You’ve been pronouncing this ‘Harry Potter’ character’s name wrong for years

Instead of “He Who Must Not Be Named,” we’re going to have to start calling Lord Voldemort “He Who Must Not Be Named Correctly.” Why? Because it turns out you’ve been saying You-Know-Who’s name wrong for your entire life, that’s why.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Potterheads around the world are currently experiencing a collective crisis of fandom because J.K. Rowling revealed that we’ve all been mispronouncing Lord Voldemort’s name. Turns out, the “t” at the end is silent, making the correct pronunciation “Voldemore.” But don’t take it from me. See what Jo herself had to say on the subject when a fan pointed out this fascinating bit of trivia.

Mind. Blown. Right?

But don’t worry if you’ve been uttering that “t” for years and years when you say the Dark Lord’s name; you’re certainly not alone. As many (many) fans were quick to point out, it’s the way the name is pronounced in the movies and in most of the audiobooks (although in the earlier installments Jim Dale, who recorded the audiobooks for the entire series, did actually pronounce it Rowling’s preferred way).

Sometimes, an author creates a work and it becomes bigger than them, and how could that be truer of any series than Harry Potter? Even though Rowling’s been thinking “Voldemore” with every keystroke, she wasn’t able to keep the rest of the world from plowing forward with a hard “t.” Of course, there is one group of people who have been joining Rowling in silent “t” solidarity since the beginning: The French. In French, “mort” actually means “dead,” which explains the inspiration for the name and why Rowling prefers the French pronunciation.

If you’re one of the millions of Potterheads who’s guilty of this (very minor) crime of fandom, don’t worry. At this point, I think it’s safe to say both pronunciations are canon. 

(Image via Warner Bros.) 

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