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Dudley Dursley Character Analysis: Personality Traits, Family & Patronus

Dudley Dursley Character Analysis: Personality Traits, Family & Patronus

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Dudley Dursley, the son of Vernon and Petunia Dursley, is Harry Potter’s muggle cousin. Harry lived with the Dursleys after the death of his parents and was relentlessly bullied by the spoiled Dudley.

About Dudley Dursley

Born23 June 1980
Blood StatusMuggle
Zodiac SignCancer

Dudley Dursley Early Life

Dudley Dursley was born around the 23rd of June 1980 to Vernon and Petunia Dursley. He is a little bit older than his cousin Harry Potter. On 1 November 1981, when both boys were just a year old, the orphaned Harry arrived on the Dursley’s doorstep to live with his aunt and her family.

Dudley was spoiled from a very young age. When he was just one year old, he would abuse his mother if she refused him sweets. Every year on his birthday, he would count his presents to make sure that he had more than in the previous year.

Dudley had two bedrooms in the house, one that he used and one for all of his discarded toys. Meanwhile, Harry was forced to sleep in the cupboard under the stairs.

Dudley was also a bully, and Harry was one of his favorite targets. When they both attended St. Gregory’s Primary School, Dudley and his friends would often pick on Harry.

Dudley’s Eleventh Birthday

Dudley initially received 36 presents on his 11th birthday, which he noted was two fewer than last year. But his parents promised to buy him more presents while they were on his birthday outing to make up the difference.

The plan was to take Dudley and his friend Piers Polkiss to the zoo, leaving Harry with their neighbor Mrs Figg. But when she couldn’t take Harry, they were forced to take him along. Dudley did have a fit, saying that he did not want Harry there to spoil his day.

When they arrived at the zoo, Vernon bought Dudley and Piers chocolate ice-creams and was forced to get Harry a lemon ice lolly as the saleswoman had already asked him what he wanted.

Later, at lunch, Dudley complained that his knickerbocker glory did not have enough ice-cream, so his parents bought him another one. Harry was allowed to finish the first.

After lunch, they went to the snake house, where Dudley immediately found the biggest snake, a boa constrictor, that was doing nothing. Dudley demanded that his father wake it up. Vernon started tapping the cage, but to no avail. Dudley got bored and went off.

Harry then approached the glass case and, not knowing how he could do it, spoke to the snake in parselmouth. As the snake was now moving, Dudley pushed Harry out of the way to get a closer look. But Harry inadvertently removed the glass using magic so that the snake could escape. Dudley ran away screaming and Piers told on Harry, telling Vernon Dudley that he had seen Harry talking to the snake.

While the snake gave a playful nip at Dudley’s heels as it slithered off, when Dudley retold the story, it seemed as though the snake had nearly bitten his leg off.

Fleeing the Wizarding Post

When letters from Hogwarts started arriving for Harry, Dudley was as surprised as Harry, and wanted to know what was inside the letters that his mother and father would not let them see. As the attempts to deliver the letters became more urgent, Dudley wondered aloud who exactly wanted to talk to Harry so badly.

His parents began to worry that the people at Hogwarts knew that they had been mistreating Harry, so they forced Dudley to give up his second bedroom for Harry. Dudley threw a massive tantrum that included screaming, hitting his father, throwing up on purpose, kicking his mother, and throwing his pet tortoise through the greenhouse roof.

When Vernon Dursley could no longer stand the letters, he decided to take the family somewhere remote that the letters could not reach them. Dudley tried to pack the TV and VCR but his father would not let him.

When they finally arrived at their remote hotel, Dudley complained that he was hungry, had missed five TV shows, and had never gone so long without shooting an alien on his computer. Dudley was forced to share a room with Harry.

When yet another letter arrived for Harry at the hotel, Vernon took the family to a hut on a rock well out to sea. Petunia made Dudley a bed on the couch out of some moldy blankets that were there.

But even this remote location could not divert the attention of Hogwarts. That evening, a little after midnight on what was Harry’s eleventh birthday, that everyone had forgotten, Hagrid turned up to tell Harry that he was a wizard.

Dudley Durlsey receives a pig’s tail

Dudley Learns the Truth

Dudley was petrified when the half-giant Hagrid burst into the cabin. At first, he stayed frozen on the couch. But when Hagrid asked him to nudge up, he ran away and hid behind his mother.

While Vernon and Petunia were aware of Harry’s connection to the wizarding world, everything that Hagrid shared that evening would have been news to Dudley. However, he didn’t seem to pay much attention. He was busy eating the birthday cake that Hagrid had brought for Harry while the others were talking.

When Vernon insulted Albus Dumbledore, Hagrid got his own back by using his umbrella to give Dudley a pig’s tail, since he was eating Harry’s cake. His parents later had to take Dudley to a private hospital to have the tail removed.

Dudley at High School

Dudley Dursley the bully with his gang of friends

While Harry was off at Hogwarts, Dudley was attending Smeltings academy, his father’s Alma Mata, where he started in 1991.

While Dudley was at school, he grew extremely large, so much so that his bottom drooped over each side of his chair. He seemed to have an endless appetite.

One morning during the school holidays, Dudley asked Harry to pass the bacon. Harry responded as a joke that Dudley had forgotten to use the magic word (meaning please). Dudley fell out of his chair in fear.

Harry would often scare Dudley by threatening to do magic. While the fear of this wore off a bit when the Dursleys learned that Harry was not allowed to do magic at home as an underage wizard, Dudley still kept his distance from Harry and was careful not to bully him too much.

Dudley would only behave for his family when he was bribed to do so. For example, he only let his Aunt Marge give him a big hug when she arrived in exchange for a twenty-pound note. When later, during that same visit, Harry blew up Aunt Marge, Dudley showed no distress or emotion. He just kept watching TV.

In 1994, the Dursleys finally had to tackle Dudley’s weight problem when the school wrote that they no longer had uniforms big enough to fit him. His mother put the entire family on a diet to help Dudley lose weight.

Harry had mentioned the diet to his friend, and this gave Fred and George Weasley an opportunity to mess with Dudley when they arrived to take Harry to the Quidditch World Cup.

They dropped some cursed sweets, knowing that Dudley would be unable to resist. He ate a Ton-Tongue Toffee, which caused his tongue to expand and cause him great pain. In the ensuing panic, his tongue reached four feet long before Mr Weasley was able to shrink it.

Despite the drama around the diet, it worked. Dudley also took up boxing and became quite muscly and imposing. He also took to roaming the street with his gang of friends, smoking, vandalizing property, and picking on younger kids.

Dudley and the Dementor Attack

In the summer of 1995, Dudley was on his way home from terrorizing small children with his friends and ran into Harry, who was also on his way home. The two boys were attacked by two dementors. While Dudley, as a muggle, could not see the dementors, he could feel their ice influence.

Harry managed to conjure a Patronus to drive the dementors away and save himself and his cousin. He then took Dudley home with the help of Mrs Figg. Since Dudley could not see the dementors, when his worried parents asked him what happened he said that Harry had done something to him.

Nevertheless, this experience seems to have greatly affected Dudley. When Harry returned home the next year, Dudley was much nicer to Harry. He would do things like leave cups of tea outside of Harry’s room for him. At the time Harry thought that these were strange boobytraps, and only realized later that they were genuine.

Dudley Dursley attacked by a Dementor

Dudley Goes into Hiding

When Harry turned 17, the protection that his mother had given him when she died for him would end. This meant that the home of the Dursleys would no longer be safe for any of them. Death Eaters might decide to target the Dursleys to get to Harry.

Dumbledore visited the Dursleys to explain the situation. He also commented on how the Dursleys had mistreated Harry. Though he noted that it was nothing as compared to their mistreatment of Dudley. None of the Dursleys understood this reference to how spoiling Dudley over the years had affected him.

The best that can be said is that he has at least escaped the appalling damage you have inflicted upon the unfortunate boy sitting between you.

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

When the time came for the Dursleys to go into hiding in the summer of 1997, Vernon and Petunia were reluctant to trust the wizards and wanted to back out of the arrangement. But Dudley finally spoke up and said that he would be going with the people from the Order of the Phoenix, which forced his mother and father to accompany him.

At first, Dudley did not seem to understand why Harry would not be going to safety with him. But when he understood, he was the only one of the Dursleys to wish Harry farewell. He also thanked Harry for saving him from the dementors two years earlier.

Dudley Dursley with his parents Vernon and Petunia

Dudley in Later Life

Dudley went on to marry and have two children. He stayed on reasonably good terms with Harry, exchanging Christmas cards. Harry would also take his children to visit Dudley’s family when they were in the area, though his children often dreaded this.

Harry and Dudley mostly sat quietly together, suggesting that they had come to an understanding with one another, but were not close.

Dudley Dursley Personality Type & Traits

Dudley Dursley comes across as glutinous and a bully, but his upbringing is largely to blame for this. His parents spoiled him rotten and refused to see his faults, even when he became morbidly obese. He also lived in a house where Harry was actively bullied by his parents. This would have taught Dudley that this was an appropriate way to treat others.

Dudley’s encounter with the dementors seems to have enabled him to see himself clearly and start to make changes. He stopped bullying Harry and even started to try and show him kind gestures, though he was unsure how to do this. Harry noted that when Dudley thanked him it was more or less the equivalent of a heartfelt expression of gratitude.

Dudley Dursley Zodiac Sign & Birthday

Dudley Dursley was born on 23 June 1980 and is about five weeks older than Harry. His zodiac sign is Cancer. The emotions of people born under this sign tend to run close to the surface. This would have been challenging for Dudley, who was never taught how to express his emotions.

Cancerians are also often very close to their families, even to an unhealthy degree. This could explain why Dudley was so swayed by his mother and father’s attitude towards Harry and magic.

Did Dudley Dursley have a Magical Child?

J.K. Rowling has said that she toyed with the idea of giving Dudley Dursley a magical child. She thought of having him appear on Platform 9 ¾ in the final chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

We know that Dudley did marry and had two children and that all of them kept in touch with Harry. But it is unclear whether any of them are magical.