Michael Jackson’s Undead: Why J.K. Rowling Dropped Zombies From Harry Potter Books

Interesting news comes from the popular Harry Potter-related website, Pottermore as author J.K. Rowling admits she is a big fan of Michael Jackson’s album, Thriller, in which the popular singer danced like a zombie. In fact, that album is one reason why she decided not to feature zombies in her Harry Potter books.

Each day, a riddle is posed on the Pottermore website, and the latest called on guests to the website to name the zombie-like creatures with the cloudy eyes, surrounding the lake when Harry and Dumbledore tried to escape. This is what brought up the whole Michael Jackson story.

Michael Jackson dancing with zombies in Thriller

When speaking of those animated corpses, used by Voldemort to guard his Horcrux, she explained to ABC Showbiz why she created the species known as “Inferi.”

She said she had several reasons for not calling these guardians of Horcruz “zombies.” She said that first of all, zombies are not included in the folklore of Britain and are more likely to be associated with Haiti and various parts of Africa. She said the students at Hogwarts would be taught about zombies in their lessons, but would never get to meet them in the streets of Hogsmeade.

Rowlings explained how the name “Inferius” comes from “Inferus,” meaning “below” in Latin, and “Inferi” relates to the underworld and in no way relates to zombies.

She added that zombies of the Vodou tradition would only be reanimated corpses, while the sorcerer would use their souls in order to sustain himself. This related in no way to Rowling’s Horcrux story and she did not want to suggest that Voldemort would have any other ideas for his Inferi other than using them as guards.

It was then that Rowlings went on to explain how zombies have appeared in various forms in film and music over the last fifty years or so, including Michael Jackson’s music video, and they have many associations of absolutely no use to her stories. Rowlings said that she is part of the “Thriller” generation, and to her, a zombie will always bring to mind Michael Jackson dancing in a bright red bomber jacket.

This was part of Rowling’s thoughts on her creatures and characters, which started on December 12 and will lead up to the Christmas event on Pottermore. Another interesting note was that last week, when speaking of vampires, she insisted that Snape was not a vampire, even though his complexion is so pale.

Each day, a new surprise will be unwrapped at the Pottermore site, so why not head over and read the latest?

Meanwhile on the Michael Jackson side of things, the Inquisitr reports that his estate recently renewed the long-standing partnership with BMI, who have represented Jackson’s work since he first started out as the youngest member of the Jackson 5.

Enjoy the music video of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” below.

[Images Via aplacewithnoname-michaeljackson.blogspot.com and Screengrab from YouTube video