Forget Hogwarts Legacy, The Elder Scrolls Online actually knows how to pull off proper LGBTQ+ representation

Image via Zenimax Online Studios

Hogwarts legacy clearly captivated gaming audiences in its early days, but a great deal of debate and a veil of controversy still surrounds it. The only trans character was revealed when the game launched and was given a ridiculously bad name that should never have made it to release.

The whole experience and discourse around Hogwarts legacy has become an unfortunate battleground for queer people in gaming. JK Rowling’s transphobic shadow still lingers around the game, but there is hope in the form of excellent games with excellent trans portrayals.

Look no further than the fantastic MMORPG The Elder Scrolls Onlinewhich brought gaming a groundbreaking trans character that remains an absolute fan favorite – Alchemy.

Introduced in the 2017 expansion summer set, Alchemy’s quest “Manor of Masques” sees the player character encounter a traveling performance party led by the eccentric Alchemy. Later revealed to be a trans woman, the entire quest builds a character that feels real in a fantastical setting.

Alchemy’s Quest features plenty of dialogue that explains the great strides of transition in the world of Tamriel, as well as the same stigmata that exist in very similar ways to our real world. Alchemy cut off her sister when she switched, and the quest deals with her reunion with her long-lost sister.

“I always felt like I was someone else. Of course, becoming an alchemist wasn’t without its difficulties. But I’m happier now than ever.”

alchemy (summer set Chapter)

Alchemy’s character is fun, over the top, and based on the aesthetics of life rather than morality. There is an appealing level to being around her, and she returns in the main story as an ally of the player character.

Alchemy does not use negative trans stereotypes. She’s not Buffalo Bill. She is not a predator. She is not weak. She is not portrayed as comedic because she is trans. She is alchemy, convinced, believes in second chances and is neither a victim nor a damsel in distress.

Whenever I repeat that summer set expansion, I make sure I’m really getting the most out of the quest every time. The best gaming stories make you want to play them again, and it’s to Zenimax Online Studios’ credit for forging such a touching story – and it’s just a side quest.

Hogwarts legacy introduced the unfortunate Sirona Ryan, who feels like nothing more than an attempt to garner support from a community uninterested in while The Elder Scrolls presented one and received support and an award of their own.

There are levels for that, and if you want to support queer stories in a fantasy setting, go to Tamriel and The Elder Scrolls Online. Forget Hogwarts Legacy, The Elder Scrolls Online actually knows how to pull off proper LGBTQ+ representation

Adam Bradshaw

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