J.K. Rowling Explains the Reveal That Voldemort's Snake Was Once a Human Woman

Some are calling the move to cast Claudia Kim as a future snake servant in 'Fantastic Beasts 2' problematic.

J.K. Rowling 'Fantastic Beasts 2'

Image via Getty/Bruce Glikas

J.K. Rowling 'Fantastic Beasts 2'

The final trailer forFantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald dropped a bombshell on Potterheads already anxious for an expansion of the wizarding world. In it, Claudia Kim’s character is revealed as Nagini, who later becomes Lord Voldemort’s trusted snake and Horcrux.

Now super fans are flipping out, because up until this point only J.K. Rowling—and of course the cast and crew of Fantastic Beasts—knew Nagini was ever human. It’s a secret the author admitted she’s been sitting on for about 20 years.

Only for around twenty years. https://t.co/gZadgWVREN

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 25, 2018

This obviously leaves fans with some questions Rowling is happy to answer. On Twitter the she explained that Nagini is a human and a Maledictus, not an Animagus like Sirius Black. Her condition is a blood curse that only affects women, and one that Nagini has no control over.

Not an Animagus. A Maledictus. Big difference. https://t.co/JwVVNnvVQU

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 25, 2018

They're different conditions. Maledictuses are always women, whereas werewolves can be either sex. The Maledictus carries a blood curse from birth, which is passed down from mother to daughter. https://t.co/wYfvPeQFRW

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 25, 2018

She also once again shot down the theory that the boa constrictor in the first Harry Potter film was Nagini.

Noooo... I thought I'd shot that one down! The escaped boa constrictor in Philosopher's Stone wasn't Nagini. It was never Nagini. That's an incorrect but very persistent fan theory! https://t.co/QEy89kwloA

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 25, 2018

Since the trailer's release, there are also important concerns being voiced about Fantastic Beasts casting an Asian woman to play a character that becomes a snake, citing the cultural baggage it implies. While some are defending Rowling’s decision as a nod to Southeast Asian culture, others are criticizing it for what Nagini undergoes in the future, specifically serving under Voldemort who...drinks her milk.

2007 me: i can't believe harry potter is over forever.... i wish jkr would write more!
2018 me: voldemort and bellatrix have a love child called delphi who is albus severus' nemesis
2007 me: what -
2018 me: nagini is a human woman and voldemort's been sucking her milk

— miccaeli ✍️ (@renegadeapostle) September 25, 2018

“Let's retroactively turn a woman of color into a literal object owned by a white man inspired by nazis.” https://t.co/JYTQK6YFss

— Charles PM (@CharlesPulliam) September 25, 2018

maybe “circus performer who turns into a murderous snake“ isn't the best choice of role for one of the two WOC in the franchise.

— Gavia Baker-Whitelaw (@Hello_Tailor) September 25, 2018

I never thought Nagini could exist before my era @jk_rowling I have so many questions #FanstasticBeasts

— Lord Voldemort (@LordeVoIdemort) September 25, 2018

However you feel about it, this Nagini reveal is huge news and everyone, even Lord Voldemort, is giving their two cents.

Knowing about Nagini 🐍 Potter fans right now pic.twitter.com/u9DigcIkZn

— Rohit Raina (@rohitraina) September 25, 2018


Fantastic Beasts hits theaters Nov. 16.

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