Characters: The Dresden Files The Fae
Characters from The Dresden Files
, the Fae.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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Exactly as the name implies, these guys are The Fair Folk
. They're mostly divided into the warring Summer and Winter Courts, with those outside the Courts known as "wyldfae." The Fae are ruled by a Byzantine series of laws and restrictions that govern how various members of each Court can act, but they have become masters at working within these restrictions. For example, as a rule they Cannot Tell a Lie
, but they're absolutely ruthless rules lawyers about Exact Words
, and being in debt to a faerie is... bad, to say the least. They range in power from the relatively harmless (pixies) to the greater-than-godlike (Mother Summer and Mother Winter). Luckily for the Puny Earthlings
, all Fae have an Achilles' Heel
: iron and steel will burn them and cut through their magic instantly.
- Achilles' Heel:
- Iron and steel in general, which is considered the equivalent of toxic waste. Leaving iron objects in Faerie is considered a dire insult.
- Overall, the Fae are noted for having a wide range of weaknesses, some very specific, and some seemingly quite arbitrary. Getting around these weaknesses and limitations is what makes the fae so damned dangerous and such effective manipulators.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Played interestingly in regards to Winter. They're pretty much all harsh, brutal, and unforgiving owing to the nature of the power they're aligned with, but the books also plainly establish that they aren't evil in a metaphysical sense like the Fallen, Outsiders, and other demons. And then in Cold Days it turns out Winter exists to protect the rest of reality from the much, much nastier Outsiders, which blows this trope pretty much out of the water while simultaneously giving a really good explanation for why Winter fae need to be what they are.
- Balance of Power: Summer and Winter operate in a perpetual balancing act. As one gains power over the year, the other loses, until the summer solstice or winter solstice, when things move in the other direction. If one side gains an outside gain to power, the other will either seek to stop it or gain an equal amount.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Fairies are quite moral, generally speaking. Problem is, their morality is convoluted, arcane, and only occasionally intersects with regular human morality (in particular, they have very strong senses of honor and obligation, and are psychologically incapable of telling direct lies, but they have real problems with things like "empathy" and "not manipulating everyone around you for some obscure goal", and in many cases can't do a good turn for someone else without a bargain being struck). This is, in fact, the chief problem in dealing with either faction- what they promise and what you thought they promised are rarely the same thing.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: No faerie can lie. Under no circumstances, however, should that be taken to mean that they're not capable of deception by any variety of other means, including Exact Words, careful omission of important details, or phrasing that can be easily misinterpreted. Nemesis is a game-changer, giving infected faeries the ability to lie outright. It doesn't necessarily make them good at it, but since no one familiar with the fae expects them to be able to tell an outright untruth, that doesn't matter much.
- The Champion/The Dragon: Both Courts have a Knight who serve as agents for the Queens to carry out their will in the mortal world, as the Queens are unable to directly harm or kill any mortal who does not first either attack them or otherwise represent the opposing Court. The Knights are mortals given some of the power of their Queen, making them far tougher, stronger, and swifter, as well as giving them powers related to their Court (i.e. the Summer Knight gaining power related to flame, while the Winter Knight gains power related to ice). In Cold Days, it is revealed that the Winter Knight is usually an assassin. The Summer Knight, on the other hand, is simply there to stop the Winter Knight.
- The Chessmaster: Many of their plans are so incredibly complex that completely figuring out what the faeries were after the whole time is nearly impossible. The general rule of thumb is that once the fae get involved, things are about to become a whole lot more complex and problematic for everyone.
- Code of Honour: The Fae have a very strong belief in this. No fae can gain or lose freely. It must be traded for something of equal value. Lea, for instance, can only be second to Mab's power in her court because of payment in a deep fealty Lea has to Mab.
- Cold Iron: Fae cannot touch iron without pain. Well, most of them. Mother Summer and Mother Winter use an iron cutting knife.
- Combat Medic: In the battles against the Outsiders, Summer's role is this. They tend to the injured Winter soldiers. As Mother Summer noted, alliance has no meaning out here as they are all Fae protecting the world.
- Complete Immortality: The six Queens are this. Shoot them. Cut up their bodies. Make them dust in the wind and they will comeback. It may take them a few years, but to a being who can live 1,000 centuries, a decade is not much. The only two methods known to fully kill them are on a battlefield of the Queens allowing Immortals to die or on the night of Halloween. And even then, killing them won't stop their mantle of power from entering some woman who has a power or personality best suiting that mantle and in due time a near copy of the old Queen will be back.
- The Corruptible: For all their power and abilities, they are not above being corrupted by an ancient beyond-the-universe power known only as Nemesis. The worst part is it can befall them even when they fight it.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: If you harm a Fae with iron, they will get angry. To kill one with iron is called the "iron death." And those it called friends or family will likely take harsh vengeance against the slayer.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Winter (Unseelie) Court generally represents coldness, darkness, and death. More often than not, they are considered the "evil" ones, as they tend to enjoy the pain they cause others. That said, death is a necessary part of nature to allow others a chance to grow, darkness can be just as much a protection for those in hiding, and all of Winter fights to defend reality from the Outsiders.
- Debt Detester: The Fae, high and low, have a general dislike to a heavy degree being in the debt of any mortal as they are obliged to repay the debt. This is because they must maintain a balance. So any boon or injury must be settled with the like. However, it is a difficult thing to do if the obligation is open ended or action done is difficult to appraise.
- Do Not Taunt the Fae: Generally speaking, insulting them is, in their eyes, an attack upon them and so an injury. They will repay this injury in time. Even small ones like Toot-toot in Storm Front could do some nasty things if taunted.
- Equivalent Exchange: Fundamental to their nature. If you harm a faerie, they must harm you back. Obtain power from them, and they must gain power from you in return. If you make a deal based on something you provide then and there, you're not going to have a problem. But if you make an open-ended trade, then you're going to regret it. This is also why they don't like charity, as an act of kindness obligates them to return the favor.
- Exact Words: The Fae are bound by the exact letter of their word. As long as those words are fulfilled, nothing else matters.
- Forever War: The Winter Court against the Outsiders to protect all of reality. And The Summer Court against Winter to protect humanity.
- The Fair Folk: With the Seelie and Unseelie courts ruling half the year each, the Fae of the Dresden-verse can range from kind and considerate to murderous monsters who take great pleasure in the kill. One should always be on edge near any of them, even if they appear to be your friend and want to help you.
- Feel No Pain: The blessing and curse of the Winter and Summer Knight's Mantle. The bearer feels no pain from injuries, allowing the person to go to his or her limits in a fight without fear of holding back from pain. It is also theorized by Butters that this would make a Knight easy to kill if A Queen felt healing wouldn't be worth her effort.
- Fighting a Shadow: Cold Days reveals that all of the Faerie Queens are immortal, except on Halloween and at the Stone Table. Even if blown to smithereens, they'll eventually regenerate.
- Friendly Enemy: Cold Days reveals that it's traditional for both Sidhe Knights to have this type of relationship, despite the Summer Knight often being murdered by his Winter counterpart. The same can be said of the Winter Sidhe that defend the Outer Gates, with Summer healing their wounds, despite existing to protect the world from Winter.
- From a Certain Point of View: One of the many ways they get around a straight answer.
- Part of their nature, as when Harry demands a straight answer from Maeve and Lily, they both give him looks of deep irritation and disgust, and it takes an obvious effort for them to reply.
- Geas: When a mortal or fae owes a sufficient debt or loyalty to a Fae, the fae can place these upon the debtor. Such as in Proven Guilty when Titania forbade and magically restricted what the Summer Lady and Knight can say to Harry.
- Human Weapon: The Winter Knight is trained to fight and survive not with any weapon in particular, like Fix's powerful sword, but rather be a weapon to ensure survival.
- I Gave My Word: The Fae are bound by their word and when they give it they cannot go against it. That said, well, using a variety of answering from a certain point of view and abusing loopholes in the wording of the contract, even the friendliest of the Fae can fulfill the promise with giving the person very little of actual substantive material.
- I Know Your True Name: Because faeries never change their essential nature, unlike humans, their true names will stay the same and always have power over them.
- Immortality: The Fae Queens and others are this big time. Nothing done to them, whether you cut their heads off or grind them into dust, will kill them. They will come back from any assault unless one of two things is happening. First, the Queens create a realm where it can happen, such as the site of the battle in Summer Knight. Second, they can die on the night of Halloween, which lasts until the first birdsong of the next day.
- Lady of War: Queens and Ladies of Summer and Winter. All are described as wearing beautiful clothing, but come times of war, they will have out and be on the battlefields themselves. None are afraid to get their hands bloody if need be.
- Lawful Good/Lawful Evil: In-Universe. Within their own set of morals and attitudes, the Fae generally fall under these two. They are strict followers of their codes and contracts. They could no more break their word than swallow iron and expect to live happily. Regardless of their place in nature, they must be Lawful.
- The Laws and Customs of War: There is a strict set of laws and procedures every fae must abide by while in service to one of the Courts. Even their mortal knights have to obey them to some extent or suffer the consequences. These laws include rules regarding the treatment of enemy prisoners; torture is prohibited, but in turn if an enemy surrenders, they are now bound to act as a vassal of their captor.
- Light Is Not Good: The Summer (or Seelie) Court tends towards powers of growth, warmth, and light, and are often considered the "nicer" of the two. This does not mean they're "good." Take note of Mother Summer, who acts like a warm, loving grandmother and she cuddles over jars containing the deadliest plagues known to man as one would a favored pet or picture of a grandchild.
- Magically-Binding Contract: Any deal they make will fall under this. Few things can get one out of a debt to a Fae, besides paying them what is owed. Transferring the debt is possible, but not even one of the Knights of the Cross has the power to undo a contract made by a free-willed mortal.
- Manipulative Bastard: Masters of controlling people through subtle means.
- Nature Spirit: Both sides are essentially this. Summer holds domain over fire, earth, light, and life. Winter holds domain over water, wind, darkness, and death. Every fae works under at least one of these categories.
- Politically-Active Princess: The Ladies of Summer and Winter are this. They are the youngest and have the most connection to the human world. Their exact duties haven't been described but they are obligated to some tasks they must fulfill.
- The Promise: The fae have a firm belief in fulfilling promises and debts. Leaders are even obligated to fulfill the promises of subordinates if the subordinate is indisposed while on duty for the leader.
- Protectorate: In Cold Days Winter has all of reality as the thing it must protect at any cost from the Outsiders. Likewise, Summer has humanity and the rest of the world from the backlash of Winter.
- Royal "We": At formal occasions when all the court is in attendance, Mab, and presumably Titania, speak with this method.
- Rule of Three:
- Speak their name three times in a conversation, especially in the NeverNever, and they will appear.
- Repeat the same question three times to a fae and they must answer without using loopholes. But they don't like this being forced on them.
- Rules Lawyer: Within a given set of rules or laws, they will follow them and try to get what they want anyway. They will apply Loophole Abuse if one such exists, so be very clear and exact when crafting the rules. They also respect humans of any sort who can use the Sidhe rules against them successfully.
- Secret Keeper: The cleaning brownies, who tend to Harry's home from time to time, fully expect part of their payment to be done with keeping silent about their work. Harry cannot even mutter a word about how his home keeps so clean or they won't come back.
- The Soulless: Why soulgazes don't work on them. It's still not necessarily safe to look into their eyes, though.
- Summon Magic: As they are beings not completely of this world, it is possible to summon them if the ritual is proper and one either knows their True Name, or their Nicknames they go by. However, they may not be the happiest of beings if they were in the middle of doing something or do not like to travel.
- Time Abyss: The Queens and the Mothers are implied to be this. Kringle and the Erlking as well. Though, as Kringle notes, they as entities may have existed but the form they have take recently could be vastly different. Kringle references himself here as there are wizards alive who did not grow up with the promise of Santa Claus (or any of his other names) coming around in the cold of winter.
- Winter Royal Lady: The Queens of the Winter Court.
Mother Summer and Mother Winter
Mother Winter: Simply tell us, boy. Which is more important. The body—
Mother Summer: Or the soul.
Two beings who are beyond ancient. The mothers of Mab and Titania, respectively. They do not live with their daughters, but are still well respected by everyone in both courts. Mother Summer could be seen as the progenitor of nature. She cares for the growth of all, from human development to plagues which could wipe out all other species. Mother Winter is destroyer of nature. She is the final end of it all. They both live in a small cottage together.
- Anti-Magic: Mother Winter can craft the Unraveling. It is such powerful Anti-magic, it can break even a vampire curse. She produced the Unraveling with no apparent effort, knitting it up as she spoke with Harry.
- Armor-Piercing Question: The above quote is what they ask Harry in Summer Knight. They were impressed when he said it was a stupid question because it wasn't a simple matter.
- Berserk Button: An inconvenient summon and failing to prove yourself when they expect much of you are some of the few things that has angered them.
- Big Good: Like their daughters, they too have tasks and duties about ensuring the Outsiders do not destroy reality. And they will do what is needed to ensure they will not win.
- Fight Off the Kryptonite: Mother Winter is the only Fae seen to not only hold an iron cleaver with no trouble, she can turn it to rust. As Mother Summer used the cleaver as well, presumably, she too could overcome it.
- Friendly Enemy: As they are of Summer and Winter, they have their opposing views on most everything. As Mother Summer sweeps up some dirt, Mother Winter cites the foolishness in this as the dirt will just come back. That said, they do care for each other and tend to the other when their strength is gone at the solstice of the other.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: According to Mother Summer, the three Winter Queens are this. Each one has the capacity to love and feel affection. It's just their hearts are bound in Winter cold. But it's still there because you need to have a heart in order to have it frozen.
- Hope Bringer: Mother Summer, the Progenitor of Life, assures Harry he can choose to resist the pull of the Winter Mantle and remain himself. Her words also seem to imply any mortal who is given the Mantle of the Sidhe has the same choice.
- I Have Many Names: Generally, they are just referred to as Mother Summer and Mother Winter. No other moniker is said of them. When Harry chose to try and summon Mother Winter, he picked Atropos and Skuld, one of the Fates of Greek Mythology and the Norn of Norse Mythology. There is a third name she would have answered to but it isn't said.
- Mind Probe: Both are more than capable of reading a mortal's mind who comes into their cottage, even if the mortal isn't bound to any court. The probe is so soft, gentle, and quick, the target is likely to not notice.
- Never Mess with Granny: Despite looking like old ladies, these two have power likely equal to the Archangels. Note that Uriel admits in Skin Game he has the power to destroy galaxies, which seriously raises the estimations of the Mothers' power.
- The Philosopher: They like asking deep, inquisitive questions to see what sort of person is before them.
- Tough Love: Mother Winter to Mab. While Winter cold freezes much of their hearts a bit, the most human part of these women, remains unfrozen and allows Mab and Mother Winter to know love. Their ability to act on it, however, is hindered and must use round about ways.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: One of the best ways to impress the Mothers is to be this. They even consider Einstein to be a sage.
The Unseelie Court (Winter)
Mortal brute. Whatever your past, whatever your future, know this: I am Mab, and I keep my bargains. Question my given word again, ape, and I will finish freezing the water in your eyes.
The Queen - IE Central ruler, more powerful than the Lady but less so than the Mother, as well as most visible face - of the Winter Court of Faerie. More so than any other high-ranking fae (except perhaps for the Leanandsidhe) she has a tendency to pop up in Harry's life at the very moments he doesn't want her around. Which is pretty much all the time. Her daughter Maeve is the Winter Lady.
- Affably Evil: For a very weighted term of "affable." She will be quite calm and polite as she freezes the water in your eyes.
- An Ice Person: As part of her core power.
- Asskicking Equals Authority/Authority Equals Asskicking: It's rather unclear which way it works, and may be a combination, but it's clear that Mab is powerful; as Jim Butcher put it, there's a reason why when Mab wrote the accords and told the various supernatural nations to abide by them, they listened.
- Barrier Maiden: Turns out this is a big part of the Winter Queen's job. She and her armies do the lions share of the work protecting the Outer Gates.
- Batman Gambit: In Skin Game she, Marcone and Hades jointly execute one, years in the making, to get revenge on Nicodemus for his plot in Small Favor. It works to a breathtaking degree.
- Berserk Button:
- Harming her daughters. When she found out Maeve had been infected with Nemesis, she was so angry she had to speak through an intermediary. Her voice was so filled with rage that it caused human ears to bleed.
- Mab cannot tolerate any direct affront to her authority and pride. She only allowed Harry to live after he pulled a gun on her because there were no witnesses.
- Big Entrance: She loves pulling these off. Whether it's emerging from a snowstorm, or arriving by trumpets that sound like the player were being beaten with a salted lash, her entrances are almost always noteworthy. Summed up best in a conversation by Harry.
Titania: Do you know what my sister believes in?
Harry: Flashy entrances?
- Big Good: See above. Foremost defender of reality. Much of the series is really a play by Mab to protect all of existence.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: What many of the mortals (and some of the other Fae) suspect has happened to her in the later books after she takes the Black Athame from Lea. Though it turns out this was a Red Herring.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Literally, being the Winter Queen, and she is a master of inflicting agonies upon people, such as what she did to Lloyd Slate. In her own words:
To be sure, the White Christ
never suffered so long or terribly as did this traitor. Three days on a tree. Hardly enough time for a prelude. When it came to visiting agony, the Romans were hobbyists.
- Costume Porn: Her outfits are generally laced with sapphires, opals, and other breathtaking gems.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Mab may be ruthless, but everything she does is to protect reality from the Outsiders.
- Deal with the Devil: She keeps making offers to Harry to become her Knight. He keeps turning them down... and occasionally suffers for it. As of Changes, he took her offer.
- Due to the Dead: With Demonreach's permission, she buries Maeve and Lily on the island.
- Eye Scream: When Harry got a little too smart-assed, she froze the water in his eyes. Ow?
- The Fair Folk: Queen of one half of the land.
- Fate Worse than Death: What she does to her treasonous Winter Knight, Lloyd Slate.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Considering her Cold-Blooded Torture note and her ruthless actions for completing a deal, she has all the earmarks of this trope. This however isn't the full story as she must be this cold and ruthless in order to be able to fight the ancient force Nemesis and the Outsiders attempting to destroy all of reality.
- Hidden Depths: In Cold Days, Mab reveals to Dresden that she used to be human.
"I was mortal once, you know," she said, very quietly.
- I Gave My Word: More than any Fae seen, she takes this deadly seriously. If one even dares to hint she might renege on a promise, she will make the doubter suffer.
Mab: I am Mab. The stars will rain from the sky before Mab fulfills not her word.
- It's All My Fault: At the end of Cold Days as she stares down Maeve after Lily's death and Sarissa becoming the Summer Lady, Mab accepts that everything that has happened, specifically allowing Maeve to live for as long as she did, is her fault. She loved her daughter too much to stop her. She also takes responsibility for what is about to happen soon after.
- Lap Pillow: Played for creepy in Ghost Story, when Harry wakes up to find a "cadaverously-thin" Mab doing this.
- Knowledge Broker: Mab holds a large amount of information, but keeps it close to her chest. The price is usually steep. For Harry, her asking price for a very long time was that he would become her Knight.
- Mama Bear: The reason for her rage after the assault on Arctis Tor was because she realized that Maeve had been corrupted by Nemesis.
- Meaningful Name: The origin of her name "Medb(h)" is Celtic for "She who intoxicates."
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: If her name alone isn't enough, try on her titles for size: "The Queen of Air and Darkness" for starters. Incidentally, her name comes from a line in Romeo and Juliet and the title is from, appropriately enough, Celtic mythology.
- Name's the Same: With her daughter Maeve. Mab comes from the Celtic "Medb(h)". This was sometimes Anglicized into "Maeve."
- Not Hyperbole: Several times throughout Skin Game, Harry considers screwing over Nicodemus early, before realizing that Mab would crucify him if he did. Then on second thought, he realizes that not only is she quite likely to stick him up on a cross, it would be a mercy compared to what she did to Lloyd Slate.
- Offing the Offspring: Decides to do this by proxy. In Cold Days, her first mission for her new Winter Knight, Harry Dresden, is to kill her daughter Maeve.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Mab's relationship to Mac is such that she willingly touched iron to remove it from his belly, and help him heal. She suffered, however briefly, for him.
- Harry tried to escape his deal with Mab by setting up a Thanatos Gambit. But he never expected Mab to team up with Demonreach to bring him back to life.
- In Cold Days, she out-gambits Maeve as well mainly by ensuring she had a back-up to one gambit, and she understands Love.
- In Skin Game, she does it again, working with Marcone and Hades to ensure that not only do powerful holy relics end up outside Hades' vault, ready to be used for the fight against the Outsiders, but also managing to ruin Nicodemus's reputation in the process and leaving him with the Holy grail, which it's theorized he didn't actually want.
- The Power of Love: Mab understands and respects this human emotion, probably more than any other human emotion because Love, of all else, can lead to corruption without truly realizing one is corrupted. Furthermore while Thomas is a near-immortal vampire, the fact he loves Justine so deeply is reason enough to consider him mortal enough to offer him the Mantle of the Winter Knight, should something untoward happen to Harry.
Mab: So many terrible things are done for love. For love will men mutilate themselves and murder rivals. For love will even a peaceful man go to war. For love, man will destroy himself, and that right willingly.
- Pride: Kringle describes there being a terrible pride within her. He knows she won't bend. Ever. And if Harry had done what he did in Cold Days (twice threatened her life and called her out on all her plotting) and there was a witness, Mab would have killed him.
- The Promise: The fae have a firm belief in fulfilling promises and debts. For this reason when Harry calls his godmother, Mab in for Lea, who was infected with Nemesis. Mab has detained her but not killed her as she is still useful.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: In Cold Days, she stops both Lily and her force, and Maeve and her force with such a sentence.
Mab: Cease. This. Rudeness. At once.
- Sink or Swim Mentor: Like many Winter fae. Take her rehabilitating Harry in Cold Days, for example, where she tried to kill him once a day, every day, for the entirety of his recovery. In her own words, she has no use for weakness.
- Speak of the Devil:
- Say her name three times anywhere in Faerie (or a summoning circle), and she must appear.
- Conversely, Mab avoids doing this herself by never calling on Archangels or Fallen Angels by their proper names, only a title.
- The Spock: According to Titania, Mab is the far more rational, mathematical, cold-blooded of the two. Plus, she does contribute greatly to defending the Outer Gate against the Outsiders.
- According to her mother, Mother Winter, Mab is The McCoy as she won't personally kill her own child who was infected with an Outsider.
- Tough Love: Mab to her daughters. While Winter cold freezes much of their hearts a bit, the most human part of these women, remains unfrozen and allows Mab to know love. Their ability to act on it, however, is hindered and must use round about ways.
- Villains Out Shopping: In Cold Days, we learn that she went to Disneyland with her daughter Sarissa.
- Walk on Water: Mab, Queen of Air and Darkness can manifest and stand on water.
- Was Once a Man: By her own admittance, she used to be a human. Presumably, this apples to Titania as well, since the two bear sister Mantles.
- Wham Line: In Cold Days, she says, "I was once mortal, you know."
- Xanatos Gambit: In Skin Game Harry notes that while Mab might give him a hard mission, she would never set things up so that if Harry failed she would get taken down too. Mab would come out on top, hands clean of any involvement in Harry's death. Not only would his many allies not come after her, but she might be able to recruit one of them as a new Knight.
I think it might be wise for you to indulge me. I simply go mad when someone ruins a good party mood.
The Winter Lady, Mab's heir to the title of Queen of Air and Darkness. Kind of a bitch. Twin sister of Sarissa. In Cold Days
, she killed Lily and was killed by Karrin. Her mantle was taken over by Molly.
- An Ice Person: A sip of lemonade turns to ice in her mouth. Considering that she had tried to seduce Harry not even two minutes earlier, Harry realizes that it was probably a very good thing that he turned down sex.
- Anything That Moves: Implied.
- Axe Crazy: Oh boy. Not only is she one of the Winter Sidhe and therefore vicious by nature, but according to Sarissa she literally has a form of congenital dementia that makes her even more unstable than normal.
- Badass Princess: When war came to Faery in Summer Knight she rode out to battle and acted as The Cavalry both figuratively and literally for Harry and his crew. He first notices her pausing to Lick The Blade after a kill.
- Bad Liar: An odd case. She becomes capable of lying due to Nemesis, but because she has no practice at it, her lies tend to be very blatant. However, they still work because nobody expects a faerie to be able to lie. Once people start to realize she can, her whole plan starts to fall apart.
- Batman Gambit: Manipulates Lily into helping her, and exploits Harry's distrust of Mab and Lily's reputation to turn Harry's attention away from her — it would have worked, too, if not for Harry realizing the story didn't quite add up.
- Bare Your Midriff: Her first appearance has her wearing a shirt that she cut in half to wear.
- The Caligula: Her court is rather more debauched than her mother's, and after taking her job Molly grumpily tells Dresden that she has tons of work to do because Maeve was always letting it pile up to waste time in revelry.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: Subverted, when under the influence of Nemesis.
- Combat Pragmatist: She justifies not coming to Harry's aid sooner in Summer Knight with "If I had, it'd have been a fair fight. And I try to avoid those." In Cold Days she kills Lily with a gun.
- Didn't See That Coming:
- At the end of Cold Days she had planned on her mother showing up but not being able to stop her directly and was about to kill Harry, to ensure he couldn't kill her. She didn't think some vanilla mortal named Murphy would have a second gun on her ankle and shoot with such accuracy.
- Also at the end of Cold Days Maeve didn't see what Lea was doing with Molly as relevant to her plots against Mab and damning Sarissa to the Summer Court. She didn't realize Mab had Molly prepared as a back-up to Sarissa, in the event something did happen to Sarissa. So when Maeve died, her Mantle did not pass to some potential Nemesis infected soul, but Molly Carpenter.
- Evil Feels Good: Basically her response when Sarissa says Mab can heal her from the influence of Nemesis.
Maeve: I am strong, Sarissa. Stronger than I have ever been. Here, now, stronger than she is. Why should I want to be healed of that?
- Green-Eyed Monster: The reason she let herself stay as Nemesis' pawn is because deep down, she is jealous that her mother pretty much ignores her in favor of her sister.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: In her first appearance, she is shown to be quick to anger at the slightest insult. Challenges to her authority are a good means of triggering one as well.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: She has the ability to lie thanks to Nemesis. This is physically impossible for a Fae to do so knowingly.
- Humanity Is Infectious: Worries about this, due to what happened to Aurora, and also regarding Mab's apparent insanity.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: Her descriptions of sex tend to involve lots of destruction.
- Jackass Genie/Literal Genie: A man in Summer Knight apparently said he would die to play music well. Maeve grants that literally.
- Jerkass: Oh Hell Yes.
- Killed Off for Real: By Murphy. She had it coming to be honest.
- Manipulative Bastard: Part of her role as a Fae and Winter Lady. However, special mention must go to her actions leading to the climax of Cold Days, when she manipulated Lily into helping her attack Demonreach.
- Master of Illusion: In Cold Days, she uses magic to alter what Harry says to Lily, driving her into an Unstoppable Rage. And this is while she is also attacking Demonreach.
- Meaningful Name: Maeve is a form of the name "Medbh," which means "she who intoxicates". That would sum up her general tactics regarding Dresden.
- Name's the Same: With her mother Mab. Mab comes from the Celtic "Medb(h)". This was sometimes Anglicized into "Maeve."
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Just because she acts like a psychotic dilettante nymphomaniac doesn't mean she isn't a dangerous and intelligent plotter.
- Older than They Look: Maeve is consistently described as looking old enough to be tempting but young enough to make one feel guilty for thinking said thoughts. This is a facade, as she is easily centuries old and fully aware of the effect it has.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Woman of average height. One of the top ten fairies in existence.
- The Power of Love: Unlike Mab, Maeve is dismissive of this power. For example, she didn't consider what would happen when trying to kill Harry Dresden in front of Karin Murphy.
- The Pornomancer: She's able to tempt damn near anyone out of their pants. The fact that Harry (a human) can resist her drives her into out-and-out shock.
- Rebellious Princess: She is more than happy to make some chaos for Mab's court. After her being infected by Nemesis, she gains the ego to openly challenge Mab in Mab's personal court.
- Smug Snake: She generally gives an air of confidence and pride over those she feels are beneath her.
- Unskilled, but Strong: When Will is made nervous by the waves of cold pouring off of her as she does magic, Harry points out that isn't an indicator of power, it's a sign that she's not controlling her magic properly. Still the Winter Lady though. And it could have been an act, as Elaine heavily implies.
- The Vamp: Nine times out of ten, she will use her sexual appeal for malevolent reasons but like Mab, Maeve is not inherently evil. When she is possessed by Nemesis, this trope comes into full effect.
- Villain Ball: She didn't have Murphy searched in Cold Days and then tried to kill Harry Dresden in front of her. She also dismissed Molly's training with Lea.
- Walking Wasteland: Flowers wither in her presence.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her hair is in dreadlocks, and every lock is dyed a different color, mostly blues, greens, and purples, in order to look like a glacier.
My godmother was what she was-a being of violence, deceit, and the thirst for power. Her attitudes and reactions could not fairly be called inhumane.
Harry's fairy godmother.
The second most powerful being in the Mab's Court, next only to Mab. Genuinely cares about Harry, and for a long while tried her best to keep him safe... by turning him into a hound.
Is strongly suspected to be batshit insane.
- Axe Crazy: Well, in many of her appearances, but not always. Other times she's nice enough.
- Blue and Orange Morality: She simply doesn't get human standards of morality.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: Like all Fae, she cannot...
- Cat Smile: When she smiles, Harry notes the similarity to a cat.
- Debt Detester: In Grave Peril the prospect of being in an unbound debt to Michael to save Harry's life makes her hesitate but open to an amicable deal. But averted with her deal with Margarete McCoy-Dresden where the deal to protect Harry from unspoken harm doesn't seem to bother her at all.
- Dissonant Laughter: When she was fighting against the Red Court and saw what her godson Harry and Ebenezer McCoy were doing to the vampires and human mercenaries it really got her going.
- The Dragon: To Mab. She is said to the the personal handmaiden of the Queen of Air and Darkness.
- Dragon with an Agenda: Implied. Justified because she was possessed by Nemesis, who either wanted her to kill Mab or infect her with Nemesis as well.
- Enigmatic Minion: Hinted to be planning something. Whether or not the tendency has been "removed," we do not know.
- Evil Counterpart: To Eldest Gruff as both are personal servants to their Queens and have the power to defend their station.
- Evil Mentor: To Molly. Very much so.
- Evil Redhead: More towards simple malevolence, but befitting her none the less.
- Fairy Godmother: To Harry, obviously. Lea has a lot of fun with this in Changes, when she uses faerie magic to suit Harry up in Costume Porn protective armor before the final battle—against his protests (and much to Susan's amusement).
Susan: Wow. You... you really do have a fairy godmother.
Leanansidhe: And I've never been able to indulge.
- Hidden Depths: It would seem, judging by Grave Peril, that Lea truly loves and is loved by someone, seeing as how she gave Thomas a kiss that blistered his skin... although this is Lea we're talking about.
- It's Personal: As she reveals in Ghost Story, the amount of aid that she provided to Harry and company during the Storming the Castle scene in Changes was not just because of Mab's orders. She hadn't forgotten the Black Athame that Bianca gave to her, which subsequently drove her insane. As Harry had already taken down Bianca, she owed him a debt of justice—which she very happily paid by helping him take revenge upon the entire Red Court.
- Pet the Dog: Promising to give Susan a good burial. Genuine acts of kindness are rare from the fae, but as Harry remarks:
"Even in Winter, the cold isn’t always bitter, and not every day is cruel."
- The Promise: The above Pet the Dog was done with a straight promise and no prompting from Harry.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Has shades of this, some of her behaviors are noted by Harry to have "a childish glee" or similar.
- Scylla and Charybdis: In Ghost Story she ends up in this situation as she has two obligations she must fulfill. First, she must honor her word to Harry and answer his question about who killed him. On the other side she is bound, presumably by Mab, to not tell Harry who killed him. She is forced to fulfill both by using Exact Words and being true from a certain point of view.
- Sink or Swim Mentor: Varies between this and straight-out Evil Mentor. Fortunately, she has a much more limited amount of influence over Harry than his other mentors. Unfortunately, Molly is a different story...
- Skewed Priorities: Frequently.
- Stealth Mentor: She claims that many of her efforts to attack Harry were actually attempts to toughen him up. Such as in Ghost Story, when she refuses to aid Molly after putting her in danger because she wanted to teach Harry a few more lessons.
- Skunk Stripe: In Changes.
- Villain Ball: In Grave Peril she plotted with Bianca to set up a gambit to try and reclaim Harry. Part of the deal included giving Bianca Amoracchius for a weapon of equal power. This trusting action led her to be infected by Nemesis and led to Maeve's eventual downfall.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Towards Harry. She genuinely has his best interests at heart (as far as can be determined), but her definition of "helpful" frequently clashes with Harry's (not to mention most human interpretations of the word).
- When the Clock Strikes Twelve: Her gift of armor to Harry does have a time limit. It will leave him at Twelve. Twelve o'clock noon. She is of Winter.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Suggested. In this case it's not her own power, but the power of the Black Athame that Bianca gave to her. She seems to have gotten better by Changes, but is still out for blood against the Red Court.
The Winter Knight. Slate is the Winter Queens' personal mortal hitman in Summer Knight
. A drug addict, murderer, rapist, and general scumbag, Harry is unsure whether or not those were qualities that got
him the job or if he got them from
the job. In Summer Knight
Slate joined forces with Aurora to get revenge on Maeve, who he has bad blood with. After the events of Summer Knight,
Mab kept him prisoner and tortured him endlessly. In Changes
, he is finally killed by Harry to take up the mantle.
- Combat Pragmatist: When killing Reuel, instead of following Winter instincts and probably giving Reuel an equal advantage, Lloyd just decides to ice the stairs and break the guy's neck.
- The Dragon: To Aurora.
- Fate Worse than Death: Lloyd Slate wasn't exactly a stellar human being, but let's just say that what Mab puts him through is... excessive.
- Functional Addict: Whether this was introduced by Maeve as a way of controlling him or part of the package from square one is unknown.
- An Ice Person: As the Winter Knight, he can use ice-base powers.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Mostly averted; he has a sword that resembles a katana but in Harry's opinion it just doesn't have the class to be called one.
- Magic Knight: By virtue of being the Winter Knight. He can call on Winter magic and is a skilled physical fighter.
- Mercy Kill: From Harry to end the pain and torment Mab put him through and so Harry can become the Winter Knight, though Mab forces him to admit to himself that mercy isn't his primary motivation in doing so.
- Professional Killer: His job is being the hitman for the three Winter Queens.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Though it took eight years before Harry finally killed him.
- The Sociopath: It is implied in Cold Days this is because he gave himself to the power of the Mantle and lost himself in it.
- Tragic Monster: Sarissa claims that he wasn't always the man he was and that the mantle changed him.
I've been in Winter for a third of my life. I don't trust anyone.
A changeling who rehabilitates Harry after he comes back from the dead, she's actually one of Mab's daughters and the twin of Maeve. She becomes the new Summer Lady through Maeve's killing of Lily.
One of Mab's retainers, the Scarecrow is an old and powerful faerie known as a fetch: a shapeshifting creature that feeds on fear and serves as Winter's enforcers, assassins, and messengers. Most fetches assume forms of creatures or people that their targets fear, i.e. movie horror monsters in the modern era, but these are simply illusionary forms or constructs made of ectoplasm. The Scarecrow, however, is old enough that he can shape his entire body to resemble his namesake: a massive, pumpkin-headed monster made out of old, supernaturally-powerful vines and roots covered in rags. The Scarecrow is behind the fetch attacks on the horror movie convention in Proven Guilty
and kidnapped Molly, though not all is as it seems...
- Achilles' Heel: Like all faeries, fetches are vulnerable to iron. As a Winter fae, Scarecrow is vulnerable to fire, too, particularly fire conjured by Summer. However, Scarecrow and his fetch minions are also vulnerable to those who are not afraid of them; they can neither sense them nor use their fear as a shield or source of power. A fearless Harry wielding Summer fire is enough to panic Scarecrow.
- Anti-Magic: Harry slaps him with a Hellfire-boosted force attack with enough power behind it to knock him over Lake Michigan. Scarecrow walks through it without flinching. Later on it is implied that this works through fear; as long as the one tossing magic is afraid, Scarecrow can block their attacks.
- Badass: Massive and powerful enough to take on Harry, Mouse, and Thomas and maintain the upper hand.
- The Dreaded: Deliberately invoked; like all fetches, he assumes horror movie monster forms to frighten his targets, giving him power over them.
- Emotion Eater: Feeds on fear, and also has a thing for magical power. This makes Molly an ideal target.
- Human Shield: Though Molly is far too small to be a shield for him, he does threaten to kill her if Harry or Charity attack him.
- Large and in Charge: The leader of the phages causing Harry trouble in Proven Guilty.
- Oh Crap: When Scarecrow realizes that Harry is not afraid of it and is packing Summer fire.
- Primal Fear: This thing lives and breaths this trope. By using it against its victims, it becomes even more powerful.
- Unwitting Pawn: Madrigal Raith was his decoy pawn at the convention. Scarecrow himself appears to be such for Maeve as part of the plot between her and Lily to get Harry into Arctis Tor and drop fire into the Winter wellspring, drawing off Winter's armies from the border and letting Maeve trap them in a region of slowed time, allowing Summer to attack the Red Court and save the White Council. No one said those bloody faeries weren't complicated.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: With the Scarecrow as his Shapeshifter Default Form. He only changes shape once during the novel, when trying to escape from Harry as a flying creature. Harry, however, is great at anti-air fire.
A powerful Malk in the Winter Court. Mab assigns him to be Harry's assistant in Cold Days
The Red Cap
A high-ranking noble of the Winter Court and part of Maeve's entourage. Makes an enemy of Harry at his birthday party and spends the majority of Cold Days
trying to kill him for being insulted. He's also Ace's father.
- Abusive Parents: Makes no secret of his disdain of Ace and would gladly have allowed Thomas to kill him if it meant getting to kill Dresden, despite Ace doing all he can to please him.
- Badass: He is the king of all red caps. Considering Authority Equals Asskicking is a given with Winter, he likely had to fight to earn this place.
- Berserk Button: Don't touch or steal his hat or embarrass him in front of his peers.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: In folklore he's known for befriending travelers only to kill them and dye his hat's red with their cooling blood.
- Choke Holds: Seems to prefer strangling people, even challenging Harry to a strangle duel
- Combat Pragmatist: We clearly see where Ace gets it from as this guy loves playing dirty. If he loses a strangle duel with you, he'll just show up on a jet-ski where due to the open water, you can't use your magic effectively. If that doesn't work he'll poison you while you're distracted with saving hostages, with a poison that specifically dislikes Winter creatures and as an added bonus will bring the Wild Hunt on your trail.
- The Dragon: To Maeve.
- Eye Scream: Harry claws one of his eyes out.
- Hat Theft: What causes Harry to earn his hatred.
- Jerkass: He is a real cantankerous prick who will abuse anyone he sees as beneath him.
- Nice Hat: Never seen without one.
- Monster Progenitor: Is possibly the monarch of Red Caps, given his insistence on having The put in front of his name.
- Poisoned Weapons: Uses a poison dart coated in Hawthorne to try and assassinate and weaken Harry, and it's quite effective against beings of Winter including the Winter Knight.
- Spell My Name with a "The": Corrects Harry when called a "Red Cap" instead of "The Red Cap."
The Seelie Court (Summer)
The Summer Queen, who was largely unseen in the story up until Cold Days
. She is Mab's sister and opposite. Whereas Mab rules through cold calculations and logic, Titania rules through the wisdom of the heart. This causes problems if her heart is not feeling very wise.
- Actually Pretty Funny: In Cold Days, Titania nearly smiled when Harry gave honest, if a little snarky, answers to her questions on how she and Mab differ. And this is the guy she's sworn undying vengeance on.
- Barrier Maiden: Mab's job is to defend reality from the Outsiders. Titania's job is to protect the rest of reality from Mab.
- Berserk Button: Harming her daughter Aurora. Harry Dresden is also a berserk button because he was the guy who killed Aurora, even though it was the right thing.
- Big Good: While Mab is the Big Good about protecting reality from the Outsiders, Titania is the great protector of the human realm from the backlash of Mab's efforts.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: Part of the standard Fae package.
- The Ghost: Until Cold Days, she was never seen in person even when her influence was all around.
- Garden of Evil: Mentions that she wants to visit horrors on Harry that would make Lloyd Slate's fate seem kind by comparison. Among the horrors listed involves "feeding Harry to her garden." Take a moment to process that.
- Good Is Not Nice: She is much more personable and caring for humanity than Mab is. But if you succeed in pissing her off, start praying.
- Good Is Not Soft: In her entrance, she is wearing some kind of skintight armor, and she is unarmed, but projecting the confidence that she is armed well beyond the ability of her enemy to withstand. Moments later, she barely restrains herself from killing Harry and reaches through his magic circle like water.
- Green Thumb: Not shown, but a safe assumption.
- The High Queen: As she is Mab's opposite and Mab tends towards the other kind of queen, Titania generally gives this presence. That is, unless you press her Berserk Button and then, in her own words, she can make what Mab did to Lloyd Slate seem kind.
- Mama Bear: She loves her daughter Aurora and despite knowing she was possessed by Nemesis and needed to be stopped, she still hated Harry for being the instrument of her death. Especially as his method involved her slowly bleeding out from dozens of cuts from steel blades.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Played with. On the one hand, remember that Harry killed her daughter in the most painful way imaginable (or as Titania describes it, an iron death), but she manages to restrain herself from killing him and aids him. On the other hand...
- Revenge Before Reason:
- Has given geas-driven orders that no information about Summer's diplomacy, troop movements, etc, are to be given to Harry, mainly out of spite for him killing Aurora.
- In Cold Days this is semi-averted after years of counselling from the Eldest Gruff. When she has Harry off the ground and inches from doing things to him that make Lloyd Slate's fate look positively merciful, she relents and lets Harry go with the name of the enemy which infected her daughter. However, she tells him that she will never be able to truly forgive him for what he's done, and refuses to offer any more help, even with the fate of the world at stake.
- The McCoy: According to Titania, compared to Mab, Titania is the far more emotional and empathetic of the two. This does not equal morality, however, because if Titania becomes offended or hurt in anyway (looking at you Harry), her natural inclination is to take vengeance, even if doing so is irrational or detrimental. Titania is able to stop herself from hurting Harry, but it takes her a lot of effort and years of counseling, and even with the fate of the world at stake refuses to forgive him or help him with more than a few small hints.
The first Summer Lady, who appeared in Summer Knight
. Was the one behind the murder of the Summer Knight, in an effort to give his power to Winter to disrupt the balance between the Courts.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: By Nemesis. Her Evil Plan would have had unforseen side effects extremely beneficial to the Outsiders' cause.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: Which leads us to...
- Care Bear Stare: Uses this to distract Harry in the Rothschild hotel.
- Dark Messiah: Her goal is to make a world where nobody will ever be hurt again ... and she'll do whatever it takes to achieve it.
- Death of a Thousand Cuts: Mobbed by iron-wielding pixies. Harry even uses that phrase to describe it later.
- Dying as Yourself: Subverted. As she lies bleeding to death next to Harry, she starts to cry, apologize, and whisper that she only wanted the pain to stop. Even though Nemesis's influence was fading, it had still driven her too mad to fully understand what she'd done.
- Fertile Feet: More because she's one of the most powerful of the Summer fae than because of her personality.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Her goal was to have Winter win the endless war. This would have caused a new ice age over most of the planet, killing much of humanity.
- Knight Templar: Because of Nemesis, she is driven in her quest to "save the world" from the endless war of the Fae. She will save it even if it means destroying it.
- Rebellious Princess: She is willing to have her first knight assassinated and then kill the girl Aurora turned into the Summer Knight for a gambit that would give Winter a boost in power and win the war.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: She was completely willing to kill off billions of innocent mortals to create a better world for the survivors.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: She tries to start a war which would destroy the faerie courts, specifically so she can put things back together in a way which would be better for humanity. Unfortunately, she's a little crazy and the collateral damage involved in such a plan is unacceptably high.
- As of Cold Days it would have been much worse and she probably would have accidentally destroyed reality along the way.
A changeling who is friends with Fix, Ace, and Meryl during the events of Summer Knight
. Briefly turned into the Summer Knight by Aurora in an effort to give power to Winter and break the seasonal cycle. After the events of Summer Knight
, she becomes the Summer Lady - and is the first mortal to do so.
- Fertile Feet: Her mere presence causes plants to spring into existence, sometimes from implausible, inanimate objects. For example, in Proven Guilty she causes a carved wooden flower in Mac's bar to turn into a real, living flower simply by passing it.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Trusting Maeve and distrusting Harry proved to be very bad mistakes, but sadly justified because she believed Maeve's straight statements were True.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Lily simply wanted to be married and have a family, but because Harry inadvertently turned her into the Summer Lady by killing Aurora, she got stuck with the role.
- Kill It with Fire: Par the course but how many people sculpt their flames as a flaming butterfly?
- Lady and Knight: When she and Fix are together they ooze the White version, in addition to being their actual titles/position within the Summer Court.
- Playing with Fire: As a Queen of Summer, Lily specializes in using heat-based magic, including giving Harry a deceptively-powerful fire enchantment to keep him and his comrades warm while entering Winter in Proven Guilty. Harry uses this special Summer fire against the Scarecrow and accidentally pumps it into the wellspring of Winter to boot. The rest of Winter is very unhappy.
- Rape as Backstory: Though not outright said, it is implied that Lloyd Slate raped her at some point for Maeve's amusement.
- Reluctant Ruler: She never wanted to become a Queen of Summer.
- Sacred Hospitality: In one particular instance, she uses this plus Rules Lawyer in Cold Days to delay Maeve's forces from pursuing Harry for a short time by insisting she be formally introduced to each of Maeve's forces, as is the custom.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: In the climax of Cold Days, she stood strong and ready to fight Mab when she was shot in the head by Maeve and no one, save Mab, saw it coming.
- Taken for Granite: During much of the events of Summer Knight she was turned into a statue by Aurora after being turned into the Summer Knight. She remained this way until The Unraveling could be used on her.
- Took a Level in Badass: Upon becoming the Summer Lady, Lily went from a weak-willed girl who barely had the wits to survive on her own to a conniving, tricky magic-wielder who can work within the intrigue and treachery-laden world of the Sidhe. In terms of power, what her fae-half was before becoming the Summer Lady is unknown, but certainly far below the level of a Physical God.
- Unwitting Pawn: Of Maeve.
- You Gotta Have Green Hair: Her hair starts out a bright shade of green while she's still a changeling.
The Billy Goats Gruff
Personal enforcers for the Queen Titania of the Summer Court, they appear to be goatlike humanoid faeries. Consist of a series of brothers who are not just powerful, but very
intelligent. Based on the fairy tale of the same name.
- Badass Boast: Indirectly, which is perfectly in line with the character. The Eldest has three stoles from members of the Senior Council hanging from his belt. There's basically only one way to get trophies like that, and it ain't by asking nicely. To put that in perspective, think of him as having killed three wizards on par with Ebenezar.
- Bigger Is Better: The Gruffs come in waves, with each "older brother" bigger, stronger and tougher than the last. Then subverted: the Eldest Gruff is barely 5 feet tall and yet is orders of magnitude more dangerous than any of the others.
- Bystander Syndrome: Averted in Cold Days of himself, Kringle, and Erlking, he is the only one to give Harry a slight hint to Sarissa being taken away by The Red Cap. Rather justified in that he's the most 'good' morality-wise of the three.
- Combat Pragmatist:
- Most other faeries hunt with swords or magic. The gruffs? Machineguns. The others aren't slackers at nasty fighting either; the youngest brothers ambush Harry with a feint and surprise attack.
- The gruffs also won't shy away from bringing "temp agents" to help out; Thomas is hunted by faerie elves while masquerading as Harry, and later on the boat carrying Harry is attacked by kelpies: plant faeries apparently made of seaweed.
- Tiny is actually very much a pragmatist as well. He won't attack Harry while he's inside MacAnally's, but he has no qualms about waiting right outside to crush him the moment he leaves. Also, when he storms the subway station, he does so under a huge combat veil; this doesn't generally get noticed because Harry triggered the fire sprinklers, which instantly grounded out the magic being used by the veil.
- It is played straight in one instance. When Harry uses cold iron against them, even though they're way out of his league and would have easily killed him, they consider it Disproportionate Retribution.
- Friendly Enemy: The gruffs don't despise Harry; in fact, Tiny and especially Eldest come to express both respect for his ability and regret at having to fight him. Once they are no longer enemies, the friendship remains, and helps him twice over in Cold Days.
- Genius Bruiser: Tiny is a massive gruff who towers over twenty feet tall, but he's far from stupid.
- Good Counterpart: The Eldest Gruff to Leanansidhe as both are personal servants to their Queens and have the power to defend their station.
- Hero Antagonist: The gruffs may be out to kill Harry, but they're actually pretty nice and friendly guys who are famous for fighting and slaying evil trolls. Harry even has a good long laugh with Eldest when they meet, as they both agree that normal, mortal women are impossible to understand, to say nothing of the Sidhe Queens.
- Hitman with a Heart: For Titania's personal assassins, they're actually pretty nice guys when they're not trying to murder your face off.
- It's Personal: Much like the fairy tale, harming one of the younger brothers, even if it is in self-defense, is not well liked by the elder brothers and they will come to avenge the injured ones. The Eldest Gruff, and so the eldest brother, subverts this as he doesn't seem to be angry at Harry's hurting his kin or the use of iron against them. He sees it as All a Part of the Job.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: The gruffs are disturbed at having to fight Harry, who is someone they deeply respect.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Eldest Gruff can swat bearers of fallen angels like uppity pixies and has killed three members of the Senior Council in duels over the years. He's five foot three, at most.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Each "wave" of gruffs is significantly smarter and tougher.
- Worthy Opponent: The Eldest Gruff, a being who has killed three Senior Council members and has their purple stoles as trophies on him sees Harry as one for his genius in outwitting some of the strongest Sidhe.
- This honestly helps Harry in the long run as his years of wise counsel was the only thing that prevented Titania from killing Harry.
A highly respected artist,the previous Summer Knight and protector of the Changeling kids. His mantle is taken over by Fix, at the end of Summer Knight
- Badass Grandpa: Had been operating as the Summer Knight for quite a while and Loyd Slate admits that he wasn't sure he could have killed Ron through purely magical means. In addition no one in Winter was willing to cross him when he took Meryl, Fix, Lily and Ace into his protection.
- Cool Old Guy: He took his wards to Disney World.
- Death by Falling Over: Was flung down a flight of icy stairs and had his neck broken.
- Flaming Sword: Had one as Summer Knight according to the RPG, which may or may not be the same sword Fix carries.
- Magic Knight: By virtue of his station of being the Summer Knight. He can use Summer magic and is a skilled combat fighter.
- Plot-Triggering Death: His death sets off all the events of Summer Knight.
- Posthumous Character: His murder is what sets off the plot of Summer Knight.
- Shout-Out: To Tolkien as Ronald Reuel is what the 'R. R.' in J. R. R. Tolkien stands for. Reuel is also described as a "creator of worlds"/fantasy illustrator.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Outside of Meryl's brief description of what he was like, we know very little about the guy, and the few mentions of him in later books refer to him simply as the previous Summer Knight.
A changeling - a scion of a human and one of the Sidhe - who was friends with the former Summer Knight. Characterized by his meek demeanor and worrisome nature, and doesn't want to get involved in the upcoming war between the Summer and Winter courts in Summer Knight
. Becomes the new Summer Knight afterward.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Suffers one from Harry in Cold Days when Harry lays out evidence Fix knew and then repeats the question of when has Maeve ever been straightforward with an answer and who wanted to be on Demonreach.
Fix: Oh. Fuck.
- Bodyguard Crush: Towards Lily.
- The Champion: To Summer as a whole but to Lily in general.
- Combat Pragmatist: As illustrated in Small Favor, Fix isn't afraid to preemptively put a gun to your head if he isn't sure he can take you fairly. When warning Harry to leave town in Cold Days, he mentions that if he stays, then this will be the last he'll see Fix coming. Later when fighting Harry on Demonreach he has no issues taking him on with a sword and armor while Harry is exhausted, already injured and completely naked.
- Convection Schmonvection: Averted. When he and Harry finally throw down the heat bloom off of Fix's fireballs is mentioned as being just as dangerous as the fire itself, and Harry is frequently forced to protect himself from radiant heat with Winter mist.
- Fireballs: Is able to launch one the size of a peanut M&M that instantly consumed a winter troll hit by it.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Goes from a meek mechanic with spiked hair to confident and powerful Summer Knight with a shoulder length do typical of faerie nobles.
- Flaming Sword: Carries one as Summer Knight and is quite skilled with it, to the point that in the RPG his initiative jumps from Good to Epic while using it. When fighting Fix, Harry is convinced he could easily leave his guts on the ground with it if he isn't careful
- Heel Realization: He realizes very late in Cold Days that he is helping the bad guys of the book.
- It's Personal: It's suggested he'll hold Harry somewhat responsible for Lily's death. This is unconfirmed as of yet.
- I Am Your Opponent: Stands in Harry's way when Lily and Maeve assault Demonreach.
- It Was a Gift: Fix's sword that Lily melted was a gift to him from Queen Titania for being her Knight.
- Kavorka Man: Harry notes that Fix is not a particularly good-looking man, but by the events of Proven Guilty, his status as the Summer Knight has ensured he has the confidence and presence to get many more women. However, as his heart belongs to Lily, Fix (probably) doesn't really care.
- Lady and Knight: When he and Lily are together they ooze the White version,in addition to being their actual titles/position within the Summer Court.
- Mr. Fixit: Fix was a mechanic before becoming Summer Knight and Craftsmanship has the highest rating in the RPG of all his skills.
- Magic Knight: By virtue of his station of being the Summer Knight. He can use Summer magic and is a skilled combat fighter.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: Will not go against Lilly's commands even if they could endanger millions of innocent lives
- Oh Crap: In Cold Days, when he realizes Maeve's Cannot Tell a Lie compulsion is no longer in place.
- Playing with Fire: He is the Summer Knight.
- Took a Level in Badass: Goes from scrawny, scared changeling to the Summer Knight. So really it's more like several levels.
- Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: While the Summer Knight mantle grants Fix enhanced strength and speed, Summer magic and instinctive fighting knowledge, wound him with iron and that all goes away, as he never really learned to fight without it.
- Secret Keeper: He knows Harry has a daughter. He's also in a position to do an incredible amount of damage with it, given who he works for.
- Unstoppable Rage: When Lloyd Slate, the Winter Knight, kills his best friend, he goes berserk and takes the man down singlehandedly. With a wrench.
- Who Watches the Watchmen?: The Summer Knight's job is to protect whoever is the target of the Winter Knight.
- Yes-Man: As he fully embraced the role of Summer Knight, he rarely went against the wills of Mother Summer, Queen Titania, or Lady Lily. This led him to not consider questioning either Lily's actions or Maeve's forward answers until well into the climax of Cold Days.
Wyldfae and other
If I did not release you now, how should I ever have the pleasure of hunting you myself some fine, bright evening?
A powerful Fae and one of the Kings of Summer,
who leads The Wild Hunt
. First encountered in Dead Beat
, where, as a result of the plot, he became one of Harry's mortal enemies. He commands the Wyldfae of Summer.
- Affably Evil: In Changes, he treats Harry and Susan courteously when they land in his hall, even warning Harry not to Speak of the Devil.
- Badass: He is the leader of the goblins. Given his size, towering over even Harry, and demeanor, he earned this through combat.
- Bigger Is Better: He's nine feet tall.
- Blood Knight: To say he enjoys combat and the hunt is an understatement.
- Bystander Syndrome: In Cold Days of the Eldest Gruff, Kringle, and himself, he only stares blankly at Harry, giving no hint to Sarissa being taken away by The Red Cap.
- Crown of Horns: He wears a helmet adorned with a massive brace of antlers.
- Evil Laugh: Judging by Harry's narration when The Wild Hunt is fighting Outsiders during Cold Days, the Erlking's laughter sounds a lot like this.
- Hidden Depths: The Erlking is much more reasonable and courteous when he is not leading the Wild Hunt.
- Horned Humanoid: Subverted. The horns are actually part of his helmet.
- I Let You Win: Harry defeats him and Kringle to gain leadership of The Wild Hunt. However, Harry realizes there was no way he could have realistically won; the Erlking wanted him to use the Wild Hunt but couldn't just give it to him freely.
- Immortals Fear Death: Averted. He loves the hunt and when a certain astronomical event occurs and renders him able to die, he doesn't hide. He just fights harder.
- Leave No Man Behind: During the fight with Outsiders in Cold Days, he witnesses one of dozens of hounds get dragged beneath the water, and promptly dives off his horse into the lake to get it back.
- Our Goblins Are Different: He is an honorable entity who will honor his word, even if he regrets doing so.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: You can expect the man to follow his rules and laws fairly and justly. He is even willing to help Harry save reality, once Harry proves himself to the Wild Hunt.
- Sacred Hospitality: Even when he doesn't mean to give it, he accepts he has given Harry this by calling him a "guest" in Changes.
- The Wild Hunt: He leads it on Halloween. He gives those who come into its path the choice: Join, Run, or Die.
- Worthy Opponent: Genuinely respects and likes Harry, and even spared his life because the dinosaur thing was just that cool. Still plans to hunt him down one of these days.
- X Meets Y: In Cold Days Harry notes he is like "Jackie Chan meets Hannibal Lecter."
Also known as Santa Claus. He is the Winter King and commands the Wyldfae of Winter. See Donar Vadderung
Gwynn ap Nudd is king of the Tylwyth Teg, a kingdom of Welsh Fey. He first appears in the side story "Curses." He is the one who cursed the Chicago Cubs.
- Hereditary Curse: He cursed the Chicago Cubs because he (in his goat form) was removed from the game for smelling terrible. He's actually been over the insult for a while now, and keeps renewing it because he feels it has become part of the spirit of the game.
- It's Personal: When he and his "owner" Billy Sianis were kicked out of the game, he was deeply insulted, and cursed the team. His anger cooled down a while ago, but he keeps the curse going out of tradition.
- Pals with Jesus: He's the "Jesus" of the trope. He is very friendly with Harry, even enjoying a baseball game with him.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: The extent of his abilities is unknown, but he can at least become a (foul-smelling) goat. He was the goat that was removed during the 1945 World Series game against the Detroit Tigers, which led to the curse on the Cubs.
A changeling who appeared in Summer Knight
who was friends with Fix, Lily, and Meryl during the events of Summer Knight
. He betrayed Harry for protection from the Winter Court and he returns as an antagonist in Cold Days
- Chekhov's Gunman: First seen in Summer Knight and was still alive at the end. It is implied he is behind nearly all the car accidents and car bombings that nearly killed Harry since then.
- Combat Pragmatist: Say what you want about the guy, but he came closer to killing Harry than most other threats. Bombing his car, hiring tiny fairies and giving them real swords and nail guns, blocking his exit so that his father could get to him, blowing up a warehouse while Harry and his friends were inside and sinking it, and trying to Just Shoot Him.
- It is also implied that he was the one behind the attempt to run Harry off the road in Proven Guilty and who planted the car bomb in White Night.
- It's Personal: Harry notes Ace had a lot of reasons to hate him since he killed one of his friends, led another to death, and the last two want nothing to do with him.
- Took a Level in Badass: Started off as a punk with a gun, ended as as a bomber and assassin by car against Harry.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: His father is The Red Cap, a certifiable asshole who gets his jollies from killing people and dipping his hat in their blood, and Ace desperately tries to please him, despite the fact he would have allowed Thomas to kill him if it meant getting Dresden.
A fairy that Dresden used for information, and later recruited to his personal service by bribing him with pizza. Leader of the Za Lord's Guard.
Captain Hook, aka Lacuna
The leader of the Little Folk who harass Harry in Cold Days
at Ace's direction. Lacuna is captured by the protagonists, and eventually joins Harry's service.
- Badass: Lacuna came pretty close to killing Harry a couple times, which is pretty impressive for someone who's only eighteen inches tall.
- Blood Knight: This little one really enjoys battle.
- Heel-Face Turn: By The Laws and Customs of War of the Fae Court, she accepts the position of "Prisoner" to Harry Dresden and becomes his personal valet, with some provisions in return.
- Granola Girl: She thinks pizza is evil, and lambasts Harry for feeding it to the other pixies. She's also offended when Toot-Toot brings her a Jolly Rancher, and knocks him on his ass.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: When she is held captive by Harry and cannot escape, she accepts his declaration she is his prisoner and resigns herself to serving Harry, as mandated under The Laws and Customs of War of the Fae Court.
- Lady of War: Lacuna's typical station.
- Literal-Minded: When Harry comments that he probably has brain damage, Lacuna offers to cut open his skull to check.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: For someone so small, Lacuna manages to kick a disproportionate amount of ass.
- Punch Clock Villain: Only in service to Ace, and when it is clear she cannot escape Harry or Toot without serious harm to herself, she is humble enough to accept being Harry's prisoner.
- Samus Is a Girl: Harry didn't see this coming.
- Spikes of Villainy: Lacuna's armor is covered in tiny, spiky fishhooks, hence the name.
- Why Did It Have To Be Cats?: Like other little folks, Lacuna is scared of cats. Especially a large number of cats.