Podcast Question of the Week – Episode 47

It’s time again for another mind-bending question to accompany our reading! This week’s question comes from Laura, revolving around everyone’s favorite future ferret.

We talked a lot about Draco and how his comment that he makes towards Hermione and about the Muggle woman in the sky is particularly vile, and it’s even something that is uncharacteristic for him, because it’s something that is directed towards females and not just Muggleborns. Why do you think Draco is behaving is such an even uncharacteristic way for him? Do you consider this one of the lower points in his character arc? Or is there a moment in the future that you think trumps this?

Post your answers here and they might be read on the show!

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  • DolphinPatronus

    I don’t think it’s hugely uncharacteristic of him at all. He’s never really shown any reverence to females in general & he’s always been incredibly disrespectful of anyone he’s felt was beneath him especially muggles & muggle-borns.

  • Beth

    I agree that what Draco said was utterly vile however I definitely think that he has had worse moments. I think he was caught up in the riot of the Death Eaters making him feel compelled to comment in some way. (He couldn’t really get involved in any other form). From the characters reactions to the word ‘Mudblood’ it would seem that was a much more severe insult towards Hermione then what Draco says at the world cup.
    In terms of whether he has any lower points in the books I think he definitely does. In Half-blood Prince he is responsible for both the cursing and the poisoning of Ron. He was prepared to dismiss any consequences that occurred during that time, he would have done anything to save his own skin.

    • DolphinPatronus

      I agree attempted murder is certainly his lowest moment.

  • Pigwidgeon

    It’s only uncharacteristic in the sense that he never makes another comment like that again in the series, but considering this is a children’s book (most cursing is referenced not outright said) there wouldn’t be too much in the way of sexist or degrading comments such as those. I think as a 14 year old making comments like that seem edgy and threatening since, as a 14 year old boy, he can’t do much of anything else. The threat alone is scary enough. In all honesty, if Draco did have a mask to hide his identity I think at this point he may even have tried to levitate Hermione, which is really scary.
    Is this is lowest point? Absolutely not. In book 5 he joins the Inquisitors Squad and harasses students and brings them to Umbridge to illegally use a truth serum and seems to delight in this idea. He gets to bully kids with no repercussions at all. Then in book 6 he kicks a immobilized Harry in the face and leaves him on the train. Then there are the numerous attempts at murdering Dumbledore which end up hurting other people. The attempt at murder is really horrible but I don’t even think he’s doing it out of dedication to Voldemort, he’s doing it out of fear. If he could have walked away from that unscathed he would have. The fear of being killed or his family being killed keeps him anchored to his cause. If he had delighted in doing all of this then I think this would have been his lowest point, but seeing him develop this fear and seeing him unravel into this mess of emotions shows it’s not his lowest point. I think his lowest point is leaving Harry on the train. He caused physical damage to another person and then would have caused a frantic hunt for Harry if Tonks hadn’t found him on the train.

  • heathurrr

    I do believe this a very low point for Draco. I think it just shows how extremely immature he was at that time. He wasn’t aware how serious Death Eaters and Voldemort were about killing people. To him, it was all fun and games to taunt and make fun of people, but I think if it came down to actually taking action and actually physically hurting or even killing people, Draco wouldn’t think it was so funny. So really, to me, it is just his immaturity shining through. It’s clear because in book 6 he is so much more aware of how serious the Voldemort situation has become and in the end doesn’t agree with the ‘evil’ side at all.

  • The Pensieve

    I think there is more behind this comment. Yes it is a vile comment to make, towards women and towards a classmate. I do not think this is uncharacteristic considering that he has never shown any respect to women and doesnt show any as the series progresses. Speculating on why he said this –
    We know Draco is always trying to prove himself, as shown later in Half-Blood prince when he joins Voldermort and learns occlumency from Bella determined to do the task alone with no help from Snape or coddling from his mother.
    I think at this time in the book he has the same tendency and I would venture a guess that he wanted to go out with his father for all the muggle torture fun and glory (in his mind) but his father and mother likely didn’t allow him and told him to go hide in the forest. When he sees the trio come up he must feel particularly frustrated that he is not part of the action and hiding like the trio (who in his mind are not worthy of being in the action). Being in the same state as them probably causes him to lash out in his way – do some muggle baiting (as he considers hermione equal to muggle) and relish his moment of scaring them.

    And I think his lowest point is actually in the last book. When Harry (and ron and hermione following harry) risk their lives to save him and instead of fighting with his classmates or even being neutral and hiding like a coward, he tries to yet again join the death eaters –
    “I’m Draco Malfoy, I’m Draco, I’m on your side!”
    Draco was on the upper landing, pleading with another masked Death Eater. Harry Stunned the Death Eater as they passed: Malfoy looked around, beaming, for his savior, and Ron punched him from under the cloak. Malfoy fell backward on top of the Death Eater, his mouth bleeding, utterly bemused.
    “And that’s the second time we’ve saved your life tonight, you two-faced bastard!” Ron yelled.”

    • DolphinPatronus

      i don’t think he was trying to rejoin the death eaters in that moment i think he was trying to keep from being killed by the death eater who obviously didn’t know who he was

      • The Pensieve

        Respectfully I disagree. In my opinion if he wanted to keep from being killed he could have done what his schoolmates were doing – fight with them, duel..he could have taken the cowards way out and hidden or run away but instead he still said – “I’m on your side”. That is the lowest point IMO.

        • DolphinPatronus

          You make a valid point tho I think at that point he was still trying to reunite with his parents. He was saying “I’m on your side” but he wasn’t actually fighting on either side. He may have been trying to get to them & THEN run & hide. In the end all 3 of the Malfoys lost their “enthusiasm” for the Death Eater cause. Just a thought.

          • The Pensieve

            I didn’t consider that Draco could be trying to get to his parents..thats an interesting thought and changes the context slightly….I think that is entirely plausible – just like his parents on outside are trying any which way to enter the castle (get voldermort to enter the castle and as part of the party enter themselves) Draco too could be trying to get to the death eaters to locate his parents….
            The parallels are interesting- both sides could do the courageous thing and just fight their way to their family but instead both choose the easy way out….until Narcissa lies about harry (which i think takes some guts)

          • DolphinPatronus

            Narcissa’s action throughout took guts IMO even approaching Snape to help Draco in half blood took guts if Voldemort had found out she disregarded his wishes to not speak of it he’d gave killed all 3 of them I also think by the time of the battle in hallows all 3 of them had had enough & wanted it to be over

  • HallowsMaster97

    We need to remember that Draco is 14 at the time of this incidence. He is a young and confused teenager, I really don’t consider Draco “evil” in book 4. He is arrogant and very much influenced by his parents decisions. I believe that the beginning of Half Blood Prince is Draco’s lowest point because at that stage, he strongly believes that Voldemort is right and he shows how proud he is to be part of the death eaters. I think halfway through book 6 Draco realizes that the death eaters are dark, twisted and evil, he realizes that he doesn’t want to be part of that.
    As for this comment, I see it as a very unplanned remark. Draco needed a quick comeback to throw at the trio and he thought of the first thing that came to mind. I really don’t believe that 14 year old Draco actually comprehended what he was saying, he just wanted to make an impression.

    • aubreyms

      I completely agree with this. You really have to keep the kid’s ages in mind here. Frankly, it wasn’t a very witty remark. It always seemed to me that he just wanted to get noticed.

    • The Pensieve

      I agree with you. Context is very important in this case. I equal it to how nowadays in video game talk/culture some kids use language that has a much darker meaning (raped etc.) but they are kids and don’t quite grasp the context of what is being implied. You are right, Draco is 14 and it is a young age and with the kind of parenting he has probably had I do not think he has any concept of how vile his comment truly is.

  • GinnysHex

    I don’t think it out of character for him and though the moment mentioned is indeed vile I always considered his most disgusting and disrespectful moment to actually to be at the end of the book.
    His reaction and lack of respect at the death of Cedric Diggory during the feast and then again on the train going home it totally repugnant to me and I have always seen it as his worst moment/s and it is one of the reasons why I dislike Draco so much.

  • Leah McCurdy

    I think the context is important too. This is one of the few occasions the trio meets Draco outside of Hogwarts.The other occasions, such as in the robes shop with his mother in Book 6 when he makes similar terrible comments and completely disrespects the shop owner, are similar and I quite characteristic. While he can be nasty at Hogwarts too, he is constrained a bit by the presence of teachers and rules (to whatever degree he actually follows them). But in this environment, in the summertime, with his parents and likely many other associated families, he has a bit more bravado. He certainly knows that his parents are involved in the terror that night and so likely feels comfortable that he will not be harmed. I think his comments are also founded in the superiority he feels over everyone, especially muggleborns and muggles. His very harsh comments are targeted at Hermione in a small group of people and out of harms way, so he feels pretty puffed up and a bit invincible. Perhaps adrenaline from the crazy atmosphere also contributed to his extra malice.

    I think he has had far worse moments in the series. These are just words, an empty threat really. But as other commentors have said, later on in the series he attempts murder several times and though not directly, orchestrates Dumbledore’s death. I realize that when he gets the chance to actually “pull the trigger” he wavers but all the premeditation and planning involved and the horrible acts of the cursed necklace and poisoning come from a very dark place. It is all the more intricate because he is compelled to carry out those acts by the threat of death. So fear plays a big role but I find it difficult to argue that Draco is not an intrinsically bad person. While every person is not wholly one thing, Draco has both his good and his bad, I don’t find this type of comment uncharacteristic.

  • Nikki

    Through Harry and Ron’s eyes, the ministry is completely useless, disorganized and corrupt. And what other character would know this other than these two? Draco Malfoy, whose father has already been known to have shady dealings with the ministry. So when the Death Eaters decide to terrorize the camp and the muggles there, Draco knows/believes that no one from the ministry is capable enough to stop the attack. He feels powerful behind this knowledge, and feels like he can make the comments mentioned in the Podcast Question. What repercussions are there? If the Trio complained, who would care or believe them? Lucius Malfoy would not punish his child, and most people know this as well. In addition, there is so much confusion and mayhem that Draco could simply deny everything.

    He is basically exhibiting the traits of a bully; he is hiding behind his invisible wall of so-called power and knows he is safe from any trouble.

  • StoneHallows

    I think it’s actually showing his immaturity. He gets called out on his father being one of the bad guys, and he reacts in a way that he knows will get Harry and Ron worked up. How many times as children have we done this? We know doing something or saying something will make our siblings mad, and since they just made us mad, we want to do whatever we can to make them mad too. Even as adults, sometimes, we will say something hurtful when we are hurt. I think the fact that this is a terrible comment, even for him, is a reaction to the atypical wretchedness of this situation. He’s also in the same hormonal time period as Ron and Harry. How crude are teenaged boys towards women? I do think that crudeness and base-ness (if that’s even a word) IS a very terrible characteristic for someone to have, even a teenaged boy. Is it his WORST, I’m not sure. Cowardness and attempted murder are up there as well, regardless of the circumstances.

  • Jasmine Hinds

    What Draco said was horrible but I feel that he was playing a part. He his saying what he know will make Hermoine feel uncomfortable and what he knows will get under Ron and Harry’s skin. He is still immature and trying to play his part in falling in line to follow his father. Also we have to remember that Draco was brought up in a certain way of thinking and was thought to believe that muggles and muggle borns are beneath him.

  • thesecretbadger16

    My first comment for the podcast question of the week. I think Draco was so excited that his dad was under the death eater mask so it made him feel like he could anything to anyone and other people’s feelings did not matter to him. I think it is a low point for his character because in later books he becomes coward in fear of the death eaters so the book is a turning point for Draco because of the Dark Lord rising again which means his family start to live in fear. But on the other hand I think Draco just said it because he hates muggleborns

  • froggyhpmb3

    I don’t think that I would describe this particular moment as the “lowest point” of Draco’s charcter arc. It is certainly a defining point and almost an indicator as to how he views Death Eater culture at this point. So far, he has seen no evidence to contradict what he has been told by his parents all his life.When he sees torture like this going on, he doesn’t view it so much as vile but as people getting what they deserve. As to it being about women, I don’t think it was meant like that at all. It was certainly an insult to Hermione being a muggle-born but not necessarily to all women.
    His comment to Hermione is certainly nasty. Someone commented on the last episode that he was still very young at this point but, to be fair, he was fourteen at the time. Adolescence, the age the characters in this book are, is an age where you begin to act like an adult. Middle school and high school aged students are forced to think and act at a very high level. To say that Draco is to young to fully comprehend what he means by saying this and other words like “mudblood” is simply untrue. At this point, he fully comprehends what that means.
    This entire book is essentially Draco’s “last hurrah” as an ignorant son of a Death Eater. The situation doesn’t become dire until the end of this book when Voldemort comes back. This book is a turning point in that way because after this, he gets to understand what being a Death Eater means. That it isn’t just belonging to a dark, exclusive crowd and using that influence among your school friends. It involves torture, murder, and essentially evil. None of that is really a part of what is going on at this time in the Quidditch World Cup. What happened there was some form of twisted “fun” giving the “stupid muggles” what they deserve.
    Though it is not entirely clear what Draco meant by this comment, it does mean several things. It is a crude warning and at the same time dirty humor on his part (he is fourteen after all). He’s telling her to run because her kind doesn’t deserve to be a part of the wizarding world and if she doesn’t leave she’ll end up just like the Roberts. This isn’t saying I feel that he cares for her safety at all by the way. He’s simply stating the facts. People are floating high in the air, upside down, with their panties showing, and its all because they are of muggle descent. Clearly the correct thing to do: run.
    This comment is not at all uncharacteristic for Draco. In essence, it is sarcastic, crude, with undertones of racism, and hormones. It is completely natural for Draco’s character to say something like this. I don’t believe that this is the lowest point for Draco and I’m not sure what is. It is the book were I feel his ignorance ends. It isn’t his lowest point necessarily but, definitely his most ignorant. It is the point where he is the most proud of being a Death Eater’s son and can use that to his advantage. He is a Slytherin and in this moment he has power to use to scare people.

  • featherflight1207

    i do believe that this is the lowest point for Draco through-out the entire series. this comment is very vile in nature and the fact that their really is a woman not more the 15 feet away who is dangling in the air makes it all the more disgusting. in book 5 draco hits a low point when he joins the inquisitorial squad and bullies children about with reward from umbridge, however i don’t see how this is any different then draco’s previous behaviour. Draco bullies any-one who he feels is at a lower position then himself such as people younger then him, people with muggle-born heritage and even some-times Crabbe and Goyle. Imobilizing Harry and the stamping on his face in Book 6 is also one of the most dispicable things Draco has done. I feel that though this is horrible, physically hurting some-one is not of huge consequnce in the wizarding world. the Crutiatus curs while causing unbearable pain also causes emotional damage if used to long. on the other hand if hurt physically a basic healing charm such as the one tonks uses on harry can be applied. even when tonks finds harry on the train and asks him about it, though she is unhappy she is not out-raged as i’m an adult would be in the muggle world. it has been discussed before on the show how wizard punishment are different from muggle and i think this plays into how draco probably thought harry would heal himself when the spell wore off.

    thus what draco said at the tournament and the moral consequences really are draco at his lowest

  • http://book7.co.uk/ Cassandra Vablatsky

    For me, this moment is all about the ‘scaling up’ of the Harry-Draco rivalry. Away from Hogwarts, the bitter divisions in the adult world provide the context for the teenagers’ confrontation and we realise that Harry and Draco are the
    inheritors of that world – for good and ill. Apart from anything else, the ‘children’ are growing up and we are forced to appreciate that Draco is more than an unpleasant schoolboy.

    Of course, this has been foreshadowed already – Draco is the first person in the series to use the offensive term ‘Mudblood’ in our hearing (COS7) – but it is still something of a shock to see Malfoy in the midst of such evil ‘looking utterly relaxed’. In retrospect, though, Malfoy is so relaxed because he is a spectator; the reality proves rather different to his imaginings…