Skip to Content

Lucius Malfoy Character Analysis: Pureblood Oligarch

Lucius Malfoy Character Analysis: Pureblood Oligarch

Our readers support us. This post may contain affiliate links. We earn from qualifying purchases. Learn More

Lucius Malfoy is the father of Draco Malfoy. A pure-blood wizard, he was a Death Eater during both wizarding wars. He evaded Azkaban after the fall of Lord Voldemort, which meant that he was able to orchestrate the opening of the Chamber of Secrets. Lucius later displeased the Dark Lord with various failures and lost his status among fellow Death Eaters. He changed sides just before the end of the Second Wizarding War.

About Lucius Malfoy

Blood StatusPure-Blood
OccupationDeath Eater Hogwarts Governor
Zodiac SignTaurus (speculative)

Lucius Malfoy Early Life

Lucius Malfoy was born into a wealthy, pure-blood wizarding family with a connection to the dark arts. He would have been brought up believing in the importance of blood purity, and the superiority of wizards over muggles. This made him a perfect fit for Slytherin when he attended Hogwarts.

Lucius became a leader among his peers at school due to respect held for his family and his natural confidence. He was one of the students that Professor Slughorn chose to take under his wing as part of the “Slug Club”. Slughorn believed that the boy was destined for great things. Lucius was also made Prefect in his fifth year.

At school, he met his future wife Narcissa Malfoy, and also befriended younger Slytherin student Severus Snape. That he would befriend a boy clearly considered a misfit and with questionable blood is interesting. Lucius could clearly see Snape’s potential.

While at school, there was an increase in dark magical activity and attacks on Muggles in general in the wizarding world. Lucius found himself drawn to this. He seems already to have been a rallying point for future Death Eaters at Hogwarts. Lily Evans noted this about Lucius when encouraging her friend Severus to choose better friends.

While at school, Lucius also developed a dislike for Albus Dumbledore, who was then the Head of Transfiguration, mostly for his outspoken, pro-Muggle opinions. When Dumbledore became headmaster of Hogwarts, Lucius believed that this was the worst thing to ever happen to the school.

Lucius in the Slug Club

Lucius Malfoy joins the Death Eaters

After school, Lucius Malfoy married the pure-blood witch Narcissa Black and became the master of Malfoy Manor. He used his wealth to develop connections within the wizarding community and to give to many causes. This earned him positions such as Governor of Hogwarts.

Malfoy’s been giving generously to all sorts of things for years… gets him in with the right people… then he can ask favours… delay laws he doesn’t want passed… Oh, he’s very well-connected, Lucius Malfoy.

Arthur Weasly describing Lucius Malfoy, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

But while he was maintaining this respectable life, Lucius Malfoy also joined Lord Voldemort’s inner circle. He became a Death Eater. To protect their identities from one another, the Death Eaters wore individually styled masks. It is not known which of the many atrocities committed by the Death Eaters involved Lucius Malfoy.

Lucius rose through the ranks and soon became Lord Voldemort’s right-hand man. He retained the respect that he earned among other Death Eaters after the fall of Lord Voldemort. Malfoy was able to avoid prison by claiming that he had been under the Imperius Curse. He also used the many connections that he had developed over the years.

Malfoy family
Malfoy Family

Lucius Malfoy and the Cause

Lucius brought up his son Draco in a way that emulated his own upbringing. He taught Draco that his pure-blood made him special and better than other wizards. Lucius also taught him to hate muggles and muggle-born wizards.

Lucius raised Draco to regret that the Dark Lord had not risen to power, but also taught him loyalty to the overall cause over the individual. He did nothing to try and find Lord Voldemort following his fall.

Lucius thought to align himself with other dark wizards who might progress their pure-blood cause. He even waited to see what Harry Potter was like. Many thought that he must be an innately born powerful dark wizard to have caused the downfall of Lord Voldemort as a baby. Lucius was disappointed when he finally met Harry.

Lucius remained close with other former death eaters, especially Crabbe, and Goyle. He even encouraged friendship between Draco and the sons of Crabbe and Goyle, who were all the same age. He was also friends with Igor Karkaroff. Lucius considered sending Draco to Durmstrang rather than Hogwarts, but Narcissa wanted Draco closer to home.

When they decided that Draco would go to Hogwarts, Lucius used his connections to join the Board of Governors. One of his first acts was to try and have The Fountain of Fair Fortune banned from the Hogwarts library.

Any work of fiction or nonfiction that depicts interbreeding between wizards and Muggles should be banned from the bookshelves of Hogwarts. I do not wish my son to be influenced into sullying the purity of his bloodline by reading stories that promote wizard-Muggle marriage.

Lucius Malfoy, Tales of Beedle the Bard

Albus Dumbledore refused, and so began Lucius’ long campaign to have him removed as headmaster of Hogwarts.

Lucius Malfoy and the Chamber of Secrets

Before his fall, Lord Voldemort had trusted Lucius with an enchanted diary. He told Lucius that if the book could be smuggled back into Hogwarts, it would open the Chamber of Secrets and see muggle-borns eradicated from Hogwarts.

In 1992, Lucius Malfoy already realized that Harry Potter was not the dark wizard that he was waiting for. At the same time, Arthur Weasley was raiding wizarding homes looking for dark or illegally enchanted objects. Lucius decided that it was time to get rid of the book and send it to Hogwarts. He decided to slip the book to Ginny Weasley, so that he could also attack Arthur Weasley’s reputation when it was discovered that it was his daughter who opened the chamber.

Lucius Malfoy’s house-elf Dobby was aware of the plan and tried to save Harry from being hurt by the monster, causing Harry a lot of problems along the way. Dobby often had to punish himself for his actions since they were against the wishes of his master Lucius.

As he waited for events to unfold, he also bought Nimbus 2001 broomsticks for the Slytherin Quidditch team, securing a place on the team for Draco. He even visited the school to watch his son play, including the Gryffindor and Slytherin match when Harry was chased by a rogue Bludger.

Lucius visiting Hogwarts to watch his son play Quidditch

Lucius and the Discovery of Tom Riddle’s Diary

When people at Hogwarts began to become petrified by Slytherin’s monster, Lucius used this to influence the Board of Governors to vote to dismiss Dumbledore as headmaster, citing poor governance. Lucius also threatened to curse family members of the board if they did not cooperate.

When Harry discovered the Chamber of Secrets, killed the Basilisk, and destroyed the diary proving Ginny’s influence, he knew that Lucius Malfoy was responsible. Malfoy challenged him to prove that the diary was destroyed.

Adding insult to injury, Harry tricked Lucius Malfoy into giving his house-elf Dobby a piece of clothing (one of Harry’s socks) and therefore freeing him.

Angry about what had happened, Lucius tried to attack Harry, but he was blasted away by his own former house-elf.

Lucius Malfoy and the Execution of Buckbeak

Despite the failure of his plan the year before, Lucius Malfoy continued to make trouble at Hogwarts. This time, he took advantage of his Draco receiving a minor injury from a hippogriff named Buckbeak during a Care of Magical Creatures class with Hagrid.

Lucius Malfoy took the case to the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures. He successfully insisted that the hippogriff be put to death. He wanted to discredit Hagrid and bring into question Dumbledore’s selection of staff.

Fortunately, Harry and Hermione were able to save Buckbeak with the use of a time-turner.

Lucius Malfoy at the Quidditch World Cup

When the Quidditch World Cup was held in England in the summer of 1994, Lucius Malfoy attended with his son Draco and wife Narcissa. The family sat in the luxury box alongside the Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge, as well as Arthur Weasley and his family, Harry Potter, and Hermione Granger.

Lucius Malfoy and Arthur Weasley had a strong dislike for one another but managed to control their behavior in the presence of the Minister.

After the match, Lucius was among a group of Death Eaters that marched through the campgrounds torturing and humiliating the muggle site manager and his family. He disguised his identity with a Death Eater mask. He and the other Death Eaters fled when someone sent the Dark Mark into the sky.

Lucius Malfoy and the return of Lord Voldemort

At the start of the summer of 1995, Lord Voldemort was finally able to regain his body with the help of Peter Pettigrew and Barty Crouch Jnr. This involved kidnapping Harry Potter as part of the Triwizard Tournament and using his blood in a restoration spell.

Once his body was restored, Lord Voldemort summoned all of his Death Eaters to meet him in a cemetery in Little Hangleton, using the Dark Mark. While not all Death Eaters rushed to meet the Dark Lord, Lucius Malfoy was among those who did.

The Dark Lord chided Lucius for not doing more to find him and denying him over the years. But he also expressed a belief that Lucius would provide more faithful service in the future. Lucius thanked him for his mercy and promised his loyalty.

Even though Harry Potter witnessed this declaration of loyalty and was able to return to Hogwarts to tell the tale, Lucius Malfoy did not lose any of his prestige. The Ministry of Magic decided that it could not accept that Lord Voldemort had returned. Instead, it accused Harry of lying or being crazy, and Dumbledore was accused of having ulterior motives for believing Harry.

Lucius Malfoy and the Department of Mysteries

Once Lord Voldemort got his body back, he was determined to get his hands on the prophecy about himself and Harry Potter, since he had only ever heard part of the prophecy. He hoped that it would contain information about what happened to him when he tried to kill Harry as a baby, and why he was unable to kill Harry in the cemetery in Little Hangleton. Lucius Malfoy was in charge of this operation.

When Harry Potter was called into the Ministry to face charges of underage magic before the start of the 1995 school year, he saw Lucius Malfoy hanging around the Department of Mysteries, where prophecies are kept. He used visiting Cornelius Fudge as an excuse to get near the department.

In his first attempt to get the prophecy, he used the Imperius Curse on the Unspeakable Boderick Bode to make him retrieve the prophecy. But after this, they learned that only someone to whom the prophecy pertains can retrieve it. In response to this, Lord Voldemort started using his mental connection to Harry to trick him into retrieving the prophecy.

While Lucius Malfoy waited for this plan to develop, he also supported the creation of the post of Hogwarts High Inquisitor to review the teaching and running of Hogwarts. He publicly stated that this would be an important check on Albus Dumbledore’s eccentric decisions.

Lucius and Bellatrix in the Department of Mysteries

Lucius Malfoy Exposed

Harry Potter finally took the bait and headed to the Department of Mysteries with Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville Longbottom, and Luna Lovegood. Lucius Malfoy led the group of ten Death Eaters to intercept Harry and take the prophecy from him.

Lucius simply started by demanding that Harry hand over the prophecy to spare his friends, though naturally, Harry refused. Nevertheless, Lucius restrained Bellatrix from throwing curses at Harry to ensure that the prophecy was not damaged.

An intense battle ensued. The Death Eaters lost their advantage when members of the Order of the Phoenix arrived to help the students. Lucius was knocked unconscious by a stunning spell cast by Nymphadora Tonks.

Eventually, Lord Voldemort also showed up, as did Albus Dumbledore. They had a major battle in the Atrium. When Ministry of Magic employees, including Cornelius Fudge, started to show up for work, Lord Voldemort’s return was exposed. Still, the Dark Lord managed to flee with Bellatrix. The rest of the Death Eaters, including Lucius Malfoy, were sent to Azkaban.

Lucius Malfoy Disgraced

Lord Voldemort let Lucius rot in Azkaban as punishment for failing in the Department of Mysteries, and also allowing his diary to be destroyed years earlier. He freed Lucius in the summer of 1997 after his son Draco played an important role in the death of Albus Dumbledore. But Lucius Malfoy returned in disgrace.

Lord Voldemort decided to use Malfoy Manor as his base. Lucius and his family had no choice but to accept this situation.

When Lord Voldemort realized that the dual cores of his wand and Harry’s might be the reason why his wand did not work against Harry, he demanded that Lucius let him use his wand. In a reflex, Lucius reached out to take Lord Voldemort’s wand in return. This earned him considerable scorn. As if he would let Lucius use his wand.

Lucius hands over his wand

Lucius Malfoy and the Capture of Harry Potter

Later, when Harry Potter was on the run with Ron and Hermione looking for Horcruxes, they were caught by Snatchers. Despite a disfiguring spell used by Hermione on Harry to cover his identity, the Snatchers suspected who they might have. They decided to take him to Malfoy Manor to verify his identity.

When the Snatchers arrived with their captives, Lucius was very keen for Draco to confirm Harry’s identity, knowing that this was an opportunity to regain his former position and prestige. However, Draco was very reluctant to be part of this and said that he could not identify Harry.

They soon realized that they did have Harry, and Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange argued about who would summon the Dark Lord and claim credit for this boon. Lucius Malfoy was just about to summon him when Bellatrix saw that Harry and his friends also had Gryffindor’s Sword. This made her worry immediately that Harry had been in her vault at Gringotts and took the other item of value that Lord Voldemort had entrusted her to keep there. She insisted that they resolve this matter before calling Lord Voldemort.

This confusion, plus some outside help, gave Harry and his friends time to hatch an escape. In the fight that followed, Harry stunned Lucius Malfoy before making a successful escape.

When Lord Voldemort learned that Harry Potter had slipped through his fingers once again, and then that he had broken into the Lestrange vault at Gringotts and taken one of his Horcruxes, he flew into a rage. He killed scores of people with his newly acquired Elder Wand. Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange fled, throwing others in the path of curses to make their escape.

Lucius Malfoy and the Battle of Hogwarts

When Lord Voldemort summoned his supporters to make battle at Hogwarts, Lucius answered the call. However, when his son did not exit the school with the other Slytherin students, he begged to be allowed to enter the school to look for him. Lord Voldemort denied this request saying that if Draco died, it was because he did not come out with the others.

Lord Voldemort did not know that Draco stayed behind to try and capture Harry for the Dark Lord. But this attempt failed.

When Lord Voldemort thought that he had killed Harry Potter, the Death Eaters descended on the school in triumph. When they arrived, they saw that their son was still alive and called him over to them. They then retreated to the back of the group, as Narcissa knew that Harry was still alive and that there was more fighting to come.

Lord Voldemort had sent Narcissa to see if Harry was still alive after he had tried to cast the Killing Curse on him. She saw that he was, but once Harry confirmed that Draco was still alive, she lied and said that he was dead. She knew that this was the only way that the group would descend to the school for her to find her son.

These actions were taken as a last-minute change of sides near the end of the battle. To reiterate this, Lucius, Narcissa, and Draco stayed in the Great Hall after Lord Voldemort was defeated. As a result, none of the Malfoys were sent to Azkaban at the end of the Second Wizarding War.

Lucius Malfoy Later Life

While Lucius did not go to Azkaban, he lost much of his position in society with his former allegiances exposed.

Despite everything that happened, Lucius did not change his ideas of philosophies, unlike his son. Draco decided to marry Astoria Greengrass, a pure-blood witch, but one who supported muggle rights. Lucius opposed the match based on this, and the fact that she was afflicted with a blood curse that would make having children very difficult. He thought it was important to maintain the Malfoy family line.

But Draco defied his father, married, and had a son Scorpius. Draco would have limited his father’s access to Scorpius since he did not want him to be raised in the same way that he was.

Lucius continued his interest in dark artifacts. He worked with a wizard called Theodore Nott to create a time-turner that would allow him to travel back years in time. However, Lucius never used the object. Draco suspected that his father actually preferred a world without Lord Voldemort.

Lucius Malfoy Personality Type & Traits

Probably the best way to describe Lucius Malfoy is as a snob. He was a wealthy, pure-blood wizard and he thought that it made him better than other people. His only ambition was power and to control others. He was probably drawn to the dark arts because of the potential power they offered. He was ruthless when it came to getting what he wanted.

He showed a softer side when it came to his son. But this was because his son was a reflection of him. He was incapable of changing, even after the horrific events of the Second Wizarding War.

Lucius Malfoy Zodiac Sign & Birthday

Lucius Malfoy was born in 1953 or 1954, but we do not know his birthdate. His personality suggests that his zodiac sign may be Taurus. People born under this sign tend to believe in social order and ranking, and that they belong at the top. While they tend to be smart and hard-working, they can also be self-entitled. Taureans also tend to appreciate the finer things in life.

Lucius Malfoy Family Tree

Lucius Malfoy is the son of Abraxas Malfoy, a highly respected wizard with significant influence in the Ministry of Magic. Like father like son, Lucius was also very active in courting social and political status and favors.

Malfoy family tree

The Malfoys are a pureblood family and numbered among the Sacred Twenty-Eight families still considered pureblood in the 20th century.

The Malfoys have always been considered manipulative, getting what they want but never getting their hands dirty.

It is often said of the Malfoy family that you will never find one at the scene of the crime, though their fingerprints might be all over the guilty wand. Independently wealthy, with no need to work for a living, they have generally preferred the role of power behind the throne, happy for others to do the donkey work and to take the responsibility for failure. They have helped finance many of their preferred candidates’ election campaigns, which have (it is alleged) included paying for dirty work such as hexing the opposition.