A new character is being introduced into the Wizarding World, and it’s not one anyone would have expected.
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We’ve previously covered the Harry Potter universe’s newest installment and discussed how that release could go — especially with the controversy that currently surrounds the Wizarding World franchise.
With British author JK Rowling’s recent insistence on anti-trans rhetoric, it’s no surprise that her magical universe has undergone increased scrutiny. And to add fuel to the fire? This new installment, a prequel set in the Wizarding World‘s 1800s, is set to debut as a fully immersive, highly ambitious, huge open-world game of reportedly epic proportions — is also embroiled in its own drama involving accusations of racism and of course, alignment with the creator’s anti-trans views.
An official description of the brand-new Wizarding World project reads:
Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world action RPG set in the world first introduced in the Harry Potter books. Embark on a journey through familiar and new locations as you explore and discover magical beasts, customize your character and craft potions, master spell casting, upgrade talents and become the wizard you want to be.
Experience Hogwarts in the 1800s. Your character is a student who holds the key to an ancient secret that threatens to tear the wizarding world apart. Make allies, battle Dark wizards, and ultimately decide the fate of the wizarding world. Your legacy is what you make of it. Live the Unwritten.
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Who is Harry Potter‘s first official trans character?
The first ever trans character will be found in Hogwarts Legacy, and she’s the (at the time of the prequel) proprietress of the Three Broomsticks pub in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry-adjacent wizarding village, Hogsmeade.
Madam Rosmerta’s predecessor is Sirona Ryan, a trans witch who is named after the Celtic goddess, Sirona.
According to GameRevolution, Sirona Ryan espouses the merits of a Goblin named Logdok — interestingly, the game has caught some serious flak for having its main antagonists (and subject of anti-Semitic accusation) be the seemingly “Jewish”-adjacent Goblins, who are rising up to demand more rights — and whom the player character is tasked to defeat. Sirona is shown lauding Logdok’s skills of perception:
During the quest, Sirona explains how Lodgok has always been kind to her, explaining how even when her classmates took time to “to realize I was actually a witch,” Lodgok recognized her identity immediately even after years apart.
Currently, no voice actor has yet been named to have played Sirona Ryan’s role. A transcript of the character’s dialogue allegedly reads:
Sirona Ryan: 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 realize I was actually a witch, not a wizard.
What does it mean now that the Wizarding World has its first trans character?
This is an entirely unprecedented and extremely interesting move from the folks over at Warner Bros. Considering creator JK Rowling ‘s rather loud Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF) views, the fact that Warner Bros. themselves have decided to create this trans character in JK Rowling’s very own Wizarding World world is an extremely bold move, as it’s presumed that Rowling has likely had nothing to do with this character’s creation, nor okay-ed its inception into the Harry Potter universe. But could this be a PR move to endear the game to those threatening to boycott Hogwarts Legacy?
It’s often true that companies, in the effort of “promoting diversity”, might include minorities or individuals from marginalized groups in their media — always as ineffectual side or background characters — for the increased “diversity” points it might net them. This could absolutely be a ploy to better the upcoming game’s optics among its primary audience — young, often liberal-minded Millennials and Gen Z fans who grew up with the original series. This demographic would likely have otherwise purchased and engaged with the new Harry Potter project — if not for the swirling controversy.
As the game has yet to be released, it appears that fans will have to wait for this Saturday, February 11, 2023, to make up their mind about the new Harry Potter installment.
What do you think about this new character, Sirona Ryan? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
The Harry Potter franchise spans books, movies, games, and even theme parks. Created by author J.K. Rowling, the explosive success of the novel led the Harry Potter series to get picked up by Warner Bros. Pictures, and the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) — alternatively Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) in the U.S. — starring newcomers Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) took the world by storm.
The Harry Potter tale spanning Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011) follows the eponymous Harry Potter and his exploits in the hidden Wizarding World. Eventually, he unravels his destiny surrounding the cursed lightning bolt scar on his forehead, unwittingly bestowed upon him by Lord Voldemort (Tom Riddle/Ralph Fiennes).