The Malfoy family of the Harry Potter series is a complicated bunch. On the surface, they seem dedicated to wealth, blood purity and the racism that Voldemort wants to enforce in the wizarding world, but they are also highly driven by fear and vulnerability. Near the end of the series in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we witness the family crumbling apart, and the motherly actions of Narcissa Malfoy save Harry Potter's life.
Those who only watch the films miss out on nearly a detail a minute from J.K. Rowling's works, including several facts about the Malfoy family that aren't included. Rowling has also revealed many tidbits to fans at the website Pottermore over the years.
10 Neville Longbottom Breaks The Prophecy
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when the members of Dumbledore's Army face off against seasoned Death Eaters in the film, Lucius Malfoy is the culprit who breaks Voldemort's prized prophecy, earning him a hefty punishment from his master.
It doesn't make sense for Lucius to break it, however, and in the book, it's clumsy Neville Longbottom, not Lucius Malfoy, who breaks the orb. Voldemort still punished Lucius for not securing the prophecy as he'd been tasked to do, but his consequences were not for breaking the prophecy itself. Following the incident at the Department of Mysteries, all of the Death Eaters were still caught and sent to Azkaban, if briefly.
9 They're Related To The Weasleys (And Potters)
Basing knowledge on the movies alone, you'd think that there's no way that Draco Malfoy and Ron Weasley, who hate one another so much, could be related, but they very likely share some blood. That's because they hail from pure-blood families, which only marry into other pure-blood families. There are only so many wizards to choose from when you engage in inter-pure-blood marriage; Cedrella Black is likely Arthur Weasley's mother, and the Malfoy and Black families are related.
This means that Harry, whose father comes from a pure-blood family, is also likely related to them both. There's even a Potter name on the Malfoy family tree.
8 Nicholas Malfoy Took Out Muggles During The Plague
The Wizards' Council would never permit a wizard to dispatch any muggles for any reason, but that doesn't stop dark wizards like the Malfoys from wishing to rid the world of muggles. When Nicholas Malfoy conveniently lost his muggle tenants in the 1300s to the Black Death, no one thought anything of it since the widespread disease took out 60% of the population.
According to J.K. Rowling's revelations made at the Pottermore website, however, Nicholas Malfoy may have taken them out himself and used the plague as a cover-up for the dastardly deed, making him much more ruthless than many of his descendants.
7 Draco Barely Hugged Voldemort
One of the biggest changes about Draco Malfoy from the J.K. Rowling work Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and its movie counterpart is that terribly awkward hug scene. In the book, readers barely even notice Draco join his parents and the rest of the Death Eaters. It's stated, but we're seeing everything from Harry's perspective, without his glasses to boot, so it's really just a quick, far less important moment than it's made to be in the books.
The embrace is so long and weird in the movie that it's been made into many a hilarious, if cringey, internet meme.
6 Arthur Weasley And Lucius Malfoy Have A Fist Fight
In the second Harry Potter film, Chamber of Secrets, we witness Draco Malfoy's father, Lucius, and Ron Weasley's father, Arthur, have a little showdown regarding their respective differences regarding what a dishonor to the name of wizard entails, with Lucius Malfoy clearly talking down to the Weasleys about everything from the family's association with muggles to their hand-me-downs.
Those who've only seen the movies missed out on a fist fight between the two in this scene so brutal that the half-giant Hagrid had to break them up. It's up there with the garden gnomes and blown-up Dursley chimney as one of the best Weasley moments that never made it to film.
5 Malfoy Isn't The Only Other Youth To Interact With Buckbeak
So many moments in the Harry Potter books are chopped for time alone, and as much as we wish many of our favorites had made the cut (hello, entire Remus and Tonks arc), we understand that each movie would be around twelve hours long if they weren't edited.
That's probably why we only see Draco interact with Buckbeak after Harry enjoys his flight with the hippogriff in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. In the books, several other classmates also enjoy the company of the fantastic beast, so it's a little more evident that the hippogriff reacted to Draco's poor behavior in particular.
4 Draco And Harry Meet In Diagon Alley
We witness Draco show off and offer Harry his dubious friendship when the two meet at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the film version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but in the books the two first meet in Diagon Alley while they're purchasing items off their Hogwarts lists.
The two face off first on the crimson Hogwarts Express on the way to their first terms at school after Malfoy offers Harry his friendship and insinuates that he should abandon "the wrong sort" of friends like Ron Weasley. When Harry rebuffs Draco's offer and learns about the prejudices of the wizarding world for the first time it begins their bitter enmity toward one another.
3 Draco Tried To Use An Unforgivable Curse On Harry
During Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, Harry and Draco duel in a bathroom. The scene features many changes from book to movie, such as Moaning Myrtle's presence being removed, but one of the most glaring fact changes is the omission of Draco's attempt to use the Cruciatus Curse on Harry. The fact that he gets away with this is mind-boggling, but are we really surprised at all that Draco could be so cruel?
There are scenes in the books where Lucius Malfoy almost hits his son with his cane, revealing the kind of brutality that the young bully experiences at home. These experiences are likely the backbone of his own behavior.
2 Lucius Doesn't Have A Cane Wand
Lucius Malfoy isn't nearly as prominent of a character in the books as he is in the Harry Potter movies, and it's understandable that the role was inflated with Jason Isaacs playing the character. Not only was Isaacs given more appearances than he has in the books, even appearing as an audience member at the school Quidditch matches, he was so over-the-moon for the part that he trailed J.K. Rowling to find out what happened to Lucius after he was sent to Azkaban since he couldn't stand the suspense.
Malfoy's cane, which conceals his wand, also isn't mentioned at all in the books. It was changed to make his character even more dramatic, which works well, since it conceals evil magic with a classy object, which is pretty much what Lucius does, too.
1 Draco May Not Have Been A Death Eater
Author J.K. Rowling purposefully left Draco Malfoy's status as a Death Eater as ambiguous in the books. We never see his Dark Mark, leaving us to believe that he could choose the side of good at any time. It would make sense for him to not be an official henchman of Voldemort since his mother, Narcissa Malfoy, has no mark, either.
Still, in the film, we're led to believe that he's been branded as one of the Dark Lord's followers for good when, in fact, we really don't know if he took on the mark his father did or not.