Characters: The Dresden Files Unfazed Everymans And Badass Normals
Characters from The Dresden Files
, ordinary people and badass normals.
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A reporter for the Midwestern Arcane
, a trashy tabloid that doesn't deserve a journalist as good as she is. She will put herself at an extraordinary amount of risk to get the scoop on some genuine weirdness, and constantly pesters Harry for leads. Harry's girlfriend until the Red Court got their hands on her.
John "Gentleman Johnny" Marcone
"One day, probably soon, you'll get yourself killed thanks to that irrational set of compulsions you call a conscience, long before my name tops your list. I needn't lift a finger. Giving you information seems an excellent way to accelerate that process. It will also tax the resources of my enemies. And . . . I believe I have no objection to contributing against any organization that would victimize children so."
The boss of the Chicago criminal underground, he's not quite as unpopular with the cops as one might expect since he runs his operation with the minimum of bloodshed and the maximum of profit. He's smart enough that he generally tries to keep Harry on his side, but isn't averse to working against him when necessary. Harry hates his guts, but has still probably done him more good than harm overall.
- Abnormal Ammo: Uses an anti-ward musket ball in Even Hand
- Affably Evil: Can be very charming when he wants to be, is almost uniformly polite in the face of Harry's deliberate provocation, and has assisted the heroes even in situations where it doesn't materially benefit himself. Harry continuously reminds himself that, no matter how often Marcone assists him or even saves his life, he is still a bad person.
- Ambiguously Evil: Sometimes it's hard to tell if he's a Type I Anti-Villain or a particularly hard-core Anti-Hero.
- Anti-Villain: He's more often help than hindrance to Harry; while his empire of crime is vast and increasing, he maintains order and reduces violence. We ultimately learn from his Start of Darkness in White Night that the motivation that drives him is to prevent Innocent Bystanders from harm, and he is desperate to heal a young girl in a coma from a bullet meant for him. In Small Favor, he refuses to be freed first until the Archive is rescued, and during the subsequent escape, shelters her and makes sure she is the first person on the rescue helicopter.
- Arch-Enemy: He believes himself to be this for Harry Dresden. He had stated in his monologue of "Even Hand" that someday he and Harry will face each other for one final time and has been preparing armament to ensure his victory. It's difficult to decide which is more impressive: that Harry can destroy the strongest mob boss in the nation or that Marcone can kill one of the deadliest wizards on the planet.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Even when he's not surrounded by God knows how many bodyguards, this is seriously one guy you do not want to mess with.
- Badass Normal: He once managed to keep a knife hidden from FBI agents, then pull it out and throw it through a rope while hanging upside down in the dark. Another time he ripped Nicodemus into shreds with a machine gun. It slowed him down for, like, 2 seconds, but it's the thought that counts.
Say what you want about Marcone, but he has balls that drag on the ground when he walks.
- Berserk Button: It's hard to find something that will set Marcone off, but if he even thinks you're threatening children, and especially Amanda Beckit, a.k.a. "Persephone", he will murder you until you die. He outright says in Changes that part of the reason why he is helping Harry against the Red Court is because they are hurting children.
- Big Damn Heroes: He's needed to be rescued a couple of times now. On the flip side, he's also been one to show up at the last second with a rescue squad (usually Hendricks and Gard) a couple of times as well.
- Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive: He does the finger-steepling thing quite a bit, as his character design is based on David Xanatos.
- Crazy-Prepared: This is a man who puts extra light and thin doors at dramatic entry points to reduce shrapnel. Not to mention having both technological and magical defenses installed in multiple safe houses.
- Cynicism Catalyst: He will do anything to try to make up for the fact that a little girl took a bullet meant for him and has been in a coma ever since.
- Diabolical Mastermind
- Deadpan Snarker: his narration of Even Hand.
Mag entered in the manner so many of these self-absorbed supernatural cretins seem to adore. He blasted the door into a cloud of flying splinters with what I presumed was magic.
For God's sake.
At least the vampires would call for an appointment.
- The Don: Runs basically all organized crime in Chicago. The cops are actually fairly willing to put up with this, as organized crime's gotten a lot less violent since he took over, and his control of things prevents turf wars.
- Enemy Mine: Has probably teamed up with Harry more times than he's been an antagonist.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Marcone is willing to take a profit from any single vice you can name... except those which involve the exploitation of children. The defining moment of this trope may have been the opening scene of Even Hand, where he personally sees to the execution of a pimp who sold children and a drug dealer who sold to minors.
- The Fettered
- Friendly Enemy: Generally courteous, and often helpful, towards Harry. Harry responds by being as rude as possible to drive home his view that Marcone's a villain, however friendly he acts.
- Friend to All Children: His first rule. To Harry's annoyance, since it means he can't just dismiss the guy as a mustache-twirling villain.
- Genre Savvy: After the first time failed, Marcone never threatened Harry again and had accepted with saintly tolerance Harry's insults and property destruction. This seems bizarre for The Don at first sight, until one realizes that he must have recognized that Harry always came out not only alive, but victorious over and over again against enemies several magnitudes stronger than him (and Marcone). As per "Even Hand," Marcone has been implementing precautions into all his buildings specifically to destroy Harry.
- Green Eyes: Harry's usual description is "the color of worn dollar bills." Murphy compares them to "dead grass." Noticeably, in a flashback, his eyes are a more healthy-looking "bright, grass-green."
- I Know Your True Name: Actually we don't. In his narration of Even Hand, he mentions the fact John Marcone is not his real name.
- Johnny McCoolname: But see above.
- Knife Nut: He always seems to have several lying around.
- Lesser of Two Evils: It's frequently pointed out that, yes, he's a leader of organized crime, but his standards keep the levels of collateral damage much lower than they would be without him.
- The Mafia
- Major Injury Underreaction: "Even Hand" ended with his arm broken, several ribs bruised or cracked, and lacerations all over his body. He barely reacted, killed the dark wizard, and went out to a nice restaurant after a quick check-in with his private doctor.
- Morality Pet: "Persephone," the girl who was put into a coma by a drive-by hit on Marcone when he was younger. Harry outright says that this is the entire reason why Marcone tightly controls the streets and doesn't hesitate to kill criminals who hurt innocents. To a certain extent this applies to all children (for instance, his protectiveness towards The Archive), as does his Berserk Button.
- Mysterious Backer: Mostly since, as the name itself implies, he's a pragmatic, but ruthless gangster.
- Noble Demon
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: He is the only human so far who not only is completely unmoved by White Court glamour, but he managed to pierce through the veils of Lara at their first encounter, finding her shadow government "amusing." In Cold Days, Thomas tells Harry that Marcone has become the second man to turn Lara down in a century (Harry being the first).
- Neighbourhood Friendly Gangsters: His modus operandi reduces the amount of collateral damage and civilian casualties in Chicago's criminal underworld.
- Papa Wolf: summed up when Harry makes a probing threat against Persephone:
I'll kill you. If you so much as breathe in her direction, I'll kill you, Dresden. Myself.
- Pragmatic Villainy.
- The Stoic: In Death Masks, the fact that he blinks once is implied by Harry to be a massive tell for him.
Marcone: (Narration) I am not made of stone, but I have found it is generally best to behave as if I am.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: For Dresden. He is sure that one day he and Dresden would face each other one last time. And he is not certain that he would be the one left standing.
- Red Baron: Gentleman Johnny Marcone. It says something about the man that he makes the nickname "Gentleman" Bad Ass.
- Vetinari Job Security: He's a crime lord who makes a profit off any vice trade you care to name, but he's infinitely better than any of the alternatives. Harry at one point tells him someday he won't be the lesser evil, but until then, it seems everyone is relieved Marcone's running the Outfit and keeping the collateral damage down.
- What Beautiful Eyes: He has Green Eyes, which suggest extreme materialism (being the color of worn dollar bills).
Marcone's chief bodyguard/enforcer.
- Badass Normal: Joins Thomas in charging a line of undead uberghouls at the end of White Night. And survives.
- The Brute: He is big, strong, but unlike other brutes, has a very sharp mind. However he only shows this in private moments or when things are dire. Otherwise, he will appear to be Dumb Muscle.
- Evil Redhead: Morally ambiguous redhead, at least. With a crew cut.
- Martial Pacifist
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Dresden assumes he's just Dumb Muscle because he speaks rarely and usually in monosyllables but...
- Genius Bruiser: He actually has a degree in philosophy and is working on his thesis
- Punch Clock Villain
- The Quiet One: Rarely speaks in complete sentences. At least, as far as Harry knows.
- Technically a Smile/The Un-Smile: When he does "smile," it's described as the kind of smile that would make dogs burst into nervous howling.
- Undying Loyalty: To Marcone
- Warrior Poet: In Even Hand, it's revealed Hendricks has a habit of quoting classic literature at Marcone when he disagrees with Marcone's decisions.
- Weapon of Choice: Hendricks rarely goes into battle without toting some kind of heavy machinegun. Harry comments that riot guns look like toys in his hands.
- Broken Bird: The loss of her daughter was something she never recovered from.
- Despair Event Horizon: After the loss of her daughter,
- Enemy Mine
- Meaningful Name: Ms. Demeter. Like the Goddess, her daughter is trapped in a coma, unable to be woken up by any means Marcone (Hades) has tried.
- Miss Kitty: Runs Executive Priority for Marcone.
- Put on a Bus / The Bus Came Back: Arrested and sent to prison in Storm Front, she came back eight books later.
- Revenge Before Reason: In Storm Front she didn't care who she had to destroy if it means Marcone is destroyed.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Her feelings for Marcone, and vice versa are...complicated.
- You Killed My Daughter: Her daughter was killed during a hit aimed at Marcone. Though averted later when Harry learns her daughter is alive, but in a coma and cared for by Marcone. He won't reveal her to her mother, fearing the despair Helen would go through with finding her daughter but in such a state would be unbearable to the woman.
Thomas Raith's long-time girlfriend and primary food source. After he almost killed her in Blood Rites
, she was in a wheelchair for a while, got out of it, her previously dark hair turned white, and, ironically, she and Thomas could no longer touch since love burns White Court vampires. Largely due to this last characteristic, she is now Lara Raith's personal assistant, since Lara prefers to have an assistant that none of her family members can turn into a thrall.
- Bi the Way: It turns out in Ghost Story, that she goes both ways. Thomas is deeply appreciative.
- Not for the usual reasons. As discussed later, her and Thomas's love for each other makes her poison to him. Until she has sex with someone she doesn't love... Thus... wax on, wax off. Just with girl-on-girl sex.
- The Chick: With a twist, namely the insanity mentioned below.
- Distressed Damsel: In Grave Peril, although it's mostly because she's too crazy to think straight. She is quite resourceful otherwise.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Justine's mind is...off, especially when separated from Thomas. The 'almost drained of life-force' may have cured this, she seems far more stable in later books.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: By the time Turn Coat rolls around....
- Hello, Nurse!: Enough so that Bianca hates Thomas on principle for getting to her first.
- Locked into Strangeness: After the events of Blood Rites her hair goes white.
- Morality Chain: To Thomas.
- Obfuscating Insanity: One of the masks she wears in later books.
- The Ophelia: When she's separated from Thomas in Grave Peril.
She brayed out a sharp laugh. 'There is no out of here. This is the larder. The Christmas turkey doesn't get up and walk away.'
- The Power of Love: This protects her from the White Court vampires. Lara being Lara, she realized that this was a very helpful trait in someone who would need to work around them. In Ghost Story, she figures out a way to avoid this: sleep with others to remove the protection, then lay with Thomas. Rinse and repeat.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Definitely becomes this in Even Hand, even getting Marcone to underestimate her.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Thomas Raith.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: Word of God reveals that she and post-Turn Coat Thomas are like this in private.
- Talkative Loon: Justine is certifiably insane, but Thomas' routine "feeding" helps her keep her sanity. When separated from him in Grave Peril, she rapidly slips into madness.
- Subverted in White Night, where it's revealed that she's just faking so the rest of the White Court will leave her alone, and is actually stable now with the help of medication.
- Took a Level in Badass: Volunteered to work as Lara's assistant to feed Thomas (and thus Harry, and thus the White Council) information on the Court's activities. However, she really takes on in Even Hand, where she infiltrates the stronghold of Mag, a powerful Fomor sorcerer, frees his slaves, and steals his bank account information, and then manages to get Marcone to kill Mag.
"Polka will never die!"
Chicago medical examiner, polka enthusiast and geek extraordinaire. He was assigned to autopsy the corpses found after a fire, but since said fire was in fact the result of a wizardly temper tantrum
, he got a vampire corpse, called it "humanlike, but definitely nonhuman" and consequently got stuck in a mental institution for observation for three months. This gave him a cheery disrespect for authority that helps him get along quite well with Harry.
Harry's deceased father. Formerly a stage magician, he died when Harry was around six years old. Officially, he died because of a brain aneurism; some have hinted otherwise. We'll know sooner or later. His ghost made a brief, cryptic appearance in Dead Beat
The second oldest of Michael and Charity's children, now a member of the Chicago Alliance.
Margaret "Maggie" Angelica Dresden
She conceived during Death Masks
. The living Macguffin of Changes.
She was kidnapped by Arianna to be used in a sacrificial ritual, but saved by Harry.
- The Cutie: Was this until Arianna kidnapped her.
- Break the Cutie: Compare the smiling photo to the broken-down wreck she is when Harry meets her (after narrowly securing her a reprieve)
- Disappeared Dad: Harry, by virtue of not being told she even existed for the first five years of her life and later his death.
- Happily Adopted: As of Ghost Story is now living with the Carpenters with Mouse as her companion.
- Human Sacrifice: Arianna planned this for her, and after Arianna's plans fell through thanks to her death at Harry's hands, the Red King tried to do the same. She was saved, but it's pretty safe to say that she'll have scars for years to come.
- Missing Mom: Susan because it was too dangerous to keep her around while Susan was fighting the Red Court, and later because Susan died in a Heroic Sacrifice, saving little Maggie from the Red Court.