A Maledictus or Maledictuses were similar to an Animagus or Animagi but not the same, as there were several major differences between the two. A Maledictus was born as a witch or Muggle woman, and the possibility of it being a Maledictus was only confirmed when she exhibited traits of the beast she was eventually meant to completely transform into.
The blood curse was usually carried by the Maledictus due to a hereditary nature and passed mostly from her mother to her. One of the examples of a Maledictus in the Harry Potter universe was Nagini, who was seen in the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald as both a witch and a snake, but later transforms completely into a snake and is tamed by Lord Voldemort as his pet and is also one of his Horcruxes.
The term Maledictus was a Latin word derived from Malidecere, meaning to slander, curse, or speak ill of. Maledictus, which meant the “accursed one” was a masculine term, and since all Maledictuses were known to be female, the correct Latin term for them would be Maledicta. However, J. K. Rowling must have decided to call them Maledictuses because of it being a more convenient and grounded term.
Purpose Of A Blood Curse
The objective purpose of a blood curse was unknown. However, it is fairly obvious that the blood curse was placed on someone who had angered or hurt the person who had placed the curse, and instead of just cursing the person, the curser decided to place a blood curse so that not only would this person suffer, but also their descendants would go through the ordeal of reliving their ancestor’s mistake. The blood curse was a very serious and painful ordeal for people who literally had no reason to be punished but got it just because some ancestor of theirs got it.
Before a Maledictus would permanently gain the form of the creature she was supposed to become, she would sometimes undergo partial transformations. In the case of Nagini, the snake, we see her in her human form in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, played by the actress Claudia Kim. However, she also undergoes partial transformations several times and becomes a snake during her circus performance at the Circus Arcanus. She is seen with Credence Barebone, who is later revealed to be Aurelius Dumbledore. It is revealed by the circus manager that she has a blood curse, and she will soon be completely transformed into a snake.
Harry Potter fans were very excited to see Nagini in the trailer and the final trailer of the movie and since Nagini had only appeared in her snake form in the Harry Potter books, it was a refreshing experience to see Claudia Kim’s character in her human form.
Animagi and Maledictuses
Animagi were possibly the closest and most similar to Maledictuses as they were both capable of transforming into animals. However, Animagi were very different from Maledictuses for several reasons. Firstly, Animagi were witches or wizards who voluntarily decided to become an animal with the flexibility of transforming between their human and animal forms at will. Maledictuses were cursed with their condition, that too due to their ancestors rather than themselves. They never chose to be in the animal form like the Animagi. Secondly, Maledictuses were born with their condition, unlike the Animagi, who had to undergo several significant and gruesome procedures to become an Animagi.
Furthermore, while Maledictuses are only female, Animagi can be any gender, and for that matter, even werewolves can be any gender.
Maledictuses in the Harry Potter Universe
Maledictuses are very rare in the Harry Potter universe and there is only one known Maledictus in the Harry Potter universe. Nagini, the pet snake of Lord Voldemort, is the only known Maledictus in the Harry Potter series. However, Draco Malfoy’s wife and Scorpius Malfoy’s mother, Astoria Greengrass, is also told to be suffering from a blood malediction which is a blood curse and she eventually dies when Scorpius is studying at Hogwarts. It is highly unlikely that Astoria was also a Maledictus and it is more likely that she suffered a blood curse which is not necessarily always someone being a Maledictus.
Nagini, the only confirmed Maledictus in the Harry Potter Universe first appeared in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in her completely serpentine form. She was summoned by Lord Voldemort and was ordered to eat Frank Bryce, the caretaker at the Riddle house who was killed by Lord Voldemort. However, Voldemort had made several attempts to come back to life, first through the Philosopher’s Stone and later by opening the Chamber of Secrets and controlling the Basilisk. However, Nagini was not present with him at that time, which implies that he probably found Nagini later, probably around the time of the events of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Later, Nagini was also responsible for keeping him in his sub-human form as her venom was milked and probably fed to him or used in a ritual to keep him alive.
Nagini continued to be very closely attached to Lord Voldemort, and the revelation that Voldemort had turned Nagini into a Horcrux justified this attachment to an extent. Nagini continued to accompany Lord Voldemort in his journeys and was also responsible for killing and sometimes eating several of his victims, including Charity Burbage and Severus Snape. Nagini also disguised herself as the famous historian Bathilda Bagshot by hiding inside her corpse in an attempt to lure Harry Potter and Hermione Granger to her house.
Are Maledictuses immortal?
No, Maledictuses are not immortal. In fact, even other blood curses can actually be the cause of a person’s death, as in the case of Astoria Malfoy. As for Maledictuses, they are not immortal as is illustrated by the death of Nagini at the hands of Neville Longbottom. However, it is believed that after the complete transformation of a Maledictus into her animal form, she lives as long as she, as a human, would live and not up to the lifespan of the animal she became.
Can a Maledictus be cured?
It is not possible for a Maledictus to be cured as she is bound by a blood curse that one of her ancestors received. However, since the Maledictus exists in the realm of magic, it is possible that a cure existed in this world. However, the only known Maledictus in the Harry Potter universe was Nagini, who was once a human woman but eventually turned into a snake forever, and she was not cured of her condition, as is evident from the plot of the books. Therefore, it is possible that a cure did not exist, at least not at the time she completely transformed.
How does one become a Maledictus?
One is born a Maledictus due to a blood curse placed on one of their ancestors. However, it is only revealed when the signs of the blood curse start presenting themselves during childhood. Eventually, a Maledictus would start partially transforming into the beast she is eventually meant to transform into. Finally, she becomes that beast completely and remains so.