Vernon Dursley

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Vernon Dursley was a muggle married to Petunia Dursley and father to Dudley Dursley. After the death of Petunia's sister Lily and her husband James Potter, Vernon and Petunia were put responsible for the care of their son Harry Potter. Vernon, described as big and beefy, was known to spoil his son Dudley, while he treated Harry with little respect. On Harry's 11th birthday, when he found out he was a wizard, Vernon was extremely angry as he disliked and detested any form of magic.


[edit] Character development

Growing up in the muggle world, Vernon attended Smeltings during his secondary schooling years. He later married Petunia Evans and moved to 4 Privet Drive which was located in Little Whinging, Surrey. On the 23 June 1980, Petunia gave birth to their first and only son, Dudley, who the couple spoiled. Later in the next year, the 31st October 1981, Petunia's sister Lily Potter, and her husband James Potter (who were both magical) were murdered by Lord Voldemort, leaving behind their young son, Harry Potter. Harry was left to the Dursleys though they greatly disliked him as they knew about his magical heritage. They always kept the home normal and quiet, with many people not even knowing that Harry existed. They made Harry sleep in the cupboard under the stairs, gave him little attention and forced him to do countless chores. Dudley, on the other hand, was greatly spoiled and loved by his parents. [1]

[edit] Appearances

[edit] First book

Introduction to Vernon Dursley

Vernon Dursley is introduced to the reader on the first page of the first book. According to canon he is a big, beefy man with hardly any neck and has a very large mustache. He is employed as a director at a firm called Grunnings which manufactures drills.

He is married to Petunia Dursley, sister of Harry Potter's mother Lily. Both he and his wife have a fear that someone would find out about the Potters.

Another thing that Vernon hated was anything out of the ordinary. Like seeing a cat reading a map, at least it seemed to Vernon that the cat was. Or the many strange people wearing cloaks. Or the talk of owls being seen all over England. Anything that happened that was strange or unusal around the Dursley home was blamed on Harry.

From all appearances Vernon Dursley is paranoid about the subject of magic. He objects violently to any suggestion that there is magic in the world.

He refuses to let Harry read the letters from Hogwarts and becomes paranoid, and blocks off all entrances to the house and burns all the letters. After the letters come down the chimney, he makes them go to a hotel and then to a rock in the middle of water. When Hagrid attempts to tell Harry about his past, Uncle Vernon attempts to stop him.

[edit] Second book

In this book, we learn that the Dursleys have been tricked by Harry into believing that he can use magic on them at any time. Things are consequently very touchy at the house, with Harry's school things locked up and Hedwig being unable to leave her cage (irritating Vernon to the extreme with her shrieking). Vernon Dursley is spending his time preparing for an important dinner party that they are hosting for Mr. and Mrs. Mason, two potential clients of his drill company, Grunnings. This deal is very important to him and he has given each family member instructions on their behavior, including banishing Harry to his room. When Dobby, the house elf, appears and wreaks havoc on the party by dropping a freshly made dessert onto the floor, Vernon is very angry with Harry. A few minutes later, however, just when he thinks his deal may have been salvaged, an owl flies in bringing news of Harry's warning from the Improper Use of Magic Office about the dessert. Mrs. Mason is terrified of birds and flees the house, which ends Vernon's chances at a deal. He reads the letter and realizes that Harry has not told them about the ban on underage magic. He consequently locks Harry in his room, barring the windows and refusing to allow him to return to school. Three days later, Harry is rescued from his window by the Weasley's, thwarting Vernon's attempts to keep him there and leaving him, quite literally, hanging (out of the window).

[edit] Third book

In this book, he mantains his annoyed attitude towards Harry. His sister named Marge comes to visit, and he is determined to keep this a normal visit. Harry asks for permission to go to Hogsmeade Village when he is at Hogwarts, a privledge for 3rd years and older. Uncle Vernon will only sign the permission slip if Harry is normal towards Aunt Marge. After Harry blows Aunt Marge up, Vernon refuses to sign the permission slip and does not want Harry to ever come back.

[edit] Fourth book

In Goblet of Fire Vernon is not having a good summer. Dudley was put on a diet by the Smeltings nurse and Vernon is being forced to follow it as well. He and the Dursleys are also terrified to treat Harry too badly because they are scared of his godfather, Sirius Black. When a letter arrives for Harry to accompany the Weasleys to the Quidditch World Cup, therefore, he decides to allow him to go, despite his anger over the amount of stamps Mrs. Weasley put on the envelope. The day that the Weasleys are supposed to come and get Harry, the Dusleys are in a state of nervous agitation. The Weasleys try to come by floo powder, but the fireplace is blocked to make room for an electric fire. When Arthur Weasley blasts it open, Vernon is very angry. He is distressed even further when Mr. Weasley gets indignant over his lack of goodbyes toward Harry. The final straw, however, comes when Dudley eats a Ton-Tongue Toffee that was "dropped", one of Fred and George's inventions. As Dudley Vernon begins throwing things at Mr. Weasley while the children escape, finally allowing him to shrink it only once it has reached 6 feet in length.

[edit] Fifth book

In this book, Vernon and his wife Petunia are rather annoyed by Harry because he keeps telling them he is "listening to the news." Vernon thinks this is stupid because he doesn't think there will ever be news about Harry's world on the Muggle news. When, in the first chapter, Vernon's son Dudley is attacked by Dementors, Vernon believes Harry did something to Dudley and tries to force Harry out of the house, but Petunia receives a Howler which causes her to stop Vernon from throwing Harry out of the house.

[edit] Sixth book

Vernon received the tongue-lashing of his life in the sixth book, from Albus Dumbledore. The tongue-lashing came, not when he refused to invite Dumbledore into his home, nor when he failed to offer refreshments of any sort to Dumbledore, nor when he refused to accept the oak-matured mead that Dumbledore provided: it came when Dumbledore took Vernon and Petunia to task for offering Harry nothing but neglect and cruelty. The only worse thing than Vernon's treatment of Harry, according to Dumbledore, was the appalling damage Vernon and Petunia inflicted on Dudley (by spoiling him).

[edit] Final book

Vernon is always ignorant and unaware of Harry's fame and importance in the wizarding world. He doesn't not understand the danger Harry is in or the risk he is in by having association with Harry. This is shown by the fact that Vernon can't comprehend the reason for his family needing to move houses, and how he thinks that the protection in place for Harry and Vernon's family is just a plot for Harry to get his house.

[edit] Portrayals within films

In the film adaptions of The Philosopher's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Order of the Phoenix and The Deathly Hallows Part 1, Vernon was portrayed by Richard Griffiths.

[edit] Characterisation

[edit] Outward appearance

In the books, Vernon is described as a big, beefy man with hardly any neck, a large purple face and a large mustache. [2]

[edit] Personality

Vernon hates everything to do with magic and detests the use of magic in his house.

[edit] Accomplishments and skills

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[edit] Possessions

[edit] Family

Vernon has a sister called Marge, and is married to Petunia Dursley with a son called Dudley. Lily and James Potter were his sister- and brother-in-law, and Harry Potter is his nephew.

Marge was someone who loathed Harry and always picked out the flaws in him. She is present in the third book only, and Harry, finally getting tired of the insults on his family, accidently used magic out of rage and made her inflate so much, that she started to float and become like a big balloon, eventually going out into the sky. The Ministry of Magic rushed to her aid, 'properly punctured' her, and modified her memory.

[edit] Reception

Depending on how important the character, maybe 0-3 paragraphs here.

[edit] In popular culture

If applicable, maybe a couple paragraphs here.

[edit] Additional Canon

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[edit] References

  1. J. K. Rowling, PS 1
  2. J. K. Rowling, PS 1

[edit] External links

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