Just like the last trailer revealed Nicolas Flamel, the latest and last Crimes of Grindelwald trailer brought back a familiar character in a fascinating way.
Now that’s more like it Fantastic Beasts 2.
The first few Crimes of Grindelwald trailers left a lot to be desired. Jude Law looks like a great Dumbledore and its expansion of Harry Potter lore should be fun, but the fact it continues to feature Johnny Depp so heavily is still problematic.
Well, Tuesday morning, the final trailer for Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes of Grindelwald dropped via Twitter, and boy did it pack a punch. Sure, it still needed 85 percent less Depp as Grindelwald, but everything else was awesome enough to distract from that still obvious flaw.
The most interesting part of that trailer by far was the return of none other than Nagini, Voldemort’s trusted snake who turned out to be one of the seven horcruxes keeping him alive and was eventually killed by the GOAT Neville Longbottom. Well, it looks like there’s a lot more to Nagini’s history than what was presented in the original books and films.
In the trailer, Ezra Miller’s Clarence Barebone — the tragic villain of the first Fantastic Beasts film — appears to be in a cage of some sort and whispers the familiar name, “Nagini.” As he says it, a woman transforms into the infamous snake, immediately leading me down a Google, Twitter and IMDb rabbit hole to find out what the heck just happened.
The woman who turned into Nagini is actress Claudia Kim, whose character is listed on IMDb just as “Maledictus.” That’s also simply what she is referred to as in a character poster shared by the Fantastic Beasts Twitter account.
J.K. Rowling herself clarified what’s going on here shortly after the trailer dropped, tweeting a confirmation that Nagini isn’t just your average Moony-Wormtail-Padfoot-Prongs animagus, but in fact a new creation dubbed a maledictus.
According to the Harry Potter Wiki, a maledictus is “an individual whose blood was cursed, eventually leading to them turning into a beast.” Rowling expanded further on the conditions necessary to create a maledictus in another tweet.
So apparently Nagini a) used to be a human, and b) comes from a line of maledicti (??). This new information opens up a literal world of possibilities for a Nagini origin story to rival whatever the film has in store for Jude Law’s Albus Dumbledore.
However Nagini’s arc plays out in the new film, it’s immediately the most compelling thing about Crimes of Grindelwald, even more so than whatever the titular crimes themselves are. Any secret Rowling has been holding onto for 20 years is sure to be worth the wait.