Despite the odds — and “wildly transphobic creator” is pretty big odds — it seems that the Harry Potter world is set to introduce its first transgender character in Hogwarts Legacy.
Per Entertainment Weekly, the open-world role-playing game introduces Sirona Ryan, the owner of the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade, while players are on a mission involving a goblin known as Lodgok.
The game isn’t overt about Sirona’s sexuality but her dialogue when players interact with her nods to it pretty heavily.
“I’ve known [Lodgok] for years. We met when I was waiting tables here as a student — well before I bought the place,” Sirona says in the game.
“He was cordial enough, but we weren’t friends then. His mistrust of wizardkind ran deep… Hadn’t seen him in years when he came in a few months ago.
“But, he recognized me instantly. Which is more than I can say for some of my own classmates. Took them a second to realise I was actually a witch, not a wizard.”
Note the last part of her dialogue there, where she takes a jab at her classmates for not recognising her because she was “actually a witch, not a wizard”. Don’t even really have to read between the lines too much on that one.
Naturally, people are sceptical about the inclusion of a possibly transgender character in Hogwarts Legacy, something that has noted transphobe J.K. Rowling intrinsically attached to it.
As a South Korean who always felt grossed out by the name Cho Chang for the one East Asian character in that one wizard world, I don’t know what I expected going forward in that universe with the new media coming out
But it wasn’t fucking Sirona Ryan for their trans character
— Stella😈 (@ParallaxStella) February 6, 2023
Many were quick to point out that the name Sirona Ryan sounds awfully like Sir Ryan and thought it was pretty lazy character building for a landmark moment for the extended Harry Potter universe.
i think the trans community can accept the first trans character in harry potter being named Sirona Ryan if they introduce the first TERF character and name her Dee Vorced
— pudding person (@JUNlPER) February 6, 2023
Interestingly, it seems that the game mechanics allow players to create gender-nonconforming characters to explore the open-world RPG. Both masculine and feminine features and voices can be selected when building the main playable character so players can create their ideal magical persona.
Entertainment Weekly also noted that other characters that players interact with in Hogwarts Legacy use gender-neutral pronouns (they/them/theirs) when talking about the main character, which is a step in the right direction.
Would love to know if J.K. Rowling was privy to that decision, though.
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