IF YOU were anything like me, you were using a very – er – creative pronunciation of “Hermione” while reading the first three-and-a-half Harry Potter books.
Then something changed. In the fourth instalment, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, a whole passage was dedicated to pointing out that foreign student Viktor Krum was pronouncing Hermione Granger’s name wrong, saying “Her-my-own”, instead of the correct “Her-my-oh-knee.”
It really changed the game. The first movie hadn’t even been released yet (it would come a year later, in 2001) so before that very pointed excerpt, most of us had never had a reference point on how to say Hermione’s name.
So, did the author — fed-up with all of us — do it on purpose?
One Twitter user put it to J.K. Rowling this week, writing: “Theory: J.K. 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.”
The British author retweeted the fan’s comment, confirming: “Theory correct.”
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)
There was a strong reaction from fans on Twitter, with some even ‘fessing up to their own weird and wonderful past ‘Hermione’ pronunciations.
For the longest time, I used to say her-mai-knee 😂— Priyanka Balaji (@pbalaj1)
I thought it was her-me-oh-nee until I read that bit…— Rob Lavender (@law_ender)
I used to call Hermione “Herm-a-jean” because there was another character in the book I read right before that with a hard-for-10y-me-to-pronounce name called Irmagean and I was lazy.— Nathaniel Stephens (@NathanDoesWords)
Hands up if this was you, too.
I’m embarrassed it took three and a half books to learn that pronunciation. Like many others, I had never seen the name Hermione before in my life. Definitely pronounced it HER-ME-OWN in my head for far too long (until @jk_rowling gave it to us). https://t.co/xHoALYa6VQ— Wizarding News™ from HPANA ✨ (@HPANA)
Lol I always had a hard time pronouncing it too so I was really happy when she taught Viktor how to say it. Hermione really is a lovely name. https://t.co/s0FstQlp61— Stackhouse_Kesh_Reacts (@KeshReacts)
I’d already read books 1-3 when we started The Philosopher’s Stone as a class reader. Imagine my surprise when our English teacher kept pronouncing Hermione’s name ‘wrong’🙈 https://t.co/QeQJtBl9UI— Robyn 🐼 (@StardustLass)
The most prominent memory I have of my parents reading Harry Potter to me before bed is my dad going ‘Well that’s a stupid name, from now own I’m going to call her… Jane’ and then me getting annoyed (obviously) because it’s Hermione, not ‘Jane’! 😂— 𝒞𝒽𝒶𝓇𝓁𝑜𝓉𝓉𝑒 (@KloCharlotte)
Hermione teaching Viktor how to say her name was one of the biggest reveals in the book— Heather Sypher (@heathersypher)
My 7 year old brain read it as Her-Me-Own!! It wasn’t until I watched a Oprah interview that I understood I was saying it wrong all along.— Nicole Dodson (@NKDsoooCoolyaya)