Vernon Dursley

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The Harry Potter Canon

"Mr. Dursley was enraged to see that a couple of them weren't young at all; why, that man had to be older than he was, and wearing an emerald-green cloak! The nerve of him!"
-- Vernon Dursley (PS1)


"But what were Dementoids doing in Little Whinging?"
-- Vernon, after Dudley and Harry were attacked by Dementors (OP2)

Vernon Dursley

Vernon Dursley is the husband of Harry’s Aunt Petunia. Like her, he was also a Muggle. In fact, he was about as Muggle as a person can get. He had no use for imagination at all. He wore his most boring tie to work and sat at his desk with his back to the window. Vernon Dursley considered it a good morning if he’d yelled at a few people. He was the director of Grunnings, a firm that made drills. That is where the Dursleys met when Petunia left her hometown of Cokeworth and took an office job (Pm). After a series of very “dull” dates, she realized how predictable and absolutely normal Vernon was – truly the man of her dreams.

The Dursley residence was at number four Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey.

For Vernon, it’s all about appearances. He wants nothing more than to be completely normal, thank you very much, although he also wants to be better than everyone else around him, too. He places high regard on things like which kind of car a person drives. In fact, when he gets a new company car himself, he stands out in the driveway with his wife and son exclaiming about how wonderful it is, all in voices loud enough so that the neighbors will hear.

Vernon is competative and ambitious. His goals in life include selling more drills, buying a vacation home in Majorca, and keeping anything remotely associated with magic away from his home and his family. It is no surprise then, that he refers to his wizard brother-in-law James Potter as “good-for-nothing.” (PS1)  He and Potter had nothing in common, and Vernon never really understood that James wasn’t joking about flying on a broom or having a vault full of gold. He continued to think of him as an “amateur magician,” and like Severus Snape, disliked Harry for looking so much like his father (Pm).


Petunia granted Harry “houseroom” over Vernon’s objections. If Petunia thinks that magic is “freakish,” Vernon considers it “dangerous nonsense.” He considers Harry something to be ignored, controlled, or locked away; indeed his sister Marge’s dog “Ripper” was treated better than Harry.

Whenever Uncle Vernon is reminded how little power he has over Wizarding matters, he becomes unhinged and Petunia often takes over.

Vernon is a large, beefy man with very little neck and a bushy black mustache. He is Rowling’s least favorite character.


Being extremely boring and predictable, while dismissing magic as "codswallop."



Name meaning: The name ‘Dursley’ comes from a town in Gloucestershire, England. Rowling chose the name because it sounded “dull and forbidding.” (Star-Ledger).


Vernon in the Movies
The role of Vernon Dursley is played by Richard Griffiths (IMDb).

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