Is Draco Malfoy redeemable?


Bayleah Vogel

Draco Malfoy is most well known as a bully throughout the entire Harry Potter series. However, towards the end of it, as Draco gets older, many of his choices and the information revealed suggests growth and complexity, much like most people go through when transitioning from childhood to adulthood.

And yes, Draco may have had a rather entitled attitude throughout the series, but he showed various forms of growth. As the series progresses, Draco goes from a one-dimensional character to a key character with many dimensions.

In the “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” Draco is revealed to be a stereotypical school bully. However, after readers are introduced to Draco’s father, Lucius Malfoy, in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” they learn about Draco’s Death Eater family background.

As the series goes on, readers realize that Draco was constantly trying to gain his parent’s and Voldemort’s approval, but he never seemed to manage to actually get it.

However, despite Draco constantly being expected to prove himself to the Death Eaters, Draco gives up opportunities to impress them in order to help others.

In “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince” for example, Draco was expected to kill Dumbledore in order to save his father.

However, Draco respected Dumbledore and couldn’t bring himself to kill him.

After being tasked by Voldermort to kill Dumbledore, Draco opens up to Moaning Myrtle in the bathroom and says “No one can help me” as his whole body shakes. “I can’t do it … I can’t … It won’t work … and unless I do it soon … he says he’ll kill me.”

This is one of the first times that readers are truly able to see the vulnerable side of Draco.

It is also a big milestone for him in the series because it reveals that he does not actually like being a Death Eater and he feels pressured to act the way he does.

This also shows how Draco kept his feelings inside and pretended to be a lot less bothered by his life than he really was. When talking to Harry Potter about Draco, Moaning Myrtle says, “I mean he’s sensitive, people bully him too, and he feels lonely and hasn’t got anyone to talk to, and he’s not afraid to show his feelings and cry.”

Despite feeling lonely and being bullied, Draco still found it in his heart to help Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

For example, in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” Harry, Ron, and Hermione were caught by the Snatchers and were taken to Malfoy Manor where Hermione was tortured by Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange. However, Draco kept quiet when asked to identify the three.

Even though he knew that it was Harry—albeit a disfigured Harry thanks to Hermione’s bloating spell—Draco was reluctant to reveal to Bellatrix that it was actually Harry. Draco provided the time the trio needed to escape.

As Draco got older, he was able to realize that bad isn’t the only thing in the world, and that was just what he was raised to believe.

In “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” he said, “I think you have to make a choice—at a certain point—of the man you want to be. And I tell you that at the time you need a parent or a friend. And if you’ve learnt to hate your parent by then and you have no friends… then you’re all alone. And being alone—that’s so hard. I was alone. And it sent me to truly dark places. For a long time.”

However, Draco was even able to step up and raise his kids alone after his wife passed away. Speaking of his wife, Draco admitted that she changed his perspective on the world.

He said to his son, “You know what I loved most about your mother? She could always help me find light in the darkness. She made the world—my world, anyway—less—what was the word you used—murky.”

In all, Draco’s family background—and all the pressure that came along with it—definitely contributed to his mean ways. However, throughout the books, readers are able to see other sides of Draco and even see him look out for others.

This all contributed to Draco being a prime example of a one dimensional character who gained dimensions throughout a series. As for the series itself, it’s plots and characters slowly gained complexity and as it went on.

The dimensions and complexity gained throughout the series slowly revealed things about Draco and his family to suggest that his actions weren’t all by choice, and he is in fact redeemable.