Of all the somewhat villainous characters in Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy is one of the most interesting and complex because he’s not just a villain. Unlike many of the adult antagonists of the series, Draco is somewhat of a victim who grew up with Death Eater parents, but he also is responsible for many of his actions.
Draco is a character that many fans are fascinated by, and many people argue that he should have been given the more obvious redemption storyline as opposed to Snape. Because Draco is a rather nuanced character, he has many positive and also negative traits.
10 Worst: Insecure
Draco is the type of bully who puts on a big show of being confident and cool, but he’s definitely covering up a lot of insecurities. He wants to be seen as the best, so he uses his father’s social status instead of his own merits.
While being insecure isn’t a great thing, it’s not always that big of a deal. However, in Draco’s case, he lets his insecurity drive how he treats others, and this isn’t okay.
9 Best: Skilled
In the books, Draco is a pre-teen and then teenager, so we don’t see a lot of how he is in adulthood. However, while he might not be top of his class like Hermione or particularly intuitive like Harry, Draco is a skilled wizard.
He does do well in school, even if some of his positive feedback comes through manipulation, and he is quite quick at spellwork in a dueling situation.
8 Worst: Prejudiced
Of all the horrible traits a person can have, being prejudiced toward other people who are different than you is one of the worst. This is almost always a learned trait, and it’s not hard to see who taught Draco to judge and hate other people.
Draco is quite vigilant when he’s young about parroting and believing the views his parents have, and he does and says some awful things because he buys into all of this.
7 Best: Driven
Given that Draco is a Slytherin, it’s no surprise that he has ambition and drive. These are traits that Slytherin house is known for, and Draco desperately wants to be seen as successful. While this isn’t always a good thing, having drive can be a positive thing.
The problem with Draco is that he doesn’t direct this drive towards actually working hard. He’s rather spoiled and entitled, and he expects things to be handed to him.
6 Worst: Mean
There’s no denying that Draco is a bully in his youth. He takes out his issues on other people, and he is happy to pick on those who can’t really fight back such as Neville. He also calls people like Hermione horrible names and is always mocking Ron because his family isn’t rich.
While it’s clear he was taught to act like this and get away with it, there’s also an element of his personality that seems to naturally be cruel.
5 Best: Family-oriented
This is a somewhat complicated trait because it can be both negative and positive in Draco’s case. Caring about family and looking out for them is generally admirable, but given who Draco’s family is, it’s not always great that he worries so much about what he thinks.
4 Worst: Entitled
In many ways, Draco and Dudley are parallel characters. They both have parents that are awful in many ways but that also spoil them all the time. Draco’s parents are particularly powerful and rich, and Draco hasn’t really wanted for anything. He lets his dad buy his position on the Slytherin Quidditch team, and he gets special treatment from Snape.
While the adults in Draco’s life are especially to blame for teaching Draco to be spoiled and entitled, it definitely makes him rather unlikeable and privileged.
3 Best: Intelligent
Draco might be lazy at times, but he’s definitely a smart character. He doesn’t have a hard time learning material when he tries, and he can be quite sneaky and aware of what is going on.
Of course, he doesn’t always use his intellect to good ends, so it’s not always a positive thing. But, it is a strong trait that he has and one that could be used for uplifting purposes especially once Draco reached adulthood.
2 Worst: Selfish
While Draco goes along with his parents and Voldemort, he soon sees the cruelty of Voldemort after he is tasked with killing Dumbledore.
So, while he does change his mind and becomes less committed to Voldemort, he mostly does so because he cares about himself. He saw that he himself was in danger of death, and he only cared about the suffering Voldemort inflicted when he was the one in pain.
1 Best: Adaptable
While Draco does a lot of bad things and has many negative traits, one of his strongest attributes is being adaptable. This is definitely a good survival skill as it allows him to keep himself afloat.
In adulthood, he becomes much less cruel and evil, and he is able to adapt to live a more normal life. He even gets to a point where he doesn’t actively hate Harry.