'Fantastic Beasts 2' trailer: Why Harry Potter fans are losing their minds over Nagini

Fans have gone wild for Nagini in the new Fantastic Beasts 2 trailer
Fans have gone wild for Nagini in the new Fantastic Beasts 2 trailer

The latest Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has sent Harry Potter fans into a tizzy and it’s not just because Jamie Campbell Bower has returned as a young Gellert.

It’s because it confirms a fan theory about the origins of one Lord Voldemort’s infamous snake Nagini (introduced in Goblet of Fire) who has now been revealed to be a woman cursed to roam the Earth as the cold-blooded beast.

In the Harry Potter books and films, Nagini was simply a very large and deadly viper who served the Dark Lord as an enforcer, assassin, and Horcrux but now that backstory has been retconned.

Fantastic Beasts 2 introduces Claudia Kim as the original witch version of Nagini who is working for a circus as the “Snake Girl.”

She has the ability to transform into the reptile but that doesn’t make her an animagus she’s a maledictus, which author and screenwriter JK Rowling says is drastically “different.”

According to the author, “the maledictus carries a blood curse from birth which is passed down from mother to daughter… The slow transformation into a beast is beyond their control but they aren’t destined to be evil.”

The animagi are in complete control of their beastly transformations, e.g. Rita Skeeter (beetle), Professor McGonagall (cat) and Sirius Black (dog), but the maledictus are not afforded that luxury and will inevitably become the animal they are cursed to transform into.

Here’s the official definition on Pottermore: “A ‘Maledictus’ is a carrier of a blood curse which will ultimately destine them to transform permanently into a beast.”

Although Rowling says that those who are afflicted are not “destined to be evil,” judging by the trailer (and the Harry Potter books) it seems Nagini ends up that way after falling in with the wrong crowd, namely Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) who meets her at the Parisian circus she is working at.

Credence seemingly aligned with the dark side in the first Fantastic Beasts film, after suffering abuse from his adoptive mother Mary Lou (Samantha Morton) and being manipulated by Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) in the guise of MACUSA official Graves (Colin Farrell).

He turned out to be the Obscurial (a witch or wizard who develop a parasitic power called the Obscurus after suppressing their magical powers) wreaking havoc on Manhattan and while the American magical authorities believed him dead he survived the encounter and fled in wispy vapour form.

We’ll have to wait until November to find out more about Nagini when the next chapter in the saga hits cinemas.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be released in cinemas on 16 November.

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