Characters: The Dresden Files The Vampires

Characters from The Dresden Files, the Vampire Courts.

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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The Black Court

     In General 

The classic vampire, the Black Court are animated corpses who drink the blood of the living. They are the most innately powerful of the vampire courts, and the most straightforwardly malevolent, but because they have all the traditional vampire weaknesses (Dracula was commissioned by their rivals in the White Court as an expose on them) they are also currently the rarest.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Big time.
    • The Black Court usually attack first and ask questions never, though Mavra at least can be more subtle when she needs to be.
    • A short story implies this is inherent in their condition, with two security guards brutally and painfully turned being loyal to the woman who killed them only minutes prior.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: They can induce a couple of levels of this, from an easy-to-reverse charm all the way towards turning the victim into a permanently-unhinged mook.
  • Explosive Breeder: They can "reproduce" faster than any of the other vampire courts by the simple fact their kills can become new vampires with no half-breed like Red Courts create.
  • Holy Burns Evil: Likely as bad, if not worse, than the Red Court vampires.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Classic undead ones. Black Court Mooks are basically blood-drinking zombies, while more powerful ones like Mavra are more like Dracula (and Dracula himself is Black Court, though he's never shown up in person). They also have the weaknesses the undead typically have: garlic, holy water, sun light.
  • The Renfield: Accepted terminology for their Brainwashed and Crazy minions. Before Stoker's work there was no real name for the minions.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Thoroughly averted; at best, Blacks are Uncanny Valley-tastic, and at worst, they're visibly decomposing corpses.


A very old, very nasty Black Court vampire with a grudge against Harry. So far, she seems to have succeeded fairly well at using him as a pawn in her schemes, and has yet to get her comeuppance; we don't even know what her long-term goal is.
  • Dark Action Girl: She is a powerful and dangerous sorceress and physically powerful as well. Harry always goes out of his way to never fight her directly because he's sure he'd lose in a straight fight. He doubted he could even bind her magic when he assaulted her and called on Ebenezer McCoy for that job.
  • Evil Is Hammy: It's subtle, but Mavra does have a flair for the dramatic. For instance, when she first sends Dresden the pictures of him and Murphy raiding her hideout, she puts in a couple of small details in the envelope simply to unnerve Dresden, seemingly for no other reason than she wanted to scare him. Later, when Dresden comes to the meeting, she appears in Dresden's grave, coalescing out of the fog. Again, for no practical reason, except to scare Dresden.
  • A Father to His Men: She does love her children.
  • Frozen Fashion Sense: Wears ancient clothing, though at least some of it is modern clothing made in an old style.
  • I Gave My Word: She will honor her word to the letter of it, but when she promises to meet Harry under an umbrella of truce he trusts her to keep that part up.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Fast, strong, smart, stealthy. Her only problem is she's a rotting corpse.
  • Loophole Abuse: Bringing in mortal authorities into the supernatural affairs is a big no-no for all sides, but her threatening to send pictures of Harry and Karrin killing "defenseless" men are permitted as her intended target for the fallout is Karrin, who by being a muggle, isn't protected like Harry is.
  • Master of Illusion: Veils are her specialty.
  • Mind Rape: Another specialty of hers, for quick, easy mooks.
  • Mugging the Monster: With the twist being the monster is Harry Dresden. She thought him to be a good puppet, as mentioned in Xanatos Gambit either Harry ends up dead or she has blackmail on him, and so thinks she can use him for a job in Dead Beat. When he completes the job, he lays down a deadly and vicious verbal smackdown, highlights include he knows how to use necromancy on vampires like her and he has a Fallen in his head eager to help him, and if she tries something like her gambit again, he will hunt her down. She is genuinely scared when he forced her to swear to never do this action against him again.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Implied in Cold Days, since she gave the Black Athame to Lea, an Artifact of Doom which infects people with Nemesis, a sentient corrupting force that makes its victims ally with the Outsiders.
  • Xanatos Gambit: We don't find out until the next book, but her actions in Blood Rites qualify. No one interferes, and she has a strong, growing power base. She guessed (correctly) that this wouldn't be the case, as well as who the most likely party-crasher would be (namely, Harry) and prepared countermeasures against him specifically. So if he tried to go in alone, he'd die. If he brought a whole group, they might still die, and if they didn't, she had a decoy downstairs to make them think they'd killed her; if it hadn't been for Kincaid, Harry might have fallen for it. In addition to that, she took pictures of the group when they were fighting her Renfields; this gave her blackmail material on one of Harry's friends so she could force him to do what she wanted in future. No matter how it turned out, she'd be ahead. In fact, the only way to have actually defeated Mavra in that instance would have been to go with Kincaid's earlier suggestion: blowing up the whole building, even with the hostages inside. Which means the only person who knew how to outwit the most powerful Black Court vampire we've seen was the guy given his nickname by Vlad "Father of Dracula" Drakul himself.

Red Court

     In General 

These vampires are demons who can change themselves into (superficially) human forms; like Blacks, Reds feed on blood, but are less supernatural, meaning that both their powers and Weaksauce Weaknesses are less. Because they masterminded a war between the vampire courts and the wizards, they are some of the most visible villains in the series.
  • Achilles' Heel: All Reds have a "blood reservoir" in their stomach that holds accumulated blood. Cutting it open will spill the blood, robbing the Red of its power and crippling it.
  • Affably Evil: Moreso than Black, less so than White.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Unlike Blacks, Reds can at least put on a show of humanity, and are capable of loyalty towards each other, but they're completely consumed by bloodlust and have absolutely no regard for human life. The Order of St. Giles excepted.
  • Cannon Fodder: The esclavos de sangre, aka "blood slaves." They are Red Court vampires who have given in entirely to their blood thirst, going completely feral and thus are unable to form flesh masks or behave in any civilized manner. They are considered scum by the rest of the Court and are used as disposable troops. By the reckoning of the Red Court, letting the blood slaves get killed in combat is no waste, as they're just a strain on the Court's food supply.
  • Daywalking Vampire: The most powerful Reds can form flesh masks of sufficient potency that they can shield themselves from sunlight.
  • Disc One Final Boss: They serve as the most common antagonists for the first 12 books. Then Harry kills them all.
  • Fantastic Drug: Their saliva is highly addictive narcotic.
  • Humanoid Abomination: All Red Court Vampires are this to varying degrees, from the simple fact of wearing a "flesh mask" to hide their real nature, to Physical Gods like The Red King. Their skin also tends to ripple when they get upset or pissed off.
  • Killed Off for Real: Harry kills all of them in Changes, by way of a bloodline curse.
  • One-Winged Angel: Most of them spend most of their time in human form, but almost always shift to demonic bat-thing to fight or feed.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Formerly-human batlike demons who can assume human form, they're burned by sunlight and repelled by sacred objects.
  • Uh-Oh Eyes: Mystical full body tattoos in this case placed on members of the Order of St. Giles to help their operatives control their thirst for blood, and warn other operatives (and anyone who understands them) when this is happening. Usually invisible they turn red (and hurt) when the wearer is in danger of giving in to their thirst for blood, darkening to black if they do so.
  • Vampire Refugee: The Order of St. Giles are humans who were half turned into Red vampires, but never drained another to death and so retain actual human form instead of being bat-things in skin masks - they oppose the Red Court proper wherever they can, and are allies of the White Council. Harry's girlfriend Susan is one.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Deconstructed. They're only superficially this way, and it takes their narcotic saliva to cement it. When they take off their flesh masks, to humans they're pure Fetish Retardant.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: All Reds (except for those who've been completely consumed by their bloodlust) can assume a human "fleshmask". The most powerful can create fleshmasks with a variety of appearances, rather than just based on what they looked like as humans.

     Kukulcan, the Red King 

"A god does not converse or bargain with cattle. He uses and dispenses with them as he sees fit."

Absolute lord of the Red Court, his extreme age and the devotion of both his mortal and vampiric minions have allowed him to ascend to a state approximating godhood (and indeed, he was venerated as a god by the Mayans).
  • A God Am I: Views himself as a god, having effectively replaced an Aztec one.
  • Bigger Bad: Arianna is the primary antagonist in Changes, but Big Red takes over once Harry takes Arianna down.
  • The Caligula: As Harry describes him, he's basically a junkie with blood as his fix, and his behavior can be somewhat erratic as a result. All or part of this may be part of his Obfuscating Stupidity, however- we don't see enough of him to really tell for sure.
  • Completely Unnecessary Translator: He speaks Mayan with Harry during their first meeting but later reveals that he can actually speak perfect English. The trope is inverted in that he was using his translator as a proxy for his 'negotiations.' He felt completely justified in breaking the terms of it because it was the translator who made the deal, not him. And nobody could apparently speak ancient Mayan to realize that whatever he was saying, it wasn't an agreement to the terms.
  • Enemy Mine: Briefly with Harry in order to take down Arianna. It doesn't last long.
  • Exact Words: When Harry demands the right to challenge Arianna for the life of a soon-to-be-sacrificed hostage, the Red King guarantees the safety of said hostage during the duel. Surprise, surprise: no one said anything about after the duel.
  • Eye Scream: During his final battle with Harry he's beaten when Harry impales his eyes and then sets them on fire.
  • False Reassurance: Uses this along with his Loophole Abuse and Completely Unnecessary Translator to double cross Harry.
  • Fantastic Racism: Only vampires of original Mayan ancestry can rise to the highest levels of the Red Court under his rule. He also views all humans in general as cattle.
  • Greater Scope Villain: Of the Red Court Wizard War. He only takes center stage in Changes after Harry wastes Arianna.
  • Karmic Death: He and his entire "family" is wiped out by the very curse he was trying to set off.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: In Proven Guilty he has no problems running from battle when things don't go his way and it looks like they will lose. Morgan coming close enough to kill him helps him in this choice.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Harry weasels a promise out of him to let him take his daughter away after killing Arianna for him. However, since the Red King was going through a translator to make that promise, he technically didn't promise Harry anything....
    • He also used this to HELP Harry, believe it or not. The Eebs say that he cannot interfere in a blood feud; but because Harry has what also amounts to a blood feud, he does have a legitimate right to challenge Arianna. The Red King does have the power to accept Harry's petition (since allowing Arianna to go ahead would ALSO count as interfering with a blood debt), which he uses to allow Harry to fight Arianna.
  • The Napoleon: The Lords of Outer Night and other high-ranking Reds are of superhuman stature, but the king is only a little over five feet. Though he presumably has shapeshifting abilities like the rest of the powerful Red Courtiers, so he may not have to be.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He's much more on-the-ball than he seems; he plays Harry and Arianna against each other quite well.
    • He also demonstrates that he had to have understood Harry before Alamaya actually talked to him; as such he may have been faking entirely.
  • Older Than They Look: looks to be middle aged but is more than 4000 years old
  • Physical God: Roughly on par with Odin, no less. His chief minions, the Lords of Outer Night, are also godlike.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: He has no problem fighting on the front line in the war.
  • Tactful Translation: Amusingly averted. While holding up the charade of not understanding English, a flunkie of the King's tries to take Harry's statement of This Means War! and relate it tactfully. The King slaps the flunkie, and Harry can tell that he's telling the mook "Translate it the way he said it, damn it."
  • Time Abyss: His true age is unknown— because humans on his continent of origin haven't had a written language for that long.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After Harry beats the crap out of him he goes from confident and intelligent Smug Snake to a thrashing screaming lunatic who summons his soldiers (despite knowing that they will kill him for being defeated by a mortal) without caring about the consequences. And he cuts one of his own deputies in half.

     Paolo Ortega 

Born in Spain at the end of the 15th century and one of Cortez's conquistadors. During his time in South America, he fell in love with a local princess and married her. She turned out to be a Red Court vampire, and turned Paolo into a vampire. Paolo's abilities allowed him to rise through the ranks, and he was a Warlord of the Red Court.
  • Affably Evil: He's polite, friendly even to his enemies and opponents, and is willing to sit down and have a beer with someone he's planning to kill.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Paolo seems to be quite devoted to Arianna. Arianna is equally devoted to making his life miserable.
  • Colony Drop: Ebenezzar takes his out by dropping a derelict Soviet Satellite on Ortega's home.
  • Genius Bruiser: Paolo is definitely no slouch in hand-to-hand combat, and a highly skilled strategist, as one would expect from a Red Court Warlord, and someone who is implied to be the Red Courts counterpart to the Blackstaff. He is also officially employed as a professor of mythology.
  • Jerkass: Even if he won his duel against Harry, he was still going to kill all of Harry's friends.
  • Noble Demon: Subverted quite nicely. He acts the part of the honorable, cultured Worthy Opponent when things are going his way, but by the end of Death Masks it's made plain that the only thing he really cares about is winning, and he'll stoop to just about anything to do it. He pretended to be honorable because he knew that would make Harry fight honorably, which gave him the advantage.
  • Pet the Dog: Does seem to care for his child Bianca.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Paolo was one of Cortez's conquistadors.
  • Unholy Matrimony: To Arianna, see All Love Is Unrequited above.

     Arianna Ortega 

Wife of Paolo, highly placed in the Red Court, and a sorceress.
  • Achilles' Heel: Loses her final battle with Harry because she was unable to adapt to the artificial handicap placed on both individuals. Harry actually implies that if she had been allowed to use Hand to Hand combat, she would have won whether or not he had powers.
  • Big Bad: Of Changes.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: During her first meeting with Harry she pretends to be compassionate telling him she knows exactly how much pain he's feeling (since she had his daughter kidnapped)
  • Break the Haughty: After Harry kicks her ass all she can do is stammer in shock. Needless to say it was VERY satisfying.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Mentioned in passing in Proven Guilty as one of the bidders in Madrigal Raith's auction of one Harry Dresden, slightly used.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The entire plot of Changes happens because Ebeneezer killed Paolo. She'll kill Harry's daughter, her parents, their siblings, their parents and siblings, etc. All over killing a guy she personally hated and spent centuries messing with.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Harry impales her with a dozen icicles, one of which is the size of his arm.
  • Kill It with Water: Uses it defensively to counter Harry's Fuego spells,and serve as a scalding smokescreen, naturally this backfires when Harry switches elements
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Oh yes. Arianna's entire marriage to Paolo was for the sole purpose of punishing Paolo through the use of mixed messages for what the conquistadors did to the people of South America.
  • The Starscream: To her "father", the Red King, though it's implied she was genuinely loyal previously but now feels he's losing his touch.
  • Shock and Awe: Uses lightning spells as her offensive choice during the duel, one hit is enough to send Harry flying and land dazed.
  • Smug Snake: Constantly refers to Harry and humans in general as cattle.
  • Time Abyss: She is implied to have been a few thousand years old when she met Paolo in 1519. Is also implied to be the biological daughter of the Red King.
  • Unholy Matrimony: To Paolo Ortega, as part of her mission to screw up his life as much as possible.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After Harry defeats her, she just stammers incoherently saying: "Cattle. You are C-Cattle." To which Harry has only one thing to say before he kills her: "Moo."
  • Would Hurt a Child: She plans to sacrifice Maggie personally. Only Harry's arrival and the fact that he has an equally legitimate claim (meaning that her dad has the perfect excuse to delay her until after Harry's claim was settled) as well as her death at Harry's hands in the resulting duel prevents her from doing so.
  • Your Head Asplode: After Harry finishes with her all that is left is a smoking headless corpse, since his final blow causes her head to blow up.

     The Eebs 

Esteban and Esmerelda, referred to disparagingly as the "Eebs" by Harry, are a pair of highly-skilled Red Court assassins dispatched by the Red King to either kill or capture Harry. They generally pose as a married couple, and have something resembling love and affection for one another.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: They are genuinely surprised by the concept of the Red King simply telling Arianna to not do her ritual.
  • Boring but Practical: Described their entire methodology. The Eebs prefer to hunt their prey using constant, low-risk pressure, such as sending mortal hitmen, doing drive-by shootings, firebombing buildings, and so on. Though individual hits have a low chance of success, they can keep up the pressure on their target until it sticks.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Their entire strategy is to keep a constant stream of low tier, but still fatal attacks. They are also fully prepared to run from a stronger opponent.
  • Dirty Coward: The Eebs do not expose themselves to danger if they can avoid it. Most famously, when Esteban first meets Harry face-to-face, his (admittedly warranted) response is to scream and run for his life.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Implied, when they lose the trial by combat in the Erlking's lair.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Esteban is about height with Harry, while Esmeralda is even shorter than Butters.
  • The Vamp: Esmerelda, who all but ravishes Harry there and then.
  • Unholy Matrimony: The Eebs seem to be quite affectionate and happy to be around each other. Martin disparages it as "complimentary insanities".

     The Ik'k'uox 

A Mayan devourer demon under the Eeb's command that's used as their heavy-hitter when normal tactics aren't effective. Harry calls it the Ick due to pronunciation problems.

     Bianca St. Claire 

A minor character in the book Storm Front. After Harry's actions indirectly caused her to kill her lover, Bianca enacted a roaring rampage of revenge that ultimately started the first magical war in centuries. She's also the daughter of Paolo Ortega, and the great-granddaughter (in vampire terms anyway) to the Red King.
  • Big Bad: Of Grave Peril.
  • Blue Blood: Considering that her grandmother's the Red king's daughter, she's practically royalty.
  • Defeat by Modesty: Non-nude variation; Bianca becomes very subdued after she shows Harry her Game Face.
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • The reason she hates Thomas and Justine is because Thomas got Justine to be his sex partner instead of one of her whores. Also vamps Susan as a screw you to Harry. This turns out to be a very bad idea.
    • Also, she hates Harry because she blames him for the death of one of her girls in Storm Front. Not only did she attack him in the first place, but she can't even remember the girl's name.
  • Lesbian Vampire: Introduced with a nearly naked whore on her lap.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Her forces are killed by a ghost army comprised of her victims, including the lover she killed in Storm Front.
  • Never My Fault: Bianca accidentally kills her lover by draining all her blood, because Harry defended himself against the vampire and hurt her (Bianca) - so she blames Harry. Never mind the fact that she attacked him first, with almost no provocation, or that the woman was really more her slave than her lover, considering she'd gotten her addicted to her narcotic saliva. Still, this is very much the Red Court mindset.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: How have Bianca's actions screwed over her own side? Let me count the ways:
    • First, starting the vampire war that ended in a total loss for the Red Court,
    • Turning Susan into a half-vampire ended up providing the means to create said total loss,
    • That gravestone she gave to Harry saved his life(ish-he was a shade at that point).
    • Giving that athame to Lea screwed over everyone, but Lea's revenge for it also helped destroy the Red Court.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The first and third books, as well as half of the fourth, are a direct result of Bianca's misdirected desire for Harry Dresden's death.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Only really important in the first and third book, but her actions effect the whole series at least up to Cold Days. Seriously, that party of hers was the catalyst for a ton of later events (and not all of them were negative).
    • The most obvious is, of course, the Vampire War and everything that resulted from it.
    • The Grave she gave Harry turned out to be a big help in Ghost Story.
    • Giving Lea that athame led to her (and later on Maeve) being infected by Nemesis, and thus the events of Cold Days.
    • She likely helped out Cowl and Kumori in some dangerous way, though what will result from that remains to be seen.
  • Vampires Are Rich: The Velvet Room was the nicest Brothel in the city of Chicago and made her lots of money. That also ignore the fact she's probably had close to a century building interest.

White Court

     In General 

The most human of the vampires, the White Court feed on emotional energy, rather than blood. White Court vampires are born, not made, and they look like eerily beautiful humans. They're immune to most of the traditional vampire weaknesses, but are literally allergic to the opposite emotion they feed off of. (Lust-Love; Fear-Courage; Despair-Hope). Also notable for their cultural Complexity Addiction.
  • Affably Evil: Most of them at least try to be this.
  • Allergic to Love: It burns the Raiths, literally.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted. Thomas proves that, unlike the other Courts, Whites can resist their darker urges. It's hard, though, and most don't really bother.
  • The Beautiful Elite: All of them are achingly beautiful. Harry describes Thomas as the lost greek god of body cologne.
  • Complexity Addiction: Whites hate getting their hands dirty and prefer to work through catspaws, pawns, and fall guys- the more complex a scheme is, the more respect it gets from the rest of the Court. It helps that they're usually regarded as the physically weakest of the Courts, lacking the ferocity of the Reds or the raw strength of the Blacks. As a result, it's viewed as a sign of weakness within the Court for a plan to rely on physically overpowering a foe. This bites Madrigal in the ass when Dresden arrives to confront him for killing magic-users that don't meet, or haven't yet met, the qualifications of the White Council to try and deprive the White Council for future members. Lord Raith/Lara immediately points out that this was an entirely predictable outcome to his 'cunning' plan because of how obviously wizards would react to their own being poached during 'infancy.'
  • Deadly Decadent Court: Managing to combine this, Fetish Fuel, and terror itself with their treatment of their sexually enslaved human servants.
  • Dhampir: Averted, as offspring of humans and Whites are potential Full vampires whose traits manifest at puberty. They become Full vampires the first time they use their powers to kill.
  • Emotion Eater: Lust for the Raiths, Fear for the Malvoras and Despair for the Skavis.
  • Fantastic Drug: Being fed off of by a Raith (and possibly all Whites) is addictive. Their blood can inspire the same emotions that they feed on, as well.
  • Heroic Host: Villainous host, rather. A well fed host has access to Super Strength, Super Speed, and a powerful Healing Factor.
  • Horny Devils: The Raith family feeds on Lust, and have the ability to generate it in their victims.
  • Horror Hunger: Known simply as 'the Hunger'.
  • Immortality Begins at 20: Harry remarks that you could mistake the White King for Thomas.
  • In the Blood: White Court vampires reproduce just like humans.
  • Motivational Lie: As discussed in "Bigfoot on Campus" the entire methodology of keeping the children in the dark, so the first time they have sex will kill their lover, is described as this. The child becomes a murderer and transformed into a sex monster, but is told this is okay. It is fine to kill humans and hurt them. It is what the parents' parents told them when they were young like the child now. And so on. They continue the lie because if they were to stop, it would mean everything the parents were taught and made to believe is false, and so on and so on. And so they became murderous monsters for no other reason than some ancient bastard's (or bitch's) beliefs.
  • Open Secret: Within the Court's higher ranks, the fact Papa Raith is merely a figurehead with Lara holding the strings is this. Everyone knows it, but because that is the current game, it is what they must play until it is time for a coup of their own.
  • Out with a Bang: Victims of the Raiths can die this way if they give too much.
  • Raised by Humans: At least in the Raith family; Lord Raith makes very certain that none of his children know anything about their true nature or the supernatural world at large before they start to turn in late adolescence. It's implied this is a means of ensuring they cannot become human by finding someone who will truly love them and they love, because if their first meal as a vampire is someone who they love and loves them, it frees them from the vampire demon inside of them.
  • Really 700 Years Old: They don't age and don't appear to die from old age either. Lara is at least as old as Luccio is.
  • The Symbiote: The Hunger of a White Court vampire results from a spirit known as a Phage attaching itself to a human. It's possible to drive the Phage off before the host's first feeding, leaving them fully human.
  • Uh-Oh Eyes: White Court Vamp eyes act as a handy barometer for their internal state. Blue eyes are the mark of a well-fed and happy vamp. They get paler as they get hungrier, and the demons get stronger. Silver eyes mean it's past time to run.
  • Vampires Are Rich: The Raiths have an entire series of mansions. The lesser houses presumably also have substantial fortunes.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Thoroughly straight, especially for the Raith family, who literally feed on lust.
  • Vampires Own Night Clubs: The Raiths do, at least.

     Lord Raith, the White King 

"I've taken thousands like you, lovely child. Taken them and broken them. There was nothing they could do. There is nothing you can do. You were made to feel desire. I was made to use it against you. It is the natural cycle. Life and death. Mating and death. Predator and prey."

The King of the White Court, head of the Raith family.
  • Abusive Parent: Rapes his daughters, using his vampiric abilities to turn them into his slaves by doing so. All his sons before Thomas have met with tragic accidents.
  • Anti-Magic: He's protected apparently by one of the Outsiders so that magic doesn't affect him.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: In a way. While he used to have the power to back up his reputation, after years of being unable to replenish his energies he's much less formidable than he was, and relies on bluffing his way out of conflict.
  • Cain and Abel: Sent Madrigal and Madeline's father sky-diving without a parachute.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: His apparent insistence on using identical twins for servants may be nicely symmetrical, but doesn't exactly ensure the best quality of service, especially when he has conditioned them into thralls with guns.
  • Decoy Leader: As of Blood Rites Lara is the real leader of the White Court, but pretends he's still in charge to avoid being challenged by the other houses.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Public is stretching it a bit, but Harry arranged that he would admit to his weakness with Lara secretly close enough to overhear. And also that he didn't care about Lara beyond her use as a tool. She didn't take this revelation very well.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Lara enslaves him as he did his daughters.
  • Informed Ability: Across Blood Rites he's built up as an epic badass without doing anything on page to justify it. This turns out to be a plot point; with Harry and Thomas's mother's Death Curse still on him, his ability to feed- and thereby replish his powers- is cut off. The only way he's stayed in power is by maintaining the illusion that he's at full strength, and when Lara hears from his own lips how weak he is as well as an admission that he never saw her as more than a tool, well....
  • Kiss of Death: Coined the phrase, according to Thomas.
  • No Name Given: His given name remains unstated, although most of his relatives' names are known.
  • Offing the Offspring: He kills all his male offspring since he doesn't rape them into submission.
  • Parental Incest: How he treats his daughters.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: He and Thomas apparently look near-identical.
  • Thicker Than Water: He deliberately instills this attitude in his family....because it makes them easier to handle. Ironic in that it makes his children loyal to each other rather than him..... and eventually leads to his downfall.
  • You Killed My Father: Mother, actually. Raith uses his entropy curse to make it appear Harry's mother had died in childbirth.

     Thomas Raith 

"One day, doubtless, the Hunger would gain the upper hand again, and feed and feed until it was the only thing inside and there was nothing left of me. But not today."

A White Court vampire who doesn't want to be. Thomas is one of the White King's youngest children, and the only male one still alive. As an incubus, he feeds on life force, and as a Raith, his preferred emotion is lust. While the vampirism means he can occasionally manage feats of enormous badassery, afterward he gets very hungry, and that can easily kill the food source. For years, his primary "meal" was Justine, but when he almost killed her he finally got fed up (so to speak) with the usually incubus order of business and decided to try to break out of it.
  • Always Camp: At the end of White Night, Harry finds out that Thomas is taking advantage of this trope to run his salon without suspicion.
  • Angst Coma / Heroic BSOD: Enters one After Harry dies.
  • Beard of Sorrow: At the end of Ghost Story, he's grown one of these after he learned that Harry died.
  • Berserk Button: If you value your life, don't even consider threatening Justine. After Shagnasty breaks him and forces him to acknowledge his White Court nature, Justine is the only thing Thomas really cares about.
    • For that matter, don't try to hurt Harry either.
  • Big Brother Instinct: According to Lara, he's extremely loyal to and protective of his siblings, especially Inari and Harry.
  • Big Damn Heroes: With Dresden's coat and shotgun.
  • Break the Cutie: In addition to getting broken after he breaks Justine, the naagloshii in Turn Coat tortures him into at least temporarily stopping his attempt at Friendly Neighborhood Vampires.
  • Can't Have Sex, Ever: With Justine, since they're in love. Irony's a bitch. As of Ghost Story, she's found a solution.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Backup, narrated by Thomas, shows that he is an even better snarker than Harry is.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Does this without even trying. Harry describes him walking down the street as looking like "one of those silly cologne commercials."
  • Dual Wielding: Thomas most commonly uses a cavalry saber and a kukri as his melee weapons.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Harry snarks that Thomas looks like "the forgotten Greek god of body cologne". Also deconstructed, since his Mr. Fanservice-ness is is a huge part of why he can't hold down a part time job.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Tends to prompt comments along the lines of "I'm not gay, but even I think he's hot."
  • Evil Feels Good: After the skinwalker gets through with him, he appears to have this mindset. That said, it could just be an obfuscation to appear like a good vampire now.
  • Expy: He whistles weird songs to himself during a fight, carries an enormous personal sidearm, is far more financially successful than the protagonist (for most of the series, anyway), has a really cool car, drives the protagonist around a lot, is a fashion plate, and his relationship with the protagonist is both close and heavily dependent upon constantly busting on each other. If Thomas was black, he'd basically be Hawk from the Spenser novels. (Butcher has mentioned that Parker is an influence.)
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampires: The only one who could possibly be said to play this straight.
  • Kukris Are Kool: The most distinctive Weapon of Choice Thomas has.
  • The Lancer: To Harry. Their personalities are very different, but they love each other and won't hesitate to defend the other.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Harry's long-lost half-brother.
  • Mate or Die: Thomas deliberately starves himself, since he doesn't want to hurt people. After Justine finds a third option by bringing in another woman to be with, removing her protection and then being with Thomas, he is a lot better fed.
  • Mistaken for Gay:
    • A deliberate case, since it was the best way he could come up with to keep women from constantly trying to seduce him.
    • People sometimes confuse him and Harry for gay lovers, especially when Thomas was living at Harry's place temporarily. Thomas doesn't exactly help with clearing things up.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • The only reason he survived his father is because he intentionally appeared to not be a threat. As a Raith, that means appearing incapable of plotting or higher level thought. This is most evident in his early interactions with Harry where he can best be described as "An embarrassment to his family". And, as later stories show, he may be continuing this, to a degree, with Harry himself so as to protect him.
    • Inverted for a time with Lara, who figured out his stupidity was an act. He countered this by pretending to be more wise and informed than he was, as she wouldn't go against him until she figured out what he knew.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: In "Back-up" he tracked down the member of the Stygian Sisterhood who tricked Harry and tried to use him to get a book of Eldritch lore released to the general public and give an ancient demon-god a foothold once more, and killed her by feeding on her to death.
  • The Pornomancer: Deconstructed. As an incubus, women literally throw themselves at him, but he can't hold a minimum-wage job because when he inevitably gets sexually assaulted, he gets blamed.
  • Redemption Failure: After nearly killing Justine, he works really hard to become a Vegetarian Vampire. And then Shagnasty happens.
  • Rebel Prince: Doesn't want to join the family business, and actively works against them when it's the right ting to do.
  • Secret Keeper:
    • He kept the fact he and Harry were siblings from Harry for a few years after they met.
    • He is part of the Oblivion War with a job to make sure it stays secret. The more who know about the ancient demon-gods trying to get a foothold in the human reality the easier it is for the foothold to be established.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Word of God reveals that he and Justine are like this in private.
    "I know what the relationship is in my head like right now. They're actually happier now than they've been in ever. But it's all happening behind the scenes and nobody can see because Thomas has to have his bad ass vampire face on whenever he's in public. But when they are alone together, nothing else going on, they're like totally cute. Justine wears like these grownup version of footie pajamas so that she can snuggle up next to him on the couch and watch TV without actually burning him. They don't have like a normal relationship or anything like one, but they've kinda adjusted, they're fairly happy."
  • Significant Birth Date: As discussed in It's My Birthday Too, he was born on Valentine's Day.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Justine.
  • Tell Me About My Father: Unlike Harry, Thomas actually has some memories of their mother, something which makes Harry very jealous.
  • Thicker Than Water: As Lara says, he'd rather saw off his right arm than see any of his siblings hurt. Even the evil ones.
  • The Unfavorite: His father tries to kill him, like he did the rest of his sons, and his mother abandoned him when he was five to give birth to his brother Harry.
  • Troll: He's not above messing with Harry just for the fun of it. See Mistaken for Gay for a good example.
  • Verbal Tic: Occasionally uses his sister's, referring to Harry as 'brother mine'.
  • Weapon of Choice: Thomas commonly carries both an old US Cavalry saber and a kurki, and packs either a sawed-off shotgun or a Desert Eagle. In Changes, he swaps the cavalry saber for a falcata.

     Lara Raith 

"At what point did you forget that I am a vampire, Dresden? A monster. A habitually neat, polite, civil, and efficient monster."

White Court vampire, older half-sister of Thomas Raith through their father the White King. Noted as the most powerful of her sisters, if not the most beautiful (no, really). As a succubus, she feeds on life force, and as a Raith, her preferred emotion is lust. After the events of Blood Rites, she unofficially became acting head of the Raith family; her father the White King is now merely her puppet. Also a member of the Venatori and a participant in the Oblivion War.
  • Affably Evil: She actually calls herself an "affable monster." And then she eats the soul of a wounded security guard.
  • Anti-Villain: She's not as anti as Marcone, but in any conflict with another villain, she's almost always the lesser evil (you've really got to root for her against both her father and the Skinwalker, for example). It's not that she's not evil, just that really blatant, destructive evil isn't her style, and doesn't suit her purposes.
  • Badass: As demonstrated in White Night and Turn Coat, Lara Raith is an incredibly dangerous physical combatant when the situation calls for it.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Is extremely protective of her little brother Thomas, and even baby sister Inari.... in her own twisted way. For example, she decides the only way to protect Thomas from their father's wrath and torture is by killing him first. She does back down when another, more-likely-to-succeed course of action is presented.
  • Bullying a Dragon: In White Night she purposefully uses dew drop fairies, the small ones like Toot Toot, on her land as lamps to line the way to the meeting just to see what Summer and Winter will do.
  • The Chessmaster: Goes with the territory, since she's a high-ranking White Court vampire.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: In Backup, Thomas notices that as she's giving him orders over the phone she's also having sex with at least two women.
  • Cool Car: In Turn Coat, she loaned Harry a Rolls Royce Silver Wraith. It is so unspeakably awesome that most of the cast spends at least a couple of minutes worshiping at its shrine.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: But considering this is Lord Raith we're talking about.....
  • Dark Action Girl: She makes no bones about the fact she is not a good person. She also doesn't shy away from a direct confrontation if there is no other alternative.
  • Depraved Bisexual: At the climax of Turn Coat, she rapes one of her female cousins to death. While disemboweling her. While purring about how's she's dreamed about it for decades.
  • Epiphanic Prison: In Blood Rites she finally realizes in her heart her father sees her as disposable and has never loved her. While she knew this in her mind, her heart refuses to accept it and only when Harry got Raith to confess to these fact did she finally accept it and know she could break from her father and never have to worry about being harmed again.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: She is a powerful succubus capable of changing a firetruck's engine with her own hands. She will drain the life of people to fill her hunger. That said, she has a deep sense of honor and duty, especially to her family. Even if it costs her her life, she will abide by her standards.
  • Fan Disservice: Her method of killing the traitor Madeline involved pulling out the traitor's intestines while psychically feeding off her. And Lara was black and crispy after surviving a bomb going off next to her.
    "I've wanted to do this since we were kids..."
  • Flash Step: When in a very bad place (like the climax of White Night), she shows she's capable of this.
  • Friendly Enemy: With Harry.
  • Lady of War: While she doesn't fight often, when she does it's a textbook example of this trope. Take Harry's narration of Lara in White Night's climax:
    Harry thinking: In that moment, Lara was more than simply a vampire of the White Court, a succubus, pale and deadly. She was a reminder of the days gone by, when mankind paid homage to blood-soaked goddess of war and death, revered the dark side of the protective maternal spirit, the savage core of the strength that still allowed tiny women to lift cars off their children, or turn upon their tormentors with newfound power. Lara's power, at the moment, hovered around her, deadly in its primal seduction, its sheer strength.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: Usually the reason Harry teams up with her.
  • Mexican Standoff: She is stuck in one with Harry with secrets being their weapons. Harry knows she is the woman behind the man and outing that would destroy her political power in the White Court. Lara knows Harry and Thmas are brothers and outing that would destroy Harry's credibility with the White Council. So, they decide to keep each others secrets for the time being.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: Much more ruthless then Thomas or Harry and willing to end threats to her power in very brutal ways. Harry wonders if helping her seize control of her House through her puppet-father made the White Court even deadlier than it was under the previous administration.
  • Pet the Dog: She really cares about her family, and looks out for Justine when Thomas can't.
  • The Plan and Gambit Roulette: She's White Court. It's what she does. And she's good at what she does.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • She's a lot nicer to have as an enemy than her father was, but she's ultimately much more dangerous.
    • She fights in the Oblivion War because if the ancient evil forces win, she will lose her feeding stock: humans.
  • Royal Rapier: Is seen using one in Blood Rites and Turn Coat, with the Blood Rites version carrying rubies in the shape of rose on the hilt.
  • Secret Keeper:
    • She is one of a handful to know her father is a puppet now and wants to keep it that way.
    • She is part of the Oblivion War with a job to make sure it stays secret. The more who know about the ancient demon-gods trying to get a foothold in the human reality the easier it is for the foothold to be established.
  • Stupidity Inducing Attack: Lara uses this to turn Lord Raith into her weak willed puppet, using the same methods he used against her and her sisters.
  • The Vamp: Being a succubus and social predator, it sort of comes with the hat.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Has trouble killing a Black Court Vamp in Blood Rites. By White Night and Turn Coat she's taking on Uber-Ghouls and survives tangling with a Skin Walker as well as surviving a point-blank landmine as a corpse powered by pure rage
  • Verbal Tic: When speaking affectionately to others, she'll sometimes call them "(title) mine" i.e. calling Harry "wizard mine" or Thomas "brother mine."
  • Weapon of Choice: Is normally described as wielding what Harry calls a "wavy-bladed sword" (probably a kris or kalis), or occasionally a rapier accompanied with some type of pistol.
  • Worthy Opponent: She has respect for Harry ever since he tricked her into being in the right place to hear her father confess to his crippling and his view of Lara. She thought she was using him and learns she was very wrong.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: While she greatly respects her security forces and their skills and the sacrifice they made for the House, if it comes to a choice between nursing the injured security back to health and her recovering from a serious injury, she will have the men make one final sacrifice to her House.

     Madrigal Raith 

One of Thomas and Lara's cousins, Madrigal prefers to feed off fear instead of lust. He masquerades as the horror movie director Darby Crane. Harry first meets him in Proven Guilty, when he tries to sell Harry to his enemies on Ebay.
  • Affably Evil: Less so than Lara or Papa Raith, but he can be charming, when he tries. That happens rarely, however; he prefers to simply use his vampire mojo.
  • Anti-Magic: He has a pair of enchanted gauntlets that shed magic quite easily. Doesn't hold a candle to Luccio's work on the silver swords of the Wardens.
  • Dirty Coward: Bolts when the Scarecrow shows up after he kidnaps Harry, and later on he tries to back out of the Duel to the Death in the Deeps when Harry and Ramirez show up.
  • Emotion Eater: Prefers fear, saying it is more satisfying than lust.
  • Red Herring: In Proven Guilty, Madrigal was meant to take the blame for the phage attacks on the convention.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Deliberately draws Harry into the Gambit Pileup in White Night in hopes that Harry will get killed. Not only does Harry not die, but he figures out exactly what has been going on and shows up at exactly the right moment to ruin the Malvora's plans. The stupidity of doing so is lampshaded several times.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Deliberately gets Harry Dresden involved in the Malvora and Skavis's plans, in the attempt to kill him. Harry survives, figures everything out, challenges Madrigal and Vitto to a duel (resulting in Madrigal's death at the hands of Ramirez), and ruins the plans of both the Malvora and the Skavis. And then the Deeps explode.
  • Weapon of Choice: Prefers to use a long spear.

     Madeline Raith 

Twin sister to Madrigal and cousin of Thomas and Lara. Vapid and not particularly bright, Madeline has little restraint and aggressive appetites.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Mentioned in passing a couple of times in Blood Rites, along with Madrigal. In White Night, it's mentioned that she is responsible for the one injured thrall on the path to the Raith Deeps. Harry doesn't meet her until Turn Coat.
  • Emotion Eater: Lust. She takes great pleasure in it.
  • Hand Cannon: Carries a Desert Eagle, unfortunately she's a crappy shot with it.
  • Out with a Bang: Lara drains her dry.

     Felicia Raith 

A member of the White Court acting as the contact between Murphy's group and the Court. She tries to steal from Murphy and gets thoroughly rebuffed.
  • Badass Boast: When meeting with the Chicago Alliance and having her powers drained due to a threshold when threatened she merely states "I give you one chance in four". Somewhat undermined when Murphy promptly kicks her ass.
  • The Vamp: She's White Court, it goes with the territory.

     Vittorio Malvora 

A scion of House Malvora, a White Court noble house that favors feeding off fear.
  • Axe Crazy: Hides it under a controlled and civilized veneer, but when he summons his army of uber-ghouls, he goes berserk.
  • Emotion Eater: Favors fear.
  • Emotion Bomb: Can create what's essentially a physic bullet combing fear, lust and despair, that required Lash's intervention, to stop it.
  • False Confession: He and Madrigal claim responsibility for the murder of female practitioners, hoping to steal the thunder from House Skavis .
  • I'm a Humanitarian: During the ghoul attack he "feeds" on other White Court vamps. It's not clear if he had been dining on their fear or eating there flesh.
  • Knife Nut: Specializes in throwing knives. While Harry points out that throwing knives are not terribly great for humans, a being centuries of practice and with as much natural strength as Vittorio can chuck them at hundreds of miles per hour and rarely miss.
  • Powers via Possession: being possessed by an Outsider allows him to create the physic bullet mentioned above.
  • Super Speed: Apparently outclasses both Lara and Thomas in this department.
  • Quick Draw: For both guns and blades

    House Skavis Heir/"Priscilla" 
A Serial Killer of female practitioners, intending on discrediting the White Council. Disguises as a woman named Priscilla.
  • Burn the Witch!: First appears to be his motive for killing practitioners, with hidden messages of bible verses decrying witchcraft. Actually he is trying to make the White Council look weak and unable to defend them.
  • Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit: Inverted, when he is killed Vittoria and Madrigal are open to claim responsibility for the murders he committed.
  • Disguised in Drag: Pretends to be a woman named Priscilla, when he is really the male heir-apparent to House Skavis. It was good enough to fool several women who regularly met her.
  • Enemy Civil War: Kills dozens of low level practitioners to discredit House Raith's attempts to make peace with Wizards, and thus take the Court. House Malvora, hearing of this, plans to take credit for the kills and take the Court for their own.
  • False Confession: Vittoria and Madrigal claim responsibility for his murder of female practitioners, hoping to steal the thunder from House Skavis.
  • Meaningful Name: Priscilla? As in The Adventures Of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert?
  • Serial Killer: Targets female practitioners.
  • Villainous Crossdresser: Pretends to be "Priscilla" and murdered many women.

     Inari Raith 
The baby sister of Lara and Thomas and the apple of Lord Raith's eye, who's been kept in the dark about her heritage.
  • Allergic to Love: Briefly as her powers hadn't kicked in yet.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Triggers this instinct in Thomas, who puts a lot of Blood Rites into motion simply to protect Inari.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Inari (稲荷) is the Japanese fox god, whose favorite food is fried tofu. What sort of pizza topping does Inari offer Harry? Furthermore, fox spirits in Oriental mythology do need to feed on yang, and some aren't choosy about how to get it.
  • Cool Big Sis: Sees Lara as this and Lara feels the same way.
  • Dhampyr: Same as with the rest of the Raiths,though her abilities kicked in during her twenties.
  • Daddy's Girl: She seems to adore her father and he seems to be protective of her, though that may only have been becuase she hadn't developed her powers yet and he hadn't needed to establish "dominance".
  • From Bad to Worse: It's impossible not to feel bad for the poor girl, as she gets attacked by Black Court Vamps and gets her arm broken, unconsciously tries feed off Harry and gets burned, shot at by her father's guards and find out her family is made of emotional vampires who've intentionally kept her in the dark her whole life.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Completely literally. She insists on getting Harry a bean curd pizza in Blood Rites.
  • Youngest Child Wins: Luckily she gets a chance to walk away from all of it. And find True Love