There’s been much hype surrounding the newest interactive game taking place in the magical world of Harry Potter and his beloved friends, but the latest development uncovered by a gamer introduces something — or someone — entirely new to the Wizarding World.
The game, Hogwarts Legacy, takes place in the fictional Wizarding World more than 100 years ago (way before Potter and his crew graced the halls of Hogwarts), and though it’s set to release on select consoles on February 10, players who pre-ordered the game were granted early access.
“Hogwarts Legacy is filled with immersive magic, putting players at the center of their adventure to become the witch or wizard they choose to be,” Warner Bros. said in a description of the game. “They will grow their character’s abilities by mastering powerful spells, brewing potions, and harvesting magical plants as they face off against deadly enemies. Players will also encounter quests and scenarios that will pose difficult choices and determine what they stand for.”
A preview of the game via GameRevolution showed that in one quest, a transgender character appears.
The character, Sirona Ryan, is the owner of the Three Broomsticks pub located in the fictional village of Hogsmeade. Ryan enters the game when the first-person character who is currently on one of its quests approaches her with a goblin named Lodgok, who is good friends with the bar owner. As Ryan begins to talk, she appears to acknowledge that she was born male and now identifies as female.
“Hadn’t seen him in years when he came in a few months ago,” Ryan says about Lodgok. “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.”
Warner Bros. and Portkey Games have not yet publicly commented on or confirmed the revelation.
The use of a transgender character is extremely poignant given that the author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, has been criticized in the past for supporting and using anti-trans rhetoric.
The creators of the game clarified that Rowling was not directly involved in the creation of the new game and its characters.
“J.K. Rowling is not involved in the creation of the game, but as creator of the wizarding world and one of the world’s greatest storytellers, her extraordinary body of writing is the foundation of all projects in the Wizarding World,” the description of the game states. “This is not a new story from J.K. Rowling, however we have collaborated closely with her team on all aspects of the game to ensure it remains in line with the magical experiences fans expect.”
Hogwarts Legacy is set to officially launch on February 10 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC, on April 4 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and on July 25 for Nintendo Switch.