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No, the Dursleys weren’t awful because Harry Potter was a Horcrux

A popular theory among Potterheads is that the reason the Dursleys are so awful to Harry Potter is because he was a Horcrux. But the truth is they just suck.


The Dursleys might not be mass-murdering wizards, but they’re still among the worst people in Harry Potter. After Harry’s parents, Lily and James Potter, were killed by Voldemort, The Boy Who Lived was entrusted in the care of Lily’s sister, Petunia Dursley.

Harry Potter‘s aunt, unlike Lily, was a Muggle, and the Harry Potter villain was determined for things to stay as normal as possible. Throughout all the Harry Potter movies in order, we see Petunia, her husband Vernon, and their son, Dudley, mistreat Harry. But while some fan theories try to explain the Harry Potter character‘s behavior by suggesting that they were influenced by Harry being a Horcrux, that isn’t exactly accurate.

Even the best movies can have some conflicting theories, but when it comes to the Dursleys, it’s time we accept that they were just horrible people.

After Voldemort tried to kill Harry as a baby, his soul fractured into seven and became magically intertwined with a number of objects, which came to be known as Horcruxes.

When a person is in close proximity with a Horcrux for an extended amount of time, they slowly become corrupted, as the enchanted object feeds into the person’s insecurities and negative emotions. Given that’s what happened to Ron when he wore the Horcrux locket, many Harry Potter fans have speculated with Harry himself being a Horcrux, maybe him living with the Dursleys is what caused them to become so deplorable.

But on the Harry Potter subreddit, which has nearly two million followers, one fan made a convincing argument to debunk this theory once and for all.

First, the Redditor mentioned how prior to entrusting Harry with the Dursleys, Minerva McGonagall warned Dumbledore of how “horrible” the Dursleys were. Secondly, the Reddit user referenced how on Pottermore, an official Harry Potter website offering more canon lore, Vernon once insulted James and Lilys’ “abnormalities” and referred to Lily as a “freak” to Petunia.

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There is also the fact, the user added, that nobody else seemed to be “corrupted” in the presence of Harry, and that in Deathly Hallows, when Harry was still a Horcrux, Dudley shows kindness toward Harry.

“I think it’s time people start accepting that Petunia was just jealous and spiteful and deserves no sympathy for abusing a literal child […] and neglecting her sister, despite Lily’s attempts to make things better between them,” the Redditor concluded. “And don’t even get me started on Vernon. Only Dudley had redemption.”

While it’s nice to think that there might be a rhyme or reason behind the Dursleys’ awfulness, it definitely has nothing to do with Horcruxes. But I never thought the Harry Potter films would have me lowkey liking Dudley by the end.

For more on the best fantasy movie saga of all time, check out our guides to the Harry Potter cast, Harry Potter TV series release date, and the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child release date. And while we might not see a new movie about Harry Potter anytime soon, you can learn more about enchanted schools in our guide to Wednesday season 2.