Meaning of Sirona Ryan’s name in the spotlight for Hogwarts Legacy fans

The name of the Harry Potter series’ first trans character, created via the new open-world role-playing game Hogwarts Legacy, has sparked debate about the meaning of the nickname Sirona Ryan and the identity of the voice actor behind her.

Ryan is the owner of the Three Broomsticks pub in the village of Hogsmeade.

The player character interacts with her during a quest with a goblin named Lodgok. According to Game Revolution, Lodgok is friends with her. Her role is not particularly important.

LOS ANGELES, USA – APRIL 6: Hogwarts seen at Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park at Universal Studios Hollywood on April 6, 2016 in Los Angeles, USA. (Photo by Mintaha Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Debate surrounding the meaning of Sirona Ryan’s name explained

The reason fans – or non-fans – of the Harry Potter franchise have issues with Sirona Ryan’s name is because, they say, it reads like a nod to her transition.

This is because her name begins with the syllable ‘Sir’, which is also used as a title before the first name of a (male) knight or (male) baronet in Britain, or indeed a man of rank or position elsewhere.

As LGBTQ Nation writes, “people feel like ‘sir’ shouldn’t be in the name of the wizarding world’s first trans character.”

Elsewhere, a Twitter user notes that the last five letters of Sirona Ryan’s name — including Sirona’s A — smear together to form the word “Aryan,” which as a designation has undergone several changes in recent history, but people inevitably do think of eugenics. Others may see this connection as tenuous at best.

Is there an actual meaning of the name Sirona Ryan other than what has been suggested by critics?

Yes. In Celtic polytheism, Sirona was a goddess of healing. Her attributes were snakes and eggs.

Her name has different spellings including Sirona, Đirona and Thirona. Evidence for the worship of Sirona is found mainly in east-central Gaul – ie parts of western Europe.

In certain depictions, the goddess Sirona wears a long robe and carries a patera (libation bowl) and scepter (staff). Her name has roots in Proto-Celtic *ster-, meaning “star”.

As the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) notes, Sirona’s association with wells and springs makes her name a fitting name for a pub’s witch owner.

Orlando, FL, USA – January 2, 2015: Dragon breathing fire at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida.

What do we know about Sirona Ryan’s voice actor in Hogwarts Legacy?

SMH adds that while Ryan is a female in the game, she “appears to have been voiced by a cis male actor.”

It cites Game Revolution’s statement that Hogwarts Legacy associates “no voice actress” specifically with the role of Sirona Ryan. However, the credits list voiceover talent “without including their specific roles in the game”.

Meaning: Criticism of the character related to her voice actor may be premature.

What we do know is that Sirona Ryan is from the British Isles as Hogwarts “only serves Great Britain and Ireland”. Her fandom website adds that she has a penchant for “good company, gossip, and butterbeer.”

In other news, Nicola Bulley explained: Abandoned house and loft misinformation from TikTok Meaning of Sirona Ryan’s name in the spotlight for Hogwarts Legacy fans

Emma Bowman

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