J.K. Rowling Naming Characters meme example.

J.K. Rowling Naming Characters

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Updated Feb 10, 2023 at 12:19PM EST by Philipp.

Added Feb 07, 2023 at 04:29AM EST by Philipp.

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J.K. Rowling Naming Characters is a social media trend parodying the manner in which British writer J.K. Rowling named her Harry Potter characters, as the names and behavioral patterns of certain minority characters in her books has been interpreted as discreetly offensive or stereotypical. Started by a viral 2020 tweet, the parody meme trend was reignited in February 2023 after it was revealed that the video game Hogwarts Legacy will have a transgender character named Sirona Ryan.


On May 13th, 2020, Twitter[1] user @AsteadWH tweeted about the perceived discrepancy in the manner Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling named white and non-white characters in her books. The post (shown below) gained over 17.600 retweets and 165,000 likes in two years (shown below, left). On the same day, Twitter[2] user @martamarxist posted a similar tweet about Irish Harry Potter character Seamus Finnigan (shown below, right).

Astead @AsteadWH J.K. Rowling, thinking of a name of white character: Albus Dumbeldore, Hermione Granger, Minerva McGonagall J.K. Rowling, thinking of nonwhite character: Cho Chang 7:06 PM . May 13, 2020 MARTA MARXIST @martamarxist Replying to @AsteadWesley Yo forgot about Seamus Finnigan, the singular Irish character, who loves turning water into alcohol and blowing stuff up as an 11 yo. 8:15 PM - 13 May 2020 >

On January 1st, 2022, Twitter[3] user @felipetmedinaa posted a joke about J.K. Rowling naming Seamus Finnegan that gained over 6,600 retweets and 119,000 likes in one year (shown below).

Felipe Torres Medina @felipetmedinaa : Absolutely batshit that they had one Irish character in Harry Potter and they just went with Seamus Finnegan. Like calling an American character Huckleberry McRib. 6:42 PM Jan 1, 2022


The viral discussion surrounding the manner of J.K. Rowling's naming of minority characters maintained viral status through early 2022. For example, on January 2nd, 2022, Twitter[4] user @isaiah_bh made a post about Jewish character Anthony Goldstein that gained over 1,900 retweets and 43,500 likes in one year (shown below, left). On January 5th, Twitter[5] user @ChardineTaylor mad1e a tweet that gained over 710 retweets and 4,400 likes in one year.

isi baehr-breen (its pronounced ‘izzy') @isaiah_bb Anthony Goldstein. Ravenclaw. Jewish wizard. Ben @benroffman. 12/16/14 @jk_rowling my wife said there are no Jews at Hogwarts. I'm a Jew so I assume she said it to be the only magical 1 in the family. Thoughts? 11 J.K. Rowling @jk_rowling 104 Replying to @benroffman .@benjaminroffman Anthony Goldstein, Ravenclaw, Jewish wizard. . 3:06 PM 12/16/14 Twitter for iPad . 239 2,255 Retweets 459 Quote Tweets 4,884 Likes 12:57 PM . Jan 2, 2022 from Brooklyn, NY Chardine Taylor Stone @ChardineTaylor JK Rowling had an Asian character called Cho Chang, an Irish one called Seamus Finnigan and a Black one whose last name was Shacklebolt. Also, consider her recent transphobic novel. When problematic tropes are regularly used by a writer it's not an accident it's what they think. 12:45 PM Jan 5, 2022

On May 25th, 2022, Redditor victor_tab posted a Mario Judah's 'Die Very Rough' GIF caption meme about J.K. Rowling naming an Irish character "Potatofamine Carbomb" that gained over 5,200 upvotes in /r/196[6] and was widely circulated online (shown below).

143 JK Rowing resisting the urge to make an Irish character named "Potatofamine Carbomb"

On February 6th, 2023, GameRevolution.com reported[7] that the then-upcoming video game Hogwarts Legacy will introduce a transgender character named Simona Ryan. The tweet was followed by a viral debate surrounding public perception that the chosen name for the character, if interpreted as "SIRona," is meant to mock trans people. For example, on February 6th, Twitter[8] user @girlmeat5557 posted a meme that gained over 6,500 retweets and 55,700 likes in one day (shown below, left). Twitter[9] user @seekingbroo then posted a joke that gained over 780 retweets and 8,200 likes in the same period (shown below, right).

manina dress tady secretboy sexina predatorè eve apple beardly womene phillia pedona they themmington sirona ryan can transgender be mexican? BRUNOSTORM @seekingbroo Replying to @Game_Revolution JK Rowling giving names Australian Kangaroo Spidervenom Japanese = Sushi Temaki Mexican = Ricardo Guacamolez Islamic Allahu Akbar Brazilian = Rio Soccersamba Russian = Vladmir Vodka Homossexual = Sergay Lovecock Italian Alfredo Bolognese = 3:07 PM. Feb 6, 2023 192.5K Views

Various Examples

Harry Potter Trans Names by J.K. Rowling - Imma Mansley - Nadia A. Woman Iva P. Ness - Shea Meal Izzy Herman - Trisha Groomer - Irina Isekai Shelby Packin - Amanda Witcock Sirona Ryan 4 1 this One!!! JK Rowling resisting the urge to name a Japanese exchange student "Hiro Shima" Pop Base @PopBase 14h The upcoming Harry Potter universe game 'Hogwarts Legacy' will introduce the franchise's first transgender character. THK PORTKEYGAMES HOGWARTS LEGACY 348 t 1,934 lucas @lucasmyers_ BUTT 2:35 PM. Feb 6, 2023 79.7K Views 6,910 1.1M Replying to @PopBase and jk rowling is going to name them tr*nny mcsexchange like she loves to do
Allison Gilbert @AllisonWynifred JK Rowling naming an Italian character... depths of wikipedia @depthsofwiki · Jul 20, 2022 incredible line in the article for Italian footballer Kevin Lasagna Show this thread Kevin Lasagna 5:11 PM Jul 21, 2022 HS Style of play A tall and quick left-footed forward, Lasagna's natural role is that of a main striker in the centre. Lasagna has many layers to his game : D FOOTY SCRAN Footy Scran @FootyScran Jan 30 F------, chips, gravy and mushy peas at Coalville town (@CoalvilleTown FC) £6.50 473 1,534 Creighton @CreightonOTE 4,870 il 1.7M ... 2:40 PM Jan 30, 2023 36.5K Views ... Replying to @FootyScran and @CoalvilleTown FC You guys gotta stop letting JK Rowling name things over there bud light lyme disease @lsthief i got banned for this Mr. Cow Today at 10:19 PM Hey, quick question. I keep trying to make a pottermore account but when it detects my IP from Belfast, JK Rowling keeps automatically changing my username to Potatofamine McCarbomb and misgendering me Has anyone else had this experience?

Search Interest

External References

[1] Twitter – @AsteadWH

[2] Twitter – @martamarxist

[3] Twitter – @felipetmedinaa

[4] Twitter – @isaiah_bb

[5] Twitter – @ChardineTaylor

[6] Twitter – JK Rowing is bad with names rule

[7] Twitter – @Game_Revolution

[8] Twitter – @girlmeat5557

[9] Twitter – @seekingbroo

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Top Comments


As someone who's Asian, my spat with the Cho Chang controversy is that it's pretty much always white liberals who say "it's racist! it's too stereotypical!" while not even acknowledging that the romanization of a name into Latin letters makes it physically impossible to make such a claim. Jackie Chan's birth name, for instance, can be rendered as Chén Gǎngshēng or Can4 Gong2sang1 depending on if you transcribe from Mandarin or Cantonese. Anything you write with a QWERTY keyboard is already not a "real" name, and people griping about Cho Chang are apparently clueless to this.

They base it on "it's actually a Korean last name and a Chinese last name" or "it sounds too similar to ching chang chong", which are both patently ridiculous. The first because the idea of pinning down a name written in a Latin alphabet as definitely Korean or Mandarin makes zero sense. Mandarin doesn't even have an alphabet. The second is a stupid criticism because it's not actually an issue, it's just white people being insecure about their virtue signaling. Sure, I don't like it when comedians pull out ching chong chinaman jokes, but that doesn't mean a (barely present, tbh) resemblance to ching chong makes it racist.

Also, this is a book series where major characters include "Draco Malfoy" (Bad dragon), "Severus Snape" (Snakey snake), Xenophilius Lovegood (I like weird stuff), to name a few. Why are you expecting realism from a setting with literal magic and silly shit??


in reply to Ten Shadows

Not really, people have been making fun of "Cho Chang" for years now, plus there was that whole thing about the wizard schools that came out a few years ago ("Castle Wizard", "Placemagic"). It just hadn't hit the mainstream because there wasn't a big Harry Potter product right in everyone's faces


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