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Hogwarts Legacy's Trans Character Isn't Winning Over Former Fans

Hogwarts Legacy's Trans Character Isn't Winning Over Former Fans

Hogwarts Legacy
Hogwarts Legacy/Avalanche Software

This small move towards inclusivity just isn't enough.

rachelkiley

A controversial new video game set in the world of Harry Potter may have just introduced the franchise’s first trans character, and fans are not sure how to feel about it.

Hogwarts Legacy won’t officially be released until this Friday, but a bit of gameplay has already made its way to the internet, and has led folks to interpret a pub owner the player interacts with while pursuing a goblin for a quest as trans.

“Hadn’t seen him in years when he came in a few months ago,” says Sirona Ryan, the character in question. “But, he recognized me instantly. Which is more than I can say for some of my own classmates. Took them a second to realize I was actually a witch, not a wizard.”

On the one hand, a push for inclusion is a good thing, and the world of Harry Potter, for as massive as it is, has long been lacking in that department.

On the other, well, there are a few issues at play here. The first is, of course, that author J.K. Rowling has built a new legacy for herself spreading anti-trans rhetoric and repeatedly lashing out at trans people online. As she is intrinsically so entangled with all things Harry Potter, and financially benefits even from projects she isn’t directly involved in, such as Hogwarts Legacy, a number of people would rather just see all things Wizarding World fade away.

Then there’s also how tokenized this inclusion feels so far. Admittedly, we don’t know whether there will be more to Sirona’s story or her involvement in the game, but it’s difficult to feel optimistic, all things considered.

Some fans have also expressed serious hesitation with the character’s name, emphasizing the “Sir” in “Sirona Ryan.”

In another scenario, this might be overthinking things, but trans Harry Potter fans have earned the right to be wary, both due to Rowling herself and the news that broke in 2021 that the lead designer on the game — who quit the same year — used to run an anti-social justice YouTube channel.

However, others are pointing out that the character may have been given the name “Sirona” for a much more positive reason.

The back and forth has left some fans frustrated that some people would allegedly never have been satisfied, no matter what the game developers had done, and that is actually probably true. Everything stems from Rowling, who created a world rife with racist stereotypes, problematic tropes, and underwhelming queer “rep,” then turned her real world attention to making the lives of trans people more difficult. And making something new and good out of something flowing from a poisoned well may just be beyond the realm of possibility for the time being.

Does Hogwarts Legacy have a release date?

Hogwarts Legacy will be released on February 10 for PlayStation 5, Windows and Xbox X/S, April 4 for PS4 and Xbox One, and July 25 for Nintendo Switch

Is Hogwarts Legacy an open-world experience?

Yes.

Why are people boycotting Hogwarts Legacy?

People are boycotting Hogwarts Legacy because of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling's persistent public anti-trans sentiments.

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.