When I say that Harry Potter fans debate pretty much everything about the series (in a totally fun way, of course), I really mean it. Fans — myself included — have seemingly never-ending conversations about whether Dumbledore is actually Death, what really saved Harry Potter's life, and who Hermione should have ended up with post-Hogwarts. Trust me when I say that's just the tip of the iceberg. When it comes to the fandoms with the wildest fan theories and most passionate ships, Potterheads always come out on top. But one debate that still seems to be raging among fans is just how to pronounce some of the more unique names in the series, including Hermione Granger's.
Many readers were understandably shocked when J.K. Rowling revealed that basically everyone had been pronouncing Voldemort's name wrong all these years — apparently it should be "Voldemore" without the hard "T." I know, my mind is still blown. But one of the earliest and most hotly debated names was actually Hermione's. See, before picking up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for the first time, many readers had never heard the named Hermione said out loud. I know I hadn't. Was it "Her-My-Own-Nee"? Was it "Her-Me-Owny"? "Hermi-One"? Or maybe it was "Her-My-Own," the way Bulgarian Seeker (and major Hermione stan) Viktor Krum said it?
Well, it turns out that Rowling herself had grown weary enough of the constant mispronunciations of Hermione's name, that she used Krum in 2000's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to help us all out. After all, wildly enough, it would still be a full year before we heard Hermione's name pronounced properly on screen in 2001, when the first Harry Potter film hit theaters. Twitter user @atulaak first shared the theory on Twitter below:
And J.K. Rowling wasted no time answering in the affirmative:
The brief passage in question, in which Hermione gleefully tries to teach Krum (and, apparently, the rest of the world) how to properly pronounce her name is below:
"Hermione was now teaching Krum to say her name properly; he kept calling her ‘Hermy-own’.
'Her – my – oh – nee,’ she said, slowly and clearly.
‘Herm – own – ninny.’
'Close enough,’ she said, catching Harry’s eye and grinning."
I can't remember now how I was pronouncing Hermione's name before I'd heard it said aloud (though I can be pretty positive I wasn't saying Herm-Own-Ninny at least) but it's fascinating to see that even when it comes to character's names, what the author intends and what the reader takes away can sometimes be two very different things. If only settling the debate on whether Sirius and "serious" are pronounced the same were this easy.