15

NOTE: I don't have any idea which side Umbridge favoured: the 'dark' side or the 'good' side.

Between book 5 and book 7, the Ministry of Magic was infiltrated by Voldemort. For me, it just seems perplexing of how the situation occurred.

In the book 5 Umbridge's attitude, alongside that of most of the Ministry employees and Minister of Magic (Fudge) was said to be illuminating. They strive to tell Hogwarts students that the claim that Voldemort is back is a total lie.

In the book 7, Umbridge was said to hate the Mudbloods. Of course it's harrowing that the Ministry was favoring the bad guys (I mean most of them and because they are infiltrated). But it's confusing how Umbridge deals with the situation. Umbridge favors each and every wicked thing that's happening in the wizarding world, particularly at Hogwarts.

NOTE: I am specifically asking why Umbridge's actions in Book 7 started to favor the Dark Side

Correct me if I'm mistaken about something.

  • 4
    I don't really understand what you're asking here, but take a look at this question – Gallifreyan Jan 17 '17 at 9:58
  • @Gallifreian, sure! I am asking if why Umridge's noticeable change of her attitude seems to be worsening. In book 5, she believes Voldemort isn't back. In book 7, she favors wicked scenarios like the teaching of Unforgivable Curses at Hogwarts – Invoker Jan 17 '17 at 10:02
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    @BookStriker The simple answer is that she was always a bad person, a closeted blood purist who, when given the chance to display her true colors, did so happily. – Dr R Dizzle Jan 17 '17 at 10:33
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    Are you unclear about whether Umbridge favoured the "Dark side" (as you say at the start of the question)? Or about why she favoured it (as you say at the end)? – The Dark Lord Jan 17 '17 at 13:43
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    @DrRDizzle - she didn't have to display her true colours, everyone knew it was pink – Edmund Dantes Jan 17 '17 at 14:52
46

Umbridge favours power, not ideology. She didn't need the Imperius Curse to behave wickedly.

Janoma's answer to the question of whether Umbridge was a Death Eater or not makes this point. It's important to understand Umbridge's motivations. She doesn't care much about which laws she's implementing or which regime she's propping up. She cares about being in a position of authority where she can intimidate the powerless and punish those breaking whatever the law happens to be at the time.

In Order of the Phoenix the Ministry is anti-Dumbledore so she devotes her efforts to countering Dumbledore and Dumbledore's Army. Her objective is to reclaim Hogwarts for the Ministry and to frustrate the work of those who are trying to proclaim the return of Voldemort. She takes a lot of pleasure in punishing Harry with her blood-quill and in forcing Dumbledore out of his job. But it's not out of commitment to the cause. It's because it makes her feel powerful.

So she sees no contradiction in Deathly Hallows in enforcing a completely separate set of rules. Here she's punishing Muggle-borns for their lack of wizarding heritage, as well as punishing petty criminals like Mundungus Fletcher. She doesn't care that the Ministry of Magic has undergone a 180 degree change of direction under Voldemort. She merely sees an opportunity to cement her position within the Ministry. Although she did have fairly unflattering views as to the place of Muggles (which probably extended to Muggle-born witches and wizards):

After a glass of sweet sherry, Dolores was always prone to spout very uncharitable views, and even those who were anti-Muggle found themselves shocked by some of Dolores's suggestions, behind closed doors, of the treatment that the non-magical community deserved.
(Pottermore, "Dolores Umbridge").

That, combined with her lust for power, was why the Death Eaters were happy for her to keep her position under Pius Thicknesse.

When the Ministry was taken over by the puppet Minister Pius Thicknesse, and infiltrated by the Dark Lord's followers, Dolores was in her true element at last. Correctly judged, by senior Death Eaters, to have much more in common with them than she ever had with Albus Dumbledore, she not only retained her post but was given extra authority, becoming Head of the Muggle-born Registration Commission...
(Pottermore, "Dolores Umbridge").

She has no morals at all so the use of the Imperius Curse is unnecessary. She will do whatever she can to maintain her power, regardless of what she is asked to do.

That's what makes her such a truly frightening character.

  • 2
    This is a good analysis - though some supporting quotations would be a welcome addition. – DavidS Jan 17 '17 at 13:33
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    @DavidS Accio evidence! – The Dark Lord Jan 17 '17 at 14:05
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    @DavidS - the answer is from a primary source, so to speak :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 17 '17 at 16:16
  • Good answer! But it makes me wonder is there a time that she favors someone? I mean, it's nothing to do with choosing for right or wrong, but is there a time when she pushes through her decisions, regardless of her craving for power? – Invoker Jan 18 '17 at 7:41
  • @BookStriker: not that I can recall. In another world at about the same time in history Dolores Umbridge would be a mid-level manager in a large company where her she'd probably be in charge of time clocks, and would get her jollies by firing people for being three minutes late. – Bob Jarvis Jan 18 '17 at 23:02
49

You can find the answer in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, said by Sirius when talking to Harry out of the fire.

"I doubt it," said Sirius. "I know her by reputation and I'm sure she’s no Death Eater —"
"She's foul enough to be one," said Harry darkly and Ron and Hermione nodded vigorously in agreement.

"Yes, but the world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters," said Sirius with a wry smile. "I know she's a nasty piece of work, though — you should hear Remus talk about her."

"Apparently she loathes part-humans; she campaigned to have merpeople rounded up and tagged last year too. Imagine wasting your time and energy persecuting merpeople...."

She hates part humans, or mudbloods herself. And she just got opportunity to do as she likes under the new regime (in Deathly Hallows).

  • 1
    But in Deathly Hallows she's taking wands from Muggle-borns, not punishing part-humans. Those are two different groups. Loathing part-humans can't have been part of her motivations in Deathly Hallows. – The Dark Lord Jan 17 '17 at 13:34
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    @TheDarkLord The point being made is not that loathing part-humans is somehow acceptable, but that not all evil people are also Death Eaters. – SBoss Jan 17 '17 at 14:43
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    @SBoss Yes, but that doesn't tell us whether or not she was under the Imperius Curse. The fact that she hated part-humans and wasn't a Death Eater doesn't explain her actions or motivations in Deathly Hallows, which is what the question is about. – The Dark Lord Jan 17 '17 at 16:00
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    "Merpeople rounded up and tagged"? Sounds vaguely familiar… – OldBunny2800 Jan 17 '17 at 20:47
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    @TheDarkLord That's true, I misunderstood the intention of your comment :) What I wanted to convey is that she is a bad person, and bad people do bad things without needing to be coerced. Her previous behavioral patterns indicate that she would perform similar actions without being imperiussed. Additionally, we may be led to believe that the hatred of half-humans indicates a desire for pureness, which also matches up with her demonstrated actions. – SBoss Jan 18 '17 at 9:47

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