New Harry Potter Video Game, “Hogwarts Legacy” Features Transgender Character

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“Hogwarts Legacy”, a video game developed by Avalanche Software at Warner Bros, launched today. The game stems from the mythology of the popular Harry Potter series, originally written by J.K. Rowling. Rowling is continuously followed by her controversial comments regarding transgender women that were posted to her Twitter account in 2020. Activists felt that Rowling’s language was transphobic and showed a limited understanding of gender expression.

Following a series of tweets in which Rowling struggles to separate gender identity from sex assigned at birth, she went on to publish an essay titled “TERF Wars.” The term “TERF” stands for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist. In the essay, Rowling continues to ignore complaints from activists and former fans regarding her lack of understanding of gender expression. The controversy began when Rowling liked another person’s tweet that excluded trans women from the feminist movement because they were assigned male at birth.

Rowling claims that all of this began while she was researching for a trans character she was writing–the character appeared in her novel Troubled Blood, and the depiction was largely criticized for being a caricature of trans stereotypes.

Following the emergence of the controversy in 2020, many members of the cast of the Harry Potter film franchise expressed disagreement with Rowling’s transphobic views, and invited their fans to educate themselves or donate to trans-inclusive charity organizations, including the Trevor Project.  These were notably Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Bonnie Wright, Rupert Grint, and Eddie Redmayne.


Nearly three years later, the controversy continues to haunt Rowling’s formerly loyal fanbase. Even fellow acclaimed author Stephen King tweeted on the issue, expressing support for trans women.

The “TERF Wars” essay came as a major disappointment to LGBTQ+ fans and allies of the acclaimed and hugely popular Harry Potter franchise. Several of the characters in the book series preach of love and acceptance, and to learn of Rowling’s beliefs was devastating.

Fans were met with an ethical dilemma at today’s game release. Some felt that because Rowling did not write the game, that it would be okay to play it for old time’s sake. Others wanted a complete clean break from the franchise altogether.


Others turned to the game’s introduction of a new character in the Harry Potter universe–Sirona Ryan, a transgender woman. The move was likely made to regain the trust of Rowling’s former fanbase, but it continues to draw criticism from the LGBTQ+ community on social media.

Satirical memes of the situation to depict the blatant PR save with Sirona’s character made the rounds on Twitter.

Other avid readers pointed out that despite the nostalgic tug of the series, people need to distance themselves, as the many extensions of the series all likely profit J.K. Rowling in some way.

The transphobia allegations are only one of several controversies to surround the series. Others include negative stereotypes of Jewish and Black people.

Outside of the controversies associated with the novels and film franchise, gamers are praising the developers of “Hogwarts Legacy” for its accurate depiction of the Hogwarts grounds.

The game is currently available to download here.

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