After over a week of interesting tidbits, albeit amongst some under stimulating facts, from the world of Harry Potter, Pottermore readers finally get a deeper look into one of Harry Potter’s most highly-debated and contentious characters: Draco Malfoy.
To access this new information, readers will have to log into Pottermore and navigate their way through some chapters and a riddle This specific excerpt can be found in the chapter titled “Avada Kedavra” and hovering the cursor over the image of Draco Malfoy.
While some of these facts are already known to fans of the series, there’s still much to be known about Harry’s boyhood nemesis. So here's a roundup of what we learned:
Draco Malfoy was born the only child of a wealthy pure-blood family. He grew up believing that he was truly special for because he was, as his parents led him to believe, a talented, pure-blood wizard, and a Malfoy no less.
He also believed that had Voldemort won the first Wizarding War, life and the general state of the wizarding world would have been better off. Of course, he knew that he could not outwardly speak on these beliefs other than to a select few people who shared those beliefs. These people included the children of other Deatheaters, his childhood friends like Vincent Crabbe and Theodore Nott.
Draco, like all other wizard children at the time, had heard of Harry Potter. The boy who had prevented the Dark Lord from succeeding in his attempt to rule and purify the wizarding world. While we all know the wonderful man that the boy-who-lived turned out to be, at the time, one theory as to why Harry was able to survive Voldemort’s attack was because he was a powerful Dark wizard in his own right.
Interestingly enough, one of the biggest proponents of this notion was Draco’s father, Lucius Malfoy. The idea that Harry could become the next voice of the pure-blood community, in my opinion, gave Draco the sense that he was already living in the shadow of Harry Potter.
When the two boys were first introduced on the Hogwarts Express, Draco extended his hand to Harry in an effort to show his father that he was making strides to be in the good graces of the next potential Dark Lord. However, once he was rebuffed and realized that Harry’s alliances had already been made to Ron Weasley, he knew Harry was not going to be his friend, let alone Voldemort’s successor.
In the end, yes, Draco was deeply flawed and a bully. He was undeniably mean to Harry and the rest of the gang, however it was not completely unfounded. Not to make excuses for Draco, but he was raised in a very misguided way that ended up being extremely detrimental. He grew up thinking that he was better than everyone else and that Harry Potter could be his friend/potential Dark Lord. I can understand that he felt dejected when he learned that Harry didn’t want to be his friend, wasn’t a great Dark wizard, and that his father had been wrong all those years. That’s a lot for an 11-year-old to take in.
I think that the biggest lesson from Rowling’s latest piece is that Draco should not be reviled nor romanticized, but pitied.
J.K. Rowling’s thoughts on Draco Malfoy:
Draco was skilled at Occlumency, an area of study where Harry struggled deeply, because he has no trouble shutting down his emotions.
Despite their somewhat toxic household, the Malfoys really do love one another. As soon as his family begins to fall from Voldemort’s graces, Draco’s outlook on life begins to turn rather quickly. His loyalty clearly belongs to his mother and father before Voldemort. Similarly, Narcissa willingly jeopardies everything on a multiple occasions to protect Draco and keep her family intact.
J.K. states that she is “unnerved….by the number of girls who fell for this particular character (although [she does] not discount the appeal of Tom Felton), who…ironically, is about the nicest person you could meet.” and that, much to the dismay of his fans, his contemptuous demeanor and prejudice are not a self-defense mechanism that he uses to disguise his heart of gold.
As an admitted Draco Malfoy fangirl, I apologize for making you feel unnerved, J.K., but at least you can understand my confusion when you cast someone as dreamy as Tom Felton. *swoon*
So, what ever happened to ferret-boy? Rowling describes a life not unlike the one his parents lived. He was wealthy and lived in Malfoy Manor with Astoria Greengrass and their son Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy, but with a few differences.
While he maintains his interest in all things Dark magic, including collecting artifacts, he refrains from using them. He also has a strong interest in alchemical manuscripts, but never tries to make a Philosopher’s Stone which, as Rowling suggests, could indicate that he wants something beyond wealth, maybe even to become a better person. She also hopes that Draco will raise Scorpius to be kinder and more accepting than he was in his time at Hogwarts.
The duality in Draco’s personality is symbolized in the name Rowling chose for him. While his Christian name is Draco, which means dragon, his wand has the core of a unicorn, a pure and defenseless creature. So, while he might not have a heart of gold, some good still exists within him. Hey, that's enough for me!
There we have it! Draco is neither as bad as we imagined, nor as good. He wasn't an evil mastermind, nor was he a sensitive, good guy masking his real emotions. Nope. He was just kind of a jealous boy with rich, Deatheater parents. No one can deny that he's a complex character.
While most you may have come for the news, I know that some just stuck around this long for the Tom Felton GIFs. Here's one more for good measure:
What did you think about J.K. Rowling's latest character reveal? Be sure to let me know in the comments section!
What do you think of the new information on Draco Malfoy?
(Via: Pottermore, J.K. Rowling)