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From the outside looking in, Harry Potter’s Draco Malfoy seems like the kind of character everyone simply loves to hate. He’s a pure-blood wizard born of the Malfoy family – the son of a Death Eater. He is raised to hold strong beliefs that pure-bloods are the only worthy wizards, and that anyone else simply doesn’t deserve the time of day. While he may have initially come off as a one-dimensional character who is simply out to make Harry’s life hell, as his story unfolded, fans found out more and more about the dysfunctional Slytherin. J.K. Rowling herself is often confused at her fans’ love for Draco. Is it because of Tom Felton’s charm that people fell in love with Draco even more in the movies?


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Or is it something about the “bad boy” trope? Either way, Draco has always polarized audiences. While he is definitely one of Harry Potter’s biggest rivals throughout the series, it turns out that things aren’t always as they seem. Draco goes through a huge transformation throughout the series, and there are many times that he is completely misunderstood. From his family history to his desire to be friends with Harry, there are a lot of things fans get wrong about Draco. As Draco goes through his transformation, everything about why he is the way that he is becomes crystal clear. Let’s take a look at all the things about Draco Malfoy that people just can’t seem to get right.

Updated on March 21st, 2022 by George Chrysostomou: With the reunion of the Harry Potter cast recently taking place, fans have been enthralled with Draco Malfoy once more and the role he plays in the overall franchise. The character is sometimes misunderstood and there are definitely some things that audiences might have missed about the Slytherin. 

He’s Related To Harry And Ron

Hermione Draco Ron Harry and Hagrid in the Forbidden Forest

When understanding the Draco Malfoy family history, their hatred for the Weasley family becomes very ironic. The way Draco acts, it’s easy to think he’s part of some master race, but because there are so few pure-blood families in the wizarding world, it eventually became impossible to maintain pure-blood status without marrying between families. Cedrella Black married Septimus Weasley, bearing 3 children, one of whom is said to be Arthur Weasley, Ron’s father. Narcissa Malfoy, Draco’s mother, was born Narcissa Black. Harry’s father James was also born of the Black family.

This means that in some convoluted way, Harry, Draco, and Ron are all related via the Black family. Draco or his family just wouldn’t be likely to admit to the connection, seeing as how the Weasleys are not wealthy nor do they have the same agenda.

He’s Actually A Powerful Wizard

Though it may seem like Harry Potter always comes out on top, it is often overlooked how powerful of a wizard Draco Malfoy really is. Though Draco Malfoy’s intentions aren’t as pure as Harry’s, he is often just as skilled despite the unpopular opinions surrounding the character.

There are plenty of instances where Draco proves his worth as a wizard. One of Draco’s most impressive skills is Occlumency – the act of closing one’s mind to Legilimency. In simpler terms, keeping a wizard or witch from penetrating someone’s mind and thoughts. Draco was skilled enough to keep Professor Snape out of his mind, which is no easy feat. Draco also kept Madam Rosmerta under the Imperius curse for quite some time, forcing her to do his bidding to and from Hogwarts– another instance where he shows he not only knows a spell but has mastered it.

He Wanted To Be Harry’s Friend First

Draco and Harry duel

Believe it or not, Draco’s first intention with Harry Potter was to be his friend. Though they are basically mortal enemies for most of the series, in the beginning Draco eagerly tried to align himself with Harry. Draco knew who Harry was long before coming to Hogwarts. In fact, the Malfoy family were among those who believed that Harry may even be the next Dark Lord, seeing as how he defeated Voldemort.

Unfortunately for Draco, when he introduces himself to Harry he makes the mistake of thinking Harry will agree with his ideals– only associating with pure-bloods. As soon as Draco insults Ron, and Harry stands up for him, it is clear that the two do not see eye-to-eye and will not be friends.

He Was Meant To Be Good From The Start

Draco Sorting Hat

Harry Potter fans will know the importance of a wizard’s wand. “The wand chooses the wizard,” is the wandmaker Ollivander’s famous saying because it’s true. Wands are each built with different materials that attract a witch or wizard for personal reasons. Draco’s wand knew from the beginning that he was meant to turn out good in the end.

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J.K. Rowling went into detail on Pottermore about Draco’s wand. Wands made from Hawthorne are for people with “inner conflict” and inside Draco’s wand is unicorn hair, which shows a “good side.” This definitely sums up Draco – conflicted by both the good and bad sides of himself – but the unicorn hair represents the good that will always remain at his core.

His Family Used To Do Business With Muggles

Draco and Lucius Malfoy in Deathly Hallows Part 1

It may seem like Draco Malfoy’s entire persona revolves around hating any wizard who isn’t pure-blood. While that may be true, the Malfoy family wasn’t always intolerant of muggles and muggle-born wizards. While this may come as a surprise, don’t give them too much credit.

Before the “International Statute of Wizard Secrecy” which would eventually hide the wizarding world from muggles, the Malfoy family had relationships with wealthy muggles who helped them acquire many of their artifacts and wealth. The reason the Malfoys did not agree with the Statute of Secrecy is because of their financial connections in the muggle world – not their kind hearts. Even still, it is ironic to learn that the Malfoys built themselves on the very people they claim to hate.

He May Not Have A Dark Mark

Draco with Dark Mark

If fans have only seen the Harry Potter movies, likelihood is they consider Draco Malfoy a Death Eater. Since Death Eaters carry the Dark Mark, and Draco shows his arm with the mark in the film, all seems to be settled, right? Well, looking back into the books, fans have a different story.

In the Harry Potter novels, it is never specified whether Draco has the Dark Mark or not. Going into further detail on Pottermore, J.K. Rowling admits that she left Draco’s Death Eater status up to interpretation in the books. There are slight suggestions, but nothing so obvious as showing his arm. Not blatantly stating whether or not Draco has the Dark Mark left even more room for his redemption arc at the end; even if he didn’t have the moral high ground.

He Did Not Become His Father

Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy

As much as it seemed like Draco Malfoy was destined to end up just like his father, he thankfully did not. In The Cursed Child, fans learned that Draco finds a wife, Astoria Greengrass, who was raised with similar pure-blood values as the Malfoy family. Both Astoria and Draco learned to be more tolerant despite their family’s teachings, which lead to Narcissa and Lucius finding Astoria to be a disappointing daughter-in-law.

Eventually, Astoria and Draco had a son, Scorpius, and they vowed not to raise him how they were raised. Draco said he would be fine with Scorpius befriending and even marrying whoever he chooses, pure-blood or not. Thankfully, the good in Draco really continued into his adult life.

He Had Feelings For Pansy Parkinson

More often than not, Draco seems to keep people in his circle as a benefit to himself. Take Crabbe and Goyle for instance, they are basically Draco’s minions, agreeing with everything he says and doing whatever he wants. Many of Draco’s friends stick with him out of fear, but also out of respect for who he is. Pansy Parkinson, for instance, is basically the female version of Draco and saw him as a great opportunity to further her status at Hogwarts.

While this may all be true, it’s still fair to point out that Draco only kept people around he really liked. He had a relatively small circle, and if he really didn’t like someone, he would not tolerate their presence. Draco Malfoy and Pansy’s relationship lasted years, so he did not completely hate her– as many fans argue.

He’s A Good Student

Young Draco Malfoy Harry Potter

In all the chaos of the wizarding world, it can be easy to forget about the actual studies going on at Hogwarts. While we’ve established that Draco is a skilled wizard, this also means that he takes his studies very seriously. Having grown up in a strict household where the best is expected, it’s no wonder that he is a top student.

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Draco may have natural talent, but he also makes sure to maintain excellent grades in each class. This is confirmed when he is made Slytherin house Prefect in his fifth year at Hogwarts. Only one boy and one girl are chosen as Prefects, and both excellent grades and talent are required for receiving this honor.

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J.K. Rowling Doesn’t Think You Should Fancy Him

Thanks to Tom Felton, and some sort of “bad boy” fascination that fans seem to have, Draco has become a huge heartthrob in the Harry Potter fandom. In fact, he may be an even bigger favorite than even Harry or Ron – but J.K. Rowling thinks that her fans are misguided.

In a tweet celebrating Draco’s 35th birthday, Rowling jokes that she wasn’t invited to the celebration “because [she] keeps telling girls they’re misguided to fancy him.” As per EW, she later elaborated that sympathizing with someone so cruel and bigoted is “unhealthy” and that she never meant for Draco to be beloved. Casting Tom Felton really threw a wrench in things.

He Saves Lives

Draco cries as he tries to kill Dumbledore Harry Potter

As much as Draco was an all-around bully and tortured his classmates constantly, he still ends up showing compassion for those he seems to hate. When it comes down to the big moments, Draco never has it in him to go through with taking lives. Is Draco Malfoy good?

Draco did help save Harry, Ron, and Hermione by not identifying them to Death Eaters, which is a huge moment, but the most stand-out moment is when Draco is supposed to end Dumbledore’s life. Planned all along by Snape and Dumbledore or not, Draco could not find it in himself to end a life. Draco may have done many regrettable things in this past, but he still refuses to take a life.

He Believed Harry When Others Didn’t

Harry Potter Draco Malfoy Forbidden Forest

It’s clear that Draco and Harry butted heads often, but not in every instance. When Harry started telling everyone that Voldemort was back, almost nobody believed him. Voldemort had been gone for so long, and Harry had no proof, so even those closest to him were skeptical.

For once, Draco and Harry saw things the same way. Since Draco and his family are so close to the Dark Lord and his allies, Draco was quick to believe Harry. While this wasn’t enough to make Draco and Harry new best friends, it goes to show that even coming from his rival, Draco would not ignore important information. He knew that Harry wouldn’t say it lightly, and believed him from the start.

He’s Incredibly Patient

While Draco may seem like a quick to react, bully type, as he grew up fans saw another side of him. It turns out that Draco is actually incredibly patient and very good at planning. The best example of this is in the Half-Blood Prince, when Draco uses the vanishing cabinet to help the Death Eaters sneak into Hogwarts undetected. While this is clearly a diabolical plan – one that Draco himself even regrets – it’s even more impressive that he pulled it off.

It’s noted in the book that it takes Draco nine whole months to master the spell that fixes the cabinet. Even if for the wrong reasons, Draco is dedicated, and will get the task done.

He Could Cause A Lot Of Damage With Dark Magic

Draco Malfoy on the train to Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Draco may have been the epitome of evil for a long time in the Harry Potter series, but things turned around for the better. Even still in adulthood, Draco has the ability to affect the world negatively, but he no longer acts on it as he used to, or as his father did.

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A minor detail that actually isn’t so minor, has to do with the Malfoy family’s dark artifacts. Draco is in possession of these artifacts, and if he wanted, could do some serious damage with them. If dark artifacts are used improperly, there are endless negative consequences. Thankfully Draco became is a changed man who understands the power of what he had in his possession.

He Studied Outside Of Class

Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter Dueling

It may seem like Draco is a carefree, know-it-all wizard who gets everything handed to him on a silver spoon. While that may be a part of who he is, we’ve learned that when it comes to his studies and spells, he actually takes things seriously.

Draco has been known for using spells that his other classmates aren’t skilled at. Does this mean, like Hermione, that Draco is spending time in the library combing through books of spells to learn all he can? Some that stand out are the dancing feet spell he used on Harry and jinxing badges to say “Potter Stinks” during the Triwizard Tournament.

He Constantly Needs The Approval Of Others

A running theme with Draco is definitely his inner conflict. As the series unfolds, it slowly becomes clear that the biggest struggle of all is how Draco feels versus how his family wants him to act. For the Malfoys, family and bloodline is everything. Imagine the strictest household, multiply it, and there is Draco’s childhood.

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In almost every instance where Draco is doing something evil that he doesn’t actually want to do, he is doing it to please his father and his family. His constant need for approval almost drives him insane. Draco’s seemingly evil nature and mean spirit have less to do with him and more to do with his overbearing family, who he eventually learns he will never please.

He Didn’t Know Was The Owner Of The Elder Wand

Draco may not have been able to go through with ending Dumbledore, but he did disarm him before Snape finished the task. This important detail had many viewers confused, but J.K. Rowling set the record straight: “Dumbledore didn’t want to lose his wand at that point and Draco disarmed him. So that meant that the wand gave Draco its allegiance, even though Draco never knew it [or] touched it,” she explained to Today.

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Later, when Harry physically wrestles Draco’s regular wand out of his hand, this still counts as “conquering” him, hence the Elder Wand’s allegiance transfers to Harry even though it’s in Dumbledore’s grave. “I really wanted, very consciously, for the history of the wizarding world to hinge on this moment where two teenage boys have a physical [fight,” Rowling says. “They don’t even do it by magic.”

He’s Not A Werewolf

Draco looking in mirror

While many fan theories have truth to them, the fan-favorite theory that Draco is a werewolf is definitely not true. For a while, fans speculated that Draco was bitten by Fenrir Greyback in his 4th or 5th year, which would make him a secret werewolf.

Although this is an interesting idea, to say the least, and would make him even more powerful, it sadly isn’t true. The queen herself J.K. Rowling took to Twitter, as she likes to do, and dispelled not only this theory but another one while she was at it. She tweeted, “Draco definitely isn’t a werewolf (and Snape’s not a vampire).”

He’s Really Jealous Of Harry

While it may seem as though Draco simply has an outright hatred for Harry from the start, it goes deeper than that. He is, above all, jealous of Harry and a coward. Draco was brought up believing that he and his family are the best that the wizarding world has to offer. When Draco’s initial meeting with Harry didn’t go as he planned, in a “you’re with us or you’re against us” moment, Draco’s only other option was to make Harry’s life miserable.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Draco Malfoy Is A Coward (& 5 He’s Misunderstood)

Coming from an incredibly egotistical and snobbish family, Draco didn’t know how to deal with someone else being more sought after and beloved than himself. As many bullies do, Draco masked his jealousy with hatred and fought Harry at every chance he could.

He Is Not Always Self-Serving

Draco Malfoy and parents

The Malfoys as a whole tend to be incredibly self-serving. Even the seemingly kindest acts often have an ulterior motive. Narcissa Malfoy is often credited with saving Harry’s life by not telling Voldemort about him. The only reason she does this is because she thinks Draco may still be alive, and she is not willing to chance to lose her son. While this saved Harry, she ultimately did it for herself and Draco.

Draco, however, is different. When asked to identify Harry, Ron, and Hermione – who he clearly knows – he lies to the Death Eaters in order to save their lives. Not only is there no reward in this for him, but Draco could also actually be punished and even be terminated for such a lie. He takes the risk anyway, and this shows a true difference in his character from his family.

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