Harry Potter Wiki
Harry Potter Wiki

"I'm warning you, I'm warning you now, boy — any funny business, anything at all — and you'll be in that cupboard from now until Christmas."
— Vernon's strong hatred of magic and of his nephew Harry Potter[src]

Vernon Dursley was an English Muggle, husband of Petunia Evans, father of Dudley Dursley, and uncle by marriage of Harry Potter. He lived at 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey, along with his wife and son for 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, James Potter, were killed by Voldemort in their own home, Petunia remained the sole surviving blood relative of Harry's. Both Wizard and Muggle law demanded that Petunia and Vernon be the new legal guardians of Harry Potter, which they accepted (albeit reluctantly). However, they disliked Harry and treated him badly, while spoiling and pampering Dudley.

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 Academy and a director of the Grunnings drill manufacturing company. 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 at least two grandchildren through Dudley. Through the union of Harry Potter and Ginevra Weasley, Vernon had two great-nephews, James Potter II and Albus Potter, as well as a great-niece, Lily Potter.


Early life[]

Little is known about Vernon's childhood life. He was born into the Muggle Dursley family and attended Smeltings Academy as a secondary school.[8] Vernon had an older sister named Marjorie (Marge to family members and friends) who made a living breeding bulldogs.[9]

Vernon started working for Grunnings in 1975 or earlier, and eventually received an award trophy from the firm for having worked there for twenty-seven years.[1]

Vernon met Petunia Evans at an office job in London where he was a junior executive.[10] He later married Petunia and settled with her at 4 Privet Drive in Little Whinging, Surrey in 1977.[11] Before their wedding, Vernon had taken Petunia on a series of dull dates during which he talked mainly about himself and his predictable ideas on the world.

After some time Vernon proposed marriage to Petunia, very correctly on one knee in his mother's sitting room. His fiancée accepted at once. He wasn't aware of the fact that Petunia's sister Lily was a witch, who was then attending her seventh year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Petunia eventually revealed to him that her sister was a witch after they stopped for a snack of battered sausage at a chip shop.[10]

Marriage and family life[]

"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn't hold with such nonsense."
— Description of the Dursleys[src]

Vernon, 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 highly spoiled by his parents.[2]

Housing Harry Potter[]

Baby Harry Left At Privet Drive

Albus Dumbledore leaving infant Harry Potter and a note on the doorstep of 4 Privet Drive

It was after Voldemort's first downfall and the Potters' 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.[2]


Petunia and her husband in their bedroom at Privet Drive

During Harry's early life, Vernon treated him with indifference and cruelty. He forced Harry to live in the Cupboard Under the Stairs and generally mistreated and neglected him while spoiling his own son Dudley. Vernon tried his hardest to stop Harry knowing about the wizarding world and his true magical heritage and also ignorantly believing along with his wife that their harsh mistreatment of him would prevent his magic from surfacing. Before 1991, Vernon told Harry his parents died in a car crash.


The Dursleys treating Harry Potter as a servant

On Dudley's birthday that year, Vernon drove the family to the local zoo for the day, ranting as usual about the various and innumerable things that annoyed him, motorbikes being the chosen topic. When Harry remarked that he'd had a dream about a flying motorbike, Vernon nearly crashed into the car in front of them before bellowing at his nephew for saying such a ridiculous thing. He yelled at him some more and told him there was no such thing as magic, after Harry unknowingly used underage magic in the Zoo's reptile house.[12]

Harry's Hogwarts letter[]

Vernon Dursley: "Haven't I told you he's not going? He's going to Stonewall High and he'll be grateful for it. I've read those letters and he needs all sorts of rubbish — spell books and wands and —"
Rubeus Hagrid: "If he wants ter go, a great Muggle like you won't stop him. Stop Lily an' James Potter's son goin' ter Hogwarts! Yer mad. His name's been down ever since he was born. He's off ter the finest school of witchcraft and wizardry in the world. Seven years there and he won't know himself. He'll be with youngsters of his own sort, fer a change, an' he'll be under the greatest headmaster Hogwarts ever had, Albus Dumbled —"
— Vernon Dursley arguing with Rubeus Hagrid over Harry's Hogwarts acceptance[src]
Harry-potter1-vernon burns letter

Vernon burning Harry Potter's Hogwarts letters

When Harry got his first letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Vernon tried everything to stop him getting it as more and more letters arrived via Owl post, resorting to increasingly desperate measures as the letters entered the house in variously creative ways and becoming more and more unstable. He finally cracked one Sunday when a veritable flood of letters came pouring down the chimney, and had the entire family leave the house to try and prevent contact from Hogwarts.

B1C4M2 Harry's birthday cake from Hagrid

The Hut-on-the-Rock, during the Dursleys' attempt to escape the Hogwarts letters

However, his erratic attempts failed after driving the family several miles away from home, and upon staying in a gloomy Hotel, he was shocked to see letters turn up there even. Eventually, he took his whole family to a hut on a small rock on the sea, in a final drastic attempt to prevent contact and even bought what was most likely an illegal firearm as a final defence.[8] But even this did not work, because they were found by Rubeus Hagrid, who personally gave Harry the letter, despite Vernon's stubborn protests and threatening him with the gun, which Hagrid contemptuously bent into a knot.[3]

When Hagrid told Harry about how his parents really died, Vernon cynically responded by telling Harry that whatever happened to Harry's mother and father they probably deserved it, as well as that they were (in Vernon's opinion) freaks anyway and that the world was better off without them (also in Vernon's opinion). Hagrid threatened Vernon with his umbrella in response. The exchanges became more and more heated until Vernon angrily insulted Albus Dumbledore by calling him a "crackpot old fool". This would be a great mistake to Vernon: a livid Hagrid responded to this outburst by giving a pig tail to Vernon's son, much to the Dursley's horror.[3]

After this incident, Vernon avoided Harry even more so than usual. He reluctantly agreed to take Harry to King's Cross Station to board the Hogwarts Express, but only because it was on the way to the private hospital in London to remove Dudley's tail before he started attending Smeltings.[13]

From then on Vernon only saw Harry in the summer holidays and even then treated him badly, although he reluctantly gave Harry Dudley's spare bedroom.[14]

Dinner party[]

Dursleys have visitors

Vernon and Petunia entertaining the Masons

Almost everything seemed to go wrong every time Vernon had guests over when Harry was present. In 1992, he invited Mr Mason and his wife over for dinner to try and secure a deal with Mr Mason about a stock of drills. He also forced Harry to stay in his room and pretend he did not exist.[15] Harry was willing to comply with this, arguably because he did not want to create unneeded problems for his uncle (and get himself in further dislike). Due to the appearance of Dobby, the deal was utterly ruined when Dobby destroyed Petunia's prized pudding and the frightening away of Mrs Mason by a Ministry of Magic Owl, due to her ornithophobia.

The Ministry of Magic accused Harry of doing Dobby's levitation of the pudding, and threatened expulsion from Hogwarts for violation of the Underage Magic Act, but elected to let Harry off with a warning.[16] Furious for his business deal failing and learning that Harry was forbidden to use magic outside of Hogwarts, Vernon had Harry locked in his room and even had bars fitted on his window to punish him, believing that Harry would be unable to escape without using magic. However, Harry was rescued by Fred, George and Ron Weasley using their father's Flying Ford Anglia, and when Vernon, Petunia and Dudley tried to stop Harry escaping by pulling him back into his room, they were all left dangling out of his window when the Weasleys drove off with Harry.

Marge's visit[]

Harry Potter: "I need you to sign the permission form."
Vernon Dursley: "And why should I do that?"
Harry Potter: "Well it'll be hard work, pretending to Aunt Marge I go to that St Whatsits..."
Vernon Dursley: "St Brutus's Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys!"
Harry Potter: "Exactly. It's a lot to remember. I'll have to make it sound convincing, won't I? What if I accidentally let something slip?"
Vernon Dursley: "You'll get the stuffing knocked out of you, won't you?"
Harry Potter: "Knocking the stuffing out of me won't make Aunt Marge forget what I could tell her. But if you sign my permission form I swear I'll remember where I'm supposed to go to school, and I'll act like a Mug — like I'm normal and everything."
Vernon Dursley: "Right. I shall monitor your behaviour carefully during Marge's visit. If, at the end of it, you've toed the line and kept to the story, I'll sign your ruddy form."
— Harry convincing Vernon to sign his permission form[src]
Marge's inflation POAF

Marge after being blown up by an enraged Harry Potter

In 1993, Vernon's equally mean-spirited sister Marge visited, much to Harry's discomfort. When Marge insulted Harry's parents, Harry accidentally used magic to blow her up like a balloon.

Vernon insisted Harry return her to how she was, but was refused. Harry then left Privet Drive, and as a result Vernon did not sign Harry's Hogsmeade permission form, which he had beforehand actually agreed to sign, should Harry behave during Marge's visit. As for Marge, the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad later fixed her and modified her memory of having witnessed magic.[9]

Dudley's diet[]

Vernon Dursley: "Look at this."
Harry Potter: "She did put enough stamps on, then."
Vernon Dursley: "The postman noticed. Very interested to know where this letter came from, he was. That's why he rang the doorbell. Seemed to think it was funny."
— Vernon's horrified reaction to Molly Weasley's letter[src]

In 1994, Vernon, along with Petunia, decided to put Dudley on a diet, following his dismal report from Smeltings and upon learning that his son was too overweight to fit into the school's uniform. When it was not going so well, he threatened Dudley that he would cut his pocket money if he did not stop sneaking in sweets, which made Dudley furious and caused him to throw his PlayStation out of a window.[17]

When Molly Weasley sent an invitation to the family inviting Harry to attend the 1994 Quidditch World Cup with them, Vernon angrily asked his nephew about the letter, as it was covered in stamps which the postman found amusing. After Harry explained, he yelled at him initially but eventually decided that his nephew could go.[18] He and Petunia were very displeased and discomforted with the idea that wizards would soon be visiting their home.

B4C4M1 Weasleys bursting through 4 Privet Drive fireplace

The Weasley family arriving in order to retrieve Harry for the World Cup

When the Weasleys came to pick up Harry by the Floo Network and accidentally destroyed their living room due to them trying to travel into their electric fireplace, Vernon became very intimidated in the presence of actual wizards, including when Arthur Weasley mentioned that he liked to collect batteries. When the Weasleys were leaving, Dudley ate a Ton-Tongue Toffee deliberately left by Fred and George Weasley, causing his tongue to swell. This sent Vernon into a rage which had him throw several china ornaments at Mr Weasley, all the time bellowing like an injured hippopotamus while Arthur was trying to fix Dudley's swollen tongue; it ended up being four feet long before Vernon and Petunia let Arthur shrink it.[19]

Dementor attack[]

— Vernon's view on owl post[src]

In 1995, Vernon, Petunia and Dudley had learned that Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters had returned to terrorise the both Wizarding and Muggle communities again. During the summer, Vernon and Petunia were concerned regarding Harry's overly attentive nature regarding his listening to the Muggle news, believing he was up to no good. Ironically, he and his wife were ignorantly unaware that Dudley was in fact terrorising the neighbourhood with his gang, engaging in anti-social behaviour and bullying younger children, instead believing that Dudley was simply going round his friends' houses for tea.[20]

Dudley Demented

Vernon and Petunia after the Dementor attack on Dudley and Harry Potter

Furthermore, Dudley was attacked by Dementors and Harry had to rescue him via Patronus Charm. Upon coming across his demented son, Vernon erroneously believed that Harry had in fact attacked Dudley himself. He became extremely angry with his nephew, believing that he had caused permanent brain damage to his son, and even expressed the view that Harry should face capital punishment.

However, even when Harry explained to him that he had in fact saved Dudley from the Dementors and they were likely sent by the recently resurrected Voldemort, Vernon decided to throw Harry out of the house, since he did not want Harry staying because he believed that Voldemort was after him. However, he was reluctantly forced by Petunia to allow him to stay, on the grounds the neighbours would notice, when in reality she had just received an angry Howler from Albus Dumbledore, telling her to keep their promise of protecting Harry. When he heard that Harry was in trouble with the Ministry of Magic because of the letter from Mafalda Hopkirk, Vernon was delighted at the concept of Harry being punished by the Ministry.[21]

He locked Harry into his room for several days until leaving with his wife and son, to accept an award for the best kept lawn in England. In fact, it was a trick of Nymphadora Tonks, who had sent the Dursleys an invitation to a fake awards ceremony to get them temporarily out of their house. Tonks then escorted Harry to 12 Grimmauld Place, along with a group of other wizards.[22] It was highly likely that Vernon was indignant at being fooled by the very cunning ploy.

Visit from Albus Dumbledore[]

Vernon Dursley: "His godfather's dead? He's dead, his godfather!"
Albus Dumbledore: "Yes. Our problem, is that Sirius also left you number twelve, Grimmauld Place."
Vernon Dursley: "He's been left a house?"
— Vernon's response to hearing Harry's will[src]

Albus Dumbledore visiting the Dursleys

During the summer of 1996, Vernon and his family were visited by Albus Dumbledore at their house, who had come to inform Harry and them of Sirius Black's will. Vernon was horrified and offended with the sudden arrival of Dumbledore into his home, due to his hatred and fear of wizards. Vernon was surprised and greedily interested when he learnt that Sirius Black had died, and that Harry had inherited 12 Grimmauld Place. He and his family were too fearful to drink Dumbledore's levitating drinks, which resulted in the drinks emptying themselves over their heads.

Vernon was also horrified with the sudden arrival of Kreacher into his living room, as he had never seen a House-elf before. Vernon and Petunia were both admonished by Dumbledore for abusing Harry growing up and for spoiling Dudley, which in Dumbledore's eyes had inflicted irrevocable emotional damage upon their son, before Dumbledore left with Harry.[23]

Hiding from Death Eaters[]

Vernon Dursley: "Well, I don't believe it. I was awake half the night thinking it all over, and I believe it's a plot to get the house."
Harry Potter: "The house? What house?"
Vernon Dursley: "This house! Our house! House prices are sky-rocketing round here! You want us out of the way and then you're going to do a bit of hocus-pocus and before we know it the deeds will be in your name and –"
Harry Potter: "Are you out of your mind? A plot to get this house? Are you actually as stupid as you look?"
— Vernon and Harry arguing before the Dursley's departure[src]
The Dursley's departure

The Dursleys preparing to go into hiding during the height of the Second Wizarding War

In 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 seventeen, 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 left Harry as he knew he would not want to come with them and it was Dudley, who had grown to respect Harry for saving his soul, who brought up the issue, though Vernon said little to Harry.[7]

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 powerful and evil wizard, Lord Voldemort.[7]

Later life[]

After the war, Vernon had some grandchildren by Dudley.[24] It is unknown if he remained in contact with his nephew, if even only on Christmas-card terms, like Dudley did: nevertheless, he had two great-nephews and a great-niece by Harry. It is also unknown whether Vernon returned to his home at 4 Privet Drive, or if he stayed where he was put in hiding during the height of the Second Wizarding War.

In 2015, Vernon signed an online petition to reinstate Jeremy Clarkson as host of the television programme Top Gear, claiming it was the only reason he paid for a television licence.[25]

In 2016, Vernon most likely voted for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.[26]

Vernon's wife Petunia died at some point before 2020.[4] It's unknown if Vernon was still alive by this point.

Physical description[]

Vernon was described as a big, beefy man with a large purple face. He had thick, dark hair, a bushy black moustache (half of which he tore out through frustration on two occasions), with hardly any neck and mean little eyes that narrowed to slits when he was angry.[27] Dudley much resembled him apart from his blond hair.

Vernon was renowned for his physical reactions to magic or when attempting and/or failing to control his temper. In the case of the latter, a vein would throb very prominently in his temple. His face would also change to several different colours; a sickly porridge grey, red to green and various shades of purple. In one case, his face was said to resemble a "gigantic beetroot with a moustache".

Personality and traits[]

— Vernon's strong hatred of magic[src]
OOTP Vernon

Vernon giving Harry a dirty look

Vernon was an arrogant, surly, combustible, blustering, abrasive, petty-minded bully who was completely intolerant of people who were different than himself. Like Petunia, he detested magic and anything unusual or out of the ordinary, which he labelled as "funny business" in 1981.[2][12] Naturally, he despised his nephew Harry, who as a wizard was very much a symbol of both, and spitefully bullied him all throughout the latter's childhood. Vernon's disdain for Harry was so great that he forced him to sleep in the cupboard under the stairs and, after Harry discovered he was a wizard despite Vernon's best efforts to keep it from him, prohibited Harry from saying words such as "magic" or "wizard" inside the house.[15]

In addition to being a bully towards Harry, Vernon was absurdly vain, materialistic and unsympathetic to beggars and vagrants. He was very much concerned with status and wealth and tended to judge people based on how big their cars were or their clothes. He enjoyed ordering around his employees at Grunnings, enjoying his status and authority as director of his company, sitting above them in a high office on the ninth floor.[2] Vernon liked to look big and impressive, yet was easily intimidated whenever he was put in situations that he was not used to, such as dealing with wizards such as Albus Dumbledore,[23] Arthur Weasley,[17] Alastor Moody,[28] or Rubeus Hagrid.[3]

He was 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.[15] Sometimes when he was angry, Vernon would mumble, barely forming complete sentences.[3]

"When will they learn, that hanging's the only way to deal with these people?"
— Vernon's support for capital punishment[src]

He was also shown to be very conservative in his political views, as he read the Daily Mail, a British tabloid famed for its right-wing political stance. He also seemed 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 was a Ministry of Magic.[21] He advocated the death penalty, especially for murder; after seeing a mug shot of Sirius Black, he claimed that "hanging's the only way to deal with these people",[9] showing his harsh view of criminal justice.

Vernon enjoyed complaining about anything that did not fit in with his narrow-minded views of the world and his favourite subjects included people at work, the council, the bank, motorbikes, as well as most of all: Harry.[12] He showed his disdain to Harry with nasty smiles and he was not afraid of physical confrontations, going as far as wrestling with his son, Dudley, to confiscate Harry's Hogwarts acceptance letter.[8] He frequently became angry and he received brandy from his wife when he was rendered speechless by the "vanishing glass" incident at the zoo.[12] Despite his bad temper and blustering, bullying, dominant nature however, Vernon showed himself to be a coward when confronted by those he could not bully or intimidate, as shown by his terrified reaction when Hagrid furiously confronted him upon discovering that he had not told Harry the latter was a wizard, or who his parents were or that they had been murdered. All this Vernon had kept from Harry in order to "stamp the wizarding rubbish out of him".[3] He was likewise scared by Alastor Moody when the latter confronted him over his bullying treatment of Harry,[28] and would immediately back down whenever Harry threatened him with magic.[9]



Dursley family[]

Petunia Dursley POA

Petunia Dursley, his wife

Vernon married Petunia Evans after having met her at work and likely learned of the wizarding world through her. He was deeply shocked, though, when Petunia confessed the truth. However, Vernon told Petunia solemnly that he would never hold it against her that she had a freak for a sister. Then Petunia threw herself upon him in such violent gratitude that he dropped his battered sausage.[10] Together they did everything they could 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 pampered and spoiled their only son, Dudley.[2][12]

"Little tyke wants his money's worth, just like his father. 'Atta boy, Dudley!"
— Vernon spoiling Dudley[src]
Dudley DH

Dudley Dursley, his son and only child

Vernon spoiled Dudley in a similar manner to his wife: they appeared to buy Dudley anything he wants, often apparently to waylay a tantrum and indulged him with treats and activities, particularly those which Harry was not allowed.[2][12] However, there is evidence that Vernon and Petunia were indulgent of their son's behaviour and contributed to his obesity before Harry was introduced to the household.

They were 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 had a similar physique to Dudley, also being very large and when convinced to make Dudley diet by the school nurse, was forced disapprovingly to join in the family's regime, whereas previously he and his immediate family considered Dudley merely to have a healthy appetite. He became very proud of Dudley's resulting sporting achievements when this enforced exercise and diet helped him become a competing boxer, believing Dudley gave the Dementors the "ol' one-two" when they attacked him in 1995. He was, however, oblivious to the fact that Dudley used his new skills to terrorise neighbourhood children.[20]

Harry Potter[]

Hermione Granger: "Your aunt and uncle will be proud, though, won't they? When they hear what you did this year?"
Harry Potter: "Proud? Are you crazy? All those times I could've died, and I didn't manage it? They'll be furious..."
— The Dursleys' disregard towards Harry[src]
Harry Potter movies hbp promostills 6

Harry Potter, his nephew by marriage

Vernon saw Harry as nothing more than a waste of space. Throughout his life, he tried to keep Harry as downtrodden as possible, in hopes of squashing the magic out of him. He lived in fear of anyone finding out about Harry's "abnormality".[3] Vernon rarely referred to Harry by name, instead referring to him as "[the] boy" or "You", both to Harry directly and in conversation. Vernon would have a tendency to throw fits whenever Harry (either accidentally or intentionally) used words such as "magic", "wand", "Hogwarts", or "broomstick" in the house.[15] Both guests and neighbours believed Vernon's explanation that Harry attended St Brutus's Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys, rather than the local comprehensive.[9] Vernon even told Mr Mason and his wife that Harry was "disturbed" when explaining his sudden presence in the house in 1992.[16]

Though Petunia felt some moral obligation to let Harry stay (however grudgingly and bitterly), Vernon felt nothing towards his nephew. He had no trouble throwing him out of the house, despite full knowledge that doing so would put his life in grave danger. Petunia, however, intervened when Dumbledore sent her a Howler, reminding her of the agreement she made when they took in Harry. 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.[21] However, despite his dislike of Harry, he would still go to King's Cross Station to collect him from the Hogwarts Express at the end of each school year.[29][30][31][32][28]

However, he later started to respect Harry a little in the summer of 1997 when his nephew suggested that they go into hiding at the height of the Second Wizarding War, going as far as thinking about shaking his hand but, like Petunia, deciding against it at the last minute. It is unknown how he felt about his nephew after this.[7]

Vernon would later become an uncle-in-law to Harry's wife, Ginevra Weasley and a great-uncle to Harry and Ginny's children, James Sirius Potter, Albus Severus Potter, and Lily Luna Potter.

James Potter[]

Best Main James Potter

James Potter, his brother-in-law

Vernon Dursley's first meeting with James Potter went badly. Vernon asked James what car he drove, but James described his racing broom, thus Vernon started patronising him and finally offended James by supposing out loud that wizards had to live on unemployment benefit. Having heard from the wizard that he had a fortune in solid gold, he grew angry and stormed out of the restaurant, where they had met with their wives. After that Vernon refused to talk with James, but described him, within James's earshot, as "some kind of amateur magician".[10]



Vernon is from a French last name for "alder tree".

Dursley is a town in Gloucestershire, England. J. K. Rowling has commented that she visited the place as a child and hated it, which likely affected her choice of surname for the awful family, remarking "I don't imagine I'm very popular in Dursley."[33][34] The town is known for its Victorian history in coal mining. Rowling chose the name because it sounded "dull and forbidding".

Behind the scenes[]

VernonDursley WB F2 VernonDursleyCharacterIllustrationV2 Illust 080615 Port

Vernon as he appears on Pottermore

VernonDursley WB F1 VernonDursleyCharacterIllustrationV2 Illust 080615 Port

Vernon as he appears on Pottermore

Vernon Dursley LEGOY1

Vernon Dursley as seen in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4


Vernon as a LEGO minifigure (2020)

  • Vernon Dursley was the first character introduced in the Harry Potter series.[2]
  • Vernon is portrayed by the late Richard Griffiths in the film series.
  • Chris Wilson was stand-in for Richard Griffiths as Uncle Vernon[35]
  • Vernon is one of only five characters in the Harry Potter book series whose thoughts have been disclosed by the narrator, the others being Harry Potter, Frank Bryce, the British Prime Minister, and Narcissa Malfoy. However, Tom Riddle's viewpoint is shown via Potter. Other scenes depict Severus Snape, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger, and Albus Dumbledore, but these scenes do not appear to be told from anyone's point of view in particular.
  • In the book series, Vernon is depicted as extremely unpleasant and downright detestable. In the films, however, while he remains the same, Vernon is portrayed in a much more humorous light, possibly due to Richard Griffiths' natural comedic approaches.
  • In an earlier draft of the fifth film, Vernon and Petunia notice the darkness caused by the Dementors and come running out in time to see Harry's Patronus: Consequently, they do not blame him. Also in that draft, Vernon can see the Dementors and stares after them, dumbfounded, finally finding the strength to ask "What the hell are those?".
  • 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 grey-white.
  • J. K. Rowling said the character in the series she most dislikes is probably Uncle Vernon.
  • Vernon appeared in five of the eight Harry Potter films. He did, however, 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.[24]
  • 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 the word "magic" itself). When he discusses magic, he usually uses euphemisms like "you-know-what" (magic), "that school" (Hogwarts), "that abnormality" (magic or magical ability), "[Harry]'s lot" (wizards and witches), or simply "it" to refer to magic. In the films, he actually utters the word "magic". Ironically, he's not afraid of the name Voldemort. Vernon also cannot remember the proper name of Dementors, referring to them as "dismembers", "dementy-whatsits" and similar names.
  • The scene in which the Dursleys leave the house in the seventh book is shortened down to a scene at the beginning of the seventh film where Vernon and Dudley are leaving their house and are hastily packing away their furniture. Petunia is seen waiting in the car already. Vernon has two lines in this scene while Dudley has one and Petunia doesn't speak.
  • Vernon appears also in a deleted scene from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, in which Dudley asks Vernon why Harry is not coming with them and Vernon says he does not want to. Vernon also enthusiastically tells Harry "This isn't just goodbye, boy, is it? This is farewell!" something at which Harry nods. Harry sarcastically remarks "I'm just a waste of space, isn't that right, Vernon?", a statement that Vernon refuses to disagree with.
  • Richard Griffiths, along with the actor of Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe, was shown on a poster in the films as an obvious reference to him. The show the poster was for is Equus. The production did star both Griffiths and Radcliffe in real life, but happened later in the real world than in-universe.
  • Vernon is based on Sir Ector from Arthurian legends (and particularly Sir Ector's portrayal in Disney's The Sword in the Stone) because of his intolerance both of magic and of his ward. Sir Ector calls Arthur "wart" or "you" and Vernon calls Harry "boy" or "you". Likewise, Dudley is based on Sir Kay, Sir Ector's son who mistreats Arthur.
  • Unlike his magic-hating character, Richard Griffiths was very interested in the idea of a boy attending a school for wizards. Throughout the film series, he was hopeful that he could film a scene where Uncle Vernon is summoned to Hogwarts; however, this was firmly vetoed by J.K. Rowling.
  • Rowling revealed on her Twitter account that Vernon's favourite television show was Top Gear, due to his love of motoring.[25]
  • In the trailer for the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the beginning has Harry approaching the vent and it opening up while Vernon is heard offscreen yelling at Harry that magic doesn't exist before shutting it forcefully enough to leave a quaking motion as the Warner Bros. logo pops up. In the actual film, it shows Vernon after tossing Harry into the cupboard under the stairs opening the vent and admonishing Harry before cutting to the inside just prior to Vernon shutting the vent. On a similar note, Vernon's delivery for "There's no such thing as magic" slightly differed in the trailer and in the film.
  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, Vernon (and Dudley) possess superhuman strength, which allows them to pull special orange handles. Being both Muggles, this canonically cannot be magical strength, but merely brute physical strength.


The Harry Potter Wiki has 106 images related to Vernon Dursley.

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, an award prop was included on the 4 Privet Drive set saying "AWARDING VERNON DURSLEY FOR HIS 20TH YEAR OF EMPLOYMENT AT "GRUNNINGS" DRILL FACTORY" (see this image and this image). As the scene is set in 1995, this means Vernon had been working at Grunnings since 1975 or before (it is impossible to determine, since the award itself is not dated). British child labour laws at the time (Children and Young Persons Act 1963) stated minimum working age was fourteen years, meaning his latest possible birth year is 14 years prior to 1975: 1961.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 1 (The Boy Who Lived)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 4 (The Keeper of the Keys)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act One, Scene Seven reveals that Petunia had died in 2020 or earlier. While it is known that Vernon was still alive in 2015, it was never revealed if he died between 2015 and 2020. Petunia's exact year of death was also not given, making it possible that Vernon died before her.
  5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 1 (The Worst Birthday) - "Uncle Vernon was large and neckless, with an enormous black moustache;"
  6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 3 (The Invitation) - "He could almost see the cogs working under Uncle Vernon's thick, dark, neatly parted hair."
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 3 (The Dursleys Departing)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 3 (The Letters from No One)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 2 (Aunt Marge's Big Mistake)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Vernon and Petunia Dursley" at Wizarding World
  11. In a deleted scene on Disc Two of the Blu-ray edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Petunia tells Harry, "I have lived in this house for twenty years," indicating she settled at 4 Privet Drive with Vernon in 1977, since the scene is set in 1997.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 2 (The Vanishing Glass)
  13. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 6 (The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters)
  14. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 1 (The Worst Birthday)
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 1 (The Worst Birthday)
  16. 16.0 16.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 2 (Dobby's Warning)
  17. 17.0 17.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 2 (The Scar)
  18. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 3 (The Invitation)
  19. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 4 (Back to The Burrow)
  20. 20.0 20.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 1 (Dudley Demented)
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 2 (A Peck of Owls)
  22. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 3 (The Advance Guard)
  23. 23.0 23.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 3 (Will and Won't)
  24. 24.0 24.1 J. K. Rowling's official site: Harry and Dudley: Future Hope?
  25. 25.0 25.1 .@HannahHedgehog He signed the petition for Clarkson's reinstatement. Said it was the only reason he paid the licence fee. by J.K. Rowling on Twitter
  26. X (formerly Twitter) logo JK Rowling on X: "True That"
  27. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 2 (Aunt Marge's Big Mistake)
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 38 (The Second War Begins)
  29. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17 (The Man with Two Faces)
  30. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 18 (Dobby's Reward)
  31. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 22 (Owl Post Again)
  32. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 37 (The Beginning)
  33. WP favicon Dursley on Wikipedia
  34. 2001 BBC Online Chat
  35. Chris Wilson StarNow profile