Severus Snape and Draco Malfoy might be two very different characters with their own personalities and storylines, but there is some overlap. They both start out as villainous, but over time, they are shown to be more complex than that.
While Severus Snape got a pretty obvious redemption arc in the Harry Potter series itself, many fans wish that Draco had gotten more of one. However, there are valid reasons why they both deserved a great redemption arc.
10 Snape: He was key in bringing Voldemort down
Because Snape used to be a Death Eater and was so close to Voldemort, he had a lot of inside information and also was still able to leverage that trust.
He and Dumbledore planned all along to use Snape as a double agent, and it was only because of this that Harry was able to get some of the tools he needed, including Gryffindor’s sword, and take Voldemort down for good.
9 Draco: Fans feel he deserved more of a redemption arc than he got
One of the biggest reasons why Draco deserved a redemption arc too is simply that many fans felt he deserved one.
While this doesn’t mean that Snape’s arc would even need to change or go away, it would mean that Draco could have been more obviously redeemed. He was mostly just apathetic about the situation at the end, and it was pretty self-serving, and fans don’t see much of him after the Battle of Hogwarts.
8 Snape: Him being a morally complex character made for an interesting plot
There are many fans who can’t stand Snape as well as a lot of fans who love him. Regardless of who likes him or not or thinks he was a good person or not, he definitely had one of the more completing storylines in the series.
He was, at times, made to be somewhat of a hero and a victim of a hard life. But, there were also times he was shown to be a bully and overall selfish.
7 Draco: He didn’t leave Voldemort because of a creepy infatuation
While Snape definitely made a more obvious departure from Voldemort’s side, his reasons for doing so aren’t necessarily the best. While some find his love of Lily to be endearing, others find it really creepy and messed up.
He might have been upset that Lily died, but he definitely didn’t have a problem with any of the other awful things Voldemort and he himself did. He was even okay with the murder of Lily’s husband and son.
6 Snape: Because he did do many things to help defeat Voldemort
While Snape’s inherent goodness is definitely up for debate, his usefulness to Dumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix is not.
It’s not as if Snape was suddenly a great person after going to Dumbledore, but he did help him in many ways. As fans and Harry learn at the end of the series, Snape was instrumental in keeping Harry safe and ensuring that Voldemort could be killed.
5 Draco: It would have been really hard for him to leave his parents
One of the main themes of the series is how choices really define a person. There are many characters with similar backgrounds who are shown to make different choices, defending their strength of character.
However, the truth is that it would have been really hard for Draco to just leave his parents and their beliefs. Even if he disagreed with them, they had a lot of power and influence in the wizarding world, and they did genuinely love him.
4 Snape: He had to risk much more in betraying Voldemort
While Draco slowly stopped caring about Voldemort’s plans because he knew he had a lot to lose, he never really actually left until after Voldemort was defeated. This is pretty on-brand for all of the Malfoys as they are always trying to play whatever side is winning because they are always out for their own power and safety.
This isn’t to say that Snape wasn’t selfish, too, as he definitely was. But, he did at least actually break off from the Death Eaters when it would have been easier not to.
3 Draco: He seemed to be reformed in adulthood
While Snape plays a double agent for years and seems to be just a bad person overall, Draco seems to turn into an okay person. He gets married and has a child, and while this doesn’t automatically make him good, he seems able to function in a post-Voldemort society just fine.
While fans don’t know much about him except from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, he and Harry are even able to put aside some of their differences.
2 Snape: His childhood was really abusive
While Draco had an awful childhood in one way, Snape’s was definitely worse. Draco was born into privilege in a way that would have made it hard for him to have empathy, but Snape was born into poverty and abuse.
While neither of their backgrounds are an excuse for being evil or bigoted, it does provide some context.
1 Draco: Voldemort used him as a pawn
Because Draco was born to parents who were Death Eaters and very trusted by Voldemort, he was already very ingrained into being one of his followers. So, when Lucius disappointed Voldemort, Voldemort took his anger at him out on Draco.
He set him the task of killing Dumbledore which was clearly a task that he couldn’t complete. He wants Draco to die in the process simply as a way to punish Lucius.