Why we hate Dolores more than Snape

Why do we hate Dolores more than Snape? It seems ridiculous to even ask that. But ask yourselves... why? Why do we hate Dolores so much? There are a variety of other characters that are far worse in actions yet far more loved.
Bellatrix LeStrange killed Sirius. Snape killed Dumbledore. James tortured Snape. Wormtail ratted out James and turned to Voldemort. Voldemort himself is even far more liked than Dolores. But why?

Backstory. That's the one word answer. Many of you may be wondering, why does that matter? Because, objectively... many of us can say that what Voldemort did was far worse, murdering people and trying to take over the world as opposed to... moving up as a political officer, yet we HATE Dolores so much more because of her actions to Harry. And she never even tries to flat-out kill him. She tries to have his soul sucked out, she tortures him, but she never really tries to kill him, and put him in the ground. But we like Voldemort more. I'll say that that's because we can kind of see HOW he was made evil. He was the end result of a loveless relationship. He was abandoned by a mother that couldn't care for him and a father who was effectively drugged. He was allowed to fester and given a reason to hate muggles, to hate people who liked muggles, and what's worse, he was given the power to act on that hate. Whether you want to say Voldemort was born evil or made evil... it's agreed that he's evil, and he does so for a cause that there's a logic to it. Bellatrix is the same, and the reader can imply that she's in love with Voldemort. Wormtail it's implied that he was a weak-willed boy that went to the popular groups. Snape it's essentially shown how he grew into who he was as he was bullied and watched the girl he cared about go with the guy that bullied him. The man he hated, and even THEN he's shown to act to redeem himself. James himself isn't shown to be *that* bad, as his older dialogue after being brought back by the stone shows that at the very least he might have made a good father, and he grew out of being a snot-nosed brat.

Dolores has none of that. She arrives as she is appointed by the Minister. She hates half-breeds. She tortures Harry. She goes along with Voldemort's reformation of the ministry. She wears Salazar's locket without any ill effects. So why does this woman get so much hate? It's because we don't know a thing about her. We can "fix" her character so easily by saying that as a young slytherin, she was mocked for being a half-blood, she was never in the top of her classes nor was she popular with many people because of how she looked. When she was younger, she nearly got attacked by a werewolf and has hated werewolves and "half-breeds" ever since as a result, not so much because of who they are, but how she is afraid of them and wants to be safe and in control. This makes her fate at the centaurs FAR more poignant, as she effectively re-lives that terror with the werewolf, having these creatures, human like beings attack her.

That little story would more or less cover the following:
1) her attacking Harry was less out of malevolence than loyalty. She wanted to assure that Dumbledore would not go after Fudge, so she wanted Dumbledore's spokesperson, Harry, out of the picture to ensure she could stay.
2) As she DID stay after Fudge, she may have had a hand in picking the next Minister, and it's perfectly possible that she was kept for doing her job to the best of her ability at Hogwarts (because the Ministry most likely would not want to hear about her wrongdoings because it would further tarnish the already tarnished reputation)
3) Her hatred for muggle-borns was feigned to protect herself as she was most likely born from at least one muggle parent
4) Her hate of "half-breeds" was something due to a traumatic experience in her youth, and she did not have the fortune Harry had of meeting the right people at an early age.

So would this convince you that Dolores doesn't deserve as much hate as you'd give her? Or should it be back to the centaurs with her? Leave your comments below!


  1. I think we hate her for the same reason why we (most of us, at least) viciously hate Pansy Parkinson. Both characters represent what I refer to as "the pink side of Slytherin." The name does not refer to all Slytherin females (I am a girl sorted in Slytherin myself, and the day I turn into Pansy Parkinson is the day I smash one of those windows in our common room and throw myself into the depths of the lake), but rather to those more characters who do indeed dress in pink, but because the color matches their superficial nature. They are in direct contrast with the "black" side of Slytherin which includes various characters of both sexes (like Bellatrix, Voldemort, Snape) who are stereotypically portrayed in various medias as dressed all in black, a visual detail which somehow expresses their more somber demeanor.
    We hate Umbridge because, like Pansy, she is superficial. J. K. Rowling once said in a press conference during the promotion of The Half-Blood Prince that "no matter who took over at the Ministry, Umbridge would be there. She just likes power." None of the characters on the "black" (aka intelligent and serious) side of Slytherin "just likes power." If Voldemort got offered a lead post at the Ministry as a defender of Muggle-borns, he would say no (or he'd say yes and subvert the system once he's put in charge). If they offered the same post to Bellatrix, she would kill them for having had the nerve to insult her so much by asking. If they offered it to Umbridge, she would accept and she would start punishing pure-blood champions as fiercely as she punished Harry. Her complete detachment and lack of interest for anything and anybody, for all matters either personal or political that are not related to herself and her own position make her more unlikeable than all other characters. Pansy is exactly the same. You have Draco and Blaise who try in a somewhat intelligent manner to figure out why Slughorn invited certain people to the Slug Club - Cormac because his uncle is influential at the Ministry, Potter because he is the Golden Boy - and between them there is that genius girl who completely ignores the political implications behind Slughorn's choice to invite a "blood traitor" like Ginny Weasley to dinner, and only tries to find out whether Draco or Blaise deep down think Ginny is attractive. She is so completely self-centered she has zero understanding of what's going on right under her nose, just like Umbridge. What kind of Slytherin buys a locket with a tiny beating heart pulsing inside of it and bearing the mark of Slytherin right on top and doesn't try to be a bit inquisitive about what that might mean? Umbridge uses it to boost her own blood credentials. If she worked under a pro-Muggle legislation she would say her Muggle aunt passed that locket down to her. She doesn't understand anything that goes beyond her self-interest. I see your reasoning and I do agree that some kind of sad backstory would endear her more to us, but I think that would ruin the point of her character. Because we do get to meet people like Umbridge or Pansy in real life, don't we? People who are not particularly bright, nothing like Voldemort or Snape, but who have their own self-interest so much at heart they annoyingly get in other people's way continuously and are so out of touch with everyone who is not themselves that they leave you speechless with their lack of wisdom. It doesn't have anything to do with their level of cruelty. You can begrudgingly respect someone like Voldemort who lures you into a very clever trap, but you cannot respect an a person with gross self-entitlement issues who calls a bunch of centaur "filthy half-breeds" and then expects them to do her bidding just because she works for the Ministry (again, she shows how she is completely out of touch with reality around her). "Idiotic woman," as Slughorn would say.

    1. This is absolutely wonderful, and we really don't get to meet the people like Umbridge or Pansy, and it's rather interesting, as they end up being rather flat, but unlike other characters who fill things in just enough (Draco, we get enough hints of his character that people can slip leather pants on him so to speak) with those other characters, we haven't gotten much detail outside of word of Jo. To be honest though, Pansy to me was closer to a sort of... as bad as this is, Crabbe and Goyle. She was just a female hench-woman to Draco, and never really seems to establish herself in any regard as an actual equal to anyone or a person to prompt anger/disgust. She's more petty than anything, though now that you mentioned her, I would like to see what, if anything we get regarding her on Pottermore.


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