“The highly-anticipated video game set in the Harry Potter universe, “Hogwarts Legacy,” appears to include a trans character for the first time in the franchise. The action role-playing game allows players to explore Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Hogsmeade village, Diagon Alley, and other famous locations from the books and movies. During the game, players encounter Sirona Ryan, the owner of the Three Broomsticks pub in Hogsmeade. Although Sirona does not explicitly state that she is trans, a line in her dialogue suggests this conclusion to the players. In reference to a goblin the player is seeking, Sirona says, “He recognized me instantly, which is more than I can say for some of my own classmates. It took them a second to realize I was actually a witch, not a wizard.” The game will be available on Friday, but some players have already gained early access and shared information about it through video game journalists and streamers.”
A scene from “Hogwarts Legacy” featuring Sirona Ryan, the owner of the Three Broomsticks pub.
The character’s name choice has been a topic of discussion among players and fans, with some criticizing its allegedly masculine connotation. However, others have noted that the name “Sirona” is related to a Celtic goddess of healing and renewal.
The inclusion of a trans character in the new “Hogwarts Legacy” video game is significant due to JK Rowling’s controversial views on transgender individuals. Rowling has expressed support for trans people but also voiced gender essentialist opinions and criticized the transgender rights movement. She wrote in a 2020 essay that allowing any man who claims to be a woman into women’s bathrooms and changing rooms could lead to abuse. Rowling stated she would not bow to a movement that she believes is harmful to women as a political and biological class. Despite her past comments, Rowling has not yet commented on the “Hogwarts Legacy” character.
Rowling’s views have elicited criticism from “Harry Potter” actors and caused division within the franchise’s fanbase, with some questioning their investment in the series. The game’s director, Alan Tewe, acknowledged the diversity of the fanbase and stated that the goal is to create a welcoming environment for all fans.