Just how did the Urak-hai in Lord of the Rings know what a menu was? Did Dorne ever matter in Game of Thrones? And what happened to Lucius Malfoy after the events of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows?
All great questions of great fantasy works, but all unanswered. Until recently. Jason Isaacs, the actor who played the silver-haired patriarch in the Harry Potter movies, may have just cleared up the last one.
As fans of JK Rowling’s story will remember, although a Death Eater, Lucius survived the battle of Hogwarts after defecting from Lord Voldemort, to save his son Draco. And while the Malfoys were safely reunited in both the book and movie, Lucius’ later fate isn’t made clear.
So, did he have a happy ending? Was he successfully reintegrated into society, free to enjoy a long life with his family? In short: probably not.
“Here’s my theory,” Isaacs tells RadioTimes.com. “He’s stuck between two worlds. He didn’t run in with the Death Eaters in the battle of Hogwarts. But nor did he leave his wife and kids. There was no world for him if Voldemort won, there’s no world for him if the Death Eaters lose.”
Although Isaacs thinks Lucius Malfoy would have avoided another stint in Azkaban as his money would have protected him, he says he wouldn’t have been able to have escaped a bitter end.
“I think [he’d] rarely be seen out of the confines of his fiefdom,” he says. “He’d be a spent force and drink himself into an early grave – as he deserves.”
Explaining further, Isaacs says: “I think that he was broken. From almost the first time Voldemort came back – he had these big dreams and ambitions to be Voldemort’s right-hand man.
“And Voldemort correctly identified his obsession with status earlier on and rejected him completely – even from the graveyard [where Voldermort was resurrected in the Golbet of Fire].”
He continues, “By the time he was taking his wand from his own table at Malfoy Manor, it was clear there was no place for him in the future of the Death Eaters. Lucius was a broken man putting up a facade but not fooling anybody.
“He recognised there was no escape for him. He was in an abyss from which there was no escape.”
So, overall, Malfoy didn’t have the happiest life after the events of The Deathly Hallows. Isaacs himself, however, says he’s still “delighted and honoured” to be part of the Wizarding World years after the final Harry Potter film, having recently returned to the franchise in a completely new role.
Rather than dusting off his blonde wig to play Malfoy once again, the actor has lent his voice to new audiobook The Tales of Beedle the Bard.
As Potter fans will know, Beedle the Bard is a collection of in-Potterverse bedtime stories – the favourite fairy tales of wizarding houses for centuries. And although the fables were first published in 2007, they’re now apparating onto Audible to support JK Rowling’s international children’s charity Lumos.
Even better, the audiobook is available to all Audible members for free this year.
In the new production, five magical talents – including Isaacs, Warwick Davis (Professor Filius Flitwick), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) and Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) – will all narrate one story, with Jude Law (who plays Dumbledore in the Fantastic Beasts films) reading out the Hogwarts headmaster’s notes on each.
“This isn’t a radio play. None of us are playing our characters. Lucius Malfoy isn’t reading the story, Jason is reading the story. It’s about trying to light the kindling in somebody’s imagination,” explains Isaacs.
“One of the tricks that I think all the other actors have all seemed to have managed is to get out of the way of the writing. JK Rowling is the master of storytelling.”
Isaacs, who reads the grim tale of The Warlock’s Hairy Heart, adds: “It was an incredible gift to read one of her stories. At a time like this where the world is feeling so precarious and fragile, so many people are taking such great comfort and solace in listening to stories and audiobooks and being taken out of themselves.”