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Post  Potteraholic on Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:23 am

This topic serves as an archive of a thread from the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum as hosted on World Crossing, which ceased operation on April 15, 2011. It was copied/saved by Lady Arabella and reformatted/reposted by Potteraholic. ~Potteraholic

Phelim Mcintyre - Aug 7, 2005 8:26 am
Edited by Kip Carter Jan 10, 2006 2:07 am

Inferi appear in Book 6, and are similar to zombies. We know that they are the bodies of dead people reanimated to serve a dark wizard. We know that only fire affects them. But can the bodies of people who become ghosts be used. Do they have to die in a specific way (e.g. killed by the wizard who then reanimates the corpse). What can we infer from HBP? Any comments?

NOTE: This thread was originally entitled 'Inferi'. But on this forum: "The length of the title for this topic must be ranging between 10 and 255 characters", is the message that appeared when I tried to post the header post. So I added extra spaces after 'Inferi', and it worked!

Last edited by Potteraholic on Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:14 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post  Potteraholic on Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:25 am

Choices - Aug 7, 2005 9:11 am (#1 of 188)

It is my belief that anyone can become an Inferi. After all, when you're dead you really have no say in what becomes of your body (other than the obvious pre-death arrangements you make). A dark wizard could rob a grave and turn the occupant into an Inferi that would serve/obey that dark wizards commands. I don't think the dark wizard necessarily has to kill that person - any dead body would do.

Nathan Zimmermann - Aug 7, 2005 12:01 pm (#2 of 188)

Can those who have been demented become Inferi?

Star Crossed - Aug 7, 2005 12:37 pm (#3 of 188)

I have a terribly sinking feeling that Lily and James may become Inferi. The comment Voldie made (It may just be in the film, I'm not sure.) in SS/PS saying, "Would you like to see your parents again?" That struck me really hard when we learned what Inferi are.

Dr Filibuster - Aug 7, 2005 1:08 pm (#4 of 188)
Edited Aug 7, 2005 2:09 pm

Aly, that's exactly what I was fearing as I got nearer to the end of HBP.

When the Inferi did make an appearance it wasn't as bad as I had imagined. I was impressed with Dumbledore's calm, matter-of-fact approach to them.

Puck - Aug 7, 2005 6:17 pm (#5 of 188)

I was pretty creeped out by the idea, no matter how calm DD remained.

I doubt someone who goes through the veil body and soul -like Sirius- could become an Inferi. Their bodies have left this realm, so can not be used.

Marie E. - Aug 7, 2005 9:19 pm (#6 of 188)

I was creeped out, too. That was some awful mental imagery there. *shudder*

Saralinda Again - Aug 7, 2005 9:44 pm (#7 of 188)

Unfortunately, when the one Inferius popped up when Harry said "Accio Horcrux," I was instantly burdened with the image of the lake full of Inferi randomly leaping like porpoises. I cannot shake it, and that makes it hard for me to take these truly creepy things seriously.

I'm sure JKR will straighten me out in Book Seven, though.

Puck - Aug 8, 2005 9:52 am (#8 of 188)

I was wondering whether a soul can be truly "at rest" if the body has been turned into an Inferi.

Verbina - Aug 8, 2005 11:01 am (#9 of 188)

I got the feeling that the Inferi can only come from a recently dead body. Not sure why that is. Someone said in the HBP book that Voldemort had an army of them from the people killed by the DEs. So it struck me that perhaps not just any dead body but a .... * gulp* freshly killed corpse.

The Sword and the Lion - Aug 8, 2005 1:36 pm (#10 of 188)

The Inferi don't seem to be that powerful other than the fear-factor they generate. The Inferi are more or less like zombies, no? Walk briskly and you’re safe!

TwinklingBlueEyes - Aug 8, 2005 2:38 pm (#11 of 188)

"or provoke the aggression of the Inferius" - a bloody mass upon ground." HBP pp 178

Might even want to trot a little... :-)

Herm oh ninny - Aug 8, 2005 3:42 pm (#12 of 188)

I always assumed that there was nothing left of Lily and James' bodies. Since the house went up in flames I assumed that their bodies got burnt as well. Was I wrong in assuming this?

Madam Pince - Aug 8, 2005 4:38 pm (#13 of 188)

Not any more wrong than any of our other many assumptions. I don't recall that the house went up in flames, although I could be wrong -- I thought Hagrid just said it had been completely destroyed. Could've been just exploded apart or something. That's how I always pictured it.

Harry says at the end of HBP that he might want to visit his parents' graves, which indicates there might have been bodies, although not necessarily, I suppose. (That begs the whole question of why he's only NOW considering visiting their graves, after all these years, but anyway...)

Choices - Aug 8, 2005 5:18 pm (#14 of 188)

I never thought the house burned either. It was more like an explosion if I remember correctly. There was evidently enough of Lily and James to bury, cause Harry wants to go to Godric's Hollow to visit their graves.

virgoddess1313 - Aug 8, 2005 7:28 pm (#15 of 188)
Edited Aug 8, 2005 8:29 pm

I wonder though if Inferi have any specific "powers" for lack of a better word... and if they do if this has any relation to the power of the witch or wizard who made them.

The fear of them might just come from the repulsion of a dead body or the horror that a corpse is being desecrated in such a manner, but I doubt it. There must really be something to fear from the Inferi, just judging by the fact that they appeared in the Ministry pamphlet, something that the average witch or wizard might not be able to handle.

Steve Newton - Aug 9, 2005 5:28 am (#16 of 188)

We do have some evidence that an AK that misses will start a fire. In the MOM interchange between Voldemort and Dumbledore one of Voldemort's spells (green the color of the AK) goes astray and hits Eric's desk. The desk catches on fire.

Choices - Aug 9, 2005 9:13 am (#17 of 188)

But, Voldemort's AK didn't miss.

Classicsquid592 - Aug 9, 2005 10:00 am (#18 of 188)

There must really be something to fear from the Inferi"

On the first day of DADA, Snape had a picture of what resulted from an attack by an Inferius. It was a pretty gruesome picture. I should think that they would be something to avoid at all costs, especially since they seem immune to most attacks.

Steve Newton - Aug 9, 2005 10:08 am (#19 of 188)

Choices, one of Voldemort's green spells missed and started a fire. (uh oh, could it have be Bella's. I'll have to recheck.)

LooneyLuna - Aug 9, 2005 10:12 am (#20 of 188)

Right. How do you kill/stop something that is already dead? If you cut a hand off of an Inferi, will the hand still crawl around?

Harry was stupefying them, but that charm can wear off. When Dumbledore created the fire, did the Inferi burn?

Herm oh ninny - Aug 9, 2005 11:28 am (#21 of 188)

I don't think that they burned. I think that they just kind of shrank away from the light/warmth caused by the flames.

Choices - Aug 9, 2005 5:21 pm (#22 of 188)

Steve - "Choices, one of Voldemort's green spells missed and started a fire. (uh oh, could it have be Bella's. I'll have to recheck.)"

Oops, guess we are talking about two different times. I was talking about the time when Harry was a baby. Someone had suggested that the Godric's Hollow house had burned because Voldemort's AK had started a fire. I said the AK didn't miss, but caused an explosion more or less when it backfired on him.

Steve Newton - Aug 9, 2005 8:07 pm (#23 of 188)

But in Godric's Hollow there seem to have been at least 3 AK's thrown. Maybe more if the Potters got in their licks. Some may have been used and missed.

Puck - Aug 11, 2005 6:29 pm (#24 of 188)

Either way, I doubt the Potters could be made into Inferi. I'm guessing it wouldn't have been done right away, as LV was gone, and the DE trying to decide how to handle his demise. I'm guessing a corpse has to be made into an Inferi within a certain time frame, or else the body would be too far into a state of decomposition. (Sorry, not trying to be gross.) I'm guess by this point it is much too late to use James and Lily in this way. Besides, I think that is just a little too dark and creepy for JKR.

Madam Pince - Aug 12, 2005 8:37 am (#25 of 188)

I sure hope so, Puck. I can't think of anything much worse than for Harry to see James and Lily as Inferi, much less have to conquer them or something. Yuck. I have never quite forgiven Stephen King for what he did with the little boy in "Pet Cemetery." That was just a little beyond the bounds for me. If JKR did that with James and Lily, I'd feel the same way. Those Inferi are seriously creepy.

Solitaire - Aug 12, 2005 9:41 am (#26 of 188)

I do not remember anything from the text to make me think a corpse must be turned into an Inferi within a specific window of time from death. I may change my mind upon a reread, but this is my opinion for the moment.

Given this conviction, I must admit that the moment I found out what Inferi were, I began to fear that Lily might have been turned into one. I posted about this early on the Horcrux thread. Consider the horror Harry would feel if he were to be faced with her in that state when he was trying to redeem a Horcrux--or defend himself against DEs or Voldemort. That would be a pretty effective way to attempt to neutralize him.


Verbina - Aug 12, 2005 10:32 am (#27 of 188)

In HBP, the Inferi still had flesh on them, though it struck me as being pretty disgusting. This seems to suggest that they were made into Inferi before the worst of the decomposition sets in. No mention was made of anything like a animated skeleton in the Inferi Harry saw. So unless the process of reanimating a dead body involves creation of new flesh to cover the bones, it would seem that there is a time limit to the creation of an Inferi from a corpse.

virgoddess1313 - Aug 12, 2005 6:16 pm (#28 of 188)

I completely agree with Verbina... at some point things stop holding together. Once the remains become skeletal, I think the dark wizards job might become a little too difficult.

Puck - Aug 12, 2005 6:42 pm (#29 of 188)

Thanks Verbina, that's what I meant, but you said it better.

Ms Amanda - Aug 13, 2005 6:12 pm (#30 of 188)

I wonder if Cedric knew about Inferi. He did ask that his body be returned to his parents, and at the time I thought it was just normal sentiment. But if the "smoky" Cedric somehow knew what was going on, perhaps he feared becoming one.

After all, the other ghost-like echoes of people seemed to know what was happening and could create a plan. Maybe Cedric's echo was aware of something Voldemort was planning to use.

Puck - Aug 13, 2005 6:30 pm (#31 of 188)

Interesting thought. It makes a lot of sense.

LooneyLuna - Aug 14, 2005 5:27 am (#32 of 188)

That's chilling, Ms. Amanda. Cedric may have known about the Inferi.

Solitaire - Aug 14, 2005 7:42 pm (#33 of 188)

But suppose some of those who were killed many years ago have already been made into Inferi? Just because we have not yet seen them does not mean it has not happened.


Puck - Aug 15, 2005 1:38 am (#34 of 188)

Yes, I agree that some of the Inferi could have been waiting in idle for a command, but I doubt the Potters are among them. LV wouldn't have had the chance, and his followers were busy either covering their own behinds or trying to find their master.

I doubt many that have been listed as killed will turn out to be Inferi, as it seem there was a body found, and likely buried (Not that the DE are beyond grave robbing). I figure we should be more concerned with those labeled as "missing".

vanessa cave - Aug 15, 2005 6:51 am (#35 of 188)

I really don't think the potters will turn up as Inferi, it is just too dark and creepy for these books it would be going too far. Was anyone else reminded of the dead marshes from lord of the rings when Harry and Dumbledore crossed the lake?

azi - Aug 15, 2005 9:54 am (#36 of 188)

Vanessa, I thought of the Dead Marshes too! I don't mind though, it just makes the description more life-like and vivid after seeing it in the Lord of the rings films. I also remember the Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix with the use of dead-bodyness.

I agree, we should be more worried about those people who are labeled as 'missing', such as Caradoc Dearborn possibly? Original member of the Order of the Phoenix, if you recall. Maybe his body is lying in a lake somewhere.

I remember that Karkaroff's body was found 'up north'. Why didn't anyone turn it into an Inferi? I suppose Karkaroff may have just been left to show what happens when a Death Eater leaves the Dark Lord.

We don't know how complicated the spell is, or if there are certain conditions under which it must be done. I would hazard a guess that the body must be fresh and once buried and decomposing it would be useless. The bodies described in the lake were not ragged or falling apart. Isn't this a morbid subject?

M A Grimmett - Aug 15, 2005 10:28 am (#37 of 188)

It is morbid, but strangely fascinating... :-)

LooneyLuna - Aug 15, 2005 4:15 pm (#38 of 188)

It would all come down to whether wizard/witch bodies decompose after death like Muggle bodies. We do not know whether they decompose or not. It's magic, after all. Smile

Or, is there a spell to give a skeleton back its body. Cloak it in flesh, as it were.

Questions for the next open letter or poll. Smile

vanessa cave - Aug 15, 2005 9:21 pm (#39 of 188)

Oooh I really don't like the Inferi, I hate zombies the whole idea of them just creeps me out more than anything else. Lets hope just walking briskly to get away from them works and they aren't like the zombies from the dawn of the dead remake they could move!

Phelim Mcintyre - Aug 16, 2005 6:07 am (#40 of 188)

I know something else which could be used to defeat the Inferi. The Michael Jackson song Thriller Wink

Herm oh ninny - Aug 16, 2005 11:07 am (#41 of 188)

LOL Phelim! I can see it now.... Harry is being stalked by a group of Inferi. Harry quickly summons a cd player and hits the play button. The Inferi immediately stop chasing Harry and start to dance to the groovy music!!

Phelim Mcintyre - Aug 17, 2005 3:23 am (#42 of 188)

Herm oh ninny - yes leaving Dudley defenseless.

All together now......"And it's thriller"

HungarianHorntail11 - Aug 21, 2005 5:16 pm (#43 of 188)

"There was a hand protruding from the cloak and it was glistening, grayish, slimy-looking, and scabbed, like something dead that had decayed in water. . . . "

That is the description of a Dementor's hand in PoA (pg. 83, Scholastic ed., hardcover). Sounds an awful lot like Inferi, doesn't it?

"A slimy white hand gripped his wrist. . . " pg. 575, hardcover Scholastic ed. HBP. That is the description of Inferi.

They're both slimy and one is grayish and one is whitish. So, which comes first when decomposing - graying or whitening?

timrew - Aug 22, 2005 1:53 pm (#44 of 188)

Hungarian Horntail 11, what are you Inferring?

HungarianHorntail11 - Aug 22, 2005 8:58 pm (#45 of 188)

I can handle anything as long as it's not another joke with Umbridge in it timrew! (Still trying to shake off that - ick - sight.)

The giant squid - Aug 23, 2005 12:46 am (#46 of 188)

I toadally agree, HH.

Puck - Aug 23, 2005 6:16 pm (#47 of 188)

I think I missed something. Umbridge as an Inferi? Okay, she's a scary toad to start with!

I can't see anyone Harry loves/cares for become an Inferi, because that is just too creepy, but it is a possibility for other characters. Or do we think they will all remain "faceless" (Not literally, just that they won't be known/recognized.)

Oruma - Aug 29, 2005 1:54 pm (#48 of 188)

Hmm, remember the people that Moody mentioned, who went missing and were never found when fighting Voldemort during VoldieWar1? Could some of those people, presumed dead, have been turned into Inferi?

Also, someone mentioned that the Inferi may have some special attributes, that's why they're feared as such. Inferius cannot be killed at all, only driven away?

Just my 2 knuts...

haymoni - Aug 29, 2005 5:56 pm (#49 of 188)

I didn't understand the big deal about the Inferi.

I thought we were going to have a bunch of dead people walking down the street like Michael Jackson's "Thriller".

A bunch of body parts in the lake didn't seem like the army of Inferi that I thought we were going to see. It was gross and made me feel kind of sick inside for all the victims, but I kept thinking something more was going to happen.

How could anyone mistake Inferi for anything else?

Puck - Aug 29, 2005 7:30 pm (#50 of 188)

Oh, I don't think we saw the true evil of the Inferi, I think that is yet to come. I mean, we saw them come after Harry and DD, but we have no idea of what happens if they actually get you.

I'm guessing the danger would be in seeing some you know from a distance, perhaps someone who has been missing, you run up to them, not noticing that are not quite "themselves" until it is too late, until you are too close to get away.
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Post  Potteraholic on Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:27 am

haymoni - Aug 30, 2005 5:19 am (#51 of 188)

It's just gross, no matter how you look at it.

M A Grimmett - Aug 30, 2005 8:12 am (#52 of 188)

It is gross. I agree that I was waiting for them to do something truly unpleasant. It seemed rather mild, especially for LV.

virgoddess1313 - Aug 30, 2005 6:17 pm (#53 of 188)

I agree with Puck that we probably haven't seen the last of the Inferi. It seems to me that they are too formidable a weapon to waste. Even if they are just intimidating, they would be worth it to Voldemort.

Madame Pomfrey - Sep 6, 2005 7:35 pm (#54 of 188)
Edited Sep 6, 2005 8:35 pm

They sound like Night of the Living Dead if they are anything like the poster in Snape’s DADA room.---"Or provoke the aggression of the Inferius-a bloody mass upon the ground."

Choices - Sep 7, 2005 5:32 pm (#55 of 188)
Edited Sep 7, 2005 6:32 pm

They would be even scarier if they could not be stopped, but it seems only to take a little fire to fend them off. Perhaps that is not widely known.

Abracapocus - Sep 8, 2005 4:34 am (#56 of 188)

The Dead Marshes had number one in my opinion of overall creepiness until the Inferi. That is what I like about JKR - she gives us some detail and lets our minds fill in the rest. I really don't need a more graphic description - my mind did a good enough job on its own!

I hope we do see them again, but I think it would go beyond creepy and gross to ultimately terrifying for Harry to recognize one of them. *shudder*

dizzy lizzy - Sep 8, 2005 5:45 pm (#57 of 188)

Why is it when I first read of Inferi, I thought of Harry's parents being Inferi??

In the cold hard light of day, I no longer think this to be the case, but gee it gave me the creeps when reading HBP the first time.


Solitaire - Sep 24, 2005 1:20 pm (#58 of 188)

I agree with Puck. I do not believe we have seen the last of the Inferi at all. I also have a sick feeling that Lily, in particular, might be used as an Inferi against Harry. Such dirty tricks would hardly be out of character with Voldemort.


timrew - Sep 24, 2005 1:53 pm (#59 of 188)
Edited Sep 24, 2005 2:53 pm

Lily's Inferi:- "I am your mummy, Harry!"

Harry:- "No. You're just a mummy!"

Choices - Sep 24, 2005 5:15 pm (#60 of 188)

Tim - that was a very Inferi-or joke. Then why am I laughing??? LOL

Solitaire - Sep 24, 2005 7:44 pm (#61 of 188)
Edited Sep 24, 2005 8:46 pm

Hm ... perhaps you're being magnanimous because it's his birthday? Happy Birthday, Tim!

Really, though, I just can't shake the feeling that Inferi are going to be important in Book 7--and that it will be difficult for Harry to deal with them because Lily or James will be one of them.


RoseMorninStar - Sep 25, 2005 12:47 am (#62 of 188)

Um... I had kind of avoided this thread because it seemed like such a dead subject. But I see we have found our way around that haven't we?

Tim... all I can do is shake my head and laugh...and agree with Choices about OR-or jokes.

I had never even considered Voldemort using specific people (James & Lily) as Inferi. That would be dirty!! I wonder.. can anyone whom is buried be used as Inferi?

Phelim Mcintyre - Sep 25, 2005 5:39 am (#63 of 188)

RoseMorninStar - what about your comment about this thread being a dead subject? Or was no pun infer(I)ed?

Choices - Sep 25, 2005 9:19 am (#64 of 188)

Wow, Happy Birthday Tim!! I wish you many more! :-)

RoseMorninStar - Sep 25, 2005 2:29 pm (#65 of 188)

Phelim, dead right you are!! I guess I am not as good at puns as Tim is.

Oh, and by the by... happy (belated) birthday Tim!!

Verbina - Sep 28, 2005 10:43 pm (#66 of 188)

I don't know about anyone who is buried....the Inferi in the lake still had flesh unless there is a spell to reconstruct the flesh to the body. Besides wasn't there something said about the army of Inferi being so large due to the deaths the Death Eaters had brought about the last time?

azi - Sep 29, 2005 11:08 am (#67 of 188)
Edited Sep 29, 2005 12:09 pm

Page 63, HBP UK edition;

Dumbledore - 'Inferi have not been seen for a long time, however, not since when Voldemort was last powerful ... he killed enough people to make an army of them, of course.'

Madam Pince - Sep 29, 2005 1:09 pm (#68 of 188)

MuggleNet has posted the cover art for the Swedish version of "Half-Blood Prince." It is very cool looking -- has Inferi in the water underneath the boat carrying Harry and a very Richard-Harris-looking Dumbledore. I love it!

M A Grimmett - Sep 30, 2005 12:49 pm (#69 of 188)

I wonder what happens to Inferi. What happened to the lot of them after LV went away? Are they just resting, waiting to be called, were they all destroyed, or have they disintegrated? What's the "lifespan" of one of them?

timrew - Sep 30, 2005 2:55 pm (#70 of 188)
Edited Sep 30, 2005 3:56 pm

M A Grimmet. Inferi don't have a lifespan. That is to say, they had a lifespan; but now they're dead...............

It's the Deathspan we should be discussing. At least the part where they 'move about' a bit.............

haymoni - Sep 30, 2005 7:30 pm (#71 of 188)

The whole thing is just disgusting.

That lake is like a pot of Inferi soup.

It's just gross.

Fenrir disgusts me, but in an angry way.

Inferi are just yucky.

It's a technical term.

Troels Forchhammer - Oct 2, 2005 2:43 am (#72 of 188)

The Danish cover also shows Inferi in a rather tense situation.

I'm afraid that I can only find a rather small picture a.t.m. but will check to see if there is a larger picture somewhere.

Harry Potter og Halvblodsprinsen,

Gyldendal, 15 October 2005

Original title (well, obviously ): Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince



pottermom34 - Oct 4, 2005 6:40 am (#73 of 188)

That's kind of creepy.

M A Grimmett - Oct 16, 2005 9:18 am (#74 of 188)

That's really icky.

Ok, Tim, I concede--deathspan for Inferi. So what's the deathspan of these things?

timrew - Oct 17, 2005 2:08 pm (#75 of 188)

LOL, M A Grimmett! I think the 'deathspan' of an Inferi could far outstretch its lifespan. I mean, how long have some of those things been in the lake?

Oliver Wood - Oct 20, 2005 6:54 pm (#76 of 188)

Personally I found the Inferi a little lackluster in the book. They were so built up through the entire thing, then they were there and gone. I don't know maybe it's just me. They're creepy, but they didn't seem as bad as they were made out to be. I mean you can beat them with fire, that's pretty basic swordplay.

Verbina - Oct 20, 2005 8:37 pm (#77 of 188)
Edited by Oct 20, 2005 9:38 pm

I thought the same way...a little bit anyway. That's why I am thinking that they will come into play in the next book in a big way.

I have thought that perhaps Dumbledore's Army would re-group in a sense and that some of the kids that are able to return to Hogwarts and are facing some pretty nasty things may find some of their relatives in the army of Inferi.... A nasty thing to see!

Madame Pomfrey - Oct 21, 2005 5:44 am (#78 of 188)

Troels, that cover is creepy but in my minds eye I expected rotting flesh. Where are their robes? Had I not read the book I would have thought Harry was being invited into a hot tub.

M A Grimmett - Oct 22, 2005 2:18 pm (#79 of 188)

Tim, maybe they have a freshness date.

Oliver Wood - Oct 23, 2005 5:34 am (#80 of 188)

Verbina, I would agree that if your relative appeared in an Inferi army, it might be harder to fight. Maybe part of there power lies in the emotional draw to people's past. I.e. could Lily and James show up to try a stop Harry?

Solitaire - Oct 23, 2005 9:25 am (#81 of 188)

Oliver, that is the possibility which I think would be a real problem for Harry. Remember back in PoA ... he wondered how he would ever produce a Patronus when part of him wanted to hear his parents' voices. What would he do if Lily, especially, turned up as an Inferi to try and stop him from killing Voldemort? Or what if he saw her as an Inferi battling Ron, Hermione, or Ginny?


Steve Newton - Oct 23, 2005 2:44 pm (#82 of 188)

In chapter 5 of POA, the first time that Harry sees a Dementor it is described like this:

"There was a hand protruding from the cloak and it was glistening, grayish, slimy-looking, and scabbed, like something dead that had decayed in water."

The description seems to be a lot like the Inferi found in the cave in HBP. Could Dementors be some sort of offshoot of Inferi?

timrew - Oct 23, 2005 2:47 pm (#83 of 188)

M A Grimmett:- Tim, maybe they have a freshness date.

"Ooooh! This Inferi is past its freshness date. Throw it back in the lake!"

Verbina - Oct 23, 2005 6:38 pm (#84 of 188)

Did anyone else seem to get the feeling that while Voldemort was gone the Inferi just...faded away? Nothing has been said about them until now. So either they disappear or they all went into hiding.

And if they were in that lake...what on earth is in the water to keep them from further rotting? And what could it have done to Dumbledore when he drank it? For some strange reason I keep thinking of pickling juice! Pickled Inferi anyone? UGH! I think I just grossed myself out on that one!!

Madame Pomfrey - Oct 23, 2005 8:33 pm (#85 of 188)
Edited Oct 23, 2005 9:34 pm

Ewee, Verbina, that is gross! I had thought the lake water was DoLD, sounds like a preservative for Inferi.

Oliver Wood - Oct 24, 2005 12:50 pm (#86 of 188)

What if Harry made a fatal error, for Dumbledore that is! If the water in the lake is some sort of preservative for the Inferi, what's to say that Dumbledore doesn't become an Inferi. Here's one thing I don't get though. In GOF when the bead hits Voldemort's wand and the people he killed begin reemerging from the tip, they're cogniscient of the situation. Harry's parents even talk to him. Others wish him luck. Why are the "zombie like" Inferi so monstrous, and the shadowy images almost like real people?

Steve Newton - Oct 24, 2005 1:05 pm (#87 of 188)

The people in the wand are just naturally more spirited.

Esther Rose - Oct 24, 2005 1:09 pm (#88 of 188)

Ah yes Steve that could be true but if so Harry could be the imprinter of the Inferi or the unintentional master since Harry fed Dumbledore the potion.

Perhaps this is also the reason why Snape had to kill Dumbledore. Dumbledore had to die to avoid becoming an Inferi.

Phelim Mcintyre - Nov 14, 2005 4:46 am (#89 of 188)

This is slightly off the point but I was at a talk given by Terry Pratchett last week. He was talking about his Night Watch books and the usefulness of having a zombie as part of the police force. That if you think there is going to be an ambush you send it in first. After all it's already dead. All it needs is some stitching together and can soon be back on duty.

vickilh42 - Nov 14, 2005 6:17 am (#90 of 188)

Reading CoS again last night, I was struck by Hermione’s proficiency at Waterproof Blue fire and then, I also recalled the Weasley's using waterproof fireworks. The idea of flames under water, reminded me of a speculation that Harry might have to return to the Cave.

When Harry tried "Accio Horcrux", just one of the Inferi rose to the surface. WHY?! The speculation is that RAB managed to switch the lockets but when the Inferi attacked, they dragged him and the original Locket to the bottom of the lake. Harry would then use the waterproof flames to keep the other Inferi at bay when he retrieved the Locket from Inferi RAB. Should this play out, Harry might even be distressed at RAB's appearance if he is Regulus--there might be a strong family resemblance to Sirius.

Nathan Zimmermann - Nov 14, 2005 4:18 pm (#91 of 188)

There is another possibility that Regulus with the aid of Kreacher stole the original locket replaced and in attempting to make his escape the Inferi caught and killed Regulus but not before Regulus was able to order to Kreacher back to 12 GP with the real locket.

Solitaire - Nov 14, 2005 4:20 pm (#92 of 188)

I feel certain we are going to see Inferi again in book 7. They are simply too creepy, and they have far too much potential for wreaking havoc not to use them again. If they are used, you can bet some will bear the likenesses of those close to Harry, in order to confound and discompose him. Well, that's my two knuts!


Verbina - Nov 14, 2005 10:25 pm (#93 of 188)

I posted this idea in the horcruxes thread but it can go here as well.

I was thinking about the Inferi that rose from the water. Normally, an Accio spell would have brought the item to Harry. But in this case it didn't. It caused a reaction in the Inferi but other than that...nothing. Nothing flew across the water to Harry. And if the Inferi was the horcrux or had the horcrux on its body, wouldn't it have flown through the air? But it didn't. Why would that be? I am thinking because there simply was no horcrux in the cave, the locket having been replaced. So...why the reaction from the Inferi?

What if LV made it so that a simple Accio spell would not work in the cave? After all, Accio would have made retrieval of the horcrux far too simple. Just as Apparating is impossible at Hogwarts, do you think that perhaps LV was able to do the same with the Accio spell in the cave? As for the Inferi reaction...what if LV made it so that if someone was attempting to retrieve the horcrux using Accio, the Inferi would be..."activated". Kind of like a burglar alarm type thing.

Also, and this part ties more closely to horcruxes themselves, if a person was murdered to aide in the creation of a horcrux and then made into an Inferi, would the Inferi be connected to the horcrux in any fashion? In other words, could that be the reason for the reaction of the Inferi? It was killed to make a horcrux?

Possible or am I needing to lie down a while?

Choices - Nov 16, 2005 5:29 pm (#94 of 188)

I think any spell that was used would have roused the Inferi? They are there to guard and I believe any use of magic in the lake area would have disturbed them.

Honour - Nov 17, 2005 1:42 am (#95 of 188)

If that was the case then why did only one rise for that specific spell? When Harry disturbed the water (filling the cup to quench DD's thirst) a whole bunch came out of the lake. DD also reminded Harry not to step into the water (not exact quote), so it seems that 'any amount' of disturbance would trigger the Inferi...

azi - Nov 17, 2005 5:46 am (#96 of 188)

Maybe it was a warning of what would happen if you were to proceed. Yes there is something horrible here so don't disturb it? If you showed people what was there in the first place too clearly then you risk them escaping and running to get reinforcements to help because they would see what they are facing.

Choices - Nov 17, 2005 10:21 am (#97 of 188)

I also think JKR likes for us to pounce on something and go to great lengths to make something important out of it. If she had three Inferi jump up in response to the spell, we probably wouldn't have thought anything of it, but when one jumped up, we immediately go to theorizing that it had the horcrux, was Regulus, was Regulus and had the horcrux, etc., etc. I can just hear her saying, "I got them on that one". LOL It might be important, then again JKR has us on her line and it might just be her making us wiggle.

Honour - Nov 17, 2005 4:08 pm (#98 of 188)

"wiggle wiggle... wiggle wiggle" LOL you could be right Choices :-)

CatherineHermiona - Nov 27, 2005 11:06 am (#99 of 188)

Sorry if someone already mentioned this. I see some similarity between Imperius and Inferius. Firstly, the name. Then, they are doing almost same thing. Inferi are Imperio'd dead people.

I'm still in the chat room. Kate

Mercedes - Dec 13, 2005 7:12 pm (#100 of 188)


What if Harry goes to visit his parents' grave only to find out that they had been dug up and turned into Inferi??

I hardly think Rowling is that sick but still. Not to say she is sick at all, just the idea is too mean to think about. it is kinda strange that Harry wants to visit the grave now. Perhaps he is just getting older and with all the death happening.

Still I think something big might happen at the grave site, even if is just a revelation.

Was that suggested already?
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Inferi     Empty Inferi (posts #101 - #150)

Post  Potteraholic on Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:28 am

Verbina - Dec 14, 2005 7:25 pm (#101 of 188)
Edited by Dec 14, 2005 7:26 pm

I think it has been discussed but I don't recall exactly what conclusion we came to. To me though...the Inferi we have seen are not skeletons. So it would seem to imply that they are "created" soon after death. At least before the flesh of the body had totally deteriorated. And there was very little talk about Inferi in the years that Voldemort was gone (we haven't seen them mentioned before) So it seems safe to say that there were no more made and those that were made either went into hiding in safe places like the cave or the magic faded, allowing them to basically deteriorate. That makes me think that if James and Lily were made into Inferi, it would have had to be done shortly after their deaths...but by who? If it were done now, they would be no more than animated skeletons. Plus the idea is just too disturbing.

Though I could be wrong in my figuring.

Phelim Mcintyre - Dec 16, 2005 12:51 am (#102 of 188)

Verbina - Bellatrix and others were still on the loose for a while after Voldemort became Vapourmort so it could have been them.

Puck - Dec 16, 2005 5:57 pm (#103 of 188)

I think most of the DE were either hiding or -in Bella's case- trying to find LV. I doubt creating Inferi was top priority at that point. So, I don't think we will see Lily or James in this way. Those who died and were buried aren't as likely to turn up as Inferi as those who disappeared.

Oliver Wood - Dec 19, 2005 7:34 pm (#104 of 188)

Mercedes, I brought up the possibility that James and Lily, (and possibly Dumbledore) could be Inferi back on posts 80 and 86 hope that helps

Maud Merryweather - Jan 5, 2006 2:48 pm (#105 of 188)

Puck: "Those who died and were buried aren't as likely to turn up as Inferi as those who disappeared." Why do you think that, Puck ?

If I remember correctly, didn't Ollivander and Florean Fortescue disappear. Their bodies were not found. => Ollivander and Florean Fortescue as Inferi ?! That's as horrible as Lily and James=Inferi (for me anyway)...

Choices - Jan 5, 2006 6:41 pm (#106 of 188)

It is a horrible thought - I agree. Even if Lily and James were Inferi, would they be recognizable? My idea of Inferi are just skeletons covered in rotting flesh - slimy and disgusting creatures - who can't speak and who blindly follow orders. I don't know what purpose it would serve if we could know who they had been in life. But if.....big if....Lily and James were Inferi and Voldemort ordered them to attack Harry, would they have enough recollection of life to not harm their son?

Solitaire - Jan 5, 2006 10:08 pm (#107 of 188)

Whatever they are, they were mentioned enough in HBP that I fear we may see them "in action" in book 7.


Weeny Owl - Jan 6, 2006 10:24 am (#108 of 188)

The whole thing about what it takes to make Inferi is as mysterious as the whole subject of Horcruxes.

Personally, I don't feel that James and Lily could be Inferi because by the time their bodies were dealt with, Voldemort was just a vapor. He didn't come back for years, and while no one knows what happens to dead bodies in the magical world, if they go through the same processes our bodies go through, then they would be skeletons now. It's possible that the magical world can preserve remains better than we can, but I don't think JKR would go quite that far with Harry considering what she's put him through already and what he's facing.

I do think, though, that people recently dead could end up as Inferi and scare the heck out of the trio, but I just can't see it being Harry's parents.

Solitaire - Jan 7, 2006 12:04 am (#109 of 188)

The problem, Weeny, is that the natural processes of decay may not necessarily apply to Wizards in Jo's universe. I'm just speculating here, because it seems that resurrecting James and Lily to torment and mislead Harry is just the sort of thing Voldemort might do to gain the upper hand.


Weeny Owl - Jan 7, 2006 3:15 am (#110 of 188)

Yes, Solitaire, I did say that it was possible that the magical world can preserve remains better than we can, but with everything Harry has to go through and what he's already been through, she's torturing him more than enough without having his parents pull a "Night of the Living Dead" on him.

While it's possible, I think it would be more of a shock for someone Harry, Ron, and Hermione all know, and maybe someone they didn't even know was dead.

Puck - Jan 8, 2006 7:07 pm (#111 of 188)

Maud Merryweather, I guess I just see it as far easier for the DE to use bodies they already have rather than to go around grave robbing. Besides, for all we know spells may be in place to prevent the dead from being disturbed. So many people went missing, the DE would have plenty to choose from.

Do we know if Muggle bodies can be used as Inferi?

Solitaire - Jan 8, 2006 7:54 pm (#112 of 188)

Well, remember Dumbledore told Harry that Voldemort had "an army of them" last time he was powerful. I don't see why Muggle bodies couldn't be used. Surely Harry was taken to a pediatrician for a check-up once in a while when he was with the Dursleys. If his body was any different, wouldn't a doctor have noticed and mentioned it? I would imagine that Muggle bodies may be a bit more fragile than Wizard bodies ... but I suspect they are essentially the same.

I do think Wizards will need to be careful about the Inferi. Wasn't Mundungus arrested for impersonating an Inferi? It seems that they are apparently being used by someone.


Puck - Jan 9, 2006 7:15 pm (#113 of 188)

Why would Mundungus impersonate an Inferi?

haymoni - Jan 10, 2006 5:08 am (#114 of 188)

'Cause he's Dung.

I'm guessing he tried to scare the daylights out of someone so they would vacate their home or drop their valuables.

Matrona - Jan 10, 2006 9:38 pm (#115 of 188)

I don't know about the rest of you, but at the climax of HBP where Harry and Dumbledore come back to Hogwarts, I was so afraid that Ron/Ginny/Hermione would have been turned into Inferi and Harry wouldn't realize it at first, but then notice something about them that wasn't right...

I wonder why it was that the water had to be disturbed for the Inferi to attack, why they didn't simply attack as soon as the locket was picked up. (Was there any way for the potion's drinker to escape the island without drinking the water? Perhaps, if the potion-drinker tried to get in the boat without drinking the water, the boat would have moved back to the edge on its own, trapping the intruder and forcing them to try to swim through the lake or else stay on the island and die of thirst. Aaah, I'm rambling.)

Chinese fireball - Apr 17, 2006 5:44 pm (#116 of 188)

Not sure if this was mentioned before. Hermione's specialty is waterproof, portable fires. Can they be used to ward off the Inferi?

Choices - Apr 17, 2006 5:56 pm (#117 of 188)

I have wondered about that. Dumbledore conjured a crimson and gold ring of fire, but I am unsure if that is the same thing that Hermione does. Aren't the flames that Hermione conjures blue? I don't know if they would work the same on Inferi as Dumbledore's fire.

journeymom - Apr 18, 2006 4:16 pm (#118 of 188)

Hi! *waves* First time on this thread. Any thoughts how they're going to film the Cave Scene?? Doesn't it seem like something straight out of a gory horror flick?

haymoni - Apr 19, 2006 4:58 am (#119 of 188)

"R" rating???

journeymom - Apr 19, 2006 8:21 am (#120 of 188)

Exactly! I can just see it, one of those summer time horror flicks. I had a difficult enough time as it was, reading that chapter to my 10 y.o. daughter. (Of course she's already jaded and inured to that sort of thing. I remember being frightened of 'The Wizard of Oz' when it came on once a year. She's seen all the LOTR movies and loves them.)

haymoni - Apr 19, 2006 9:25 am (#121 of 188)

I'm STILL afraid of that witch when Dorothy sees Auntie Em in the crystal ball and she turns into the witch and she's laughing and she turns towards the audience...

Oooh! Gives me the creeps!

Maybe they'll just cut that part out. A raving Dumbledore is scary enough.

Detail Seeker - Apr 23, 2006 1:37 pm (#122 of 188)

It would be nice, if the discussion about potential filming would be continued on the appropriate thread in the film section. Thank you .

haymoni - Apr 24, 2006 2:51 am (#123 of 188)

Inferi are just gross.

I wonder why JKR wanted to include them???

Esther Rose - Apr 24, 2006 6:04 am (#124 of 188)

Well Haymoni,

I guess to make those Dementors look like fluffy bunny rabbits.

Puck - Apr 24, 2006 5:46 pm (#125 of 188)

You think the Inferi would win in a battle against a Dementor? There is no soul for the Dementor to pray upon, but an Inferi could possibly do some damage to a Dementor...

So, if Harry manages to trick the Inferi to chasing after the Dementors...

Solitaire - Apr 27, 2006 10:58 am (#126 of 188)

Why couldn't Inferi be commandeered to do the bidding of the "good guys"? Or is it simply that "good guys" would never resort to using Inferi? I was thinking about Inferi and wondering--should he run into any--whether Harry could "assume command" of them and turn them to fighting against Voldemort and the DEs. Just wondering ...


geauxtigers - Apr 27, 2006 1:15 pm (#127 of 188)

I think that Inferi are just horrible that’s the only word for them. I can't see good guys using them at all even if they didn't create them. It’s so evil, that a good guy using them would make them evil, but that’s just my opinion....

TheSaint - Apr 27, 2006 2:00 pm (#128 of 188)

My biggest fear...Dumbledore the Inferi.

timrew - Apr 27, 2006 3:16 pm (#129 of 188)

Dumbledore The Inferi:- I've been sent back to haunt you, Harry!

Harry:- Are you Richard Harris or Michael Gambon?

haymoni - Apr 28, 2006 6:03 am (#130 of 188)

Shouldn't dead bodies be buried someplace???

Did Voldy kill all those people or did he just go to a graveyard and start stealing bodies?

It's just gross!

The "good guys" wouldn't use Inferi because those dead people are supposed to be "resting in peace".


Catherine - May 2, 2006 5:55 am (#131 of 188)

Ever since I read HBP, I wondered if this is why Cedric wanted his body returned to his parents.

How horrible for one's family to see a member's body reanimated and doing the bidding of Dark wizards. It's just so repulsive.

Choices - May 2, 2006 9:52 am (#132 of 188)

That is an interesting thought Catherine - definitely a possibility.

Puck - May 3, 2006 7:16 pm (#133 of 188)

Oooh, I hadn't thought of that one, Catherine. If Cho had run into an Inferi Cedric...shudder

Pamzter - May 13, 2006 11:26 am (#134 of 188)

So I just want to make sure that you can always tell that an Inferi is an Inferi. No chance of someone thinking that their loved one didn't die, or an Inferi being a spy, or anything along those lines?

Choices - May 13, 2006 11:41 am (#135 of 188)

Didn't Mundungus get caught for impersonating an Inferius?

Herm oh ninny - May 13, 2006 12:26 pm (#136 of 188)

Yes, he was sent to Azkaban for it.

Puck - May 14, 2006 4:11 am (#137 of 188)
Edited May 14, 2006 5:13 am

Yes, but what Pam is asking is can it happen the other way around? Can the "undead" appear truly alive and infiltrate society. I doubt it. They aren't interactive, and I bet they look "dead"; pale with vacant eyes. Flesh-eating zombies don't exactly blend in!

Choices - May 14, 2006 8:38 am (#138 of 188)

I get the impression that someone else controls an Inferius - they do not control themselves. I don't think they could be made to look alive, fleshed out and breathing, so I would guess they would be pretty easy to spot among the living.

timrew - May 14, 2006 5:02 pm (#139 of 188)

They should be quite easy to spot at a dinner party..................

"I say, old chap, could you pass the salt?"

"Gnaaaaarghhhhh!" (misses the salt completely)

"I say! You must be an Inferi, what............?"

Choices - May 14, 2006 5:05 pm (#140 of 188)

LOL I agree Timrew - at a dinner party they would definitely stick out like a sore thumb....and probably "stink" out, too. Not very appetizing!! LOL

HungarianHorntail11 - May 14, 2006 6:13 pm (#141 of 188)

LOL Timrew!

I thought the Inferi were described as grayish and scaly-skinned, as opposed to Dementors whose skin was slimy. If that is the case, yes, it is safe to say they could be spotted at a dinner party.

M A Grimmett - May 20, 2006 8:33 am (#142 of 188)

"I must say, you don't look well tonight."

Inferi coughs and mutters, "Dermatological condition."

ex-FAHgeek - May 23, 2006 10:45 am (#143 of 188)

I suppose it depends on how recently the Inferius died. While you wouldn't send it into a situation requiring witty conversation, for all we know, sending a fresh Inferius walking down the street to it's new "assignment," pretending to be an antisocial misfit could work if it hasn't yet had time to start decomposing and wears a heavy cloak.

Choices - May 23, 2006 4:03 pm (#144 of 188)

Gosh, we know so little about the Inferius. It is my thinking that their main function is to attack the target and either kill it outright or drag it into the water to drown. We don't know if they can speak, but I would guess that they can't. I doubt they can think for themselves, but blindly follow the orders of the one who controls them.

Puck - May 23, 2006 5:14 pm (#145 of 188)

I imagine they are physically quite strong. They would have to be, or else they would be seen as gross, but not dangerous.

Oliver Wood - May 27, 2006 1:46 pm (#146 of 188)

The Inferi better hope this dinner party doesn't include candlelight!

geauxtigers - May 27, 2006 3:04 pm (#147 of 188)

or a fire in the fireplace!

Solitaire - May 28, 2006 9:26 pm (#148 of 188)

Choices, I got the idea that they were rather like some sort of "programmable zombies." Surely they are corpses only--no ability to reason or react ... **shuddering** Kinda creepy, ya know?


HungarianHorntail11 - May 28, 2006 9:49 pm (#149 of 188)

That is the impression I have, Solitaire. A form of "Night of the Living Dead" types.

haymoni - May 30, 2006 4:54 am (#150 of 188)

I've always pictured "Thriller".
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Inferi     Empty Inferi (posts #151 - #188)

Post  Potteraholic on Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:29 am

geauxtigers - May 30, 2006 9:27 am (#151 of 188)

Ha Ha I can see it now, Inferius dancing to thriller! wow I would want to go that party!

Catherine - May 30, 2006 3:07 pm (#152 of 188)

That is all very amusing, but I do not think anyone would take kindly to the desecration of their loved one's (or ones') body.

I do think that is why Cedric Diggory asked for Harry to return his body to his parents. Nagini would be unable to have a Cedric snack, AND that is one less body for Voldemort's army.

Choices - May 30, 2006 5:00 pm (#153 of 188)

I agree Catherine - Cedric did not want his body to remain in the enemy camp or in their hands. It is curious to me where Voldemort gets bodies to make into Inferi? Only once or twice in the books can I remember someone being killed and their body never found. I suppose he could have killed lots of people that were never mentioned and turned them into his army of Inferi.

Phelim Mcintyre - May 31, 2006 4:02 am (#154 of 188)

I think I said something similar about Inferi and Thriller much earlier in this thread about one way to defeat them would be to put on some early eighties disco music.

Choices - in HBP I think Dumbledore says something about in the last war Voldemort killed enough people to make an army.

Choices - May 31, 2006 8:06 am (#155 of 188)

Yes, I remember that Phelim. Wonder where he stores them when not in use?

Mattew Bates - May 31, 2006 9:31 am (#156 of 188)
Edited May 31, 2006 10:32 am

Well, Choices, as we hear a lot of warnings about Inferi in HBP but no reports of Inferi attacks, I'm guessing he stores them in an underground lake.

Maybe that's how RAB found the lake; he was tasked with leading the Inferi back there after an attack?

Choices - May 31, 2006 9:35 am (#157 of 188)

That's a thought!

virginiaelizabeth - May 31, 2006 9:44 am (#158 of 188)

OOOOO that is a good thought Mattew!! That would be a great way for someone so young to find out about the horcruxes. I can' see him now, "I wonder what that green thing in the middle of the Lake is?" Then maybe that was a start for him, he went to the center and tried it out, then it just eventually(though I'm not so sure how can someone help me here?) led him to horcruxes and what not.

Puck - Jun 1, 2006 10:24 am (#159 of 188)

And if he had control over the Inferi, so much the easier.

Still, I don't see all the DE lining up for that job. Imagine being selected to lead an army, then finding out an army of what.

Solitaire - Jun 3, 2006 8:17 pm (#160 of 188)

I believe Cedric knew his parents would need to see and touch his body in order to have closure. Amos Diggory seemed a very devoted and loving parent. Such a death as Cedric's would be horribly difficult to accept, because it was so senseless. It was hard enough for Harry, and he was there and saw firsthand the brutality of Voldemort in his own rebirth and the torturing of some DEs. I don't really think Nagini or Inferi were issues in Cedric's case, but that is JM2K, of course ...


Choices - Jun 4, 2006 8:59 am (#161 of 188)

I totally agree Solitaire. I did not mean that I thought Voldemort would have turned Cedric into an Inferius when I said he would not want his body to be left in the hands of the enemy. He would want to be returned to his parents who would mourn him and bury him with love and dignity.

Soul Mate for Sirius - Jun 7, 2006 9:38 am (#162 of 188)

I agree with you Choices and Solitaire. I saw Cedric's request as "leave no man behind" sort of thing like in the military. It would just seem so wrong to leave his body there.


TheSaint - Jun 7, 2006 1:32 pm (#163 of 188)

Or could it be that he did not want his family to suffer the doubt associated with death that leaves no body? Death that lets your mind wander to hope and outrageous scenarios (see proper death thread - LOL)? His family was given the chance to say their goodbyes and know it is final.

Miss Amanda - Jul 2, 2006 6:30 pm (#164 of 188)

What about Draco? "He says he'll kill me." We know that Snape has Draco. Will Snape give Draco to Voldemort? Will Snape try to hide Draco? Will Snape killing Dumbledore save Draco, as his mother so desperately wishes? So, Voldemort has plans for a dead Draco, if not the entire family. Couldn't he then use Draco as an Inferi?

I think that Harry will face Inferi again. I think to make the idea of a reanimated corpse seem more frightening, at least one of the Inferi will be a person that Harry knows.

We don't really know how much control Voldemort has over his Inferi. Are they simply going to attack when their ire is aroused? Or is a wizard REALLY capable of making Inferi "do his bidding?" Is the idea that one could give an Inferi a complicated task, or is it more likely that the idea would be "attack the person doing the annoying thing?" Snape seems to suggest that Inferi can do any task set upon them by the controlling wizard and that they would rip apart someone who got in the way of them doing their task. Dumbledore mentions "army" but does he mean "army-sized" or an actual troop of yuckiness?

Solitaire - Jul 2, 2006 6:59 pm (#165 of 188)

What if Inferi are like those storm troopers in Star Wars. Remember how Obi-Wan Kenobi used the force against them, to kind of "bend" their thoughts to agree with what he wanted them to think and say? It would be interesting to know if the "connection" between Harry and Voldemort would allow Harry to control Voldy's Inferi. Just a wild, harebrained idea ...


Choices - Jul 3, 2006 10:31 am (#166 of 188)

Worse than Inferi, I can see Voldemort punishing both Lucius and Narcissa by letting Greyback bite Draco, thus condemning him to a life on the outer edges of society - like Lupin - shunned, poor and having to endure the changes every full moon.

Miss Amanda - Jul 3, 2006 11:30 am (#167 of 188)

Choices, I think that making Draco dead is worse than making Draco an outcast. Draco is careless about Greyback, first bandying about the name and then not knowing that Greyback would enter the school. But Draco the werewolf seems useless, as he would be simply one of an army of werewolves under Greyback's control. Not nearly as frightening for Harry, I would guess, as being confronted with "zombie-ferret" Malfoy - lifeless and soulless.

And I'm wondering if Voldie won't be out to make Narcissa suffer. Lucius will be dead soon, as he is useless to Voldemort without his mask of respect to get him into positions of power. Besides, he led a team that failed to contain a bunch of teenagers. Draco didn't complete his mission and managed to blow Snape's cover. It is Narcissa who might be alive to suffer and serve. She alone is not going to stand accused of outright illegal activities yet. Her husband is in prison and she does not seem to hold that against him, which seems to me to say that as long as her family is alive she feels that she has avoided the worst. Her greatest fear, her greatest punishment, would be to face the ambulatory image of her dead family.

Weeny Owl - Jul 3, 2006 2:40 pm (#168 of 188)

Wow, Choices, that's the first time I've heard that theory. Perhaps you should add it to Draco's thread. I like it.

Solitaire - Jul 3, 2006 5:04 pm (#169 of 188)

But Lucius and Narcissa are not poor. Draco might not be welcomed into society, but unless something happened to the Malfoy money, he would still have a place to live and access to the Wolfsbane potion, I am sure.


Choices - Jul 3, 2006 5:41 pm (#170 of 188)

He might be poor if Lucius is disgraced or killed and unable to provide for his family any longer. Draco would suffer as Lupin suffers and even if Lucius manages to escape Voldemort's wrath, Draco as a werewolf would be a constant and painful reminder to Lucius of his (and Draco's) failure to please his master.

Solitaire - Jul 3, 2006 8:57 pm (#171 of 188)

I got the idea that the Malfoys are an "old money" family. I never actually thought of him as having to work. His main job seemed to be manipulating people with the promise of his Wizard gold for their pet projects and charities. JM2K, of course ... but this has nothing to do with Inferi, so I guess I'd better leave it or move it to another thread.


HungarianHorntail11 - Jul 4, 2006 12:24 pm (#172 of 188)

It would be interesting to know if the "connection" between Harry and Voldemort would allow Harry to control Voldy's Inferi. Just a wild, harebrained idea ...

Actually, not such a wild, harebrained idea, Solitaire. However, Harry did try to control the basilisk and it did not obey him. For that reason, I don't hold out much hope for any such ability to control either Inferi or Dementors.

haymoni - Jul 4, 2006 12:27 pm (#173 of 188)

Don't you think you could see - and smell - Inferi coming a mile away??

I suppose if one could transfigure Inferi in some way, it would be like the Clone army, but to just have a bunch of "Thriller" dancers walking around - who would buy that??

Mattew Bates - Oct 30, 2006 1:47 pm (#174 of 188)

I'm cross-posting this to the Horcruxes, Inferi, and Cave threads. It's an expansion on some things brought up in the R.A.B. - Your Thoughts? thread, but the ideas don't really concern R.A.B., and the conversation about it had died down there anyway, so I thought relocation to be the best option.

Voldemort would have wanted to be able to check on the cave without anyone's assistance. Indeed, he set up the cave so that only one fully qualified wizard could make it to the center at any given time, so I'm not sure that he could bring help even if he wanted to. Still, the way Dumbledore found past the potion required assistance. For Voldy to have an unassisted way past, it should involve one of the following:

1) a way past the barrier at the surface of the potion (a dark mark barrier or similar) 2) a potion that does him no harm (no conscience = no regrets) 3) a non-wizard assistant (like Harry or Kreacher) 4) carrying in an antidote to the potion 5) having another way to neutralize the potion

This small bundle of interlocking theories involves the fifth way past. Hypothetically, Voldy goes to check up on the cave. Once on the pedestal island, he summons a specific Inferius (something he can presumably do as its creator), and retrieves Hufflepuff's Cup from it. He uses it to drink the pedestal potion. This hinges on the idea that the intrinsic magic of the cup would neutralize the ill effects of the potion. After all, many Holy Grail myths involve it having poison neutralizing powers.

Pure speculation, surely, but it still answers the question as to why a body rose to the surface when Harry Accio'd a horcrux. It has the added benefit of convenience, as no special preparations are necessary for Voldy to check the horcruxes at the drop of a hat.

The biggest detractor to this theory, as far as I can see, is that Voldy would be unlikely to risk hiding two of his precious shiny things on one place. Still, putting one at the obvious focal point in the middle of the lake would certainly distract from the possible presence of another.

P.S. - as I was writing this, it occurred to me that if Voldy can order around the Inferi, then he could probably make them drink the potion per option 3. A bit more in line with Occam's Razor, but I still like all three of my theories.

valuereflection - Nov 1, 2006 1:32 pm (#175 of 188)

Mattew Bates, your ideas interest me but I can't think of anything right now to add to them. Is that the correct spelling for your name?

Some posts here asked what was frightening about the Inferi. I think the Inferi are frightening because their descriptions in HBP sound as if they have super-human strength. For this reason, I don't think that a human being could outrun an Inferi. In battle, the human would soon tire -- but the Inferi didn't seem to be as susceptible to fatigue as Harry was when they wrestled with him in chapter 26. They are nearly unstoppable because they can't be killed or injured.

Inferi weren't mentioned in Harry's DADA classes until sixth year. So a wizard of only average ability, who didn't study NEWT-level Defence Against the Dark Arts, might not know how to deal with them. If an average wizard tried to use the more common DADA spells against Inferi, such as Impedimenta or Stunning, they wouldn't be as effective in fighting them as a fire spell used by a more advanced wizard.

The most frightening aspect about Inferi for me, is that there can be so many of them. I picture the spell to animate Inferi as placing a minimal amount of flesh on the bones, so that almost any corpse could be used no matter what its state of decomposition. Voldemort and his Death Eaters could rob graves in every town and country to create their own armies of millions of Inferi. The wizard population would be vastly outnumbered by a horde that would just keep on coming, no matter how skillfully or bravely they fought (sort of like the armies of Orcs or Uruk-hai in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings). When not in use, Inferi would be stored in bodies of water or underground, until they were activated.

We know JKR has a strong background in Classics. The behavior of the Inferi in the Voldemort's cave reminded me of the prisoners in Plato's allegory of the cave. I wondered if the Inferi behavior toward intruders and toward light is an allusion to Plato. (A difference between the JKR's Inferi and Plato' prisoners is that the Inferi are mute. Perhaps chattering Inferi would have distracted from the mood of menace which she portrayed in the Cave.)

Another classical reference which the scene is reminiscent of is crossing the River Styx.

S.E. Jones - Nov 1, 2006 5:08 pm (#176 of 188)

I don't think you can animate any body to use as an Inferi regardless of the state of decomposition. It seems to me that the body would still decompose, even if under the spell so you'd have to kill someone and use that body, not dig up graves that are decades old.

I think that, if there's anything peculiar about the lake water in the Cave, it has something to keep the bodies from decaying too fast so that Voldemort's army doesn't fall apart from the time he put them in there to the time he can come check on his Horcrux.

timrew - Nov 4, 2006 3:40 pm (#177 of 188)

Why does this put me in mind of the 'Thriller' video?

Phelim Mcintyre - Nov 5, 2006 6:35 am (#178 of 188)

I've suggested in the past Tim that some early 80's disco music would be a great weapon against Inferi.

Hermionefan(#1) - Nov 26, 2006 3:16 pm (#179 of 188)

I haven't been here in a while, but reading all these theories and things makes me wonder how JKR can possibly tie up all loose ends in one book.

A few people have said that Lily and James probably won't be Inferi because they've been in the grave for too long, but couldn't Voldy have turned them into Inferi immediately after her murdered them? Just turned James Inferi, then killed Lily and turned her into an Inferi, and then tried to kill l Harry? Just a thought, I really don't think he'll have turned them into Inferi because he wouldn't have thought he'd need them to use against Harry cuz' cause he thought Harry was going to die. I hope that makes sense.

Pinky Prime - Dec 4, 2006 1:14 pm (#180 of 188)

What happens to an Inferi's soul? To me their souls may be used to strengthen a dark wizard directly (incidentally having a slave in the process). I used this theory in the R.A.B. Thread.

I don't think they are dead to begin with. "No magic power can resurrect a truly dead person." [Read the exact quote from The Guardian Unlimited, 2000]

HungarianHorntail11 - Dec 4, 2006 1:31 pm (#181 of 188)

My guess, Pinky, is that they're bodies without souls (I.e., the souls have passed and the bodies remain). Magic is what makes them "work".

Pinky Prime - Dec 4, 2006 1:33 pm (#182 of 188)

I don't think they are dead to begin with. HungarianHorntail11

I read this on Jo's rules on the Lex...

"No magic power can resurrect a truly dead person." [Read the exact quote from The Guardian Unlimited, 2000]

Steve Newton - Dec 4, 2006 1:37 pm (#183 of 188)

I don't think that any people were resurrected just bodies. I think that HungarianHorntail11 got it right.

Meoshimo - Dec 4, 2006 6:40 pm (#184 of 188)

They're not resurrected bodies, they're just corpses magically strung up like marionette dolls.

Choices - Dec 5, 2006 6:19 pm (#185 of 188)

I think what JKR means is that no magic power can bring a truly dead person back to life - real life, like they were before they died. But, a dead person can be magically reanimated and made to do the bidding of the wizard who reanimates them. They are still dead, but now they are obedient to their "master". Thus, Inferi.

Pinky Prime - Dec 6, 2006 9:29 pm (#186 of 188)

That's a great reply Choices. Clarifies a few things. I'm one that doesn't mind making mistakes that's how I learn and to me it's fun. Hope to make many more in the future Lol!!

(1) "But, a dead person can be magically reanimated

(2) and made to do the bidding of the wizard who reanimates them."

Sounds like two separate spells to me.

IMO - an Inferi's reanimation means their souls have left them and their bodies are now inanimate objects. While enervate can be performed on the living and transfiguration can change inanimate objects into animate ones and visa versa, why a dark spell from a dark wizard to reanimate(not reawaken) the dead.

There may well be laws that makes it illegal to tamper with the dead and not just to create Inferi. Even if there is a law it is morally and politically unacceptable for any decent person to do this in out of the Wizarding World. It is worse than grave robbing!!!

I can see now why it is a dark wizard's practice and not regular wizards that perform these spell(s). Like the Cruciatus curse when Bella told Harry you must really want to cause pain (mistake?) you must really have sinister intentions to reanimate the dead thus the dark wizard will receive more power and control over it's dead subjects.

Solitaire - Dec 30, 2006 2:42 pm (#187 of 188)

S.E. Jones: ...if there's anything peculiar about the lake water in the Cave, it has something to keep the bodies from decaying too fast ...

Perhaps it is full of embalming fluid! Seriously, given the shape Voldemort was in immediately following the failed AK on Harry, it seems unlikely that he could have done anything with the Potters' bodies just then. After all, the bodies were apparently still in the destroyed house, according to Hagrid, and by that time, Vapormort had flown. I find it hard to believe James and Lily would not have been taken and given a decent burial by Dumbledore. In fact, perhaps that is part of what Dumbledore was doing that kept him so busy until he met up with McGonagall outside #4 Privet Drive.

Unless Wizard bodies do not decay in the same way as those of Muggles, it would seem unlikely that James and Lily could have been turned into Infer by Voldemort. This is a different position than I originally held when I found out about Inferi ... but it seems more logical if Wizard bodies are the same as Muggle bodies. JM2K, of course ...


TheSaint - Dec 31, 2006 1:11 am (#188 of 188)

Voldie was Vapor and fled, so I don't think he had a chance to turn them into Inferi before they were buried properly, as in, holy ground.
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