If anyone had told Harry Potter fans in 2008 that in 10 years' time in 2018 they would feel nothing but the deepest sympathy for Nagini, they would have insisted this was madness. Nagini was Voldemort's evil pet. Her death at Neville Longbottom's hand was a moment of triumph for the character, as well as one of the final pieces to take down Voldemort. But Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald changed all this, and from the looks of it, her story will only get more tragic. Is Nagini in Fantastic Beasts 3? Warning: Spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald follow.
Claudia Grey was first introduced in the Grindelwald trailers as a woman in a snakeskin-looking dress who transformed into a beast due to a blood curse, eventually trapping her as this animal for the rest of her life. At the time fans suspected she might be Nagini, a snake the Potter books always hinted was more than she seemed.
But even after the character posters revealed she was Nagini, fans were hard-pressed to feel sympathy. Nagini is such an evil creature in the Potter novels, it seemed hard to believe she would be a good-hearted person before her transformation. A follower of Voldemort would most likely follow Grindelwald too.
But assumptions can be wrong, and Nagini's story turned out to be far more tragic than anyone guessed. Forced to work in a wizarding circus and treated like a subhuman freak her whole life, Nagini only manages to escape with the help of her friend Credence, who she's taken a shine too. Nagini spends most of the film wanting nothing more than to help Credence find his mother, only to see him leave her behind for Grindelwald when push came to shove.
Nagini cannot follow Grindelwald. His "Wizards above all others" stance would create a world where those who suffer blood curses like her would be treated like animals, or worse, killed as abominations. At the end of the film, she's gone to the UK with Newt and company, part of the faction siding with Dumbledore.
But how does that even work? Fans know Nagini will one day turn to Voldemort, and become his constant companion for life. How does she go from the side of all magical creatures deserve equality to the snake fnas know and hate?
In truth, there's a long time between 1927 and 1945 when Dumbledore takes down Grindelwald. There are three more films to fill in the gaps in this story. Potter historians believe Tom Riddle to have been born circa 1926, just as the Fantastic Beasts story begins, which means he heads to Hogwarts in the mid-to-late 1930s. As Nagini loses more of herself to her snake persona, she will become more isolated from her fellow humans, especially once they lose the ability to talk to her.
Tom Riddle will be the only Parseltongue at Hogwarts in these final years. What are the chances Nagini turns to him as she loses the ability to communicate with anyone else?
Either way, the chances are very high Nagini will be in Fantastic Beasts 3 and maybe even Fantastic Beasts 4 as well, to reveal all.