Queenie Goldstein is an American witch who we meet in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. She and her sister Tina get caught up in Newt Scamander’s adventures when he comes to New York in 1926.
Queenie works in the Wand Permit Office of the New York MACUSA office. She spends her days “making coffee” and “unjinxing the john”, a job she describes as less than glamorous.
While most would describe Queenie as glamorous herself, she brings more to the table than her beauty.
Queenie is a Legilimens – which is a witch or wizard who is skilled in the art of Legilimency. Producer David Heyman says of Queenie:
“She has within her a keen insight and an ability to not only read minds but have a clear understanding of what is going on.”
The Case of Beasts, Mark Salisbury
However, Queenie’s skill goes a bit deeper than just reading minds. Professor Severus Snape says that:
“The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by any invader. The mind is a complex and many-layered thing…”
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Pg 530
Legilimency is, instead, “the ability to extract feelings and memories from another person’s mind.”
Legilimency is a complicated art which very few are skilled at. Most wizards who have mastered Legilimency can only use it under certain conditions and often need eye contact.
However, in Fantastic Beasts, we see Queenie reading her sister’s mind from several floors away. Why is Queenie different? Why doesn’t she have the same difficulty that Snape described?
Queenie’s Natural Talent
In a tweet, JK Rowling said that:
“Snape had to train a slight natural ability. Queenie was born with a great talent, though she’s not infallible.”
JK Rowling, link to tweet
Queenie would have had to learn more about Legilimency as she studied at Ilvermorny, but she would’ve had more talent than most wizards she knew.
Throughout the Harry Potter series, Legilimency is used by Voldemort to extract information from both his allies and enemies. He also uses it to lure Harry Potter into a trap in the Department of Mysteries.
However, Queenie uses her skill as a Legilimens to a much less nefarious degree. Throughout Fantastic Beasts, we see Queenie reading minds as a way to emotionally connect with people. She says that:
“People are easiest to read when they’re hurting.”
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Pg 219
She encourages Newt to move past a difficult part of his life. Queenie also uses her skill to understand Jacob Kowalski’s lingering scars from World War I. Instead of leaving him behind, she allows him to finish their adventure together.
Queenie also used Legilimency to get her sister out of trouble. She and Tina have a much stronger connection and because of this, Queenie can communicate to her sister quickly and on a deeper level.
Queenie can often be underestimated because of her beauty and carefree attitude toward life. Alison Sudol, the actress who portrays her in the movie says:
“She’s very excited and thrilled to be on this adventure, and everything that would scare most people is thrilling for her.”
The Case of Beasts, Mark Salisbury
However, Queenie possesses the skill of Legilimency, which sets her apart from her fellow wizards in a unique way. As the story of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them continues to develop, so too will Queenie’s mastery of the art of Legilimency.