According to the Harry Potter Wiki.

Whilst it is possible to create Inferi, these are mindless creatures with no soul or intelligence, despite possessing human corpses and hence are not truly "raised" persons. Therefore, Necromancy does not work in this respect and it is indeed known to be impossible to truly resurrect the dead.

However, I am not fully sold on the legitimacy of this article. It seems under developed to me. It also fails to mention any ways besides magic (creatures, items, magical plants) to revive the dead.

Is there any canonical information that has been mentioned either by Rowling or the Harry Potter Universe that either eliminates the possibility, leaves it undetermined, or confirmed it?

*Note: Please do not use the wiki as the main reference in an answer, as I have already looked at that source and feel that it does not answer the question fully.

*Note: I do not feel that this is a duplicate of the other necromancy question. The answer that were given to that were more reanimated dead - zombie oriented, I want dead people becoming living again.

  • 1
    I assume things like Time Travel to simply undo a death should be ruled out. – starpilotsix Jan 31 '17 at 15:44
  • @starpilotsix yea, I was thinking more of a post mortem solution, but i do like the idea. – Matrim Cauthon Jan 31 '17 at 15:44
  • Dumbledore says that "Necromancy was a branch of magic that never quite worked", though I can't find the citation. I read it on this site somewhere – Gallifreyan Jan 31 '17 at 15:49
  • @MatrimCauthon I mean technically every wizard who ever died could have been rescued by time travelling wizards from the far future who used advanced memory charms on any witnesses and left a fake body in the proper place, then transported the "dead" wizard to another distant planet where they meet all of non-muggle history at the same time. The Wizarding Riverworld of Harry Potter. – starpilotsix Jan 31 '17 at 15:58
  • Just to be clear, you are aware there was an object called the Resurrection Stone, and that it did not work either, right? – Skooba Jan 31 '17 at 17:32

No, dead is all dead

In a 1999 radio interview with WBUR, Rowling stated explicitly that no magic can bring the dead back to life (emphasis mine):

Rowling: [O]ne of the most important things I - I decided was that magic cannot bring dead people back to life; that - that's one of the most profound things, the - the natural law of - of - of death applies to wizards as it applies to Muggles and there is no returning once you're properly dead, you know, they might be able to save very close-to-death people better than we can, by magic - that they - that they have certain knowledge we don't, but once you're dead, you're dead.

There does seem to be a bit of a loophole in this, as starpilotsix mentions in a comment on the question, in that time travel shenanigans are demonstrably able to "undo" a death:

  • Buckbeak was possibly saved from execution via time travel; it's left slightly ambiguous
  • The Cursed Child (in)famously did this, bringing Voldemort back to life in the "bad future" created by Albus and Scorpius mucking with time

There are also a couple of observed ways of bringing back someone "sort-of" back, the priori incantatem echoes and the Resurrection Stone being the most prominent examples.

| improve this answer | |
  • 4
    Delete '(in)famously'. Insert 'ridiculously'. – The Dark Lord Jan 31 '17 at 16:15
  • Buckbeak was never brought back to life because Buckbeak never actually died; what the trio initially mistook for Buckbeak's execution was infact McNair throwing a hissy fit. In PoA, the way time travel works is that whatever alterations you make to the timeline were always going to happen. We see this with the stone thrown at Harry's head, Hermione distracting werewolf-Lupin and Harry fending off the Dementors – 520 Jun 30 '19 at 15:08

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.