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nott theodore

Draco Malfoy

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I think that Draco's generally a lot less controversial than other characters in the HP universe, and much more loved (I think a certain Tom Felton has something to do with that :P).  But he's still really interesting to discuss - personally I have a lot more sympathy for him than most of the Death Eaters, partly because of his age and upbringing. 

 

Do you think that Draco ever really had a choice?  Could he have gone against his parents and Voldemort?  Should he have gone to Azkaban for his actions, or was it right for him to be granted a reprieve?

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Oh man. Well...I don't really pity Draco. I'm sorry, but I just don't. Yes, he was in a precarious age and precarious position with his family (particularly his father), but there were so many from the First War we don't give a pass to, so why is Draco any different.

 

As far as Azkaban, I think he's another in a long line of people Harry was too kind to (especially given that judging from the looks exchanged in the epilogue, it still doesn't seem to have been much appreciated). Maybe it's the fact that I practice criminal law that also biases me against him, but man, just in HBP, Draco is straight up guilty of so many crimes its staggering. And in my state, he's also old enough to be tried as an adult at that time. Aside from that, he's definitely old enough to know better. Was it hard choice, given what he was facing? Absolutely. But that doesn't excuse the choice he made of who to be and what to do.

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I do pity Draco. I know he's one of my favorite characters to write but that's just because I think there's so much you can do with him. But in canon, I do pity Draco. He clearly had a very spoiled sort of upbringing being raised by Lucius and Narcissa, and while Lucius did seem to be a bit hard on him, I don't think he had any real idea of what he was getting himself into in HBP until it was too late. Of course, the only reason he had to do any of that was because Lucius had failed Voldemort and Voldemort was punishing Lucius by setting his son up with a task he ultimately knew he would fail. And if it weren't for Snape, Voldemort would most likely have killed Draco for failing, leaving Lucius without an heir.

 

So, because of that alone, I do think Draco was a victim in all of this. I don't think he really wanted to kill anyone, was just trying to get the job done so he didn't have to fear for his and his mother's lives anymore. He also helped Harry by saying he didn't recognize Harry when really he spent enough years at Hogwarts with him that he more than likely did know it was him. But it gave them some time and helped them eventually escape the Malfoy Manor.

 

But then of course in DH he turns around in the battle and tries to grab Harry to turn him in to Voldemort to help reinstate his family in Voldemort's good graces but obviously fails and has to be saved by Harry instead, so he is unable to follow through with what he'd intended. And then in the end it's his mother's actions that really save them all, I think when she lies to Voldemort about Harry being dead.

 

All in all, I think Draco is a complicated character. And while he may not make the best choices, I do think he was a victim in all of this, even if it doesn't always seem like it. And I think he did appreciate Harry saving his life and all, but sometimes it's hard to admit when it's your rival who's saved you.

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Draco is such a hard character for me. Whenever anyone asks me who my favourite character besides anyone in the golden trio (or Sirius because anyone who knows me knows I LOVE SIRIUS), I usually say Draco. I like Draco so much because he's that character you love to hate.

 

Honestly I think his parents forced him, and he has all this fear built up inside of him that he's scared to do anything. He's scared he'll get killed, or something like that.

 

I think he should have gotten probation (if that's even a thing in the Wizarding World). Even though he was a death eater, he didn't really do anything. Even Blaise set the bloody Room of Requirement on fire! Snape killed Dumbledore! He got freaking attacked by Harry in the bathroom! He may have been part of the death eater cult, but didn't do anything that merits Askaban.

 

I have mixed feelings about Draco, but I really do love him. I think he's a super underrated character, and I always try to show his soft side in most of my fics.

 

 

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Draco is a complicated character. He wasn't the traditional, one-dimensional classic bully. He was a boy caught in the web of Lucius' screw ups and did the best he could to undo the mess, despite how impossible a task Voldemort gave him. He's both a victim and a criminal. He was the boy who was too scared to do anything to anyone. Instead, he lingered on the sidelines and watched everything unfold.

 

Like ImaRavenclaw said, Draco should've been given probation by Wizgenmot if they had that choice.

 

Does he garner pity? Yes and no. I pity him because his family name's the reason he had a self-imposed isolation from the Wizarding World. No matter what good he'd try to do, people will never see past his family name. At the same time, I don't pity him because his inaction was partially the cause of his outcome.

 

At the end of it all, he's a boy who's grown up into a man full of regrets because he refused to face his shortcomings head on. But at least he's not a jerkface like Lucius. That's a plus, I guess.

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I love Draco's character and think even JKR doesn't give him enough justice.

 

It's not till HBP that we get to see the real Draco. The thing is, Draco was raised a certain way with certain beliefs. You can't just change that overnight.

 

He's meant to be Harry's nemesis and as the story is told through Harry's eyes, we're not supposed to like Draco.

 

He's brought up evil, manipulative, discriminative, and spoiled. He boasts and loves to talk the talk.

 

But HBP showed us a vulnerable Draco. He now has to Walk the Walk...a path he never imagined. It was always spoken about, but now the threat is real. It's not just all talk.

 

He's task is not easy. This is why it took its toll on Draco it wasn't just murder Dumbledore, but to get DEs into Hogwarts!!

 

Let's not forget, unlike Harry, who needs Hermione and Ron to survive each book (let's face it, Harry is the dumbest, luckiest hero) - Draco succeeded in his task and got to the point of disarming Dumbldore.

 

But this is the first part of Draco we see a glimpse of hesitation. To think about the path he really wants to go down. He enters into a discussion with DD, and his options. He thinks he doesn't have any, that if he doesn't kill DD, that Voldemort will kill him and his family.

 

Even when the DEs turn up and goad him, he still cannot say the words. In that moment, Draco made his choice.

 

But we don't see the story from Draco's POV. We only get glimpses when Harry is present.

 

I think overall, Draco was just a boy who finally had to walk the walk at 16, but it was on the wrong side. A reality he didn't think he'd have to face. The fact that Narcissa saved Harry and then didn't fight in the last battle says a lot.

 

I believe that given the right circumstances, Draco is just as worthy as any other 'good' character.

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I agree with pretty much everything Elena said.

 

Draco is far from my favorite character in the early books (though granted, I didn't really love Harry until OotP, because I'm a strange and slightly backward person sometimes), but I actually really grow to like him in HBP and DH. I think he's got a lot of potential to grow into a genuinely decent person. Despite an enormous amount of external pressure, Draco isn't capable of murdering innocent people, and there are points that he actively tries to others from doing so.

 

It's certainly possible that those are aberrations, but IMO, it's significant that every time we see Draco in HBP and DH, he is very much not on board with the whole murder thing. He can't kill Dumbledore, he immediately says that he didn't know Greyback was coming when he's challenged on it by an unarmed Dumbledore surrounded by Death Eaters, he hedges on whether it's Harry and Hermione at the Malfoy Manor, and IIRC, he panics and starts screaming at Crabbe and Goyle when they try to torture/kill Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the Room of Requirement.

 

I mean, Draco's hardly a model citizen even in HBP and DH, but Edmund Pevensie was a complete brat throughout the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and look how he ultimately turned out. I see a lot of potential for good in Draco, and by the end, I think Harry did, too.

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I neither love nor hate Draco. 

Do you think that Draco ever really had a choice? 

No, not really. We are all products of our upbringing - so he didn't have much choice, he was raised that way. He grew up as a spoiled and protected child that had only one task - to live up to his father's expectations. That does not make him good or innocent for his actions, mainly because he parroted ideas he heard at home without real realisation of life or consequences. 

Could he have gone against his parents and Voldemort? 

I don't think so, he wasn't mature enough or brave enough to do so. After Lucius ended up in jail and after he became DE he started to grow up. That is the moment he is forced to face real life. He is "the head of the house" and he has to protect Malfoy name, his mother and himself. He did what he had to do. And at the same time, he realised what is expected of him, that everything he was so easily boasting about means. It is rather a rude wake-up call.

Should he have gone to Azkaban for his actions, or was it right for him to be granted a reprieve?

No. Draco did help Harry twice, so his reprieve was a valid one. He made the same mistake Dumbledore once did or Snape, but he also realised and tried to help the best way he knew how. Again, it does not make him good but certainly does not merit Azkaban. 

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9 hours ago, SnapeLove said:

No. Draco did help Harry twice, so his reprieve was a valid one. He made the same mistake Dumbledore once did or Snape, but he also realised and tried to help the best way he knew how. Again, it does not make him good but certainly does not merit Azkaban. 

I agree with this, and I think it's useful to look at real world analogies here. Sending an underage kid to jail for helping people his family knew under extreme duress (threats to his parents' lives) when he wasn't directly responsible for any murders would be really, really harsh. His behavior as a kid was pretty awful, but I don't think any of it was worth jail time.

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