Friday, August 10, 2018

How can you defend Dolores Umbridge?

This morning I was scrolling through my YouTube subscriptions and ran across this recent upload from the wonderful podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text.

I watched it and immediately began to struggle with how to accept the point of view that is being suggested in the video. I have always thought that Dolores Umbridge is one of the worst villains in the HP universe and I do think that it is rather unambiguous. She is shown to be racist, extremely narrow-minded, trending toward fascistic, unafraid to physically harm children, blind to evidence and reason, etc.

So . . . how can you attempt to make her a sympathetic character? (I feel similarly about Severus Snape, by the way--but that is another post.)


So, Umbridge a character worthy of sympathy? That is hard. But as a Christian, I must remember that Umbridge represents a person--full stop. And I should NOT write her off as entirely irredeemable and lacking worth.

I need to struggle to understand why she acts as she does and what are her reasons for these actions. Only THEN can I hope to approach her character and what she represents with understanding. Then I can begin to refute the way that she thinks.


Umbridge is a fictional character. But she represents so many people in the world around me. (And it is how others may choose to view me, as well.) That is obviously WHY this video was made in this way. When I am faced with entrenched and opposed views on the Internet, in my office, in my neighborhood, in any place. I need to remember this video and pause. I need to ask the question why and then formulate a way forward from there.

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