Although most Harry Potter fans find Draco Malfoy to be an arrogant, selfish, and hateful villain, there are Draco apologists who feel otherwise and have found positive points to his character. A growing number of Harry Potter fan theories online point out an alternative view concerning Draco’s personality and intentions.
Should Draco join the long list of Harry Potter characters fans have learned to love? Once you take into account Draco's family history, early exposure to heinous acts, and even the impact of his dad on his life choices, you may realize fans may have mislabeled him all along.
Snatchers capture Harry, Hermione, and Ron while they are hiding from Voldemort. Fenrir Greyback leads the group of hunters and promptly takes Harry and company to Malfoy Manor. However, due to Harry’s disguised, bloated face, no one can identify him. They call Draco to take a look at the trio and confirm their identity, but he expresses hesitance, concluding it “could” be them.
After the invasion of Hogwarts, Draco experiences extreme pressure to resume his duties under Voldemort. Thanks to the success of Draco’s plan, Voldemort frees his father from Azkaban. However, Lucius’s release only adds to Draco’s stress since his father continually reminds him of the need for their family to redeem themselves to Voldemort. Additionally, his duties become increasingly difficult as he must interrogate Thorfinn Rowle himself. Draco is visibly sickened by the tasks and is no longer happy with his position. His mounting regrets about joining such a despicable group lead to his hesitance when identifying his classmates.
Throughout the books, Draco always brags about how great he is and how he was chosen for specific tasks by Voldemort. He often looks down on others while boasting about the superiority of his family. Coming from a very prideful clan, it is no surprise he takes on the task of eliminating Dumbledore with confidence. Kids talk big all the time, but that doesn't mean they're ready for real adult problems.
Despite being involved in very mature affairs, Draco is still a child. During his time with Voldemort, he witnesses others within the group getting hurt themselves. Outside his team, he's present for the slaying of Muggle Studies Professor Charity Burbage (he promptly passes out when it happens). He is far too young to have seen such atrocities, and yet, even as a boy, he is expected to do similarly horrible things. The stress and added pressures of the situation take a physical toll on Draco, leaving him in a sickly state. Even Harry grows sympathetic toward Draco when he sees the young Malfoy forced to hurt Thorfinn Rowle.
When Draco first appears in the books, he immediately expresses his disdain for anyone that isn’t a pure-blood. He hates Muggles, "half-breeds," Muggle-borns, and "blood traitors," making him a despised character.
The Malfoy family has a centuries-long history of being one of the wealthiest and most prestigious clans. The pride that comes with being a pure-blood was instilled in Draco early. He had limited contact with non-pure-blood families and grew up only among those of the highest status. He also takes pride in his family’s connections to Lord Voldemort and, just like his parents, hopes he will one day lead the wizarding world.
Draco doesn’t know his ideas are prejudicial because his family raises him to believe their views are the norm.
Draco takes pride in the accomplishments of his father and his family’s well-respected reputation. He brags throughout the books about how great his father is to anyone who will listen. In the aftermath of his father’s failure, Draco steps up to take his father’s place with minimal hesitation. While he may appear confident in this moment, he really doesn't have any other choice.
Being an only child, Draco has no siblings who can make such a sacrifice. His mother seems lost without her husband by her side and looks to her young son to lead the family. Draco chooses to not only become the head of the family but to take on the pressures of restoring his family’s sullied reputation. He shows an admirable level of maturity for stepping up to such a huge task, proving his love for his family is more profound than some fans realize. He’s not just a selfish bully, he takes care of his own.