The term had not been present in the Harry Potter source materials prior to a Thursday tweet from Rowling , which shot down a fan's assumption that Nagini was an Animagus. As I said before, there's a lot of problematic B.
Decapitated copperhead snake's head bites itself - video
In the Harry Potter books, readers learn that Nagini has accompanied Voldemort since his exile in Albania, which led many to believe that she was some kind of eastern European snake. Of course, Nagini's name comes from the Sanskrit word for "serpent," but many fans — myself included — assumed that that was Voldemort's name for his pet, or maybe a common name for snakes — think Nag and Nagaina from "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.
Now the character is a Korean witch, and Credence Barebone confirms that she had her Sanskrit name long before she met Voldemort. Leaving the fact that she wound up in Albania aside, can we just address the fact that this feels like the Fantastic Beasts 2 creators tried to make Asian identities interchangeable, without addressing the worlds of cultural differences that exist between the Indian subcontinent and the Korean peninsula?
Rowling defends Nagini's casting, stating that the Naga come from "Indonesian mythology," and Indonesia is where Chinese people live. Except that the Naga didn't originate in Indonesia, but in stories from Hindu scripture, and Korean people — like Claudia Kim — are not Chinese. The stereotype of the submissive, oppressed, Asian woman runs rampant throughout nerd fandoms, but Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts had largely managed to avoid all of that. Sure, Cho, Parvati, and Padma weren't strong female role-models, but they had agency and weren't enslaved as pets by and for corrupt men.
Turning Nagini into a flesh-and-blood woman of Korean descent completely changes the narrative surrounding her relationship with Voldemort. Nagini, an actual woman, lived out her life as a sideshow freak before she became a white man's pet. If you need to move one from your property or a public area, call an expert to humanely move them, he advises. In short, snakes play valuable roles in the ecosystem and deserve respect as wildlife. National Geographic showcases leading explorers, scientists, environmentalists, film makers and renowned photographers.
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