11

Is there anything from the books or movies that says how much older Petunia is than Lily? Or did J.K. Rowling just mention it in an interview?

16

Petunia is likely one to two years older than Lily (but possibly as much as five years older)

There's no specific birthdate given for Petunia but we can make inferences from the text and movie.

  • Lily is known to have been born in 1960

  • We know Petunia to be the older sister which places her birthdate prior to 1960.

There was undisguised greed in his thin face as he watched the younger of the two girls swinging higher and higher than her sister.
‘Lily, don’t do it!’ shrieked the elder of the two.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

  • Petunia, eager to leave her parents' house went to London to do a typing course and find a job. The youngest age that it would be feasible for her to have lived alone is 18.

Harry's aunt and uncle met at work. Petunia Evans, forever embittered by the fact that her parents seemed to value her witch sister more than they valued her, left Cokeworth forever to pursue a typing course in London.

Vernon & Petunia Dursley By J.K. Rowling

  • We know from this deleted scene that she's been married to Vernon for a minimum of twenty years.

Petunia: I have lived in this house for twenty years.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow - Deleted Scene

Since this film was set in 1997, that places her marriage date at around 1977. Assuming she left home immediately that she was able, married Vernon the same year (at the age of 18-19) and moved into the family home immediately upon getting married, then her birthdate would have been approximately 1958-9, one to two years prior to Lily's.

  • 5
    Trying to apply this sort of many stepped logic is commendable but we know the timeline is often not consistent; I would be surprised if all these little details were actually deliberate. Most people will say "I lived in that house for twenty years" even if they only lived there for 18.5... even I am saying I lived in Canada for nine years when in fact I have been living here only for 8 years, 7 months, 22 days (it's not like I am counting, no). – chx Apr 23 '17 at 9:13
  • @chx - I've taken that into account and offered a certain amount of fuzziness for precisely that reason. – Valorum Apr 23 '17 at 9:25
  • 1

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.