It seems that the hunger for anything having to do with Harry Potter never dies for fans of J.K. Rowling’s bestselling novels, and today, on Halloween, the prolific author has obliged her fans.
J.K. Rowling is digging into the back story of one of the characters from the Harry Potter novels. Dolores Umbridge was one of Hogwarts’ more twisted professors. In an essay about the character, as reported by NBC’s Today, J.K. Rowling says that Delores Umbridge was actually based on a real teacher that the author had in school.
In the essay, J.K. Rowling says that she disliked the real-life teacher in question on sight.
“Why we took against each other so instantly, heartily and (on my side, at least) irrationally, I honestly cannot say. What sticks in my mind is her pronounced taste for twee accessories. I particularly recall a tiny little plastic bow slide, pale lemon in colour that she wore in her short curly hair. I used to stare at that little slide, which would have been appropriate to a girl of three, as though it was some kind of repellent physical growth.”
The Harry Potter author says that though the woman inspired her to come up with the character of Delores Umbridge, J.K. Rowling says that, physically, Umbridge is very different from the real-life teacher.
“She did not look like a toad, she was never sadistic or vicious to me or anyone else, and I never heard her express a single view in common with Umbridge (indeed, I never knew her well enough to know much about her views or preferences, which makes my dislike of her even less justifiable). However, it is true to say that I borrowed from her, then grossly exaggerated, a taste for the sickly sweet and girlish in dress, and it was that tiny little pale lemon plastic bow that I was remembering when I perched the fly-like ornament on Dolores Umbridge’s head.”
J.K. Rowling’s new story, entitled The Story of Dolores Jane Umbridge, was made available today on Rowling’s PotterMore website.
The story tells of Umbridge’s youth, as the daughter of a wizard and a Muggle — a lineage she would never admit, telling everyone she was a “pure-blood.”
It tells of the future professor’s quest for power, and how her initial plan to accomplish it failed.
“In spite of her best efforts to secure the affections of one of her superiors (she never cared particularly which of them it was, but knew that her own status and security would be advanced with a powerful husband), Dolores never succeeded in marrying.”
The story goes on to an overview of what happened to Umbridge during and after the events of the Harry Potter novels.
J.K. Rowling’s Halloween treat gives the impression that it may be just the first of several character back stories she intends to release. It’s a smart concept, keeping the world of Harry Potter alive — albeit bit-by-bit — without having to invest in an all-consuming new Harry Potter-universe book or series all at once.
J.K. Rowling’s new story is available at PotterMore –(and also on the Today show website). What do you think of the new story? Sound off in the comments below!
[Image via Operation Gaga]