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J.K. Rowling Confirms that the Curse of the Defense Against the Dark Teachers Was Inspired by… Spinal Tap?

Throughout the Harry Potter books, it becomes apparent that there is a curse upon the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Each unfortunate to hold this position does not do so for long, and J.K. Rowling has confirmed that this curse was inspired by the curse upon the fictional rock band Spinal Tap, subject of the mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap.


The QI Elves tweeted the bizarre factoid last week, saying: “According to J.K. Rowling, the curse of the Defence Against the Dark Arts teachers was inspired by the Spinal Tap drummers regularly dying in bizarre circumstances.” Rowling retweeted the post, adding ‘Sad but true.’



In This Is Spinal Tap, all of the band’s drummers die prematurely in a variety of strange ways. According to Radio Times, the first, John “Stumpy” Pepys dies in a gardening accident, described by authorities as “best left unsolved”. Another choked on vomit “of unknown origin”, while a third spontaneously combusted while on stage.  Joe “Mama” Besser went AWOL in Japan, and Sammy “Stumpy” Bateman died in an attempted tricycle jump over a tank of sharks. Radio Times notes that in total, at least sixteen drummers held the position. 


Image Via Flavorwire

Image Via Flavorwire 


While not quite as many people held the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, all five of them are relinquish the post in a series of unfortunate ways. Professor Quirrell is found to be a physical host for Lord Voldemort, Gilderoy Lockhart’s arrogance leads him to destroy his own memory, Remus Lupin resigns, Mad-Eye Moody is discovered to be a Death Eater in disguise and Dolores Umbridge is fired for being absolutely wretched and evil.


While the list of theories regarding Potterverse and all its aspects is infinite, a potential link between the fantasy series and Spinal Tap does not rank particularly highly thereon, and so it is very interesting to have such a fact confirmed by Rowling herself. 


Featured Image Via Ultimate Guitar