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Inferius

Last edited on April 15, 2014
by Flabshoe1
Inferius (Concept Artwork)
Inferius
Species information
Sentience

Non-sentient

Eye colour

Varies

Skin colour

Pale-white

Hair colour

Varies

Related to
Native range

Great Britain

Height of average adult

Varies

Distinction(s)

Reanimated corpse

Affiliation
Status

Non-being

"They are corpses, dead bodies that have been bewitched to do a Dark wizard's bidding. Inferi have not been seen for a long time, however, not since Voldemort was last powerful [....] He killed enough people to make an army of them, of course."
Albus Dumbledore on Inferi[src]

An Inferius (plural: Inferi) is a dead body, reanimated by a Dark Wizard, similar to a zombie. They are created through the magical branch of Dark Arts called Necromancy.[1]


Description

"The Inferius is a corpse that has been reanimated by a Dark wizard's spells. It is not alive, it is merely used like a puppet to do the wizard's bidding. "
Severus Snape regarding Inferius [src]
Tumblr m7wa46W2Qt1qa9jn1o3 250
En masse, Inferi nearly overwhelmed Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore.

The Inferi are gaunt, skeletal beings that closely resemble zombies. Being human corpses, they have individual appearances based on the humans they were created from.

Inferi have no free will, and cannot think for themselves; their purpose is merely to serve as puppets of the Dark Wizard who reanimated them. As no spell can bring back the dead, the Inferi are not alive, just corpse puppets. Despite this, they can apparently speak.[2]

Due to their status as being unfeeling dead, the Inferi are immune to bodily damages such as slashing, and have great physical strength, enough to kill a human or drag them away. Due to their superior strength, they are especially dangerous en masse.

Defence against Inferi

"However, like many creatures that dwell in cold and darkness, they fear light and warmth, [...] Fire, Harry."
—Albus Dumbledore on the defence against Inferius[src]
51
Harry Potter attempting to repel the Inferi with the weakened Albus Dumbledore.

Because Inferi are creatures of the dark, they dislike light and heat. The most effective spell against them is therefore a fire-summoning spell, such as Firestorm. Other spells might work against a few Inferi, but might not be useful against a whole army of them. It must be noted that Inferi are resistant to most spells: they cannot feel pain, and thus are unaffected by many attacks whose main effect is pain such as the Cruciatus Curse. This is evident when Harry Potter attempts to use the dark spell Sectumsempra on the Inferi in the Crystal Cave, as they have no blood to spill.[3]

Known encounters

1899

In 1899, it was mentioned that the dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald, sought to create an army of Inferi, and believed that the Resurrection Stone could grant him such powers. It is unknown as to whether he succeeded, though his conception on the stone's abilities were in fact incorrect, as it brings back souls from the realm of the dead as more-than-ghost but less-than-alive state, not as a living body.[4]

First Wizarding War

During the First Wizarding War, Voldemort was known to have created an army of Inferi from the large amount of people he killed. He placed such an army within the lake of Salazar Slytherin's Locket's hiding place. In 1979, when Regulus Black attempted to destroy the said Horcrux, he succumbed to the Drink of Despair's effects and tried to take a drink of water from the lake, only to trigger the Inferi and was killed by them. Kreacher, his house elf, managed to make it out of the cave with the locket.[4]

Second Wizarding War

The Ministry warned the community that Lord Voldemort may be using Inferi once again in the Second Wizarding War, and he was mentioned that he did use as much as an army during the First War.[3]

Not exactly counted as a real encounter, but worth mentioning: Mundungus Fletcher was arrested and put into Azkaban because he disguised himself as an Inferius after being caught during an attempted burglary.[3]

Hunting for Horcruxes

"The wandlight had slid over a fresh patch of water and showed Harry, this time, a dead man lying faceup inches beneath the surface, his open eyes misted as though with cobwebs […] "
—Harry looks at an Inferius in the lake in the Crystal Cave[src]
Dumbledore fighting the Inferi.gif
Albus Dumbledore fighting the Inferi inside the cave in 1997.
In 1997, Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore encountered the very same army of Inferi as Regulus in their attempt to destroy Voldemort's locket Horcrux. At first, they remained inert as the two sailed in the boat towards the central island. However, when Dumbledore suffered from the Drink of Despair's thirst-inducing effects, Harry had to take some water from the lake, triggering the Inferi, who nearly dragged Harry to the depths of the lake to drown. Dumbledore successfully repelled them by conjuring a ring of fire, big enough to surround both Harry and himself. Once all the Inferi returned into the lake, they did not resurface when Dumbledore's ring of fire faltered.[3]

2014 Quidditch World Cup

"​Malicious and baseless"
—The ICWQC on rumors that Haiti was using Inferi.[src]

In 2014, rumors that the Haiti was using Inferi to intimidate other teams were dismissed by the ICWQC as untrue. However, the rumors proved true when Inferi attacked crowds in the opening ceremony of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup, leading to 300 casualties.

Etymology

"Inferius" is Latin for "underneath; below." It could also be a tampered form of "inferus", or "the dead; underworld." As J. K. Rowling sometimes changes real Latin words to form some incantations, or names of creatures or people, it could well be that the second meaning is the correct one.

Behind the scenes

  • According to W.O.M.B.A.T., Inferi may have the ability to speak.
  • Inferi may have been briefly referred to by Voldemort in the Little Hangleton Graveyard as part of an "army of creatures whom all fear".[5]
  • Inferi may be incredibly strong as a picture in Snape's Defence Against the Dark Arts class shows a bloody mass on the floor, attributing to a person provoking the anger of an Inferius. Alternatively, this could be attributed to their viciousness and implacability.
  • It is unknown if there is any difference between Inferi and zombies, as they both seem to be reanimated corpses. However, it seems that zombies are naturally formed, while Inferi are artificially created.
  • In first part video game adaption of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Inferi appear again, despite them not being in the mainstream storyline.

Appearances

Wiki
The Harry Potter Wiki has 18 images related to Inferius.

Notes and references

  1. The Tales of Beedle the Bard
  2. The fact that Inferi are able of speech is hinted at in the second W.O.M.B.A.T. featured in J. K. Rowling's Official Site. Question 1 (Part One - Magical Beings) is "Which of the following statements is TRUE?", and one of the possible answers is "Inferi cannot speak". As one of the other answers is known for certain to be true ("Hags eat small children" — the Chocolate Frog Cards reveal that Babayaga fed on children for breakfast; and the Daily Prophet Newsletters say that Regulus Moonshine developed a potion to suppress hags' "normal appetite for human flesh"), then all of the other answers must be false, including the one that says Inferi cannot speak.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
TDF-AGTS-P
Professors: Galatea Merrythought · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Barty Crouch Jr. (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape ·
Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher)
Textbooks: The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection · Break with a Banshee · Gadding with Ghouls · Holidays with Hags · Travels with Trolls ·
Voyages with Vampires · Wanderings with Werewolves · Year with the Yeti · The Essential Defence Against the Dark Arts · Defensive Magical Theory · Dark Arts Defence: Basics for Beginners · Confronting the Faceless · Magical Drafts and Potions
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts: Classroom 3C · Temporary Classroom · Tower · Professor's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Dumbledore's Army
Spells covered under the subject: Curse of the Bogies · Knockback Jinx · Verdimillious Charm · Verdimillious Duo Spell · Verdimillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm · Freezing Spell · Seize and Pull Charm · Patronus Charm · Killing Curse · Cruciatus Curse · Imperius Curse · Impediment Jinx · Reductor Curse · Stunning Spell · Shield Charm · Nonverbal spells · Hex-deflection ·
Hex-Breaker · Hex Zapper
Creatures covered under the subject: Vampire bats · Iguanas · Cornish Pixies · Werewolves · Vampires · Hinkypunks · Boggarts · Red Caps · Kappas · Grindylows · Inferius