J. K. Rowling just revealed that her "Harry Potter" series did have zombies in its roster of characters.
In her latest disclosure from the 12 Days of Harry Potter Christmas series she began at Pottermore, the best-selling author admitted there are indeed zombies in the books, particularly in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." This following her earlier admissions that Hogwarts has a Jewish, atheist and LGBT population.
Rowling posted her 10th riddle on Pottermore for fans to figure out:
“In the cave when Harry and Dumbledore try to escape
They are surrounded by zombie-like monsters from the lake
But can you remember the name of these creatures
Who have white cloudy eyes and corpse-like features?”
The creatures she refer to are known as the Inferi (singular: Inferius), the very same Gollum-like monsters that emerged in droves and tried to drown our bespectacled hero as he scooped up water from the lake in the Crystal Cave when he and Dumbledore attempted to recover the first horcrux. (Spoiler alert: If you haven’t read that book or seen that movie, a horcrux — in this case, Salazar Slytherin’s locket — is an item enchanted to contain a piece of a dark wizard’s soul, namely, Voldemort’s.)
Inferi are previously dead people a dark wizard may have reanimated to do their nefarious bidding. The corpse-white inferi dwelling under the Crystal Cave’s lake were tasked to guard the horcrux from thieves, although why they only emerged when Harry tried to access the water, we can only guess.
According to Rowling, these zombies can only be destroyed by fire, since no spell known to any witch or wizard has yet rendered them impotent to flame. Luckily for Harry, Dumbledore roused himself from his pain-riddled crystal goblet coma in time to douse the lake with flame, barbecuing all the murderous corpses to well-done crisps.
Rowling also writes that she refrained from naming these creatures "zombies," as zombies don’t form a part of British folklore (most of the "Harry Potter" series is set in the UK, as if you didn’t know). She based her Inferi from African and Haitian myths instead, although why she picked reanimated dead from a voodoo tradition on the other side of the equator, we have no idea.
Relive the terror of this particular Inferi attack here:
Would you jump out of your skin at the prospect of coming face to face with Inferi, or are Michael Jackson’s "Thriller" zombies more your thing? Stay tuned on Movie News Guide (MNG) for more 12 Days of Harry Potter Christmas.