Neville v. Nagini

Who doesn’t remember when Neville killed Nagini at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? It was cinematically awesome. Neville sliced her head off nice and clean. Another horcrux had been destroyed.

However, something struck me as I was watching Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald awhile back: Neville Longbottom didn’t just kill a giant snake. He killed a woman.

Nagini is a Maledictus – a carrier of a blood curse which will ultimately destine them to permanently transform into a beast. And for much of her life, she was treated horribly. People took advantage of her and used her as a sideshow act. It definitely wasn’t what she signed up for in life.

It’s not yet clear how Nagini ended up with Voldemort, but I have to imagine that they crossed paths somehow after she had outlived her usefulness in the sideshow – when she was permanently transformed into a beast. However, I don’t think being trapped as a beast erases who she is as a person. She’s still a woman who has thoughts and feelings, she’s just not in her human form.

When looked at from this angle, her death is actually quite sad. Her entire life, she had been considered a freak. People used her for entertainment, and Voldemort later used her as a … is slave the right word?

I know Nagini was a horcrux, so she had to be destroyed in order to take down Voldemort, but now part of me wishes she didn’t die. She didn’t ask for any of these horrible things to happen to her. She didn’t enjoy any of it. She was innocent.


Thoughts on Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Over the weekend, I finally got to watch Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. All in all, I thought it was a good movie; much better than Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. It had a more exciting plot.

However, this isn’t a review. I couldn’t help but notice something in a particular scene. Grindelwald was leading a meeting with his followers in France, I think, and of course the English Ministry of Magic was there to ambush and arrest him and his followers. It happened so fast it’s a blur, but what happened next went down something like this: the Ministry was in the crowd, anticipating the gathering’s behavior, when one of Grindelwald’s followers happened to look at an Auror. The Auror subsequently killed her. It seemed like one of those situations where the police are just lying in wait for action, and then someone looks at them funny or something and they fire their weapons, and all hell breaks loose. It seemed like the wizarding equivalent of racial profiling.

There’s one more thing I’d like to address. Why is everyone having a fit just because J.K. Rowling said that Dumbledore and Grindelwald were in a relationship at one point? Yes, Dumbledore dated a bad guy, but it’s not like Grindelwald was always bad. If I had to guess, I’d say that the pure-blood supremacy mindset is a learned behavior, so to speak. Grindelwald had to have someone or something influence him. Unless Grindelwald is also a sociopath. There’s no learning sociopathy. Grindelwald would just be born that way: a charismatic smoother talker with a screw or two loose. Maybe it’s a combination of both?