Anyone who’s read the Harry Potter books will know Uncle Vernon is a grouchy old so-and-so. He locks Harry in his room, snarls at him at every opportunity and maroons his own family on a rock in the middle of the sea in a desperate attempt to escape the magical world that Harry belongs to.
But perhaps there’s a greater reason for his hatred of wizards, witches and everything they represent?
A new fan theory posted by Stormmonger on Reddit has linked Uncle Vernon’s hatred of magic to JK Rowling’s recent data dump on Pottermore. In new material posted by the Harry Potter author, she reveals the history of magic in North America and, more specifically, details of a group of people known as Scourers.
According to Rowling, the Scourers emerged in the lawless magical community of North America and are described as “an unscrupulous band of wizarding mercenaries of many foreign nationalities, who formed a much-feared and brutal taskforce committed to hunting down not only known criminals, but anyone who might be worth some gold.”
As time went on the Scourers became increasingly corrupt and indulged in “a love of authority and cruelty unjustified by their mission.” They were involved in trafficking and were known to have presided over the Salem Witch Trials.
Some Scourers have since been brought to justice, but others vanished permanently into the No-Maj (muggle) community, marrying those without wizarding blood and winnowing out any magical children in favour of non-magical offspring to maintain their cover.
Rowling added: “The vengeful Scourers, cast out from their people, passed on to their descendants an absolute conviction that magic was real, and the belief that witches and wizards ought to be exterminated wherever they were found.”
Now, we’re not saying Uncle Vernon wanted to exterminate Harry – after all, he agreed to keep him under his roof for all those years – but Lily’s brother-in-law did have a firm conviction in the existence of magic at the same time as abhorring everything it stood for.
So, as Stormmonger suggests, “Could Uncle Vernon be a Scourer descendant whose family moved back to England sometime between the 1700s and 1900s? That could be why he hates the ‘freaks’ so much and strives to be ‘normal’.”
Don’t know about you but we’re starting to see Vernon in a whole new light.