Ron and Hermione are like old friends to the entire world, but in the Harry Potter spinoff movie Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, much remains unknown about Newt Scamander’s friends. Because we don’t have books to guide us, and because not all fans religiously check Pottermore, you might be wondering about unfamiliar new names and faces like Percival Graves and Porpentina Goldstein. Luckily, you don’t have to go in blind. Here’s what you need to know about Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein, played by Katherine Waterston.
Porpentina will be an important character because, although they meet for the first time at the beginning of Fantastic Beasts, she is Newt Scamander’s future wife. It won’t be love at first sight, though, because he’s rather taken aback by her American slang.
Porpentina works for the American version of the Ministry of Magic, also known as the Magical Congress of the United States of America. She began as an auror, but was demoted to a Federal Wand Permit Officer after she displeased her superiors.
Along with her sister Queenie, she attended the American wizarding school Ilvermony. When the events of Fantastic Beasts occur, the sisters both work menial jobs at the MACUSA and share a flat in New York.
Like Harry, Porpentina lost her parents at a young age. Unlike Harry, she was neither alone nor resigned to life with unpleasant relatives, as she subsequently raised and formed a close bond with her mind-reading younger sister Queenie. But childhood aside, she has a genetic connection to the Potter story too.
She is a distant relative of Harry’s classmate Anthony Goldstein, a Ravenclaw Prefect who was part of Dumbledore’s Army. If you don’t remember him, he plays a minor role, popping up about as often as Ernia MacMillan and Justin Finch-Fletchley. It’s an indirect connection, to be sure, but because Dumbledore will be a larger presence in future Fantastic Beasts movies, perhaps she’ll meet the man himself.
Porpentina is a double-minority in her world. She is Jew living in 1926, and as the five-movie franchise will be exploring Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s relationship, which ends with their duel in 1945, we can assume the story will bleed into World War II. She is also a witch living in a society where the muggle version of Death-Eaters persecute witches and wizards. It’s not going to be an easy journey for her, but if we’ve learned one thing from the Potter world, it sure as hell will be interesting.
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them hits theaters November 18.