Hogwarts Legacy Criticised Over Name Of Series’ First Trans Character

The latest Harry Potter themed video game, Hogwarts Legacy, has introduced its first trans character, but the game is facing criticism over the choice of name for the character.

Prior to its release, many social media users threatened to boycott Hogwarts Legacy over J.K. Rowling’s previous controversial comments about trans people, so the latest news has rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way.

Especially when it comes to the character’s “tone deaf” name choice.

But first lets go back to where it all began. What started out as a mere musing while stuck on a delayed train in London, 1990, led to a young Joanne Rowling conjuring up the magical story of Harry Potter.

Thirty years since it’s creation, over 500 million copies of the book franchise have been sold worldwide in eighty different languages, making it one of the best-selling book series of all time.

The adventures of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger were quick to capture a vast and loyal fanbase, with children and adults alike being instantly captivated by the novel.

So, of course, it didn’t take long for the movie adaptations to come along, bringing Rowling’s words and imagination to life by transforming them into a series of blockbuster movies.

The wizardry and witchcraft mania that was induced by the books was only exaggerated after the release of the on-screen adaptations which, collectively, grossed around $6.5 billion in total.

Despite her popularity, in recent years, many have deemed Rowling to be extremely problematic.

As some may already be aware, the author was accused of being transphobic by dozens of fans back in June 2020, after she posted a string of divisive tweets criticising a headline about “those who menstruate.”

She wrote at the time: “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” referring to a post she shared. 

And it only got worse from there, she went on to say: “If s*x isn’t real, there’s no same-s*x attraction. If s*x isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of s*x removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”

And many said that she had now ruined Harry Potter for them.

The tweets sparked huge backlash online, and In response to the author’s comments, Harry Potter actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint spoke out, sharing their solidarity with the trans community. 

Radcliffe gave a statement through the LGBT s***ide prevention charity the Trevor Project, saying: “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.”

Although it has been a few years since then, many fans have spoken out against Rowling. And with news of the release of Harry Potter video game, Hogwarts Legacy, some have threatened to boycott the game. 

In response to the impending release, trans activists have swamped Twitter.

One wrote: “Talking about the Hogwarts Legacy boycott – are there more important things in life? yes. Should you boycott it because it’s a very easy – literally bare minimum – way to show solidarity with trans people? also yes.”

“Not getting Hogwarts Legacy cause JK Rowling is a terf (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) is a very valid reason,” another said.

Since then, early access to the game has been made available to those that have pre-ordered, and players were shocked to find out that developers have introduced their first trans character, Sirona Ryan.

Although this is a huge step, under the circumstances, players aren’t entirely happy with J.K. Rowling profiting off the game. 

Despite the lack of pre-release marketing, Sirona Ryan is part of the main storyline and runs the Three Broomsticks tavern in the game. 

Speaking out about the move, a representative of Portkey Games revealed: “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.”

They continued, “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.”

Social media users have spoken out on the name choice, with many unsatisfied with what developers went with. 

One wrote: “f***ing hell they called the ONLY trans witch in like, ALL OF BRITAIN, SIRona RYAN. Call her Dudette McBro at this point.”

While another commented: “A name like Sirona Ryan for a trans woman is the most Harry Potter thing I’ve ever heard.”

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