At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. As such, spoilers will be present within the article.
Skender was the cruel and exploitative owner of the Circus Arcanus, a travelling magical circus and freak show, which toured the wizarding world, with its wondrous and weird display of magical oddities and attractions.
In 1927, Skender and the Circus Arcanus were set up in the wizarding street of Place Cachée of Paris. After announcing the snake transformation of Nagini, the circus' Maledictus, and forcing her to perform in front of the live audience, Skender was attacked by the snake, giving Credence Barebone time to cause a distraction so he and Nagini could leave the circus and find the former's birth mother. This distraction caused the Zouwu to escape and the entire circus was engulfed in fire following Credence's release of several caged Firedrakes, creating mass panic and horror in the crowd. After Auror Tina Goldstein took care of the situation and questioned him about what had just happened, Skender promptly and unhappily fled Paris with his magical circus and House-elf, after magically packing away and shrinking his entire circus into his suitcase.
Skender was a large, overweight man with brown hair and a thick beard. Being the Owner of the Circus Arcanus, he wore the traditional clothing of a showman, wearing a red velvet blazer with gold buckles, underneath a black tailcoat and trousers with a black and brown geometric diamond design pattern.
Personality and Traits
As owner of the Circus Arcanus, Skender was highly exploitative of his magical oddities and creatures and mistreated them often with cruelty, keeping many imprisoned with chains or in cages. He thought of his Circus oddities as only valuable in terms of their profitability to an audience. He was very greedy and unethical in his pursuit for profit as a businessman. He had no qualms about exploiting his oddities on display, such as when he forced Nagini to transform against her will which caused her obvious discomfort, showing he was disrespectful and callous towards the welfare of his oddities, viewing them as no more than circus freaks, simply to be observed by others.
However, following the burning down of his Circus and the escape of most of his creatures, he was very disappointed at his failure, and gloomily accepted he had to move on, showing he was logical and self-aware to an extent, at least regarding his business actions. He also addressed Porpentina Goldstein respectfully after she asked him about the chaos at the Circus and the whereabouts of Credence, showing he was not incapable of treating others as equals.
Magical abilities and skills
- Charms: Skender appeared to be highly proficient in charm-work, as he was able to magically shrink the entirety of the equipment used in his Circus Arcanus into a small chest.
- Transfiguration: Skender was shown to have been skilled in this notably difficult branch of magic, as he was able to transfigure his wand into a walking stick and back.
- Nonverbal magic: Skender was capable of casting nonverbal spells effortlessly, a sign of superior magical ability given the high level of difficulty required in the casting of spells non-verbally.
- Magizoology: Skender was able to procure and handle numerous magical beasts as part of his Circus Arcanus, such as Firedrakes, a Kappa, an Oni, a Zouwu, an Abarimon and even a Hippogriff, meaning he would have had reasonable knowledge and understanding of them. However, he treated many of his creatures abusively and poorly, meaning his skills in adequately caring for magical creatures were very limited indeed.
- Wand: Skender owned a wand that was of an unknown length, wand wood and core. He was capable of transforming his wand into a walking stick and back, and was also highly talented with the casting of spells non-verbally.
- Circus Arcanus: Skender was the owner and ringmaster of the Circus Arcanus, a magical travelling circus and freak show, which boasted multiple strange and wondrous attractions and performers.
- The name Skender is a masculine first name commonly found in various Southeastern European countries whose historic origins are unclear, but has several theories:
- The origin of the name Skender in the Balkan region is from the closely related Turkish name Iskender, Persian Iskandar and Arabic Al-Iskandar, which are all in turn derived from Alexander (meaning "defender of men").
- Johann Pokorny gives two possible original meanings of the name, using the roots "skend" and "skand":
- Pokorny lists the root "skend" as the separating of skin, scale or rind. "Sken-tr" is the act of cutting and "sken-to" is the part that has been cut off.
- In modern German, one finds the expansion of this root as schinnen, which comes from the same Celtic origin and means to skin one's enemy, plunder and mishandle him. Thus, Pokorny notes the word "skan-do", meaning "land laying in waste" (that is, plundered or "skinned") is the Celto-Germanic root.
- Pokorny also notes the second root "skend-" as meaning "illuminated, glowing or bright," This root has more of a visual or "seeing" connotation.
- Skender is also found in the old German and Saxon word Skander, which means Scandinavian or Viking raider. It may be the origin of the Gaelic word Skene and Skene-to, which is the traditional knife the Scots carry in their stockings, as well as the source of the Latvian name, Skenders, which is believed to have come to that land via the Teutonic Knights who would have had this ancient German word meaning "violent or scandalous behavior".
Behind the scenes
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay (First appearance)
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
- The Archive of Magic: The Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald