And obviously, with a side of the obligatory "Draco fan reaction to being called a Felton fangirl" - sort of. If you're expecting wank, you will probably be disappointed. Sorry? >.>
MA: I wanted to go back to Draco.
JKR: OK, yeah, let's talk about Draco.
MA: He was utterly fascinating in this book.
JKR: Well, I'm glad you think so, because I enjoyed this one. Draco did a lot of growing up in this book as well. I had an interesting discussion, I thought, with my editor Emma, about Draco. She said to me, "So, Malfoy can do Occlumency," which obviously Harry never mastered and has now pretty much given up on doing, or attempting. And she was querying this and wondering whether he should be as good as it, but I think Draco would be very gifted in Occlumency, unlike Harry. Harry’s problem with it was always that his emotions were too near the surface and that he is in some ways too damaged. But he's also very in touch with his feelings about what's happened to him. He's not repressed, he's quite honest about facing them, and he couldn't suppress them, he couldn't suppress these memories. But I thought of Draco as someone who is very capable of compartmentalizing his life and his emotions, and always has done. So he's shut down his pity, enabling him to bully effectively. He's shut down compassion — how else would you become a Death Eater? So he suppresses virtually all of the good side of himself. But then he's playing with the big boys, as the phrase has it, and suddenly, having talked the talk he's asked to walk it for the first time and it is absolutely terrifying. And I think that that is an accurate depiction of how some people fall into that kind of way of life and they realize what they're in for. I felt sorry for Draco. Well, I’ve always known this was coming for Draco, obviously, however nasty he was. Harry is correct in believing that Draco would not have killed Dumbledore, which I think is clear when he starts to lower his wand, when the matter is taken out of his hands.
So - Draco is a Death Eater, and Harry was right, and that is a real Dark Mark on his arm and not a figment of Harry's
Definitely - lots of very interesting commentary, but honestly, dude. He has *always* compartmentalised his emotions? Since birth? OMGWTFCASSEROLE. I mean, I love this detail, and this is exactly what I've always seen him doing, too, but - dude, there must be reasons for this kind of psychology in a child/teen. Whyfor you no give reasons, JKR? -.-;; It's like - she once said that Draco and Pansy are based on actual people she knew, and I wonder if these people were mean to her, perhaps? Because how the fuck else do you justify an eleven-year-old child who is just so bad to the bone - "bad blood" of the Malfoys? Isn't the whole point of the series that judging based on bloodlines is a bad, bad thing? Or does that only apply to the non-pure-bloods? So pure-bloods are evil and must die but everyone else is hunky-dory? What's the word? Enlighten me, plz. (Though I suppose after seeing the non-Sirius-and-possibly-Regulus Blacks and the Gaunts, I do have my answer, huh? Being pure-blood iz teh ebil!!1 (even James was a jerk until he fell in love with Lily! And she turned him from his ebil pure-blood ways! [D/Hr shippers take note]) And Snape's half-bloodity is only more proof of his coming redemption, surely, you watch.)
I love the bit about Draco being terrified to actually go through with it. This doesn't mean he chickened out on killing Dumbledore, STFU - he tried killing him twice before and the only reason it didn't work was that Harry interfered conveniently because don't you know, Harry is always in the right place at the right time. Obviously when the covert killing of Dumbledore didn't work, Draco had to try the overt way and he found he couldn't - because he is NOT A KILLER. Not because he is a coward. If he were a coward, he would have killed Dumbledore because killing defenceless old men who don't have their wands is a cowardly act. No, seriously, all of you wankers claiming that Draco "chickened out" need to
ETA: starrysummer pointed out that the above can be misread very easily, and I agree. I am not saying that Draco is not by nature a cowardly boy. He is very much a coward at heart and he would much rather be getting a sunburn in Tahiti than be playing errand boy to Volderwobbles, that much is clear. But - his family is in danger, he is in danger, so he is here, against his will, doing what he can because he is afraid of what will happen if he doesn't (if he switches sides, etc). That is not the issue, cowardly!Draco is canon; he is much like Peter. My quibble is that failing to kill Dumbledore is not a cowardly act in itself. And wild fantasies of wandless magic never before seen in canon aside, Dumbledore is defenceless. And I got sick of hearing people say that "Draco chickens out" at the end, as though it is somehow deplorable that he doesn't murder a defenceless old man who is visibly [!!] weak from the Infernal Zombie Draught of Doom.
On with the interview, then:
MA: What does it do to you to see a character that you love, for people to express sheer hate -
ES: Or vice versa.
JKR: It amuses me. It honestly amuses me. People have been waxing lyrical [in letters] about Draco Malfoy, and I think that's the only time when it stopped amusing me and started almost worrying me. I'm trying to clearly distinguish between Tom Felton, who is a good looking young boy, and Draco, who, whatever he looks like, is not a nice man. It’s a romantic, but unhealthy, and unfortunately all too common delusion of — delusion, there you go — of girls, and you [nods to Melissa] will know this, that they are going to change someone. And that persists through many women's lives, till their death bed, and it is uncomfortable and unhealthy and it actually worried me a little bit, to see young girls swearing undying devotion to this really imperfect character, because there must be an element in there, that "I'd be the one who [changes him]." I mean, I understand the psychology of it, but it is pretty unhealthy. So, a couple of times I have written back, possibly quite sharply, saying [Laughter], "You want to rethink your priorities here."
Can we have a vote? "Oh dear, psychoanalysis of fans" right up along with "Oh dear, maths"? Please? Because - I'm not a Tom Felton fan. I do have a Pervy Felton Fancier button but that's a joke that arose from a discussion with darkasphodel - it's not any more serious than those icons that say "I will fuck you up" are serious threats, mkay. I think he's a cute kid, a poor but tolerable choice for Draco in the films. That said, I am a Draco fan. I have always said there was more to him than the 2D bully with witty one-liners - I never used to want him redeemed (just given a motivation beyond empty posturing). JKR went and gave him a 3rd dimension, one that was totally plausible and believable, and even a set-up for redemption that's actually workable should either he approach Harry & Co. with remorse (enh, hardly likely) or should Harry & Co approach him with an offer to help them in exchange for something (more likely) or with an offer of friendship (not very likely at all). He's got motivation. I'm happy for him because he's finally a person and not just a cardboard cutout walking around waiting for Harry to smite him with his mighty stick o' great justice. [that is not a totally intentional slash reference, nope]
And then she turns around and says "Draco is not a nice man". Hi, Jo, this is a boy. A seventeen-year-old boy, to be precise, if you allow him to live to see his 17th birthday (and hopefully beyond, plz and thx w/ cherry ++). Your canon will only take him that far, and he will always be
And honestly -- she's not saying that all Draco fans are delusional. She's not saying that all fans of Draco are headed for a life of domestic abuse. If you watch the punctuation and keep in mind that this is being recorded live, with two over-excited Potter fanatics sitting there, no doubt looking eager to ask the next question. She's just got off on a tangent, it's obviously something that she's thought about and she just seems blissfully unaware that there are adult, psychologically healthy women and men who will be reading the interview and possibly taking offence.
And she goes off on her tangent and starts talking about the "bad-boy" thing again, and she's not talking about every single Draco fan. She is talking about the young girls who send her letters about how they love Draco so much. She just doesn't have a clue that the adult Draco fans exist, because she's just not that in touch with fandom - she's in touch enough to know some in-jokes, but I doubt she's ever been to LJ. I'm pretty sure she would stay off LJ, too, because LJ does have a reputation for being THE place for Potter pr0n and JKR probably knows that well, especially given the company she keeps *peers at Emerson* And you know, I'd rather she called me a Felton fangirl rather than show up here on LJ, find PP and have an apoplectic fit. I want her to write book 7, you know.
I refuse to mock her opinion of Draco fans on principle, because dude, she's entitled to it, wrong or not. I'm not upset, just mildly amused - in the end, this is fiction. And Emerson seriously needs a clue-by-four treatment. What a wanker! [/potshot] Also, yes, this is the interview which unequivocally sinks H/Hr. Oh yes, The splooge is pearly and stringy and everywhere.