Does Draco Malfoy even need an introduction? Over the course of seven Harry Potter books and eight films, where he was played by Tom Felton, the arrogant Slytherin made enough of a name for himself. A bad name, anyway. Draco was the archetypal school bully. Rich, snobby, and prone to insulting anyone and everyone around him. Even though none of us had ever gone to a wizarding school, we all recognized this guy. However, while the idea of Draco Malfoy became one of a smug, ineffective jerk, largely thanks to the movie's portrayal, he was responsible, directly or indirectly, for more bad things in the Harry Potter series than most people realize.
Part of that is because Draco sort of got redemption in the end. Or at least, he realized the error of his ways. From the moment where he couldn't end Dumbledore, the kid had some sympathy going for him. However, that's kind of covered up some of his dirtier deeds. Going back through the books and films, Draco was more than just a nuisance to Harry and company. He was outright malicious.
Some of this stuff isn't Draco's fault. He was caught up in a pretty bad situation near the end. However, some of it he really did mean and a lot of fans overlook it. No matter how things turned out, at the start of it all, he was not a good person.
Here are 20 Things Wrong With Draco Malfoy We All Choose To Ignore.
Let's not avoid the subject. The worst thing about Draco Malfoy is that he got away with working for Voldemort. He and his family willingly worked for the Dark Lord, and were among his most loyal supporters, but because they redeemed themselves right near the end it's all okay. They suffered no consequences at all. No time in Azkaban. No house arrest. Not even some community service.
Now we don't doubt that Draco and his family were genuine in their defection. Draco especially saw how bad Voldemort really was. However, they all still did terrible things while working for him. According to the Harry Potter wiki, Draco's dad Lucius copped a plea deal for his family to avoid jail time but come on. There still should have been some consequences.
There's a phenomenon online that TV Tropes refers to as "Draco in Leather Pants." This is when a male villainous character inexplicably draws a huge female fanbase. A fanbase really willing to forgive them for their crimes. It is named, of course, after Draco Malfoy. What exactly is so attractive about Draco is unclear.
Most people chalk it up to him being a "bad boy" and fans wanting to "fix him." Even J.K. Rowling has weighed in on this. She doesn't get it either. In an interview, she said, "that's the only time it stopped amusing me and almost started worrying me. I'm trying to clearly distinguish between Tom Felton, who is a good-looking young boy, and Draco, who, whatever he looks like, is not a nice man. It's romantic, but unhealthy." Beauty must be in the eyes of the beholder.
Here's one thing Draco will always have over on Harry. He actually finished his magical education. Yes, while Harry and company spent their seventh year hunting Horcruxes, Draco was still at Hogwarts and working toward graduating. And he would have to, if a giant battle hadn't broken out at the end of Deathly Hallows.
Still, Draco did technically finish his education. Even after Voldemort was defeated, Harry didn't return to Hogwarts to finish out his schooling. Hermione did, naturally, but both Harry and Ron abstained. We don't know if Hogwarts hands out diplomas, but if they do, Draco could wave that around to try and make Harry jealous of him for once. Not that it would probably work.
Most of the Pureblood wizarding families in Harry Potter seem to take after the royal families of Europe. Because they're both wicked complicated and hopelessly twisted up. For example, Draco Malfoy is actually related to Sirius Black. Sort of. By marriage. See, we said it was complicated. Okay, here's how this works.
Draco's mom Narcissa is sisters with Bellatrix Lestrange. She's Draco's maternal aunt. Bellatrix is also Sirius Black's cousin on his father's side. So Sirius would be Draco's first cousin, once removed on his mother's side. This is what happens when you get so obsessed with blood purity. Your family tree ends up more tangled than a string of Christmas lights. It is just another weird connection Draco and Harry have.
The reason Draco hates Harry so much is more complicated than it seems. Most readers would just assume it's because Draco is a rich, snobby jerk. He looks down on Harry for having dead parents and hanging out with the poor kid. But the real reason Draco zones in on Harry so much goes deeper. Draco is jealous of Harry.
He didn't show it much because he was good at hiding his feelings, but it was confirmed on Pottermore that much of Draco's enmity stems from his envy of Harry. Draco was raised to believe he was special, so seeing Harry becoming more popular and well-liked at school broke that illusion. He was especially angry that Harry was a better broom-rider than him, because it was one of the few skills Draco had an actual talent for.
It's easy to forget but Draco actually tried to befriend Harry the first time they met. In the book of Sorcerer's Stone, not the movie. It's true. While getting his school robes in Diagon Alley, Harry ran into Draco doing the same and the Malfoy boy was nothing but cordial. Granted, he didn't know who Harry was yet and immediately launched into some casual disparaging of Hagrid and Muggle-borns. Not the best first impression, but still, he offered Harry his friendship again on the Hogwarts Express.
This was less than genuine as Draco thought Harry was a powerful Dark Wizard and wanted to impress his father by the association. However, Harry thought Draco was too much like his Muggle cousin Dudley and turned him down. Thus, their rivalry was born.
Back when Chamber of Secrets came out, few readers probably would have guessed how important some of that book's events would become. Tom Riddle's diary being a Horcrux is probably the biggest, but another would come straight from the mouth of Draco Malfoy. He was the first person to use "Mudblood" as an insult.
In fact, that was where the whole notion of wizard blood purity in the series came from. At the time, calling Hermione a "Mudblood" was just another way of showing Draco as the elitist person that he was. However, as we know, as the series continued and we learned more about what Voldemort's actual agenda was, that slur took on greater weight. Even with a throwaway line, Draco sets terrible things in motion.
Draco didn't seem to have respect for any of his Professors at Hogwarts, but he really didn't like Hagrid for some reason. Heck, he was dissing Hagrid way back in the first book before he even got to Hogwarts. But his weird antipathy toward the Hogwarts gamekeeper peaked during Prisoner of Azkaban, when he tried getting Hagrid fired.
If you'll remember it was during Hagrid's first class as the Care of Magical Creatures professor. Draco, in his infinite wisdom, antagonized Buckbeak the hippogriff and got his arm scratched for his trouble. Though it wasn't a deep wound, Draco exaggerated the pain and tried using it as an excuse to get Hagrid fired. Thankfully, this didn't happen but Buckbeak did have to escape into the wild with Sirius Black.
Why did nobody believe that Voldemort had returned in Goblet of Fire? This was a big plot point on Order of the Phoenix, so why was it? Like many things, it was Draco Malfoy's fault. During the Triwizard Tournament in Goblet of Fire, Draco was an informant for tabloid journalist Rita Skeeter.
He was the one who gave her the idea to write sensational, embellished, and likely libelous stories about Harry and company. If you don't remember this, it was a bigger part of the book than the movie. However, because of Skeeter's articles, Harry's credibility has been destroyed. So when he was the one saying Voldemort had returned, nobody thought he was worth believing. Yet another petty act of Draco's with wider consequences.
Speaking of Order of the Phoenix, here's your reminder that Draco chose to work with Prof. Umbridge during her tyrannical reign at Hogwarts. He was a key member of her Inquisitorial Squad, students who willingly enacted her draconian rules. They were all Slytherins too.
He probably relished the chance to have his bullying protected and encouraged by those in authority. That would be bad enough, but Draco took it one step further by being the person who ratted out Dumbledore's Army to Umbridge. He caught Harry coming out of their practice room one night and tattled on him. In the movie, it's worse. Draco and his goons caught Cho Chang and forced her to give Dumbledore's Army up. It says something about a guy when Voldemort isn't the worst person he's worked for.
It's funny. For all his presence as a thorn in Harry's side, Draco Malfoy was never the main antagonist of one of the books. For a while anyway. He moved into that role in The Half-Blood Prince, is the closest thing to the main antagonist that the story has, all because of his mission for Voldemort.
The Dark Lord assigned Draco to end Dumbledore and while he couldn't go through with it in the end, he sure as heck tried. First, he sent Dumbledore a cursed necklace, which a poor Gryffindor student would end up with instead, and then sent him some poisoned mead. Both attempts failed, but that might have been on purpose. For all his bravado, Draco couldn't go through with eliminating Dumbledore and he seemed to know it. Not that it helped him or Snape in the end.
While Harry developed a wide circle of friends during his Hogwarts years, Draco only ever had two. His minions, Crabbe and Goyle. However, even Draco never really saw this as real friends as much as two lunkheads he could boss around. He only cared about them in the most shallow way possible. It's probably why he ended up ditching them after Half-Blood Prince.
The book even mentions the two look lost without Draco. That might also explain why they don't easily fall back under his sway during the Battle of Hogwarts. In Deathly Hallows, Draco mentions to Ginny Weasley that he was jealous of Harry's genuine friendships more than anything else. Just another way envy drove his actions.
Both Harry and Draco took some training in Occlumency, hiding their thoughts from other prying wizards. Harry did this to hide from Voldemort, Draco from Dumbledore. And if Draco needed something else to hang over Harry, he was better at it. It was how he kept his plans secret during The Half-Blood Prince.
On Pottermore, J.K. Rowling attributes Draco's skill to his upbringing. From a young age, he becomes quite good at compartmentalizing his thoughts and keeping his cards close to the chest. Harry was too earnest for that. Draco's teacher probably helped too. Unlike Harry, who learned from Snape, Draco was taught Occlumency by his ruthless aunt Bellatrix Lestrange. She wouldn't have held back with him.
J.K. Rowling added to the rivalry between Draco and Harry in Chamber of Secrets by making them both Seekers for their houses' Quidditch teams. At first, this just seemed like another way Draco was jealous of Harry. It's stated he only got the position because his father bribed the team with new brooms and equipment.
However, Draco quickly proved himself to be as good a Quidditch player as Harry. Theirs was a match between talent and experience. Draco trained on a broom from a young age and was an experienced rider, whereas Harry was more naturally gifted. They kind of evened each other out. Draco's skill was so integral to the Slytherin team that when he quit in his sixth year, their quality plummeted.
Draco doesn't just throw wrenches into Harry's life without knowing it. He also did it to Voldemort too. One of the Dark Lord's key goals throughout Deathly Hallows is getting the Elder Wand, the most powerful wand in existence. The only problem is for it to work properly, the wielder must defeat the wand's previous owner.
That's all fine and dandy, but Voldemort didn't realize who the wand's true master was. He thought it was Dumbledore, then Snape. However, it was actually Draco. Mastery of the wand passed to him when he disarmed Dumbledore before Snape killed him and Draco didn't even know it, but did Dumbledore? The headmaster certainly didn't stop Draco from disarming him.
Draco Malfoy is a classic school bully. He taunts and belittles people, but the minute they stand up for themselves he folds like a chair. That's why he keeps Crabbe & Goyle around, for the muscle. It's probably also why he keeps getting his tail kicked by everybody. Seriously.
In the books, Draco instigated at least two fights, one in Goblet of Fire and one in Order of the Phoenix, that both end with him either getting hexed or assaulted. Boy's gotta learn when to keep his mouth. This tendency led to one of the more memorable moments in the films too. In Prisoner of Azkaban, after backing down from threatening him with her wand, Hermione socks Draco in the face for making fun of Hagrid. Can't say he didn't have it coming.
Draco and Harry had nothing but mutual animosity for one another, but they were more alike than either wanted to admit. Both were the sons of famous wizarding houses and the reputations of the parents preceded them wherever they went. Negatively, in Draco's case. Both of their families were quite wealthy too, though Draco took every chance to flaunt that wealth and influence.
Finally, both shared a love of Quidditch and were the Seekers of their respective house teams. It's in ways like this that Draco and Harry are foiled, reflections of each other. In a perfect world, they might have actually found some common ground and become friends, but life isn't perfect when Voldemort is involved.
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree as they say. The person most responsible for turning Draco into the obnoxious little man that he is would be his father Lucius. It was him that instilled in Draco the idea that the boy was special, and the noxious notions about "Pureblood" wizards.
Is it any wonder that Draco's first response when he's challenged about anything is to say, "My father will be hearing about this!" So it makes sense that Draco wouldn't question anything his father taught him until Lucius was removed from the picture. Having to take over his father's duties for Voldemort in The Half-Blood Prince is what made Draco re-examine his life and his family's ideals for the first time. Without his father, he could finally grow.
Among the more dubious achievements of Draco's life, this has to be near the top of the list. He's the only person Voldemort has ever hugged. And it was super weird. Draco received this "honor" for his family's efforts during the Battle of Hogwarts and it was one of the most awkward things ever put to film.
Voldemort lingers just a bit too long and Draco clearly feels uncomfortable the entire time. Actors Tom Felton and Ralph Fiennes actually improvised the hug to make even more awkward. Believe or not, Voldemort's weird hug is explained in canon. Having never known real love, the Dark Lord is, of course, unfamiliar with an affectionate gesture like hugging. Now let us never speak of this again.
Draco Malfoy is a bully and usually deserves whatever he's got coming to him. However, in this case, that doesn't mean he should have been bullied himself. In Goblet of Fire, Prof. Moody transfigured Draco into a ferret and bounced him around the room. He would have kept at it if Prof. McGonagall didn't step in.
Draco was trying to hex Harry a the time, but this was just overkill. To make it worse, the experience was scarring for Draco yet everybody made fun of him for the rest of the year. Other students would tell him Moody was behind him just to make him flinch. Ron Weasley even dubbed him "The Amazing Bouncing Ferret."
Is there anything else wrong with Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter? Let us know in the comments!