Hogwarts Legacy's pre-launch has been about as controversial as a 55-year-old comedian's Netflix stand-up special. Just as early access to the game was unveiled, a surprise bonus controversy popped up.
As players began to use the game, a franchise first became available to the general public. The Wizarding World now has its very first transgender character, but critics quickly recognized the name Sirona Ryan.
Why is Sirona Ryan's name so sexist?
To fully understand the reaction to Sirona, there are a few things that must be addressed.
J.K. Rowling is a trans-exclusionary radical feminist, who has repeatedly defended trans-women's rights as women (which they are) and was recently criticized for racism.
One of Rowling's most common criticisms is her name selection methods for her characters. Some well-known characters with problematic names include Cho Chang (which combines two completely different Asian cultures with very different naming customs), Kingsley Shacklebolt (a Black character name that involves shackles in some eyes), and Jewish wizard Anthony Goldstein (lazy, really).
Due to the game's reliance on her IP, Rowling has absolutely nothing to do with Hogwarts Legacy, except for financial backlash, and the game's creator, Avalanche Studios, appears determined to dissociate the game from her.
Despite Rowling's inability to take her on a dangerous journey, Sirona Ryan feels as if she follows Rowling's disastrous form. She is, however, a Celtic name that must be acknowledged before she can be a hero.
Fans of Harry Potter find it a disservice to the character. Adding "sir" to a trans woman's name seems to be far from subtle, but quite appropriate with Rowling's anti-trans points. Then there's her masculine-leaning last name, Ryan, which again seems to be something which should be completely avoided.
The use of the terms "Aryan" and "Sir" in Sirona Ryan is usually associated with eugenicists and white supremacists. This one is a stretch, although there are some similarities.
Hogwarts Legacy is stuck in a situation that keeps getting more and more complicated, but the game is having zero issues in terms of attracting players and generating interest.