Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Witch

This fall brings the Harry Potter franchise spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to theaters. However, this spin-off won’t be following any of the iconic characters from the eight film franchise, and instead follows an expelled Hogwarts student named Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) who heads to 1920s New York City with a magical briefcase full of creatures from the wizarding world.

So far much of what we’ve seen in the Fantastic Beasts trailers has showed off Scamander attempting to keep his briefcase of creatures a secret from the Muggle population (or No-Maj as they’re called in the US). But the most recent trailer introduced the plot element of the magical creatures expert having to track down a bunch of his escaped specimens. Now some new information reveals that Fantastic Beasts will also expand the wizarding world by introducing a new kind of witch with some very special abilities, and it makes us wonder if they might turn out to be one of the franchise’s villains.

Read about the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them witch after the jump.

Fans of the Harry Potter franchise are already familiar with Legilimency, which is the act of magically navigating through the many layers of a person’s mind and correctly interpreting one’s findings. A witch or wizard with this ability is known as a Legilimens, and Harry Potter had to master the opposing power of Occlumency in order to keep Lord Voldemort out of his head. And it’s this power that will be expanded in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, giving us a new kind of witch we haven’t seen before.

In Fantastic Beasts, actress Alison Sudol plays Queenie Goldstein, who is the sister of Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston). They both work in the Magical Congress of the United States of America, but Queenie is the one with this special magical ability that will debut in this first spin-off film. Queenie is a Legilimens, but her abilities are a little different than what fans are familiar with.

While Legilimency can be used to attack the mind with a witch or wizard attempting to navigate the thoughts of another, Entertainment Weekly reveals that Queenie’s abilities make her “more like an antenna, always turned on, picking up the thoughts and feelings of everybody around her.” Alison Sudol herself elaborates on Queenie’s abilities:

“She’s basically a complete and utter magical empath. She’s able to read people — so it’s not just reading somebody’s thoughts. She’s can read into someone’s story, she can see people’s goals. And so even though she’s able to do magic with her wand, a lot of her magic is actually internal, which makes her a different type of wizard or witch. And she’s incredibly fun, playful, joyful, and free-spirited, kind and wise, and also has a sort of stillness about her because she’s always tuning into people, so she’s quite an interesting character to play — very vivacious and lively, yet very centered and aware.”

The fact that Queenie doesn’t have to use her wand to see inside of another witch or wizard’s mind makes her sound pretty powerful. That’s the kind of ability that would really give her an advantage over any other magical person, and it’s not too hard to imagine someone using these powers for evil.

Since we don’t have a clear villain revealed in any of the footage from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I wouldn’t be surprised if Queenie turned out to be an antagonist. Otherwise, the only villain we’ve heard about in the movie is Samantha Morton as Mary Lou, described as the villainous leader of The Second Salemers, a group that sounds like it may be looking for revenge for the infamous Salem Witch Trials from centuries ago. Maybe Queenie will turn out to be a secret sympathizer of the group.

We’ll find out when Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them arrives on November 18.

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