As the Fantastic Beasts movie franchise unfolds, JK. Rowling saw a chance to connect it with the Harry Potter universe more. The fans went wild when the trailer for the second movie, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, came out and showed Nagini in her human form.
Since then, many characters got their origin stories and many events from Harry Potter and the Wizarding World history explained. Particularly, the origins of Nagini, Lord Voldemort’s Horcrux and pet snake, were revealed.
Who is Nagini?
Nagini was born at the beginning of the 20th century, probably in Indonesia. She was a beautiful woman who was cursed by the Meledictus curse. It allowed Nagini to transform into a snake, often willingly but sometimes unwillingly as well.
However, the downside of the curse was that eventually she would have one final transformation into the snake and remain like that forever. That is precisely what happened.
Nagini was a performer in the Circus Arcanus, as seen in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, where she was forced to entertain the masses with her curse. This was before her permanent transformation.
Little is known about her life before the circus.
It is presumed that she was transformed permanently long before Voldemort lost his body in the late 80s and early 90s. Nagini not only lost her human form but the ability to communicate with other beings. That was until she encountered Voldemort in his spirit form.
In the movie, we see that Nagini is a good character, which begs the question of why and how she came to the service of Lord Voldemort. Being his Horcrux could be the answer, but Nagini became his ally before that as it is known that she helped him commit the murder which made her a Horcrux.
Several fan theories agree that this was precisely because Voldemort was a parseltongue and could speak to her. Being her only friend gave him all the leverage he needed to win her over, that and the fact that Voldemort always had a way of coercing people to his cause.
This was probably in the forests of Albania, where Voldemort was hiding while in his spirit form. The venom produced by Nagini was one of the ingredients Voldemort used to create a special potion that strengthened his spirit and directly enabled his rebirth.
Becoming Voldemort’s Horcrux
It is presumed that Voldemort and Nagini met in the forests of Albania or perhaps a little earlier and went there together. Either way, Nagini allowed Voldemort to possess her occasionally, as fans theorize, to have a physical connection to the Wizarding World.
During their stay there, Bertha Jorkins, who worked at the Ministry of Magic, went to Albania for a holiday. This was in 1994. She accidentally ran into Peter Pettigrew in an inn and recognized him. Now, Peter was at this point presumed dead, killed by Sirius Black.
Bertha was alarmed by this, but Peter persuaded her not to report him immediately but to come with him into the woods. He overpowered her and brought her to Voldemort. The Dark Lord performed various memory charms and tortures to extract whatever information about the ministry he could.
This severely damaged Bertha’s mind and body, beyond any repair, after which Voldemort finally killed her with Avada Kedavra. Nagini was present there and Voldemort used this murder to sever a part of his soul and bind it to Nagini, making her his Horcrux.
Voldemort’s closest ally
Nagini was presumably already deep in league with Voldemort before that, but after she became his Horcrux, the two shared a unique bond. They were very close, able to communicate telepathically as well as through parseltongue.
Also, it was said that if Voldemort had any love for anyone in the world, it was for Nagini. She helped him many times and was his agent throughout the entire Second Wizarding War. Nagini attacked and nearly killed Arthur Weasley at the ministry.
She also attacked Harry, Hermione, and Ron at the Godric’s Hallow who barely escaped her. Nagini killed Severus Snape at the command of her master after Voldemort suspected Snape was the true master of the Elder Wand.
Many fans theorize that the Meledictus curse gives its target an unnaturally long cursed life. This is because Nagini was in her early 20s when she permanently transformed into a snake, which happened sometime during the 1930s.
This means that she was already around eighty to ninety years old when she became Voldemort’s Horcrux. However, becoming a Horcrux might have also prolonged Nagini’s life and given her additional abilities.
Some of those abilities include invulnerability to any kind of damage or weapon, except to those that can destroy a Horcrux. Such a weapon was the sword of Godric Gryffindor after it was infused with the blood of the Basilisk. This happened when Harry killed the Basilisk from the Chamber of Secrets with it.
During the Battle of Hogwarts, Nagini was one of Voldemort’s fiercest lieutenants and a dangerous adversary, but Neville Longbottom killed her with the sword of Godric Gryffindor. This was essential in destroying Voldemort.