In HP7, it's mentioned (as far as I recall, by Dumbledore at King's Cross) that Gellert Grindelwald sought Resurrection Stone (as one of the Hallows) as a way to create an army of Inferi.

Is that realistic within canon? In other words:

Was it actually possible - given what we know how the stone operates from all books - to use the stone to create the army of Inferi? Or was Grindelwald mistaken and, even if it had the stone, it would not have been of any help in that task?

There are two interpretations of the possible use I can think of:

  • purely through the power of the stone

  • using some other Inferi-creation method but using the Stone to make the process easier/faster/better/more quality/more Inferi-bodies.

I'm more interested in the first interpretation though an answer can address either/both.

Must be grounded in canon or JKR info.

5 Answers 5


I don't think the Resurrection Stone could be used to conjure an army of Inferi.

In Tales of Beedle the Bard, JKR says What's more, Beedle's story is quite explicit about the fact that the second brother's lost love has not really returned from the dead. She has been sent by Death to lure the second brother into Death's clutches, and is therefore cold, remote, tantalisingly both present and absent. But then she goes on to say, Many critics believe that Beedle was inspired by the Philosopher's Stone, which makes the immortality-inducing Elixir of Life, when creating this stone that can raise the dead.

On one hand she's saying that when the second brother used the Resurrection Stone to bring back his long-lost love, the girl had not really returned, but was, essentially, acting as Death's puppet to lure the second brother to Death. Well, Inferi are considered "ghastly puppets," controlled by another being, so there is a tenuous connection there. On the other hand, JKR goes on to describe the Resurrection Stone as able to raise the dead, but offers no explanation as to what circumstances would result in conjuring a a soul which really doesn't return from the dead, actually raising the dead (which she previously describes as impossible in reference to Necromancy), or producing "echoes" of persons the one using the Resurrection Stone dearly loved ala Harry in the forest on the way to meet Voldemort.

I think these discrepancies make it difficult to say whether the Resurrection Stone could raise an army of Inferi. It seems hit-or-miss whether the stone obeys the user's intentions.

As to the second part of your question, I don't think there is another method that would allow the Resurrection Stone to enhance other spells or enchantments that might raise the Inferi more quickly or in greater numbers than if one did not have the stone (unless perhaps one was master of all three Hallows, but this is not canon, just my thought). As the eminent wizarding philosopher Bertrand de Pensees-Profondes said in his celebrated work, A Study into the Possibility of Reversing the Actual and Metaphysical Effects of Natural Death, with Particular Regard to the Reintegration of Essence and Matter: 'Give it up. It's never going to happen.' TOBTB - Page 135

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    "enhance the power of the Resurrection Stone" - I meant in reverse, Resurrection Stone enhancing the power of "normal" Infer-raising method Jan 10, 2012 at 19:23
  • Yes, that's what I meant. I'll reword. I got what you were saying :) Jan 10, 2012 at 20:06

The stone creates entities that only the user can see:

"They won't be able to see you?" asked Harry.

"We are part of you," said Sirius. "Invisible to anyone else."

(Ch. 34)

So it doesn't create inferi, I think Grindelwald just misunderstood the stone's power.

  • 2
    It could create an army of Inferi that only you could see and interact with. Somewhat useful to invade Neverland.
    – DavRob60
    Jan 10, 2012 at 17:36
  • @DavRob60 - why would you want to invade Michael Jackson? Jan 10, 2012 at 17:48
  • 1
    @DVK Who tell you that the invasion is not already done?
    – DavRob60
    Jan 10, 2012 at 17:52

Personally I'd like to think that the stone in some way could aid in the creation of inferi or zombies. In my opinion since inferi are seemingly "more intelligent" zombies, the binding of the soul to the corpse may be necessary to create inferi. Maybe the difference between the two is that inferi are enchanted with one's soul, and zombies are not.

Since the way to create these creatures are never spelled out in the books, (like the creation of a horcrux) one can only guess as to how a wizard could re-animate a corpse. Maybe the soul does need to be called back somehow to enchant the corpse. The spell priori incantato produces the last few spells cast by a wand. I believe that if the wand was used to kill another, the "ghost" of the deceased would reappear. (Which happens in the fourth Harry Potter book)

These are really only guesses on my part, as I've only read the Harry Potter books, but give a possible explanation as to other abilities the stone may have. (I've always wondered the same thing about what Grindelwald had said about the stone.)


No, the Resurrection Stone likely could not create an army of Inferi - its creations are insubstantial.

The Resurrection Stone likely cannot be used to create an army of Inferi, as those conjured by it are not particularly substantial. Inferi are created from corpses, so they are solid.

“Harry took a deep breath and continued calmly, though his insides were boiling, ‘Yeah, ghosts are transparent, but Inferi are dead bodies, aren’t they? So they’d be solid –’

‘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 9 (The Half-Blood Prince)

Inferi are definitively solid. The Inferi surrounding Voldemort’s Horcrux are able to grab at people and attempt to pull them into the lake.

‘Petrificus Totalus!’ yelled Harry, struggling to cling on to the smooth, soaked surface of the island as he pointed his wand at the Inferius that had his arm: it released him, falling backwards into the water with a splash. He scrambled to his feet; but many more Inferi were already climbing on to the rock, their bony hands clawing at its slippery surface, their blank, frosted eyes upon him, trailing waterlogged rags, sunken faces leering.”
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 26 (The Cave)

However, the people brought back by the Resurrection Stone are more substantial than ghosts but less substantial than living bodies, and they don’t seem to have any particular ability to do anything.

“He closed his eyes, and turned the stone over in his hand, three times.

He knew it had happened, because he heard slight movements around him that suggested frail bodies shifting their footing on the earthy, twig-strewn ground that marked the outer edge of the Forest. He opened his eyes and looked around.

They were neither ghost nor truly flesh, he could see that. They resembled most closely the Riddle that had escaped from the diary, so long ago, and he had been memory made nearly solid. Less substantial than living bodies, but much more than ghosts, they moved towards him, and on each face there was the same loving smile.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 34 (The Forest Again)

They were able to prevent the Dementors from affecting him, but they are not able to provide Harry with any particular physical help.

“And he set off. The Dementors’ chill did not overcome him; he passed through it with his companions, and they acted like Patronuses to him, and together they marched through the old trees that grew closely together, their branches tangled, their roots gnarled and twisted underfoot. Harry clutched the Cloak tightly around him in the darkness, travelling deeper and deeper into the Forest, with no idea where exactly Voldemort was, but sure that he would find him. Beside him, making scarcely a sound, walked James, Sirius, Lupin and Lily, and their presence was his courage, and the reason he was able to keep putting one foot in front of the other.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 34 (The Forest Again)

These would not make particularly useful Inferi, as they are not solid enough to provide physical aid. Additionally, they seem to have the personalities they did when alive, so further steps would be needed to control them. Overall, it seems like any attempt to use the Resurrection Stone to create an army of Inferi will be fruitless. Grindelwald would be better served by learning to create his own Inferi than hoping to use the Resurrection Stone to do it.


I believe so, Grindlewald and Dumbledore seemed convinced of the possibility, and all their other knowledge of the Hallows is accurate. the Resurrection stone likely has more powers then creating coloured ghosts.

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    The question already mentions that this was Grindelwald's plan. It seems the OP is looking for other evidence/proof that it was possible.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Dec 15, 2019 at 13:29

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