|The reason I didn't have the gumption to post that Madame Picquery could be a double-agent for Gellert Grindlewald is because of the (limited) information provided by the Pottermore website for her character, which, quite frankly, makes her out to be quite a saint: her first name, "Seraphina," after all, invokes the fiery Seraphim angels, the highest choir of angels worshiping God at all times. She was the only student at Ilvermorny to be chosen by all four houses for crying out loud, and she is, of course, Madame President, the highest ranking magical official in North America. So, yea, she's got tremendous status, presence and reputation, in other words, the perfect cover. Remember, Tom Riddle, aka, Lord Voldemort, was also an excellent student and offered top jobs at the Ministry of Magic when he graduated from Hogwarts, so we'll examine how Madame Picquery's costumes reveal what she's trying to hide.|
What gives her away?
What she's covering up.
|The image of Grindlewald on the left is from FB2, and the one on the right from FB1. What I would like to point out is the similarity in their costumes: the long, dark coat, the vests, the high collar on their shirts and darker outer clothing with the lighter colored shirts underneath. Once again, we see Picquery wearing a tall head-dress covering her head entirely except for the two curls on either side of her face. Picquery wears rather masculine attire in this shot but the dark clothing of both suggests their identity as "dark wizards"; the importance of their vests accentuates their torso. The torso is a difficult symbol with which to grapple, but it's where the vital organs are located, so when a character wears a vest open, for example, it usually is meant to draw attention to elements of that situation that the character finds vital to their own being; when a character has a vest buttoned--as both characters do in the images above--it suggests the opposite, that they are "closing themselves off" from the situation so that which is vital to them will not become contaminated by the events taking place. An counter-example of this is during the reading of Dumbledore's Will in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Harry wears a vest which is completely unbuttoned; the reading of the Will is vitally important to Harry and the events to follow; Ron, on the other hand, has one button on his vest still buttoned, suggesting that he isn't taking in everything he should be, and he's not, because he won't understand the meaning of the "putter-outter" until the next film. Tellingly, it's the button closest to Ron's heart which remains buttoned, meaning he's keeping the Will-reading out of his heart, but it's exactly what touches his heart that will re-unite him to Harry and Hermione.|
Consulting her profile on Pottermore, it reveals that she uses a wand with a Rougarou hair-core wand, swamp mayhaw wood, made by Violetta Beauvais" ("Rougarou hair" comes from a wild dog-headed monster that prowls the swamps of Louisiana, and [if you scroll down a bit] in the article on magic in 1920s America, the article reveals that "It was often said of Beauvais wands that they took to Dark magic like vampires to blood," which is exactly what Picquery carries, and even mentions Picquery in the next sentence. Violetta Beauvais, the wand maker, has a revealing name: "Beauvais" is a small town in France, and "Violetta" of course invoked the color Violet, a shade of purple; so what? One of the two symbolisms for purple [and shades of purple] is that of royalty, because purple was such an expensive and labor-intensive dye to produce, only royalty could afford to wear it. So, what does this mean? I would like to suggest that JK Rowling conveys the meaning of European ["Beauvais" being a town in France] wizarding-aristocracy (royalty implied by the name "Violetta") being spread in America which was generally unknown [the status of being "pure-blood"] but being spread by use of Beauvais wands and those using them). Grindlewald is, of course, a "dark wizard" who employs the dark magic he learned at Durmstrang ("Dark Arts" is even listed as his "Hobby" on his profile page) and Picquery's wand has a natural inclination to the dark arts which suggests, that since the wand choose her, it must have known that she herself must have such an inclination she would be willing to act upon to express the true power of such a wand.
|"Pure-blood families, who were well-informed through wizarding newspapers about the activities of both Puritans and Scourers (Salem Witch Trials), rarely left for America. This meant a far higher percentage of No-Maj-born witches and wizards in the New World than elsewhere. While these witches and wizards often went on to marry and found their own all-magical families, the pure-blood ideology that has dogged much of Europe’s magical history has gained far less traction in America" (From History of Magic In North America, Pottermore). This is an important bit of invented history of Rowling, as she goes out of her way to dissociate American Magical problems from those of Europe (and which plague the pages of all Harry Potter books). With such effort taken, we also see her creating the schisms which will erupt, sowing the confrontation for the next four Fantastic Beasts films: No-maj vs the magical, wizarding world. A further example of such pure-blood and European "influences" can be seen in Madame Picquery's chair for MACUSA (behind her in the upper-left, corner) and the striking resemblance it bears to the Coronation Chair (on the right side) used by muggle kings in England, suggesting that the wizarding world is superior to the non-magical world, even in North America.|
There are two striking features about Picquery's costume in this image. First, the sleeves (click on image to enlarge): she has two of them on each arm. We know that the arm symbolizes a person's strength, while a person's hands symbolize their honor. That she has two sleeves suggests she has "two sources of strength," such as her top-position at MACUSA and her role within Grindlewald's plan for a new world order. That her hands are interlocked suggests her dual-sense of honor: while appearing to enforce the strict secrecy laws of North America, she is also doing so in order to bring about their downfall (consider, for example, her order to Tina Golstein to stop following Mary Lou Barebone; why? Because Barebone would be allowed to advance the New Salemers agenda that would advance the confrontation between the No-maj and magical world that would require action, rather than maintaining the century's long peace they have enjoyed). Her hands are also interlocked and held close to her stomach. The stomach generally symbolizes that which we have "digested" and taken in to make a part of ourselves, but with a woman, it can also indicate that which she is about to "give birth to" (and no, I don't mean this in a biological sense--I am not suggesting her and Grindlewald have a sexual affair going--rather, Picquery is in the gestation period for "giving birth" to her part of Grindlewald's new world order). Last but not least is the decorative emblem over her chest, where her heart is. The design mirrors the logo design for the Wizarding World (bottom left corner) but it's upside-down, it's even the same color as her dress. This suggests that what's close to her heart (over her chest) is to turn the wizarding world "upside-down" with Grindlewald's revolution.
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