That is the great thing about how our perceptions of characters determine if we like them or not. That’s the fun of imagining what characters are like outside of the storyline, on a daily basis. Lucius was the only Death Eater to to receive a full character arc in the franchise, but there is still so much I want to learn about him.
And now we plummet into a massive part of Draco-hyper-fan’s anti-Lucius “proof”; and that is that we do not have much of an idea of what Draco’s home life was like. So, as any babbling Draco lover would, they make the bold assumption that Draco was abused. I have reiterated multiple times that it is to make others feel sorry for Draco. Although, other than that...there really is no other reason for these claims aside from personal perceptions and the lack of knowledge in the actual psychology of parenting types. Which is ok. People naturally assume things about others because it is what our brains are wired to do. It makes our world more simple to grasp...these assumptions must be altered the more we gather about these people. But parents can be strict, yet not abusive, as well as vice versa. Parents can be strict and simultaneously abusive. Having said this, here are the three main types of parenting with examples: (Psychology, 11th Edition by David G. Myers and C. Nathan DeWall, chapter 5: Developing Through the Life Span, page 202)
- Authoritarian Parents are coercive. They impose rules and expect obedience. “Don’t interrupt.” “Keep your room clean.” “Why? Because I said so.”
- Authoritative Parents are confrontative. They set rules and explain punishments but tend to let older children especially join discussions on making decisions.
- Laissez-Faire/Permissive Parents are unresponsive. They have few expectations of their children and minimal rules.
Now, let’s put Lucius’s parenting style under one of these categories. Not the Malfoy’s parenting style, only Lucius’s, because apparently Narcissa is 100% a great mother, while Lucius is just an ignorant, psychotic waste of life. From the small amount of interaction we see in the franchise between Lucius and his son, we can make the assumption that Lucius is an authoritarian parent. His short commands to Draco with no explanations and his stern finality in response to Draco’s protests make it appear obvious. But Draco defenders are going to be shook when this ol’ Luci lover (I had to use that nickname here once, forgive me) has this trick up her sleeve; I’m going to use these people’s logic against them—that is, the fact that we are unaware of Draco’s home life, hence we cannot determine that Lucius is authoritarian all the time. It makes sense, in Malfoy-terms, that Lucius is more of a firm, no-nonsense daddo outside the Manor, because public image is highly important to him and the other Malfoys. But this story is told from Harry Potter’s point of view, so we never get “a day in the life of the Malfoys”. So how do we know Lucius is not more of a relaxed parent at home? He can still have poor parenting skills as Rowling intended him to have, but he could be two different people when it comes to being out in the public eye versus being at home. While it is common to see authoritarian parents be legitimately abusive, the other two types can be as well. And being authoritarian does not automatically determine if a parent is abusive. A parent may be authoritarian depending on the age of their child, the setting/situation, etc. If a child misbehaves, obviously parents are going to step in and up the strictness levels. If the child ages and is more well behaved, the parents are going to be more authoritative, allowing them to have a say and becoming somewhat more laid-back. The Borgin and Burkes example that fans try to use in order to back up their claims with is not an ideal supporter, because Draco is twelve years old and is acting like a selfish little twerp, saying “I thought you were going to buy me a present” to his father, who then says he is going to buy Draco a racing broom. Draco defenders argue that Lucius was ignoring Draco’s “real wants”, and that he was pressuring/forcing Draco to play Quidditch when Draco wanted some other present. If we take a look back at the beginning of Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone, (Chapter 5, Diagon Alley, page 77) one of Draco’s lines of dialogue is, “I think I’ll bully Father into buying me one (a new broom) and I’ll smuggle it in somehow.” That does sound familiar, doesn’t it? Now why on earth would Lucius tell Draco that he’s buying a racing broom if Draco was no longer interested in playing Quidditch? It’s clear Lucius intended on waiting until Draco’s second year to buy him his racing broom, and if anything, we should feel a little bad for Lucius since he has to put up with Draco being a self-centered brat. (Oh wait, of course Draco is spoiled. Never mind. Dang it Lucius, stop letting Draco boss you around!) Buying your kid the latest, best model of a new racing broom-