The latest PlayStation State of Play brought a ton of new information on Avalanche Studios’ upcoming open-world action RPG, Hogwarts Legacy. Although it’s not out until this holiday season, the broadcast showed off a ton of new gameplay and shed some light on plot details.
More specifically, we got the first information on the villains of Hogwarts Legacy – one is an entirely new character to the wizarding world, while the other may have familial ties to another wizard referenced in the original series.
Who is Ranrok?
During the roughly 20-minute presentation, we learned that one of the things your wizard or witch will be tasked with will be stopping a rebellion led by a Goblin named Ranrok. This would not be the first time something like this happened in the Wizarding World. As the Harry Potter Wiki notes, before the events of Hogwarts Legacy, three goblin rebellions previously occurred, with the first one dating back to 1612.
The relationship between goblins and wizards/witches is tense, with the way goblins are treated by wizardkind being the main driver of these rebellions. Considered inferior to wizardkind in the Harry Potter franchise by many wizards, Goblins are subjected to prejudice and segregation. One such example includes a law forbidding goblins from carrying wands.
In a detailed PlayStation Blog on Hogwarts Legacy, Avalanche Studios’ Community Manager, Chandler Wood, notes that Ranrok’s hatred of wizards skews his “worldview.” Avalanche Narrative Lead Moira Squier mentions that Ranrok has “seen a glimmer of magic that wizardkind tried to hide – even from themselves – and he wants that power in particular.”
More interestingly, we can see throughout the gameplay presentation that goblins in Hogwarts Legacy will be using magic in the game. We even see Ranrok using magic himself at one point without a wand, though it has been confirmed that goblins can use magic without one.
Victor Rookwood and His Possible Connections
Victor Rookwood is the second villain we were briefly introduced to in the Hogwarts Legacy State of Play. Rookwood leads a faction of dark wizards who form an uneasy alliance with Ranrok in Hogwarts Legacy.
Based on the last name, there is a possibility that Victor Rookwood may be related to another wizard: Augustus Rookwood. Augustus is another dark wizard who was a devoted follower of Lord Voldermort and a Death Eater. As Igor Karkaroff alleges in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Rookwood worked as a double agent for Voldermort while employed at the Department of Mysteries before being arrested and imprisoned in Azkaban. Although Avalanche Software has yet to confirm or deny this relation, it is interesting to note how both share the same last name and are shown to have affiliated themselves with wizards and witches that practice dark magic.
While a lot of Hogwarts Legacy, particularly from a narrative standpoint, is still unknown, Avalanche Software has a lot to work with. The Harry Potter timeline shows the 1800s have been largely unexplored in books and films. Most of the Harry Potter timeline events focus primarily on the 1900s, with the Fantastic Beasts films set in the 1920s and Harry Potter’s adventures set in the 1990s. It will be interesting to see how much of the established universe from a lore and narrative standpoint will find its way into Hogwarts Legacy in significantly major events akin to the first and second wizarding wars.
That’s all we know for now on Hogwarts Legacy’s villains, but we’re sure to find out more ahead of its release this holiday. Ahead of its recent reveal, the game has stirred up discussion over its connection to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who has become notable for her transphobic comments in recent years. Warner Bros. has said the author is not directly involved with the game, but leadership has said “she’s entitled to express her personal opinion”. Reports have since suggested that the game will allow for transgender characters to be created.
That was not confirmed in the most recent State of Play, but we did learn new Hogwarts Legacy gameplay and story details in addition to the villain reveals, as well as confirmation that Hogwarts Legacy will be coming to the Nintendo Switch.
Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.