Wands at the ready, witches and wizards, because we're closer than ever before to seeing Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. The film won't hit theaters until November, but the last trailer has spilled a juicy secret that will convince you to buy your midnight screening tickets ASAP. The final Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald trailer reveals an unexpected twist about Voldemort's snake Nagini that has definitely already inspired fervent fan theories.
With the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) on the loose after Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) has enlisted Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to help him track down his contemporary before he wrecks havoc in the relationship between the Muggle and Wizarding worlds. Although he helps Newt along the way in the dangerous mission, Dumbledore's mysterious past with Grindelwald prevents him from searching for him myself. Longtime Potterheads know that an even younger Dumbledore had romantic feelings for Grindelwald, and the trailer's brief scene of the professor at the Mirror of Erised definitely hints at this.
While Dumbledore's connection to Grindelwald isn't much of a surprise for anyone well-versed in Harry Potter, the trailer uncovers an origin story that fans definitely weren't anticipating. After inspiring chaos in New York in the first film, Ezra Miller's Credence has run off with the circus, where he has met a literal shapeshifter named — wait for it — Nagini.
Played by Claudia Kim, the character appeared in the group shot of Crimes of Grindelwald's ensemble, but her identity was a mystery until now. As seen in the trailer, Nagini has the power to transform into a snake, but she eventually becomes Voldemort's deadly sidekick and Horcrux. She met her demise in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when Neville Longbottom used Godric Gryffindor's sword to kill her, but Kim tells Entertainment Weekly that meeting Nagini as a human introduces a complicated, relatable journey, saying:
It will be so interesting to see another side of Nagini. You’ve only seen her as a Horcrux. In this, she’s a wonderful and vulnerable woman who wants to live. She wants to stay a human being and I think that’s a wonderful contrast to the character.
Kim also revealed that while Nagini can easily shift from human to snake in the film's 1927 setting, a curse on her blood will eventually force her to become a snake permanently. Such is the life of a human Maledictus, which Pottermore describes as a person with a blood curse whose destiny is to become a beast. In further clarification, author J.K. Rowling explained on Twitter that Maledictuses are always women, and in case you missed Rowling's past reminders, Nagini is not the snake that Harry inadvertently let loose from the London Zoo.
In another surprising twist, Kim also hinted to EW that Nagini isn't quite a wizard, saying:
She does feel sometimes [that her powers are] not controllable. She is bound to [permanently] transform at some point to a beast so she feels this pressure that the clock is ticking. She has powers that are yet to be explored. I can’t confirm she has powers like wizards have. And she doesn’t have a wand.
Potterheads aren't always happy with the newest additions Rowling announces about the Wizarding world, but Nagini's story is an update that I certainly don't mind. The land of magic is obviously a small world, and it'll be mind-blowing to see how Nagini's origins tie into the snake we know from the original Harry Potter series.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is in theaters on Friday, Nov. 16, 2018.