween treat, J.K. Rowling has published a new essay on Pottermore about the infamous witch Dolores Umbridge.

Harry Potter readers first meet Umbridge in the fifth book, Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix. Actress Imelda Staunton plays this character in the film adaptation.

According to the press release, Rowling feels that Umbridge’s cruel nature is comparable to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. She feels that the antagonist’s “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.”

SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know more, you should stop reading now!

Rowling drew inspiration for Umbridge’s malicious personality from a real-life individual “whom I disliked intensely on sight. The woman in question returned my antipathy with interest.” She also revealed that Umbridge is a half-blood witch born to a wizard father and a muggle mother; in the Harry Potter books, she lies about this and claims to be a pure-blood witch. Are you surprised by any of these new details?