Not long ago, a fan theory was floating around positing why the only living relatives of Harry Potter, his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and cousin Dudley, disliked him so much and treated him like garbage. The theory was that since Harry was a horcrux, which makes people feel all icky and angry and negative, the prolonged exposure turned his own family against him. But J.K. Rowling has actually written a backstory for the Dursleys on Pottermore and has the definitive reason why they didn’t like him: his parents.
Fans of the Harry Potter series know that sisters Petunia and Lily, Harry’s mother, had a strained relationship because of the latter’s magical powers. And while we did learn about Lily and James Potter’s romance, we never learned much about Petunia and Vernon. Rowling goes into some detail about that budding relationship, how it began at the workplace and how “he would never hold it against her that she had a freak for a sister.” Nevertheless, the two couples gave a double date a try, but it ended when Vernon assuming that wizards were all a bunch of poor people who live off of government benefits. James countered that he had a bunch of solid gold cash money in Gringotts, but Vernon felt like he was being mocked. He and Petunia stormed out, never speaking to Lily or James again.
Their final contact until Lily and James were killed was Harry’s birth announcement, which Petunia threw away. Rowling explains that Vernon hated Harry for the same reason Severus Snape did — Harry reminded him so much of James that he could barely stand to look at him.
So that’s that, straight from the author’s head. Nothing to do with a horcrux, which didn’t cut it for a lot of fans anyway.
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Ranking The Biggest Harry Potter Revelations Since The Final Book Published
by Jennifer C. Martin
J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter novels, is arguably the most influential living author. She ushered in a new era of fantasy, accessible to children and parents alike. She created an entire world of magic that will be a part of our literary psyche for centuries to come. And, with a regular presence on social media, in interviews, and a continual expansion of the Harry Potter universe in movies such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Pottermore, and the two-part stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Rowling has done what few authors have done: she continually adds to the canon of her creations outside of the books themselves.
It’s unprecedented for the great fantasy authors of our time to do what Rowling does. George R. R. Martin is not even finished with his A Song of Ice and Fire series and he is the first to point out that the canon of the Game of Thrones show isn’t in line with the books. J.R.R. Tolkien’s son, Christopher, compiled his father’s notes, poems, and stories in The Silmarillion to help us suss out Middle Earth stories beyond The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Rowling, however, can change the plot of Harry Potter with a single tweet. She can make you rethink everything you felt and believed about her world with one casual comment in an interview. For lifelong fans, this can be either good or bad. We’ve ranked the theories that had the most impact here, from best to worst.