Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling confirmed a fan theory about the pronunciation of Hermione’s name, and why she wrote it into the fourth book. The world of the Boy Who Lived is one that has become very familiar to readers and audiences of the films over the years, but way back in the year 2000, there were still some mysteries surrounding these characters.
Though the books came out in the ’90s and early ’00s, the internet is a time machine, and it’s not uncommon for fans to share their old theories online. One such fan did so recently and was lucky enough to hear back from Rowling herself.
The Twitter user, @atulaak, originally wrote the tweet, tagging Rowling. In the scene described, Hermione Granger has begun spending time with Durmstrang student (and renowned Quidditch player) Viktor Krum, who, while very kind to her, struggles over her unique name. Hermione corrects him, explaining that it is pronounced “her-my-OH-nee.” Rowling then confirmed that she included the passage in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire because she knew that fans were saying it incorrectly.
Goblet of Fire is the fourth book in the series, and, prior to the release of the films, readers who weren’t familiar with the name of the character Hermione were likely to pronounce it wrong. In the scene, Krum tries again with another mispronunciation: “her-mo-NIN-ny.” Possibly, these are two mispronunciations that Rowling herself had heard at the time. Of course, it wouldn’t take long for fans to hear the name for themselves: Goblet of Fire was released in 2000, and the first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, came out in 2001.
Harry Potter Twitter was delighted by this news, with many fans chiming in with their own Hermione mispronunciations. One user said that she pronounced it “her-ME-own,” while another said they thought it was “her-MOYNE.”
Rowling has had an active social media presence over the last few years. The author takes to Twitter often to offer political opinions and publicize her other works, but she is often up for commenting on all things Harry Potter. She also keeps up with the canon expanding Harry Potter universe, sharing tweets about the upcoming film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second movie in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, with which she’s involved as the screenwriter. She most recently revealed she already started writing Fantastic Beasts 3. There’s no doubt that fans will continue to watch Rowling’s Twitter in hopes that she continues to reply to fan theories in the future.