How Did Voldemort Meet Nagini in Harry Potter?
This week's Your Nerd Side Show:
Nagini, Voldemort's snake, is an important part of the Harry Potter's villain. As Voldemort's closest ally, Nagini is also a Horcrux, one of eight pieces into which Voldemort divided his soul. However, the question arises of how the Dark Lord came across such a creature and decided it would be the contender for the most important of his Horcruxes, especially taking into account how risky it was for Voldemort to choose another living thing to store a piece of his soul.
When Voldemort first appears in full form in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, his figure is menacing, and his noseless face resembles that of a snake. Throughout the previous Harry Potter entries, the story pointed to how the evil character was connected to snakes. The house of Slytherin, to which he belonged at Hogwarts, is represented by a snake symbol. Voldemort could also speak to snakes, and thanks to this ability, he was the only one who could control the Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets. Therefore, it wasn't that surprising when Voldemort showed up accompanied by a larger-than-usual snake, but people still wonder how did Voldemort get Nagini.
When Did Voldemort Get Nagini?
In Harry Potter, Nagini is one of Voldemort's closest allies, if not the closest. He turns her into a Horcrux, which attests to how close they are and how much Voldemort trusts his snake companion. In fact, Voldemort turned Nagini into one of his Horcruxes partly because that would also give Nagini an immortal life, which speaks of the kind of love that Voldemort had for this creature. Dumbledore eventually refers to Voldemort as being as fond of Nagini "as he could be of anything." However, the story of how they met is difficult to piece together.
There's been speculation he may have found her while in exile in Albania between 1981 and 1994, where he assumed a phantom-like form and possessed many animals (however, only snakes could bear him inhabiting their body). During this time, Voldemort killed a witch called Bertha Jorkins, and J. K. Rowling confirmed it was through her murder that he turned Nagini into a Horcrux (via Wizarding World), so it makes sense that Voldemort met Nagini during this time. This could have something to do with Voldemort's ability to speak Parseltongue, which was explored during Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and which also allowed Tom Riddle to control the Basilisk living in Hogwarts.
However, Nagini was reintroduced in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which complicated the previous assumption that he'd met her in Albania, although it doesn't make it invalid. The film is set in 1927 and reveals that Nagini wasn't a regular snake but instead a Maledictus, a human woman cursed to transform into a snake. In The Crimes of Grindelwald, she is a young woman who befriends Credence Barebone while at Circus Arcanus, and the two become close due to their similarly tragic pasts. They plan an escape, and she helps Credence on his path to discover his true identity. Still, Grindelwald lures Credence into joining him, and he can't see the dark wizard's true nature as she does.
How Did Nagini End Up With Voldemort
Nagini implores Credence to stay with her, but his nature as an Obscurial, a wizard who develops a parasitical dark force due to his magic abilities being suppressed with abuse, is difficult to overcome. Credence joins forces with Grindelwald while Nagini joins Newt Scamander and Dumbledore in a Global Wizarding War, an event that was further developed in the next chapter of the series: Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. In short, no one knows exactly how Nagini ends up as Voldemort's closest ally. Evidently, something happened between the time of her joining Newt and the events of Harry Potter that pushed her to the dark side. It's likely that Nagini spent a considerable amount of time transformed into a Snake without knowing other people, so it makes sense that she eventually created a strong bond with Lord Voldemort, who was able to talk to snakes.
She might even have met Voldemort while still human, and he was still Tom Riddle. However, given how difficult it was becoming for her to maintain her transformations during the Fantastic Beasts arc, it seems unlikely. If that were the case, however, perhaps a romance between the two ends up in the strongest of bonds. There might be something in the young Tom Riddle that resembles her previous relationship with Credence, who is very similar to Lord Voldemort. Nagini did not appear in Secrets of Dumbledore, but there's definitely room for continued curiosity on how she became Voldemort's closest and most trusted ally. Many fans speculated that by the time Voldemort and Nagini came in contact with one another, she had likely been trapped in her snake form for several years without anyone to communicate with.
Alone, and perhaps even feeling desperate, she encountered Lord Voldemort. Connecting with someone who could see into her thoughts and speak with her, there is a strong possibility that in their communications. Whatever the origin of their relationship, there's no denying the closeness of their bond; after all, Nagini did allow Voldemort to turn her into a Horcrux. A story as intriguing and tragic as Nagini's has a lot of potential for exploration. Hopefully, audiences will see more of her character in the future in the Wizarding World website or even in another Harry Potter adaptation. At this time, however, fans can only imagine the origins of Voldemort and Nagini's dark and strange relationship.