Dudley Dursley is certainly a side character in both the books and in the films, but he does get a little more attention in the books than in the movies. While he definitely wasn’t ever Harry Potter’s favorite person, Dudley does have somewhat of a redemption journey, and it’s clear a lot of his flaws were the result of horrible parenting.
There are also several interesting pieces of backstory that have been revealed about Dudley from J.K. Rowling after the books were released. We’ve put together a list of 10 things you probably didn’t know about Dudley Dursley using information from the books, Pottermore, and more.
10 HE MIGHT HAVE HAD A PLAYSTATION BEFORE IT WAS RELEASED
One funny fact that most readers probably missed is that Dudley had a Playstation before they were technically released. Dudley was always one to get the latest and greatest toys and gadgets, as his parents spoiled him.
But, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, it’s revealed that he throws his PlayStation out of the window. This wouldn't be possible, however, as they weren’t released until 1995 while the book takes place in 1994. Of course, this was likely just a small misstep on Rowling’s part, but it is pretty funny.
9 AFTER THE DEMENTOR ATTACK, HE WAS NICER TO HARRY
This is something that movie-only fans probably aren’t aware of. After the encounter with the Dementors in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dudley has a bit of a change of heart.
While this change isn’t super apparent, he does start to be less downright nasty to Harry. He might not have been suddenly nice, but he didn’t really bother him anymore. He was even concerned by the fact that Harry was being left behind when the Dursleys had to leave Privet Drive in the last book.
8 HARRY’S ROOM USED TO ONLY HOLD DUDLEY’S OLD TOYS
Another somewhat small detail from the book is the fact that Dudley used to have basically the entire house to himself. It’s stated in the books that the Dursleys' house had four bedrooms. One of them was a guest bedroom, one was Vernon and Petunia's, one was Dudley’s, and the smallest one was basically a spare room for all of Dudley’s toys.
Many of these toys were old and broken, often because Dudley himself had smashed them in fits. Harry was finally given this room after the letters addressed to Harry in the “cupboard under the stairs” arrived in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
7 DUDLEY & HARRY KEPT IN TOUCH AS ADULTS
Given all that Harry was put through at Dudley’s hands growing up and Dudley’s horrible upbringing, it makes sense that these two would never become close. However, J. K. Rowling has mentioned that they didn’t outright despise each other as adults.
They would send each other Christmas cards and were aware of the big events in each other’s lives. In fact, Rowling even said that every now and again, Harry would take his children to visit Dudley and his family.
6 HE WAS FORCED BY HIS PARENTS TO GO ON A DIET
Another book fact that isn’t revealed in the Harry Potter movies is that Dudley was forced by his mother to go on a diet in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This occurs after a nurse at the school he went to, Smeltings, suggested it.
This results in Dudley throwing a lot of fits. He also ends up taking up wrestling as a hobby and becomes stronger and even more intimidating than he was as a child.
5 J.K. ROWLING ALMOST GAVE HIM A MAGICAL CHILD
Another fact about Dudley was revealed by Rowling after the books. While it’s not part of book canon, it is an interesting bit of info.
Rowling talked about how she almost gave Dudley a magical child himself. She considered having him be at Platform 9 ¾ during the epilogue. However, she decided not to do so because she thought Vernon’s DNA would have killed out any trace of magical blood.
4 HE WAS ONLY FIVE WEEKS OLDER THAN HARRY
According to the Harry Potter Wiki, the two cousins were very close in age. In fact, they were only five weeks apart, with Dudley being the older of the two. Dudley was born on June 23, 1980.
Even if Harry had been treated better by the Dursleys, it’s likely these two might have had some squabbles because of their close age. But, maybe in a different world, the two could have been friends if Petunia and Vernon had not raised Dudley to hate Harry so much.
3 HE GOT MARRIED & HAD TWO CHILDREN
After the books were released, Rowling did reveal more details about many of the characters and their future lives. While Dudley isn’t mentioned in the epilogue, she did give some information about his life as an adult.
Dudley grew up, got married, had two children. His wife and children were both Muggles. The gender of the two children hasn’t been revealed by Rowling.
2 HIS PRESENTS FROM FAMILY WERE VASTLY BETTER THAN HARRY'S
It’s no surprise to any Harry Potter fan that the Dursleys treated Harry horribly from the day he arrived on their doorstep. They abused Harry and spoiled Dudley. The discrepancy between how they treated the was rather large.
One way this is apparent is in the gifts they would give them. Dudley would get piles of gifts on his birthdays while Harry was lucky to get an old sock. Even Aunt Marge did the same thing. In fact, Marge used to spend Christmas at Privet Drive and once gave an expensive robot toy to Dudley and a box of dog biscuits to Harry.
1 HE WENT TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WITH HARRY
Before Harry learned he was a wizard and went to Hogwarts, the two boys went to the same public school. They attended St. Gregory’s Primary School together, where Dudley and his friends would bully Harry.
This meant that Harry got picked on by Dudley both at home and at school. Luckily, Harry was fast enough that he could often escape their grasp.