My most hated Potter villain?
Yeah. Umbridge. That always surprises people.
Not Voldemort? they say. Not Bellatrix Lestrange or Lucius Malfoy? they say.
No. It’s Umbridge. Because she’s an example of the kind of evil you will see every damn day of your life. She’s a nasty, petty, narrow-minded bigot who likes to bully others and causes nothing but misery to those around her.
She’s not a villain like Voldemort; he was an ideologue who wanted to remake the world. She’s just a power-hungry old shrew without an ounce of kindness in her entire body.
At least his evil had a real motive, a sweeping ideal behind it. He believed in what he was doing, no matter how deranged it was. She just latched onto anything that benefited her, regardless of the morality of it.
It’s the existence of people like Umbridge - nasty small-minded little followers - that allow dictators like Voldemort to rise to power anyway. And for me, that makes her worse than him.