Thursday, July 26, 2018

UPDATED AGAIN: Queenie & Grindelwald Together

Screenshot of Queenie holding her ears which has caused a great number of theories. We see Queenie wearing a lot of mauve, which is a shade of pink, and the reason for that is because "pink" symbolizes love that has not been perfected. Red is usually the color associated with love because red is the color of blood, and when a person loves someone truly, they are willing to shed their blood for that person; when a person loves someone, but they haven't been called upon to make a difficult decision or a sacrifice for that person, or that person isn't ready to do that, they will be shown wearing pink. It's not a statement about the realness of the love, rather, a statement about the person's place in their journey to loving someone or something else, so Queenie has enjoyed falling in love with Jacob, but as of yet, she hasn't encountered difficulties or obstacles in that relationship with him, nothing, anyway, which has forced her to grow as a person and become a person worthy of that love, because that's what love does. 
THE SECOND UPDATE: If you have previously read this post, the further update is in the adding of the cast photo which is below the next one, and it validates what I discuss in the rest of this post. 
We have all ready reviewed the second trailer for Fantastic Beasts 2, however, particularly interesting information has been circulating about the character of Queenie (pictured above) and I thought it worthwhile to take a closer look because of the way this could be setting up an important social issue in the film. I owe it to Fetony (his video is here, at about 1:00) for pointing out that Queenie wears an engagement ring (well, it's a ring, we don't actually know that it's an engagement ring yet) under her hair (please see detailed image below). As Fetony was talking about the ring, however, I noticed something for the first time which has escaped my previous viewing of the trailer,... something which I believe confirms that Queenie will at least be courted by Grindelwald to help him and, may possibly be working with him for a little while.
The top image is the original screenshot in original proportion; the bottom image is the same shot but blown up (please click to enlarge so you can examine it closer). I have circled where the ring is (again, we don't know that it's an engagement ring, but she is wearing it on her ring finger and it is a ring) but I have also circled the black thing coming out of her sleeve and touching her mouth. (It's possible that the same kind of thing is coming out of her right sleeve as well, because there is darkness around the right-side contour of his cheek and mouth, but I think that's just the shadow of her hand and arm against her face). Now, a ring symbolizes a covenant, even if this is an engagement ring, there is the willingness to enter into a covenant, the question is, is it a covenant with Jacob or with Grindelwald? And I am guessing that at least at some point in the film, it's going to have to be both, even if it's not so permanently but temporarily, that is, Queenie may make a bad decision, but then try to repent of it.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST, I HAVE INCLUDED AN IMAGE OF QUEENIE'S DRESS BECAUSE SOMEONE THINKS IT'S JUST HER DRESS SLEEVE POKING THROUGH, SO PLEASE LOOK AT THE BOTTOM TO MAKE YOUR DECISION. Apart from this black thing being an obscurial or having to do with Credence, I still think the oddity of this sleeve position reveals something dark about Queenie's character.
There is some thin, long, black thing coming out of coat pocket sleeve and going towards/actually touching her mouth. We know that "black" always symbolizes death, but there is "good death" (when a person dies to things of the world in order to be alive to the virtues of the spirit) and there is "bad death" (when a person dies to the virtues and life of the soul and instead lives for things of the world); we also know that hands symbolize a person's honor (more on this in a moment) and arms symbolize a person's (moral, ethical) strength (we've discussed this regarding why Dumbledore has one sleeve rolled up and one sleeve down when he's looking into the mirror of Erised).
This is the image I was looking for and it was right there all along. This is a cropped portion of the cast photo taken for the film's promotion. On the left side we see that Queenie is the closest cast member to Grindelwald, and in the enlarged image on the right side (sorry that it's not the best quality) we see the "active" Elder Wand nearly touching Queenie's hand, meaning, the two characters are indeed linked, just as we see Jacob holding Queenie's arm in the photo on the left side. Both of these poses are rather odd positions for Queenie to be in try striking that pose yourself with your own body, but the gestures tell us something that is going on. We know that legs symbolize a person's standing in society, and Queenie rests her arm upon Jacob's leg, because the muggle has no standing in the wizarding world, and Queenie will likely want to fix that. We know that arms symbolize strength, and Jacob holds Queenie's arm--in a strange sort of way, it's not a loving embrace, it's almost like he's holding her back (from working with Grindelwald?)--and Queenie's strength is her love for Jacob and her ability to read minds. Now, Queenie's index finger on her right hand points down, just as Grindelwald's hand holds his wand and also points down, so they are mirroring each other's gesture, Grindelwald holding the wand in-between his fingers so that it symbolically takes the place of one of his fingers.
There is also a further detail regarding Queenie's dress. the sleeve, as we see in the enlarged image at the right, engulfs her hand, the same way an obsurius (spelling?) does from Credence, it is swallowing her hand (the hand symbolizing our honor), but there is also an interesting detail on the front of her dress: we discuss the gold pin of the bird below, but across her chest is a design that is like a bat (it resembles the various "batman logos" created over the years) and somewhat invokes the Death Eaters of Voldermort because when they apparate they look like big bats (especially Snape after Harry shows up at Hogwarts in Deathly Hallows Part 2). So, even though I gladly backtrack that it's some foreign object/being coming out of Queenie's sleeve in the discussed image, it's her own "darkness" she's wearing and this image validates the connection I am discussing throughout this post. Sorry it got so convoluted and messy.
We can say that Grindelwald symbolizes "bad death," not only because of the views he's preaching in this trailer, but also because, in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Grindelwald was disguised as Mr. Graves (Colin Farrell) and nothing says "bad death" like "graves" (because the body goes to the grave if it doesn't have an eternal destination, and a person living for worldly pursuits will not have pursued the things of heaven).
So, what is that thing coming out of Queenie's sleeve?
To substantiate the importance of the black thing by Queenie's hand, we have, in the top image, the black glove pointing to where Dumbledore waits for Newt atop the building, then Newt taking the hand. We know later in the trailer, at night on the bridge, when Dumbledore and Newt discuss whether or not Newt is going to hunt down Grindelwald, Dumbledore himself wears black gloves. In the bottom image, Grindelwald makes a grand flourishing gesture with his right hand. Hands symbolize honor, so the idea of "honor" is going to be important to every single character in the film; why? Well the tagline is "The fate of one will decide the the future of all," and "FATE" is a heavy, heavy word. Philosophically, spiritually and psychologically loaded, FATE at face value usually means an end over which we really have no control, someone did something because they had to, they had no free will in choosing to do otherwise. This isn't always what FATE means, and it could refer to the ultimate way in which one of the characters chooses to use their free will (and this is where honor comes into play, does a person choose to be honorable or selfish?) is what will decide the future of the rest of the characters.
Well, I have no idea. BUT, the very fact that it doesn't have an identity means it's evil. When someone is good--or at least not rotten to the core--they have an identity. Consider, for example, Tom Riddle: before he started killing off people, he looked normal, he had an identity; has he gave himself over more and more to "Dark Magic," he lost his identity and started becoming a snake (the nose of a person, for example, symbolizes how important their character is to that person, and that his nose turned into slits mirroring those of a snake, it reveals that Tom Riddle had no concern for personal honor whatsoever). Consider also Credence's obscurial: it's black and shapeless and wrecks only destruction; it's possible that the thing coming out of Queenie's sleeve is connected to Credence and his power (it's coming out of Queenie's left sleeve, and we see Credence sending out his black "power" from his left hand). So, the "identity-less-ness" of the thing coming out of Queenie's sleeve points to it having something to do with death, possibly/likely Grindelwald directly or indirectly. Notice, also, it's moving towards her mouth,...
Again, IF Queenie and Jacob's relationship is going to be exploited by Grindelwald, I think it's setting up a situation for the audience to link Queenie and Jacob with Dumbledore's reputed homosexuality. In the US wizarding world, it is considered "unnatural" for a witch (Queenie) and a muggle (Jacob) to be together because of Queenie's powers and Jacob's lack of powers; this "unnaturalness" I think is going to be exploited by the film makers to clear the way for a forced-acceptance of Dumbledore's homosexuality: well, it's unnatural for Queenie and Jacob, but you want them to be together, why don't you want Dumbledore and Grindelwald to be together, if they love each other? I realize this is a stretch, and trust me, I don't want the film to take this direction, however, "Queenie" could refer to the American slang term for a gay man and might tie her in with Dumbledore (for example, in the latest trailer for Bohemian Rhapsody about the band Queen and homosexual Freddie Mercury, Freddie says at one point, "There's only room for one hysterical queen in this band," referring to himself as a gay man; in the film Gods and Monsters about gay director Jimmy Whale, Jimmy says to someone, "He's never met a princess before, only queens," referring to himself as a gay man; again, this is probably a stretch, and I hope it is, but I am going to mention it here).
Another potential tie-in with Dumbledore is the bird pin Queenie wears. The middle image above is the original screen shot, the image below that is the same shot magnified to look at her bird broach she wears that closely resembles the headmaster's oratory stand where Dumbledore would address the students at Hogwarts. 
The mouth, we know, symbolizes our appetites, and we know that Queenie and Jacob both have appetites: that he bakes and she cooks is one of the first pieces of information they exchange about each other when they first meet. But there is also the appetite for love, which we all share, but as rumors are going around and developing, the general theory is that it's the forbidding of her romance with Jacob (she's a witch and he's a muggle so they are not allowed to get married) that Grindelwald will use as leverage to get Queenie to help him.
Grindelwald and Newt all ready have an interesting relationship from Fantastic Beasts when Grindelwald was disguised as Graves. Grindelwald first tries killing Newt by execution, but when that fails, I think he tries to recruit Newt with the final words, "Shall we die just a little bit?" He knows his old friend Dumbledore believes in Newt, and Newt has proven himself twice: first by escaping execution, then by actually capturing Grindelwald, and this is rather like the clown Pennywise in IT at first trying to kill Bill then wanting to keep Bill for himself. Newt has impressed Grindelwald, so I think Grindelwald makes Newt an offer to join him in saying, "Will we die, just a little?" thinking it will tempt Newt, because Grindelwald doesn't understand Newt, and because this kind of an invitation would be inviting to Grindelwald himself, meaning that the line reveals more than it conceals. If you will let just a little piece of you die, then you could have immortality with me, you could have unlimited power and rule with me over the entire wizarding world. This is the kind of bargain Tom Riddle certainly thought was pleasing at an acceptable price, and it's basically the same kind of offer he will make to Queenie if this indeed is going to happen in the film. Remember, Grindelwald has that big open collar with a black tie around his neck, meaning that death has a hold on him (just as it did Tom Riddle) and Grindelwald is motivated by escaping death, even if that means a little part of him will die in the process so he can have more of the "life" he thinks he wants.
On a different note, The Super Carlin Brothers on YouTube have an excellent video detailing their theory that the right eye of Grindelwald actually becomes the "Mad Eye" of Mad Eye Moody; they did incredible research on this and I am really quite impressed, you can watch that video at this link here. IF they are correct in their theories, then that will have an important outcome on our interpretation and understanding of Grindelwald's character.
The minor problem--which just makes it that much more interesting--is Queenie can read minds, so she would have to know that Grindelwald is manipulating her and, because of Grindelwald's view that muggles are worthless, she has to know he's lying. However, if this is going to develop in the film, I wouldn't be at all surprised to Queenie closing her eyes to the truth, that is, she knows Grindelwald is lying but she sees her situation as desperate (remember, at the end of Fantastic Beasts, she appears to be breaking the law to visit Jacob in his bakery, so they established that Queenie isn't a goody-two-shoes who will put "the greater good" above her own desires, but would be willing to put what she wants first).
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner
P.S.--There were some additional notes I included in the caption to the image below regarding the symbolism of Dumbledore's clothing, so please check that out as well.
I failed to discuss this in the earlier post, so I will touch upon this important point now. Dumbledore wears a gray hat and coat in this scene, and there is the picture of the large clock in the background. Clocks and watches symbolize history on a much grander scale than the mere 7:30 time we see on the clock face above. This is important because we know the color gray--the colors Dumbledore wears--is the color of the pilgrim, which can mean both the novice (someone who is just starting out) and/or the penitent, someone who is doing penance for their sins. With the clock in the background, and the color gray so prominent upon Dumbledore, it suggests that he is doing penance for his past sins: loving Grindlewald? His sister's death? Not being there for the people he loved when they needed him? Being so easily tempted to enslave the muggle population with Grindelwald? Being so drawn to the incredible power of the Deathly Hallows? It's likely all these things, and if Dumbledore doesn't blatantly come out and say it, the unspoken language of this scene will certainly validate this sense of guilt and desire to repay his debts. We also notice his coat collar pulled up. The neck symbolizes what leads and guides us in life, and when a character has a collar up around their neck, it demonstrates they are trying to protect what is going to guide their decisions, they are protecting their priorities. There is also a very likely connection being made to another wizard: Gandalf the Gray. Gandalf, from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, wore a gray robe and hat, and it's possible that Dumbledore's gray coat and hat are meant to invoke Gandalf. Going back to the collar symbolizing how Dumbledore is "protecting his priorities," a coat is also a garment which protects us from the elements, and it seems everyone in the trailers we see wears a coat (Newt, Grindelwald, Credence, Tina, Queenie, Jacob), but the material on Dumbledore's coat seems to be a bit heavier, thicker, than the coats the others wear, meaning that he feels he has a greater need to protect himself from something or someone. Likewise, Dumbledore wears a gray hat (it looks more gray in the trailer) and since the head symbolizes our thoughts, anything atop the head materializes what the thoughts of that character are like: a hat hides the hair, so Dumbledore doesn't want to expose all of what he's thinking, at least to Newt, but since it's gray, he also doesn't want anyone to know how truly guilty he feels, or what the source of that guilt, and thus his self-determined penance, is really about.
This is an image someone gave me demonstrating that the black thing coming out of Queenie's sleeve is her dress sleeve. Ok, this is likely, I concede this, but I stand by my interpretation that this is a sign that she is going to do something "dark" in line with her appetites because this is not a typical sleeve (most sleeves stop about the wrist) and it's highly unusual for a sleeve to "creep out" of the coat in this way and touch the mouth. Because it's part of the sleeve, it's coming from the arm, so Queenie's lack of honor (she leaves work whenever she wants, she has a man stay in her apartment over night, she visits Jacob in his bakery) is going to feed her appetites (touching her mouth) so she can get what she thinks she wants.