Dolores Umbridge is a vindictive and power-hungry witch who first pops up in the Harry Potter tales in Order of the Phoenix. She then went on to appear in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and various other spinoff stories, including the West End hit Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. She’s arguably the most hated character J.K. Rowling ever created… and for good reason.
Unlike Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters, who represent a darker and more fantastical evil that very few members of the audience have ever experienced (as while xenophobia is real, resurrection rituals and giant snake attacks are hardly the norm), Umbridge’s distinct brand of cruelty is far more realistic and relatable. Honestly, who hasn’t ever had to deal with an authority figure who enjoyed their power a bit too much?
Although she claims to be a defender of law and order, there are plenty of occasions where Umbridge goes beyond the realms of ‘usual evil’ and acts in ways that are both unjustifiable and downright stupid, as this list of the most WTF things she’s ever done proves. Take a look at her rap sheet to see which crimes are ranked the worst of the worst!
15. Upstaging Voldemort By Giving Harry A Bigger, Uglier Scar
One of Harry Potter’s most significant physical characteristics is the lightning scar on his forehead, the mark singling him out as the person destined to finish off Lord Voldemort. However, that’s not the most impressive scar he’s been given by an enemy. In Order of the Phoenix, Umbridge forces Harry to carve the words “I must not tell lies” into his hand using a quill of her own invention (which replaces blood with ink, cutting the words into his skin) and scarring him for life.
Not only is disfiguring Harry hella nasty, it’s also pretty foolish. Umbridge provides Harry with the perfect comeback when she’s captured by the centaurs and begs him to lie and says she “mean[s] no harm.” Plus, in the book version of Half-Blood Prince, Harry is able to show new Minister for Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour, physical justification for why he won’t cooperate (a moment which sadly never made it into the movies). Her reckless decision to mutilate Harry backfires not only on her, but the entire Ministry!
14. Dressing Like A Powder Puff and Surrounding Herself With Kittens
Most evil characters in the Harry Potter series fully commit to the part — donning all-black robes, scary masks, and in Voldemort’s case, taking on the appearance of a pale and noseless nightmare — but Dolores Umbridge is a whole different kind of villain. Specifically, the kind that likes to surround herself with all things cute and fluffy. Which is straight-up weird.
Umbridge appears in the movies almost exclusively in pink (usually in that cardigan we’ve all come to know and hate) and speaks in a sweet, girlish voice completely at odds with her sour personality. Oddly, she also seems to have a thing for kittens: her office is full of Frolicsome Feline plates, and her Patronus takes the form of a Persian cat. It takes a special kind of person to be surrounded by all that rose-tinted cuteness and still emanate evil from every fibre of her being. After all, Snape’s evil street cred was single-handedly destroyed in Prisoner of Azkaban by a big red handbag and stuffed vulture hat!