Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Claudia Kim, Zoë Kravitz, Ezra Miller, and Callum Turner in Fantastic Beasts- The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Fantastic Beasts 2 Reveal About Nagini Has Some Unfortunate Implications

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Today it was revealed by the latest Fantastic Beasts trailer and Entertainment Weekly that Claudia Kim, in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, is playing none other than Voldemort’s future Harry Potter series pet snake/Horcrux, Nagini.

Kim has not been able to speak on this issue for a year, because this completely changes the way we view the character. In the interview with EW, Kim says, “It will be so interesting to see another side of Nagini. You’ve only seen her as a Horcrux. In this, she’s a wonderful and vulnerable woman who wants to live. She wants to stay a human being, and I think that’s a wonderful contrast to the character.”

According to this expanded universe, “Nagini can transform from human to snake at will, yet due to her mysterious blood curse she knows that eventually, she’ll become a snake permanently,” which is why she will eventually be the serpent who helps Voldemort gain strength and becomes his constant companion.

J.K. Rowling said on Twitter that she had been keeping this secret for 20 years and that Nagini is a Human Maledictus, not an Animagus. The difference is that a maledictus is a “female individual whose blood was cursed from birth, eventually leading to them turning into a beast. The curse is passed down from mother to daughter,” and being an animagus is a learned, non-gendered skill.

In the books, it has been said that the Voldemort/Nagini relationship is unusually close, even for someone like Voldemort, who can talk to and control snakes. Dumbledore told Harry, “I think he is perhaps as fond of her as he can be of anything. He certainly likes to keep her close and has an unusual amount of control over her, even for a Parselmouth.” Nagini has been considered the only living thing he ever cared about, and knowing about her human side casts a totally different light on the relationship.

Now, this means that, at best, Voldemort was in love or had feelings for a woman-turned-snake, and he was her only mode of human contact that could understand her. At worst, and what is fundamentally kind of squicky about this whole thing, is that Voldemort was keeping a woman of color … as a pet?

daniel radcliffe side eye

This reveal seems very Anakin-built-C-3PO to me. I’m not exactly sure what it will add the to world of Harry Potter for us to know Nagini was a person, unless we are going to examine the fact that Neville Longbottom killed someone, along with the implications of Nagini being turned into an “it” and an object for a white man’s use—especially since her role in Crimes of Grindelwald is apparently to feel bad and support another sad white boy in Credence Barebone, who Kim describes as being the one who “encourages her to use her power.”

daniel radcliffe side eye

This is Rowling’s world, and she is allowed to expand it however she wants, but this feels like the second fourth? coming of the Native culture appropriation in Pottermore, when she explored the American Magical school Illvermorny. Yes, we have a new woman of color in the universe of Harry Potter … who is destined to lose control, turn into a serpent forever, and become the tool of one of the most powerful white wizards of all time? Also she must have been, at least, in her ’70s when she died.

And just as a reminder, this is only movie two of a five-film story arc the series has planned, so there are more retcons to come. No-majichlorians are not far away.

Let us know what you think about this new development down below.

(via EW, image: Warner Bros.)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.