Avalanche Studios is facing backlash over the naming of Hogwarts Legacy's trans character, Sirona Ryan.
Shortly after Hogwarts Legacy reviews dropped yesterday, the community noted the inclusion of Sirona, a transgender witch who lives in Hogsmeade village and is encountered relatively early in the game. While we noted the increased diversity of Hogwarts Legacy when compared to much of the rest of the Wizarding World, some developers reportedly labelled Sirona's inclusion in the game as tokenism, added to the world as a reactive response to backlash over the franchise creator's rhetoric around gender.
While Sirona could have been intended as a reference to a Celtic goddess of healing, the character is also being received poorly by some members of the community, who argue that her name is the latest entry in the franchise's history of clumsily symbolic names. Highlighting the first three letters of Sirona, as well as the character's surname, the community has drawn links to several Harry Potter characters, including Cho Chang, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and Seamus Finnegan.
Rowling has drawn criticism for the stereotypical names of those characters, as well as some of the locations in her world - the South American Wizarding school of Castelobruxo is the Portuguese words for 'Wizard' and 'Castle' pushed together, making no allowance for the impact of colonialism or the prevalence of Spanish speakers across the continent.
The release of Hogwarts Legacy has been the subject of criticism and debate due to J.K. Rowling's public stance on gender identity, which continues to challenge the inclusivity at the heart of the Harry Potter community. Here is our explainer on the Hogwarts Legacy controversy.