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Why Draco Malfoy Deserved Snape’s Redemtion Arc

Recently I have been thinking a lot about the Harry Potter series. I re-read the books (for the millionth time) and watched all the movies for the first time and remembered why I loved them when I was a child! BUT I also remembered all the reasons I don’t like the books! J.K. Rowling has been disowned by most of the fandom for her objectively problematic words and behaviors, but some of her smaller mistakes are still being debated. One of the most hotly debated is Snape’s role in the books. Some believe that he was a real double agent throughout, and that his love for Lily Potter was pure. I am here to tell those people that they are wrong. 

Every time I read the books I get more and more frustrated with Snape and the way Harry completely forgives him in The Deathly Hallows. On the flip side of the coin, Draco Malfoy deserved better. It is my steadfast belief that Snape got the redemption arc that Draco deserved. Here are my top FIVE reasons why:

  1. Snape was the creepiest character in the series and he was basically an incel. His relationship with Lily was super weird. He believed that she wasn’t as good as him because she wasn’t a “pureblood,” and basically pulled a Mr. Darcy by falling in love with her against his “better” judgement without the becoming-a-better-person part.

  2. Draco had a lot of trouble when he was at school but he is proof that troubled children who grow up in toxic households can break the cycle of abuse. He was only a bully because his father was a bully. Any left-leaning person who has conservative parents can relate to being raised in a household that doesn’t lend itself to kindness and understanding. Thankfully, we are all capable of outgrowing our parents and we see Draco do this at the end of the series. 

  3. Snape was incapable of forgiveness and personal growth. The way that he bullied Harry for looking like James was so immature. Harry was a literal 11-year-old who knew next to nothing about his parents and Snape immediately put all of his pent up anger and resentment on this child. James may have been wrong to bully Snape, but Snape had YEARS to get over it and he never did.

  4. On that note, Draco was a child! He was manipulated by everyone he knew: his parents, his friends and their parents, his teachers, even his headmaster (I’m coming for you next, Dumbledore). One can argue that he should have known better but growing up in a cult is really difficult. It would have been so much more satisfying if Harry and Draco had reconciled and forgiven each other because we had watched them grow for seven whole years! Both of them grew up so much when Snape refused to mature his entire life. 

  5. Finally, there were also so many other better options! What about Sirius Black who was left to rot in prison and then got to spend 30 seconds with Harry before he was murdered? What about Remus Lupin who was estranged from society for years and also didn’t get to spend enough time with Harry? Draco’s parents Narcissa and Lucius deserved better for crying out loud!

In conclusion, Snape being the one person that got a real redemption arc is so characteristically gross from J.K. Rowling and I will never forgive either of them. Go out and discuss with your Potterheads!

Katie Oestmann

Augustana '20

I'm a current Junior at Augustana College studying International Business, English, and French.
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