"Lucius, my slippery friend. I am told that you have not renounced the old ways, though to the world you present a respectable face. You are still ready to take the lead in a spot of Muggle-torture, I believe? Yet you never tried to find me, Lucius. . . .
-- Lord Voldemort (GF33)
"Malfoy's been giving generously to all sorts of things for years.... Gets him in with the right people ... then he can ask for favors ... delay laws he doesn't want passed ... Oh, he's very well connected, Lucius Malfoy...."
-- Arthur Weasley (OP9)
Lucius Malfoy is the patriarch of the prestigious pure-blood Malfoy family, father of Draco Malfoy and one of Voldemort’s top Death Eaters.
Lucius was a Death Eater during Voldemort’s first “reign of terror.” However after the Dark Lord disappeared, Malfoy “came back saying he’d never meant any of it” (CS3). Lucius revived his old allegiances when Voldemort rose to power once again (GF9). Lucius Malfoy used his position in the wizarding world to wield considerable power in the Ministry of Magic. When Fudge was minister, he acquiesced to Lucius, impressed with the “purity” of his wizarding blood and sizable sums of Galleons he donated.
His son Draco Malfoy was Harry Potter’s archrival at Hogwarts. He remained staunchly against admitting non-pure-blood witches and wizards into Hogwarts and he used his influence (and money) to try to force changes there. He considered Dumbledore to be a very poor headmaster and even succeeded in getting him temporarily removed from that position (CS14).
He hatched a plan to interfere at Hogwarts by slipping an old diary of Lord Voldemort’s into Ginny Weasley’s school books. This indeed caused trouble when Tom Riddle, through the diary, used Ginny to open the Chamber of Secrets and unleash the Basilisk into the school, “petrifying” several students. However Harry saved Ginny and destroyed the diary (CS17), which turned out to be a Horcrux.
The Malfoys had a house-elf named Dobby who was “bound to serve one house and one family forever” (CS2) until Harry tricked Lucius into releasing him (CS18). Dobby became a devoted and helpful friend to Harry after that.
After answering Voldemort’s Dark Mark and retaking his place as a Death Eater on June 24, 1995, Lucius participated in the attack on Harry in the graveyard of Little Hangleton (GF33). That attack didn’t go as planned but Harry wasn’t believed. Lucius then resumed his privileged position with respect to the Ministry, especially influencing Fudge (OP9).
Lucius led the Death Eaters in the battle in the Department of Mysteries, but failed to obtain the prophecy. He was captured and was sent to Azkaban (OP38). His failure at the Department of Mysteries infuriated Voldemort, so the Dark Lord developed a plan to use Lucius’ only son Draco to kill Dumbledore, assuming that Draco would be killed in the attempt (HBP2). Harry believed that even though he was only sixteen, Draco was made a Death Eater to replace his father (HBP7, TLC) and he was correct.
After Dumbledore was killed, Voldemort’s influence grew and he released the Death Eaters from Azkaban, including Lucius Malfoy. However, Lucius was in disgrace and Voldemort made sure the other Death Eaters knew it by abusing and mocking them in meetings, demanding the use of Lucius’s wand, and by forcing them to turn their sumptuous home, Malfoy Mansion, into the headquarters for the Death Eaters (DH1). Voldemort didn’t seem to realize, however, that he could only push such proud, clannish people so far. When Voldemort forced Draco to torture other disgraced Death Eaters, Lucius — and especially Narcissa — began to silently rebel whenever they had the chance. So after Harry sacrificed himself in the forest and Voldemort demanded Narcissa tell him if Harry was in fact dead, she knelt down next to Harry and asked him if Draco was still alive. When Harry said that he was, she lied to Voldemort and affirmed that Harry was dead (DH36). Once back inside Hogwarts, Lucius, with his wife alongside, ran through the battles raging in the castle, calling for their son. Their only loyalty left was to their family, and in the end, they sat huddled together in the Great Hall, just glad to have survived.
Birth name: Lucius Malfoy.
Last name meaning: ‘Malfoy’=bad faith (RAH).
Birthdate: c.1954 (formula: he was 41 years old in the fall of 1995, which means he was probably born in 1954 (OP15)).
Death: According to Draco, Lucius had passed away by 2020 (CC).
Father: Abraxas Malfoy who died of dragon pox (HBP9).
Residence: Malfoy manor, Wiltshire, in south-west England.
Spouse: Narcissa (Black) Malfoy.
Child: Draco Malfoy.
Pet(?): Eagle owl.
House-Elf: Dobby, until he was inadvertently released in CS18.
First year: c.1965.
Wand: Elm with a dragon heartstring core (DH1) until Lord Voldemort took it from him, and it was destroyed by Harry’s wand during the Battle of the Seven Potters (DH4), leaving him wandless.
Organizations & affiliations: Death Eater; donates to St. Mungo’s; on the Governing Board of Hogwarts until 1993, influence in the Department for Disposal of Dangerous Creatures (PA16).
Career: Does not appear to have paid employment.
Magical objects: Malfoy apparently has quite a collection of Dark Magic items in his house (hidden under the drawing room floor, according to Draco). In August of 1992, Malfoy brought a list to the Knockturn Alley shop of Borgin and Burke’s of things he wanted to sell because they would be “embarrassing” if found in a Ministry raid. These items are unknown, except for some unnamed poisons (CS4). Of course, Tom Riddle’s diary/Horcrux was also kept by Malfoy, until he tricked Ginny into taking it. The walking stick associated with Malfoy in the movies has never been mentioned in the books.
Skills: Schmoozing, scheming, bribing, insinuation, Imperius Curse (OP26), terrorizing Muggles.
Incarceration: Captured 24 June 1995 at the Battle of the Department of Mysteries and incarcerated at Azkaban (OP) until set free after Dumbledore was killed (DH1). Malfoy was not imprisoned after the Battle of Hogwarts because Harry could testify to his and Narcissa’s change of heart (BLC).
Gifted at blackmail, smooth talking, bribery, and possible Muggle-torture
'Lucius'=common first name among Roman nobility; possible reference to Lucifer. Lucius was the name of a Roman emperor who fought against King Arthur in legend. Interesting, considering that Lucius Malfoy and Arthur Weasley are bitter enemies and have even come to blows. It is also interesting that King Arthur killed Emperor Lucius with a blow to the head with Excalibur. In the scuffle in Flourish and Blotts, Arthur knocked Lucius into a bookshelf and Lucius was hit in the head by an Encyclopedia of Toadstools (cf: Le Morte d'Arthur V : VIII).
Last name meaning: 'Malfoy'=bad faith, invented by Rowling (RAH).
Lucius seemed very impressive and used his great wealth and threats of blackmail to bribe his way into positions of power at the Ministry, St. Mungo's, and the Board of Governor's at Hogwarts. But actually he failed at almost everything he did in life: threw away Voldemort's powerful Horcrux diary by giving it to Ginny Weasley, lost the loyalty of his house-elf Dobby, failed to get the Prophecy at the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, was captured and sent to Azkaban, had his home, wand, and son taken by Voldemort, and could not protect his family. Luckily for him, his wife Narcissa was strong enough for both of them.
LUCIUS on FILM
In the films, Lucius Malfoy is played to the hilt by Jason Isaacs.
"I get there and I say 'Can I have a cane with a wand inside it? Can I have a cape? Do you think I could have a belt with a snake's head on it? Do you think I can blast that wall and it blows open and I walk through it?' It's absurd a man of my age doing that stuff." --Jason Isaacs, London Theatre Guide interview, February 14, 2007
SF Chronicle: . . . Were you surprised by how much your Harry Potter character took off? People love Lucius Malfoy.
Isaacs: People always love the bad guys. And Lucius is rather delicious. He delights in his power, and the audience delights in his delight. Also, when you've built someone up to be so unbelievably supercilious and arrogant, there's pleasure in seeing him humiliated and brought down a peg or two.
SF Chronicle: Plus he's pretty.
Isaacs: I like to think so. When I have my costume on, I imagine myself to be this great supermodel beauty. And then I see this hideous old man in a wig.
SF Chronicle: Oh, no, no, no. Just no. The campy villains you play -- the Captain Hooks and the Lucius Malfoys ...
Isaacs: They're half a step away from drag queens, let's face it.
--Jason Isaacs and Neva Chonin, "Oh, Brother -- It's Isaacs," San Francisco Chronicle, September 3, 2006