On Monday, Harry Potter game series Hogwarts Legacy introduced a new character named Sirona Ryan. She would be the first transgender character to appear in the popular series. While this might be something to celebrate, netizens were furious because the name had a male connotation.
In the game Hogwarts Legacy, Sirona Ryan works at the Three Broomsticks bar in Wizarding, London. She plays a key role in all goblin-related missions. According to Game Revolution, Sirona communicates with her goblin friend Lodgok.
The Hogwarts Legacy game appears to have introduced a transphobic character to distance itself from JK Rowling’s anti-transphobic views. However, one should not forget the author’s history of giving characters problematic names, incl Cho Chang and Kingsley Shacklebolt, which are both colored. Many have noted that the names are racist and that there are significant cultural and linguistic errors.
Why fans are against the name Sirona Ryan?
A nickname is a unique name. In Celtic mythology, Sirona is the goddess of healing who is associated with snakes and eggs. Her name is spelled variously, including Thiron, Siron, and Diron among others. Those in east-central Gaul, which is part of western Europe, mainly pray to the goddess. She often wears long robes and carries a sacrificial bow and scepter.
The name Sirona is also associated with wells and springs according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Since the witch character is a pub owner, the chosen name would make sense.
But it seems that netizens were not happy with the transgender character’s name. Many did not like that the first syllable of her name spelled “Sir”, which is generally given to male knights or baronets in the UK. It also signals the order of men elsewhere.
Some other Twitter users noticed that the last five letters of the name Sirona Ryan i.e. ‘A’ of Sirona and Ryan when put together, they form the word ‘Aryan’, which is why people mostly think of eugenics.
The character’s middle name is “Ryan”, also a conventional male name which only added fuel to the fire.
The Sydney Morning Herald also revealed that despite the character in the game being female, she appears to be voiced by a cis-male actor.
Who came up with the name remains unclear. However, it is safe to say that JK Rowling was not behind the move. It was recently revealed that the character was introduced solely to “deflect the conversation” from the disgraced author. In an interview with IGN, a representative from Portkey Games, who developed Hogwarts Legacy, said that Sirona Ryan was included because:
“The team felt it was very important to create a game that represented the rich and diverse world of Harry Potter as well as the group of people who play games, which includes the LGBTQIA+ community.”
This isn’t the first time Hogwarts Legacy has faced criticism. Many believe that all money spent on products related to Harry Potter the series symbolizes support for the author’s political views.
The game developer did not respond to Sirona Ryan controversy over the name at the time of writing this article.