|Blood status|| Muggle |
|Marital status|| Married |
|Title(s)|| Director |
|Gender|| Male |
|Hair colour|| |
|Eye colour|| Blue |
|Occupation|| Director of Grunnings |
Vernon Dursley was a Muggle, the husband of Harry Potter's maternal aunt Petunia Dursley (nee Evans) and father of Harry's cousin Dudley Dursley. He lived at Number Four, Privet Drive along with his wife and son for nearly twenty years until they were forced into hiding during the escalation of the second wizarding war. After Petunia's sister Lily and brother-in-law, Harry's father, James Potter, were killed by Lord Voldemort, Vernon and Petunia had to take care of Harry. However, they disliked him and treated him badly, while spoiling Dudley.
- "There's no such thing as Magic!"
- —Vernon Dursley's view on the Wizarding world.[src]
When Harry was sent a letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Vernon got very angry, as he detested anything to do with magic. He was a former student of Smeltings and the director of a company called Grunnings, a drill manufacturer. In 1997, Vernon, Petunia and Dudley left their house in order to be hidden from Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters. After the Second Wizarding War, Vernon had several grandchildren through Dudley and his wife. It is possible that he had a better relationship with Harry, and that they remained in contact.
Early lifeEditLittle is known about Vernon's early life. He was born in a Muggle family and attended Smeltings as a secondary school. Vernon had an older sister named Marjorie who made a living breeding bulldogs.
Vernon met Petunia Evans at an office job in London.He later married Petunia and settled with her at 4 Privet Drive in Little Whinging, Surrey in 1977.
Family lifeEditVernon, along with his wife, always liked to be normal and never tolerated anything that they considered out of the ordinary. He knew that Petunia's sister was a witch, but kept it quiet. They had a baby boy on 23 June, 1980. This boy, Dudley Dursley, was largely spoiled by his parents.
Giving home to his nephewEditIt was after Voldemort's first downfall and the Potters's murder that Vernon first saw signs of wizards. Albus Dumbledore brought Vernon's nephew Harry to Little Whinging. Although reluctantly, Vernon and Petunia allowed him into their home. During Harry's early life, Vernon treated him with indifference. He forced Harry to live in the cupboard under the stairs, and generally mistreated him while spoiling his own son Dudley. Vernon tried his hardest to stop Harry contacting/knowing about the wizarding world. Before 1991 Vernon told Harry his parents died in a car crash. Vernon told off Harry for dreaming about a flying motorbike and told Harry there is no such thing as magic.
Harry's letter from HogwartsEditWhen Harry got his first letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Vernon tried everything to stop him getting it as more and more came. He went very over-the-top and took his whole family to a Hut on a small rock on the ocean. But even this didn't work because it was found by Rubeus Hagrid who personally gave Harry the letter, and, much to Vernon's disgust, took Harry to Hogwarts.
From then on Vernon only saw Harry in the summer holidays and even then treated him badly, although he gave Harry Dudley's spare room.
Dinner party with the Masons and Marge's visitEditSomething always seemed to go wrong every time he had guests over when Harry was present. In 1992, he invited Mr. and Mrs. Mason over for dinner to try and secure a deal with Mr. Mason about a stock of drills. He forced Harry to stay in his room and pretend he didn't exist. Due to the appearance of Dobby, the deal went sour. The Ministry of Magic threatened to expel Harry, thinking he had done the magic himself. Then, in 1993, Vernon's sister Marge visited. When Marge insulted the Potters, Harry used magic to blow her up like a balloon. Vernon insisted Harry return her to how she was, but was refused. The Accidental Magic Reversal Squad later fixed her.
Dudley's attack and contact with the wizarding worldEditIn 1995, Vernon learned that Lord Voldemort had returned. Furthermore, Dudley was attacked by Dementors. He locked Harry into his room, and then left with his wife and son, in order to participate in a competition for the most cared grass. In fact, it was a trick of Nymphadora Tonks, who had sent the Dursleys an invitation to a fake lawn-care awards ceremony. Tonks then escorted Harry to 12 Grimmauld Place, along with a group of wizards.
Hiding from Death EatersEditIn the summer of 1997 Petunia, Dudley, and Vernon were placed under the protection of Dedalus Diggle and Hestia Jones, both members of the Order of the Phoenix, as it was believed that once Harry Potter turned 17, Voldemort would track down all members of his family and torture information out of them. Vernon, his wife and his son all left together; he did not care what would happen to Harry and it was Dudley, who hated Harry, who brought up the issue. After their goodbyes the Dursleys were driven off into the distance leaving Harry alone on his quest. Petunia and Dudley actually felt a certain amount of fondness towards Harry as they parted in 1997. Vernon was about to shake Harry's hand good-bye. However, because of his dislike of both Harry and magic overall, refrained from doing so at the last second. He left as quickly as possible, hoping to save himself from what he only knew as a very bad and powerful wizard, Lord Voldemort.
Later lifeEditAfter the war, Vernon had some grandchildren by Dudley. It is unknown if he remained in contact with his nephew, if even only on Christmas-card terms, like Dudley did.
Physical AppearanceEditVernon is described as a big, beefy man with a large purple face. He has thick, dark hair, a bushy black moustache, with hardly any neck and small, blue mean eyes. Dudley much resembles him apart from his blond hair.
Personality and traitsEditVernon is a Muggle and like Petunia, he detests and is very much afraid of magic and anything unusual or out of the ordinary. Naturally, he despises Harry, who is very much a symbol of both. Vernon is a petty-minded bully who has no tolerance for people who are different than himself. He is very much concerned with status and wealth and tends to judge people based on how big their cars are or their clothes; he enjoys ordering around his employees at Grunnings and advocates the death penalty, claiming that "...hanging's the only way to deal with these people." Vernon likes to look big and impressive, yet is easily intimidated whenever he is put in situations that he is not used to. He is also shown to be quite oblivious to small things, particularly when cross, such as in 1992 when he asked Harry if he looked stupid to him when he became annoyed with the boy, he had a bit of fried egg sticking to his moustache.
Unlike his wife, who displays some degree of familial loyalty to Harry, Vernon was perfectly willing to throw Harry out of the house despite full knowledge that doing so would put his life in grave danger. Additionally, when Harry was forced to go to court for underage magic, Vernon openly admitted that he hoped that Harry would get the death penalty.
He is also shown to be quite conservative in his political views, as he reads the Daily Mail, a British tabloid famed for its right-wing political stance. He also seems to have a low opinion of the state of the UK, saying: "No wonder the country's going to the dogs!" upon finding out that there is a Ministry of Magic, a popular Daily Mail editorial stance.
Petunia DursleyEditVernon married Petunia Dursley after having met her at work, and likely learned of the Wizarding world through her.  Together they do everything they can to keep their nephew Harry from learning the truth about his heritage and abilities, and bossing him in any sort of ways. They also endlessly pamper and spoil their only son, Dudley.
Dudley DursleyEditVernon spoils Dudley in a similar manner to his wife; they appear to buy Dudley anything he wants, often apparently to waylay a tantrum, and indulge him with treats and activities, particularly those which Harry is not allowed. However, there is evidence that Vernon and Petunia are indulgent of their son's behaviour and contribute to his obesity before Harry is introduced to the household. They are frequently shown to be oblivious to his bullying and at times criminal behaviour, Vernon showing pride in his son and interpreting some of these characteristics as manly. Vernon has a similar physique to Dudley, also being very large, and when convinced to make Dudley diet by the school nurse, is forced disapprovingly to join in the family's régime, whereas previously he and his immediate family considered Dudley merely to have a healthy appetite. He becomes very proud of Dudley's resulting sporting achievements when this enforced exercise and diet helps him become a competing boxer, believing Dudley gave the Dementors the "ol' one-two" when they attacked him in 1995. He is however oblivious to the fact that Dudley uses his new skills to terrorise neighbourhood children.
Vernon sees Harry as nothing more than a waste of space. Throughout his life, he tries to keep Harry as downtrodden as possible, in hopes of squashing the magic out of him. He lives in fear of anyone finding out about Harry's "abnormality". Both guests and neighbours believe Vernon's explanation that Harry now attends St. Brutus' Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys, rather than the local comprehensive. Vernon even tells Mr. Mason and his wife that Harry is "disturbed" when explaining his sudden presence in the house in 1992.
Though Petunia feels some moral obligation to let Harry stay (however grudgingly and bitterly), Vernon feels nothing towards his nephew, and has no trouble throwing him out of the house. Petunia, however, intervened when Dumbledore sent her a Howler, reminding her of the agreement she made when they took in Harry.
Behind the scenesEdit
- Vernon Dursley was the first character introduced in the Harry Potter series.
- Vernon is also one of only four characters in the Harry Potter book series whose thoughts have been disclosed by the narrator, the others being Harry Potter, Frank Bryce, and the British Prime Minister.
- Vernon is portrayed by Richard Griffiths in the film series.
- In the books, Vernon is described as a "big, beefy man" with black hair and a matching moustache and being in his mid-thirties. In the films, however, he is a middle aged man who has greying hair and moustache. In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, his hair is blonde-grey and in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, it is snow white.
- J. K. Rowling said the character in the series she most dislikes is probably Uncle Vernon.
- Vernon did not appear in the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire or Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince films. However, he did appear in all seven books.
- J. K. Rowling had originally planned for one of Dudley's children to have magic, and for Dudley to be at Platform 9 3/4 seeing them off to Hogwarts during the epilogue of Deathly Hallows. However, she later decided against this, saying that no magical genes could survive contact with Uncle Vernon's DNA.
- In the books, Vernon appears to be so afraid of magic that he forbids Harry to say any word related to magic (e.g. "wizard", "Hogwarts" "Hogsmeade", "Hogwarts Express" and even the word "magic" itself). When he mentions magic, he will usually say "It" to refer to it. In the films, he is not shown to do this, on many occasions.
- The scene in which the Dursleys leave the house in the seventh book is shortened down to a scene at the beginning of the film where Vernon and Dudley leave the house, hastily packing away their furniture. Petunia is seen waiting in the car already. Vernon has only two lines in this scene while Petunia and Dudley have none.
- Vernon appears also in a deleted scene from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, in which Dudley asks Vernon why Harry has to go and Vernon says he doesn't want to. Vernon also enthusiastically tells Harry "This isn't just goodbye, is it boy. This is farewell!".