pqotw 139

Podcast Question of the Week – Episode 139

Myrtle and Malfoy, sitting in… a stall?

Why is Draco talking to Myrtle? Is it because she is there and he can charm her into keeping his secrets? Is she simply sympathetic to his vulnerable state? (Does she see herself in him?) Did he mention that he was a Death Eater or that Lucius was his father? What exactly is he telling her?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or send us an AudioBoom using the little green button on the right!

  • The Half Blood Princess

    Odd that Malfoy and Myrtle get along so well, considering the fact that Myrtle is muggle-born and Malfoy is a biggot. But maybe this is Jo’s way of showing that Draco isn’t necessary pure death eater. Or maybe Malfoy just doesn’t know that Myrtle’s muggleborn. Malfoy always struck me as rather lonely though, because none of his friends are real friends, and more than Voldy’s ‘friends’ are. Maybe Malfoy’s desperate and will talk to anyone who would sympathize with him.

  • Malfoy is so pale she can’t help but think he is a fellow ghost.

  • Celestina Is My Homegirl

    Something I find fascinating about this arrangement (even though I don’t 100% subscribe to circle theory) is how in the second book, Ginny offloading her feelings into Tom Riddle’s diary causes Voldemort to get into her head while Malfoy offloading his feelings to Myrtle is a way for Malfoy to get all the Voldemort out of his head.

    • Time&RelativDimensionInHandbag

      On the Ring Theory note — Myrtle shows up in Books 2 and 6 (parallel books) and 4 (centre/pivot-point book).

  • PuffNProud

    I think Myrtle’s needs are met by having someone come and talk to her, so she’s likely to stick around and listen. And given that Draco’s miserable, I’m sure she’d love that as well. Nothing ticks her off more than a happy human! But I don’t think Draco’s told her exactly what he’s doing, what his goals are nor his Death Eater status. Perhaps he just needs someone to talk to. Perhaps he’s using her ability to float around the castle and do some reconnaissance for him (he doesn’t have the map after all).

  • Hufflepug

    Maybe, as a ghost, Myrtle isn’t really able to form a complex opinion about Draco since she’s just an imprint of her soul in the same state as it was when she died. So she’s a third year girl who we can assume doesn’t know or care about the politics of the wizarding world and just cares that there’s a cute boy who wants to talk to her. Draco knows people don’t like talking to Myrtle, so maybe he figures that if he tells her his secrets then a) no one will get it out of her since people tend to avoid her and b) if she does come across someone who would ask about him, she would be too deep in her own feelings to talk about Draco. So maybe Draco is just trying to verbalize his frustration to someone who he trusts won’t talk about it and ruin it for him and who won’t judge him either way (for trying to kill Dumbledore or for failing at it).

  • The Vegemite Sand Witch

    I imagine draco would not tell myrtle details like his fathers name, that he is a death eater, or the specific job he has to do and what he has tried so far, but rather he would talk about the general reasons he is depressed. His father is in azkaban, a powerful wizard has given him an extremely difficult job to do and is going to kill him if he fails. Everything he has tried so far hasn’t worked. His mother made an unbreakable vow with his teacher, so now he’s got his teacher breathing down his neck. Plus regular school pressures on top of everything else.

  • Yo Rufus On Fire

    We see the slow process of Draco deteriorating this year. He starts off bragging about his job that he has to do and by then end of the school year you can visibly see the internal struggle he has with himself about killing Dumbledore, because if he doesn’t then Draco will die. I’m sorry, but that is A LOT for a sixteen year old to handle. Could you imagine being a Junior in high school and being told by the most powerful dark wizard that if you don’t kill the person he wants dead, that he will kill you instead? That’s a lot of emotional turmoil to be going through when you are still a teenager. I think Draco stumbled into Myrtles bathroom one day crying needing to get away from everything and Myrtle was there and helped console him. I think that she made him feel better because she probably didn’t know who is was. He could just be himself with her and didn’t have to put on a facade that he does with Crabbe and Goyle making himself out to be this big macho guy who is going to kill Voldemort. I think Draco only told Myrtle a very vague overview of what was going on with him. Basically saying, that he had a very difficult job to do and if it didn’t get done then something very bad would happen to him. Draco cries in Myrtles presence, I think he is very comfortable with her because she just sits there and listens to him. Why the relationships works is because she just wants a friend that will come visit her and he just wants a shoulder to lean on.

  • Minerva’s tartan biscuit tin

    I see Draco going into the bathroom after an especially frustrating attempt in the RoR and muttering to himself, about being a disappointment and being afraid. Myrtle, who is lonely and always miserable herself, would approach Draco and offer him to be miserable together which would scare Draco off at first, because he is not used to ther students treating hm like this. But after even more failed attempts he would remember Myrtle and her offer. She is someone who would not try to cheer him up but give him time to wallow in his hardship (whch he can’t with anyone else) and not judge him on feeling the way he does. But I am not so sure that he shares much with her except an overall idea of an other person asking him to do something he can’t figure out how to do. He just wants company when he feels bad and not a friend which Myrtle seeme to hope for.

  • Draco’s struggle is quite possibly the hardest in the series. He has been forced into a situation that absolutely nobody would enjoy, except Bellatrix maybe. Draco is stuck between the 2 greatest wizards of the times, Voldemort and Dumbledore. He has to both obey Voldemort and deceive Dumbledore. We all know how difficult both of these tasks are. It is not enough to simply obey Voldemort either. He simply cannot disappoint Voldemort in the process of obeying him. Draco also must deceive Dumbledore, a wizard who seemingly had eyes anywhere imaginable. One of these tasks alone would be enough to drive a person to some dark places. The pressure and Draco’s shoulders is so immense, I think we can safely assume he breaks down and cries quite a bit.

    Anyone who can relate to this knows that when you reach the point of a breakdown, you need to vent with someone. Talking about it and releasing your thoughts is an amazing way to relieve yourself of the pressure. Myrtle is someone who won’t judge. Draco has a reputation he does his best to uphold, and Myrtle can’t really influence others. I’m sure she just popped in at the right time when Draco needed to vent, and that’s that!

  • RoseLumos

    Do you think it’s possible that Draco and Myrtle’s first encounter was actually in the girl’s bathroom? What if Draco was considering moving the Vanishing Cabinet to a more secure location and thought about trying to get into the Chamber of Secrets? He may have gotten frustrated that he couldn’t get in and broke down about the whole situation. Then, Myrtle could have heard his cries and decided to comfort him. Then, as Draco abandoned the Chamber of Secrets idea, Myrtle would have wandered from boys bathroom to boys bathroom looking for him. It might be a long shot, but really, when have we seen Myrtle just leave her bathroom for no particular reason?

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    Isn’t Draco in a situation where muggle teenage boys consider calling a help line? Weeks after they tell everyone they need no help, they can manage alone – looking into the mirror in a bathroom and seeing their face unrecognizable, and right beside the mirror there is a sticker with a number, half ripped off, half painted over, but it says help and confidential…
    talking to someone who will listen, just listen and not judge. Not offer help, not scold, not ask stupid questions. That is what Draco needs and what Myrtle can provide. She may be the imprint of the soul of a 13-year-old, but she knows pain.

    • LoL. That was beautiful. It sounds like the opening of a great story/ fanfic or book jacket. :)

  • Silverdoe25

    Draco goes from over confident and arrogant to desperate, terrified, and helpless during the course of the book. He has painted himself into a corner and has no one to rely upon. As we see in Book 7, his “friends”, Crabbe and Goyle, are quick to abandon him. He can’t admit to them that he is feeling trapped and powerless here. So, its no wonder that he goes into the bathroom to cry alone. I always pictured Myrtle coming across him in this state in the bathroom, being as nosy as she is. Draco allowed himself to share his fears with her, for lack of anyone else with whom he could be himself. I don’t think he’d ever admit it was Death Eaters bullying him. He was too frightened for that. Tom Felton really played this Draco very well in the film.

    • Yo Rufus On Fire

      I completely agree with you!! Well said!

  • Regarding Myrtle’s perspective, she seems happy, almost vindicated, because a student is finally giving her the time of day. Whenever Malfoy began making a habit out of escaping to the bathroom and releasing his emotions and fears must have led Myrtle to interpret his visits as a means of befriending her. Harry intentionally avoids the area around the bathroom she inhabits, and it’s clear from Chamber of Secrets the young ladies of Hogwarts can’t pee when she’s wailing. She finally has a frequent visitor, and how lucky is she said visitor claims he feels bullied, isolated, and scared? The last moments of her own life were spent experiencing similar (if not the same) emotions. I expect ghosts spend most of their existence as imprints wallowing in the feelings and thoughts they were having prior to their death-their demeanors seem to suggest reliving their last hours and life’s regrets is their fate for not “moving on.” Myrtle seems to be taking full advantage of Malfoy’s sensitive situation and vulnerability for her own sake as years and years of being ignored and disregarded have left her hungry for attention.

    Also, here’s a fun little thing I caught which might be a hint as to Myrtle’s secret new friend. On page 462 of the U.S. Edition, Ron asks, “When you say you had lots in common, d’you mean he lives in an S-bend too?” Malfoy might not live in an S-bend, but he does live in Slytherin House, whose mascot is a winding (bending) serpent…also Slytherin dormitories get an underwater view of the Black Lake, the same body of water to which the toilets lead. In fact, as I type this, I realize maybe Myrtle was accidentally flushed into the lake and swam around, overheard Malfoy crying alone in his room through the window, and ghostified herself through the wall to console him or something. Hashtag theories…

    • Hahaha. That’s a great catch! I remember from the Galadriel Waters’ Guide to Book 6 (or 7–not sure which) ‘rules.’ One of them is “Ron is always wrong.. unless he’s joking.” So that makes complete sense to me! & I didn’t remember about the view of the Black Lake. That’s really good.

  • open the rumbleroar

    totally agree, malfoy is having a very scary time and he can’t talk to anyone about his stresses because he only speaks to show his superiority, but he probably wouldn’t mind someone like Myrtle to know him at his most weak and exposed. Maybe when he was younger, he had his little ‘Draco moments’ with Dobby, a pitiful lesser creature like myrtle, who he could talk to as a lonely only child because it was easier to talk to them as he felt equal to them, that deep down he know’s he’s small and pathetic. But you’d think it would draw more attention seeing at Myrtle is quite quite loud

  • DisKid

    I think Malfoy desperately needs somebody to talk to and he probably feels like he can trust Myrtle as not too many people seem to associate with Myrtle in any way so he doesn’t have to worrying about her blabbing. Everybody else, he does have to worry. He can’t risk it. While I have always wondered exactly what he told her, the question that has bothered me most that I wish would get answered is; did he tell her he has been ordered to kill Dumbledore? Myrtle may have history with Dumbledore. He was a teacher when she was killed. We assume she didn’t tell Dumbledore anything as she seemed adamant on keeping Draco’s “secret”. Does she have some sort of an unknown grudge against Dumbedore? I’d like to think Draco didn’t tell her this exactly as I can’t think of any type of grudge Myrtle could have on Dumbledore to this level, unless she possibly blames him for her death by not stopping the heir of slytherin. But if he didn’t tell her this; what’s the secret she’s keeping? That’s a mystery I would really like to get solved.

  • LunasLovechild

    It is possible that Draco is so bigoted that he doesn’t see Myrtle as a person. He may just be talking to get stuff off his chest and Myrtle is there and provides a listening ear. I feel like he may see her along the same lines as a house elf and more a part of the background that happens to be hearing him and not passing judgement.

  • QueenSilver171

    I have always loved the reveal that the boy crying in the bathroom is Draco Malfoy! It gave a new perspective on Draco that the series had been itching for. Draco isn’t just the arrogant and self-centered boy that we’ve seen him be with Harry around. He has feelings too!

    Honestly, I always saw Myrtle’s feeling for Malfoy as more than friendly. She speaks very affectionately for Draco, as if she’s working on blossoming their relationship. I believe, to her, Draco and Myrtle have so much in common and Draco is so handsome, that Myrtle sees herself with Draco in the near future.

    It’s a weird parallel to the relationship that we’ve seen with Merope and Tom Riddle Sr. Perhaps Merope is meant to be a parallel to Myrtle as the name “Merope” implies sadness, similar to “Moaning Myrtle.” Meanwhile, Draco is parallel to Tom as the two come from wealthy, high-minded families. The biggest difference is in their relationship’s outcome. Maybe that’s why J.K. Rowling chose to have Draco’s brush with death in “Sectumsempra” in the bathroom with Myrtle present, to allow Myrtle to come that close to being with Draco (even through terrible means), much like Merope uses the love potion.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      Wow! The thought that Draco really was in mortal danger in that bathroom never struck me before your comment. With Snape around help would always be there. But you are right, if he did die there then Myrtle would have company. Or would Draco have gone on?

  • Jake Potter

    Well since Malfoy was really stressed about the whole thing, I like to think that since everyone knew about Myrtle’s bathroom and to stay away from it, Malfoy probably went there to let out his true feeling a lot. I don’t exactly think he thought about venting to Myrtle in the beginning, but I do think her bathroom was safe enough for him to go and cry or whatever. He knew everyone wanted to avoid Myrtle so he took his chances by going in there and no one would find out how upset he was. Enter Myrtle. Seeing as she’s a very emotional ghost I’m sure she is very sympathetic to people who are under pressure like he was. And I’m also willing to be she was attracted to Malfoy like she was Harry so that may have played a part.

    I don’t think Draco necessarily charmed her, or at least not in a manipulative way. I think they became friends because of his situation and his “natural” charm and she decided not to tell anyone what was going on. I’m not sure she even knew the full extent of what he was doing, maybe he just told her he was having a hard time getting something done and if he didn’t do it the consequences would be terrible. I also highly doubt he told her he was a Death Eater. I think that is a different thing entirely and Myrtle may have raised the alarm (IF she even knows what a Death Eater is, does she even know about Lord Voldemort? She knew Riddle, but died well before Voldemort).

    He may have told her about being Lucius’ father. I imagine him telling her some of his more pressing concerns like his father being in Azkaban. Plus Draco likes to boast who his family is so I’m thinking he would have told her who his father was early on. All in all, I’d say they were the best of chums. Draco was able to vent without being judged by his peers and I’m sure in return, Myrtle’s constant woes didn’t bother him as they had common ground in that aspect.

    Now bring on the DraMyrtle shippers