Stephen King was petrified of a “toadlike” Harry Potter villain with “stubby fingers” but surprisingly it wasn’t the franchise’s most terrifying villain Lord Voldemort.

From Bellatrix Lestrange to Lord Voldemort, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) has faced some of the worst villains in book and film history in an effort to save humanity from their terrifying actions. Harry continued Albus Dumbledore’s mission to find Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes and destroy them to weaken The Dark Lord’s powers. However, it turns out that horror author Stephen King was terrified by an entirely different villain and the reason would amaze you.

Harry Potter And the Order Of The Phoenix - Train Presentation
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Stephen King was petrified of “toadlike” Harry Potter villain

Ask every Potterhead about the creepiest villain in the Harry Potter series and everyone would agree that it couldn’t be anybody else than Lord Voldemort. However, Stephen King was petrified by no other than Dark Arts Professor Dolores Umbridge, played by English actress Imelda Staunton.

In a 2009 review of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix published on Entertainment Weekly’s website, King wrote he was terrified by Dolores and called her the “greatest make-believe villain”. Now, that’s a statement out there.

“The gently smiling Dolores Umbridge, with her girlish voice, toadlike face, and clutching, stubby fingers, is the greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter,” King wrote in his review of Dolores.

Who is Dolores Umbridge?

Dolores Umbridge worked as a Dark Arts Professor in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix book and movie.

Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge hired Dolores as a professor in the school after Albus Dumbledore failed to find a suitable candidate for the position.

Dolores is a half-blood witch who served as a bureaucrat in the British Ministry of Magic. At the beginning of the movie, Harry faces charges after he performs magic when his cousin Dudley Dursley is attacked by dementors.

During the trial, Dolores and Fudge vote for Harry’s eviction for performing underage magic and request his removal from the school. Dolores is one of the key antagonists in the fifth part of the franchise and the fifth year of Harry’s training at the school.

Professor Dolores Umbridge in a bright pink suit in her cabinet in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Screenshot of Harry Potter on YouTube

JK Rowling felt the “purest dislike” for Dolores

Dolores might have been created by author JK Rowling but Rowling herself has the “purest dislike” for the villain. In a previous Twitter thread after the movie’s release, the author revealed some interesting trivia and lesser-known facts about the book series.

In one post, she described Dolores as “one of the characters for whom I feel the purest dislike”. Her desire to control, to punish, and to inflict pain, all in the name of law and order, are, I think, every bit as reprehensible as Lord Voldemort’s unvarnished espousal of evil,” Rowling added.

Who is the most terrifying villain in the Harry Potter franchise in your opinion? Share this post on social media and have a debate with your friends.

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