Nagini is a Maledictus, meaning she’s inflicted with a blood curse that lets her transform between human and snake at will – but at some point, as Harry Potter readers and viewers will know, she will become a snake permanently.
Not only that, but by the time the original Harry Potter timeline kicks in, Nagini is essentially Lord Voldemort’s villainous pet – and Horcrux.
The casting of Kim has been labelled “racially insensitive” by some fans; owing to the fact that she’s one of very few Asian women to be cast in a lead role in the franchise – and it’s a character who becomes the villain’s evil pet.
Author Ellen Oh explained on Twitter: “It’s okay to love problematic things. I’ll be the first to say that the Harry Potter series made me want to write children’s books.
“But let’s also talk about the problems. This feels like a problem.
“I feel like this is the problem when white people want to diversify and don’t actually ask POC [people of colour] how to do so.
“They don’t make the connection between making Nagini an Asian woman who later on is the pet of a white man.
“So I’m going to say it right now. That s**t is racist.”
Writer Gavia Baker-Whitelaw posted: “maybe ‘circus performer who turns into a murderous snake’ isn’t the best choice of role for one of the two WOC in the franchise.”
And artist Hyein Jeon wrote: “There are only two Asian women in Harry Potter franchise, Cho Chang and now NAGINI?
“Not to mention Cho Chang as an Asian character’s name is extremely lazy and funny (It’s basically two [surnames] combined) and considering how Cho was used as a character…. This is REALLY BAD.”
Yesterday Kim herself spoke out in an interview about Nagini’s character.
“You’ve only seen her as a Horcrux. In this, she’s a wonderful and vulnerable woman who wants to live,” she told Entertainment Weekly.
“She wants to stay a human being and I think that’s a wonderful contrast to the character.”
Nagini – after long being a full-time snake – is ultimately killed by Neville Longbottom towards the end of the Harry Potter series.
Yesterday’s reveal also drew plenty of excitement as the final trailer landed online ahead of the release in two months’ time.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is out on November 16.