The Malfoy family contains both the most despised and most beloved characters in the Harry Potter series, depending on which House philosophy you subscribe to. Even J.K. Rowling herself never anticipated the following that Draco Malfoy might amass, which is largely due to Tom Felton's portrayal of the spoiled Slytherin. But, is Draco really even that spoiled, and are the Malfoys as rich, powerful, and influential as they seem? Despite the fact that two-thirds of his Hogwarts trio is made up of dunderhead thugs, Draco's not a dummy, and his family's not 100% wicked, either.
Like most of Rowling's characters, the Malfoys aren't exactly what they seem. The truth about the Malfoy family matriarch might surprise you, and even if Lucius Malfoy seems to be the cunning, confident patriarch, he's not truly as self-assured as he appears to be, especially near the end of the series. Then, there's Draco, who grew up to surprise us all... or did he? Don't a lot of mean spirited children age to regret their previous decisions, growing out of their vicious adolescent behavior? Adolescence is hard on all of us, with some joining xenophobic, fiendish wizard cults bent on destroying most of the world to better cope with it. But then again, did Draco truly become a Death Eater in the first place? From the family's not-so-distant relations to eyebrow-raising nuptials, the family's riches to Malfoy behavior that surprises us all, here are 20 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About The Malfoys.
20 They're Related To The Weasleys (And Probably The Potters)
In order to be considered a pure-blood family, you don't have all that many genetic options. The Gaunt family is an example of what can go wrong when wizards marry within their own families rather than risk their pure-blood by marrying someone with a more diverse gene pool. This fosters both prejudice within the Wizarding World and results in most pure-blood families being related.
The Malfoys may despise the Weasleys due to their lower income, but Draco and Ron are likely distant cousins. It's likely that Arthur Weasley's parents are Cedrella Black, a Malfoy relation, and Septimus Weasley. There's even a Potter on the Malfoy family tree. That means that Ron, Draco, and Harry are likely all distantly related, possibly making Harry and Ginny distant cousins as well. Yikes!
19 Some Malfoys Would Marry Muggles If Given The Chance
In more recent times, many Malfoys chose to marry half-bloods simply because of the paucity of pure-blood witches and wizards available. With such a small pool to choose from, it's bound to happen. But, some Malfoys were quite keen on wooing and even marrying muggles if it served them well to do so. The first Lucius Malfoy sought power by courting none other than Queen Elizabeth herself!
Everyone knows that Queen Elizabeth never married, but many suitors tried to change her mind. Some fans of the series say that she never married because a jilted Lucius Malfoy cast a curse upon her out of revenge, but that's doubtful. The queen was known as an independent woman who didn't wish to marry, and we think a curse coming from a Malfoy would be significantly worse.
18 They Don't All Dislike Muggles
Despising muggles may appear to be part of the family business, but the Malfoys don't all share the same view. Arguing that Astoria, who married into the family and refused to teach her son to dislike them, is an example might be a bit of a stretch, even though she was technically a Malfoy for part of her life.
There are stronger examples, though, such as the fact that the Malfoys once conducted regular business with muggles. Prior to the Statute of Secrecy in 1692, Armand Malfoy, who founded Malfoy Manor, was happy to conduct business with none other than King William I, for whom he likely carried out some pretty dark magic. The Malfoys were also famously against the Statute of Secrecy since it required them to give up their hobby of gallivanting with the high-born muggles of the time.
17 They Don't Only Marry Pure-bloods
When it comes to prejudice, those with the strongest and most hate-filled views often practice in some pretty hypocritical behavior whether they know it or not. Voldemort, born to a muggle father, wishes to wipe out all muggles. The Malfoys, who profess to be pure of blood and badmouth any who aren't, are also liars.
There's no way the Malfoys could be a completely pure-blood family given how many half-bloods that members of the family have married over the years. The quest for power even outranked the desire for pure-blood when the first Lucius Malfoy courted Queen Elizabeth. Malfoy literally means “bad faith,” and it would seem that the name prophesies what the family puts into their own philosophy.
16 Their Family Crest Is A Lie
Not only is the Malfoy family crest inaccurate, it's also a lie on behalf of the family itself. The crest is made up of serpents in the Slytherin House colors as an homage to Salazar Slytherin. The Latin words on the crest, “Sanctimonia Vincet Semper,” translate to “Purity Will Always Conquer.” While this sanctimonious drivel appears to truly represent the Malfoys, we know it's just not true.
The Malfoys have married into plenty of half-blood families, so their blood isn't so-called pure by any means. The motto is also simply false, given that every time a war, wizarding or otherwise, breaks out over genocide, those who insist on wiping out another group of people often lose.
15 Draco Isn't As Incompetent As He Seems
Between freaking out over a tiny injury courtesy of Buckbeak, to callously spreading rumors about things he knows little about, Draco Malfoy seems like a petty little boy without much sense between his ears. That's quite the opposite of who he is, though, and his Slytherin cunning allows him to use this supposed incompetence for his own gain.
Malfoy excels at many of his subjects at Hogwarts, becoming a prefect like his father before him. Snape frequently chooses Draco as one of his top students, though he could obviously be doing so to appear as dark of a wizard as possible. Draco could likely excel in classes like Care of Magical Creatures if he wasn't so keen on getting rid of Hagrid.
14 They Aren't The Richest Wizards
This misconception isn't a huge one, but those who think that the Malfoy family is the richest among all wizards are mistaken. They are still easily in that coveted top 1% as the 13th richest family, but they are far from being the richest family of all. In fact, Bellatrix Lestrange is estimated to have a higher net worth, likely because she was in Azkaban for much of her life, leaving all of that gold in her vault untouched.
Being rich in the Wizarding World isn't limited to the most wicked witches and wizards, either. Both Sirius Black and Harry Potter are loaded, although it doesn't do either of them much good in terms of preventing loss. In fact, one of the most universal truths is proven by the series: money can't buy happiness.
13 Lucius Isn't Just Trying To Influence The Ministry
Lobbyists get a bad rap for using their riches to influence politics, but sometimes, it runs even deeper than that. In the case of the Malfoys, the entire family has influenced (and possibly even controlled) the Ministry for decades. Septimus Malfoy, an official Ministry adviser for Minister of Magic Unctuous Osbert, was thought to be truly controlling the Ministry from within during his time in office from 1789 to 1798. Many believe that Osbert was merely Malfoy's puppet at the time, giving the Malfoys unlimited power and possibly resulting in many of the unjust laws in the Ministry that remained there until Potter's time.
While there is evidence that the Ministry doesn't turn a blind eye to the Malfoys, such as during the raid of their house, it's also clear that they get many special favors and privileges.
12 Lucius Doesn't Break The Prophecy
It's hard to picture Lucius Malfoy in a clumsy spot, at least before Voldemort's displeasure over his bungling up missions that resulted in his poor health. Also, fans probably don't know this, but he never broke Voldemort's prophecy. His mistake wasn't in breaking it, but in not safely securing it for the Dark Lord in the first place.
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, it's Neville Longbottom, not Lucius, who breaks the prophecy. This is much more in-character as Longbottom is known to be quite a clumsy young wizard throughout his adolescence (prior to becoming one of the bravest and coolest of all). Malfoy's flop here landed all of the Death Eaters at the Department of Mysteries a stint in Azkaban.
11 Draco Wasn't Meant To Have Droves Of Fans
We often wonder which characters J.K. Rowling intended, or even pictured, to have intense fan followings and hard fan crushes. Cedric Diggory, Fleur Delacour, and Harry Potter are obvious choices, as are three out of four of the Marauders, Lily Potter, and Bill Weasley. Book-Draco doesn't seem to inspire much fan worship, but Rowling, who thinks that crushing on him is totally unhealthy, wasn't expecting the effect that Tom Felton might have on the masses, particularly adolescent girls and boys who swoon over the cruel Casanova.
Despite Rowling not intending Draco to have so many fans, falling for an antihero, or even a villain, is nothing new. Snape has his squad of squealers, too, and we can find unhealthy fan obsessions in everything from the Twilight series to serial antagonists.
10 Draco Wasn't Supposed To Be All Sinister
There's a lot of discussion about destiny and prophecies in the Harry Potter books, and we've come to see how our own actions make or break these ideas that actually aren't set in stone. The fact that Draco's wand has a unicorn core is quite revealing.
The wand chooses the wizard; everyone knows that. Given that a unicorn is one of the purest creatures and its core is the hardest to use with dark magic, Draco's wand choosing him means that he couldn't have been all bad. Some fans point out that at one point, Narcissa is seen wand shopping, which could indicate that she, not Draco, selected the wand, but it's more likely that she was pricing the wands instead. Either way, we know that Draco turned around in the end, so perhaps the wand was right.
9 Draco Doesn't Always Disagree With Harry
As the rivalry exists between Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter, one might believe that they can never agree on anything, but that's not true. We don't only mean the events in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, either. When Potter insists that Voldemort has returned, most people write Harry off as either out of his mind or an attention hoarder, courtesy of the skewed stories published by The Daily Prophet.
Draco, however, believed Harry from the start. He likely had a bit of insider knowledge about the return of the Dark Lord, given that his father was one of Voldemort's most trusted servants and his aunt was his “last, best lieutenant,” but it still makes Draco a supporter of Harry in a way, whether he liked it or not.
8 They're Ruled By Fear And Insecurity
We're meant to believe that the Malfoys' actions are fueled by their prejudice and dislike for all muggle-borns and poor people. While they definitely exhibit those traits, their actions are much more like calculated chess moves driven from fear, especially after the return of Lord Voldemort.
The Malfoys don't make many deliberate attacks without being ordered to do so and only when it's directly beneficial to them. In the case of Voldemort, it's to keep themselves alive. They might appear to live in a life of constant luxury and comfort, but we witness the deterioration of the family, from their hushed whispers in their own home to their haggard appearances once Voldemort is back. We can only imagine what the fear of his return might have felt like before he imposed on their reluctant hospitality.
7 Lucius Doesn't Try To Use Avada Kedavra On Harry
Would Lucius Malfoy really attempt to use the Killing Curse on a student within the confines of Hogwarts? We know the answer to this is an obvious no, yet, that's what the film version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets would have us believe. After Harry frees Dobby with a sock, a furious Malfoy says: “Avada...” before Dobby cuts him off with some magic of his own.
Not only does this make ZERO sense, because it's an Unforgivable Curse that would lead Malfoy straight to Azkaban, but it also goes against his nature. At this point, Voldemort hasn't fully returned. Lucius wouldn't take a risk this big unless ordered to do so. He also wouldn't off someone over a house elf, no matter how much of a meanie he can be.
6 Lucius's Hair Isn't Long
Fans who've only watched the movies are familiar with Jason Isaac's long, lustrous locks standing in as Lucius Malfoy's hair, and the look really does make sense, adding to his decadent, aristocratic nature. The only problem is that Lucius Malfoy doesn't have long hair. It's one of the many creative liberties taken in the films, altering the look of canon Lucius as J.K. Rowling intended him to have in her mind.
Isaacs felt the character looked too much like him and requested that he have long blonde hair in addition to wearing luxurious furs and using a magical cane instead of a wand. Every fan has his or her preferences and Jason Isaacs looks quite dashing either way, sneer or no sneer, but fans should know that in Rowling's imagination, Lucius keeps it high and tight, Ron Swanson style.
5 Despite Being Pardoned, The Malfoys Are Still Prejudice
Receiving a pardon doesn't mean that you see the error of your ways, and Narcissa Malfoy is proof of that. Many are under the impression that the Malfoys turned over a new leaf after the Second Wizarding War due to Draco Malfoy's marriage to the open-minded Astoria Greengrass, and cheerful, sweet son Scorpius in The Cursed Child, but that's not entirely true.
Narcissa Malfoy, in particular, maintained her long-held prejudiced views against muggles and half-bloods, and both elder Malfoys found their new daughter-in-law to be a disappointment for several reasons, one of which was her sympathizer status with the non pure-blooded wizards they held so dear. Hating Astoria just because she believed in equality proves that the Malfoys are still quite prejudice.
4 They're Not All Talk
The thing about most instigators is that they tend to be all talk. Whether it's: “My dad can beat up your dad” or “My broomstick is the latest model,” many will say anything to get a rise out of their opponents. While the Malfoys talk some serious smack about half-blood wizards or even poor pure-blood wizards like the Weasleys, when they brag, they tend to be truthful.
The Malfoys, while not the richest family in the Wizarding World, are loaded. They don't make it up when they say they can afford the latest model of broomsticks and prove it by buying them for the entire Slytherin Quidditch team. Lucius Malfoy was a prefect, which often indicates some serious talent and good grades, and when it's insinuated that both Lucius and Narcissa are accomplished duelists, it's no lie. There are a few reasons Voldemort keeps them around.
3 Draco Doesn't Despise Harry
It's easy to write Draco Malfoy off as an instigator who dislikes Harry for what he stands for: the demise of the Dark Lord. But, the first time Harry and Draco meet, it was an offer of friendship, not rivalry or malice, that Draco extended. Sure, he did it in a way that mocked poor Ron Weasley, but the fact remains that his original intention was to be Harry's friend.
This points toward an entire other reason for his fierce dislike for Harry and his friends: jealousy. With buds like Crabbe and Goyle, we can hardly blame Draco for desiring better pals. Had he been more like his own son, he might have been able to have a better experience. Instead, he fed his jealousy and rage with an all too common, and destructive, coping behavior: antagonizing.
2 Narcissa Isn't A Death Eater
Between the masks, Dark Marks, and missions executed for the Dark Lord, many Death Eaters are so obvious that it's kind of off-putting. They barely even bother to conceal it, least of all from Harry Potter. Lucius Malfoy might as well have an “I am a Death Eater” stamped on his forehead, but Narcissa is another story.
Sure, she's malicious, and she's got plenty of hatred running through her veins, but Narcissa Malfoy isn't a Death Eater. Given that most of her actions support Voldemort, it's not particularly saying much; in fact, her defiance of her master in Deathly Hallows when she lies about Harry being gone speaks higher volumes about her character, at least as a mother. But, this means that only one person in her household might be considered one of Voldemort's inner circle because...
1 Draco May Not Be A Death Eater
There's a lot of speculation in the books and films about Draco Malfoy's status as one of Voldemort's henchmen, particularly after Voldemort tasks the youngest Malfoy with the impossible job of offing Albus Dumbledore (a task that Tom Riddle himself could never dream of pulling off) to punish Lucius Malfoy. The goal, of course, was to ensure Draco's eminent demise or failure, as Voldemort knew he couldn't possibly succeed.
But, we never see Draco's Dark Mark, do we? Rowling intentionally left Draco's ambiguous Death Eater status open to interpretation, giving him an even bigger chance at redemption despite his bad choices. Both nature and nurture in the Malfoy household pretty much doomed Draco to a dark path from the get-go, though, so how many of his choices were ever made out of fear or the desire to please Lucius?
Did you notice any other things that people get wrong about the Malfoys? Sound off in the comments below!