Narcissa “Cissy” Malfoy is related to the Black family, the younger sister of Andromeda Tonks and Bellatrix Lestrange. A pure-blood witch, she was never a death eater like her husband Lucius Malfoy or one of her sisters, Lestrange. Still, she followed the group and their beliefs, letting Voldemort use her home as a base of operations and prison. During that time, she took care of her son Draco Malfoy.
Throughout Draco’s time, she continued to support blood purity and the Death Eaters until her husband was sent to Azkaban for failing to capture Harry Potter and her son’s life was at risk. She saved Harry Potter and indirectly led to the end of Lord Voldemort when she lied about Potter being dead. Allowing him to protect all those who fought on the side of good during the Battle of Hogwarts with his sacrifice and ultimately kill Voldemort. After that, she supported her son as he married Astoria Greengrass and had a grandson Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy.
Narcissa Malfoy Quick Facts
|Narcissa Malfoy (née Black)
|Age When Series Starts
|Bellatrix Lestrange and Andromeda Tonks
|Partner / Spouse
|Most Memorable Moment
|Saving Harry Potter
|Actors Who Played
|Helen Elizabeth McCrory
Narcissa Malfoy Birthplace
Narcissa was born in 1955 in Great Britain. She is a pure-blood witch. Her nickname is “Cissy,” used by her sister Bellatrix and Kreacher.
Narcissa Malfoy Family
Narcissa’s family is quite large, as are most pureblood families. Her father was Cygnus Black III, and her mother was Druella Black (née Rosier). Her paternal grandfather was Pollux Black, and her paternal grandmother was Irma Black (née Crabbe).
She has two older sisters: Bellatrix Lestrange (née Black) and Andromeda Tonks (née Black). Nymphadora Lupin (née Tonks) and Delphini are her nieces. Her paternal aunt is Walburga Black, and her paternal uncle is Alphard Black. Orion Black is her paternal uncle by marriage. Her paternal first cousins include Sirius Black III and Regulus Black II. Her second cousin, once removed, is Lucretia Black.
Narcissa married Lucius Malfoy II, with whom she had a son Draco Malfoy. Astoria Malfoy (née Greengrass) becomes her daughter-in-law when she marries Draco, and together, they have Scorpius Malfoy. Abraxas Malfoy is her father-in-law. Rodolphus Lestrange and Edward Tonks are her brothers-in-law.
Narcissa Malfoy Physical Traits
Narcissa’s name is derived from “narcissus,” a Greek character whose name also meant vanity and elitism. The last name “Malfoy” in French is two words mal foi, or “bad, unfaithful,” indicative of the bad and unfaithful nature of the family.
She is female, with blonde hair, blue eyes, and pale skin. She is very tall and slim and noted that were it not for the look on her face as though she were better than everyone, she would be attractive.
Narcissa Malfoy Early Life
Narcissa was taught from a young age that blood status was the most important thing and being pureblood was what the family must strive for. Narcissa disowned her when her sister Andromeda married a muggle-born wizard named Ted Tonks. The family burned Andromeda’s name from the family tree.
Narcissa attended Hogwarts from 1966 to 1973, during which time she was a part of Slytherin’s house. During this time, she met Lucius Malfoy, who would become her future husband, Severus Snape, who would remain a close family friend, and many other would-be death-eaters.
After marrying Lucius, she moved into Malfoy Manor in Wiltshire, in southern England. During the First Wizarding War, her sister Bellatrix and cousin Sirius Black were sent to Azkaban. Her cousin Regulus Black was killed. Lucius claimed he was under the imperious curse and was able to avoid conviction.
She, and her family, maintained close relationships with the Ministry of Magic officials, often donating money to the Minister of Magic. Privately they continued to guard many dark objects, including things from Voldemort. Though the family did not know it, they owned a Horcrux which was kept in private until it was used in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to open the Chamber of Secrets.
Narcissa Malfoy Hogwarts Years
Narcissa kept Draco at Hogwarts rather than sending him to Durmstrang, which only admitted pureblood witches and wizards and heavily taught the dark arts. Throughout Draco’s time at Hogwarts, Narcissa sent him cakes and sweets by owl daily, as noted in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
During the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, Narcissa sat in the luxury box with her husband and son. However, it is unknown whether she was part of the masked group who tortured the muggle family and caused a riot in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Narcissa’s compassion and kindness are indirectly shown via Kreacher. She is held in high esteem by Kreacher because of this kindness toward him (compared to the other family members). This esteem paved the way for Narcissa to learn of Black’s love for Harry and provide that information to Voldemort, which was later the start of the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. Her knowledge ultimately led to Black’s untimely death and the imprisonment of Lucius. Moreover, because of his failure, Draco was made into a death eater to replace him and take on a private task from Voldemort.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
During her son Draco’s time at Hogwarts, we have the first dialogue with Narcissa as she helps Draco get fitted for new dress robes. During this exchange in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, she meets Harry Potter and his friends, a conversation full of contempt and threats. Narcissa threatens Harry indirectly, warning him that Dumbledore will not be there to protect him. Harry makes a sophomoric remark about her husband being a loser and in prison.
During this time, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the book opens with the scene of Narcissa humanized for the first time. She continues to trust Severus Snape because of his friendship with her husband, even if her son distrusts Snape. Her character has shown no mercy, very few manners, and been particularly rude toward the Hogwarts children. Here, however, she is deaf to the pleas of her older sister Bellatrix and seeks out Severus to protect her son. She cries in his home and, on her hands and knees, begs him to save her son in his mission to kill Dumbledore.
She knows her son is given this task in retribution for her husband’s failure at the Battle of the Department of Mysteries and that he is supposed to be killed in the process. Her sister Bellatrix remains by her side, imploring her not to trust Severus or reveal the task before her son. Still, Narcissa supports her family above all else and makes the Unbreakable Vow with Severus that Severus will complete the mission and save her son if Draco should fail. Now working as a single mother with an imprisoned husband, her emotional struggle is removed from the film adaptation.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Throughout Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Malfoy Manor is used as headquarters for Voldemort and the death eaters. Voldemort taunts the Malfoys over the recent marriage between Remus and Nymphadora, though Narcissa does not respond. While seated at the table, Narcissa refuses to make eye contact but stares directly ahead. When her husband is told to give his wand to Voldemort, she presses ever so gently on his hand to encourage his compliance. When, at the same meeting, Voldemort asks Draco for information, she almost imperceptibly nods at Draco to promote a particular response. At this meeting, a Hogwarts teacher, Charity Burbage, is held above their heads until she is murdered and eaten by Nagini.
While at the Manor, Narcissa fights over who has control over her sister. Narcissa believes that it is her home and, therefore, she is in control. This becomes problematic when Harry Potter and his friends are captured and imprisoned in the cellar. Narcissa is rude toward the snatchers who brought them. When it is believed that one of them (with a severely swollen face) might be Harry Potter, Narcissa encourages her son to identify them and turn them over to Voldemort. However, she does not press him when he says he can not be certain. Instead, Lucius encourages him to look closer. Once the group escapes, the entire Malfoy family is severely punished by Voldemort, though details are spared.
During the Battle of Hogwarts, Narcissa has lent her want to Draco; Draco has his wand stolen during the prisoners’ escape from Malfoy Manor. When the battle begins, Draco loses her wand while in the Room of Requirement.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Harry Potter gives himself over to Voldemort during the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry chooses to return to his body, having killed the one Horcrux inside him Voldemort never meant to make (and knew nothing about). Narcissa comes to his side, using her long blonde hair as a shield between Harry and Narcissa and the rest. While shielded, she whispers to Harry, “Is Draco alive?”. This moment represents yet another instance in the series where Harry Potter is saved by a mother’s love, even if that love was not directed at him.
All she cares about and has ever cared about is her family. Draco is, in fact, only alive because Harry Potter, Hermoine, and Ron saved him twice at the castle on the same night. Under the Invisibility Cloak, they punched Draco in the face while remarking, “that’s twice now we’ve saved you.” Harry’s decision to bestow grace and mercy even on his biggest enemy ultimately contributed to his being saved. Confirming with the slightest nod to Narcissa, she reports back to the group and Voldemort that Harry is indeed dead. This allows for their triumphant walk back to the castle, Harry’s special love-based protection over all who fight against Voldemort, and the reunification of Narcissa with Draco.
In the book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, during the Battle of Hogwarts, both Narcissa and her recently returned husband Lucius run through the crowd in a desperate search for their son, Draco. They find him, and at the end of the battle, when Voldemort is gone, they are seen sitting awkwardly in the Great Hall with all the remaining detritus of the battle and its participants, looking uncertain about whether their presence is acceptable. No one mentions anything to them, so they remain, clearly having changed their views a bit and unsure where to go next.
However, in the film adaptation, their change of heart is made more evident as Narcissa grabs Draco’s hand after Lord Voldemort summons him to join the side of the death eaters before the final faceoff in the courtyard (when it is believed Harry Potter is dead). Draco grudgingly walks across the line to the other side, where his parents grab him and disappear through the ranks, retreating without a single glance across the bridge and away from the entire scene.
Therefore, the family was given a reprieve and suffered no incarceration. Narcissa watched her son marry and produce an heir.
Narcissa Malfoy Magical Abilities and Special Skills
One of the biggest themes throughout the Harry Potter series is the power of love and magical abilities. This is arguably one of Narcissa Malfoy’s greatest magical abilities. She loves her husband and son so severely that she will do anything to protect them. Her love for her son is what caused her to lie directly to Voldemort, finding Draco and eventually leading to Voldemort’s defeat. She did not participate in the final battle but instead spent her time anxiously searching for her husband and son and keeping them out of harm’s way.
The dark arts are some of her other special skills. This is revealed by the house-elf who worked for the family. When Harry Potter and his friends are taken captive and held at Malfoy Manor, she can successfully dual and deflects the spells that are fired at her during that time. She is perfect at dueling, though not as good as Bellatrix. She does, however, use her dueling skills to repeal her sister Bellatrix especially when her sister tries to prevent her from reaching out to Severus Snape to save the life of Draco.
Narcissa Malfoy is very skilled at an apparition, making a slight popping sound when she visited Severus Snape. With apparition, the quieter the popping sound upon appearing or disappearing, the more skilled the witch or wizard. When she arrives at Severus Snape’s home, her popping sound is distinguished as faint compared to the louder popping sound of her sister Bellatrix.
It is never confirmed that she has special occlumency skills. Still, it is likely because of her ability to lie directly to Voldemort and not be caught. It was believed that Voldemort was the most accomplished Legilimens (though this might very well have been Dumbledore). He would have easily confirmed whether or not she was lying about Harry Potter’s death unless she had been a skilled occlumens.
Narcissa Malfoy Wand
Nothing is known about the core or material in her wand. We know that her wand was given to Draco after his wand was lost. Draco later lost her wand in the final battle.
Narcissa Malfoy Trivial and Fun Facts
Helen Elizabeth McCrory was initially cast as the character’s sister, Bellatrix Lestrange. She became pregnant and was unable to continue filming, so they replaced her with Helena Bonham Carter and later recast her for the role of Narcissa.
Narcissa was never a death eater. Her husband was and most of her family too. She has a set of death eaters robes (though so does the werewolf Greyback, who is not a death eater either). Narcissa regularly took orders from Voldemort and fought alongside death eaters periodically. She helped use Kreacher to trick Harry Potter into believing his godfather was being tortured. She, however, was an avid supporter but primarily focused on her family above all else.
In all of the Harry Potter books, Narcissa has long blonde hair, distinctly blonde like that of Draco and Lucius. However, her hair increasingly becomes less blonde in the films, with Black on top and only a streak of blonde remaining in the final Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 film. This is likely indicative of her change from good to bad or how her disillusionment with Voldemort and the corruption of the Death Eaters has tainted her.
Narcissa Malfoy Appearances in Books
Narcissa Malfoy appears in the following books:
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (the character is first mentioned)
- Harry Potter Goblet of Fire (the character first appears)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (the character is only mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Narcissa Malfoy Appearances in Films
Narcissa Malfoy is played by Helen Elizabeth McCrory and appears in the following movies adaptations:
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Narcissa Malfoy Quotes
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, about her appearance:
“His mother was blonde too; tall and slim, she would have been nice-looking if she hadn’t been wearing a look that suggested there was a nasty smell under her nose.”
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Narcissa realizes that she will do anything to protect her son, noting:
“There is nothing I wouldn’t do anymore!”
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Narcissa encounters Harry Potter at Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions:
Narcissa Malfoy: “I see that being Dumbledore’s favorite has given you a false sense of security, Harry Potter. But Dumbledore won’t always be there to protect you.”
Harry Potter: “Wow… look at that… he’s not here now! So why not have a go? They might find you a double cell in Azkaban with your loser of a husband!”
Draco Malfoy: “Don’t you dare talk to my mother like that, Potter!”
Narcissa Malfoy: “It’s all right, Draco. I expect Potter will be reunited with dear Sirius before I am reunited with Lucius.”
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, while at Malfoy Manor, Narcissa fights with her sister to protect her son:
Bellatrix Lestrange: “Draco, move this scum outside. If you haven’t got the guts to finish them, then leave them in the courtyard for me.”
Narcissa: “Don’t you dare speak to Draco like —”
Bellatrix Lestrange: “Be quiet! The situation is graver than you can possibly imagine, Cissy!”
Answer: No, Narcissa was never officially a death eater. She did not have the brand though she did have the robes. She focused more on taking care of her family.
Answer: Narcissa supported her family. She was a very proud woman, and she always had a disdainful attitude looking down on people who were not pure blood. In fact, she looked down on many of the goblins and non-pureblood creatures like werewolves or blood-traitor families with equal disdain. While she believed in pureblood status, she never seemed entirely in favor of the behavior of her sister or other Death Eaters, including Lord Voldemort; instead, she tolerated it. In the end, she betrayed Lord Voldemort and lied to his face to save her family.
Answer: Narcissa was a very loving and supportive character toward her family. She was fully devoted to her husband and her son, not as much to other relatives. This is demonstrated in the scene where she begs Severus Snape to protect her son no matter what and when she insists on having her son at Hogwarts even though she does not like the school or its Headmaster. Just because it would mean he was close to home, and of course the final scene when she lies about Harry Potter being dead to get back to the castle and find Draco.
IMDB. Harry Potter Full Cast. https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0926084/fullcredits/cast
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Scholastic, 1999. Print.
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 2000.
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 1999.
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York: Scholastic, 2002.
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. New York: Listening Library, 2003.
Rowling, J. K. (2010). Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. London: Bloomsbury. Chicago (Author-Date, 15th ed.) Rowling, J. K. 2010.
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2007.