Herm-o-ninny? Her-my-o-nee? Hermy one? Although many would now think you’ve been confounded to ask how to pronounce ‘Hermione Granger’, this was a problem in the Harry Potter fandom before the first film came out in 2001.
In fact, during Rowling’s first TV appearances, fans regularly mispronounced the name of Gryffindor’s brainiest – in a 1999 interview with chat show host Rosie O’Donnell, Rowling is asked directly how to say ‘Hermione’ (and if ‘Cy-rus Black’ is correct, too).
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Now the author has confirmed a theory on Twitter that she wrote a passage in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to clear up any confusion. It turns out that when Hermione explained how to pronounce her name as ‘Her-mi-o-ne’ to Quidditch superstar Viktor Krum (who kept calling her “Her-minny”), it wasn’t only for his benefit.
Theory: @jk_rowling included that passage on how to pronounce Hermione's name in Goblet of Fire just to school all of us who were saying HER-MY-OWN like Viktor Krum.
— Atulaa (@atulaak) September 17, 2018
Theory correct. https://t.co/Q46h56ljuU
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 18, 2018
Fortunately, with this passage (and the arrival of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone in cinemas a year later) muggles everywhere finally got the name correct.
However, most Potter fans still don’t pronounce another major character as Rowling does: Lord Voldemort. As the author previously revealed on Twitter, she says the Dark Lord’s name without the ‘t’ at the end, leaving a French-sounding ‘Volde-MOR’ sound.
… but I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who pronounces it that way. https://t.co/HxhJ5XY5HP
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 9, 2015
— Michael Lucero is LOST ✈️? (@mhenrylucero) September 9, 2015
But as long as fans enjoy the characters there’s no need to get scared about pronouncing them. As Dumbledore wisely once put it: “Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself”.