Well, this is embarrassing. It turns out there might be a really good reason why the wizards and witches of the Harry Potter universe refer to their most notorious foe as “he who must not be named;” one that is unrelated to his status as the most powerful dark wizard who ever lived and more to do with social awkwardness around pronunciation.
According to J.K. Rowling (who clearly knows a thing or two), ever since the Harry Potter movies came out, everyone has been pronouncing Voldemort wrong, by carefully including that final T.
Actually, it should be pronounced “Vol-de-morr”, as in vol de la mort, French for “flight of death.” No wonder the snake-faced man was so cross all the time!
This revelation came via a tweet from the writer Michael Lucero, and a response from J.K. herself:
— Michael Lucero (@mhenrylucero) September 9, 2015
And her response:
… 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
Although there is one nation that is naturally delighted with the news:
@jk_rowling No you're not 😉 The whole France is too !
— Carole Bouchard (@carole_bouchard) September 9, 2015
So, should he ever make a return, maybe “he who must not be named incorrectly” would be a better alternate title to avoid any future magical conflict.
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