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In Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore and Harry have this exchange right after they enter the cave and just before crossing the lake that would get them to the Horcrux Island where the Drink of Despair was located.

This is what is written:

Immediately a thick coppery green chain appeared out of thin air, extending from the depths of the water into Dumbledore’s clenched hand. Dumbledore tapped the chain, which began to slide through his fist like a snake, coiling itself on the ground with a clinking sound that echoed noisily off the rocky walls, pulling something from the depths of the black water. Harry gasped as the ghostly prow of a tiny boat broke the surface, glowing as green as the chain, and floated, with barely a ripple, toward the place on the bank where Harry and Dumbledore stood.

“How did you know that was there?” Harry asked in astonishment.

“Magic always leaves traces,” said Dumbledore, as the boat hit the bank with a gentle bump, “sometimes very distinctive traces. I taught Tom Riddle. I know his style.”

“Is…is this boat safe?”

Oh yes, I think so. Voldemort needed to create a means to cross the lake without attracting the wrath of those creatures he had placed within it in case he ever wanted to visit or remove his Horcrux.

“So the things in the water won’t do anything to us if we cross in Voldemort’s boat?”

“I think we must resign ourselves to the fact that they will, at some point, realize we are not Lord Voldemort. Thus far, however, we have done well. They have allowed us to raise the boat.”

Right in the bolded text, Dumbledore says that Voldemort needed to create a means to cross the lake without attracting the wrath of the Inferi in case he ever wanted to check on the status of the Horcrux.

Does that imply that Voldemort could NOT control the Inferi?
How then did Voldemort enchant the Inferi to defend the Horcrux in the first place?

  • In Dumbledore's very next sentence it says the inferi might attack if they realise they're not Lord whats his name, meaning they might not do anything if its Lord whats its. So hes probably in control – user13267 Aug 3 at 6:21
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    Or... Don't think guard dog who recognizes and loves its master and thus wouldn't bite him, think alarm system. Or a claymore mine. Voldemort knows the password and he knows how to turn the system off. He knows where the mines are. He knows how to get in without turning his alarm system off or get hurt. They still need to function to do their purpose. – jo1storm Aug 3 at 7:19
  • Probably not. If they were under his control, the boat would've been unnecessary. – Shreedhar Aug 3 at 13:29
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Yes, Inferi are controlled by their creator.

Voldemort would indeed have control of the Inferi, because as Dumbledore explains to Harry, Inferi are corpses that are enchanted to do a Dark wizard’s bidding.

“Well, on that leaflet, it said something about Inferi. What exactly are they? The leaflet wasn’t very clear.’

‘They are corpses,’ said Dumbledore calmly. ‘Dead bodies that have been bewitched to do a Dark wizard’s bidding.”
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 4 (Horace Slughorn)

Snape teaches his Defense Against the Dark Arts class that Inferi are corpses reanimated by a Dark wizard’s spells, and used like puppets to do their bidding.

“A five-year-old could have told us as much,’ sneered Snape. ‘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.”
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 21 (The Unknowable Room)

So yes, since Inferi are controlled by the Dark wizard who created them, Voldemort would be able to control the Inferi he put in the cave where he hid his Horcrux.

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  • If Voldemort had control over the Inferi, then why did he create a boat to not attract the wrath of the Inferi that he created? – Kyle V Aug 3 at 22:47
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    Presumably in case he ever had to send a minion to deal with it rather than himself. It'd be kind of awkward if he was ever indisposed and needed the horcrux but couldn't send anyone for fear of them dying to his own defences... So guests use the boat, and while the inferi won't attack Voldemort, he prefers not to have to swim through a lake of dead bodies to get to the horcrux, so he uses the boat too. – Ruadhan2300 Aug 4 at 10:57

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