Garnering billions of views on the Draco Malfoy hashtag, fans of the Harry Potter series are creating POVs and appreciation posts revolving around the character that many used to hate.
The Harry Potter franchise itself has been making a resurgence in pop culture because of these TikToks. UNC first-year Winter Earnhardt said the sudden popularity makes it seem almost like there’s a new movie coming out.
“It’s insane,” Earnhardt said. “We’re going to see a very large increase in Harry Potter Halloween costumes this year.”
Earnhardt added that she’s seen an extensive amount of videos of people in Spirit Halloween stores showing off Harry Potter merchandise, specifically for Draco's Hogwarts house, Slytherin.
The Slytherin house and Draco Malfoy remain the focus of an overwhelming number of TikToks. First-year Amina Cebo describes this as part of the “white boy of the month” trend on TikTok, in which people admire the looks of characters and celebrities such as Timothée Chalamet and Harry Styles.
“I kind of see it as, we’re bored of this one guy, so we’re moving on to another,” Cebo said. “And literally every time, you’ll never know who the next guy will be.”
“Now, it’s pretty popular to like the edgy character of a movie or show,” Cebo added.
Some fans wish the trend was less shallow and focused on Draco as a character instead of his attractiveness in the movies. Even though he is a villain, Earnhardt said she always liked Draco, although he wasn’t always a popular character.
“I always caught hell for him being my favorite character, so with DracoTok blowing up, it’s really ironic for me,” Earnhardt said.
He struggles with the decision to side with main villain Voldemort later in the series, which made many fans, like Earnhardt, feel sympathetic toward him.
"When reading the book, you could see more emotion in him than other characters because of the influence that his parents had on him. I like the depth that was given to his character,” she said.
Although the Harry Potter series has become more trendy because of TikTok, first-year Khalanie Taylor said it has always been a household fandom because she grew up watching the movies.
Many fans of the series agree that it holds a special place for them because of the nostalgia.
“We’re all familiar with reading or watching Harry Potter as kids,” Cebo said. "Draco has definitely gained a lot of popularity, but I do feel that because of that, people are going back to reading and watching Harry Potter. My best friend and I are actually planning on watching the movies together.”
But some fans think many of the TikToks may be the result of people jumping on a trend to get TikTok famous.
“I know a few guys who are dressing up as Draco in every video they do now, and they’ve gained an excessive amount of followers from it,” Earnhardt said. “Because they’ll promise — they’re like, ‘300,000 likes and I’ll order a Slytherin robe.’”
Although many of these TikTok users may not have been life-long fans of the Harry Potter series before the trend, the TikToks have caused some users to gain a newfound interest in the series.
“I have a Harry Potter Clue game that my friends had never wanted to play with me, and now they do,” Earnhardt said. “I just thought it was cool that, now they've seen it on TikTok, they say, 'We'll play with you — but is Draco in it?'”
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