JK Rowling talks about Dolores Umbridge on ‘Pottermore’

JK Rowling talks about Dolores Umbridge on ‘Pottermore’

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Rowling provides a treat on Halloween for Harry Potter Fans.

JK Rowling the author of the Harry Potter series revealed that the character of Dolores Umbridge is inspired by a real person. This Halloween Harry Potter fans found out about the character that made Harry write “I must not tell lies”, on his hand.

Rowling writing for her website Pottermore reveals that the character of Umbridge was inspired by someone she disliked a lot. The writer has not revealed the person’s identity but did write that she was her teacher long ago.

Rowling states that her teacher turned her hatred into interest. Why they both hated each other she does not know. Rowling however explains that the woman had a liking for sweet and pretty things including a tiny plastic bow slide, pale lemon in color. 

Harry Potter fans first came across Umbridge in the fifth edition, Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix, which was published in 2003. Umbridge worked as the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic and later became the Defense against the Black Arts teacher at Hogwarts.

She has a fondness of pink fluffy pink things, such as cardigans and speaks in a sweet girlish voice which is abhorred by the students. She also acts as an agent for the Minister of Magic in Hogwarts and implements new and strict rules in Hogwarts. Umbridge detests Harry after the incident when he compares the black velvet bow on top of Umbridge’s head to a “large fly perched unwisely on top of an even larger toad”.

When she gives Harry a detention for speaking out in the class about the return of the Dark Lord Voldemort, she makes him use a magical pen to write the lines “I will not tell lies in the class.” As Harry starts to write the lines on the paper, the words start to appear on his right hand, cut into his skin. 

Stephen King in his review of the book wrote that the gently smiling Dolores Umbridge, with her girlish voice is one of the greatest make-believe villain to come along after Hannibal Lecter, who was introduced in the 1981 thriller novel Red Dragon.

Rowling also states that she has experienced more than once that a taste for sweet and pretty things can go hand-in-hand with a harsh outlook on the world. She recalls a time when she shared an office with a woman fond of pictures of fluffy kittens but was also the biggest supporter of the cruel and barbaric death penalty.

“A love of all things saccharine often seems present where there is a lack of real warmth or charity,” expresses Rowling. She also explains that Dolores Umbridge was one of her most disliked characters and her desires to control and inflict pain are every bit as sinful as Lord Voldemort’s evil orientation. 

The story not just ends here and Rowling also reveals that Umbridge is a ‘half-blood’- the daughter of a wizard and a non-magical person who is referred as a Muggle. This is especially noteworthy for Potter fans as in the books Umbridge boasts about her own pure-blood credentials. Rowling has also explained about other character this Halloween, these include the mysterious creatures Thestrals and the history of Azkaban, turning this Halloween pretty exciting for Potter fans.

Sources: Guardian, Telegraph

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