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Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis



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  #301  
Old December 5th, 2010, 6:30 pm
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by captive_lolita View Post
Why take it out of context? "If necessary" is a world apart from just "kill the others".
I don't see why that qualifier makes a huge amount of difference. He's still willing to kill the other students. He considers the murder of teenagers a minor detail. IMO, the only difference made by "if necessary" is that he's not out to kill for fun on this occasion, he's not Bellatrix. Also, would the DEs really let a whole bunch of witnesses go once they had retrieved the prophecy??


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  #302  
Old December 5th, 2010, 6:48 pm
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

I think it matters from a character standpoint. Noting that one character has a notion of "necessary" murder and has no qualms when that line is crossed does give us a better idea of the character's values and moral philosophy: Lucius rationalizes his actions, is willing to go to extremes for a goal, is opposed to "pointless" murder, but believes in "necessary" casualties.


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  #303  
Old December 5th, 2010, 7:05 pm
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by FurryDice
Also, would the DEs really let a whole bunch of witnesses go once they had retrieved the prophecy??
IMO, the answer is yes. Voldemort wanted to stay under cover back then, and the murder of six students of Hogwarts, at the Ministry of Magic inside the DOM would have been too much to ignore or overlook.

Anyways, I think when Lucius said the 'if necessary' it showed that he (not unlike Draco) has no guts for murder. I know the Diary will be brought up as an evidence that he doesn't mind murder, but it was a very indirect way of killing, unlike throwing a killing curse in someone's face. Using the Diary, he could easily shake off the guilt and since it couldn't be traced back to him nor affect his status, he had the courage to give it to Ginny.
The murder of those children, had it been traced back to him, would've affected his status a lot. And that's what he seemed to care about most, much more than he cared about Voldemort.

I don't think that line necessarily makes him a 'good' person, though, but imo, it shows that he was not a killer, in fact it shows that he's more of a Lockhart person. He can boast and threaten, he can even put people in high danger, but he could never face the real thing.


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  #304  
Old December 5th, 2010, 7:44 pm
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by bellatrix93 View Post
IMO, the answer is yes. Voldemort wanted to stay under cover back then, and the murder of six students of Hogwarts, at the Ministry of Magic inside the DOM would have been too much to ignore or overlook.

Anyways, I think when Lucius said the 'if necessary' it showed that he (not unlike Draco) has no guts for murder. I know the Diary will be brought up as an evidence that he doesn't mind murder, but it was a very indirect way of killing, unlike throwing a killing curse in someone's face. Using the Diary, he could easily shake off the guilt and since it couldn't be traced back to him nor affect his status, he had the courage to give it to Ginny.
The murder of those children, had it been traced back to him, would've affected his status a lot. And that's what he seemed to care about most, much more than he cared about Voldemort.

I don't think that line necessarily makes him a 'good' person, though, but imo, it shows that he was not a killer, in fact it shows that he's more of a Lockhart person. He can boast and threaten, he can even put people in high danger, but he could never face the real thing.
That's a very apt comparison. Indeed, the whole diary-slipping-in-order-to-reach-his-ultimate-goal thing does remind me of Draco giving Katie the necklace in order to have it delivered to Dumbledore in order to kill him.

I do believe though that Lucius wouldn't have hesitated in such a crucial moment as the one up on the Astronomy Tower. I may agree that he doesn't downright fancy 'unnecessary' killings, but I'm rather certain that he'd have done what it takes to keep his master happy.


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  #305  
Old December 5th, 2010, 8:05 pm
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Chrysalis View Post
What? If Hagrid didn't force H & R to go into the forest, neither did Lucius. Once again, I don't understand how you can make the confrontation with the Acromantulas to be all Lucius's fault, but excuse Hagrid. It doesn't make any logical sense. Lucius didn't know they lived in the Forest. Hagrid did.

If we're talking solely about the direct consequences of the Horcrux diary, yes then Lucius is definitely to blame, since HE gave Ginny that diary. But the other bit above? You can't just blame him because he happens to be around.
I can blame him for his behaviour in the scene. I can blame him for making a bad situation worse and I can blame him for being the instigator for the entire mess. The entire scenario is his doing, he wanted the Chamber of Sectrets opened, the Monster let loose and Dumbledore disgraced. All for his own gain because he did not want Arthur's amendments to go through as law. He is culpable because he planned out the entire scheme and he put it in motion without thought of who or what would be injured/killed. If he had not started the scenario Hagrid would not have been arrested and he would never have mentioned 'following the spiders'. It's like a string from a reel being tied to a cat, the string gets tangled around furniture and makes a trap, and if someone trips over that string then the guilty party is the one who tied the string to the cat in the first place. The person who tied the string does not know where the cat will take it, but they know it will take it someplace. They just don't care who gets hurt. And the string will also go back to the person holding the reel.
That's a rather long analogy but it's the best I can do.


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  #306  
Old December 5th, 2010, 8:12 pm
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

But: the BK who sent the kids after the spiders was still Hagrid and so Ron is quite right to be mad at him.. not Lucius. I'm sure if someone actually told Lucius about that incident he'd be like "Huh? And this has... what to do with me?"


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  #307  
Old December 5th, 2010, 8:28 pm
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by captive_lolita View Post
But: the BK who sent the kids after the spiders was still Hagrid and so Ron is quite right to be mad at him.. not Lucius. I'm sure if someone actually told Lucius about that incident he'd be like "Huh? And this has... what to do with me?"
Then Lucius would be wrong. Not for the first time. Of course he would say that. 'What happens to the little people? Who cares, not me.'
And Hagrid did not send the kids after the spiders, he said that the spiders knew the truth. The kids went all on their own because they had to find out what was happening and stop it. I didn't see Lucius stepping forward to say what was happening. Ron didn't know about Lucius, I think if he had he would have went for Lucius' throat.


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  #308  
Old December 5th, 2010, 8:31 pm
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
I can blame him for his behaviour in the scene. I can blame him for making a bad situation worse and I can blame him for being the instigator for the entire mess. The entire scenario is his doing, he wanted the Chamber of Sectrets opened, the Monster let loose and Dumbledore disgraced. All for his own gain because he did not want Arthur's amendments to go through as law. He is culpable because he planned out the entire scheme and he put it in motion without thought of who or what would be injured/killed. If he had not started the scenario Hagrid would not have been arrested and he would never have mentioned 'following the spiders'. It's like a string from a reel being tied to a cat, the string gets tangled around furniture and makes a trap, and if someone trips over that string then the guilty party is the one who tied the string to the cat in the first place. The person who tied the string does not know where the cat will take it, but they know it will take it someplace. They just don't care who gets hurt. And the string will also go back to the person holding the reel.
That's a rather long analogy but it's the best I can do.
That is a good analogy indeed. If you did that to a cat in a room with furniture, it is among the foreseeable consequences that 'traps' might occur and someone might trip over those. That is exactly the difference to Lucius and the Acromantula. Among all the things he must have reckoned with when implanting the diary on Ginny (and I include actual deaths here - which only by sheer dumb luck didn't happen), Harry and Ron being eaten by Acromantula just isn't among these foreseeable consequences.

If you ask your neighbour if he can pick up your laundry on his way home, and he gets run over by a car - it's not your fault. It doesn't become your fault either if your initial intention when asking that neighbour was to get him out of the house for some time because you meant to burgle the place. I believe the correct English term is "objective attribution" - which is completely lacking here, as well as in the "Lucius and the Acrumantula" combination.


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  #309  
Old December 5th, 2010, 8:35 pm
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Fleur du mal View Post
That is a good analogy indeed. If you did that to a cat in a room with furniture, it is among the foreseeable consequences that 'traps' might occur and someone might trip over those. That is exactly the difference to Lucius and the Acromantula. Among all the things he must have reckoned with when implanting the diary on Ginny (and I include actual deaths here - which only by sheer dumb luck didn't happen), Harry and Ron being eaten by Acromantula just isn't among these foreseeable consequences.

If you ask your neighbour if he can pick up your laundry on his way home, and he gets run over by a car - it's not your fault. It doesn't become your fault either if your initial intention when asking that neighbour was to get him out of the house for some time because you meant to burgle the place. I believe the correct English term is "objective attribution" - which is completely lacking here, as well as in the "Lucius and the Acrumantula" combination.
Asking my neighbour to pick up my laundry is not a criminal act that could lead to children being murdered in their school either. That is the thing. At the very beginning of this Lucius commits a criminal act that could and almost did lead to murder. Everything that happened, happened as a result of Lucius' criminal act.


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  #310  
Old December 5th, 2010, 8:41 pm
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
Asking my neighbour to pick up my laundry is not a criminal act that could lead to children being murdered in their school either. That is the thing. At the very beginning of this Lucius commits a criminal act that could and almost did lead to murder. Everything that happened, happened as a result of Lucius' criminal act.
But when you ask your neighbour in order to get him out of the house so you can break in, your intent would indeed be criminal. Nevertheless, the interference of third parties can only be attributed to your guilt if it were among the foreseeable consequences. I'm sorry I can't express myself better in English here, I hope some English native speaker can crop up the actual English terms for these.


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Old December 5th, 2010, 8:48 pm
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Fleur du mal View Post
But when you ask your neighbour in order to get him out of the house so you can break in, your intent would indeed be criminal. Nevertheless, the interference of third parties can only be attributed to your guilt if it were among the foreseeable consequences. I'm sorry I can't express myself better in English here, I hope some English native speaker can crop up the actual English terms for these.
I would never break into my neighbour's house, but if I did and my neighbour came home, heard me upstairs rifling through stuff, got a bat to bash me over the head but instead got my his wife who was sleeping upstairs and came down for a drink of water, then I would be guilty for that as well as breaking in. I would be guilty for any action that was a direct result of my breaking in. There is no way around it, my nieghbour would never have bashed his wife on the head if I had not been where I had no legal right to be and was in the process of robbing him. I would be the criminal whose action caused the injury.


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  #312  
Old December 5th, 2010, 8:51 pm
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

I truly think we're mistaking each other. Your example is absolutely valid. It's just categorically different from my example - or the Lucius/Acromantula question.


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  #313  
Old December 5th, 2010, 9:13 pm
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

You know when a thread can easily be deemed off-topic? If one reads through the last page and has no idea how it relates to the subject line on top of the page. Burglaries and neighbours are undoubtedly nice analogies but you shouldn't lose sight of the topic, which happens to be Lucius Malfoy, not moral dilemmas in criminal law.


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  #314  
Old December 5th, 2010, 9:20 pm
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

I'd still like to spark the discussion of what fate would have awaited Lucius if Voldemort had won ^^


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Old December 5th, 2010, 9:45 pm
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Fleur du mal View Post
I do believe though that Lucius wouldn't have hesitated in such a crucial moment as the one up on the Astronomy Tower. I may agree that he doesn't downright fancy 'unnecessary' killings, but I'm rather certain that he'd have done what it takes to keep his master happy.
I think we can conclude this from the scene in Malfoy Manor, in which Lucius urges Draco to identify Harry, and Draco does not want to.


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  #316  
Old December 5th, 2010, 9:47 pm
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by captive_lolita View Post
I'd still like to spark the discussion of what fate would have awaited Lucius if Voldemort had won ^^
I don't think he'd have survived the night. Voldemort made it rather clear what he had in mind to do to Draco, so I guess they'd either have tried to flee, or if that wasn't possible, try and dissuade Voldemort - which wouldn't have been possible either, imo.


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Old December 6th, 2010, 12:46 am
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Fleur du mal View Post
I don't think he'd have survived the night. Voldemort made it rather clear what he had in mind to do to Draco, so I guess they'd either have tried to flee, or if that wasn't possible, try and dissuade Voldemort - which wouldn't have been possible either, imo.
That prospect actually makes me feel even more terrible for the Malfoys than I did before. Nevermind the ethical discussions -from one's own point of view, one is always right, and all his early school life Draco boasted about his great dad, eventually getting less subtle about the affiliation with Voldemort that he felt made his dad so awesome... and in the end that same affiliation brought the family nothing but trouble v.v Just imagining the "great" Lucius Malfoy Avada'd and thrown away like Voldemort does all his followers who have outlived their usefulness... It's pitiful.


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  #318  
Old April 20th, 2011, 7:26 pm
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

I thought I'd revive this thread as I've been thinking a lot about Lucius lately.

Why did he become a DE in the first place? Did he believe in Voldemort's ideals of pure-blood supremacy (well, we know he believed in that) and think he would be helping to create a new order in the wizarding world? Was he that much of an idealist? Was he just aligning himself with 'the biggest bully in the playground' like Pettigrew? Or did he see in loyalty to Voldemort, something which would serve his self-interest?

It seems to me that Lucius' defining characteristic is self-interest. Did he see in Voldemort a way to advance his interests which would not have been available without him? He seemed to do pretty well when Voldemort was Vapormort, so why did he need to be Voldemort's man? Or wasn't he?


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  #319  
Old April 20th, 2011, 8:47 pm
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

The thing is, Lucius isn't that old. He was 42/43 in DH. Pretty young for a wizard and not old for a muggle either. When the 1st War ended Lucius was only 25-26. Voldemort's raise started 11 years earlier (didn't they say the Wizarding World was living in fear for 11 years before Voldemort was defeated by Harry?). That means Lucius could've become a DE while he was still at Hogwarts, at the age of 16/17. Hard to say what made him become one, but I'm pretty sure he was not as mature as he was during the 2nd War. It could've been pureblood ideals connected with immaturity.

One very important thing though, Lucius wasn't just any DE. He was a very powerful one. Voldemort trusted him and Bellatrix with pieces of his soul. We know what Bellatrix was like and what she was capable of doing. I'd say Lucius is right there with her. And let's not forget Barty Crouch and what he told Draco about the things he could tell him about Lucius.

Lucius is just a lot more rational and intelligent than Bellatrix and Barty. He never put Voldemort before his family (and himself). That's why he lost power later. But when you think about it, regardless of the things he did (abandoned Voldemort, destroyed his horcrux), Voldemort still trusted him to lead the DEs. And IMO that wasn't a bad decision on Voldemort's part. If the Order didn't come, I'm pretty sure Lucius would've got the prophecy as his plan to get Harry to the MoM was flawless. He read him like a book and knew exactly what his weak spot was. Whether he would let go of the kids later I don't know. He wasn't afraid of more powerful figures, let alone kids as witnesses.

I used to compre him a lot to Draco because JKR says they look alike and immediatelly thought they must be alike as well. But the more I think about him, the more I think Draco and Lucius are only similar in appearance. While Draco couldn't kill Dumbledore, Lucius obviously did enough evil at similar age that Voldemort trusted him with a peice of his soul. Draco wanted to be like Lucius, but he failed. That's probably thanks to both Lucius and Narcissa. They didn't raise him to be like Lucius. Lucius did have one good point. He did love his family. Voldemort knew it and that's why Draco became a DE. To punish Lucius. Narcissa basically said it. Draco's death would be the biggest punishment for Lucius. Not his own death. Voldemort was also a great psychologist. He didn't kill Lucius off later. He humiliated him by taking his wand away: making him as good as a Muggle. I'm sure Lucius would've prefered death.

All in all, we don't know much about Lucius, but if we trust Voldemort's judgement we can assume several things:
1) He is a powerful wizard. That's why Voldemort trusted him with his horcrux.
2) He is intelligent. That's why he lead the DEs and not somebody more loyal like Bellatrix.
3) He has a huge ego. That's why Voldemort didn't kill him, but took his wand instead.
4) He puts his family before Voldemort. That's Draco's tragic story in HBP.


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  #320  
Old April 20th, 2011, 8:49 pm
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Re: Lucius Malfoy: Character Analysis

Is Lucius loyal to Voldemort or rather himself and his family?

Family. He did not fight in the final battle. Narcissa and him were looking for Draco.

What did he know about Riddle’s diary?

Hmm.... I think he only knew it would open the chamber of secrets. I doubt he knew it was a Hocrux.

Fathers play an important role in the books. Is Lucius a good father?

No. He taught his son racist and bigoted morals. He cared for his son yes but it's not the same thing as being a good father.

What is/was his relationship to Bellatrix Lestrange/Arthur Weasley/his son Draco/Albus Dumbledore/Narcissa Malfoy/other Death Eaters/Severus Snape/Harry Potter?

I think he found Bellatrix annoying and maybe even scary. He hated Arthur because Arthur symbolized everything he hated such as poverty and muggles. He loves his son greatly as we saw in DH. I think he found Dumbledore "an old muggle loving fool". He loved Narcissa I think... (or at least I like to think so). I think he did not really care for other DE's except maybe Snape. I think Snape was a good friend of Lucius. It depends with Harry. If Draco told him that Potter saved him then maybe he would be secretly thankful towards him. But I doubt he would ever show it.

Why does Lucius continue to serve Voldemort despite his ill treatment of him in DH? Do you think his loyalty was wavering?
I think he was scared that if he did not obey. Voldemort would kill him and his family.

How do you think Lucius reacted to Voldemort's defeat? What do you think happened to him afterwards?


I think he was happy that he was gone. Well we know he did not go to Azkaban. Maybe he would get out of the country for a bit and then come back when all the hostility towards him is gone.


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