I was revisiting Rowling (and Yudkowski) and it occurred to me that the professors teach Defense Against the Dark Arts in the first six Harry Potter books all had hidden identities… except for Dolores Umbridge maybe?

  • Quirrinus Quirrel: Hiding part of Tom Riddle's soul, which had occasion to come out and play.

  • Gilderoy Lockhart: Hiding the fact that he was a fraud, a myth, with little actual skill in defense against the dark arts.

  • Remus Lupin: Hiding the fact that he was a werewolf.

  • Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody: Is hiding the fact that he is really Bartemius "Barty" Crouch, Jr. in disguise, who has kidnapped the real Mad-Eye.

  • Dolores Umbridge: ??? After leaving the position she makes attempts to hide her status as having one Muggle parent, but I don't know if that fits.

  • Severus Snape: Hiding the fact that he is a triple agent, by pretending to be a double agent giving the pretense of spying on Dumbledore and Potter for Tom Riddle.

Two questions:

  • Does Dolores Umbridge break this pattern? She's certainly a hypocrite in many ways, but just just comes off as vile and sadistic, more than hiding her identity while the Defense against the Dark Arts Professor.

  • Has Rowling written or spoken anything about the nature of the Defense Against the Dark Arts professorship or its curse pertaining to individuals with hidden identities? Did she intend "hidden identity" as a literary conceit for all the professors of the cursed position?

  • 3
    What constitutes a hidden identity can be subjective, especially for the way in which you define it. A better statement would be to say "All defense professors during the seven years were outliers".
    – Simpleton
    Apr 18, 2020 at 4:28
  • 1
    @Simpleton "Outliers" is ridiculously subjective. :) But thank you for the reminder about the dementors. Wanna make an answer around that?
    – Lexible
    Apr 18, 2020 at 4:55
  • 1
    I think your question already has most of what a sufficient answer would contain. You've already analysed what the defense professors were hiding, and stated that they all had the common characteristic of hiding something. My own contribution about Umbridge hiding her criminal status seems too trivial to make a complete answer. And I haven't been able to find anything regarding the last bullet point i.e. Rowling's view on these professors. Without that my answer would be incomplete (IMHO)
    – Simpleton
    Apr 18, 2020 at 6:33
  • 2
    @SpacePhoenix - She wasn't a Death Eater
    – Valorum
    Apr 18, 2020 at 10:36
  • 1
    Amycus Carrow doesn't seem to have a hidden identity. But Tom Riddle certainly has and he applied to the position, which afterwards became "cursed".
    – Polygnome
    Apr 18, 2020 at 14:38


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.