Home Celebrities Will the Next Fantastic Beasts Confirm This Intriguing Nagini Theory?

Will the Next Fantastic Beasts Confirm This Intriguing Nagini Theory?

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As any Ravenclaw worth her weight in galleons knows well, the death of Voldemort was inextricably linked to the life of Nagini, his beloved pet snake who also zealously hoarded a piece of the Dark Lord’s soul. She was the evil wizard’s most loyal companion and his final Horcrux, their bond amplified by the fact that Voldemort could speak Parseltongue, the language of snakes. Though the first seven Harry Potter books never explicitly confirmed it, there was also an implication within them that Nagini and Voldemort’s connection ran deeper—that she was more perceptive and more intelligent than the average snake. But Potter fans have never quite been able to pinpoint exactly what it was that set her apart—that is, until the trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was released on Tuesday. The clip may confirm a deliciously dark theory positing that Nagini is in fact a Maledictus—a cursed witch who turned into an animal.

The theory began taking shape last year, when new details about the second Fantastic Beasts film were released on Pottermore. Early cast photos confirmed not only that Ezra Miller’s character, Credence, would return for the sequel, but also that he would be accompanied by a mysterious woman, played by Claudia Kim. We don’t know much about her character yet—but we have been told that she is a Maledictus, “someone who suffers from a ‘blood curse’ that turns them into a beast.” It would seem fitting, then, that this new witch might transform into Nagini. She’s shown briefly in the trailer, around the 1:07 mark, hanging out on a rooftop with Credence, where the two are clearly up to some Obscurial dark magic.

Some sharp fans have also noted that there’s a second clue around the 1:17 mark, which shows a circus poster of a woman who looks like Kim tangled up in a giant snake; the word “Maledictus” is splashed underneath the image. It was revealed last summer that Kim’s character, whose name has not yet been revealed, would enter the story as a “featured attraction at a wizarding circus,” so that sounds about right. The circus, by the way, is called the Circus Arcanus, and it’s run by a man named Skender (played by Ólafur Darri Ólafsson).

still from trailer

A closer look at the poster can be seen in this tweet:

Little is known about Nagini’s origin story and how she and Voldemort joined forces, though there have been theories that the two met when he was in exile in Albania. However, the potential revelation that Nagini is in fact a cursed witch would explain the snake’s heightened abilities, which were formerly attributed to the fact that she harbored a piece of Voldemort’s soul. And this detail would certainly also add another layer to her ultimate demise, when Neville Longbottom slashes her head off with the sword of Gryffindor. Ouch. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters on Nov. 16.

Get Vanity Fair’s HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.__About a Book__ Harry, his owl, Hedwig, and foppish professor Gilderoy Lockhart pay a visit to London's About a Book Harry, his owl, Hedwig, and foppish professor Gilderoy Lockhart pay a visit to London's "wizarding" bookstore, Flourish and Blotts.Photo: Photographed by Mark Seliger for the October 2002 issue.__Greenhouse Efx__  Ron, Hermoine, and Harry take Herbology instruction from Professor Sprout, played by Miriam Margolyes. Ron is holding a just-picked Mandrake. Note earmuffs, which protect the students from its fatal cry.Greenhouse Efx

Ron, Hermoine, and Harry take Herbology instruction from Professor Sprout, played by Miriam Margolyes. Ron is holding a just-picked Mandrake. Note earmuffs, which protect the students from its fatal cry.

Photo: Photographed by Mark Seliger for the October 2002 issue.__Stoned__  Hermione Granger has been literally Stoned

Hermione Granger has been literally "Petrified." She is attended to by Madame Pomfrey (played by Gemma Jones), Harry, Ron, and Colin Creevey (played by Hugh Mitchell).

Photo: Photographed by Mark Seliger for the October 2002 issue.__The Boy Who Lived__   Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, in the spider-infested cupboard where he is forced to live. “I was totally scared out of my wits,” Radcliffe says of auditioning for the role.The Boy Who Lived

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, in the spider-infested cupboard where he is forced to live. “I was totally scared out of my wits,” Radcliffe says of auditioning for the role.

Photo: Photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the October 2001 issue.__The Gryffindor Quidditch Team__   From left to right: Leila Sutherland (Alicia Spinnet), Sean Biggerstaff (Oliver Wood, team captain), Emily Dale (Katie Bell), Danielle Tabor (Angelina Johnson), Oliver Phelps (George Weasley), Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), and James Phelps (Fred Weasley).The Gryffindor Quidditch Team

From left to right: Leila Sutherland (Alicia Spinnet), Sean Biggerstaff (Oliver Wood, team captain), Emily Dale (Katie Bell), Danielle Tabor (Angelina Johnson), Oliver Phelps (George Weasley), Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), and James Phelps (Fred Weasley).

Photo: Photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the October 2001 issue.__The Life-Size Chess Match__   Rupert Grint, who plays Harry Potter’s best friend, Ron Weasley, rides one of the live chess pieces that guard the hidden Sorcerer’s Stone at Hogwarts.The Life-Size Chess Match

Rupert Grint, who plays Harry Potter’s best friend, Ron Weasley, rides one of the live chess pieces that guard the hidden Sorcerer’s Stone at Hogwarts.

Photo: Photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the October 2001 issue.Photo: Photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the October 2001 cover.PreviousNext

About a Book Harry, his owl, Hedwig, and foppish professor Gilderoy Lockhart pay a visit to London's "wizarding" bookstore, Flourish and Blotts.Photographed by Mark Seliger for the October 2002 issue.
Greenhouse Efx

Ron, Hermoine, and Harry take Herbology instruction from Professor Sprout, played by Miriam Margolyes. Ron is holding a just-picked Mandrake. Note earmuffs, which protect the students from its fatal cry.

Photographed by Mark Seliger for the October 2002 issue.

Stoned

Hermione Granger has been literally "Petrified." She is attended to by Madame Pomfrey (played by Gemma Jones), Harry, Ron, and Colin Creevey (played by Hugh Mitchell).

Photographed by Mark Seliger for the October 2002 issue.

The Boy Who Lived

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, in the spider-infested cupboard where he is forced to live. “I was totally scared out of my wits,” Radcliffe says of auditioning for the role.

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the October 2001 issue.

The Dursleys

Unaware that he is really a famous wizard, Harry lives as an unloved member of the Dursley family. Fiona Shaw, left, is Petunia Dursley, sister of Harry’s late mother; Richard Griffiths, center, has the role of Vernon Dursley; and Harry Melling, as their son Dudley, is the world’s most horrible child.

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the October 2001 issue.

At Hogwarts

From left to right: gathered on the set of the Hogwarts School’s Great Hall are Jamie Waylett as Crabbe, Tom Felton as Draco, Harry’s nemesis, and Joshua Herdman as Goyle, all of Slytherin House, and Emma Watson as Hermione, Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, and Rupert Grint as Ron, all of Gryffindor House.

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the October 2001 issue.

The Half-Giant

Robbie Coltrane, who plays Hagrid, the Hogwarts gamekeeper, says he went to J. K. Rowling for guidance: “When I was trying to get a fix on Hagrid’s character, she said, ‘Well, think of him as one of those really big Hell’s Angels that gets off a motorbike and then starts talking about how his garden is coming.’”

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the October 2001 issue.

Flitwick, Quirrell, and Hooch

From left to right: Warwick Davis (as Professor Flitwick, a tiny wizard who teaches Charms), Ian Hart (as Professor Quirrell, who specializes in Defense Against the Dark Arts), and Zoë Wanamaker (as Madame Hooch, professor of Flying) with a dragon skeleton on the set of the Hogwarts library.

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the October 2001 issue.

Professor Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall

Richard Harris as kindly Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore and Dame Maggie Smith as Deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall, a witch who teaches Transfiguration, on a Hogwarts staircase.

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the October 2001 issue.

The Master of Potions

Alan Rickman, as the sinister-seeming Professor Severus Snape, teaches the art of Potions in a dungeon at Hogwarts. How deep is his hatred of Harry Potter?

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the October 2001 issue.

The Ghosts

From left to right: Terence Bayler as the Bloody Baron, Simon Fisher-Becker as the Fat Friar, John Cleese as Nearly Headless Nick, and Nina Young as the Grey Lady.

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the October 2001 issue.

The Gryffindor Quidditch Team

From left to right: Leila Sutherland (Alicia Spinnet), Sean Biggerstaff (Oliver Wood, team captain), Emily Dale (Katie Bell), Danielle Tabor (Angelina Johnson), Oliver Phelps (George Weasley), Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), and James Phelps (Fred Weasley).

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the October 2001 issue.

The Life-Size Chess Match

Rupert Grint, who plays Harry Potter’s best friend, Ron Weasley, rides one of the live chess pieces that guard the hidden Sorcerer’s Stone at Hogwarts.

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the October 2001 issue.

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the October 2001 cover.

Yohana DestaYohana Desta is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.

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