Being the huge Harry Potter fan that I am, I was rather excited that todays riddle unlocked new information about Draco Malfoy.
What I was less excited about was that, in the “JK Rowling’s Thoughts” portion of the new information, she reiterated that it wasn’t healthy for young women to find Draco Malfoy attractive.
First: please refrain from telling me who I can and can’t find attractive. I don’t even allow my own parents to tell me that, let alone some strange woman who has never interacted with me personally.
Second: you wrote him, and you somehow managed to take the most loathsome git from book one and turn him into a downright sympathetic character come book seven, even if you insist on pointing out his “dubious morality” - trust me, that isn’t an uncommon trait.
Third: you redeemed him. You decided that he should have this dual nature exemplified by the fact that he’s raising his son to be a better person.
FURTHERMORE - in this new information you wrote that Lucius found Draco “as affectionate as ever” so obviously he’s capable of sweetness and kindness, even if only towards his family.
The moments that could have made him loathsome and irredeemable - killing Dumbledore, for example - made him so sick with preemptive guilt that he - once again - became sympathetic.
If you wanted us to hate him, you should have had him truly turn out evil.
Instead, you accidentally sent him on his very own heroes journey that ended with him deciding that his son needed to be a better person than he was raised to be.
In a way, it feels like an affront to the imperfect nature of humanity that we’re meant to loath Draco Malfoy and adore Harry Potter despite the fact that they’re both flawed.
Yes, Draco screwed up in his youth - but you’ve got to admit, growing up surrounded by people who believed that pureblood elitism and the return of Voldemort were not only normal but healthy and good is going to screw you up.
So why should I have to think he’s horrible?
Why can’t I find him attractive?
I’m not saying he’s perfect, nor that his behaviors are healthy, nor even claiming that he will ever truly outgrow his flaws. But he’s also a fictional character, so it isn’t like I’m going to marry him.
And honestly, of the fictional characters that are less than ideal significant others - I’ve got a list a mile long of bad choices that I find attractive - he’s hardly the worst of the bunch.
The drug addict consulting detective incapable of taking other peoples feelings into account, who didn’t flinch at faking his own death nor at shooting a man in the head point blank to protect his friends? I feel like that is self-explanatory in so many ways.
The alien with daddy issues who leveled New York, killing hundreds, because he was pissed off at his adopted brother and father… and then faked his own death before taking the opportunity to impersonate his adopted father to get the power he’d craved? Probably not the best boyfriend.
A thousand plus year old alien who changes bodies instead of dying and is probably certifiable in his current incarnation? 100% not ideal, each for their own reasons.
So honestly, a confused young man who thought he was doing the right thing when he got himself in over his head, who models his behavior after his cold and cruel father, and who decided that wasn’t what he wanted to be? Comparatively, doesn’t sound so bad.
In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve gone to school with kids like that. Sure, they weren’t in a situation to go about setting up murders, but the wizarding world that exists in Harry Potter is rather more volatile than the one we live in.
All in all, I’m not saying that Draco Malfoy is an ideal boyfriend, and I’m not suggesting that anyone go out looking for an elitist with a troubled family history to be the next love of their life, but I am quite certain that people already knew that.
What I am saying is that it’s slightly insulting that JKR feels she’s in the position of “pouring cold common sense on ardent readers’ daydreams” - are you implying that us readers lack common sense? Do you hate your own character so much that you don’t want others to see the good in him? Is there honestly something wrong with romanticizing him and giving him - at least in our own way - the chance at becoming a better person, which you refuse to do?
A person cannot change their previous actions, but they can change their heart and by extension their future, and if a massive population of young men and women around the world want to believe that Draco Malfoy is capable of that, I don’t see how it’s a bad thing.