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J.K. Rowling Finally Confirms A Hermione Theory That Harry Potter Fans Suspected All Along

In the 21 years since author J.K. Rowling published the first entry into what would become the wildly successful Harry Potter book series, fans have concocted some pretty far-out theories. There was the infamous one from 2004 that argued the freckle-faced Ron Weasley was actually Albus Dumbledore traveling back in time. There was the suggestion that Professor Minerva McGonagall wasn't the trustworthy, kind, and wise Head of Gryffindor everyone knew her as, but was truly a Death Eater — and "possibly Voldemort's most devoted and trusted servant." There was even the Reddit-published hypothesis that claimed Ginny Weasley made love potions in the sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and used them to induce Harry's feelings of intense infatuation for her. 

While Rowling hasn't been shy about addressing fan theories in the past, there's one she hasn't touched on until now – and it's one Harry Potter fans have long suspected to be true. 

On Twitter, user @atulaak theorized that Rowling included the passage about how to properly pronounce Hermione Granger's name in the fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, "just to school all of us who were saying HER-MY-OWN like Viktor Krum," the Bulgarian wizard from the Durmstrang Institute who accompanied Hermione at the Yule Ball during the Triwizard Tournament. After Viktor repeatedly refers to her as "Hermy-own," Hermione clarifies that her name is actually pronounced "Her-my-oh-nee."

The original passage reads as follows:

"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."

Once Rowling caught wind of the theory, she simply responded, "Theory correct."

When Harry Potter fans first read The Goblet of Fire back when it was originally published in 2000, they probably took the scene as little more than a slightly awkward, somewhat cute, but mostly chuckle-worthy moment between the incredibly intelligent Hermione and the doofy-in-comparison Viktor. As time went on, however, more and more readers (like @atulaak) started to believe that the conversation had a double meaning and served a useful purpose in subtly informing fans about how to say Hermione's name the correct way. Sure, the theory isn't as bizarre as the ones we mentioned before, but it's long been a popular one amongst Potterheads — and we're certain they feel as good as Ron does while double-fisting chicken drumsticks in Hogwarts' Great Hall now that Rowling has confirmed it.

It's a good thing that Rowling tossed the small moment into The Goblet of Fire, since it appears that countless Harry Potter fans were saying Hermione's name all wrong until the whip-smart witch gave Viktor a pronunciation lesson. 

"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," the Twitter account for the fan site Wizarding News from the Harry Potter Automatic News Aggregator posted after Rowling confirmed the theory. "Definitely pronounced it HER-ME-OWN in my head for far too long (until @jk_rowling gave it to us)."

Twitter user @KloCharlotte shared that she didn't even know Hermione's name was Hermione because her parents couldn't pronounce the character's name when reading her the book as part of her nighttime routine as a child. "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,'" she tweeted, "and then me getting annoyed (obviously) because it's Hermione, not 'Jane'!"

Nathaniel Stephens confessed that he too came up with his own unique way to say Hermione's name prior to reading the passage in The Goblet of Fire, since he had no idea which pronunciation was right. "I used to call Hermione 'Herm-a-jean,'" Stephens tweeted, explaining that he did it because the book he read before beginning the Harry Potter series featured a character named Irmagean. "I was lazy," he added. 

Nicole Dodson felt Viktor Krum's pain in trying and failing to pronounce "Hermione" correctly, as she also read her name incorrectly and didn't realize until quite some time after. "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," she tweeted in response to Rowling's theory-confirming post. 

Thankfully, a year after Viktor got all tongue-tied in The Goblet of Fire, which was published in 2000, fans got to hear Emma Watson say Hermione Granger's name — as the 100-percent accurate "Her-my-oh-knee Grange-er" — in the first Harry Potter movie. Ever since, there haven't been many mispronunciations.

Now, if only fans would pronounce Lord Voldemort's name the proper way.