Dumbledore once said happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.
Yeah, that’s easy to say when you don’t live with the Dursleys.
In the “Harry Potter” universe, it’s a little befuddling why the Dursleys hate Harry so much. He seems like a generally genial guy. Sure, he can be a bit moody, but he’s got a piece of the Dark Lord living inside of him. Give the man a break.
Actually, the fact that Harry is somewhat of a Horcrux became the center of a popular theory a couple of years ago, and it seemed to finally explain why the Dursleys were so horrible to the wizard all this time.
According to the theory, the Dursleys were such turd buckets because Harry was a Horcrux and they had to live with him for years. Just like Slytherin’s Locket adversely affected Ron’s mood during “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” Harry may have had a similar effect on the Dursleys. Though Ron and Hermione spent a lot of time with Harry at Hogwarts, the Dursleys were with him constantly over a much longer period of time.
In an interview with Daniel Radcliffe about his new movie “Jungle,” we brought up the theory and asked if it could explain why the Dursleys were so mean.
“Oh OK, so it affects the behavior of people around it,” he said. “That’s interesting, yeah.”
Radcliffe continued, “Yeah, that’s definitely the first time I’ve heard that one. It’s definitely interesting because it sort of posits a world where these people only known to be a certain way. Actually if you remove him from the situation, [they] would have been quite a nice, friendly family.”
OK, maybe “friendly family” is a stretch.
“But I think that’s definitely a cool theory,” he added. “Has anyone asked Jo Rowling what she thinks of that one yet? I feel like that one ― that’s definitely a good one.”
Though it’s not in the books, J.K. Rowling has written about the Dursleys’ dislike for Harry on Pottermore, calling them “reactionary, prejudiced, narrow-minded, ignorant and bigoted.” Rowling explained that Petunia’s loathing stemmed from jealousy of her sister Lily’s magical abilities, and that Vernon hated anything out of the ordinary. The couple also had a falling out with Harry’s parents and never made up.
Rowling doesn’t mention whether or not Harry being a Horcrux contributed to the Dursleys’ hatred; however, the theory does make a lot of sense and offers a unique way of looking at the family.
Even Radcliffe thinks it’s cool. If this were Quidditch, we’d call it a keeper.
Updated to clarify why the Dursleys would be more affected than Ron and Hermione.