J.K. Rowling is probably crying into her Butterbeer right now because a new Harry Potter video game will feature the Wizarding World's first transgender character.
According to gaming news site Game Revolution, the upcoming Hogwarts Legacy open-world video game will include Sirona Ryan, a trans witch who is the proprietress of the Three Broomsticks pub, located in Hogsmeade.
The player will meet the pub owner while they are on a mission with a goblin named Lodgok. During the quest, Sirona tells the player how Lodgok has always been kind to her, even when it took her Hogwarts classmates time to realize she “was actually a witch, not a wizard.”
"I've known [Lodgok] for years. We met when I was waiting tables here as a student — well before I bought the place," Sirona tells the player in the game. "He was cordial enough, but we weren't friends then. His mistrust of wizardkind ran deep... 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 takes place in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter during the 1800s, and players will start off as a 5th-year Hogwarts student "gifted with a rare ability to tap into ancient, powerful magic.”
“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,” reads the game's official description. “Faced with perilous dangers, players will defend Hogwarts against deadly enemies and uncover the secrets of the wizarding world’s forgotten past.”
Hogwarts Legacy is developed by Avalanche Software and published under Warner Bros. Games’ Portkey Games label. The game's official site makes it clear that “J.K. Rowling is not involved in the creation of the game.”
“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,” the site explains.
When news of Sirona broke, a Portkey representative told IGN that "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."
The inclusion of Sirona in the Wizarding World is notable for many reasons, one being that in recent years Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling has come under fire for posting a tirade of transphobic tweets, and even wrote a book about a "transvestite serial killer."
With the Fantastic Beasts film franchise on permanent hiatus, hopefully Hogwarts Legacy can lead the way for a Rowling-free future in the Wizarding World.
Hogwarts Legacy will be released on Feb. 10.