Hogwarts Legacy game introduces first transgender Harry Potter character

7 February 2023, 19:53

Watch the official Hogwarts Legacy trailer

Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

"The team felt that it was very important to create a game that is representative of the rich and diverse world of Harry Potter."

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The new Hogwarts Legacy game, due for release on February 10th, has introduced the very first transgender character to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

According to various gaming sites, the game, which features an immersive, open-world gameplay set in the 1800s, includes a trans character named Sirona Ryan.

Per GameRevolution's report, Sirona appears during a quest in which the playable character asks about a goblin. "Hadn’t seen him in years when he came in a few months ago," Sirona replies. "But, he recognised 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."

The inclusion of Sirona's character is particularly significant due to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s views and transphobic comments.

Hogwarts Legacy introduces Harry Potter universe's first trans character
Hogwarts Legacy introduces Harry Potter universe's first trans character. Picture: Portkey Games

On the official Hogwarts Legacy website, it's stated as part of the FAQs that the game is not a new story written by J.K. Rowling, and she was not involved in the creation of it either. The company has, however, "collaborated closely with her team on all aspects of the game to ensure it remains in line with the magical experiences fans expect."

Many Harry Potter fans around the world have vowed to boycott the game.

Explaining the decision to include a trans-coded character in the game, a representative for Portkey Games issued a comment to IGN.

"It has been a high priority throughout the development of Hogwarts Legacy to create a game that is representative and diverse, aligning with our wonderful fan community," the rep stated when asked about the creation of the character.

Trans Character in Hogwarts Legacy

"Offering players choices in the way they play the game is an element that we have worked on since the start of development," they continued. "The Character Creator is just one example of that and of course, the large, diverse cast of characters present throughout the game have also had a huge amount of thought from Avalanche and Warner Bros. Games, as well as counsel from outside D&I experts."

Discussing "what Sirona Ryan means for Hogwarts Legacy, particularly in light of J.K. Rowling's vocal opposition to transgender people", the rep then added: "The team felt that it was very important to create a game that is representative of the rich and diverse world of Harry Potter as well as the groups of people who play games, which includes the LGBTQIA+ community. We have a diverse cast of characters that players will encounter throughout the game."

Hogwarts Legacy's story was not written by J.K. Rowling
Hogwarts Legacy's story was not written by J.K. Rowling. Picture: Portkey Games

Back in January, Heartstopper star Sebastian Croft was called out on social media after it was announced that he would be voicing one of the two playable characters in the game. Sebastian is vocally supportive of the LGBTQ+ community and many fans couldn't understand why he had taken on the role after Rowling's comments.

In response to the backlash, Sebastian issued a statement on Twitter. He wrote: "I was cast in this project over 3 years ago, back when all Harry Potter was to me, was the magical world I grew up with. This was long before I was aware of JK Rowling’s views."

"I believe whole heartedly that trans women are women and trans men are men. I know far more now than I did 3 years ago, and hope to learn far more in the next 3," he added. "I’m really sorry to anyone hurt by this announcement. There is no LGB without the T."

WATCH: Lockwood & Co. cast interview each other

Lockwood & Co. Cast Interview Each Other | PopBuzz Meets