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Why Harry Potter Fans Are Comparing Draco Malfoy To Regulus Black

The Harry Potter franchise of books and movies from the mind of J.K. Rowling has become one of the most popular series of all time

While that's largely due to Harry representing virtuous qualities and surrounding himself with supportive allies, you can't have a good story without a worthwhile antagonist, and the Harry Potter stories have more than their fair share of villains getting in Harry's way. Lord Voldemort is the primary big bad, but depending on who you ask, Dolores Umbridge was a far more vile figure. Then you have Draco Malfoy, who through most of the series fills the role of high school bully rather than world-ending threat. 

Over the course of the books and movies, Draco is gradually integrated into Voldemort's Death Eaters, following in his parents' footsteps to one day serve the Dark Lord properly. We see him go from a pain in the butt to a genuine threat to our heroes, before ultimately turning his back on Voldemort's mission and running away with his family in the midst of the final Battle of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2. Depending on who you ask (namely Harry Potter fans on Reddit), Draco's character arc could have been better, especially if he had taken a cue from another former Death Eater who also ended up defecting from Voldemort's side during the First War. 

Harry Potter fans think Draco Malfoy should have shown as much agency as Regulus Black

Regulus Black is only mentioned in passing in the books. He's a character known predominantly for leaving behind the phony locket Harry and Dumbledore steal in Half-Blood Prince. He leaves behind a note mentioning how he defected from Voldemort's side with the initials "R.A.B." His backstory is further expanded upon in the novels, from which we learn he was sorted into Slytherin as a kid and eventually joined Voldemort's forces shortly thereafter; however, once he learned how far the Dark Lord would go to achieve his goals, he switched sides. He stole a locket that was also one of Voldemort's horcruxes and ended up being killed by either Voldemort or on his orders. 

Redditor u/AriEle3 suggests Draco should've displayed more agency in his decision to ultimately abandon Voldemort's cause, stating, "Regulus was ready to die, to ensure that Voldemort would be defeated, despite him having been told all his life that he was on the right side of history, and he did die for that cause. Draco, on the other hand, was just trying to hide in the shadows of his family, trying to avoid Azkaban, because only after Voldemort's defeat, did he acknowledge that what he was doing was wrong and that his ideas were on the wrong side of history." While it's in line for Draco's character to cowardly run away when it's clear his side is going to lose, it would've been more vindicating — and perhaps more interesting — to see him actively stand against what he was taught for so many years.

There's also the matter of the timing of these two defections. Regulus makes his stand at the height of Voldemort's power; Draco only starts to reform after the Dark Lord has clearly lost. Redditor u/ElevenDucks72 writes, "Draco had nothing to lose when he changed. Regulus had everything to lose. And lose he did." When the final moments of the franchise jump forward in time, we see Draco as a husband and father. It appears as though he's managed to move on from his life, and a lot of fans seem to think that finale would've packed more punch had the audience seen him go through a more substantial change. 

As it stands, Draco remains an opportunistic individual who doesn't seem to learn much through the events of the story. He really does deserve to eat slugs.