The Draco Malfoy Complex

Personally, I am not a big fan of Draco Malfoy’s characteristics, and I’ve often wondered why the Harry Potter fandom appears to love him so much. So I decided to have a look around the Internet (as you do) to understand what is going on in Draco fans’ minds!

What did I find? We love a bad guy!


The whole bad boy persona is one that appeals to a lot of females, especially when we believe we could have a positive impact on a person and stop them from heading down the wrong path. There is a part in all of us that wants to believe that there is a nugget of goodness in everyone. Although we rarely see these glimmers of hope in Draco, JKR gives us enough insight to allow our brains to think there is this possibility. It is in Half-Blood Prince when we find ourselves arguing about his real intentions. He had to let the Death Eaters in because he loved and needed to save his family. I can’t speak for you all, but I know I went through a rebellious phase! If I knew someone was trouble, then I would find a way to get involved. So I wonder whether there is an element of this rebelliousness in fans’ love for Draco.

There are parts of his character that we admire!

Draco, being the complex fellow he is, does have characteristics that are attractive. He is intelligent (nowhere near to being in the same league as Hermione, but let’s face it: Not many people are!) and skilled at dueling. His grasp of Dark magic is impressive for a teenager, and although this isn’t necessarily the first skill I look for in a boyfriend, it does suggest he is a powerful wizard in the making. His determination is admirable; however, I do wish he’d shown it in a slightly more palatable way. Finding a way in for the Death Eaters to get into Hogwarts was a big turn off for me.

Is it all Tom Felton’s fault?

Seeing an irritating, slightly slimy (okay, I’m blaming hair gel for this), young boy turn into a handsome, young man has had an effect on all of us! So I think it is fair to say, Tom Felton changed our opinion on the attractiveness of Draco. His portrayal of Draco as a complex and exciting character makes him seem appealing to females. The look of devastation on Tom’s face as Bellatrix Lestrange destroys the Great Hall breaks my heart. It is one of horror as he realizes his childhood is completely over. He knows that there is no going back from now on, and it is heart-wrenching. We’ve already seen Harry lose his childhood to Voldemort, but we start to see the devastating effect that growing up in a dark home has caused Draco. Tom brings this to life for us all. Now, this is where I think some of us get a bit confused and muddled.

Are we mistaking the love of a complex character and loving a character as a person? 

JKR’s ability to create such dynamic and complex characters are one of the reasons she has an army of fans. I often admire the different elements in Draco’s character, but I do not like Draco as a person. As a reader or viewer, it is rewarding to have a character who develops throughout and has a hidden backstory to find. It’s a pleasure to unveil and understand how a character reacts and why they make certain choices in life. It is, after all, Draco’s choices that have led him to be the dark, twisted man he is. Yes, he grew up with certain expectations put upon him. Yes, he was taught to treasure money and glory over friendship and love. Hogwarts provided him with an opportunity to break away from his parents. It would have been hard and unspeakable to his family, but it was a possibility. He chose to honor his family’s values, in contrast to Sirius and (eventually) Regulus Black, who were his mother’s cousins. If he had wanted to break free from the Malfoy legacy, there would have been people to help him. Instead, he chose the path expected of him and believed the world was out to get him. He wanted to think he was entitled and step away from learning about the many different ways of the world.

All this makes me believe that JKR doesn’t want us to love or hate Draco, but to think about him as another victim of the evil spread by Voldemort. For those who wish Draco were their boyfriend, I’m inclined to agree with Tom!

What makes you love Draco? Share below!