The soon-to-be-released “Hogwarts Legacy” game — set in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World of more than 100 years ago — will include the franchise’s first transgender character.
The new Harry Potter-based open-world role-playing game, which is set in the 1800s Wizarding World created by Rowling, introduces players to Sirona Ryan, the proprietor of the Three Broomsticks pub in the game’s Hogsmeade Village — who informs players that her classmates took some time to realize that she “was actually a witch, not a wizard.”
The evident appearance of a trans character in the Wizarding World is significant, given that Rowling has generated widespread controversy over the last few years for making comments that many have perceived as anti-trans.
In “Hogwarts Legacy,” when the player asked Sirona Ryan about how she knows a goblin named Lodgok, Ryan replies (via GameRevolution): “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.”
“Hogwarts Legacy” invites players on “an epic journey” as a fifth-year student at Hogwarts, gifted with a rare ability to “tap into ancient, powerful magic.” In the immersive game, players can roam around Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, the Forbidden Forest and the surrounding Overland area as they master spells and potions as a novice wizard.
“Guided by the Wizard’s Field Guide and unique instruction from professors and other characters, fans will uncover a compelling storyline filled with thrilling challenges and mysteries,” the game’s description reads. “Faced with perilous dangers, players will defend Hogwarts against deadly enemies and uncover the secrets of the wizarding world’s forgotten past.”
The single-player title is developed by Avalanche Software and published under Warner Bros. Games’ Portkey Games label.
“J.K. Rowling is not involved in the creation of the game,” the game’s official site says. “While remaining true to J.K. Rowling’s original vision, Portkey game developers chart new territory by creating fresh ways for fans to immerse themselves in the Wizarding World.”
“Hogwarts Legacy” is scheduled to launch Feb. 10 worldwide for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC; it’s coming to PS4 and Xbox One on April 4, followed by Nintendo Switch on July 25. The standard edition of the game is priced at $69.99.