"Because in many ways, to me, Draco is the hero of the whole saga. I think Harry has his destiny. There is only one choice Harry can make in every situation. Harry makes the right choice always, and he’s admirable for doing so. But Draco has a bunch of choices, and Draco has to break the bonds of the shackles of his past. He has to break the chain of this kind of abuse and hatred and selfishness and entitlement that his father has been part of, and probably his grandfather and stretching back for generations.
And so I saw my job as trying to illustrate how you end up with a kid as messed up as Draco. In “Chamber of Secrets,” I just tried to bully him as much as I could, and be as unloving as I could. And in every opportunity, I wanted to be the kind of father that was so selfish and so egotistical and narcissistic that I would happily sacrifice my son and/or my relationship with him for status. So that was the main point, was to try and explain Draco and make his decision that much more heroic, to try and do the right thing." - Jason Isaacs (source)
Meta posted early on, long before HBP:
"The little we know of him in canon paints a portrait of a character who is weak-willed, histrionic, dramatic, and malicious. And yet many readers see him as smart and witty--his sarcasm and running criticism in Care of Magical Creatures is hilarious, as well as being completely understandable. He gets up every time he is knocked down, and continues to exude an incredibly smug, confident attitude whenever he interacts with Harry, even when we see him humiliated time and again. He remains eerily observant about the people and events around him, and knows exactly how to get under Harry’s skin. He writes lame songs with lame lyrics, makes badges, is good in school, and seems to be able to beat every other Seeker at Quidditch except for Harry. He is a talented bragger and a complete drama queen, he knows how to get attention and capitalize on it, and seems to be particularly good at uniting the sympathies of his housemates." - bookshop @ idol_reflection(source)
"If she doesn't want people to read him as sympathetic, then why on earth does she keep pulling her punches with him? She could take action to combat all of the built-in sympathy points that Draco is racking up in the text. She certainly has shown that she knows how it's done. She knows how to battle Sympathy for the Devil, and she knows how to nip Hurt-Comfort in the bud. She has shown that she knows how to do these things.
But when it comes to Draco, she's not doing them. In fact, in some places, the text even seems to be actively encouraging all of those so-called "subversive" readings of his character.
It's certainly curious, and it does make me feel somewhat more sympathetic towards the notion that perhaps Draco is indeed being set up for some narrative function other than that of pure antagonist. I don't really think that Redeemed!Draco is necessarily all that likely an outcome. But I do think that it is rather more plausible than it might at first appear." - (source)
"The funny thing is that Draco shares these differences to Sirius with Regulus Black. He is the Black son that was doted on. Who (probably) idolised his parents. He was probably sorted in Slytherin and shared his parents' pureblood prejudices. The message I am getting here is quite messed up, because what Regulus and Draco have in common, what Sirius is lacking, is parental love. Which of course is wonderful, but in Draco's and Regulus' case turns them both into racists." - no_remorse (source)
Meta after HBP is released:
"HBP is really unique in the way it gives a student other than Harry a transformative storyline--and I mean transformative, not just one where he gains strength and confidence, like Ron or Neville. Draco had everything about himself attacked in HBP--the dark night of the soul type stuff I'd always hoped for! And I think to really write the character at this point you have to acknowledge his role as a real protagonist in his own story because of it." - sistermagpie (source)
"Harry could not be acting more like Draco here. He's not relying on talent at all. He's relying on the Prince's talent that he's going to take credit for. He's also relying throughout the year on his family connections which make Slughorn like him and praise him for abilities he does not have, and yet he still feels confident in looking down on Malfoy for trying to do so--to smirk about it. And who usually does the smirking here?
Not only does Draco lose all the shortcuts he's been associated with in the past--his father, his name, Snape--he's essentially trying to do exactly what Harry has done earlier, which is to throw off other peoples' plots. Voldemort has placed three students into a story of his own--Harry, Ginny in CoS and Draco. Ginny was not strong enough to throw off his plot; Harry did it for her. Here Draco attempts to, like Harry, take the situation he's been put into and make it his own. At first he responds to the task he's been given as an opportunity to prove himself. But ultimately he does fully understand what's really going on--he knows everyone thought he would fail, that he is not being given a chance to shine at all, he's only been set up to be killed as part of the story Voldemort is plotting against his father. " - sistermagpie (source)
"I think it's safe to assume that these represent all of Malfoy's attempts at murder until the end of the book--we'd hear about other attempts gone awry. So it's a curious thing about these two attempts: both of them take place early in the year, pre-Christmas. In fact, couldn't he have set in motion both at the same time? Malfoy is not trying to kill Dumbledore all year; he gives up and concentrates on the cabinet, putting off the murder until he figures he absolutely has to." - sistermagpie (source)
Meta post series:
"The Draco in the beginning of the book 7 is almost catatonic with fear; the Draco who does not expose Harry to Voldemort is a Draco who for whom the shoe has dropped. He stands nothing to gain by keeping Harry's identify a secret. Indeed, he stands a fair chance of redeeming his family's standing by exposing Harry. But he does not." - pir8fancier (source)
"sometimes people not in the ship probably have the wrong idea about just what the trope of that ship is. Or more correctly, I think sometimes people outside a ship underestimate the number of tropes a ship can contain. Like a lot of people assume H/D=enemies trope=hatesex. And plenty of H/D was about that, but not all of it. Not even most of it, in my experience. " - sistermagpie (source)