‘Harry Potter’: In the End, the Malfoy Family Proved to Be Harry’s Greatest Allies

Every fan of Harry Potter has their own thoughts about what makes the fantasy series so special. For some, it’s the world-building. For others, it’s the complex mythos involving Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). But certainly, one of the most satisfying elements of Harry Potter is how far the characters’ journeys take them, especially the Malfoys.

Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, and Tom Felton
Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, and Tom Felton | Gareth Davies/Getty Images

‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ is the series’ epic ending

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the seventh and final book in the series. The novel is, in fact, so wrapped up in resolving each story that the filmmakers made two movies from it. Director David Yates developed the book into more than four and a half hours of movie. After all, unlike other novels, Deathly Hallows is solely focused on the battle against Voldemort.

Naturally, the final two-part Harry Potter adventure features return appearances for just about every character fans had seen. The big finale revisits many classic settings and plot points as well in an effort to bring the entire saga full circle. So it stands to reason then that one of the subplots would bring Harry’s rivalry with Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) full circle.

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Harry’s rival, Draco Malfoy, and his family are a key part of his victory

Early on, Draco is the snooty “pure-blood” wizard who is threatened by Harry. The pair quickly become nemeses, a dynamic that plays out in various ways throughout the Harry Potter series. But when Draco is tasked with killing Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), his tale takes a dark turn. For the first time, Draco is faced with actually being as bad as he acts he is.

However, Draco ultimately doesn’t have it in him to kill. In fact, when Harry and friends arrive at Malfoy Manor late in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Draco lies about recognizing Harry. In doing so, he spares Harry from a confrontation with Voldemort. Likewise, in the final movie, Narcissa Malfoy (Helen McCrory) lies to Voldemort that Harry has died.

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The ‘Harry Potter’ series largely comments on love and legacy

Harry Potter‘s overall message is about love and legacy, the Malfoys turn toward the good checks out. Much like Snape (Alan Rickman), Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) and his family are trapped within Voldemort’s grasp. Mistakes of the past play a massive role in shaping the main story. Just as the Hogwarts students grapple with the past, so do the movies themselves.

The Malfoys start out as villains. The specter of Voldemort lingered — and Lucius pledged loyalty to him — but once the dark wizards begin winning, the Malfoys lose their passion for the mission at hand. Without either Draco or Narcissa’s actions, Harry Potter would have been identified and likely killed. Instead, they see the error of their ways and make all the difference.