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Characters: The Dresden Files The Church

Characters from The Dresden Files, the Church.

WARNING! Due to the books relying heavily on mystery and surprise, the pages would be virtually unreadable with excessive spoiler tags. Therefore, all spoilers except for the most recent novel (Skin Game) are UNMARKED. Tread carefully.

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     Michael Carpenter 

"Our lives belong to the Almighty. We serve and live for the sake of others. Not for our own."

A Knight of the Cross, wielder of the holy broadsword Amoracchius, badass, and overall Nice Guy. His wife is Charity Carpenter, and the oldest of his many children is Molly.
  • Action Dad: He is a Holy Knight who has faced more than his share of baddies. He even killed a dragon that was about to kill the woman who would become his wife.
  • Badass Preacher: Though not aggressively evangelical, Michael is still there with words of comfort and advice and invites Harry to come to church with him. His battle cries are generally some piece of scripture or Latin phrase.
  • Bargain with Heaven: They're called knights of the Cross for a reason.
  • Battle Cry: "Lava quod est sordium! In nomine Dei, sana quod est saucium!"Latin translation  Notably, it is implied that this is not so much Michael's battle cry, the the battle-cry of the angels that back him up.
  • Berserk Button: Don't threaten his children, especially while claiming to be serving the cause of good while so doing.
  • BFS: Amoracchius is described as 5 feet long.
  • Big Brother Mentor: He's really close to being the big brother Harry never had. Well, one of two that he never had. Despite his adversarial relationship with religion, Michael basically sets the moral standard against which Harry measures himself, and he's always Harry's first stop when dealing with moral confusion.
  • The Big Guy: When even Murphy isn't enough.
  • The Cape: An entirely non-comic-bookish example. Even after "retirement," whenever Harry Dresden finds himself in a moral conundrum, he always goes to see Michael for spiritual advice.
  • Characterization Marches On: In Small Favor, he states that Charity has had formal medical training and he hasn't, while in Skin Game he mentions that he used to be an army doctor and helps splint a broken arm for Harry.
  • Church Militant: Known and feared as "The Fist of God," throughout the supernatural-nasty community.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Justified, in that this is explicitly part of how being a Knight of the Cross works. When one of them is needed, coincidence occurs to get them where they are needed in time for them to help. This has ranged from Father Forthill's car breaking down near Michael's house just when Michael needs someone to watch his children while he heads out to fight evil, all the way into some really awesome Big Damn Heroes moments (Proven Guilty being the most notable one for Michael).
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • Michael spends his entire adult lifetime fighting against the forces of darkness, fully expecting that he would die in that quest, and quietly afraid of what it might mean to his family. In Small Favor', he is crippled but alive, and forced to retire from his duties as a Knight, but this leaves him able to take care of his children, coach their sports games, and build houses, like he always wanted to. This is, ultimately, the best he could have hoped for, as Harry notes that most Knights end up retiring feet first in a wooden box.
    • Pretty much invoked in Ghost Story when Harry sees the dozen or so Guardian Angels posted around his house. Uriel's commentary? "Michael Carpenter has more than earned them."
  • Good Is Not Dumb: Michael is a very perceptive person, and while he may intentionally allow himself to get involved in someone else's plans - trusting in God to see him through it - because he feels that it will give him the best opportunities to do some good, he's never blind to the risks. He also knew the entire time that Harry had picked up a Denarian coin to prevent Michael's son from getting possessed.
  • Good Is Old-Fashioned: Played straight and subverted. Michael gets on to Harry about sleeping with a woman without marrying her, though in the same book Harry thinks he might have a point. See his Knight in Shining Armor quote for the subversion.
  • Happily Married: To Charity.
  • Heroic Lineage: Descended from Charlemagne. All known Knights of the Cross are descendents of royalty.
  • He's Back: In Skin Game, Uriel temporarily heals his wounds and allows him to resume his role as a Knight for the duration of the book.
  • Holier Than Thou: Averted. See "Open Minded Parent" for just one example. When talking about Michael, Harry described him as "righteous." The person he's talking to assumed he was talking about this trope. Harry corrected her, saying that he meant the word in its most literal sense, including enough humility to deny it.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Figuratively and literally. Charity makes it. And reinforces it with Kevlar.
    "My Faith protects me. My Kevlar helps."
  • Knight Templar: Averted in all its shiny glory. He is a calm, rational man who doesn't judge his enemies, including the extremely dangerous Denarians. He simply knows it is not his place.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After years of serving the Lord with no monetary reward for their work, they get one-fifth of the diamonds stolen from Hades' vault. Charity insists to Michael (who is still hesitant to take several million) that it's a divine gift. After all, they have children to put through college, and grandchildren will be coming soon.
  • Martyr Without a Cause: Averted, actually. In Small Favor, Michael tells Harry outright that a Knight of the Cross doesn't have to give his life for the greater good to stop being one. But, because of the sorts of people they are, most do anyway.
  • Meaningful Name: "Michael" is also the name of the Archangel of War; "Carpenter" is both Michael's family name and his day job. The latter is especially meaningful when one recalls a certain other carpenter.
  • Name's the Same: With the Archangel. Lampshaded once when Sanya mentions he met with Michael and corrected himself saying he meant Archangel Michael.
  • Nice Guy: If you are a good person, Michael will give you the coat off his back. If you're a bad person, he'll at least make the offer.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Because Michael so rarely loses his genial good temper, something is probably really bothering him when he does. (Usually related to threats against his family, or reminders that his duties as a Knight might end up leaving his family without a father.)
  • Open Minded Parent: When Harry brings Molly home in Proven Guilty, the first thing Michael does on seeing his daughter, now covered in tattoos and piercing, is hug her. While he then expresses concern about Molly he never condemns her.
    Michael: Harry, tell me, am I too old?
  • The Paladin: Embodies the archetype. Realistically.
  • Papa Wolf: "Warrior" shows just how bad an idea it is to threaten his kids. Even as early as Grave Peril, we see this tendency as well; when Lea makes a coy offer to return the Sword to Michael in exchange for Molly, his response is to literally snatch her up and lift her off the floor and promise that he will destroy her if she messes with his children.
  • The Paragon: Harry really doesn't believe he's a good person. Michael believes otherwise, and Harry will often rise to the occasion to be worthy of this trust.
  • Parental Substitute: While Michael and Charity love Maggie as if she was their own, they are well aware that they aren't her parents. They both encourage Harry to take over the role, both for Maggie's sake and his own.
  • Place of Protection: While not the typical church or other holy site, for his work as a Knight of the Cross, guardian angels watch his house and a safe room empowered by Archangel Raphael. This makes it an ideal place to hide in should one not be able to make it to St. Mary's. In Ghost Story this was invoked by Molly as a place to hide some mind-addled children who were ordered to shoot up Murphy's home from both Murphy and the police.
  • Power of the God Hand: Known as "The Fist of God." Unlike most of the Japanese examples, this isn't just a boast; Carpenter is a Knight of the Cross and empowered by God to fight evil.
  • Precision F-Strike: In Warrior. Even Harry is floored.
  • Religion is Magic: The exact nature of his faith-based powers is left unexplained, but one time by a simple prayer he was able to undo most of the mental binding someone put on Harry. All Harry noted was Michael's hands became incredibly hot. He can also burn a swarm of conjured insects off Harry at one point, and his house has a safe room warded by angelic magic.
  • Retired Badass:
    • Forcibly retired from the evil-slaying business due to injuries suffered in Small Favor. He is still, however, hinted to be under the personal protection of a literal Archangel - at the very least, he's confirmed to have a whole contingent of guardian angels protecting him and his family - so messing with him is still not a good idea.
    • Per Word of God, getting shot and crippled as he was is his "happy ending." As Harry notes, most Knights end up retiring in coffins. In Michael's case, he gets to build houses and take his children to sports practice.
  • Royal Blood: Descended from Charlemagne.
  • Weapon of Choice: The massive two-handed broadsword Amoracchius, which is Excalibur.

     Charity Carpenter 

"My children are vulnerable. I'm taking them to safety. Help me or stand aside."

Michael's loving and caring wife, mother of their seven children, devoted housekeeper, first-aid medic, armor- and weaponsmith, and sparring partner.
  • Action Mom: Not only was she her husband's training partner for much of their marriage, she charged head on into the capital of Winter Fae to save her eldest daughter.
  • Almighty Mom: Mess with her kids and doom will befall you, even if you're a powerful fear-eating faerie.
  • Badass Normal: Unlike her husband, Charity has no supernatural powers anymore or ancient artifacts. That doesn't stop her from being Michael's primary sparring partner and hitching up alongside Harry, Murphy, and Thomas to charge headlong into Queen Mab's stronghold to rescue her kidnapped daughter. And she pulls her own weight the whole way.
  • Biker Babe:
    • Presumably; Michael mentions she used to work on motorcycles, so it's not a stretch to imagine she rode them, too.
    • He mentions this when referring to how she can forge armor so take it with a grain of salt
  • Former Teen Rebel: Got close to violating the Laws of Magic when she was young and then nearly sacrificed to a dragon, before Michael showed up and saved her.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Her earlier actions towards Harry were always curt and colored by her intense dislike of him. Even when she helps him with his injuries, she can be sadistic.
    Harry: [narration] I hear they make antiseptics that don't sting anymore. But Charity used iodine.
  • Happily Married: To Michael.
  • Ironic Name: Not that charitable, at least to Harry
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Nasty as hell to Harry for getting her husband involved in ANYTHING regardless of how noble the cause, Harry's efforts to help Michael, Michael's own willingness or anything really but cares for her family. After Proven Guilty she now sees Harry as family and calls him as such in Small Favor when they are waiting to see if Michael is going to survive the wounds he received fighting next to Harry.
  • Knight Templar Parent: See also Mama Bear, Badass Normal, and Big Damn Heroes.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After years of serving the Lord with no monetary reward for their work, they get one-fifth of the diamonds stolen from Hades' vault. Charity insists to Michael (who is still hesitant to take several million) that it's a divine gift. After all, they have children to put through college, and grandchildren will be coming soon.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Inverted - she has the secret and doesn't share with anyone, not even Michael. Harry, being a detective, figures it out on his own.
  • Mama Bear: She doesn't care what sort of supernatural nasty you, she'll punch you out if you threaten her children.
  • Meaningful Name: The Swords of the Cross are named after the Christian virtues of Faith, Hope and Love (1 Corinthians 13:13), of which Michael wields Amoracchius, the Sword of Love. Some translations of the Bible (particularly the King James Version) name Love as Charity.
  • Parental Substitute: While Michael and Charity love Maggie as if she was their own, they are well aware that they aren't her parents. They both encourage Harry to take over the role, both for Maggie's sake and his own.
  • Rescue Romance: She met Michael when he saved her from a firebreathing dragon.
  • Secret Legacy: Atrophied magical talent, which is passed on to her daughter Molly.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Harry sees her in her underwear once, and comments that she won the genetic lottery.

     Shiro Yoshimo 

The eldest of the three Knights of the Cross, a Japanese man who wields the katana Fidelacchius. Part Shinto monk, part Mr. Miyagi; he could easily be compared to a version of Michael in thirty years or so.
  • Arch-Enemy: Possibly to Nicodemus. He was the only Knight to worry Nick as he could match sword skills with the two thousand year old bastard.
  • Badass Grandpa: He is quite an elderly gentlemen, but can kick ass and terrify the forces of evil should they cross his path.
  • Bargain with Heaven: It is implied for his years of service and Heroic Sacrifice, he has earned a nice retirement in Heaven.
  • Batman Gambit: Harry wonders if beyond knowing it was his time to die, tasking Harry, not Michael, Sanya, or any church fellow, to find the next person Fidelacchius was such a gambit. This is because in Small Favor Harry's instincts told him the person he should give Fidelacchius to is Nicodemus. Harry, acting on this instinct, was able to goad Nicodemus into acting foolishly, which lead to his entire plot falling apart.
  • Christianity is Catholic: Averted; he's a Baptist, at least nominally.
  • Church Militant: As a Baptist, he walks with a holy sword doing His good work.
  • Cool Old Guy: When not on duty, he can be a real fun-loving man who helps Charity with the groceries and help Harry out of his troubles.
  • Heroic Lineage: Descendent of the last king of Okinawa.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He gave his life to save Harry.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: His sword is a katana. And later revealed to be Kusanagi, the sword of Japanese myth.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Well, he wears an aikido-style uniform, not formal armor, but he is this at heart.
  • Lost in Translation: A literal example, Shiro converted to Christianity because he was at an Elvis concert and a preacher asked the audience to "Meet the King." Thinking it was an invitation back-stage, he went and ended up becoming Baptist.
  • Master Swordsman: Simply put, if you try to take him on with a sword, you lose. Even if you happen to be a 2000 year old Denarian. You will lose. In the RPG he has plot device levels of swordsmanship.
  • The Mentor: To Michael and Sanya.
  • Too Cool to Live: He died in the book he was introduced in.
  • Nice Guy: To his friends, he is a nice, warm fellow.
  • The Obi-Wan: To Harry, Sanya, and Michael. He helps each develop in their own ways.
  • Old Master: The oldest and, in his own way, wisest of the Knights.
  • The Paragon: He is a good man doing His Good work, helping protect those he can from the evils of the world. Should one be in need and he is there, even if he has only just met the person and that person has a checkered past about being a full on good guy, like Harry, he will help him.
  • Royal Blood: Apparently a descendant of the last ruler of Okinawa.
  • Weapon of Choice: Fidelacchius, a katana that is supposed to be Kusanagi.


Civilian: God in Heaven. He must have sent you to us, son.
' It was probably just a coincidence, ma’am

One of the Knights of the Cross, and a former Denarian who went straight. He's black, Russian, and prone to wearing Kevlar and hauling around a Kalashnikov to match his sword, Esperacchius. Oh, and he's an atheist, despite having been handed his sword by the Archangel Michael himself.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Despite working directly for God and wielding a literal holy sword given to him by the Archangel Michael, Sanya is an agnostic. He believes there's power, just not that it's God. Or he may be having a sustained hallucination from a coma or something, or maybe he was given Esperacchius by aliens masquerading as angels. He actually throws all of these out as possible explanations... Still, God or no God, the job needs to be done. Harry once called him the "Knight of Maybe."
  • The Atoner: For when he was being used by Magog.
  • Bargain with Heaven: or possibly aliens, see above
  • Big Damn Heroes / Just in Time: In Changes he arrives just after Harry fell off a ladder, in time to help Harry and save the other tenants in the fire.
  • Blood Knight: While a Denarian.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Powerfully built, extremely strong, and quite loud and cheerful.
  • Contrived Coincidence: As in Michael's case, it's part of being a Knight of the Cross, and results in an epic save in Changes.
  • Flat Earth Atheist: He got his sword directly from an archangel. You wouldn't know it from his views on religion.
    • An old woman cries out Oh God in Heaven, help us. Then Sanya shows up and claims it's Contrived Coincidence.
  • Gallows Humor: A lot of Sanya's jokes tend to be classically dark Russian humor, such as joking to Harry after he becomes the Winter Knight that if he became a monster and Sanya had to kill him, he'd do it painlessly.
  • Hero of Another Story: In Skin Game Nicodemus arranges for some other Denarians to try something with an Iranian nuclear reactor, to keep Sanya busy so he can't interfere with Nicodemus' plans in Chicago.
  • Hope Bringer: As a Knight, he walks in the dark places and fights the dark forces that lay there. Even more appropriate is his sword is the Sword of Hope.
  • Husky Russkie: His muscles make Michael look like, in Harry's words, "he needs to eat some wheat germ or something."
  • Lightning Bruiser: Very fast for a man of his size.
  • Nice Guy: Yep, all three of them are incredibly nice people who would go out of their way to save anyone in need. This however also means that the saving deals with fighting monsters that normal people would piss themselves from the sight of.
  • Royal Blood: Sanya can trace his ancestry back to Saladin.
  • Scary Black Man: Though quite congenial to his friends, he invokes this when interrogating Stevie D in Changes.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The youngest of the three Knights in Death Masks who needed Michael to back him up. By the time of Small Favor, he's kicking ass right alongside Michael as his equal. By the time of Changes, he's the only Knight in the world, and he's thriving as the world's professional Big Damn Hero.
  • Twofer Token Minority: He's a black man in Russia. In his own words, for Moscow he was very strange. If he went into smaller towns, he had to keep off the main roads because he caused accidents because motorists would take their eyes off the road to gawk at him. For an added bit of diversity, he is descended from Saladin, a Kurd.
  • Villainous Friendship: His relationship with Rosanna was a Type III; he genuinely loved her and his Heel-Face Turn happened when he found out just how little she cared for him.
  • Weapon of Choice: Esperacchius, once known as Durendal, forged into a cavalry saber. Also a Kalashnikov.

     Uriel (aka "Jake", aka "Mr. Sunshine") 

The Archangel responsible for gifting Harry with Soulfire. Liked by Mab (which does not bode well), respects free will above all else, interferes only when he has to balance the influence of Hell, and apparently Heaven's spook/Black Ops guy. Harry has spoken to him a couple of times so far.
  • Angel Unaware: That janitor was not the janitor.
  • Badass: In Skin Game he's willing to stand and fight with a kitchen knife while Brought Down to Normal when Nicodemus sends mortal goons to attack Michael's family. The rest of the time he's an archangel, so yeah.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil:
    • As guardian of Free Will if a Fallen influences a mortal enough that the mortal dies, Uriel is obligated help that mortal to balance the scales.
    • In Small Favor he was able to give Harry Soulfire to keep things balanced when Lucifer gives the Denarians more power for their plot.
  • Batman Gambit: See Guile Hero.
  • Brought Down to Normal: In Skin Game he lends Michael his angelic Grace (his power) so that Michael can temporarily take up Amoracchius again to face Nicodemus. He's mortal for the duration and if Michael were to abuse that power, he'd Fall. Michael, needless to say, doesn't.
  • Celestial Paragons and Archangels: The only we've one seen so far, though Michael has made a couple of offscreen appearances and Raphael and Gabriel have been briefly mentioned.
  • The Chessmaster: Kill two birds with one stone—save two souls with one move. It's his business.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Harry realizes if he picked a fight with him, it would end badly for Harry.
  • Do Not Call Me Paul: Because I Know Your True Name is serious business, Uriel gets very frosty with Harry for calling him "Uri."
    • To clarify, Harry has on at least two occasions affected characters' identities by giving them nicknames. Since the "el" in "Uriel" means "of God", one can understand why he would be a bit touchy about having it removed. Especially considering that "Uri" is light. Can't think of any biblical figure that reminds me of...
  • The Fettered: There are a lot of times where he'd genuinely like to help but he can't because he's not allowed to tamper with Free Will or its consequences.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Apparently, responsible for a lot of the Old Testament. For instance, the slaying of the First Born of Egypt. Since Uriel is often equated with the Angel of Death, this is not surprising.
  • Guile Hero: Manipulates, tricks and maneuvers people to defeat the forces of darkness on the quiet. Once conned Satan a.k.a ''The Father of Lies''.
  • Hope Bringer: When Harry was at a low point, seeing Mab over him proclaiming her victory and malevolent plans for Harry to become her own monster and there was nothing he could do, Uriel gives Harry hope that he can remain who he is and still be the Winter Knight.
  • Hyper Competent Sidekick: According to Mab, Uriel is "by far the most dangerous" of the Archangels, despite Michael traditionally being seen as "the boss"/the most powerful. Probably because he's Heaven's wetwork agent.
  • I Know Your True Name: Likely coming from Intelectus, the ability to know everything within a given category, Uriel can speak the True Name of any being. When Harry tried to call him "Uri" he responded by saying "Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden" with perfect inflection.
  • Our Angels Are Different: They're apparently composed entirely of soul-stuff and interfere only within their particular area of responsibility; in Uriel's case, he safeguards free will. So far, he has only appeared in an entirely human form.
  • Plausible Deniability: He kept enough distance and disdain for Jack Murphy's actions in Ghost Story, letting him be vague and omit certain details to Harry to get him to go back and save Chicago, Molly, and others. Uriel even notes this by saying on the hypothetical, while Molly was in a bad situation, if he had the presence of mind to help he would have sent an agent back to provide some help. Then, what do you know, someone Harry helped earlier in the book pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • The Quiet One: One of the reasons why Mab likes Uriel.
  • Touched by Vorlons: He is the one doing the touching when he gives Harry soulfire, the fires of creation.

     Father Anthony Forthill 

Father Forthill is senior shepherd at St. Mary of the Angel's church in Chicago, Harry's main contact with the militant side of the Catholic Church. While relatively little about his background has been revealed, there are hints that he was much more active in his opposition to the forces of evil in his youth.
  • Church Militant: A member of the Ordo Malleus.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Has an Eye of Thoth tattoo, a remnant of his vampire-slaying days.
  • Good Shepherd: He will, without fear of his own mortal well being, tend to the injured and meek without comment on their current status in life. Whether it is a group of street urchins who must commit crimes to survive, a cult leader who would rather stick him with a knife, or a unhinged Molly Carpenter he will treat them kindly and, if he sees a need, call them out on their less than proper behavior.
  • Hidden Depths: Is also a lawyer who does pro bono work for his congregation, to say nothing of how he got the Eye of Thoth tattoo.
  • Retired Badass: When he was younger he swore an oath to protect the innocent from supernatural threats and helped to slay a vampire.
  • Saintly Church: He runs St. Mary's as such.
  • Seeking Sanctuary: Nine times out of ten when Harry is need of protection from supernatural baddies, he will head to St. Mary's.

     Father Douglas Roarke (aka "Buzz") 

Appears in the short story "The Warrior." Former member of the Army Rangers, Father Roarke was trained as a chaplain in the US Army and eventually joined the Ordo Malleus (aka the Inquisition) to fight evil. Once Harry became custodian of Fidelaccius and Amoracchius, he became convinced that either Harry was misusing the Swords or that he was actively trying to keep them out of the hands of the Knights, and took steps to recover them.
  • Badass Normal: Manages to keep Harry on the backfoot, despite having no magic whatsoever.
  • BFG: Wields a .50 caliber Barrett sniper rifle that punches clean through Harry's shields.
  • Cold Sniper: Shiro's death devastated him and left him with a sense of despair at the future. Harry's difficulties in finding a new bearer for the sword didn't help.
  • I Have Your Wife: Kidnaps Michael's daughter Alicia and holds her hostage to get the Swords back.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Michael delivers one to him with a baseball bat and the flat of Amoracchius.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He genuinely hopes that no one will get hurt because of his little scheme, but he also isn't squeamish about collateral damage. "Better for one to die..." as a certain chief priest once said about a certain random guy.

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