Let’s Talk About Tina Goldstein
So lately I have been hearing people talk about how boring Tina was as a character and it absolutely blows my mind that so many people think this when I immediately thought she was one of the most well-developed and interesting characters of the movie. Since so many people seem to be of the same mindset about her character, I feel that I need to remain people of a few key things and point a few other things out.
Allow me to present the facts:
1. Tina is part of the law enforcement in the 1920s, and seems to be quite good at her job
Although it is evident that the magical community in America at this time displays less gender discrimination than the non-magical community, the fact that she became Auror is a feat of its own. We know from the Harry Potter series that becoming an Auror required extensive training and top marks in school, so this means that Tina is not only at least a decent student, but a highly trained wizard. She also seems to have been doing her job for quite some time, which means that she has experience. Another thing to note is that, even after she was removed from her Auror position, she still felt comfortable enough to approach her higher-ups when she took Newt to MACUSA. I mean, she literally walked straight up to Graves and the president of the American Wizarding Community and started talking. Although she was turned away, the fact that she felt comfortable enough to approach them indicates that prior to her removal, she was respected and treated as an equal. If that isn’t the case, her boldness in speaking to Piquery shows that she is very brave and has a heart to do the right thing. By Tina’s attempts to keep doing her job even after she has been fired, we can see that she both loves her job and knows that she needs to do the right thing, even when there are restrictions in the way.
2. Tina fought Grindlewald
I would like to start off by saying: WHY AREN’T MORE PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT THIS.
I mean, come on. Tina went up against freaking Grindlewald one-on-one and held her own up until the point that he threw a freaking car at her. The fact that she was able to engage in a duel with him and nearly be successful in at least subduing him shows that Tina is indeed a powerful duelist and wizard as a whole. Grindlewald was considered the most powerful dark wizard besides Voldemort, and she actually faced him. Although she didn’t know Graves was actually Grindlewald, Tina had to have known that Graves was a powerful wizard from working with him, and the fact that she stood up to him is another show of her bravery.
3. Tina is occasionally emotionally vulnerable
So often in pop culture we define a strong female character as one who shows zero emotion and refuses to be scared, sad, or any emotion thereof. As stated in points 1 and 2, we already know that Tina is a badass, but the true depth of her character lies in that she is capable of kicking butt, but she also is not afraid to show when she is scared. In the scene where Tina and Newt are in the Death Chamber, Tina is visibly afraid and does not seem to make any attempt to hide it. Again, we later see that she is frightened when the lights go out in the street, and once more when she is facing Credence as the Obscurus. Besides fear, she displays a wide variety of other emotions throughout the movie, such as hope, calm, happiness, giddiness, embarrassment, annoyance, fondness, etc. Athough I am all for snarky females who don’t give a dang, Tina’s ability to show emotion is a breath of fresh air.
4. Tina calmed down Credence
And it would have worked too, if it weren’t for MACUSA’s interference.The fact that she was able to get Credence to trust her and listen to her shows a different depth of character that really doesn’t require explanation.
(side note: the fact that Tina is able to clam things down like Newt does with his animals really connects these two characters. Just sayin.)
5. Tina has a very close connection with her sister
The relationship between the Goldstein sisters is another thing we could microanalyze, but I think that their closeness is generally fascinating, even from a distance. For one, Tina does not really seem to envy her sister in any way, despite the fact that Queenie is a Legilimens and would have fit the “perfect beauty” of the time period. Tina does make a little quip once, but for the most part, Tina seems comfortable with who she is. Queenie also doesn’t seem to display any jealousy towards Tina, who is a powerful duelist and, as mentioned in point 1, seemingly well respected with higher-ups up until the point of her removal. Besides not showing jealousy, Tina looks out for her sister both physically and emotionally (as shown by her not wanting Queenie to get attached to Jacob when he will need to be obliterated). The sisters display a huge level of trust between the two of them throughout the whole movie, with their closeness being built on the fact that they raised each other after their parents’ passing. The fact that Tina is the older sister also shows that she probably grew up a bit too fast, and knows how to take care of herself.
Thus, I am continually confused by people who thought Tina was a boring or underdeveloped character when she is, in fact, a powerful duelist, a brave-hearted Auror, in touch with her emotions, a loving sister, a person who wants to do the right thing, and a generally caring person. Besides this, I thought she was funny at points, and Katherine Waterston did a wonderful job portraying this character. I think that J.K. Rowling left Tina plenty of room to grow and develop, and I look forward to seeing the role that she plays in future movies.
There are a lot more things I could have brought up, but this post was getting long. Feel free to add your own thoughts.