There is now a rumor going around about Hogwarts Legacy, particularly the inclusion of the trans character, that we only know about now after the public received access to the game.
As reported by IGN, the character is named Sirona Ryan, and she runs The Broomsticks Tavern. She is the first canonically trans character in the Harry Potter / Potterverse universe. All players will eventually meet and interact with her, as she is part of the second main story quest.
IGN tried to ask Portkey Games about their decision to add a trans character to Hogwarts Legacy, given the publicly anti trans views and advocacy of J.K. Rowling, the creator of the Potterverse franchise on which Hogwarts Legacy is based. This is what they said:
“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.”
However, as The Gamer had covered, there is a different story going around in the rumor mill. Both Stephanie Sterling and Liam Robertson claim to have sources in Avalanche Software or Portkey Games. These sources claim that they added a trans character in Hogwarts Legacy as an attempt to steer the conversation away from the controversy created by J.K. Rowling.
Stephanie shared these statements on their Twitter:
“An old acquaintance did some work on that Hogwarts game. Didn’t have much juicy to say, other than the game is mediocre and its RPG/customization elements are vastly oversold.
I’m told they added a token trans NPC to pivot the conversation away from JKR. They’re barely in it.”
Liam quote tweeted Stephanie and also tweeted this:
“I was also told this. There was apparently some trans representation added after some of the initial controversy. I don’t know how it appears in the final product but one of the sources I talked to described it as “performative bullshit”.
The argument on whether Avalanche Software and/or Portkey Games added a trans character Hogwarts Legacy sincerely, or merely to cover up the controversy, is a completely different conversation, on whether it is ethical to buy the game. The allegations are quite serious, and Portkey Games’ statements are also suspicious for trying to get around the issue.
While most gamers are probably already decided one way or another about Hogwarts Legacy, how Sirona Ryan is received may change how the game will be received by the public. It sounds like something that was done without Rowling’s knowledge and she would not have approved of. We will see in the next few days how this all plays out.
Hogwarts Legacy will be officially released on February 10, 2023, for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC via Steam and Epic Games Store. It will also be released later on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.