Harry Potter author JK Rowling has finally revealed why Uncle Vernon hated his nephew so much.
Writing on her popular website Pottermore, the author has divulged what exactly provoked
Vernon's dislike of Harry - his hatred for his father, James Potter.
Throughout the books the author made it clear that the all of the Dursleys - Vernon, wife Petunia, Harry's maternal aunt, and cousin Dudley - saw the orphaned Harry as an unfortunate burden.
The little boy was left to languish in the cupboard under the stairs with only the spiders for company until his escape to Hogwarts.
Rowling hinted throughout the series that contributing factors towards the Dursley's mistreatment of their nephew was their hatred of magic and Petunia's jealousy of her sister, Lily - Harry's mother.
Now, eight years after the final book was published, the root of the resentment has finally been revealed - it is Harry's strong resemblance to his father which led to their unhappy relationship.
In the family backstory, which was published this week, Rowling writes that while Lily and her then-boyfriend James Potter were in their final year at Hogwarts, they were invited by Petunia to meet her new fiancé, Vernon Dursley.
She wrote: 'James was amused by Vernon, and made the mistake of showing it.
'Vernon tried to patronise James, asking what car he drove. James described his racing broom.'
'Vernon supposed out loud that wizards had to live on unemployment benefit. James explained about Gringotts, and the fortune his parents had saved there, in solid gold.'
'Vernon could not tell whether he was being made fun of or not, and grew angry.'
'The evening ended with Vernon and Petunia storming out of the restaurant, while Lily burst into tears and James (a little ashamed of himself) promised to make things up with Vernon at the earliest opportunity.'
But the two couples never reconciled and the Dursleys later refused to attend Lily and James's wedding, due to the falling out.
The short story then makes it clear that it is Harry's uncanny resemblance to his dead father, who was so disliked by Vernon, that provoked his uncle's wrath.
Rowling added: 'Uncle Vernon's dislike of Harry stems in part, like Severus Snape's, from Harry's close resemblance to the father they both so disliked.'
The revelation will bring an end to many fan theories for the cause for the uneasy relationship.
Warner Brothers recently announced that Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne will star in Harry Potter spin-off film Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.
Eddie will play magizoologist Newt Scamander, 'who in his travels has encountered and documented a myriad of magical creatures.’
The tale is set in New York, 70 years before the saga of boy wizard Potter and is described as neither a prequel or sequel, but rather an extension of author JK Rowling's popular Wizarding World of magic.