I opened the TikTok app, expecting my usual For You page rife with funny content, cute animals and the occasional Marvel/“Star Wars” fancam. Instead, it seemed overnight that Draco Malfoy, the antihero from the “Harry Potter” franchise, had completely overtaken the app. Most prominent among the content on DracoTok, the name fans have given to the Draco-oriented side of TikTok, are POV (point-of-view) videos. Fans insert themselves into the Hogwarts narrative, often as romantic interests to Draco.
The video that fully pulled me under the waves of DracoTok was a POV by @4nn.13 describing being in a love triangle with Draco and Hufflepuff hero Cedric Diggory. I’ve watched this edit at least 20 times at this point. It splices clips of Draco and Cedric together with aesthetic images that the creator thinks demonstrate what this scenario would feel like.
A mash-up of Lana Del Rey’s “Ride” and Ellie Goulding’s “My Blood” plays in the background, adding a heart-wrenching twist to the video that ends with a combination of Draco holding his wand and sobbing and Cedric lying dead on the ground after Voldemort murders him. This video has over 2 million views and 500,000 likes.
It’s nearly impossible to trace where DracoTok started. Like many trends, it sprung up one day and spread across TikTok with unanticipated velocity. I remember having a childhood crush on Draco, but few of my friends understood. “He’s evil, why would you like him,” they’d say. I feel a strange sense of vindication knowing that thousands of others online now see Draco for the complicated character he is.
He had a painful childhood, to the extent that he didn’t have a memory happy enough to conjure a Patronus. His parents were Death Eaters, which forced him into the same lifestyle. In “The Deathly Hallows Part 2,” Draco tosses his wand to Harry after realizing he was alive in a deleted scene.
It’s unclear why the filmmakers deleted the scene, but whatever the reason, it’s upsetting to fans. Draco was inches away from redemption; they even filmed the scene! But instead, it ended up on the chopping block when the editors put the film together. Goodbye, Draco’s last chance at salvation. So, Snape, a fully grown adult, gets a chance at absolution, but the mentally tortured teenager doesn’t?
It seems unfair that a short scene that would’ve forgiven Draco for his sins ended up cut. I understand that Draco didn’t get forgiveness in the books, but the movies took enough artistic liberties that it would not have been a stretch to redeem him in the films.
The filmmakers and perhaps J.K. Rowling denied Draco the redemption arc he so clearly deserved. Draco was never the villain; he was a child raised in a toxic environment, who had damaging beliefs impressed upon him, and whose parents forced him to walk down a dark path. Draco’s story warranted his salvation, a chance to become a three-dimensional antihero, instead of a simplistic caricature of evil.
While the films never gave fans the satisfaction, DracoTok has. Some POVs rewrite the narrative, making Draco a loving and protective boyfriend who would never call you a Mudblood. Some videos splice together all the scenes of his emotional agony and turmoil, demonstrating his inner struggle with the conflict between his loyalty to Hogwarts and his loyalty to his family. DracoTok offers a space for fans to give the character both the attention he deserves and a chance at redemption.
A question that lingers is why DracoTok became so popular so quickly. One answer is escapism. The COVID-19 pandemic has added immense stress to daily life. POVs allow you to step into the world of Hogwarts, even if only for a minute, to forget about the stress of life around you and immerse yourself in a harmless fantasy.
DracoTok has opened a portal to a “Harry Potter” renaissance on TikTok. Off the coattails of the Draco POVs, users have created TikTok POVs about many other fan-favorite characters, from the Weasley Twins to Remus Lupin. I’ve even seen a few joking POVs about Hogwarts groundskeeper Argus Filch.
Another reason for the renewed interest in the “Harry Potter” universe is nostalgia. Many TikTok users grew up reading and watching the saga, so DracoTok and the broader “Harry Potter” TikTok content is a return to something that brought them joy when they were children.
I still remember the feeling of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in my hand when I was 10, fingers turning pages as quickly as my eyes could scan across the words. It was magic on and off the page. The universe engulfed me, my friends and almost every child who read the books and watched the films. As generations, both millennial and Gen Z, we loved “Harry Potter.” It makes sense that in an uncertain time, we return to things that provided us with unbridled joy years ago.
DracoTok offers escapist fantasy, redemption for a beloved character and community for fans. Regardless of your feelings on Draco Malfoy, the magic of the TikToks is undeniable.