If Dolores Umbridge wasn't a Death Eater, or closely associated with the Death Eaters, how did she end up with Mad-Eye Moody's magical eye, which she so tastefully affixed to her office door at the Ministry? At the time Moody's eye is discovered by Harry in Deathly Hallows as he searches Umbridge's office, the Death Eaters are running the Ministry. Umbridge clearly had no fear of any repercussions from the Death Eaters for hosting Moody's eye on her door for the entire Ministry and its staff to see on a daily basis.

Mad-Eye Moody was killed during the Battle of the Seven Potters in Deathly Hallows and his body fell to an unknown location somewhere in rural England. The Order wouldn't go back for Moody's body because they didn't know where it was and furthermore it was too dangerous for the Order to go on a body recovery mission when their might be Death Eaters lurking about.

Keeping all this in mind: How did Umbridge come to be in possession of Moody's eye? How did the Death Eaters know to give the eye to Umbridge? Knowing what we do about Umbridge from canon, could we conclude that she was perhaps involved in the planning of the Battle of the Seven Potters? Or is there another explanation as to why the Death Eaters felt compelled to give the eye to Umbridge? This is rather gruesome, but could she have expressed direct interest in owning Moody's eye prior to his death, as in "By the way, if you come across Mad-Eye Moody's magical eye, bring it to me immediately." It's so morbid -- I'm interested in any information beyond "A Death Eater gave it to her." I think that much is already clear. Has J.K. Rowling ever addressed the issue of Dolores Umbridge and Moody's eye? Speculative answers based on known canon or JKR quotes are totally fine.

  • 16
    I'd take a guess that it was recovered by the MoM, and retained as a 'Valuable Magical Artifact' (from which status Umbridge poached it), but I have no canon backup.
    – K-H-W
    Commented Apr 22, 2012 at 13:16
  • Further evidence that Umbridge is dirtier than a sock on a toddler's foot! I have to admit, I had a similar question rolling around in my head, but you have certainly asked it much more eloquently than I could have :-D
    – Meg Coates
    Commented Apr 22, 2012 at 16:19
  • 10
    Actually, the Order did go look for Moody's body, but without success.
    – Kevin
    Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 1:08

6 Answers 6


Not quite canon, but she claimed to be related to Selwyn family, and if that was actually true, was related to a Death Eater Selwyn - who WAS at the Battle of Seven Potters (Voldemort took his wand). So that is a plausible avenue for her to at least find out about Moody's death, and quite possibly to come by the eye.


It would seem possible that not all Death Eaters are still rolling in pure-blood gold, much like the Gaunt family, and so possible that one of the Death Eaters retrieved it and pawned it.


Umbridge had been in contact with Mundungus in the past when she bought Voldemort’s locket. Well, Mundungus was with Moody when he died. So, maybe he took it, tried to pawn it in Diagon alley, where Umbridge came across him again and confiscated it?!

  • 2
    Plausible. Is there anything else that supports this, though?
    – Adamant
    Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 5:36
  • 6
    Mundungus had already disapparated.
    – Alex
    Commented Sep 16, 2018 at 3:03

It may be the Ministry’s, not Umbridge’s.

There is no indication that Mad-Eye Moody’s magical eye was given to Umbridge specifically. The eye is placed in the door to Umbridge’s office, but that does not necessarily mean it is hers personally. She holds two positions within the Ministry, Senior Undersecretary to the Minister and Head of the Muggle-born Registration Commission. Since Voldemort controlled the Ministry by then, it may have been brought by the Death Eaters for use at the Ministry, rather than given to Umbridge herself to keep for herself.

“Where there might have been a peephole on a Muggle front door, a large, round eye with a bright blue iris had been set into the wood; an eye that was shockingly familiar to anybody who had known Alastor Moody.

For a split second Harry forgot where he was and what he was doing there: he even forgot that he was invisible. He strode straight over to the door to examine the eye. It was not moving: it gazed blindly upwards, frozen. The plaque beneath it read:  
Dolores Umbridge
Senior Undersecretary to the Minister

Below that, a slightly shinier new plaque read: 
Head of the Muggle-born Registration Commission
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 13 (The Muggle-born Registration Commission)

Nothing indicates that the eye belonged to Umbridge rather than the Ministry - the Ministry may have just been allowing her to use it as part of her job, especially since she was one of the employees most eager to cooperate with the new rules of the Ministry under Death Eater control. The eye was embedded in the door, and a telescope was attached to the back to allow the owner of the office to monitor the workers on the other side of the door. This does not necessarily mean it belonged to Umbridge - it is part of the door, not among Umbridge’s personal effects.

“Behind Mad-Eye’s eye, a telescopic attachment enabled Umbridge to spy on the workers on the other side of the door. Harry took a look through it and saw that they were all still gathered round the Decoy Detonator. He wrenched the telescope out of the door, leaving a hole behind, pulled the magical eyeball out of it and placed it in his pocket.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 13 (The Muggle-born Registration Commission)

It may be that Death Eaters gave it to the Ministry that Voldemort controlled, and that the Ministry was simply allowing Umbridge to use it as part of her job since she was actively cooperating with the new regime of the Ministry.


Since you don't mind speculative answers, I'll point out that she works for the Ministry of Magic. One of the tasks of the ministry is keeping up the Statute of Secrecy. If a dead wizard fell from the sky, it would be up to them to make sure the muggles didn't find his obviously magical eye. Or, if they did find it, to obliviate them and take it. She could simply have someone working the morgue, looting bodies. Perhaps, even officially. There's no sense putting them to waste.

There's no reason to think she did anything wrong. In this. She's obviously still Umbridge.


I vaguely remember lupin and Kingsley looking for his body but not being able to find it. I think the ministry took his body because his death was also not reported, so that’s probably where she got it

  • 1
    Can you find any sources that back this up?
    – DavidW
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 2:44

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