Harry says that he doesn't know of anyone with the stones to summon St. Nick. Word of God, and the way that the Dresdenverse generally works, imply that Santa is the Winter King - making him the equal of the Erlking. Guess someone has the stones after all. And according to Cold Days, Santa (a.k.a. Kringle) is not only the equal of the Erlking—and, apparently, his friend, since they appear together repeatedly and ride the Wild Hunt together—but Odin. Neil Gaiman was right. Old gods do new jobs.
Why does Harry bother to pay for an office, especially in the earlier books where he's perpetually broke? Because Harry has to have an office, since if he ran his detective business out of his apartment, it would probably lose its threshold and Harry wouldn't be able conjure effective wards. Harry's office is, indirectly, one of the reasons that his apartment is so safe.
When Bianca is introduced, the revelation that Red Court vampires are loathsome bat-hybrid freaks sheathed by temporary human husks seems a little schlock B-movie-ish, or else like Butcher's deliberately employing the Our Vampires Are Different trope. Events in Changes reveal that having them work this way wasn't just an arbitrary excuse for Body Horror: It means that Susan, in becoming a full vampire, shed and discarded her original human body. Therefore, Harry could sacrifice her emerged vampire-self and kill the Red Court without worrying that the heart-ripper spell would rebound on her human relatives, which include her parents and grandparents (if they're alive) as well as little Maggie. Admittedly, there was little chance of that anyway, since Susan had no living relatives and the curse works backwards from the one killed. Killing Maggie would get Harry and Susan, but killing Harry or Susan would not have directly harmed Maggie. Still if there was any chance at all, it was stopped.
There's a moment during the confrontation at the Varsity when Hendricks seems to have botched it at his job, as he allows Gimpy Lawrence (who's all but confessed to selling Marcone out) time to pull his gun and fire at Harry before drawing a weapon himself. A bodyguard should react to a potential threat before bullets are flying, not after. However, Hendricks is used to working with a partner—Tommy Tomm, one of the first heart-ripper victims—while guarding Marcone, and as the Big Guy, it would've been his responsibility to body-block Marcone in a crisis, while Tommy drew on a potential attacker. The ferocity with which Hendricks puts Gimpy down was his split-second self-correction, after having erroneously reacted as if he still had his partner there to back him up.
Harry doesn't learn that wizards eventually develop precognition until ten books into the series, but he may actually have experienced his first flash of it all the way back in book one. Riding up to the heart-ripper murder room, he briefly gets the heebie-jeebies about being confined in the elevator with Murphy. Several chapters later, the two of them nearly die while trapped in an elevator. Lucky guess or generic paranoia? Possibly not. It actually makes sense that that's when he'd have an early flash of foresight: the scorpion's attack on the elevator happened within walking distance of the spot where his premonition took place, in a similar environment, and it involved two factors — Murphy and a threat connected to the Black Council and/or Nemesis — that would have pivotal influences on his life for years to come. Even Demonreach isn't as central to Harry's life as his most trusted ally or his perennial enemies.
The Three-Eye addict Harry encounters at the police station rants about seeing "those who walk before and He Who Walks Behind" coming for the wizard. At the time, Harry was floored that the addict's drug-induced Sight had revealed the mark of his past encounter with the Walker of that name. But as of Cold Days, it seems that the addict may have also seen Harry's future encounter with He Who Walks Before, whose Self-Duplication power accounts for the junkie saying "those", not "he". Furthermore, the addict in question freaks out and starts screaming when the two cops start escorting him to the holding cells. As in, the same cells where the loup-garou would be tearing prisoners to bits, a few months later. Definitely a prescient aspect to that drug's effect, to send the guy fleeing in shrieking-and-bouncing-off-the-walls terror.
Billy and the Werewolves go through a nice little character development that was far more subtle than it originally seems. In Fool Moon, they're wearing biker leathers trying to appear tough, but they're still amateurs. By the later books, they're typically wearing loose shirts and sweats so they can transform more quickly into their wolf forms. Why mention this? A line about Mouse from Proven Guilty. "Like all the most dangerous people I know, he didn't feel a need to make any displays." Billy...err, Will's pack went from being posers to being truly dangerous. Even better illustrated by the fact that, his first time out in Fool Moon, Billy gets his wolf-legs caught up in his bathrobe when he gets his game face on. By Summer Knight, he can shed his sweats so well that he doesn't even bother to drop his pants, he just leaps out of them as he changes on the run.
Harry has stated repeatedly that the reason wizards choose ancient languages for their spells is because they don't want to accidentally say a word that has meaning for them, and remember belatedly that it's tied to their fireball spell. Harry uses Canis Latinicus for his spells. He also has a hard time learning actual Latin. It's probably a good this he didn't do well with that stupid correspondence course. He wouldn't want to torch the entire Council, would he?
In a follow-up case of Fridge Brilliance, Harry's Latin has apparently improved a lot by Turn Coat, as he uses it to communicate with a non-English-speaking Warden with no difficulty. Presumably he's had to re-learn it in the course of teaching Molly, but with face-to-face assistance from Michael and/or Father Forthill rather than another substandard correspondence course.
The swords themselves are linked to the three Christian Virtues: Faith (Fidelacchius), Hope (Esperacchius), and Love (Amoracchius)...and the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13. Even better, some translations have the three Christian Virtues as; Faith, Hope, and Charity (the name of Michael Carpenter's wife!)
Harry remarks in passing that he hasn't had much luck with women in his life, what with all the demons, ghosts, and human sacrifices. Of his three long-term girlfriends, he lost contact with Elaine after Justin sicced a demonic entity on him; his relationship with Luccio was messed up because the Corpsetaker, whose ghost battled Harry, stuck her in a body that was vulnerable to mind control; and as for Susan...
Very minor example: Michael Carpenter's construction company builds middle-class houses in the suburbs, without cutting corners or settling for shoddy workmanship. On the surface, that just goes to show he's a nice man of great integrity ... but it also means he doesn't have to cut deals with the likes of Marcone, who owns a great deal of Chicagoland real estate and presumably has the city's corrupt contractors under his thumb.
In Grave Peril, Michael says something to Harry about how the wizard would know more about being arrested than he would. It took a while, but the comic Ghoul, Goblin — set immediately between Fool Moon and Grave Peril — establishes that Harry has, in fact, been arrested before, by the skeptical sheriff of Boone Mill, MI.
When Harry mentions the unicorn he and Elaine encountered on their way, one of the Mothers asks "What unicorn?" At the time, this strikes the reader as a clue that the Mothers didn't put it there. Later this takes on new meaning when it's revealed that the "unicorn" was a disguised centaur, suggesting that the Mothers could see through its disguise ... and it does it again when Turn Coat indicates that the Mothers have the power of intellectus, meaning that they may never even have realized that the centaur was in disguise.
Post Cold Days, it appears Mother Winter was being even sneakier than that. EVERY part of their conversation with Harry tells him something important provided you look at it correctly. Remember, the Fae cannot give something without taking something in return eventually and are master rules lawyers. At this point Harry knew it couldn't have been Mab or Titania after seeing the table. Or either of the Mothers, because he still exists while talking to them. That means it can only be Aurora, Maeve or Loyd Slate. How does the conversation go? Harry asks who dunnit. The Mothers tell him he's asking the wrong question. Then ask him a question themselves. The answer he gives them is ALSO the answer to his own question 'Neither one nor the other.' the only other option is 'both'. I.E, Winter and Summer acting together. As Aurora is the only Summer Fae left her accomplice doesn't actually matter. Harry has just been given his answer.
And what does this have to do with the Unicorn? The Mothers are trying to help him and while they can't give him information they CAN ask him questions. And what question does Mother Winter ask? 'What Unicorn?'. Which has two implied meanings. One 'We don't have a unicorn' and two 'that isn't a unicorn.'. The Mother's conversations are properly cryptic. Once you know the key everything they say makes perfect sense. And it's all directly helping Harry!
Ebenezar tells Harry that the Merlin always has three schemes for accomplishing his goals: a plan, a backup plan, and an ace-in-the-hole. If one re-examines the White Council's war with the Red Court overall, this seems to have been true in the long term: the Merlin planned to defeat the Court by fighting defensively if he could, held a backup plan to exterminate them wholesale in reserve, and left it to Harry — a hothead who could be relied on to pick a fight with the Reds in a pinch, just as Morgan could be trusted to pick a fight with Harry in Summer Knight — to be the (unwitting) ace-in-the-hole.
Read the scene in which Ebenezar McCoy offers Dresden sanctuary at his farm. The mention of Asteroid Dresden the Russian satellite is in that scene as obvious foreshadowing for what McCoy does later. Ebenezar's asking where they packed the old telescope seemed casual enough, up until he asks if the observation logs were there, too. He's been tracking it for a while. McCoy was getting set to drop the satellite on Ortega even then. Better yet, Ebenezar asks Harry about the telescope after Harry tells him how Ortega is threatening Harry's friends to force him into the duel. Learning about Ortega's threats may well have been the clincher in Eb's decision to Colony Drop the Red warlord's manor house. That scene also sets up Harry recognising the satellite drop as Eb's handiwork. And that nobody else has that information.
Lord Raith, after being asked to be Ortega's second for the duel, sends his son Thomas instead—partially as a good joke, partially in the hope that he'll die. There's a third reason: since Lord Raith can't feed or replenish his reserves, there was a very good chance he could have been wiped out at the duel—and that's why he sent Thomas: because he was worried he'd die.
Kincaid serving as Ivy's bodyguard makes a huge mount of sense when one considers that most of Ivy's power comes from magic, whereas Kincaid's primary means of beating ass is with guns, melee weapons, and physical power. They're an excellent compliment for one another who can support each other in areas that they can't cover.
Shiro's name is a good hint of both his character and his ultimate fate. Shiro means 'white', which symbolizes purity in Western countries, showing his kind and patient nature. White also symbolizes death in Eastern countries, hinting at Shiro's death at the hands of the Denarians. "Shi" also means "Death" in Japanese.
There's a very good reason why no Knight of the Cross came to the rescue when Harry was being disemboweled by Cassius. In Death Masks, Harry arguably subverted the Knights' purpose and principles by giving Cassius that beating, so he got a thorough beating in return. In addition, Harry shows the view throughout Death Masks that the Denarians aren't really people and are entirely evil, and has no issues with passing judgment on Cassius as evil. When he's nearly killed by Cassius in Dead Beat, what does he do? He makes a deal with Lasciel's shadow, the first step to becoming a Denarian himself. It's both a repercussion for his previous actions, and a chance to learn empathy by understanding the process by which someone could fall. It's not the Knights' job to save him from that lesson, or from the consequences of his own actions. As of Skin Game we now know a incepient knight of the cross DID save him! WOOO FORESHADOWING!
Consider Ivy's fondness for animals: petting Mister in Death Masks, watching the sea otters in Small Favor. At first glance, it looks like she's simply slipping out of character as an all-knowing savant to act like a little kid; then, when you recall that it's all human knowledge which she possesses, you realize that even the all-knowing side of her is probably just as pleased to spend time with them, because animal knowledge isn't part of her database and their behavior is thus refreshingly unpredictable to her.
The first significant act which Martin performs in the series is to risk breaking his own neck by deliberately crashing the limo at the art gallery, distracting Marcone's thugs from Harry and Susan. This seems like a minor off-camera event, until you read Changes, after which it becomes Foreshadowing for how Martin is willing to offer up his own blood, or even his life, to ensure Harry and Susan can take down the villains. Plus, Martin is a half-vampire like Susan, who can easily tackle things through walls. He can take a car crash without trouble.
Initially Michael's line "My faith protects me. My Kevlar helps." just comes off as a joke, but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. God helps those who help themselves. Michael takes steps to take care of himself, and the big guy does the rest.
Ortega suggests that Harry should willingly die to end the war, because then the Red Court will be able to minimize the killings by their members. Harry replies that those lives could also be saved by killing every vampire in the world.
Harry, Mort Lindquist, Ortega and Father Vincent all appear on The Larry Fowler Show. The studio's equipment progressively fails, and Harry blames his own imperfect control over his emotions for the malfunctions. However, we later learn that "Father Vincent" was really Cassius, a Denarian and sorcerer, who'd altered his appearance with an active illusion. No wonder the studio went kablooee within minutes of the other two guests' arrival! This could actually be a stealth case of Nice Job Fixing It, Villain, too. Given that Ortega and the Denarians are operating independently of one another in this novel, it's likely that he had no more clue that Father Vincent was an illusion-cloaked imposter than Harry did. In which case, Ortega would've assumed Harry's failed concentration was solely to blame for the cameras' malfunctions, and that Harry's willpower must not be very strong. Hence, his opting for "will" as the duel's format ... a choice which, in fact, actually gave Harry a much better chance of success than armed or unarmed combat would have. So in a sense, Cassius saved Harry from getting dismembered by Ortega before sniper-Martin could get off a shot!
An already-annoyed Charity gets angrier when Molly gets caught listening in on her phone conversation with Harry, and makes a crack about "Surrender, Dorothy!" after saying it's like her Mom is telepathic. We later learn that Charity actually was a practitioner who'd been tempted into black magic at one time, so Molly implying she was a mind-reader or witch really hit below the belt for her.
Ortega gets really, really mad when Harry rejects his "offer" to make him a vampire slave and throws his own "life is more than mere survival" line back at him. This takes on new depth once we learn more about Ortega's role in the Red Court hierarchy, and realize Ortega himself must have given in and accepted a similar offer from Arianna centuries ago, and had been her abused lackey ever since.
This is the book where we learn about the three Knights of the Cross, whose swords are called Amoracchius, Esperacchius and Fidelacchius, after Love, Hope and Faith. Considering the Bible verse Thomas mentions, about those three things, and how Love is the most important of them, could it be a bit of a joke that Amoracchius' wielder is the first we meet?
Harry takes Ebenezar's role as the Blackstaff as a betrayal. He wonders how the man who taught him all about how magic was the stuff of Life could also be the White Council's black ops man. However, it's precisely because Ebenezar believed in those things that he was the Blackstaff. Someone with a Warden's mentality is second only to an out-and-out evil psychopath for people who should not wield the Blackstaff. But a true believer, someone who believes in the Life of magic, and is willing to fight, kill if need be, to protect it. That's who you want. Such considerations add new depth to why McCoy didn't want to be on the Senior Council all those years, and perhaps why the Merlin didn't want him there either. All other political and personality-clash issues aside, and morally suspect as it is to have a Blackstaff at all, it's even more morally-dubious to have the Council's secret hitman voting on decisions regarding whom he should kill, rather than acting solely at the behest of others.
Harry makes an off-hand joke to Arturo about him being a leader, and how they need to buy Arturo a big round table. Arturo gets the joke and laughs, comparing himself and Harry to King Arthur and Merlin. Its a small thing, but considering that later on we learn Ebenezar has been trained in the tradition of the actual Merlin and Harry is safeguarding a sword that is but outright said to be Excalibur, and a small scene becomes a brilliant bit of foreshadowing.
When Harry leaves baby Mouse at the police station, he returns to find the puppy gnawing and shaking a battered old Snoopy toy kept to amuse visitors' children. Odds are, it's the same Snoopy that Harry'd used to hamstring the loup-garou a few books earlier, in a sympathetic-magic ritual using the creature's blood. Even as a pup, Mouse's foo dog senses could recognize the scent of years-old monster blood!
Mouse's cuddly-puppy behavior in Blood Rites seems, upon first reading, to be simply a case of puppy cuteness in action. Once later books reveal that Mouse is every bit as intelligent as a human, it becomes clear that Mouse is yet another character who's dealing with family problems in that novel — he's just been kidnapped from Tibet and then separated from his littermates, after all — so he sympathizes with Harry's loneliness because he's suffering from family-loss issues, himself.
Corpsetaker's favoritetactic makes a lot of sense if one wants to be a sneaky infiltrator or to hide out by changing identities, but it makes even more sense when one considers the nature of thaumaturgy. Jumping from body to body ensures that anyone who gets a sample of blood, hair, nail clippings, DNA, or anything else traditionally used for targeting thaumaturgy spells can't use it on him/her/it - something very important when one's chief rivals are wizards and necromancers to boot.
How did the Kemmlerites know to look for the Die Lied der Erlking for use in the Darkhallow? Because they're part and parcel of the Black Council, and a Black Council agent wrote the bloody thing, so of course they'd know it contains a summoning ritual.
The back of the book makes it clear, you know, that Chicago is Dresden's beat, and there's a lot of necromancy about. Except that an integral part of necromancy in this setting involves drums. Drums that you have to beat to control the dead. Brilliant.
In Dead Beat, after Dresden shoots the Corpsetaker in Luccio's body, Morgan goes ballistic on him and refuses to listen to any explanation. The first time around, this just seems like normal overzealous Morgan who hates Dresden. Then you read Turn Coat, and realize that Morgan was acting like that because he just saw Dresden gun down not just the leader of the Wardens, but the woman he was in love with.
Small Favor reveals that every wizard who lives long enough develops a measure of prescience about things that will be very important to them. Think about how important Morgan's captain is to him, and then consider what his prescience might've ever-so-slightly hinted would one day happen to Luccio's original body. No wonder he couldn't help but loathe Harry from the moment he laid eyes on him...
Also, a second reading of Turn Coat gives a very different insight into why Morgan tried to shoot Molly for probing Luccio's mind. First time, it seems like his anti-warlock fanaticism, but in subsequent readings, you know it's because he was afraid Molly would succeed and discover mind-controlled Luccio was LaFortier's killer.
The battle at Sicily in Dead Beat seems to be modeled after a battle in ancient Greece, where a seemingly invincible power suffered catastrophic losses because it was unable to withdraw from the island.
The pairings of necromancer with drummer all make perfect sense. Cowl is so powerful that he wouldn't have much use for has-been Cassius or a brute like Li Xian, and Kumori's ethics are something neither Grevane nor Corpsetaker would put up with in an underling. Grevane wouldn't want Li Xian working for him because the ghoul would be too tempted to eat his corporeal-zombie minions, and he already has all the thugpower he needs: a smart ally like Cassius is much more useful for herding his meat puppets around. Cassius has had centuries of experience sharing his mind with a Fallen, so Corpsetaker would be wary of dealing with him closely — who knows what mental defenses he's built up, that could balk her from manipulating his thoughts or usurping his body if she felt the need? — but Li Xian can feel safe from mental usurpation in her company (who would want to be a ghoul?) and gets to snack on her victims, since she only needs peoples' ghosts and minds, not their corpses. Sick, but practical.
Cassius curses Harry to "die alone." This could refer to Harry being shot when he's alone on the Water Beetle at the end of Changes. But remember what else Harry's been busy with. Despite going up against certain death with all of his allies in tow, the only ones to die did so because Harry specifically caused their death (Telling Ebenezer about Maggie to try and convince him to help, bringing a team to kill the Red Court, telling Susan what Martin did to induce her to kill Martin, stabbing Susan to kill Susan and the rest of the Red Court). So for the good guys, Harry alone died, which in all likelihood is a trade Harry would have willing made in the first place. Great death curse there, Cassius.
Cassius has spent centuries as a willing partner of a fallen angel, and is dying for lack of that fallen angel. "Die Alone" is plausibly, for his point of view, the worst curse imaginable.
Harry disliked Martin from the moment he met the guy. While on the surface this might seem to just be jealousy of his relationship with Susan, analysis of the later books reveals something far more serious. In Changes Harry's house and office are destroyed, his back is broken, he has to accept the role of Winter Knight, he has to slit the throat of the woman he loves, and he ends up getting killed. Moreover, in the next two books we see that as a direct result of Harry's actions Molly first goes nearly insane and then is forcibly made the Winter Lady, Murphy is torn to shreds emotionally, and the whole world is thrown into a war that is threatening to break the Masquerade and is destroying the magical community. Now consider that all this was directly or indirectly caused byMartin. And Turn Coat establishes that wizards have a sort of precognitive knowledge of things that will be important to them. How could this awareness not make Harry hate the man who would destroy so much of Harry's life?
In Dead Beat, Gard rescues Harry from Li Xian at Marcone's request. She chases Corpsetaker's minion off easily while disparaging him several times, spoiling for a fight. This makes perfect sense when you know that she's a Valkyrie, Chooser of the honored battle-dead, so she should be a natural enemy of corpse-defiling scavengers like ghouls.
Gard rescues Harry, who was supposed to die in the alley, and immediately afterwards has a conversation with Marcone about there being consequences and him paying the price. Next time we see Marcone, he's been abducted, tortured, and forced to watch Ivy being tortured - which given how important protecting children is to Marcone, is probably one of the worst things that could possibly happen to him. That particular chain of events behave consistently with the sort of thing that happens in a Norse mythic cosmology when you try to mess with destiny.
There may be more of a "price to pay" than that. Harry is the current Plan A to save the world from Outsiders. But he was about to give an important artifact to Mavra because she was threatening Murphy. Maybe Mavra getting the Word of Kemmler will have such negative consequences that God was willing to sacrifice Harry and go with Plan B. But of course, Jim Butcher would be out of a job if Harry is killed off (or maybe not - Ghost Story), so Jim needed an agent of free will to counter God's will. Perhaps Mavra's getting the Word will come back to haunt Harry in the big apocalyptic trilogy.
In Dead Beat, Carlos soulgazes the young woman whose body Corpsetaker had previously occupied, correctly guessing that Harry was right about her swapping bodies with Luccio. At the time, this only seems to prove that he's quick-thinking and more willing to trust in Harry's judgement than Morgan is; later, Molly's Battle in the Center of the Mind from Ghost Story goes to prove that Carlos was also incredibly brave to make the attempt, because if he and Harry had guessed wrong about the body-swap, he'd have been assaulted himself by a high-caliber necromantic mind-rapist desperate to seize an unwounded body. He'd have lost, too, because the White Council hadn't yet resumed training its wardens to fend off mental assaults effectively.
A nice bit of foreshadowing that Molly has magical talent is when Harry's getting his name tag, the lady says that the printer's been on the fritz.
There's a picture◊ floating around of Molly standing in front of a set of mirrors, a scene from Proven Guilty. One of the images is her as a Warden, one is her as a party girl, and the third has her as the Winter Lady. That picture is official art for a calendar, with one of Jim Butcher's friends (and a frequent Molly cosplayer) as the model. The real Fridge Brilliance there though is that the Wintery Molly is the only one in the same pose and stance as the Molly in front of the mirrors.
The conversation between Harry and Luccio takes on a new meaning after the events of Small Favor, where Thomas points out that Luccio is attracted to Harry and coming onto him in a roundabout manner, and Harry realizes that she's not entirely confident (having spent about a hundred and forty years without dating or a sex drive). The faintly awkward conversation between Harry and Luccio, particularly Lucchio's mention of her frustration with having to deal with her body and offhand mention of her sex drive, seems more like a shy girl trying to test the waters with a guy she likes but is uncertain about - which is exactly what she is at this point. The conversation becomes a subtle but excellent bit of foreshadowing of the relationship that develops between Harry and Luccio. Of course, this takes on a darker and more brilliant turn when one considers that Luccio was being mentally-influenced into being attracted to Harry, and what we know about how people react to mind-control magic. Luccio's awkwardness and uncertainty is also a subtle indicator that she's being mind-controlled.
When Lash sacrifices herself to save Harry from Vitto's psychic attack, it's not just for the reasons mentioned openly in the text. When she realized that Harry genuinely would sooner stay and die than leave Thomas or Murphy behind, she also realized that even if she survived Taking the Bullet, Harry would NEVER accept Lasciel's coin. Why not? Because Harry thinks of Lash as a person who'll die if he does. And Harry doesn't sacrifice his allies to save himself. Lasciel's last hope of ever claiming Harry had been lost the moment he explained "the freaking point" to Lash.
A subtle thing, but when Harry and Thomas go to meet Hendricks and Gard at the safehouse, Gard has Thomas stay downstairs before bringing Harry up. At first glance this is just the usual criminal cagey paranoia about wanting to keep the vampire where they can watch him, but remember that Gard is badly wounded, and Thomas is a natural predator whose instincts push him to attack wounded prey. Keeping Thomas downstairs and away from Gard not only protects her, but it makes things easier on him as well.
Mab warns Harry to not call Uriel by his name for fear of Summoning the Archangel. In Changes she called Jesus "The White Christ". If someone of Mab's power spoke Jesus' name, he would be summoned in one form or another.
Harry remarks that he thinks of his ball-of-fire spell as a "little ball of sunshine". This turns out to be much more than just a casual quip, as it explains why he still has access to that spell, despite Mab's mental tampering: he didn't think of it as a fire-based effect, so Mab missed it when she erased his memories of fire-magic. Otherwise, he couldn't have set off the sprinklers at the train station, meaning the hobs would have done a lot more damage, and it would've been Tiny who showed up on the island, probably far less willing to parley than Eldest Gruff.
We realize in Small Favor that the Swords Of The Cross are one of the very few things Nick is afraid of, to the point where he is willing to risk a virtually guaranteed and extremely profitable scheme to get a shot at getting rid of one of them. The brilliance comes when you take a look at the RPG and note that the Sword's main power is the ability to ignore any Toughness or Healing power, including Nicodemus's immortality from the Judas Noose. They are practically the only thing in the world that could actually kill Nicodemus.
The Council has always been characterized as being filled with reactionary Jerkasses who are fanatical and unreasonable and unwilling to swerve or compromise. Morgan is a hostile, fanatical killer, the Merlin is an uncompromising, prideful schemer, Ancient Mai is a harsh traditionalist, LaFortier is and as of Turn Coat, was a complete douche. They're so set in these ways because they're old wizards who've seen a lot of terrible things that resulted in a rigid, uncompromising organizational doctrine. Now, in Turn Coat, Molly talks about mind control, and notes that if she were to manipulate someone's mind, she wouldn't be overt about it; she'd use subtle methodology, to push someone who is naturally of a particular persuasion further along that path, i.e. making someone who likes to fight more prone to fighting, or someone who is a schemer more prone to scheming. Now, consider the fact that Peabody was drugging the inks he used for years, possibly decades, or maybe even centuries to subtly mind-control many of the Council. Now look at the characterization of the Council again. Jim Butcher, you are a magnificent bastard.
Harry and Molly talk about her reaction to Morgan, and why his distrust of Harry bothers her so much. Now think about Harry's response to her: "Because if I'm just a ticking time bomb, and I'm the one trying to rehabilitate you, then you haven't got a chance. I get it." Once upon a time, Harry was in her position as the frightened apprentice wrestling with his own inner darkness. He got saved by Ebenezar, who turned out to be the Blackstaff. He's not just trying to reassure her, he really does get what it's like to worry that the person you trusted to save you isn't everything they claim to be.
When Harry is sent by the Merlin to get the report about LaFortier's death, Peabody tries to get him to sign for the report, to keep the records tidy. Harry refuses to do so, since he knows his own investigation isn't supposed to be happening, and if he leaves a paper trail, it'll come back to him. Peabody's persistence to get him to sign for it is because he was trying to subvert Harry using his drugged ink. At the same time, one of the documents we see Peabody give to a Senior Council member to sign is a form required to establish a new White Council safe house in Jakarta. The big Red Court offensive that caused Harry to be drafted as a Warden included attacks launched against a Council safe house. Peabody presumably did the paperwork for that one too, so could inform the Reds of exactly where it was.
The white, rubbery Spy Catsuit-style outfit Justine wears takes on a whole new meaning if one has read Even Hand, since Justine is now an agent for Lara, performing clandestine infiltrations, so it literally is a Spy Catsuit.
We learn Ebenezer's line of Master-to-Student connects him way back to The Merlin. We also know Amoracchius was really Excalibur in the Arthurian Lore. Then considering Ebenezer is Harry's grandpa and many parent wizards train their children, Harry could easily be a descendent of The Merlin. So, since the end of Small FavorHarry is following in Merlin's footsteps looking for good men or women to wield two holy swords. Simply put, when God is involved in the Dresden-verse, there are no coincidences.
The Erlking is described as being the leader of the Wild Hunt, the pack of hunter spirits that doesn't give up once they're on your trail, but... is also possibly a protector of children. So, of course, his home links up with the FBI office. On a nastier note, don't forget that the FBI Building is what the Hexenwulfen were operating out of, a few years back. More relentless hunters, there.
At the end of Changes, Harry wipes out the entire Red Court. It wasn't until later that you remember that the Red Court violated Faerie territory in Dead Beat and brought the wrath of both Summer and Winter down on them. But while Summer struck first, Winter delayed attacking the Court. Harry's the Winter Knight. Therefore, he was acting as Mab's instrument in wiping out the Red Court. In other words, Mab was playing a very long game.
There's a minor mention that Harry has seen Chandler (the British wizard that looks like John Steed) making tea for the other Wardens. At the time, it just seemed like Harry was making the point that Chandler is one, nice, and two, very British. Until you realize that that means all the other Wardens trust him enough to make them food. Think about that. Morgan let someone else make him a drink. Chandler suddenly becomes ten times more awesome.
The point any area in the Nevernever that connects to the mortal world generally reflects the nature of the mortal area. The point that connects to Harry's apartment? A peaceful, beautiful garden watched over by a terrifying guardian that gets meaner and nastier and more relentless the more you hurt it, which at first glance looks innocuous and generally doesn't get noticed until you step all over it and piss it off. Exactly like Harry. Lea must dig this sort of hilarious parallel design.
When you realize that the name of the Monoc corporation is a kenning (Norse Incredibly Lame Pun) for Odin. "Monoc" = "Mono Oculus" = "One Eye" = Odin. Also, the CEO is named Donner, which is the Germanic name for Thor. The CEO's name is itself a giveaway. "Donar Vaderrung" translates to "Thor Father-king." Thor's father and king is, again, Odin. This is reinforced by the fact that Vaderrung is, indeed, one-eyed. Harry even says in Cold Days that Vaderrung's missing eye seems to see everything everywhere—which, given that Odin sacrificed that eye for wisdom, would make a lot of sense.
A couple short paragraphs compare Harry and his friends to the Fellowship of the Ring. Played for laughs, but it has an uncanny amount of resemblance.
Thomas is the easiest as Legolas. Other than being the most pretty male, Thomas comes from a race of inhumanly beautiful creatures, stronger, faster, and longer-lived than humans.
Mouse is Gimli, "being the shortest, the stoutest, and the hairiest". Also, Mouse has a close bond with Thomas, the two of them being Harry's only family. Other than Mister, of course.
Sanya is Aragorn. Growing up with a traumatic childhood, Sanya finds peace and accepts his new destiny. Like Aragorn, Sanya is a descendant of kings (Saladin).
Lea is Gandalf. A powerful, more-than-mortal creature with powerful magic who serves an entity even more powerful than herself. She is the guide of the team, seen as a little crazy and quirky to some, but truly cares about (some) of the people she's with.
Reread Changes and you'll find tons of foreshadowing of Martin's fate. Martin is unobtrusively assigned the role of Boromir. A traitor with his heart in the right place... sounds about right.
Boromir was never a traitor. He was seduced by the Ring and corrupted by its power, but realized what it was doing to him, shook off its influence, and in the end sacrificed himself to protect the friends he had come to love. Sort of what happened to Martin.
Harry's role as Sam is amazingly accurate. Aside from what Sanya says, Harry has admitted that an ideal day would be spent at home, reading his books and hanging with Mouse and Mister, much like how all Sam wants to do is stay in Hobbiton and take care of his garden. Like Sam, Harry is suicidally loyal and willing to follow the people he loves into Hell itself. Also like Sam, Harry may seem a little dull and stupid at first, but has a hidden badass side, and successfully takes on things way out of his league. Lastly, Sam is the only member of the Fellowship to have a child by the end of the books/movies. A girl, no less.
Probably unintentional, but what does Lea use to guard Harry's apartment's Nevernever side? A pleasant garden.
The remaining three members aren't specified, but it can be speculated that Karrin and Molly are Pippin and Merry, which leaves Susan with Frodo. Haunted by a burden that she didn't want, she slowly grows detached from her humanity and leaves everything she knows behind to travel to a faraway land to attempt to find a new life. Of all the members, Susan was closest with Harry, who was devastated when she left, but knew that it was for the best. Unfortunately for Susan, she doesn't get a happy ending.
Molly admonishes Harry that he references Star Wars too much, and he should throw in some variation. Turns out, she wasn't just annoyed by the repetition, but because she's a Trekkie. It's also Fridge Brilliance when you realize that, while Harry does offer up the occasional Star Trek reference for variety, it's always to the original series. By the time Next Generation went on the air, he'd already moved in with Justin and started shorting out televisions, so he never got to watch anything but the Kirk-and-Spock-era Trek.
At one point, while confessing that he'd been under Senior Council orders to kill warlock Harry if he'd ever stepped out of line, Ebenezar reminds him that it wasn't Harry's fault he'd been raised by that son-of-a-bitch DuMorne. Revelations in Changes bring new meaning to this admission, as Ebenezar is Harry's maternal grandfather. He wasn't just speaking in the abstract: it was Ebenezar's fault that Harry went into the foster-care system in the first place, because he'd let his estrangement from Margaret go on too long. If he'd only swallowed his pride and made up with his daughter in time, he could've claimed custody of his six-year-old grandson after Malcolm's death, and Harry would've had a normal, loving childhood and apprenticeship in Hog Hollow, Missouri. And to add some horror to that, DuMorne would still have done what he did to Elaine and likely not been caught until the damage was far too advanced to save her.
It takes until Changes for this bit of Brilliance to kick in. Way back in Blood Rites, Lord Raith was planning to kill Thomas and Harry to end their mother's bloodline and death curse and get rid of his psychic impotence. Here's the kicker: It wouldn't have worked. Why? Because down in South America, probably just a newborn, is Harry's daughter. Maggie would keep the curse on Papa Raith running, and he wouldn't even know why or how.
Harry talks a lot about how life is all about pain, experiencing it, getting through it, and learning from it. Now, given Jim Butcher's Word of God that he's going to take whatever path makes Harry suffer more, it seems really obvious that this would mean keeping him alive.
Georgia didn't show up. Because Georgia was pregnant in Aftermath, so she's probably taking care of her kid.
How did Lea make a reference to Hollywood, or snarkily reply to Harry that she "missed that episode" when it's shown how many supernatural creatures are clueless when it comes to pop culture references? Simple: Lea gives inspiration to artists in return for their blood, and movies have been made into an art form over the years. She's the type to sit on her chosen artist's film to see her inspiration fully developed. It is also a subtle tell that Lea is 'one of the good guys'. As has been pointed out in the Goodman Grey example, the REALLY bad guys in the Dresden-verse can't keep up with Harry's pop culture references.
There were several times when the Sword of Faith might have come in handy, most specifically at the end during the battle with Corpsetaker. Murphy, however, never takes it up. She would be unmaking it if she had. Even though she still believes in her oath to protect the denizens of Chicago, she also believes that she had acted against that vow by killing threats without turning them over to the police.
Uriel has a notable freakout when Harry drops the -el at the end of his name. The -el suffix means "of God", and by modifying Names Harry has been already seen to have converted Lasciel. So, Uriel is an archangel, but Uri doesn't have the "el". Are there any other archangels who don't have the 'el'? Let's see, Michael, Raphael, Lucifer...well there you go. Even stronger than that - Uriel is Hebrew for "God is my light" or "light of God." Remove the -el and it's just light—and Lucifer means "light-bringer."
Father Forthill managed to find the one place he could place Maggie and let Harry spend time with her safely. An ex-Knight of the Cross adopting an orphan isn't going to look strange. Harry Dresden visiting his apprentice's family won't look strange either. The guardian angels make an attack or spying run on the household pretty much impossible. Net result: Harry will get to spend some time with his daughter. And he'll have an excuse to total anyone who messes with her without revealing her parentage, because everyone knows by this point that messing with his friends makes him almost as mad as targeting his daughter.
In Ghost Story, Word of God is that Inez was Mab's proxy. Inez wasn't talking about Harry steadily becoming a monster as a ghost, she was talking about Harry becoming a monster as the Winter Knight.
In Ghost Story, the reason Molly was upset by the "you're one hell of a woman, Molly, thank you" line from Harry was because it's the exact same thing Harry said to comfort her while she was helping him arrange his suicide.
It's easy to assume that the being who whispered the Seven Words to Harry wanted him dead. But when you think about it, those words actually increased his chances of success and survival. Three things happened as a result of those words;
He becomes the Winter Knight, giving him a chance of saving Maggie.
He arranges his death, but due to the circumstances, he's sent back, is able to stop the Corpsetaker, and can be revived.
Uriel is allowed to "balance the scales" by telling Harry that Mab can't actually corrupt him without his consent. Even if everything else could have happened without this entity's interference, Uriel's hands would have been tied on this point.
In Ghost Story: Remember when Molly made her "entrance" at Murphy's house? Well, she definitely wasn't there the entire time, as she wasn't up to speed on the "Harry is back as a Ghost" situation, and the radio only shorted out that last time. So when was she invited in? Answer; She wasn't. She cast that perfect illusion while weakened by the threshold.
Also in Ghost Story, when Harry reveals himself to Molly as a ghost, he quotes Obi-Wan at Hoth: "You will go to the Dagobah system. There you will learn from Yoda, the Jedi Master who instructed me." Who's teaching Molly now that Harry's gone? Leanansidhe, the master of magic who instructed him.
Yet another Ghost Story entry, Lea answers Harry's question about who killed him with "three truths" since she is both bound to answer Harry's questions as part of their deal and bound not to give him the information he was looking for because he had to figure it out himself. The three statements she makes: his killer was a male he was acquainted with, had a death toll in the thousands, and worked for someone even more powerful than him apply to both Kincaid, who physically pulled the trigger on the gun that killed Harry and Harry himself, who ordered his own hit and erased his memory of it just before becoming the Winter Knight and killing the entire Red Court.
Harry spends much of Ghost Story caught up in introspection, re-thinking how he's lived his life and where it went wrong. Initially, this doesn't seem that surprising: as a shade, he'd have every reason to dwell upon the past, and there's little he can do to affect the physical world, so he has no distractions to speak of. However, the short story "Bombshells" points out something interesting: the very best veils, and post-Changes Molly's in particular, operate by subtly influencing potential witnesses to get lost in introspective thought and overlook details, even as they conceal their subject physically from view. Given how poor Harry himself is at veils, it's very likely that Lea's the one who taught Molly that subtlety ... and that Harry-the-shade spent so much time in self-reflection because Lea was following him around, hidden by a veil, to observe the outcome of Uriel's "gamble" on Mab's behalf. Sneaky, sneaky faeries!
Why is the Winter Court in charge of warring against the armies of the Eldritch Abomination Outsiders? Because they represent death as part of the natural cycle of our world; and the Outsiders are usually outside that cycle. They are the most suited towards introducing the unnatural to the natural cycle of death. Moreover, Winter's internal culture appears to be far more callously-backstabbing and vicious than Summer, which is accepted as a parallel to wintertime being harsh and unforgiving. In reality, such ingrained heartlessness and paranoia towards one another may be a pragmatic and justified defense mechanism, as Winter's forces face constant threat from Nemesis, a contagion that strives to drive them mad and turn them against one another. Not letting themselves feel trust or affection may be less of an innate property of Winterfae, and more a cruelly-logical response to the fact that any of them could be suborned by Nemesis at any time.
Mab's desire to get Harry as her Winter Knight suddenly looks very reasonable when you consider the revelations in Cold Days that it is the duty of Winter to protect reality from the siege of the Outsiders, and that Harry has been hinted at having power against Outsiders due to circumstances of his birth.
Molly's fate Winter Lady in Cold Days is foreshadowed in several ways in earlier books. Her hair is dyed in hues more or less matching those favored by Maeve. She begins White Knight looking "natural in a snowy setting". Add more as you see them!
Stare at the Cold Days book cover under the sun. You'll notice it gives the book's raised letters a shiny, opalescent sheen. In Summer Knight, Dresden's description of Mab is, as quoted: "Opals set in silver flashed on her ears, at her throat, glittering through an array of colors I wouldn't have expected from opals—too many scarlets and violets and deep blues. Her nails had somehow been lacquered in the same opalescence." And also, Dresden describes Mab in Cold Days as having "opalescent highlights". For some reason, opals are always associated with Mab, or maybe just Winter in general. Now look at that Cold Days book cover again. What color is that raised letter sheen?
At the end of Cold Days, when Harry and Murphy are talking, Murphy tells him, "don't you start taking the highway to Hell. Because I'm going to be right there with you." One book later, Harry gets involved with the Denarians when they plan an underworld heist. And he insists Murphy be brought along with him as a partner.
Read Cold Days, then go back to Proven Guilty and re-examine Harry's conversation with half-frozen Lea. Once you're aware that Nemesis-infected faeries can lie, you realize that every time Lea gets that insane gleam in her eyes, it's Butcher indicating precisely when she's speaking an untruth under Nemesis's influence.
Why did Harry's subconscious suspect Hannah? Yes, he figured someone on the crew would secretly have a coin, and was wary of hot women coming on to him out of habit, but why her? She's only a beautiful, capable woman with a traumatic past who killed people in self-defense and has an an emnity with the White Council, an affinity for fire magic, and even a last name that could be related to fire. I mean, it's not like she was probably recruited specifically to appeal to Harry, right? That she's just too good to be true?
In Aftermath, Murphy keeps coming back to what it means to be female. At first this just seems like a male author's best attempt at writing a female character, then you realize that she spends pretty much all her time in a male-dominated field.
Harry is named after three legendary stage magicians, men who used skill, trickery, and intelligence to pull off seemingly impossible feats. And like his namesakes, Harry has more often used skill, trickery, swift-thinking, and intelligence to defeat enemies and escape situations that are considered impossible. In retrospect, Malcolm and Margaret Dresden chose the perfect people to name their son after. The RPG confirms that Butcher gave him the name Dresden because of the Dresden bombings. So his name is really meaningful when you combine the skill, trickery, intelligence and deceit with his Destructive Savior tendencies. It's also heavily tied to his pyromaniac tendencies. Usually in the defense of good, but there's always that collateral damage, like after the vampire ball...In Ghost Story, when Harry possesses Molly, he comments that he was never good at illusion spells (not that he's no good at creating illusions in other ways) but he's never had a particular problem with actual fire. It's a subversion, because it plays to Harry's style exactly, which is to always finish from an unexpected angle. With a bit of pyromania thrown in for good measure. Well named indeed.
Anyone remember what Harry's favorite weapons are?
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Harry spends most of the entire series in said Valley himself, or helping others through it.
Also, a rod is used to strike the foe, while a staff is used to guide and protect the lambs... and Harry's blasting rod is used exclusively for striking the foe, while his staff is more utilitarian and controlled.
Some of the series' detractors complain about the apparent sexism in the series, stating that Harry seems far too descriptive when he encounters women, particularly any of The Fair Folk. It didn't terribly strike me as being that sexist (maybe I'm just less sensitive to that sort of thing). Maybe a bit overbearing and descriptive, at worst. Then, as I read through the series, I noticed various elements of Harry's attitude around women (his tendency to describe them in detail, his overly-protective nature towards them, etc) Then I read a Word of God statement by Jim Butcher himself that noted that the reason why Bob is so obsessed with sex is because he has been influenced by Harry. Then I realized something that should have been extremely bloody obvious: Harry's tendency to exquisitely describe women is just a reflection of his character and his hyperactive and troublesome libido, which he regularly has to work to suppress. The Purple Prose that crops up whenever a beautiful woman shows up is a rather subtly-reinforced character trait of Harry Dresden. This is especially noticeable if one compares the prose in the Dresden Files books to that of the Codex Alera series - the Purple Prose is virtually nonexistent, because it is being told from a third-person-limited perspective from multiple characters' viewpoints. Harry's reaction to beautiful women is just that: Harry's reaction, written into his case files. What would be a point of contention in other series is a reinforced character flaw and trait in this series. Brilliant.
Harry also freely admits he's kind of a chauvinist. He also has understandable mommy issues. Plus his traumatic psychosexual development. If readers can't put two and two together, it's not Butcher's fault.
It becomes really apparent when one reads Aftermath and see things from Murphy's perspective, or Even hand and see things from Marcone's perspective. The kind of detailed description of feminine form doesn't occur in those stories because neither Murphy nor Marcone are those kinds of people. Sure, we have Murphy noting that Andi has a good figure, but less detail is devoted to her than was devoted by Harry to Michael and Sanya's epic Spartan physiques in Small Favor.
The purple prose about women seems to fit in with the film noir influences (Pessimistic, snarky narrator with big coat and big revolver investigates, faces people trying to kill him and femme fatales.)
As an additional point to the bit of brilliance above, pay attention to which specific books Harry is making the overly-detailed descriptions of women. Note that he doesn't seem to do it as much during the first three novels, and he doesn't do it during the course of Turn Coat either, not even when confronted by several stunning women (Evelyn and Madeline get at best cursory descriptions, the latter of which is more focused on presence and impact instead of her actual appearance). The common thread between these books? He's regularly getting some from either Susan (at the start) or Luccio (around the time of Turn Coat). In addition, pay attention to the books where he is overly descriptive: Summer Knight, with its lengthy description of Mab, is immediately after he lost Susan. Blood Rites has a detailed effort at trying to describe Lara's beauty, after he had a single evening with Susan again in Death Masks (and spent some time in the presence of lovely adult film stars). Proven Guilty's lengthy description of Molly occurs after Dead Beat, where Harry's discovered the lovely woman he's become attracted to is a demon infecting his mind and she's constantly pestering him with her girl-next-door good looks. Small Favor, which again has a lengthy description of Mab, is after Lasciel sacrifices herself and Harry was slapped with that painfully teasing kiss from Lara. In other words, Harry's overly-detailed descriptions are happening during the points in the series where he's most sexually frustrated. I'm not sure if this is deliberate, but if it is, Jim Butcher is a goddamned genius.
As for Harry's old-fashioned habits of chivalry towards women, remember that he was raised by 1) a stage magician, whose mannerisms on-stage were probably a bit formal and "courtly" because that's what was expected of illusionists at the time; 2) a Warden, who was a strict old-school disciplinarian; and 3) a cantankerous old coot more than two hundred years old. How could he not have learned an antiquated set of manners?
Jim Butcher apparently likes playing with costumes. Recall Mavra's Hamlet getup in Grave Peril. How does the action in Hamlet start? A ghost spurs Hamlet's quest for revenge. Kinda like how Paula's ghost tormenting Bianca drives her to seek revenge on Harry. Similarly, pay close attention to the outfit Lea puts Susan into in Changes. It's a sacrificial robe.
It's odd that the Fomor seem to be something out of an H. P. Lovecraft story, seeing how the Fomor were a race of giants forced out of Ireland by the Tuatha Dé Danann. However, the Fomor are old enemies of the Fae that were banished to the sea. The Tuatha Dé Danann are described as a race of supernaturally gifted people, and are often linked to the Fairy Folk in old stories. If the Fae and the Tuatha Dé Danann are the same, then the relationship between the Fae and the Fomor would make sense. Since Ireland is an island, the Fomor wouldn't have many other places to go besides the ocean.
So, Harry and other English-speaking wizards use faux-latin or otherwise mishmashed words from other languages to cast their spells, and we see that Molly is starting to use Japanese. Then it occurs to you that there must be Japanese wizards. Might they use, say, English to cast their spells? Making it so that the garbled Gratuitous English used when an anime character is Calling His Attack, he's actually accurately representing how magic works?
It seems kind of silly that Scully Syndrome is so prevalent among the 'muggles' of the setting, doesn't it? Especially contrasted with all the people in real life who never quite seem to fully want to buy into the idea that magic really, honestly doesn't exist, as the ongoing popularity of the concept in all sorts of contexts (including but far from limited to self-admitted works of fiction) will attest. But...that's real life, and that's also where the comparison breaks down because in the Dresdenverse magic, monsters, and the supernatural in general are very much real and, if what Harry keeps running into is anywhere near a halfway representative sample, all too often quite scary and dangerous. Is it really any surprise, then, that the average person on the street would rather look away, try not to get involved, and do their best to disbelieve? A certain amount of natural selection may be involved as well, as vanilla-humans who learn about supernatural threats and don't deny what they've seen are likely to get Killed to Uphold the Masqueradeby said threats. Enough generations of that sort of thing is bound to suppress any "The supernatural is cool, let's check it out!" memes in Muggle society.
There's a moment in Ghost Story that seems like a Pet the Dog moment, when Justin DuMorne gives Harry his first present: A baseball glove, and then invites him to play catch. It seems sweet, until you remember a passing moment from Small Favor when Harry talks about his first shielding lesson having been with baseballs.
Just to drive home the Crapsack World nature of The Dresden Files, when Daniel goes in to save Forthill from Aristedes the lion, Daniel and Butters have to fight him, and Daniel gets busted up. i.e. Daniel goes into the lion's den, and gets stabbed.
In Sumer Knight Lloyd Slate is a rapist and murderer, and hung around Maeve's court. Maeve—no less a bitch herself- regularly had the changeling kids dragged into her Court...
Cold Days reveals that Slate had been a good man before becoming the Winter Knight. This has seriousFridge Horror implications for Harry, which he certainly recognizes, and it also makes Slate's own history seem even uglier.
The disturbing scenario at the end of Proven Guilty becomes far more disturbing if one considers how it would have played out if Michael had been a couple minutes later, stepping into the room to find his daughter either about to be executed or having been executed by the White Council, with Harry either standing against them or already dead. Particularly disturbing is that Ammoracchius, being the Sword of Love, would possibly not lose its power in the inevitable unstoppablerampage that would ensue, due to Michael's love for his daughter and the injustice of the Merlin's sentence. Let's just say that it's a good thing for the Good Guys that Michael arrived then and not a moment later, because the carnage that would have ensued would have been catastrophic, no matter who won. Also, right next to Michael is Ebenezar. And if the Blackstaff sees his apprentice and grandson being murdered, there's more than a passing likelihood that another Tunguska might come to pass then and there. Good thing Rashid was there. Helped delay the process as long as was needed. (and that part of the God-given abilities of the Knights of the Cross make them just happen to be in the right place at the right time).
More Fridge Callousness than Horror: In Proven Guilty, Murphy mentions that the police had found a couple of freshly-killed bodies after the events of Dead Beat, one mauled by an animal and the other shot in the back of the head. While Cassius had been one of the series' nastier lesser villains and didn't particularly deserve a respectful burial, the head-shot body was that of the Commander of the Wardens: someone who'd served the White Council for generations, and whom one of their surviving members had been quietly in love with for decades. Granted, Luccio's actual self had been forcibly transferred to another body, and was still very much alive; even so, having Morgan and the other Wardens just leave the original body of their heroic leader lying there in the street, devoid of I.D. and destined for anonymous cremation by the city, seems terribly cold-blooded, especially considering they weren't yet sure if Luccio's new body would survive its injuries or not.
In Proven Guilty, Harry is impressed by how much Fix and Lily seem to have matured under their present responsibilities as the Summer Knight and Lady. Mac suggests it's because they've grown up, which seems fair enough ... or it did, until new revelations in Cold Days suggest that it's not maturity that's changed them, but their own personalities giving way to the overriding drives of the Summer mantles they've assumed. Those sweet, well-meaning kids which Harry met in Summer Knight simply don't exist anymore.
Murphy is aging at a normal human rate, while Dresden is aging somewhat slower. Murphy is going to die long before Dresden. While this is not horror in itself, think about how stubborn Murphy is and how she's willing to do pretty much anything to keep up with Dresden to show how tough she is. Eventually, as they get older, they will start slowing down. Dresden will have his magic to throw around (which will increase as he ages), but Murphy's going to just get older and older. Unwilling to accept her limits, she will eventually lose to something, and Dresden will have to watch as his friend is killed, no matter what he tries to save her.
A throwaway line in Blood Rites mentions that Black Court vampires have normal human teeth, rather than the pointed incisors normally attributed to vamps. Human teeth are meant for mastication, not for puncturing flesh like the teeth of a wolf other quadrupedal predator. As such, a Black Court vampire's feeding routine wouldn't resemble the traditional "poke delicate holes in the neck" routine—the vamp would have to literally bite a chunk out the victim's neck and lap at the viscera as it comes spilling out.
In Love Hurts, Murphy and Harry talk about all the other couples whose happiness they'd be ruining. But consider this: the spell was on the Tunnel of Terror ride at a fair. Imagine how many people would go to a fair on any given day. How many parents with children, younger children or volatile teenagers got on that ride? And what happened to them after the spell was broken?
In The Dresden Files, it is mentioned that Bianca, the vampire who runs a whorehouse in Chicago (that is, until Harry gets involved), is always on the lookout for new girls. At first one might pay no mind to this, at least until one starts adding the pieces together and the Fridge Horror sets in. If you are an attractive woman in the Dresdenverse's Chicago, you might be kidnapped, drugged to the gills on the vampire's narcotic saliva, and then unwillingly sold into prostitution to anyone who can pay the right price. Worst of all, you have no choice in the matter, nor any way to prevent it. The vampires can just randomly grab you off the street and do this to you whenever they want. And they're willing to break the supernatural equivalent of the Geneva Convention to do it. Oh, and it gets worse. If you are lucky, you can end up as a sex slave to one of these vampires, forced to serve their every whim. That is, until they have a momentary lapse in control and eat you for no reason. Hell, this applies to just about any supernatural nasty that Butcher introduces. With few exceptions, any monster that Harry fights will be A. only one of many, B. active for a long, long time, and/or C. capable of doing horrible, horrible things to people who don't know enough to defend themselves, and whose loved ones will never know what happened.
In Dead Beat, we learn that the Corpsetaker originally inhabited the body of Doctor Bartlesby, and transferred to the younger body of his assistant, Alicia, before killing the old body in a rather gruesome ritual, while the rest of the body was cut up for food by the doctor's other assistant, a ghoul in disguise. That means that a young woman who was likely innocent and ignorant of her boss and colleague's true nature was suddenly torn out of her body and thrown into a different one, then held down and watched while her own body and face sliced her open and her coworker tore chunks out of her legs, and was fully conscious the entire time. Yee-gads.
On another note, Thomas getting tortured by the Skinwalker in Turn Coat. The torture itself is bad enough on its own, but the Skinwalker also kidnaps teenage girls and let Thomas kill them to feed himself. Thomas admits he doesn't even know how many it was. This is twofold. First the realization that Thomas had to kill innocent girls, and second, who do you think SI is going to call on to find the missing girls, or look into the case when it turns out they died without any sign of trauma? That's right, Dresden likely had to investigate his own brother's slaughter, without being able to tell anyone about any of it. Brrrr.
In Ghost Story, at the meeting of the Chicago Alliance, Will is constantly described as terrified of being in Molly's presence again. There are multiple reasons why he is: Murphy knows her through constant interaction with Harry and Daniel and Forthill are a younger sibling and a respected family friend. At best Billy knows her through the training sessions Harry had her do with the Alphas and Murphy vouching for her. Her illusions are something he can't fight with fangs and teamwork and they affect the main advantage the Alphas have always had which is their minds. No wonder he's not keen on doing another intervention.
When the full impact of the bloodline curse becomes evident in Changes — that it's able to wipe out, not just a single line of ancestry, but all of its side branches also — you have to wonder about what other uses the Red Court might have made of it, had they succeeded the first time. And then you recall that different vampire breeds have no love for one another ... and that the youngest member of the Raith lineage is Inari, who probably doesn't even have a demon to help her defend herself anymore.
After Turn Coat reveals that Peabody is using mind-control inks to influence the Senior Council, it's clear that the Black Council has been nudging their decisions in whatever direction it chooses. If you then re-read Proven Guilty, you find out that the Merlin was actually consulting the traitor for information during Molly's trial! Not only that, but the only reason why McCoy, Listens-to-Wind, and Martha Liberty weren't subjected to this same psychic influence was because they had been in the field when the hearing was called, not at headquarters where Peabody could inflame their suspicions, too. Had they checked in long enough to sign some paperwork, one or more of them could've voted differently.
Also in Turn Coat, Shagnasty tortures Thomas until he's crazed with Hunger, and Molly avoids him by hiding behind the wards in Demonreach's cottage. Previously, we'd learned that Molly is a virgin in Proven Guilty, and that White Court vampires find virgins especially tasty in White Night. It was really, really fortunate that she had that crystal...
In AAAA Wizardry, one of the short stories, Dresden tells a class of junior wardens about a case he had which involved helping a mother whose children were having horrible nightmares. After the story's over, two of the young wardens point out that one of those children exhibited aspects of the gift, which came to the fore in very traumatic circumstances, qualities that, when put together, tend to spell "Warlock." Despite the story's relatively happy ending, Harry and the two young wardens cannot quite shake the thought that the little girl Harry had saved might end up with her head on a warden's chopping block in the future. Not only that, but that story apparently took place between Small Favor and Turn Coat, which means that all of the students Harry was teaching and joking around with during the lecture are going to get mindboinked by Peabody as soon as they take up their duties at Council HQ. Even the young woman whose leg Peabody sliced open during his escape attempt might've been there.
Molly is the new Winter Lady. And Harry is the Winter Knight. Think about it. Her affection for him was always restrained due to their positions, but she's technically in charge now and Maeve treated Lloyd Slate like a toy, while he couldn't do a thing about it despite his power. Now while Molly wouldn't normally order or force him, the mantle changes its wearers into an archetype, meaning that eventually a Maeve-ish personality will surface and take hold of her desires. Good thing Harry has spent the past several years teaching Molly to control her impulses and think about her actions, not to mention setting a very good example of how someone with power should not take advantage of someone they have power over. Exactly the skills she'll need to resist the influence of the Mantle of the Winter Lady and stay her own person, the very battle Harry is also fighting against the Mantle of the Winter Knight....
Will had bad experiences with the Winter Lady. Will had bad experiences with Molly. What will Will think now that Molly is the Winter Lady?
At the Winter Court party Maeve made Harry a tempting offer, and even suggests to include Sarissa. It becomes a bit squicky when you find out later that Sarissa is Maeve's twin sister, Maeve was offering a threesome with her twin sister.
In Summer Knight, the Red Court demands Harry's extradition from the White Council, and he's afraid they'll hand him over to be killed by Ortega in revenge. After the events of Changes, an uglier potential motive than revenge seems evident: if they'd taken Harry captive, the Reds could have kept him imprisoned and in torment for years while they finished their preparations for war, then sacrificed him at Chichen Itza to murder the Blackstaff!
The porn industry in the Dresdenverse is controlled by the Raiths, and we know at least one fear-feeding White had an influential position in the horror movie industry. So which, if any, branch of entertainment and/or the media has House Skavis, the despair-feeders, insinuated their slimy way into? If the writeups from the RPG are to be believed, the fields to maximize despair are economics/business. Seriously. The members of House Lagios take special care to make sure that certain jobs and economic redevelopment never take hold in Baltimore, and then feast on the despair the poverty creates.
One of the possible future Mollys Harry sees when he soulgazes her in Proven Guilty has a burn on one cheek. This doesn't seem that significant until White Night, when he tests her resolve with his "little ball of sunshine". You have to wonder if that possible-Molly is one who'd messed up that test big-time, and had to remember Harry deliberately hurting her for the rest of her life...
Spend any amount of time thinking about the Archive, and Fridge Horrorwill hit you.
She has memorized the entire works of the Marquis De Sade.
Ivy has access to all the recorded information of humanity. This includes things like Nazi propaganda and pornography.
Harry's narratives in the novels are implied to be actual autobiographical transcripts of his experiences, even providing source material Will Borden used to compile the Dresden Files RPG. That means Harry had to sit down and write out what he'd been through, with detailed descriptions of what he did, felt, and sensed, for all his major cases ... including Turn Coat. Remember what he goes through, even several books later, whenever he makes the mistake of thinking about Shagnasty? Now, imagine how painful it must've been for him to write about his encounters with the skinwalker, and get smacked in the face by the memory of Seeing it over and over again.
A very personal bit of Fridge Horror for Murphy, if she ever finds out the full truth: not only was Kincaid the one who shot Harry at the end of Changes, but he probably tracked Harry down by following her. It's surely not a coincidence that he carried out the hit very soon after she'd stopped by the boat, and Kincaid wouldn't have otherwise known how to quickly find a man whose home, office and car had all been destroyed. But he could find out Murphy's location by spying on the cops until she checked in with CPD, then follow her from the church to the marina.
When Thomas wishes Harry a happy birthday in Dead Beat, he also remarks that he was a bit surprised he'd remembered to do so. At first, it seems like they've just been too busy to think about things like that. But when you stop to consider how Margaret Dresden died, you realized that Thomas could never forget Halloween's significance to their family, because for him, it's the day his father murdered his mother. So what surprised him was probably not that he'd remembered the date of Harry's birthday, but rather, that he'd remembered Harry considers it a day of birthday celebration, and not grief for their Mom.