Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is technically a prequel to the Harry Potter series, but it's introducing us to an entirely new branch of the Wizarding World we love so much. In fact, Fantastic Beasts is breaking down many barriers when it comes to Wizard representation on screen. For the first time in Harry Potter movie history, the American Wizarding World will take centers stage (or, you know, be acknowledged as existing at all), and there will also be a portrayal of a Legilimens — a first in the HP world. What is a Legilimens, you ask? Well, Queenie in Fantastic Beasts has the power of Legilimency and can, essentially, read minds.
The idea of Legilimency has actually been talked about before, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when Snape tried to teach Harry how to guard his mind from Voldemort. Snape described Legilimency as an art in which a wizard can not only see into the mind of another person, but analyze it. A Legilimens, one proficient in the art of Legilimency, can absorb emotions, feelings, thoughts, memories, and analyze them to figure out what a person is thinking. Some, like Voldemort, are so powerful they can even plant seeds in other people's minds, like the dreams of the Department of Mysteries Voldemort gave Harry in Order of the Phoenix.
Alison Sudol, who plays Queenie in Fantastic Beasts, described being a Legilimens in an interview with Pottermore. "She sees into people. She's not just reading what you're currently thinking, she's reading you," Sudol said. While the power might sound appealing, Sudol added that for Queenie, it's not always a blessing to be a Legilimens. "It can make you feel quite lonely, to have something that differentiates you from people like that," she said, pointing out that Queenie is most comfortable around her sister, Tina. Moreover, knowing what people are thinking constantly means that Queenie is always aware of how she is being viewed or judged by others. "She knows what everyone is thinking about her. That would be so uncomfortable, right?" Sudol pondered in the interview.
It will be interesting to see how Queenie's Legilimency affects her relationship with Newt and the no-maj Jacob. I would assume that her power would make her a great asset in whatever fight Newt and his friends find themselves in, and I can't wait to see her go!
Images: Warner Bros; dailyfantasticbeastsgifs/tumblr