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Draco Malfoy: Sides of An Antagonist

A Long Thorough Analyzation of Draco Malfoy and his many attributes.

Draco Malfoy has always been one of my favorite antagonists in modern literature and throughout the books I’ve seen quite a few sides to his character. When I first started reading the books, I only saw the cruel, prejudiced side to the young Mr. Malfoy. I found him repulsive, yet devious and intriguing at the same time. I have seen canon, fanon, and movie Draco and still, canon Draco is my favorite Draco. His stuck-up and cruel antics have always amused me, but as the plot progresses, different sides of him are slowly revealed. Many are not good at all, but some are, one could say, intriguing.

 

As a child, he seemed very sharp-tongued and mouthy. It was obvious that he was not afraid of stating his—well, more like his families’—opinions. It is also quite obvious that he is an extremely spoiled child and he feeds off of attention from others. Draco was brought up this way, being the only heir and child to the Malfoy name, a family which takes pride in their so-called pure blood.

 

“’My father's next door buying my books and mother's up the street looking  at wands,' said the boy. He had a bored, drawling voice. 'Then I'm going to drag them off to look at racing brooms, I don't see why the first-years can't have their own. I think I'll bully father into getting me one and I'll smuggle it in somehow.'” (PS chp. 5)

 

It is very obvious that because of his family’s status and wealth that Draco has been able to con his parents into doing and getting him anything he wants. Though his tone is not thoroughly described, I can just hear the snotty little tone of his going on about how his daddy will get him anything he wants.

 

          Draco shows knowledge of the people around him, rich and poor, but his knowledge is limited. It appears that Draco only knows of people by fame and social status. He was taught, probably from a very young age, that social and blood status, along with fame is important when it came to “making friends”. In The Philosopher’s Stone, Draco takes his time to ridicule people who are supposedly lower than he is, and it is obvious that he finds amusement in it as well. There are several examples of this, even in the first book alone.

 

"My father told me all the Weasleys have red hair, freckles, and more children than they can afford...You'll soon find out some wizarding families are much better than others, Potter. You don't want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there." (PS chp. 6)

 

This is a strong example of the superficiality that Draco has been brought up to believe. He was taught to believe that purebloods are better than halfbloods and muggleborns, and when he is speaking to Harry, he acts as if he shouldn’t be hanging around with people who are poor, but what Draco is ignoring is the fact that Harry is halfblood. The fact that Harry is famous and the hidden fact that Harry’s father was very wealthy hid the fact that Harry wasn’t pureblood. I believe that the reason Draco is trying to befriend Harry is because he could use Harry’s fame to his advantage, and also, I believe that Draco’s father, Lucius, may have gave him strict instructions to try and gain Harry’s support and loyalty. I find it to be a very possible theory.

 

          Draco was put into Slytherin, the house of the cunning and sly. No where in interviews or the actual text does it say that Slytherins are known to be fearless and daring. Draco is no exception. There are quite a few examples that show that Draco can be as scared and as worried as the next person. A good deal of the examples are shown in the first book, The Philosopher’s Stone, but there is something to note. In this book, Draco is in his first year and about the age of eleven, being born in the fifth of June. His young age means that his fear is probable and more likely to be present, especially in the circumstances.

 

“'The Forest?' he [Malfoy] repeated, and he didn't sound quite as cool as usual. 'We can't go in there at night – there's all sorts of things in there – werewolves, I heard.'” (PS chp. 15)

 

Here, Draco is failing to keep his ‘cool and cold’ air and he is showing signs of another side of himself. And that side happens to be ‘human’. No one is completely fearless. That’s just not possible. It is just like being perfect. No one is perfect no matter how hard they try.

 

          Yet, we are not done with analyzing Draco’s human characteristics. Draco may be a wizard, but Draco is also a human. He’s just a human with a wand and dark objects underneath the floorboards him his parlor. There is one trait that I tend to think of when I see Draco and Harry interact in the books. That trait is called jealously. Ever since Draco and Harry started Hogwarts, it’s obvious that Draco is jealous of Harry’s fame, even though his family is a notorious pureblood family. In The Chamber of Secrets there are quite a few examples of his jealously towards Harry.

 

“'What's the good of that if I'm not in the house team?' said Malfoy, looking sulky and bad-tempered. 'Harry Potter got a Nimbus Two Thousand last year. Special permission from Dumbledore so he could play for Gryffindor. He's not even that good, it's just because he's famous… famous for having a stupid scar on his forehead…'” (CS chp. 4)

 

It is very evident that Draco is jealous of the fact that Harry made the Gryffindor House Team, only being a first year. It was the fact that first years pretty much never made the house teams, and most people could not remember when something like this occurred, well, at least not in this century. It is obvious that Draco knows nothing about Harry Potter except anything that his parents told him or anything that was printed in The Daily Prophet. He was obviously jealous that Harry even got the best broom that was out at the time, but that part of his jealously was erased in his second year when his father donated brooms of the same line, but the newest version of it.

 

Not only does Draco appear jealous of Harry, he thinks that Harry likes all the attention that he gets when he goes out in public.

 

“”Bet you loved that, didn't you Potter?' said a voice Harry had no trouble recognizing… 'Famous Harry Potter,' said Malfoy. 'Can't even go into a book-shop without making the front page.'” (CS chp. 4)

 

Draco is right, but only in the sense that Harry DOES makes the front page of the Daily Prophet more than any one person in the wizarding world, but he’s wrong about Harry’s opinion on it. Draco thinks that Harry enjoys being the apple of the eye that is also known as the wizarding world. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. Harry feels very uncomfortable being the center of everyone’s attention, but most of time he’s unable to avoid it because everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, knows who he is. He’s the only person ever to survive the Avada Kedavra, the Killing Curse. Though he denies being jealous of Harry, he is on certain levels that I have stated before.

 

'Jealous?... Of what? I don't want a foul scar right across my head, thanks. I don't think getting your head cut open makes you that special, myself.' (CS chp. 6)

 

This is Draco, denying that he is jealous of his arch-nemesis. He may not be jealous of Harry’s physical scar, but what it represents. He says that they scar doesn’t make him special, physically no, historically yes. His scar is evidence of his legendary story and the fact that through that scar, some of the Dark Lord’s powers were transferred.

 

          Draco has most of the time always been seen as that blond, obnoxious little boy that finds amusement in insulting others. That’s exactly what he is, but in The Chamber of Secrets, a much darker, crueler tormenter arises out of the young Mr. Malfoy. His rude and unnecessary comments go beyond money, house, and status. They start to turn ugly.

 

'No one asked your opinion, you filthy little Mudblood.' (CS chp. 7)

 

This is one of the worst things—in my opinion—that Draco has ever said. His bringing up certainly did not help his manners when conversing with people who are ‘lower’ than him. This time, his words definitely bruised. Hermione, who was usually quite strong when it came to Draco’s insults, broke down. The word ‘Mudblood’ is a foul nickname for those who do not have wizarding parents. It’s supposed to say that they have dirty blood. Not only is he mean to Hermione, he is even mean to two people are supposedly his friends.

 

‘Azkaban – the wizard prison, Goyle,' said Malfoy looking at him in disbelief. Honestly, if you were any slower, you'd be going backwards.' (CS chp. 12)

 

It is very obvious that Draco is quite cruel to his friends who just don’t happen to be as smart as he is but in slight defense of Draco, Draco was raised to believe that he was better than everyone else, being pureblood and a Malfoy. I have always wondered what Draco would be like if he wasn’t a Malfoy. That’s a thought for a later time, but I do not believe that just because he was born into a family that drilled the phrase “Purebloods are better” into his brain means that he has an excuse. He doesn’t, but I guess that’s just the way he is.

 

          It is also obvious that Draco has no respect for his superiors except those who are ‘real’ purebloods. That even goes for his professors. The professor he shows the least respect for is Rubeus Hagrid or Hagrid for short. Hagrid attended Hogwarts until he was expelled for being in possession of Aragog, and Acromantula [a spider-like creature]. He was accused of letting the creature kill a student. The very person that ratted him out was Tom Marvolo Riddle, Lord Voldemort’s younger self. Draco has referred to Hagrid as many things such as “blubbering oaf”, having no respect for him.

 

“'Look at him blubber! Have you ever seen anything quite as pathetic?' said Malfoy. 'And he's supposed to be our teacher!'
Harry and Ron both made furious moves toward Malfoy, but Hermione got there first – SMACK!” (PA chp. 15)

 

Draco really is a disrespectful little wretch, isn’t he? He should remember that superiors are superiors not matter what their blood status is. Tsk Tsk. Then, he got what he was asking for, for three years.

 

          Another one of Draco’s traits seems to really fit his house, and that side is wit. One could also say that he is cunning, cleverness, or even creativity. In Order of the Phoenix his knack for writing song lyrics really comes into play. His love of tormenting Ronald Weasley and his family definitely is prominent. Draco writes a song about Ron’s poor quidditch skills as one of the games approach.

 

“’Weasley cannot save a thing,
He cannot block a single ring,
That's why Slytherins all sing:
Weasley is our King.

'Weasley was born in a bin
He always lets the Quaffle in
Weasley will make sure we win
Weasley is our King.'

'Weasley is our King,
Weasley is our King,
He always lets the Quaffle in
Weasley is our King.'”
(OotP chp. 19)

Draco really has a ‘talent’ for writing lyrics. People all over that were opposing Ron and Gryffindor started to sing it, but Gryffindor did take action. They changed the lyrics so that it was praising and promoting Ron’s quidditch skills, instead of degrading them. This really shows that Draco has a sense of creativity that he deliberately mixes his cruelty with.

 

          There is one side of Draco that strikes me as the most curious and intriguing side of them all. It is his hidden side of fear and emotion. He really isn’t his father’s little ice prince after all. He has more than a slab of stone for a heart. In The Half-Blood Prince, Draco is sent on a mission by Lord Voldemort himself, and that mission is to annihilate Albus Dumbledore himself. This mission goes terribly wrong though. Draco doesn’t carry out the murder of Professor Dumbledore at all. Draco just could not do it.

 

"When you say you have lots in common," said Ron, sounding rather amused now, do you mean he lives in an S-bend, too?"
"No," said
Myrtle defiantly, her voice echoing loudly around the old tiled bathroom. "I mean he's sensitive, people bully him, too, and he feels lonely and hasn't got anybody to talk to, and he's not afraid to show his feelings and cry!"
(HBP chp. 21)

 

          In the end, there are many sides to Draco Malfoy, maybe even more than I have analyzed. I know that Draco does have his ups and downs, just like every single character in the Harry Potter series. He may not be of the crucial main characters, but I do believe that Draco will play a role in the seventh and final book of Harry Potter. He could possibly follow in his fathers’ footsteps and become a full-fledged Death Eater if he hasn’t already, or he could switch sides and beg for redemption. Who knows? We’ll have to wait and see.
Tags: characters:malfoy family:draco
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