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Draco Malfoy : Brilliant and Powerful, or Competent and Mediocre?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Banner, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. Banner

    Banner Dark Lady

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    I never could decide - is Draco intelligent and powerful, or an average brain, average strength wizard? He was Snape's Potions star, but that might be nepotism. None of his childish plans against Harry worked, but he held Rosmerta under Imperious for ages. He was smart enough to NOT give away Harry's presence on the train - so he could beat up Our Hero in leisured comfort. The first two murder attempts in Book6 failed, but the Vanishing cabinet was a spectacular success.

    If he is supposed to be Harry's opposite, then I'd guess he's smart enough but impulsive. My opinion of his father is that Draco BETTER be a straight-O student. I can actually see Lucius holding Draco under Imperious every summer, forcing him to study and practice Quidditch continually, to make sure that the boy performs "up to the standards of a Malfoy."

    Draco didn't really engage his sneaky Slytherin side until his family was threatened. It seems that there WAS a lot of love there.
     
  2. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I wouldn't say he was brilliant by any stretch of the word, but certainly more competent than Harry when it came to magic (except in dueling - Harry had better instincts when it came to that).
     
  3. The Mysterious Nobody

    The Mysterious Nobody Auror

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    Quite average, if you ask me. The only real 'power' he has, and the only one he's always flaunting, is the fortune and influence of his family name and his ancient pureblood status, rather than his magical prowess.

    He's always shown as more of a coward and somewhat, 'manipulator', but not an excellent or even 'good' wizard. Apparently he's supposed to be good at potions, but again, we'll never know because Snape was teaching and he favored Slytherins over the rest of students and Malfoy over the rest of Slytherin. The only strength you can give him, is that he knows Occlumency at a very young age while Harry fails badly at it.
     
  4. Banner

    Banner Dark Lady

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    I know *exactly* who I blame for Harry's failure at Occlumency - and it isn't a confused, unmotivated child who is undergoing physical and mental torture simultaneously. Come to think of it, Based On The Evidence, BELLATRIX is a better teacher of Occlumency than Snape.
    * shudder and gag *
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
  5. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I think you're confusing fanon with canon. Harry didn't try or practice, even though he had all the motivation he needed - the knowledge that Voldemort had access to his mind. He let his personal grudge against Snape get in the way of becoming a better wizard. He refused to learn. You can't blame Snape - even if he had been as civil as can be (unlikely) Harry still would have had a grudge against him.

    Plus, the nature of Harry's training meant that Snape was right not to be civil. He was learning to keep Voldemort out of his mind, and Voldemort was certainly not going to be civil when trying to break in. There was nothing wrong with Snape's teaching, as we know that Occlumency in canon has no fancy mindscapes, shields or barriers - it is simply a matter of willpower: keeping your mind blank and having control over what images and memories your "mind's eye" is thinking of. This is all Harry needed, it was all Snape taught, and Harry failed.

    Or Malfoy was simply the better learner. JKR has said in an interview that Malfoy was more naturally disposed towards Occlumency than Harry due to the colder, less emotional and more compartmentalized nature of his mind.
     
  6. Palver

    Palver High Inquisitor

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    I'd say that Malfoy is mediocre like Harry is. Otherwise he would rub his magical prowess in his face every time. As there was no insults towards Harry's magic from Malfoy in all 7 books, we can conclude that he is an average wizard.
     
  7. nonjon

    nonjon Alumni Retired Staff

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    Hey Taure, she's actually asking "Draco Malfoy : Brilliant and Powerful, or Competent and Mediocre?" Forget confusing canon with fanon, she's lost all touch with reality.

    This looks to be as interesting and useful a discussion as asking on mugglenet, "Ginny Weasley: Diseased useless gutter slut or just a plain-looking whore for attention?"

    And for the record, I'm of the opinion that even if you set Draco on fire with the intensity of the sun, he still wouldn't be brilliant. The spineless albino abortion-gone-wrong would find a way to burn dull and uninteresting.
     
  8. Hibiki

    Hibiki First Year

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    Yes Taure, you are quite right, when you say Harry had absolutely no motivation to learn Occlumency. Not even when his physical health was in danger in book 7 by the link between Harry and Voldemort.

    But there is still one thing, that you are blatantly overlooking.

    "Clear your mind", said Snape, followed by, "Legilimens!"

    I would really like to see you learning something, when you have no one telling you HOW to do that.

    Having a book in Occlumency would not be good at helping, as it has to do with meditation and this is best practiced with someone knowing how to di it right.

    And Draco learning Occlumency from Bella at a young age?

    I always had the impression that Bella was imprisoned in Azkaban, from the attack on the Longbottoms up to the Prison Break in Book 5.
     
  9. Banner

    Banner Dark Lady

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    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
  10. The Mysterious Nobody

    The Mysterious Nobody Auror

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    I don't know about you, but I think that 15-16 is still a pretty young age...

    Well, Harry learned to cast a Patronus at age 13, confronted Voldemort 5 times before the final battle and survived, killed a Basilisk at 12 to save Ginslut, taught Defence to other students (even older than himself), duelled and defeated Death Eaters at 15 and killed a Dark Lord with 'Expelliarmus' and that still doesn't make him a good wizard...

    So why should all that make Malfoy an 'excellent' and 'brilliant' wizard?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
  11. Garret P.I.

    Garret P.I. Backtraced

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    I'm with nonjon on this... the choices here are far too limited.

    IMO Draco was neither brilliant and powerful, nor competent and mediocre.

    He gave all the signs of being utterly dependent on his father's name and fortune to get by in life....

    In short... he is the magical community's equivalent of a male Paris Hilton.

    That he held a bar owner under the control of the Imperius curse or that he got the vanishing cabinet into Hogwarts is purely indicative of the old addage that even a broken clock is right twice a day, and even then, Dumbledore appears to have known precisely what he was doing anyway.

    Later on, he was placed under constant threat of death of his parents... so it's little wonder that he was able to learn the unforgivables, that's not an indication of competence... just the ability to learn. Competence requires dedication. When you're under mortal stress the impetus to learn something is far greater than in normal everyday school. So i'd credit the stress and situation far more than any inate brilliance or even competence on his part.

    Now, onto occlumency... Harry was NOT instructed by Snape. Instruction has three parts... theory, application, repetition. Snape did not give any instruction on theory he just shouted "clear your mind". There was no discussion, no explanation... just attacks. Furthermore... how can you practice something when no theory or explanation of what is to be practiced is given.

    Take a martial art and you'll know precisely what I mean. It's not enough for someone to say, "kick" or "punch this target 500 times a day" The instructor shows you HOW to kick and punch correctly. How to apply force in the right way, how to chamber a punch, how to snap a kick properly and what area of the foot to apply to the target... these are all needed to be known. Likewise, Snape's litany of "clear your mind" is useless since it carries no instruction on HOW one is to reach such a state.

    Furthermore, as to repetition... they had lessons how often? If you spread out lessons too far you teach nothing.

    Personally, I'd say that Draco is mediocre in power, and pathetically below average when it comes to motivation until he's forced or threatened...He'd be much happier to just slide by and life off the family fortune.

    Hell, he had to buy his way onto the slytherin team to get the seeker position. That's a good indicator of his skills.

    That said, is Draco supposed to be Harry's rival? Hell no. He's just JKR's sock puppet for the one rich ponce in every school that tries to pretend he's better than everyone else. He's supposed to be a racist asshole that pisses the other characters off.. nothing more or less... or at least that's my take on the situation. Your milage may vary depending on how you view the relationship.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
  12. Banner

    Banner Dark Lady

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    * cringe *
    Good point. I think I've managed to block that memory - it's so far outside all canon and logic, it's a hard concept for me to hold.
     
  13. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I think that's the point. All of Harry's successes are down to luck, Dumbledore pulling the strings, unlikely circumstances and the failures of his enemies. In contrast, Malfoy's success in the area of complex enchantments in relatively skilled.

    That's a vast over-generalisation. Certainly that's how they do things in the military (The U.K. Army uses the acronym EDIP - Explain, Demonstrate, Imitate, Practice) but it does not apply to all things. Certainly it does not apply to magic. The most glaring of exceptions to this rule seems to me to be Harry's casting of the Sectumsempra spell: he did not know the theory (hell, he didn't even know what it did), he had never applied this non-existent theory before, nor had he ever practiced. Yet he cast it successfully the first time.

    Another example, one more similar to Occlumency, is the instance of Priori Incantatem in the graveyard in GOF. Harry knew nothing about it, nor had he ever practiced it, yet he was still successful in applying will power to the situation.

    The same is true of Occlumency. Perhaps "clear your mind" is all the theory there is, and the rest is just willpower. Your will to not think of a particular thing against another wizards will to bring that memory to the surface.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
  14. Banner

    Banner Dark Lady

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    That makes a lot of sense. I wonder if Lucius *meant* to produce a ... a ... good-for-nothing bum, or if he just crushed all signs of spine out of his kid as some kind of side effect of being a power-hungry amoralist.
     
  15. InfernoCannon

    InfernoCannon Seventh Year

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    Malfoy falls into neither of the catergories, but more of a mixture of them.

    From a magically powerful point of veiw, he's rather mediocre as. He has lackeys do the fighting for him, which is why Crabbe and Goyle are around him so often. But, he is from a mental perspective quite strong. He thinks his plans through in HBP, and the Vanishing Cabinet is a great idea. In short, he's what a Slytherin should be- painstakingly goes through his plans for flaws, but makes sure that when push comes to shove he isn't there to take the blame for the plan.

    Also, about Snape only saying "Clear your Mind" in order to teach Harry Occlumency. I admit, Snape could have done other things to help Harry learn Occlumency but the truth is Snape can't tell Harry how to clear his mind- he is, after all, largely ignorant to Harry's thought patterns. Why he does things, why that way and all that is only really understood by who did it.
     
  16. Seratin

    Seratin Proudmander ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I just cant think of a single example in the series where Draco has roven to be a better wizard than Harry. Potions is the ony class he really excels in and that's sketchy at best because his head was permanently up snapes anus.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
  17. The Doctor

    The Doctor Unspeakable

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    Sectumsempra, I think, is just a matter of power: hell, it's probably just a supercharged cutting charm or something.

    Occlumency is entirely different. You can't expect Harry to be able to defend his mind properly without being told how to do it. Snape's lessons consisted of him saying "clear your mind!" and then sucking his memories out for the rest of the time.

    And Malfoy? Woefully average. Most of you forget that Snape was helping the Ferret during HBP! Not to mention the possibility that Dumbledore knew what was going on, and allowed it!

    But this is HBP; what do you expect?
     
  18. Mechanicalchrist

    Mechanicalchrist Groundskeeper

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    I think that Malfoy had the capacity to become a fairly exceptional wizard, but due to his coddled upbringing he lacked the proper motivation to apply himself. When he finally came under significant pressure he did manage to perform something remarkable, but pretty much went right back to being useless after that. In the end I think he's just wasted potential.
     
  19. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Pure conjecture.

    Which is why I also provided the example of the Priori Incantatum as something that is similar to Occlumency, which you conveniently ignored.

    What I'm suggesting that there is no "how" - it's just will power. Either you have the will power to clear your mind, or you don't. You guys are acting like it's a hard concept to grasp, requiring much theoretical work, talking about meditation and such. It isn't.

    I'm sure we've all tried to not think of something before: a bad mental image, or a memory we didn't want to remember, or whatever. There is nothing more to clearing your mind than doing just that: clearing your mind. Exerting your will power to think of nothing, or at the least think of something other than what you don't want to be thinking of.

    The only thing it takes to get better at is practice: the one thing Harry wasn't willing to do.

    And you seem to have forgotten that Malfoy refused his assistance...

    Dumbledore knew Malfoy's mission certainly, but he had no clue about the Vanishing Cabinet. He was caught off guard by that, which was what led to his death, planned though it may have been.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
  20. Wildfeather

    Wildfeather The Nidokaiser ~ Prestige ~

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    At best, Malfoy is average. Not extremely powerful by any means, but when he was forced to the extreme, often like Harry was he managed to find the solution, or luck into it. I would say JK made Malfoy his rival and equal in all ways, if I didn't know better I would say that the prophecy was about Malfoy. That would be a funny one shot...

    Back on topic, I think you are wrong about how theory applies in magic. Priori Incantatem is wand based, and probably falls under the wand rules/magic (the rules wand ownership follows) and probably had little to do with Voldemort or Harry's magical knowldege. Dumbledore said he'd never seen it occur and he's assumed to be the fountain of magical knowledge.

    And maybe you might be special, but some people just can't clear their minds. I myself can't sit for more then a second before a new thought occurs to me, and I have a decent attention span. It is something that has to be taught, probably like meditation. True, Harry could have worked harder but no amount of studying a book could make up for how he was taught. When the Priori Incantatem occured, wasn't that a battle of wills with Voldemort? Are you trying to say that Snape has more will power then Voldemort, something you claim is the basis of occlumency.
     
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