Does Jacob Remember Queenie At The End Of 'Fantastic Beasts'? Their Love Is Too Strong To Forget
Amid all those stunning creatures and that destructive Obscurial magic, the real wonder of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is the journey of No-Maj war veteran Jacob Kowalski, played by Dan Fogler. A chance meeting and an identical case leads to the regular guy getting wrapped up in Newt Scamander's visit to New York City and learning that there's an enchanted world lying just beyond what most humans can see. Along the way, Jacob falls for Queenie, a mind-reading witch. While much of the Wizarding World is sure that No-Majs will fear and hate them if they find out what they are, Newt, Tina, and especially Queenie are endeared by the way Jacob marvels at their magic and counts himself lucky to have experienced it. Hence the acute heartbreak of the moment where Jacob must be oblivated, thereby forgetting the whole adventure. His last scene, though, suggests that the No-Maj might recognize Queenie when she walks through the door of his bakery. But does Jacob remember Queenie at the end of Fantastic Beasts ?
Before he catches sight of her in that epilogue, it's clear that Jacob's brain hasn't been completely wiped of Wizarding World miscellany. The treats in his shop are shaped like occamy, erumpents, and other beasts from Newt's case. He tells a customer that he doesn't know where those ideas come from, but the audience knows they are latent memories. Now, if he saw a real occamy again, would those latent memories become active? My theory is yes, which explains his knowing smile when Jacob sees Queenie.
Jacob is one of those characters who deserves a happy ending, no matter the story obstacles. And I think J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts script got around the oblivate conundrum by using one of her favorite workarounds: love. It was love that saved Harry Potter from Voldemort, and it's love that kept Jacob from losing all of his happy, magical memories.
Fogler agrees that Jacob's smile indicates a recollection. Den Of Geek reported that the actor addressed the ambiguous ending in a roundtable discussion. Fogler made a comparison between Jacob and Bottom, the human character from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream who spends a night with the fairies and "can’t quite forget this dream he had." He believes that Queenie herself may have played a part in guarding Jacob against forgetting her completely. Fogler said:
“So this is kind of what I made up for myself: Between the bite and eating the magic strudel, and the medicine he put on, and hanging out with creatures, and everything, and the kiss — I think it gave some kind of protection against the Obliviation Spell.”
I can work with that. Another big hint that Jacob retained his memories is that Fogler will be returning in future Fantastic Beasts movies. And any sequel wouldn't retell the same story that the first movie did, of Jacob falling down this rabbit hole and having his eyes opened to this hidden reality. So how else will he fit into the narrative if not by remembering all his wizard friends?
After just one movie, Jacob and Queenie's happiness means a lot to me. And though the Wizarding World can be a dark and tragic place, in this case, magic is making it possible for two very different people to overcome the circumstances that should keep them apart.
Images: Warner Bros. Pictures; dailyfantasticbeastsgifs/Tumblr