Voldemort's infamous pet snake Nagini became much more lively with the announcement that Claudia Kim would play her human form in the new Fantastic Beasts movie. For years she was known simply as the serpentine instrument of Voldemort's evil intentions. After Crimes of Grindelwald, she's now a more fleshed out and (dare we say it) human character. While seeing her in Fantastic Beasts gave us a fascinating insight to her psyche, it's also raised a lot of questions. So, here are 5 facts we learned about Nagini, as well as 5 questions we now have about her.
10 Fact: Nagini Is A Maledictus
A Maledictus, according to good ol' J.K., is a witch who has been born with a blood curse, carried on by her mother. While not destined to be evil, the afflicted witch is able to turn into a specific animal (in this case a snake). Maledictus are slightly different than the Animagi we've seen in the books and film, however. Over time, they will lose control of their ability and remain permanently trapped in animal form. Given that we don't see Nagini in human form beyond her controlling Bertha Jorkins' corpse, it's safe to say that she is permanently stuck as a snake when we see her in Harry Potter.
9 Question: Why Is She Subjected To This Curse?
Maledictus are born from a blood curse carried from mother to daughter. So what did Nagini's family do to deserve such a fate? Is Nagini the first in her family to bear the curse, or does she come from a long line of Maledictus? Is the fact that she turns into a snake specifically at all significant? The fact that we don't know hopefully means we'll find out more about what happened to her in Fantastic Beasts 3.
8 Fact: She Spent Time In The Circus
When we first meet Nagini, she is a circus performer with the Circus Arcanus in Paris. More specifically, she's part of the freak show, doing her performance from inside a cage. Her performance includes her ability to turn into a snake at will in front of a Muggle audience.
The idea that one of Voldemort's most valuable Horcruxes rubbed shoulders with circus folk and Muggles in France is definitely not something anyone would have seen coming prior to this film.
7 Question: Why Did She Join The Circus If It Was So Awful?
It's made immediately clear that Nagini wants to escape from the circus as soon as she can. She enlists Credence (more on that later) to cause a distraction so the two of them can escape. But we're never told or shown why Nagini joined the Circus Arcanus in the first place. Did it have something to do with her Maledictus curse? Why hadn't she tried escaping before? There's an interesting story to her time in the circus that was left unanswered in the film.
6 Fact: Nagini Wasn't Always Evil
In a surprising twist, Nagini is never shown to waver in her convictions of morality. She seems to possess a strong idea of what is right and what is wrong. When faced with the temptation to join Grindelwald's assault on the Muggle world, she refuses. She tries to get Credence to do the same, insisting that only Credence can find out who he is, not the dark wizard. It's a clear change from the Nagini we know in the books that follows a completely different ideology.
5 Question: How Does She Know Credence?
While stuck with the Circus Arcanus, Nagini seems to know Credence Barebone, the Obscuris and neglected magical teenager from the first film. Once freed, she travels with him to try and find out the truth about who he really is. An even better question for viewers is how the two characters knew each other.
Had Credence been at the circus for a long time? Was he part of the performances with Nagini? Why had she agreed to help him instead of trying to find a way to cure herself? The questions stacked up on this particular aspect of the film, and given that Credence chose to join Grindelwald we may not learn the truth.
4 Fact: Nagini Knew About Nicholas Flamel
At the end of the movie, Grindelwald attempts to destroy Paris with a powerful curse similar to Fiendfyre. It takes the combined efforts of all the heroes to try and stop it. Joining them at the last second with some powerful magical assistance is none other than Nicholas Flamel. Yes, the same Nicholas Flamel who created the Sorcerer's Stone that Voldemort attempts to steal decades later. It's entirely possible then, that Voldemort even thought to steal the stone due to Nagini's brush with the powerful alchemist.
3 Question: Where Did She Learn Magic From?
It's not made clear which wizarding school Nagini attended. She has a more American accent, implying that she could have studied at Ilvermorny in the United States. However, she seems to live in and be familiar with Europe. She could have attended Hogwarts, or even Beauxbatons given that we first meet her in Paris. It's even possible that she was homeschooled in, magic, as her Maledictus curse may have prevented her from joining any magical school. Hopefully, we find out at some point in the future.
2 Fact: Nagini Was Around 100 Years Old When She Died
An interesting thing to think about, but consider this: the events of Fantastic Beasts 2 take place in 1928. Nagini appears to be in her late 20s or early 30s in the film, putting her birth year around 1900 (or earlier). The Battle of Hogwarts where Neville kills her with the Sword of Gryffindor occurs in 1998. This would put her age anywhere from mid 90s or early 100s when she was finally killed. While not unheard of for magical individuals to have long lifespans, it's still remarkable to think of her living that long in snake form.
1 Question: Couldn't Dumbledore Destroy Her Blood Curse?
At some point in their past, Dumbledore and Grindelwald made a blood pact to not harm one another through magical means. When Newt steals a vial containing this blood pact from Grindelwald, Dumbledore believes that he can use it to break the blood pact. While these things might be different forms of magic, doesn't this mean that Dumbledore could also break the blood curse affecting Nagini? If he's powerful enough to attempt such a feat on himself, he could theoretically do the same on someone dealing with a similar affliction.