Draco Malfoy was raised by his parents to believe specific things. He had beliefs and things drilled into his head from a young age. It’s understandable that he acted the way that he did, but the bad things he did were still his own responsibility. They weren’t justified, can’t be excused, and weren’t okay.
While it is sad that he was basically brainwashed by his parents (who, in fact, were brainwashed by their own parents), Draco was still a bad person who did bad things.
In the last two books, Draco went through a lot of horrible things (and he was only 16-17 years old). He was absolutely terrified, and who wouldn’t be? But he did the best he could to protect his parents. He did some other good things too, and maybe his fear and “cowardice” held him back from doing more good things, but he’s human, and this makes him more believable and realistic.
After Voldemort was defeated and after Deathly Hallows, Draco wanted to be a better person, and that’s not something that can just come overnight.
Draco met and fell in love with Astoria, who influenced him and inspired him to be a better person.
Draco and Astoria got married, and Draco’s parents didn’t approve of Astoria, so Draco stood up to them. He broke off from what they believed, and what he had believe for a long time, and what his whole family had believed for 1,000 years! He destroyed it and changed the future of the Malfoy family for the better. He and Astoria raised their son, Scorpius, to be a good person.
The wonderful and beautiful significance in Draco’s redemption is the fact that he wanted to improve himself and be a better person, and as I said, it didn’t happen overnight. He didn’t just wake up one day or snap his fingers one time and become a good boy. He actually was willing to put hard work and effort into becoming a better person, and he still isn’t a perfect person. He still has flaws, and a struggled with improving himself, but what matters is that he tried his best to be the best person he can be, and that’s realistic and believable.
Another thing, is simply just the fact that he’s a bad person who became good, and he’s portrayed that way. It’s not like when he was bad, he was really just misunderstood, or like he was portrayed as just being misunderstood when he was bad. His actions weren’t justified or okay. And that just makes his redemption so much better and more satisfying. It was a simple bad to good redemption. If he had actually been good all along, what would have been the point of his development? What would be the point of even having redemption?
Compare this to Breezepelt from Warriors. He did a lot of bad things in Omen of the Stars, but in Crowfeather’s Trial, it’s like, all of a sudden, he just woke up and was a good boy. He also was portrayed as not ever being bad at all, having just been misunderstood when it seemed like he was bad. He was portrayed as someone who had always been good (even though he wasn’t) instead of as someone who was bad, then became good.
—– —– —– —– —–
Overall, I really love Draco’s character, development, and redemption for this reason! It’s very well done and significant!