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27 Sep 2018

#FantasticBeasts: Harry Potter fans freak out over Nagini reveal

'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' released its final trailer. The trailer showed protagonist, Newt Scamander, on a mission from young Dumbledore to hunt down Grindelwald, a dark wizard.

The wizarding duels on Paris streets, monsters, and brilliant acting by Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law and Johnny Depp aside, the trailer revealed a major link to the Harry Potter world.

Read all about it here.

In context

Fantastic Beasts trailer reveals Nagini, fans freak out
How do we see Nagini in the trailer?


How do we see Nagini in the trailer?

Nagini, in the trailer, is a performer with the traveling Circus Arcanus. She uses her transformative powers to amaze Muggles.

However, before she becomes the killer snake, she is a vulnerable woman who feels the clock running out, as her transformation will be permanent.

Her only friend is Barebone, another broken being with whom she relates. Notably, her magic does not require a wand.


The big reveal and the fascinating link

The biggest revelation was actress Claudia Kim turning out to be Nagini, the snake.

Fans of the Harry Potter universe will immediately recognize that Nagini is Voldemort's pet snake and Horcrux in the franchise.

The trailer shows Ezra Miller's Corvus Barebone, born Lestrange, command Nagini to transform into a snake.

Fans were further shocked by J.K. Rowling's confirmation about knowing this for 20 years.

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Nagini's magic

There is magic if you know where to look

Nagini's reveal obviously raised questions and Rowling explained that she was a Maledictus, a magical being which eventually transforms into a beast.

Further clarifying, she differentiated a Maledictus and an Animagus. The former is a curse passed down from mother to daughter, while the latter can be of any gender.

Notably, there was no previous mention of a Maledictus in Harry Potter's universe.

The connection

It's a small world, after all

According to Rowling, a Maledictus is cursed with permanently taking shape of a beast. However, as seen with Nagini, they can shift at will before that.

In the Harry Potter franchise, we know Voldemort met Nagini in the woods of Albania where he was hiding. However, the story established that the two connected due to Voldemort's ability to speak Parseltongue, the serpent's language.

The facts of the franchise

Nagini is Voldemort's intuitive snake, whose venom helped revive him. We see Nagini in 'Crimes of Grindelwald' in 1927 but she was first introduced in Harry Potter as Voldemort's hench-snake in 1994's 'Goblet of Fire'. Her interim actions might be explained in this upcoming movie.

Woke fans

Fans have their eyes wide open

Fans have generally expressed excitement at the introduction of Nagini. Most people want to know the Maledictus' backstory and how she went from working with Grindelwald to becoming Voldemort's precious Horcrux.

However, some critically nuanced fans have pointed out the problem in an Asian woman being portrayed as a pet to a white man, who is characterized with Nazi-like qualities in the story.

Some fans appreciate the expanding universe

Some fans find J.K. Rowling's politics problematic

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