J.K. Rowing Knew Nagini Used To Be A Human Even Before Fantastic Beasts


Last November’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald shook up Harry Potter fans’ understanding of the Wizarding World canon in some pretty major ways. What with the climactic reveal that Credence is actually Albus Dumbledore’s hitherto-unknown younger brother, fans have kind of glossed over the fact that the film also tells us that Nagini, Voldemort’s pet snake, used to be a woman.

As played by Claudia Kim, Crimes established that Nagini was once a circus performer in Paris in the 1920s. A Maledictus, she was cursed to turn into a snake, a transformation that’s destined to one day become permanent. Sadly, we already know how the character ends up and suddenly, Neville’s slaying of the serpent in The Deathly Hallows doesn’t seem so heroic anymore.

This might sound like a big ol’ retcon, but J.K. Rowling has now revealed that she always knew in the back of her head that Nagini was once human. And for proof, the character’s name is derived from a mythological snake-woman creature. Here’s what the writer says on a BTS feature on the Crimes Blu-Ray/DVD release:

“These movies have given me the chance to tell a story that I knew all along about Nagini, who appears only as a snake in Potter. Now, there were always hints that she had been human. In her name — because the Naga are, in mythology, a race of snake beings. So the name was an allusion to the fact that she may herself once have been human.”

In Crimes, Nagini and Credence grow close as both are magicfolk suffering from a curse – his is being an Obscurial. Now that Credence – sorry, Aurelius – has been taken under Grindelwald’s wing, though, who knows if his relationship with Nagini will strengthen or weaken. Somehow she turns into an evil snake, so maybe it’s a broken heart that does it?

In any case, Fantastic Beasts 3 has been hit by a delay, as its scheduled November 2020 release date was handed over to Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. We’ll keep you posted as new details about Newt and co.’s return arise though, so be sure to stay tuned.

Source: The Insider