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Harry is a professional wizard and he's just scraping by. How do the other wizards of the White Council make their living?
Harry being a professional wizard is probably the reason he's just scraping by. The other wizards either come from old, well-established families, have real jobs, or both.
Other wizards make a ton of money using their magic in subtle ways. The White Council has been around for literally millennia (Word of Jim is that they started the entire Renaissance in an effort to make humanity more capable of defending itself, and Harry says that the organization has existed since before Rome) and the combined economic power of its membership rivals First World countries. Just because they need a switchboard telephone to communicate with HQ doesn't mean they're not aware of economics and modern business; most older wizards are filthy, filthy rich.
Harry in particular doesn't have that kind of money because he's young, but also because he seems morally opposed to having it, or something.
He's not morally opposed to money at all, he's opposed to making money in ways that violate his morals. He could probably make a fortune selling potions that do various things (love potions among them), but he doesn't trust what people would do with them so he doesn't.
That and love potions probably constitute a violation of the Fourth Law.
Love potions vs. Fourth Law was mentioned in the RPG. The 'Love' potion in "Stormfront" only increases amorous desire that already exists and lowers inhibitions. It won't make you do anything that you wouldn't if plied with enough alcohol, so doesn't break the 'No Mind Control' law. Still a bit 'unchivalrous' for Harry's liking which is why he only makes it under protest and never makes it again after he sees its effects. Other wizards might be less discerning.
People are overlooking the simplest answer: Wizards live three or four centuries and compound interest is their friend. Harry is under forty. The mercenary Binder makes this very point to Madeline Wraith in Turn Coat.
Apparently Harry's ghost dust contains depleted uranium as one of its principal ingredients. Now, "depleted" only means that it can't be used to produce nuclear energy (or atomic weapons). That doesn't make it any less radioactive, or any less toxic completely apart from the radiation, than normal uranium. It's really not the sort of thing the government wants falling into civilian hands. How in the world does a guy living in Perpetual Poverty acquire any of it at all, let alone enough to fill up bags of ghost dust with?
Harry doesn't live in Perpetual Poverty. He's not swimming in money, but he's got enough discretionary income that he can theoretically spend it on illegal stuff like depleted uranium. Instead of spending his money on expensive electronics, he spends it on wizard-y stuff. And Harry very much sits on the dubious side of the law and has a reasonable-enough number of contacts of dubious legality that he can get things like that. Remember, he's a goddamn wizard; wizards are damned good at acquiring the odd, the strange, and the dubiously legal.
My friend has some uranium (a tiny amount) in his mineral collection. I assumed Harry got it from one of the vendors who'd sell those, while the Ghost Dust would be diluted with other materials.
Also the premises here are somewhat incorrect: depleted uranium is much less radioactive than ordinary uranium, to the point that it's actually used to shield radioactive material (and normal uranium isn't actually that radioactive to start with; it's specifically enriched uranium that's nasty). It is, admittedly, still toxic though.
The whole point of depleted uranium is that it's non-radioactive; it's depleted of the radioactive isotopes that are so handy for nuclear fission. (No, it's not entirely non-radioactive. So what? Neither are you.)
He probably only uses a very small amount - remember, the series' rules state that it's what the item represents (in this case, heaviness and solidity) that gives it power.
Harry's reasons for remaining areligious
One of the reasons Harry gives for not being Christian is that he doesn't think God would want someone like him hanging around heaven. However, the New Testament provides numerous instances that shows this isn't the case. Paul was actively murdering Christians before he converted. Matthew (or Levi, depending on which gospel you read) was a tax collector, and they were universally loathed in Roman Israel. There are accounts that have Jesus eating with prostitutes and other sinners. There's even a verse that covers this: "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." (Matthew 9:12) It's subtly implied that Harry and Michael debate religion every once in a while, so how come this has never been brought up? Unless it has, and Harry's just saying it to convince himself.
Harry's a self-flaggelating cynic who still, on some level, honestly believes that he may turn into one of the bad guys. It's got nothing to do with actual religious practice and accounts from the Bible on the acceptability of his deeds, and everything to do with Harry having convinced himself he's not good enough for Heaven.
I mean, looking at it objectively, Harry's punched Fallen Angels in the snout on several occasions, he's worked with all three-and-a-half Knights of the Cross directly, he's got an honest-to-God Archangel giving him personal advice and providing the literal fires of creation for his personal use, and more or less had the big G's personal endorsement when he went to kick the crap out of the Red Court in Changes if Murphy's Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner is any indication. I think it's pretty clear that God does, in fact, like one Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden.
Harry's just too busy kicking himself over the mistakes he's made, is all.
Rather than having reasons not to be religious, it's probably because he just doesn't feel like it. Harry defines himself as a wizard, and while he knows that there is a god, what he believes in is magic. He doesn't seem to think that his lifestyle could be combined with Christianity.
Remember that Harry is also wary of putting faith in God because he doesn't understand God. Specifically, he doesn't understand how God can (apparently) care so little about people as to permit evil to wreak havoc in the world, yet still care so much as to forgive mortals their failings, despite how horrible they can be to one another. He sees this as too big a contradiction to reconcile within a human moral perspective; and he's encountered so many things that claim to be exempt from human morals — faeries, vampires, demons, Outsiders — and then use that status to excuse their horrific misdeeds, that he's unwilling to trust in anything that claims such morally-inscrutable status for his, her, its, or even His self. God's nature, even if benign, is simply too alien for Harry to put faith in.
Harry doesn't just distrust God, but authority figures in general. It was a minor theme over the course of the series: he has his own patchwork moral system, and as sketchy and undefined as it gets at times, it's the only one he considers 'right'. Whenever he actually listens to the laws of magic, it's because it overlaps with his own morals (or because he's afraid of execution). He doesn't respect the Senior Council, or Queen Mab, or the mortal authorities. In later books, he still respects Ebenazar, but he doesn't bother to listen to him anymore, and oh, I bet it would be fun to make a list of all the times he broke the law. I suppose he holds Michael's moral views in high regard, but a system of faith in itself would be like an unrelated set of rules to him. (That, and he still seems bitter at the Christians for killing witches.)
He respects Michael's moral views, but doesn't always agree with them.
he may believe that heaven doesn't want him because in the bible it says that witchcraft is evil and therefore wizards would be evil.
This one's pretty much entirely right out. Harry is well aware that the only reason the Bible says witchcraft is evil is because of King James's translation, and it originally specified evil magic users. He says as much on the page.
It's close enough. There's no way to know if he knew about the translation thing in the beginning of the series, but he said outright in some early book that he distrusted Christians because of the whole burn-the-witch business. He seemed to have gotten over it after getting to know the knights.
He always knew it was a misinterpretation of the original Biblical text, he just also knew that some Christians don't realize it's a mistake.
I don't think it's ever that he "distrusted" Christians (Michael's been his best friend for a while by the time he shows up on screen), probably so much as he doesn't like how they try to preach to him and encourage him to give up his "dark power." Even Michael says that a couple times, that Harry should turn away from his magic.
In Michael's defense, one of the times he told that to Harry was to get rid of Laschiel's Shadow. Specifically, it was the only way Michael knew of to get rid of it.
In the Dresden-verse, the White God is only one of the gods. The realms of the afterlife are not as narrow as Heaven and Hell. We have also seen evidence that Valhalla exists for instance. Also, given the power structures, Hell may not be a place of torment for powerful creatures of that realm, but just an opposition realm to Heaven, much like the Winter and Summer Courts. Even archangels don't seem to know for sure "What Comes Next", or at least aren't allowed to say. With that much uncertainty, why should Dresden become a Christian? It's entirely possible that a different god may have a better afterlife offer for him.
Of course, that's assuming wanting a cushy position in the afterlife for themselves is the only reason someone would adopt a religion. Harry would probably consider it hypocritical to go through the motions of a faith if he was only looking to benefit from it somehow: he'd want to believe in it before making any such commitment. So far, it's only magic he sincerely has that much faith in.
Information gathering in Changes
In the book the spies for the Fellowship find out that Arianna has special plans for Maggie and know about the base where the data is being held. Why didn't they know the full details, and why didn't they find out where the ritual was too be held when Odin was able to find it? and why did the red court store that info in the base in Harry's office if the organization with the lowest amount of spies could find it?
That's how espionage and information gathering works. Just because you have one bit of data does not mean that you have access to everything relevant to that subject.
As for the office, its a data storage facility, not a military base. It would be suspicious if they had heavy security, especially considering that the Red Court has it masquerading as a data backup center. Any security capable of stopping Fellowship agents would likely be comparable to that of a military base, so its easier to keep that data concealed as opposed to heavily guarded.
Also remember at the end of Changes when we find out just how the Red Court discovered Maggie in the first place. It's entirely possible that source was also feeding only partially relevant data to the Dresden to manipulate him into exactly what happened. This could feasibly cut the entire Fellowship out of the equation in terms of providing only some of the intel.
What happened to Bob in the end of Ghost Story?
Unless I've missed something, we last see him in the Never-Never fighting Evil Bob, and he's not seen again, even when Harry wants to check his friends are ok so he can move on. What gives?
Well yeah but its like Harry has completely forgotten he existed. Unless that is what actually happened, seems a bit abrupt.
Harry probably just didn't have any idea where to look for Bob. The people he visited in the last few scenes were mostly at home, where he could easily find them.
Speaking of which I wonder if the fact that Bob will completely cease to exist when he dies, and is Harry's first and arguably closest friend is setting up for him dying - giving a massive Player Punch
Bob survived. He apparently ran away once Harry and the ghosts were clear.
Harry made a big deal out of the fact that Bob led his evil doppelganger to believe that Bob still needed to close the portal; since he'd already destabilized it, all Bob had to do was take off shortly before the portal closed, at which point he'd have a nice head start by the time Darth Bob had it collapse in his face.
Bob definitely appeared in Cold Days when Harry went to Demonreach, so he's back. I think he was staying with Butters.
Hiring Kincaid in Changes
Okay, so Harry's desperate to get any help he can get getting his daughter back in Changes. So, why doesn't he hire Kincaid? He hired him for something a lot less important, Harry probably doesn't give a damn about money at that point, he says that Kincaid is a hell of a badass in that book, and he even talks to Kincaid! I'm sure Kincaid's gunslinging skills would've been a great help to Harry.
Kincaid may be a badass, but that doesn't mean that Harry trusts him completely. Letting Kincaid in would mean he'd find out that Maggie is his daughter, and Harry doesn't want that information getting to anyone who doesn't need to know it. Plus, Kincaid may owe Harry a favor, but taking on the entire Red Court of vampires might be a little above and beyond what Harry expects to get out of said favor. Plus, Kincaid is still the caretaker for the Archive, and Harry might have thought he didn't want to put her at risk (again) by removing Kincaid from her service.
This is what will happen if he tries:
"Kincaid, I need you to help me assault the heart of the Red Court's power in Chichen Itza."
"You don't have enough money to hire me for that. Switzerland doesn't have enough money to hire me for that."
"You owe me."
"Not that much, Dresden." (click)
This is explained in Ghost Story. Harry did hire him to do something else, specifically to kill him at the end of the book.
Though he didn't know that at the time, so that would be the answer in terms of narration. The right answer still seems to be the one above.
Speaking of hiring Kincaid: who is protecting Ivy while Kincaid is off fighting blampires in Blood Rites?
Yeah, recall that the only way the Denarians were able to capture her was by exploiting several weaknesses (her attachment to Harry and Kincaid, her physical limitations as a 12-year-old girl) and cutting her off from nearly all her magic—and the 2000-year-old cult of demonically powered killers still only barely managed to get her and took significant losses in the process.
For that matter, what's stopping Ivy from hiring a backup bodyguard while he's off taking care of business?
She trusts Kinchaid. A backup bodyguard could try to backstab her, which would be at least an inconvenience, and there probably aren't that many people who could replace him in the first place. If he doesn't make a good bodyguard (magic or no magic, she might still need someone who looks scary and can shoot really well), then she might as well hire a driver. Also, she probably likes having him around.
Nothing, but we should also remember that we only see Kincaid as her bodyguard when she is travelling and possibly wants to pass as a girl with her father. Who is to say that at home she doesn't have a bevy of bodyguards all with impeccable (written) records? Kincaid is the best, but is hardly the only possible bodyguard Ivy could have, and he (and Ivy) feel safe enough leaving Ivy at home to both to allow him to take 'side jobs' and go off for 'dirty weekends' with Murphy.
About Harry's way of making sure he's not a problem after he accepts Mab's offer, when he asks Molly to erase his memory of hiring Kincaid so he doesn't see it coming, what's to stop him from getting the idea of hiring Kincaid again and calling him up again? Did Molly place some sort of block against that sort of thing? I'd imagine that Harry would agonize over this sort of thing constantly and come up with the idea fairly early. Why didn't it sort of devolve into loop of Harry constantly calling up Kincaid, being told he already had that idea, and having Molly block the memory again?
Molly almost certainly placed a mental block on the process. That seems to be a regular occurrence among people being mind-controlled.
Two things—she also erased the "whisper," meaning that Harry's second waking up, he doesn't remember the thing that pushed him to have himself killed. Also, It's more likely that there just wasn't opportunity. The next time he 'wakes up' he's alone, and contacts Uriel and Mab. Molly isn't there to help him with the plan.
What ever happened to Little Chicago?
When the apartment building burned down in Changes, shouldn't burning Little Chicago have caused fires in real Chicago? Sure, fire destroys magic, but it should have at least caused a major heat wave before the magic gave out, shouldn't it? Could this mean that Harry's basement lab is still intact under the Better Future Society HQ?
Don't think the fire would have had any large-scale effect without any will being channeled into it at the time. Without being activated by magic, Little Chicago was just a cool model set.
Yeah, it was a magical focus for Harry, specifically, to use spells on, not a voodoo doll where any damage to it translates into damage to the city. It just doesn't work that way.
Little Chicago doesn't really allow for a transference of energy from it into the greater Chicago area. The only time anything carried over from Little Chicago to anywhere in the real world was when Harry specifically used rituals to connect himself or the oak leaf pin from Summer to the model. Unless Harry is specifically trying to work magic across Little Chicago, nothing will happen.
The model of the city works as a tool for Harry's Thaumaturgy, which is based on links, which probably means that the whole point is the pre-made link to each location. I have another issue there, though; Harry charged the thing with enough magical energy to blow up the whole basement if the spell went wrong, and it's been established elsewhere in the series that the energy has to go somewhere. Was there an extra explosion when the thing got burned down?
Foci don't have magic/energy stored in them, they are made so it's easier/more efficient to channel energy through them. Don't think of it as a fuel tank, think of it as an engine. Disrupting it while it's running (i.e., while Harry's casting a spell right then) will lead to disaster, but breaking it while it's off won't have any outside effect.
You're probably right, but I don't get why. Bob was the one who said that Harry charged it with lots of energy while creating it, so it seems like it works more like an engine with a battery and using the spell is more like driving the actual car, if you'll excuse my poor metaphor skills.
Even if it did contain some lingering energy from its creation, it presumably wasn't enough to blow the thing to bits. Either the energy just mingled with the heat of the fire and remained unnoticed, or it dispersed out over all of Chicago and was diluted too much to affect the city.
Foci can store energy. Harry's kinetic rings are a perfect example. Even when Little Chicago is introduced, Bob states the following: "Youíve been pouring energy into this thing every night for six months, Harry, and right now itís holding about three hundred times the amount of energy that kinetic ring you wear will contain.Ē At that point, Harry hadn't even started to use any magic on it. So the question is very much valid.
Little Chicago is charged with a tremendous amount of energy, but without a will to bridge the power of Little Chicago to Real Chicago, it can't affect any changes. As far as the power contained, it probably did explode. But fire goes up, and Little Chicago was in the basement of the basement, so to speak. Harry's broken his back and passed out long before the foci pops, and presumably the only thing within the explosive blast is the already burning building. Harry never has time to check, and everyone else probably attributes it to a natural gas explosion, or something of that nature.
Possibly a bunch of the energy got channeled into the adjacent Nevernever, rather than being unleashed in the material world. We don't see Lea's garden again after Harry's house burns down: it could well be that when Lea retrieved Bob and the Swords from where they were hidden, she had to shovel aside a lot of ashes from flash-fried primroses and bits of barbecued centipede.
Even if the destruction of Little Chicago did reverberate back onto actual-Chicago in some way, it's not like Harry was in any position to notice at the time.
Fallen using "-el"
Minor nitpick: In Ghost Story, Uriel visibly takes offense at the idea of Harry leaving out the -el part of his name, since it means "of God" and is an important part of who he is. So how come the Nickelheads were allowed/wanted to keep that syllable when they Fell?
Because they're explicitly still creatures of the White God that can be redeemed. It's the ultimate duty of the knights of the cross to do so, after all, so it's part of Christian mythology in the Dresdenverse, where religious aretefacts are in no way required to make sense (fallen - billions of years old, bound to silver pieces - two thousand years old led by Nicodemus - 1500+ years old who is clearly a fallen catholic priest - 1500 years old max who studied alchemy while mortal - 800 years old max).
Nicodemus doesn't lead the Fallen. He leads the Denarians. The Fallen are the magical mentors and copilots of the Denarians, but not controlled by them. Even Nicky is only a "partner" of the Fallen.
I don't see what you mean by "allowed". It's not like there's some celestial auditor that's going to go around to each of them and say, "Oh, since you fell, you're now Lasci. Can't let you have that -el!". As for what they "want," I don't think that comes into it, but you'll note that Lasciel's shadow doesn't bother correcting Harry when he starts calling her "Lash".
Because no one would take a demonic super-being seriously if its name was Lassie.
Lucifer's name means 'light bearer', which implies more good than bad, and he never seems to mind. Who knows if the fallen even care.
Lucifer's a nickname. His real name is Samael, meaning "severity of God". Also, he's still good, as shown in the book of Job. If he was really evil, he wouldn't have dared show his face in God's presence, much less do as God says.
As long as we're being picky about names, the guy in Job was Satan, as I recall. Admittedly, Christian mythology tends to claim they're the same entity, but not everyone agrees.
Well, their modus operandi in Christian mythology is supposedly to pretend they are "good", so keeping the "el" would help a lot.
It's also possible that the Fallen continue to use the -el as a form of mockery or insult.
The names in the Dresdenverse are connected to the actual being. Harry sometimes changed beings by giving them names, but there was no indication that any of them could have done it themselves. (Though my theory is kinda stupid, since unlike the fairies, they could theoretically still lie instead of actually changing anything. Meh.)
That's mostly only true of the Faerie. The Nickelheads are specifically spelled out as being able to blatantly lie and break promises as much as they want.
Another possibility: A beings true name does not change when it switches sides. The Fallen are still angels and so keep their angelic names but, unlike Uriel and co., don't care if someone nicknames them.
This just bugs me. In TT (toot-toot)'s 1st appearance in SF he is small and weak. By his latest appearance in TC, he is considerably stronger (even though, by anyone else's standards he is still small and weak). Now I know that most of the violence he has done over the series he has done with plastic coated cold iron, and that he is the commander of the "Harry gives us Pizza" crew, But over the series he has grown. In the later books he is not only more brave and I think more powerful, but actually physically taller. It seems obvious that TT has some how Took a Level in Badass even if said level was from "Useless and insignificant power wise" to "still weak, but seemingly 10 times more powerful than any other comparable entity (minor fae/dewdrop fairy) in the series" How?
It's explicit that a Faerie's power is directly proportional to their fame and notoriety. Toot Toot gained both by leading the Za Lord's Guard—every other Pixie knows him and has heard of his courage. In Faerieland, that sort of thing translates into real, tangible power.
Also their actual authority. Being in command of a bunch of other Faeries is also noted as being part of what's making him more powerful. Among the fae, Authority Equals Asskicking is a law of nature; the more authority you have, the more ass you can kick.
Also related is the Za Lord's fame, notoriety, and power. The Za Lord's Guard has begun to function like a miniature Faerie Court. Just as the nobles surrounding the Queens have power related to the power of the Queen herself, The Za Lord's Mini-Court has power related to the Za Lord's own standing - which has been steadily increasing, both among the dewdrop faeries, and in pure power terms. In some ways, it was first implied in Summer Knight, when the Za Lord was held responsible for the actions of the faeries he Called.
Pizza. Mortal food - namely, pizza - makes faeries grow stronger; it is the nature of Fae to stay the same, but of mortals to change. By taking in mortal food, Toot and his followers are gaining more mortal aspects - in this case, the ability to grow and become stronger.
There is nothing in any of the canon that suggests that that's the case.
In Cold Days, another Dew Drop (One almost as large as Toot), observes Harry's guard eating pizza and exclaims something along the lines of 'Do you know what that will do to them?' It's a long path from that comment to claiming that mortal food empowers Toot, but its implied that it must do something. Harry himself questions where all the food goes, as he watches Toot consume a pizza in excess of his own volume, swell up, and then shrink back to his pre-meal size in less then a few minutes.
Although it's worth noting that it's obviously the pizza that she's objecting to, not mortal food in general, since she shortly thereafter eats some mortal food of her own; I came out with the understanding that she's a health nut, and was objecting on the basis of oily, fatty pizza as opposed to her own choice of (genetically modified, fertilized, and pesticided) celery.
A assumed that the faeries horror stems from the fact that (as has been mentioned before) pizza is like a drug to dewdrop faeries. Sanya even comments, in 'Changes', that Harry is "a drug dealer. To tiny faeries. Shame."
In Cold Days Not only has Toot gotten bigger again, his hair has changed color. Specifically, it got more blue, which seems symbolic of his/Harry's/the Guards' allegiance to Winter. Harry notices, and even comments on the growth. Oddly though, if height is supposed to be indicative of increased power and notoriety, Toot doesn't seem all that happy about getting bigger.
Harry's not that fond of his own growing responsibilities, it makes sense that Toot would take after his idol Harry in this regard.
Word Of Jim has Toot's power gains tied directly to Harry. Harry is his Lord. When Harry took up the Winter Mantle, Toot and the Za Lord Guard all became Winter Vassals too. Toot's basically a remora to Harry's shark.
Changlings in SK
I'm pretty sure that it is explicitly mentioned in SK that all of the changlings (fix,ace,lily,Meryl,ect) Harry meets were WINTER changlings! so how did Aurora put the Summer Knight's power in lily? one would think that her winter blood would have rejected it, or made it in someway incompatible with her. Same for Fix. While we're on the subject, I'm pretty sure it's said at some point that the Knights must choose to accept the mantle of Summer/Winter knight. That the power can't be forced onto someone. After all, Harry had to choose it. He turned Mab down at least twice. So how did Aurora get Lily to become Summer knight, (assuming that she can even though lily has winter blood, see above)
It doesn't work that way. Fae are fae, and Winter/Summer isn't some impenetrable biological certainty so much as it is a choice, especially for changelings, who retain some mortal free will; it's like saying that someone born and raised in State College, PA can't go to Michigan because they bleed the Blue and White of Penn State. As for having to choose, you don't think Aurora, a vastly powerful entity in her own right, couldn't have "persuaded" Lily to take on the mantle? There's nothing saying the Knight can't be coerced into taking the power, and when you're a scared, nearly powerless changeling faced with one of the rulers of a whole court of Fae, you probably say, "How high?" when they say "Jump."
Changelings are mortal, which is the only requirement to be a Knight. Whatever side they're from is irrelevant; a full-on Winter fae or Winter Knight could not take that power, but a Winter-blooded changeling apparently because they're still mortal. As for how Aurora made Lily a Knight, well, there's no evidence that a mortal cannot be forced to become a Knight. It's just that it is a generally bad idea to force Knighthood on someone. Mab could have forced Knighthood on Harry, but that wouldn't have made him any more receptive to serving her. And keep in mind that there does appear to be a, ah, ritual required to make someone a Knight, and forcing said ritual on said prospective Knight will really make them unreceptive to you. (which means that, yeah, apparently Aurora literally raped that power into Lily, judging by how Mab makes Harry her Knight)
There's also the implication that being given status within the courts can be entirely non-consensual. Recall in Small Favors that Dresden had been given the job of Winter's Emissary before he even knew that Mab was involved, not counting the alleged connection to the gruff attack earlier in the evening, which was largely due to a misinterpretation of who was on which side. Additionally, don't forget that other things such as drugs and torture can break down mental barriers that would prohibit something like the mantle from being given to someone without consent in much the same way the Knights state an outright demonic possession could happen. Tangential relation, I realize, but relevant.
Perhaps I'm not remembering right, but didn't Lily become the Summer Lady, not Knight?
At the end of the book, yes. But Aurora's plot included Lily becoming the Summer Knight earlier in the book.
She was just a temporary vessel to store the power in until it can be returned to Summer Queen, not a Knight. —— "How does the mantle pass on from one Knight to the other?" Mother Queen smiled, but the expression was a grim one. "It returns to the nearest reflection of itself. To the nearest vessel of Summer. She, in turn, chooses the next Knight."
Lily herself explained it at the end of the book. The power of the previous Summer Knight was already being stored in her, so when the Summer Lady's power left Aurora, it went to the closest source of Summer power, which happened to be Lily. She even mentions that she hadn't Chosen to become a Winterfae when it happened, and was still mortal - an unprecedented state of affairs.
It gets even more explicit in Cold Days. Even the Winter Queen's own DAUGHTER has the potential to become the Summer Lady. It's all about having the fae potential in the first place, not what kind.
The Shroud In Death Masks
I know this is kind of basic, but I never really understood the part that the shroud played in Nicodemus's plans. There are numerous references to it being a battery, or potentially being an artifact of Epic faith magic, I don't really understand why Nico needed it for the plague curse. And while we're on the subject, I thought that plague curse was supposed to be badass. When they tested it out, the poor shmuck got like every single disease in the world in the same instant and died nearly instantaneously of organ failure. Plus it is stated that the curse isn't going to last very long, but during it's time it would "make the black death look like chicken Pox" the black death is famous for allowing those infected with it to "eat breakfast with their family , and dinner with their ancestors" translated: it can kill you dead in less than 24 hours. And this plague curse is supposed to be worse. so why oh why did harry and Co, only get a subtle fever and aching joints and headaches after being exposed to the curse in the desecrated chapel?
Because Nicodemus never cast the full-scale curse. That's kinda the point, Dresden stopping him from unleashing it. The disease the curse brings about isn't, on its own, enough to spread a contagion. The power of the Shroud, and the belief in it, was meant to fuel the curse and send the disease world-wide.
Ok tell me where I go Off track. Nico casts the curse in the chapel using Shiro's suffering and somehow tapping into faith magic (Which doesn't make much sense since the shroud derives it's power from association with christ, who was about as good as nico is evil) to power it. After that, I thought the curse was already supposed to be in full swing. I'm pretty sure shiro said the plague is already happening, and that all harry could do now was to get the shroud off of nico before he could escape chicago to wonder the globe spreading uberdeath like freaking typhoid mary. Now that I mentioned it, shiro did say that the Plague GREW the longer it existed. That makes alot of sense considering that nickelhead magic gets more power with increased death and suffering. Maybe the plague just hadn't killed enough people or otherwise generated enough negativity to become transmitable Uberdeath yet.
It's not that complicated. The germs/viruses created by the spell are constructs, like most things created by magic in the series. Cut them off from their power source, and they break down into ectoplasm that disappears in moments. Nicodemus is powering the spell that creates them using the Shroud. Cut one from the other and the spell collapses.
Also, the Shroud's association is irrelevant. It is an artifact of power, which doesn't care how it is used. Uranium doesn't care if the guys using it are "good" or "evil" either. The Shroud's power can be used for good or ill.
The victim didn't die instanteously. Butters estimated that it took "hours or less", which is not the same thing, and allows for the plague to be running but still giving Harry and the others enough time to track down Ol' Nick and take the Shroud from him.
ok one: how is the shroud creating the germs? I thought it was the other way around. Nico made them and the shroud is power. two: Power is not neutral in this series. for example, michael has power, but it is clearly GOOD power, because it burns evil creatures and wanes as he succumbs to negative emotions like rage, and it is implied that if he did something that could in the loosest sense be considered immoral, he would lose them. Which works out because he wont do something like that. Even if you don't believe that faith magic is different than harry magic then consider this. For the first six or so books Harry believes that all magic comes from life. It can be twisted to kill, but he believes that there was no such thing as inherently evil magic. This beleif was destroyed when he rechannels the Malocchio in BR. and if there is purely evil power, than their should be purely good power as well. lets not forget, the fallen are hesitant to go into churches or all that other stuff. so why would they display no hesitance in using something a hell of a lot closer to god than any church they've ever seen?
No, the Shroud isn't creating the germs. But if you pull the power source away, they break down. This is true for any construct. Most spell-slingers are powering constructs themselves, but to even create the plague you need something as powerful as the Shroud; even the "test run" the Denarians did required a piece of the Shroud to pull off.. Cut off the Shroud from the caster, and the caster doesn't have the metaphysical muscle to maintain the spell.
Second, you're mistaking personal power for the power of an artifact. Power wielded by individuals, be it faith-based or otherwise, can be inherently good or evil because the power they wield is directly influenced by their own emotions and beliefs. Power in artifacts is neutral; it can be twisted one way or the other. Power as a whole is neutral until the individual twists it one way or the other. The Shroud is a battery; batteries don't care if they're used for good or ill, they just provide power. That power only becomes good or evil once it is used for something; up until it is used it is neutral.
Now that's just plain not true. If the power of an artifact is not inherently good or inherently good or evil, How in the hell do you explain the swords of the cross? They radiate so much "inherently good" power that creatures of evil get 3rd degree burns from even trying to hold them! and the shroud and the swords both draw from the same source. God! if that's not inherently good magic, I don't know what is. Furthermore, I believe it says at some point in turn coat that the Ley line that runs beneath Demonreach is pure evil magic that will corrupt harry if he tries to draw from it.
It's deliberately unclear whether or not the Shroud and Swords' power comes from God Himself, or if it's from the collective faith of those that believe in Him. The Swords in particular seem to be strengthened more by individual faith, while it's unclear if the Shroud is even really the shroud that was on Jesus Christ when he was buried. The swords, which were purpose built and faith fortified with fighting evil in mind, are not really comparable to the Shroud, which is a may-or-may-not-be-real artifact that's kind of 'accidentally' fortified with faith.
That said, no, I don't think that's what was said about Demonreach. Ley lines are not good or evil—but the Genius Loci of Demonreach may be a different story, and that is what's being referred to...and in any case, Harry most definitely taps into the power of Demonreach, and is not apparently corrupted by it.
How in the hell do you explain the swords of the cross? They radiate so much "inherently good" power that creatures of evil get 3rd degree burns from even trying to hold them! The Swords are a different matter altogether, being holy artifacts specifically bequethed by archangels, as opposed to an artifact empowered by energy through belief and faith like the Shroud. Even then, the Swords are only as holy as the intent of the one who wields them. A Sword used with less-than-righteous intention becomes useless; a Sword used to murder an innocent is just a chunk of metal that can be destroyed. The Shroud is the same way - it depends on the intentions of the one who wields it.
and the shroud and the swords both draw from the same source. God! if that's not inherently good magic, I don't know what is. No. The Shroud is empowered by the belief of worshippers. Whether or not it is empowered by God is unclear, but either way it can be used for good or ill.
Furthermore, I believe it says at some point in turn coat that the Ley line that runs beneath Demonreach is pure evil magic that will corrupt harry if he tries to draw from it. No. The ley line is described as "dark" energy, and the entity that resides on the island is hostile to outsiders, but it is not inherently "evil" - it is just energy.
The Shroud is the repository for immense energy pertaining to faith in Christianity. Belief in Satanic forces of corruption is often a component of that faith, so it's hardly a surprise that the Fallen, being a (nasty) part of the Christian mythos, could exploit and corrupt that energy.
Maybe you are right about the shroud, but the swords definitely qualify as good magic. and as for demonreach? you must have been reading a different book than I was because my book had harry explicitly state that the sanctum invocation gave him intellectus on the island, and allowed his magic to be focused because it is more in tune with its environment, or as harry put it, more bang for my (magical) buck on the island. That is COMPLETELY seperate and apart from drawing on the Lay line of dark power that flows through the center of the island and allowed the genius loci to become so powerful. (witness the genius Loci defending the hut from Shagnasty) Harry specifically said he didn't touch that power, and had no plans to. Plus his elders (indjun joe and McCoy) explicitly tell him that he is far to young to tap into that power without becoming a corrupted abomination of some kind.
Well, yes, as I said, the swords were purpose-built to be good magic by whoever initially forged them, and feed off the will and faith of its wielder, so it's good because the faith going into it is good—and anyway, the issue in that book was about the Shroud's use, not the swords. As for Demonreach, it's been a long while since I read the book, so I might be misremembering the details. I could have sworn Harry tapped into the power while fighting the Skinwalker.
Harry didn't directly tap into the ley line. However, Demonreach was supporting him while he was on the island, effectively subdividing his magic. It allowed him to use it more effectively, giving him more oomph to his spells. That's the only reason he was able to do so much damage to Shagnasty.
One thing that needs to be noted: The Swords were created to be artifats of good. The Shroud was not created to be such. It is, almost literally, an accident. An object that gains its power through reverence and belief, not purpose-made to be a weapon of holy power.
You're all making this too complicated. The shroud and the swords can be compared to items we've seen Harry use— namely, the bear belt buckle and his blasting rod. The shroud, as an item of faith for Christians around the world, "stores" some of that belief in itself. The sum of all that belief adds up to something very powerful, which can be released if the shroud is used the right way... just like Harry's belt buckle battery, which saved a little bit of his power every time he used magic and stored it for when he needed it. The swords act as channels for "faith magic", just as the blasting rod acts as a channel for Harry's evocations— Amoracchius and Fidellachius are just swords when used by Harry, but they shine with holy light when used by the Knights/Murph, because they have the juice to power 'em.
Well, that's mostly correct as I understand it—though there's some debate in-universe as to whether the swords are a focus for the wielder's faith, or a focus for the faith of all of the White God's believers.
If you take the Shroud as an artifact of Faith, then it makes more sense. Unlike the Swords, where we know they were gifted by the White God and his vassals, the Shroud has no actual backing as an artifact. It's merely a symbol of FAITH, soaking up that magic over the course of each generation that believes in it. Nico using that faith battery then works, because HIS faith is in creating the Apocalypse to turn everything into predator and prey.
I'm afraid I have to disagree. The swords are not inherently forces of good. The Three are inherently forces of God. Be careful not to confuse the two just because there's a lot of overlap. Using one of the Three to harm an innocent won't unmake the sword because it was used in an inherently evil act. Using one of the Three to harm an innocent will unmake the sword because it was used in sin. Generally speaking, the actions of the Faithful wielding the sword tend to align with the forces of good, but that's only because good people tend to align themselves with Him. The tendency of the swords to be used for good is purely incidental.
The Shroud was important to the plague curse because it wasn't just a battery. It's an artifact associated with healing, so the Denarians could power a plague curse with it because the plague is a perversion of its true purpose. It's worth noting that the actual casting involved a twisted reflection of Communion, using a basin of blood and performed in a profaned chapel.
Where was bob while harry was apprenticed to Ebenezar?
This is really bugging me. Harry gets adopted by duMorne. Dumorne attempts to enthrall harry, harry escapes. Harry kills Dumorne, burns down his house and finds a snarky knowledge spirit named bob inhabiting a skull in the basement. THEN he was arrested by the wardens, who probably would have recognized something like bob and confiscated it and never let harry see it/him again. after the trial, he becomes apprenticed to McCoy and goes to live in some remote country backwater in the middle of the Ozark mountains. Bob is not mentioned. Then somehow, after Harry's apprenticeship is over, blah, blah ,blah, non important events until the beginning of SF. and he has bob again. Did Harry hide him somewhere and then go get him after he was done with eb? where? we certainly know that he didn't have bob when he was arrested by the wardens, or else they would have taken bob. Where was he that whole time?
Yes, he hid Bob. Specifically, he buried Bob in a hole in the ground somewhere for the duration of his apprenticeship with McCoy, as mentioned in the side notes of the RPG books. Bob was not happy about it.
P.S. Can I or someone else maybe put a few of the above discussions in the archive? this page is a little long and some of the conversations are old.
Lord Raith's Mind Rape
What exactly did lara do to Lord raith at the end of BR? I mean, we know that afterwords, lara is the de facto ruler of the court, but what exactly is left of Raith? is he like a mindless shell that obeys lara but can pretend to have enough personality to act as the whi9te king at public functions? is he fully functional but afraid of/addicted to lara feeding on him?
The same thing that Lord Raith does to his own daughters: Rapes them, hits them with the typical white court mental whammy, feeds on them, and breaks their will to the point they become his servants. This is pretty explicitly described. Also, please, please work on your grammar and capitalization. It's not a race. Take a couple minutes to proofread so you get names right and don't insert random numbers into words, please.
It's not like I meant to type that! Besides, I was in a hurry.
Which is why I said, "It's not a race." What's the rush? If you don't have time to do some basic proofreading, then write the entry later.
Papa Raith is a mind-slave of Lara's. There's not much of his original mind left; this is most apparent during White Night when Papa Raith starts talking directly to Harry, but he address Lara, and there is a pause before Papa Raith speaks again, indicating that Lara is mind-controlling him. She broke his brain, slaved him to his will, and made him little more than a puppet with just enough mind to himself to keep from shitting and pissing himself when she's not controlling him directly.
I'm not so sure. We keep saying that what Lara did to Raith was the same thing Raith did to his daughters. That doesn't make any sense, since it is supposed to turn the victim into a mindless slave. Lara (who supposedly had this done to her by Raith) is NOT a mindless slave, implying that the control couldn't be that complete.
I was under the impression that what Lara did was the same thing Raith did, but considerably stronger- Raith just wanted his daughters obedient and submissive, but Lara wanted to make certain that her dad wasn't going to break free any time soon (and I imagine there was a certain amount of vindictiveness involved, too- he treated her remarkably horribly, and when you add in the fact that even relatively human vamps like Lara can still be inhumanly vicious, you've got a major recipe for revenge). At least that was my take; anyone have a different one?
Papa Raith broke his daughters' wills, but Lara Raith broke her father's mind. We see something similar with what Madeline did to the lawyer in Turn Coat, where she deliberately enslaved and controlled the woman's mind. Papa Raith raped his daughters, pitted their Hunger against his, defeated them, and made sure they knew they could not win in a struggle of wills. However, he left them with their minds so they could be useful to him. Lara didn't offer her father the same chance; once she defeated his Hunger, she broke his mind and made him nothing but a thrall.
What Were the Faeries Up To In Proven Guilty?
There has always been 2 plot points in these books that I didn't get. One of them was the shroud thing in DM, and thats already here. The other one is PG. Ok, I understand that molly used magic to help her friends and all that. What I don't quite get is the winter court's involvement. why exactly were the fetches there? why did harry's spell send them to the carpenter's house? Why did they take her to Arctis Tor? From what I got, it had something to do with the fact that molly had used her magic to impose fear. That whole plot is a little murky to me. And could someone please explain to me why arctis tor is so deserted? or why mab was in her own torture chamber?
Hoo boy. This one is complicated, and it basically boils down to this: Lily and Maeve were working together to get Summer troops to support the White Council against the Red Court. They're both dealing with the issue of Winter troops sitting on the border of Summer, preventing them from intervening, and they needed something to draw the Winter troops away so Summer could hit the Reds. They decided to solve it by using Harry Dresden. The plan is to get Harry on top of Arctis Tor and give him something to shoot at, and let him do his thing. To that end, they targeted Molly with the fetches; the fetches used the black magic Molly was using to induce fear as a beacon to enter the real world from the Nevernever. When harry redirected the fetches at their "summoner" he was directing them back to the beacon Maeve was using to send them across into the real world, and they kidnapped Molly. At that point they took her to Arctis Tor, and Harry followed, helped along by the Summer fire Lily gave him, and dumped that fire into Winter's wellspring, pulling all of Winter back to Arctis Tor. Now, was this plan convoluted, overly complex, and prone to failure? Yes. But these are faeries; that's how they roll. As for Arctis Tor, they were attacked by the Black Council. Why? No one knows. Why was Mab sealed in the ice on the rooftop? No one knows. It'll likely be explained later on in the series once we know more about the Black Council.
Mab wasn't sealed in ice, as I recall. She made a quick apparition, winking at Harry to let him know she was watching.
Ok that explains a lot. But I knew about the BC attack already. That was basically spelled out for us. What I meant was, Why is the castle so completely deserted in the wake of such a massive attack? and if said attack was so bad, why didn't THAT bring all of winter back from summer's borders? Who cares about a contested border when your head of state is getting her all powerful (and very attractive) ass handed to her in the seat of her own power? for that matter, if the courts always go for any exposed weakness, why did'nt summer go on the offensive while winter was weakened by the BC assault? it's all very weird.
Like the other troper said, Summer's forces were being held at bay by Winter's forces miles away from Arctis Tor. That's why it's deserted, because Mab's got everyone else someplace else.
Why is the castle so completely deserted in the wake of such a massive attack? and if said attack was so bad, why didn't THAT bring all of winter back from summer's borders? Who cares about a contested border when your head of state is getting her all powerful (and very attractive) ass handed to her in the seat of her own power?Word of Jim is that Mab was never in any serious danger at all, and the attack was for something entirely different. If the BC had seriously fought Mab in the heart of her power, the end result would have been quick and very, very cold for them.
Nope, they had a lot of firepower with them and would take her down in direct combat. It would be stupid of them to attack otherwise, and if anything they know what they are doing and are pretty careful about it.
Word of God has said otherwise. They attacked while Mab was out of the office, otherwise she would have frozen them solid. Remember that Butcher himself has said that it would take the entire White Council, with Mab's Name, and fighting Mab in the mortal realm, to defeat her; if the Black Council could tackle Mab in the heart of her own domain, where she can effectively alter reality at will, they wouldn't need to muck about with god-power rituals or hide from the White Council or work on coups from the shadows. They would just roll over to Edinburgh and flatten the place. The only way the attack makes sense is if they hit while Mab was elsewhere or otherwise disabled, because their demonstrated power elsewhere is insufficient to tackle the Winter Queen in the heart of her own domain. Furthermore, the damage is inconsistent with the kind of destruction that would be expected if two lesser deities were to take a swing at one another. Mab's power is comparable to archangels. Archangels can potentially destroy planets. The fact that the only damage inflicted to Arctis Tor was to the gate and superficial damage to the walls indicates that whatever happened, the forces thrown back-and-forth were not of the world-ending type, and Mab is certain to go all-in with her power if someone of godly strength was kicking in her door.
for that matter, if the courts always go for any exposed weakness, why did'nt summer go on the offensive while winter was weakened by the BC assault? They weren't weakened in any real meaningful way by the BC attack. The contents of a single castle, even one containing Mab's elite guard, would amount to a drop in the bucket compared to the ocean that is Winter's military might. Summer probably lost a comparable, if not larger, amount of manpower fighting the Reds in Oregon, and by the time anyone was in any position to attack, both sides had enough manpower back on the borders to make any attack futile.
it's all very weird. ....and? These are faeries. On a good day, what they do might vaguely make sense to mortals.
"If the BC had seriously fought Mab in the heart of her power, the end result would have been quick and very, very cold for them" REALLY?! We know for a fact that mab was pissed at whoever attacked AT because she was so pissed off in Small favor. that means she definitely didn't let them destroy AT and if she didn't let them, I imagine she must have been fighting them. remember this wasn't just one castle. It is the heart of winter's power. Full to the brim with the most Nightmarishly powerfull beings in all of winter faery, all of whom are made even more hideously powerfull just for being in AT,since it is at the center of winter's power. Not to mention the structure itself was saturated in enough winter mojo to put out a forest fire. and the black council melted through all of that like ice cubes in a kitchen sink! I think its been pretty much established that Mab couldn't have just waved her hand and turned the attackers into bigbadsicles.
REALLY?! We know for a fact that Mab was pissed at whoever attacked AT because she was so pissed off in Small favor. that means she definitely didn't let them destroy AT and if she didn't let them, I imagine she must have been fighting them. Fallacious assumption, not backed up by facts. If Mab had been present at the battle, at the heart of her power, nothing short of a deity or an archangel could have taken that place. Heavy-hitters were definitely present, but there's no evidence of a god assaulting the site, as evidenced by the fact that the site is still standing and Mab is still intact. It stands to assume that Mab wasn't present when Arctis Tor was stormed.
As of Cold Days, we now know that it wasn't the attack Mab was so furious about, but her discovery that Maeve was also infected by Nemesis. One possibility is that the whole course of events in Proven Guilty was a Batman Gambit by Mother Winter, who'd sensed Maeve's instability via intellectus, seen that Mab was in denial about it, and set the whole plot in motion by sending the fetches to abduct Molly. This prompted Harry to call in both Ladies as a source of information, leading them to conspire in a manner that exposed Maeve's ability to lie to Lily, Fix and Harry. (Remember how Fix actually sensed she was lying, even if Harry and Lily denied it was possible? They should have trusted Fix's instincts!) It was a Secret Test of Character for Maeve, that let Mother Winter shove the truth in Mab's face by covertly monitoring the meeting at Mac's place.
remember this wasn't just one castle. It is the heart of winter's power. Full to the brim with the most Nightmarishly powerfull beings in all of winter faery, Assumptions not backed up by evidence. Mab's elite guard was present, but the composition of the other forces in Arctis Tor is not specified. For all we know the place was under guard by a skeleton defense force with the majority of the Winter forces on the border with Summer.
Not to mention the structure itself was saturated in enough winter mojo to put out a forest fire. and the black council melted through all of that like ice cubes in a kitchen sink!' No. The Black Council broke down the gates. They massacred the defense force. Arctis Tor itself was almost completely intact and suffered no real damage in the assault beyond the gates.
I think its been pretty much established that Mab couldn't have just waved her hand and turned the attackers into bigbadsicles. Yes, she could have. Mab could theoretically take on the entire White Council outside of her domain, with the Council knowing her Name, and stand a chance of winning. Inside her domain, at the heart of her power, she would roflstomp any attacker short of a major deity.
maybe ur are right, but still, even if they did leave the majority of the structure of AT intact, they DID melt the gate which was supposed to be 60 feet thick and made of solid ice infused with centuries of winter mojo. Thats a lot of power. whether they actually got or injured mab or not, Harry pretty much said that it would have taken something on par with a god/archangel to do to even give anyone at AT a slight fever, let alone burn through 60 feet of solid magic ice.
No. The gate was not sixty feet thick. The tunnel was sixty feet long, with a gate at one end that was battered down. And Harry never said it would take a god/archangel to "give anyone at AT a slight fever." He said it would take either the entire Senior Council + the Wardens, all of the vampires, or a god/archangel to assault AT and inflict the kind of damage that they witnessed.
Based on my reading of the story, it's also entirely possible that Mab was simply not there. All we saw was a seeming of her in the ice as Harry and Co. beat feat after dropping a bomb on the whatsit. Given that the Queen Mothers have a universe spanning Intellectus, it seems likely that Mab and Titania would have Intellectus that would at least tie to their particular area of Faerie, meaning that even if she were AFK, she would still most -certainly- been aware of what was happening at AT. I believe we can all agree that if Mab had thrown down with the BC at AT, it would have looked like a B-2 had swung by and said hello. As far as to WHY the BC attacked, or why Mab would have chosen not to directly counter, that I can only chalk up to some manner of Xanatos Gambit being slowly revealed by the various players. Either that or she just felt lazy.
As of Cold Days, several scenarios now come to mind. Molly was earmarked as a potential vessel and was kidnapped not for any unknown reason, but to protect her (as a valuable asset, especially since Mab knew of Maeve's corruption at this time) from Nemesis. This also obliquely let Harry see that Nemesis corruption could be reversed (Lea), and through Lea gave Harry a hint toward the existence of Nemesis itself. Further, it's entirely possible that a stronger-than-usual attack on the Gates called Mab's attention away, preventing her immediate response to invaders (her house guard, as it were, with her). In the end, it's all win/win/win for Mab, playing the long game.
Moreover, it's quite possible that Mab ordered most of her minions to keep away from Arctis Tor while she was curing Lea of Nemesis infection, to ensure none of them could be contaminated by it. It wasn't just Lea who was frozen over in the ice-rose garden: a lot of other Sidhe might have succumbed as well, if they're remained there. Possibly that's why the BC chose that moment to launch their attack in the first place, because Mab had wised up about the contagion and they had to try to stop her from undoing the damage. Presumably they didn't achieve what they wanted, as Lea is still frozen and fighting the infection when Harry finds her.
While we're on the subject of Cold Days, another possibility is that the fetches snagged Molly to get Harry to Arctis Tor on Maeve's orders... because she wanted Harry to free Lea before she could be cured of Nemesis. After all, Maeve was one of the plotters behind Harry's visit, and she was already infected. Plus, a freed infected Lea could lead to an infected Harry.
Arctis Tor is deserted after the attack. The courtyard is covered in the corpses of defenders. Whatever the attack was about, it appears that the home guard largely fought to the death and the Scarecrow and Fetches managed to drive them off.
Why would Nicodemus's noose protect him from all harm? It doesn't make much sense, because the noose was explicitly used for hanging. And why would it allow him to mandate a death that cannot be avoided? The explanation given doesn't make much sense: because the Jews could give one prisoner life, Nicodemus can choose someone to die. There really isn't much association between Judas's suicide and Barabbas.
The noose is obviously an incredibly potent magical artifact, but we know nothing about how it acquired its powers or what happened to it between Judas' suicide and Nick's acquisition of it. If this information is revealed at all, I imagine it won't happen until it's time to deal with Nicodemus for good.
The Bible is also somewhat unreliable regarding specifics, and don't forget that Nicodemus makes it a point to destroy all records relating to him as often as he can. Our actual knowledge regarding the noose is unreliable in general.
Since the Fallen inhabit thirty pieces of silver, artifacts of the betrayer are obviously powerful conduits for them.
The denarii are more justifiable than the noose: thirty pieces of silver that bought Jesus' life would have a very unholy aura about them from their reputation. The noose, however, is what Judas used in regret for betraying Jesus; it might not be holy, but it's not completely unholy either, and the link to Barabbas is arbitrary until possibly justified in later books.
You're right that the connection is arbitrary, because there is no direct connection. The Barrabus curse is just named after him. The entropy curse that the noose inflicts is likely just that - an ability of the noose, not directly connected to the right the Romans granted the Jews beyond being the opposite. They just named the curse because it was vaguely and tangentally related to Barrabas. I don't see any direct connection beyond the name, which is not really an issue, I would say; the Barrabus curse is just named that because whoever coined it saw a vague, tangential relation, which is not uncommon in the history of human naming conventions.
The Noose protects Nicodemus for the same reason that Harry pointng a stick at someone and yelling "Fuego" results in hilarity and a serious need for burn ointment: magic. I don't see an issue with the noose having an established magical property unless it contradicts another rule regarding magical properties elsewhere in the lore. If in this setting, the Noose protects its wearer from all harm, then it damn well protects him from all harm.
The RPG lists the noose as an item of power; this implies that it's less that the noose has those properties intrinsically, and more that someone (or something...) gave it those properties for Nicodemus to use. And remember it was used to commit suicide—which, in Catholic beliefs, is a mortal sin in itself, aka a one-way ticket to hell, which gives it a handy connection to the sorts of powers that'd be likely to make such an item for Nick.
Also, as with the Shroud, the books are rather unclear as to whether it really is the rope that Judas actually hung himself with. It's entirely possible it's a duplicate or approximation made long afterward.
Indeed. It is entirely possible that the Noose is just that: a regular noose that was given power. It is also important to note that the Church's knowledge of Nicodemus' powers is spotty at best; the noose might not have the power to curse anyone and this might just be disinformation. Until we know more about the Noose, we can't really say.
Of course, just because the Noose may not have the power to produce the Barrabas curse, that doesn't meant that Nicodemus can't cast such a curse, just that the Noose isn't the source of it.
Remember that we'd already seen Nicodemus intentionally reverse the benevolent aspect of a revered artifact (the Shroud), from something alleged to heal the sick to something that powers a horrific plague-curse. Reversing the noose's ability to enable a suicide in remorse for sin into something that preserves a villain's life so he can continue to sin, or turning the option to spare a life into the option to take one, is entirely up his alley.
Uhm... is it really the same as the shroud? I thought suicide was a sin in Christianity, so whether Judas hanging himself actually has anything to do with redemption sounds like the kind of thing smart old people in dusty rooms fight about a lot.
It is possible that the Noose exists because of the Shroud. The Dresden-verse seems to have a major theme of balance in it, best exemplified by the Winter/Summer Courts. Heaven and Hell seem to be at least partially balanced the same way. 30 silver coins became cursed, and 3 nails of the cross became blessed to fight them. In a similar way, the Noose would have become a counter-balance to the Shroud. Just as the Shroud has power to protect, the Noose also grants protection. Reverse it though, and both artifacts can cause death. It is possible that if a Knight were to wear the Shroud, they could be as invincible as Nicodemus.
Elaine's lightning chain is said to be rechargeable by plugging it into a wall socket or via thunderstorm. Of course when Harry's describing it no mention is made of a plug on either end of the chain like it is with Harry's version of it,so how does she plug it in?. Also reduced voltage issues aside shouldn't a magical item that carries the stored power of a thunderstorm or apartment/house's worth of electricity dealt a lot more damage to Thomas than it did given what Harry's did to Tessa?.
A detachable plug to insert into an outlet can be bought at just about any store that stocks hardware, and from there it is trivially easy to connect the chain to the outlet. And its quite obvious that she didn't hit Thomas with maximum force, for the same reason that Harry doesn't unleash all of his magical reserves in a single spell. Elaine was limiting the amount of force used, both to avoid killing Thomas and in case she needs to smack someone else. Unleashing the electrical charge of a lightning bolt inside the boat would also likely result in itty bitty pieces of the boat, Harry, and Thomas raining down around the harbor, too.
It also bears mentioning that when Harry used his on Tessa he got her to bite down on it, then made it plug directly in a wall outlet. I don't recall if Elaine's chain was attached to an outlet at the time she attacked Thomas.
Keep in mind that Elaine implied that her chain functioned as more-or-less the same sort of thing as Harry's staff; it's clear to me that Harry's chain isn't the same sort of thing. Harry's thingus was merely inspired by Elaine's; it wasn't a copy.
Ivy didn't have a name until Harry gave her one. How exactly does that work, legally speaking? Did she go by fake names all the time, or just kept herself out of normal human society?
The latter. The Archive isn't supposed to interact with people, and the White Council has serious issues with her developing as much of a friendship as she has with Dresden as it is.
The Council doesn't control the Archive, though. She seems to just go around being her important political self.
But, the same scene that it was mentioned mentions it's a survival trait. Once becoming the archive, they isolate themselves to prevent madness. AND Ivy's parents were not around to name her.
When you're the living repository of all recorded knowledge, things like having a "legal" name, or laws in general, are irrelevant to you.
She's too young to have an ID anyway, and I suppose that if she ever needed to pass as a normal girl, Kinchaid could pretend to be her guardian. So fake names, it is.
She knows every recorded fact about every legally-documented person on Earth. If anyone's going to be able to commit a foolproof identity theft any time they feel the need, it's Ivy.
Where's McCoy during Ghost Story?
Harry looks in on just about everyone important to him during the book, except his grandfather? Why did Harry not think of this, especially after he made a big deal about remembering to check on Thomas?
The White Council is up to its bald spots in handling trouble as it is; the last thing Ebenezar needs is a spectral grandson paying him a visit - and a spectre of any kind paying a visit to the Blackstaff is likely going to cause trouble regardless. And Harry doesn't really need to check on him, because he's the goddamn Blackstaff and can take care of himself to an epic degree.
This. Harry wasn't checking on everybody he'd ever liked, he was checking on those who'd most depended upon him. He didn't look in on Elaine either.
Also, Harry didn't go anywhere that wasn't in Chicago. It wouldn't be unreasonable to assume that he couldn't leave Chicago at all.
Certainly he couldn't risk going far when he was using his grave for shelter during the day.
McCoy probably has defenses against spirits in operation all over his home, which would prevent ghost-Harry from dropping by.
Well, given that Mister Sunshine and Dresden were able to just breeze on through the Carpenter home's threshold and any wards by that point, I think we can assume that any Wards that might be in use by the Blackstaff could potentially be ignored in much the same way, couldn't we?
Seeing how Mister Sunshine was with Harry at the time, I'm pretty sure that the only reason they were able to get through the defenses around the Carpenter household was because Uriel was there and that the defenses were distinctly angelic in nature. The defenses around McCoy's farm would be mortal-engineered wizardry, not angelic bodyguards. They might not make a distinction.
Have you forgotten just who Uriel is and what he can do? Hint: Tenth Plague. McCoy's wards could no more stop Mr Sunshine than they could stop a supernova at point-blank range.
Yes, Uriel could easily get through the wards. Uriel could also pick up Nicodemus and throw him into the sun, turn the Red King into a maraca, dump the entire Black Council in front of the White Council, and then literally slap sense into the Merlin. Could does not mean would, let alone allowed to. An archangel blasting through or bypassing the wards of a Senior Council wizard is a big thing and he's not going to do it on a lark.
The Knights' treatment of Cassius
In hindsight, the way Michael and Sanya treat Cassius isnít very Knight-of-the-Cross-ish. When Cassius surrenders his coin and asks for mercy, they know full well heís lying about trying to turn his life around, but they donít do anything about it. Sanya says Shiro exposed the lies of his Fallen, which is what made him give up the coin, but he doesnít try to do the same for Cassius. As soon as Cassius asks for mercy, they walk away without another word, knowing that heíll ask Nicodemus for another coin as soon as he can. They donít have anywhere they need to be, so they had plenty of time to try talking to him. Itís like poking an alcoholic until he gives up drinking just to shut you up, and then not only do you not get him to anything resembling Alcoholics Anonymous, you leave beer lying around and donít try to stop him when he starts drinking again.
Except Shiro didn't do anything of the sort. Sanya's own recounting of how he threw off Magog says that he discovered the lies for himself and willingly abandoned Magog, fully accepting that he was going to die. Once you've given up the coin, your choices are your from that point on. Sure, they could have tried to stay and talk to Cassius, but his actions had already made it clear that the first thing he's going to do is run to Nicodemus and get another coin. They can't really talk down someone that willing to commit evil. And they do have to be somewhere; Nicodemus is about to unleash his apocalypse plague, so the Knights have to hit the airport, and Harry has to go kick Ortega's ass. They don't have time to sit down and try to convert Cassius away from evil.
Although I will admit I got the "plenty of time" part wrong, several people say that the purpose of the Knights is to save those from evil, not to kick evil, supernatural ass. Sanya and/or Michael ought to be sitting down and trying to convince Cassius away from evil. Michael says that, "This might be the only chance Cassius has to turn aside from what he has chosen." And yet he does absolutely nothing to help Cassius. However, he also says, "I cannot sit in judgement on this man's soul," so maybe he wants Cassius to convert completely of his own free will, no matter how unlikely it is.
The ultimate purpose of the knights is to redeem the _Fallen_, i.e. the angels living in the coins. They're not actually allowed to mess with human free will, being partially divine beings, and are very much the White God's nuclear option so they tend to pick their battles.
No it's not. The Knights' ultimate purpose is to redeem the Denarians, who are still mortals who can change their ways and repent for their evil. This is stated explicitly. They're not there to redeem the Fallen.
Furthermore, if Harry torturing Cassius for information is bad, then Michael and Sanya letting it happen is just as bad, if not worse. In Catholicism, not doing something you should is called a sin of omission. One person described it as, "He who has the ability to act on an injustice, but who stands idly by, is just as guilty as he who holds the knife." And then they laugh about it, taking pleasure in another personís misfortune. How is that acting in accordance with what the Knights of the Cross stand for?
If you read it again, Michael does call Harry out that what he was doing wasn't particularly appropriate. Also, the Knights are just mortals. Among the best mortals, granted, but even the best humans have some sin, and Michael is shown in a couple of other places to get a bit carried away when those he loves or respects are attacked.
Who said that the Knights were Catholic? And its not the Knights' job to protect someone from the consequences of their own actions. If Cassius, in support of a great evil, refuses to tell Harry where Nicodemus is doing his apocalypse plague, then he has to deal with what follows. And they kind of have to let Harry do what he does, considering that they need that information. Remember, also, that the Knights are not perfect avatars of virtue and justice and goodness and all that. They're individuals chosen to wield giant sharp pieces of steel to run around smiting the faces off things that threaten the free will of mankind. Sanya, notably, is actually quite satisfied when Harry beats the piss out of Cassius. The Knights are permitted to be pretty brutal when it comes time to deal with the forces of evil; remember, these guys sit in the same corner as Uriel, Heavenly assassin and slayer of the firstborn of every household in Egypt. Uriel has likely done things that would make Harry's treatment of Cassius look like a slap on the wrist. Good Is Not Nice is the mantra here.
Michael is very Catholic, and concept of sins of omission has extended into other Christian denominations (yes, I know Sanya is agnostic/atheistic). If they need the information so badly, couldn't they do it themselves, rather than stand around and claim they're not doing anything wrong? Sanya wanted to do it, as mentioned, but if it's necessary, there's no real reason he couldn't, especially if Good Is Not Nice. And Michael explicitly says that he's not supposed to be the Fist of God: "The purpose of the Knights is not to destroy those who serve evil."
Hmm. In this case, I would think that they are letting things slide a bit because they don't like Cassius. They are obligated to not harm him once he has given up his coin and surrendered, because that is part of being a Knight. That shouldn't be equated to them believing he should be redeemed or shown mercy, as they clearly don't. They know he's a mass-murdering sadistic freak, and if it were up to them, they probably would just chop his head off. As Michael states, however, it isn't up to them. They spare Cassius out of their sense of duty, nothing more. And, similarly, duty requires them to stand against supernatural beings threatening mortals, not mortals threatening one another. If Harry wants to beat Cassius with a baseball bat until he spills the beans as to where Shiro (their friend and colleague, currently being tortured to death) is being held, well, they aren't obligated as Knights to get involved. So they don't. It isn't right, but as was said, the Knights aren't always perfect paragons of morality. Not even Michael.
At this point, Cassius is hardly a poor, tortured soul who's going to "realize" the "error" of his ways—he'd had his Fallen for thousands of years, was committed to their cause, and determined to get another coin. He asks for mercy only because he knows the Knights are obligated to give it—and he makes it abundantly clear that he has absolutely no intention whatsoever of actually repenting. It would have been an exercise in utter, complete futility to try and "save" him, and everyone in the room knows it.
Note also that at the beginning of the book, when the Knights are fighting Ursiel, they attempt to reason with him, but Rammussen tells them its pointless and that he has given himself over to the Fallen. Michael is regretful, but he swiftly kills Rammussen afterwards as he is beyond redemption.
The Knights are 'not' supposed to interfere with free will any more than angels are. This is why they didn't kill Ursiel until after Rasmussen uses his will to reject them. If Cassius had asked for their help genuinely, they would have helped him. Instead, after surrendering his coin (and thus the angel that might have swayed him) he still mocked them and made clear his intention to rejoin the Denarians at the first opportunity. In short, he exercised his free will to mock those who wanted to help him and swear to do more evil, and the Knights couldn't touch him because he'd already given up his coin. At the same time, however, they couldn't (and admittedly didn't want to) stop Harry from using his free will to brutalize Cassius like that.
How did The Fallen rebel?
I've been reading the RPG game books, and they state clearly that the difference between men and monsters is that men have choice, monsters have power. Men are frail, but they have free will. Monsters vary in power, although most are much stronger than humans, but they always act according to their nature. So how did The Fallen rebel? Isn't defying god against their nature?
I think its a gross oversimplification of how things work in the setting. A being doesn't necessarily need to have "free will" to rebel. the Leanansidhe was able to rebel against Mab despite being fae; ditto for Aurora. Angels are more powerful and have greater intellects, so they can likely turn against God; that was hinted at by Lash when she talked about having someone else rule over their every action and not allowing them to choose for themselves. Besides, don't take the game books as absolute truth; they're written in-universe by a college grad whose primary knowledge of the supernatural comes from biting off the faces of ghouls and reading the notes of a relatively young and inexperienced wizard.
As of Cold Days, we know Lea and Aurora had 'help.'
What I think is likely: the Fallen were always meant to rebel in order to fulfill God's mind-bendingly ineffable plan, like in Good Omens.
In this Verse, "no free will" apparently doesn't mean "mindless"; it means that a creature is unable to change its own underlying nature. They can choose, but they can't grow in ways that would make them choose any differently under the same circumstances. Hence, their True Names are permanent, unlike those of people who can mature, gain insight, and/or be corrupted by their experiences. In the case of the Fallen, their underlying personalities are basically unchanged; they just manifest the darkest and most rebellious side to their personality-traits (e.g. Lasciel's inborn cleverness expressed as cunning manipulation).
This. All higher powers Harry has spoken to seem to agree that good an evil are technicalities, which would mean that going darkside is nothing like a complete change.
Another possibility is that each higher power seems to act as the embodiment or archetype of a concept, like the deities of D&D. The Fae Summer Court embodies summer and all the concepts associated (heat, growth, fire, etc.), while The Fae Winter Court embodies winter and all the concepts associated (cold, hibernation, ice, etc.). The angels of the White God (as He/She/It/They is/are called by the Fae) could represent the concept of free will, specifically the choice between good/altruism/service to the welfare of others and evil/selfishness/using others to serve oneself. One interpretation is that the Fallen still serve their original function in that their Fall was in some way a choice, and that they are allowed only to suggest or "tempt" humans and other beings with free will towards "Evil".
Given what Maeve does in Cold Days, it's evident that even very constrained beings can still "jump outside the system" with the right kind of aid. Her method, of course, doesn't exactly give you free will, just make you a slave to a different master.
So it's mentioned somewhere that an Unraveling, like the one Dresden got hold of in Summer Knight, can undo any enchantment, including vampiric infection—Harry considers using it on Susan, if I remember correctly. So why did he never consider turning in the Silver Oak boon for one?
The Unraveling is a very serious sort of thing, and its not a one-time use thing. Once you've got an Unraveling, you can go around and undo really any enchantment you want. That doesn't seem like the kind of thing the Mothers would part with lightly. Remember that the boon has its limitations, and I think that an Unraveling sits outside the boundaries of the things you can get from the Fae.
I could have sworn it was a one-time use thing, considering it does its thing by, well, unraveling.
You can presumably use it more than once; Harry intended to use the Unraveling to save Susan after he used it to rescue Lily.
Um, no he didn't. He didn't know he would need to use it to rescue Lily when he first had the thought that he would use it to cure Susan. If it could be used more than once, he could have recovered it from the stone table once Aurora was eliminated, but he didn't. One use only.
No. He didn't know he would need it to rescue Lily specifically, but that's irrelevant. He'd already figured out that Aurora had sealed away the Summer Knight's mantle, and it wasn't until then that they gave him the Unraveling. He already knew he'd need it, and then he thought of using it to heal Susan as well. He didn't recover the Unraveling after the battle because he was utterly exhausted from having had to fight a small army of fae and kill Aurora, and by the time he had recovered enough to even think about the Unraveling, the area had already been secured by Mab and Titania, and doubtless the Unraveling was removed.
By "one-time use", I was referring to how you use it by literally unraveling the cloth. Once it's used, the cloth is reduced to string, I figured that used up whatever power it had.
In addition to the sheer power of it, an Unraveling is a Winter Court production (specifically Mother Winter). Him using the Silver Oak boon to get one would likely be both be outside their capacity to acquire one and kill-you-dead insulting.
And the fact that Aurora had to steal Harry's to advance her own plan suggests that nobody else in either Court is powerful enough to make them.
Note that the Unraveling was created by Mother Winter specifically as a response to the imbalance within the Courts. She had to create one in order to address the loss of Summer's power. The boon from Summer has its limits; Eldest Gruff says as much. The kind of dangerous power in the Unraveling is not the kind that would be granted by something as minor as a boon, especially one granted by the lowest of the Summer Queens.
The Unraveling was clearly one-time use. The point of Harry musing that he could use it to help Susan was not a "Yippee, I'll do this after the intended purpose you gave it to me for!", it was a morality issue. Harry could use it to cure Susan... but he would have to be willing to not use it to save Lily, and thusly let the brewing war upset the world and cause more death or destruction. It was the latest manifestation of a theme that comes up time and time again in The Dresden Files... Harry has to choose between what he wants and what he knows is right. He wanted to use the Unraveling to save Susan, he knew it was right to use it to stop the war.
Bob as Word of Kemmler
How come Cowl was able to gain knowledge of Darkhallow from Bob, after Harry ordered Bob to permanently forget the time he spent with Kemmler? I first assumed that Cowl just somehow overrode the command with clever wording and maybe some Rules Lawyer talent, but that was Jossed by events of Ghost Story. Seeing how Bob split the part of himself into what amounts to a separate being he shouldn't have been able to supply Cowl with required info.
Indications are that he didn't do it immediately. Bob apparently only wholly separated the Kemmler part of himself after Cowl attempted to use him and he realized that just because he had set himself to forget about the information, anyone else could simply order him to remember it. He cut that part of himself off after Cowl was defeated.
Could Ivy, or any other Archive, theoretically avoid having children? The archive itself probably wouldn't want it, but it was established that Ivy could've taken control of it. Anyway, was it ever mentioned how exactly it's passed down? Would it go to some sister or cousin if there was no daughter?
It's safe to assume that whatever laid down enough juju to power an enchantment that's still going five thousand years later and store all of recorded history in the head of a seven year old girl could probably twist fate, too. Something tells me it's never been an issue.
Presumably there is some destiny-skewing effect that ensures the Archive will have a daughter, as without such a precaution, the odds virtually guarantee that one would turn out to be infertile eventually, or to produce nothing but sons.
Elemental Power of the Knight's Mantle
Does the "ritual" for bestowing the mantle of a Court Knight automatically transmit expert usage/understanding of Unseelie/Seelie Magic into the knight's head?. Because while we haven't seen enough of Fix to compare, Harry having pulled out ice after ice spell made me curious, particularity since he seemed to be creating them on the fly.
It apparently does, though the knight's own skill at using magic clearly helps to amplify it. Harry was using ice-magic immediately after becoming the Winter Knight, but Lea was impressed that Harry was able to so quickly and effectively switch between fire and ice when blasting the Red Court vampires. On the other hand, I don;t think we saw Lloyd Slate using much ice magic beyond coating his sword in frost, but Fix seemed to use some fire magic when he was backing up Harry in Proven Guilty.
We have seen Harry using "ice" magic before, since it's really just about moving heat in the other direction then when he uses fire magic. The first time was in Proven Guilty when he trips the monster fetch up, then again earlier in Changes to escape from the attack on the Water Beetle. He mentions what he needed was power, the Winter Knight mantle gave it to him.
Not quite. We've seen Harry using fire magic to create ice before—each time he does it, he describes that he's moving all the heat out of the area he's trying to freeze. It's only once he has the mantle that he starts creating cold directly.
He still states that he's "pulling all the heat" out of it. The wet jungle air creates the ice.
I was referring to him freezing Stevie D's gun in the church, and his duel against Ariana. Unless I'm mistaken, in those cases he uses a different incantation and just directly makes cold.
In the duel against Arianna(and against the vampires at Chichen Itza, as well) he uses Infriga. Against Stevie D he uses Arctis. It's not clear what the difference is, but Harry describes reaching into Mab's power (the Winter Mantle) a couple of times.
Guns As A Significant Threat?
When Fix is warning/threatening Harry in Small Favor, Harry says since Fix has been around a lot of supernatural circles lately that he probably doesn't see guns as big a threat. While that's true and Harry thought it meant he wasn't bringing his A-game, he seems to be forgetting that any defensive enchantments Fix has that are made by the Fae wouldn't stand a chance against a gun?. Shouldn't he have recognized that?
The vast majority of bullets don't have iron in them. You have to get them specially made, because steel simply doesn't work as well as lead for rifling and bullets. And Harry's talking about relative scale. A 9mm pistol doesn't seem like much of a threat compared to, say, a 12-foot-tall rampaging ogre, or a wizard sending a gout of flame as hot as a dozen suns at your face.
Harry's not forgetting it, because most fae defenses will be reasonably effective against any gun that's not using steel-jacketed rounds. Shotguns use buckshot or solid slugs, both of which are usually lead.
I was thinking today about Nicodemus. He's a very evil man even without the influence of Anduriel, as evidenced by his individuality while occupying the same body as the fallen angel. Nicodemus is not just a human vessel, or a willing participant who was consumed by the Fallen, like Rasmussen or Cassius. He is a very willing and motivated antagonist towards Dresden, and he's an evil dick. But here's the thing. In the Bible, Nicodemus is actually a pretty nice guy. He listens to Jesus's teachings, tries defending Him at His trial, and even dresses the body after the crucifixion. He's even a saint in Catholicism. So how does he go from sainthood to full cooperation with a fallen angel and planning genocide?
What makes you so sure that Nicodemus Archleone and the Biblical Nicodemus are the same man? More likely, the Dresden Files Nicodemus took the name as mockery, and it isn't the one he was born with.
... Yeah that makes sense. I didn't think that one through all the way. Thanks for clearing that up for me.
As stated, probably a mockery. Everything Nicodemus does is a mockery. He tried using the Shroud of Turin, a symbol of the resurrection, into a tool to start a world devastating plague. He uses a symbol of sin being guilt-ed into suicide as a tool to live through anything revealed so far (except itself). Doing evil in the name of a saint sounds just like his M.O.
Also remember, the Denarians draw power through acts of corruption and perversion. That is why Nicodemus horribly tortured Shiro in Death Masks, because the Fallen draw power from harming those that represent everything they despise (in this case a Knight of the Cross). Another example is using the Shroud, a symbol of healing and resurrection, in a spell to fuel a super-plague. Choosing the name Nicodemus is hardly out of character.
It might just be his name. First names aren't unique.
Das Lied der Erlking
The poor grammar in the title of the 'Das Lied der Erlking' book has already been justified, but one thing is still not explained. Why write title of the book in German, but use the english word for 'Erlkoenig'? Is there a reason for this?
It was written by a guy named Peabody. Chances are he just used the English word because that's what he knew better.
Because its name is Erlking. The book contains instructions for summoning it, and thus must use its true name. A version of the name in another language would fail to work.
Bigfoot v. White Court
So in the "Bigfoot on Campus" short story, Son of Bigfoot is dating a (unbeknownst to her) White Court vampire. Now Irwin's massive aura insured he did not die during his and Connie's first time, not problem there. However, the two seem to be very into each other and very likely in love. So Irwin should be immune to the whammy/come-hither and Connie, as an activated White Court vampire, should have a similar reaction as Thomas with Justine. But they don't. So are they not in love? Is the love one-sided? Is this college romance not supposed to be as deep as I see it, despite Irwin losing it on a guy that hurt Connie?
There does seem to be degrees of love at work in the series. Thomas and Justine were clearly in love before Blood Rites happened, but it was only after they demonstrated they were willing to sacrifice themselves for the other's life that Justine got the protection, and Bobby is implied to be able to un-vamp Inari after he literally takes a bullet for her. So while there may be other factors, it seems you have to be at least in love enough that you'd lay down your life for your partner.
The jealous, possessive and controlling aspects that Irwin showed indicate that the relationship probably hadn't matured into the fully pure True Love necessary for the protection against the hunger demons of the White Court. True Love is supposed to be pretty rare and special. It doesn't mean that they weren't really in love, just that their love hadn't yet reached True Love status. Considering it's a young love relationship between two college-aged students who have more to learn about love, that's probably not unrealistic. That doesn't mean it won't get there eventually.
I got the impression that Connie wasn't a full-fledged White Court vampire, although it's possible I missed that since I've only heard the audio book. Consequently, I'd gotten the impression that, like with the Reds, it takes an actual killing to 'turn' a White Court vamp. It's just that no White Court Virgins ever seem to have had the self-control necessary to avoid killing the first time they feed, excepting those who've tried feeding on someone that's poison to their Hunger. Connie lucked out that Irwin was able to satiate her Hunger without dying, so she never turned.
The origin of the masquerade
As of the beginning of the series, most magical creatures hide themselves because humanity as a whole could curb-stomp them as a whole, what with guns and nukes and all that. However, it's implied that they were more active in the past, such as medieval times; those stories had to come from somewhere. What caused them to go into hiding all the more, instead of simply fully coming out and turning humanity into cattle when things began getting tricky for them? Is a reason even given? The magical world is intelligent, so if they notice humanity getting uppity and developing something like guns, they could destroy the places guns are made and say that guns displeased the vampires/fae/something else, so you'd better cut that out now, or else. The superstitious-and-very-vulnerable humans would be scared out of their minds and stop working on guns, and get no closer to finding more tangible evidence of the vampires/fae/something else.
According to Word of Jim, this is quite literally a case of the wizards doing it. Wizards have been around since humans started banging rocks together, and the White Council has been around since pre-Roman times. The White Council were directly responsible for technological development in humanity and safeguarding humanity from sup[ernatural forces that would sabotage technological development. Remember that wizards not being tech-savvy is a recent thing; human magic mucking up technology only started around this century or so, and prior to that wizards were pretty savvy with technology. Word Of Jim is that the White Council was directly responsible for the Renaissance and other tech developments specifically to allow humans to have an edge over the gribblies.
So if the wizards are responsible for everything, why did they start a masquerade in the first place? The government doesn't try to pretend that, say, terrorists don't exist, but we've still gotten a lot of advancements from the war on terror. It can't simply be a matter of fear of the supernatural; Harry says in Dead Beat that knowledge overcomes fear, and once humans get even a little bit of knowledge on the supernatural, they take a level in badass, and it's not unlikely that something like this happened in the distant past. What do the wizards gain from keeping humanity in the dark about the threats to them?
Wizards didn't start the masquerade; the other supernaturals did. Wizards also don't actively maintain a masquerade, they just keep out of everyone's way because of things like the Inquisition. As tech improves, the ability to kill with tech improves, and the torches and pitchforks and massed musket volleys and cannons loaded with grapeshot and the machineguns and the attack helicopters and cruise missiles are equally effective on wizards as they are on the gribblies. Also, remember that even without advanced technology, the supernatural powers didn't want to rile up humanity because there's a lot of humans - a lot more humans than there are anything else, and there's also the Church (and whatever existed prior to it). The big problem is that the teeming masses of humanity will be just as violent and destructive when directed against wizards as they would be toward anything else; there's a reason why Harry says that getting the actual human authorities involved in anything is the equivalent of nuclear weaponry. Wizards revealing themselves to humanity would just result in whirlwind of violence.
So why didn't they reveal themselves in a more tolerant society? Harry's claim that Exodus 22:18 means "suffer not a harmful magic user to live" implies that God and/or the Israelites in the Dresdenverse were fine with magic users as long as they didn't hurt anybody, and pointing out the gribblies is definitely not harmful. In fact, most ancient cultures around that time period had some kind of magicians, and laws about malevolent magic exist in the earliest preserved law codes; the Code of Hammurabi, for example, includes a law or two against unjustified spellcasting. Also, the Inquisition was a lot less violent than it is usually portrayed, and they didn't believe in witchcraft. I suppose it's possible that they had a bad first experience and developed a "once bitten, twice shy" mentality.
The problem with finding a "more tolerant" society is that regardless of what society you're looking at, it's going to be made up of humans. Dumb, panicky, dangerous animals whose response to someone or something flinging lightning and fire and the like is going to be initial terror, followed by that uniquely human reaction to band together and kill the fuck out out of it. Whether or not there are benevolent magic users is irrelevant; humans attack what they perceive as scary, and other humans with supernatural powers get lumped in the "BURN IT" column. Those few societies that could tolerate magic users without going torches-and-pitchforks on them were eventually wiped out for one reason or another. As for the Inquisition, the real one may have historically been less violent than usually portrayed, but the one in the Dresdenverse history was, according to Word of Jim, much, much worse. Keep in mind, this is a setting where World War I and II were masterminded over several centuries by an insane necromancer, many major natural disasters were the result of the Blackstaff putting a hit on someone/something, and that the White Council started the Renaissance, so going by real life history is disingenious. There's a whole secret history going on in the background which is the real reason for a lot of this stuff. The Dresdenverse Inquisition was bad enough that it is often cited as the reason why the wizards are so hands-off and let mortals take care of themselves.
Also please bear in mind that there are a LOT of things in the Dresdenverse that are very dangerous for humans to know or attempt to understand. The Oblivion War is all about this. In the Dresdenverse, merely knowing about existence about certain deity-level beings is enough to allow them to manifest and meddle in the world, and many of those beings are very dangerous (think Cthulhu). The seventh law of magic, "Thou shalt no venture beyond the Outer Gates", prohibits even wizards from even learning about Outsiders (there are exceptions, of course, such as the Gatekeeper, the Blackstaff, and the Wardens, as they need to know what to look for). Another example are the Thirty Denarii (hope my Latin is right). When a coin is captured, either the Church or the Venatori Umbrorum usually keeps them locked away. However, Nicodemus mentions that the Denarians usually re-acquire their coins because some poor schmuck couldn't keep his hands to himself (The coins do offer agelessness, and that is a very powerful temptation). There is also the Darkhallow. Chicago was nearly destroyed by only six necromancers, and they weren't even working together. Imagine if some highly dangerous human criminal or terrorist organization got their hands on that kind of knowledge or power. Although a lot of high level magic can only be done by a wizard, there are still ways for non-wizard humans to individually cause a lot of damage, so a stretched-thin White Council would certainly like to make their jobs easier by limiting just how many sources of dangerous supernatural power are wandering around the planet.
It doesn't even have to be something big and powerful for this issue to apply, either. Consider how easily a wannabe-wizard without a mentor can slip into performing black magic without even meaning to, and how the overworked Wardens have been letting far too many of them slip through the cracks before they can be taught what's off-limits. Then consider how many more ignorant people would try messing around with magic, and stumble onto the warlock's path, if it were generally accepted that wizardry is for real: at least with the population-at-large in denial, it's only a tiny fraction of folks who even bother to make the attempt.
Blood vs. Hair
So in Turn Coat, Harry and Murphy come up with this great plan to subtly nick some of Binder's hair to track him as he goes to his employer, which he then stymies by shaving his head, severing the connection between the hair Harry has and himself. But the very first thing Harry does during the interrogation is punch Binder hard enough that he is visibly bleeding from his nose and lying on his side. Surely some of that blood must have dripped to the floor or been otherwise available (particularly as Murphy ends up shoving him at the table later), which would have provided a link for a tracking spell Binder couldn't have severed. Odd that Harry didn't think of that.
While blood is a viable tracking mechanism, there's no point in the narrative that describes the blood spilling anywhere on the floor or table. If it had, it would have been mentioned; Harry doesn't miss details like this. It appears that none spilled, or at least not enough to track Binder with.
It's also mentioned at one point that blood becomes much less useful once it's dried up. Depending on how much time had passed, it might have dried and lost its connection. Hair is more static since it's already dead.
Thomas, Harry, and Susan after Grave Peril
In Grave Peril when Bianca, gives Thomas the ultimatum to turn on Dresden in exchange for Justine, Thomas agrees, kicks Susan to the vampires. Bianca being a Manipulative Bitch that she was, double-crosses him, and Dresden burns the place down in a fit of rage. What got me is...why has this never come up again after that book? Susan being given to Bianca changed everything in Harry's life going forward, hell, he started a war just to get her back. But no one has ever called Thomas out on it. Yes, it was to save Justine, but did Thomas even ever apologize for it? Hell, he and Harry were brothers, though only he knew it. Even the "It was in your best interests" card, insufficient to Harry it might've been. It NEVER comes up.
I was wondering the same thing while I was rereading the series. I think Harry takes Thomas returning with the sword and helping him try to get Susan back as his apology. Besides that, Harry mostly blames himself for her being there in the first place. I think he even has an inner monologue to that effect when it happens, that it was all his fault she was even in the situation.
At any point afterward, it would appear that all has been forgiven. Recovering the Sword and helping to rescue Susan looks to have absolved Thomas in Harry's eyes, and his subsequent actions in turn have further mended the issue between them.
He also 'sent' Justine to Harry which may have (at that point in his development) been the greatest apology, and sign of contrition, he could think of for his actions. Harry may, after his initial horror, realised this and decided to forgive him.
The purpose of the Ick killing Rudolph
What was the point of the Eebs sending the Ick after Rudolph in the first place? They specialize in low-risk assassination and even without it could kill Rudy easily so what's the deal? On another note would their victory in the trial have cleared them of the deaths of the two goblins the killed when they arrived?
I have a feeling the goblin's point of view on those deaths was along the lines of "If we hunt dangerous prey, we accept the risk that it will hurt us." So no, I don't think they would have been in trouble for killing those goblins if they'd won.
It is heavily implied that the Ick was not so much there to kill Rudolph so much as it was intended to be a trap for Harry and Co. Also, the Eebs really wanted Rudolph dead, and needed him dead quickly. The attacks against Harry could afford to be individually unlikely to work on their own, but any hit on a cop that didn't take him out on the first pass would be reported immediately and get the entire CPD on them.
No, the Ick was specifically targeting Rudolph. Esteban even asks "Did the devourer kill the constable?" to which Esmeralda replies, "No, it was attacked only seconds after entering his home."
Mab's Armies in Cold Days
Where does she GET them all? It seems implied that Winter must be MUCH larger than Summer, if she not only has so many but has been fighting a war for so long that the landscape is made of the bones of the dead. And yet, it also seems to imply that the Sidhe (or at least the humanoid Sidhe?) only reproduce in human/Sidhe pairs. So wouldn't there have to be a LOT of changelings being born and choosing Winter just to maintain status quo?
One, the vast majority of Mab's armies are not Sidhe, Sidhe are the pinnacle of fae-kind, the nobles and officers. The foot soldiers are going to be goblins, ogres, etc. Two, Sidhe are immortal, which means their ranks are never diminished, even if they are sidelined by being wounded in battle. Third, Sidhe and mortals have been having dalliances for millenia. If half or more Choose to be Sidhe, well, that's lots of recruits over the centuries.
Also, it brings new terror to the thought of "All of them" coming for Harry after his stunt in Proven Guilty.
Harry was exaggerating. Even then, he was only thinking about the near-Earth reach of Faerie, where Mab's forces are in rough parity with Titania's.
I don't think that all of those bones belong to Winter and the Outsiders. The Gatekeeper says: "There are always Outsiders trying to tear their way in. There are always forces in place to stop them. In our age, it is the task of Winter to defend these boundaries." That makes it pretty clear that the Winter Fae haven't always been the ones fighting the outsiders, there were other armies who defended reality before they did.
Some lines in Cold Days seem to imply that the Sidhe ONLY reproduce with humans. Or maybe only the humanoid ones? I mean, freaking Mab was a changeling or unlucky mortal once.
Some Nevernever creatures definitely have to reproduce with mortals: we see that in the short story about Gard and the grendelkin. But that doesn't mean they all have to; it's possible that ex-changelings are considered better candidates for positions that require interaction with mortals, such as that of a Queen, as someone who's born as a Sidhe can't even begin to understand humans' way of thinking.
And note that even though Queen Mab was born a mortal, she still needed Sarissa to explain all things mortal to her. Apparently changelings can become so thoroughly Fae that they might as well have been born Sidhe.
Well, it was thousands of years ago—long enough that not even Bob remembers her predecessor. Mortals have changed a lot in the last few centuries.
So, with revelation regarding the source of Aurora's madness, her actions first seemed to make more sense, but now I'm wondering: if she really was infected, why would she look to give power to Winter? Yes, Mab overrunning the planet would suck for humanity, but it certainly wouldn't help the Outsiders...
There seems to be several stages to the infection - the earlier parts just lead to a general increase in chaos as people's natures are twisted, while it's the later ones that lead to them supporting the agenda of the outsiders entirely. From what Nemesis in Cat Sith says, it seems to prefer to remain in the earlier stage while it can to avoid detection.
Also, remember that her end goal wasn't just to strengthen Winter. It was to provoke the Faerie Courts into a war so destructive that little or nothing would remain of them, so that Aurora could build something "better" from the ashes. Of course, she'd never get the chance, now would she? Without the Winter Court there to keep the Outsiders at bay, they would overrun reality VERY quickly.
More tragically, maybe Aurora hadn't been acting on the behest of Nemesis, as she was still fighting back against its influence when she launched her plan. Tortured by the infection's assault on her mind (remember her last words?), she deluded herself into thinking it would help herself and all Faerie if she could boost Winter's power enough for them to drive the Outsiders' forces back from the Outer Gates. It was a batshit-crazy idea with potentially catastrophic side effects for the mortal world, but we know that psychic assaults cause people to go progressively insane, so why not fae?
The Outsiders may have been playing the long game; the Gatekeeper is a wizard. If humanity were devastated by an ice age, he would be extremely difficult to replace. Without the Gatekeeper, defending the Outer Gates becomes untenable because anyone in combat with the Outsiders could be turned.
Word of Jim claims Bad Things would happen to someone who bore both the mantles of Summer and Winter Knights. Since the Knights' power is an extension of the Queens', it implies that something along those lines would also happen if the power of Summer's Knight were channeled into the Winter Queens, possibly enough to make up for the raw power lost. Consider Winter's reaction to just a little Summer fire hurled into the center of Arctis Tor; how much worse if one were to dump the Summer Knight's power into the Winter Queens?
Here is a simple one. Where does Lea fit in the Winter Fae hierarchy? Its stated shes the 2nd strongest Winter after Mab who is the Queen. This would imply shes stronger then even Maeve, the Lady of the court and in "Summer Knight" Maeve and Lea cooperate as though they were equals or at least similarly ranked. Mab is also very angry at what is done to Lea and holds a vendetta for it and she even tends to Lea implying some kind of relationship. Does this mean Lea is part of the Winter Fae hierarchy or does she simply have enough power (somehow) to be on the rulers of her courts level?
She's Mab's handmaiden. She's strong, but I think she doesn't have the same authority as Maeve does in court matters.
That is an awfully powerful handmaiden.
....and? Yes, Mab has a powerful handmaiden. She's the Queen of Air and Darkness. She can kill most of Earth's population without much effort. She is insanely powerful. Her handmaidens, attendants, bodyguards, and closest advisers reflect that power. She is much more powerful than Maeve, apparently because the Ladies are not massive powerhouses in the Fae Courts, going by what we've seen of their demonstrated power.
More of a Wild Mass Guessing suggested by the end of 'Cold Days' but what if twin girls run in Mab's family and Lea is her sister. It would explain why Lea is so powerful (she's as old as Mab) and why Mab takes her betrayal/corruption so personally.
Proven Guilty Monsters
A meta-question: Harry frequently shouts out to Spider-man and Star Wars, among others, going so far as to mention the titles, plots and characters in detail. So why are the movie monsters in Proven GuiltyLawyer Friendly Cameos?
Because there's a big legal difference between referencing another franchise (Like Harry and Star Wars), parodying it (like Molly's mind-bridge and Star Trek), and flat out using someone else's characters. Butcher and his publisher aren't interested in getting sued.
The Swords in Cold Days
In Cold Days, when preparing for the final battle, Dresden and Karren talk about the Swords. Karren immediately says they shouldn't bring them, because terrible things happen when the swords go off mission. The problem is that the incident she cites as proof was from Small Favor, where the swords were up against their actual enemy, their literal actual enemy. It was feasibly impossible for them to be any more 'on mission' than that. And worse, they both ignore the fact that the swords had no issue getting everyone out of the disaster with the red court in Changes, which while it certainly had the swords blessings, was very much not part of their design. Did I miss a page explaining this?
The incident in Small Favor was not a case of the Swords being taken "off-mission" - it was a case of showing that even when on mission, the wielders could get mangled up pretty badly. Karrin wasn't using it as an example of the Swords being taken off their appointed task, she was using it to demonstrate that even when on-task, you can get messed up. More importantly, it being Halloween, the Swords are vulnerable, so the Swords could be in serious danger if one was lost. In any case, it seems clear that there's a definite division of labor here with the White God/Archangels and the war with the Outsiders. The White God and Co. don't directly intervene regarding the Outsiders, but will intervene in other affairs like the Red Court.
The incident in Small Favor was brought up because it happened at the very place they were going towards. Also, the Swords are intended to fight demons, vampires, and suchlike. Outsiders are from beyond those segments of reality. They don't play by the same rules.
The last time the Swords were on Demonreach the 'good guys' barely escaped with their lives and Michael, who had taken on a dragon single handed, almost died despite being 'on mission'. Murphy was probably worried that the Nickelheads chose Demonreach because they knew it gave them an advantage and the outcome would be even worse if they were brought there 'off mission'. Given that Demonreach is a place of pure concentrated EVIL she might not be wrong.
The sword's long-term mission — fighting the Nickelheads — doesn't necessarily mean that any individual fight with the Nickelheads is on-mission (or that fights against other supernatural beings are off-mission). Michael was guided to help the White Council against Outsider attacks in Proven Guilty, and came through without a scratch. It's not the type of enemy, it's the reason. In Small Favor, he was driven not by circumstances or by his calling (which he had until Ivy was kidnapped), but by a desire to become a normal carpenter again, and as a result he didn't get the heavenly protection effect. If Murphy had brought the Sword to protect Demonreach, it'd be because she was driven by her own purposes and intentions, not because they were needed, and that weakens the swords.
It should be pointed out that failing at Demonreach would probably have kicked off the apocalypse. That's hard to beat as a mission. And I don't think Micheal was off-mission in Small Favor. Sanya had conveniently shown up at his house just in time to participate in the start of the incident and Archangel Uriel had personally intervened to help Harry twice, so clearly the overall confrontation was on-mission. And Micheal participated in the Demonreach battle in order to rescue Ivy; the plan put the captured coins at risk of recovery. I'd argue that Micheal's divine protection was in full effect, but not extensive enough. It seems like the Knights are primarily protected by supernatural forces, and he was shot by a mortal (empowered by a Fallen, yes, but it wasn't in overall control) with an entirely mundane gun. Plus, he did survive and was ultimately quite happy in his enforced retirement. Also, the Proven Guilty fight was against the Red Court, who are definitely within the purview of the Swords. Now, they did have Outsiders, and Micheal did beat them, but they could easily have been low-end Outsiders entirely susceptible to an experienced man with a very large and very sharp sword. Given that most of the experienced Wardens were engaged elsewhere and the White Council can't enchant Warden swords anymore and so apparently stopped issuing them, Luccio may have been the only other person present with a proper weapon.
Its important to note that the swords and being "on-mission" don't make someone invincible. The Swords simply remove most of the supernatural power from coming into play, which reduces a struggle into a man-on-man conflict. The Swords basically level the playing field, taking away immunities and cheaty supernatural powers. Nicodemus is still able to slay Knights, and has killed countless Knights wielding their Swords, but its because he's smart, he's sneaky, and he's got two thousand years' worth of sword-fighting expertise under his belt. Sword or not, a Knight can still be killed by a mortal. The Sword just turns it into a fight between men instead of god-likes.
Moreover, the Swords are intended to be used on missions that God (via Contrived Coincidence) sets their wielders upon. It's not for mortals to decide for themselves when they should be deployed. If Sanya had turned up and started saving people from hostile fey, the way he'd come to the rescue in Changes, that's the sort of thing that might have convinced Murphy that the situation legitimately warranted use of the Swords.
The Outsiders in Cold Days
So... how the heck did those Outsiders get there? They must have been summoned, but I was under the impression that only mortal humans can summon them into our world. (In Proven Guilty, the ambush laid by the Red Court couldn't bring the Outsiders any farther than the Nevernever.) Who summoned them? While it's undoubtedly the case that Maeve was in on it, she doesn't count as 'mortal human'. I might have seen Fix or even Lily being capable of it, as Fix is mortal enough to be a Knight and Lily was a changeling rather than true Sidhe, but it's also made clear that neither of them were part of the Outsider-summoning end of the plan, and thought that it was Harry who was mucking about with Outside. So, who summoned them?
Someone we never saw. There's a second presence on the island in Turn Coat that's never identified, either. Candidates include...well, just about everybody, but the Jim Butcher forums seem to lean toward Cowl.
Harry's discussion with Ebenezar at the end of the book implies that the person was Gregori Christos, the wizard appointed to the Senior Council in the wake of La Fortier's death. Although, he could secretly be Cowl.
The Outsiders have a small army of mortal troops accompanying them during the assault, and we know as of Blood Rites that you don't even need to have strong magical talent to summon an Outsider. They could have easily just been summoned by ordinary human cultists using rituals like the one performed by the porn star sorceresses.
For that matter, Justin DuMorne could have summoned all three Walkers to the mortal plane decades ago, not just He Who Walks Behind. He Who Walks Before could've been hanging around all this time, searching the planet for Merlin's Outsider-prison, and only learned of its location recently (maybe from Shagnasty?).
The suspect list is, at a minimum, every single member of the White Council except Rashid, whose location during the period of the book can be confirmed with reasonable certainty. There are a lot of Ways into Chicago, so any knowledgable wizard with a couple hours to kill could have summoned Sharkface, and presumably they'd be able to use the ley lines and rituals, plus possibly blood sacrifice, to get the needed power. The attack occurred about half an hour before noon, so someone who was waiting at a Way sealed by Mab's spell would have ~3 hours in which to perform the ritual. Plenty of time for a White Council member who already knows exactly how to do it. If we drop the assumption he was summoned on the day of the attack, the suspect list becomes every single mortal with any magical talent whatsoever, since Nemesis could presumably feed them an essentially unlimited amount of information on how to boost the ritual's power. Also, Small Favor implies that some of the Denarians are infected by Nemesis, and they could certainly manage it.
The "unidentified" party in Turn Coat was Peabody. That's why Harry got pictures of him coming out of the alley. And yes, the suspect list for the summonings in Cold Days are near-limitless, but it's quite possibly cultists who worship Outsiders. Outsiders are Lovecraftian horrors, Lovecraftian horrors generally have cults devoted to them.
Here's a related question: Molly was fae-trained by Lea, which made her capable of becoming the Winter Lady. But Lea had been corrupted by Nemesis since Book 3 or shortly after that, and had already been shown to have corrupted someone else in turn - Maeve. How do we know she didn't corrupt Molly?
Lea didn't start training Molly until the period between Changes and Ghost Story. Mab had already cured her by that point; Lea was undergoing Nemesis-removal when she was stuck in the ice in Proven Guilty, which is why she was so bipolar in that scene- she was half Nemesis!Lea, half Real!Lea. By Changes she's back to normal (or at least the Sidhe version of normal).
Veiling the Water Beetle
So Molly veils the Water Beetle, as well as its wake and sounds, to have the element of surprise to ram one of the ritual barges. However, when Harry, Thomas, and Molly are leaving Demonreach only to be attacked by the Redcap, Molly suggests veiling the boat, which Harry shoots down by saying, "Going to be hard to hide the boat's wake, isn't it?" With that said, how could Molly do all that and more at the end of the book? Even if it's because there's less water around, since they're closer to shore, Molly's still holding the veil for what could be as much as an hour in a warzone (which therefore has lots of intense emotions), and Harry says that brute-force approaches aren't Molly's specialty.
You have to remember that Harry's been gone for a while, and the Molly he knew is gone. The current Molly (The Ragged Lady) isn't a sheltered, human tutored apprentice anymore, but is a cruel, cold, powerful Sidhe trained wizard who's taken two of the laws of magic and broken them a thousand different ways. Anything Harry says about Molly in Cold Days has to be taken with a grain of salt, including what she's capable of. As for why Molly didn't just do it, well... she's still, mentally, a love sick teenager. What Harry says goes, even if its a dump on her skills.
I find the assumption that, if Harry says to Molly she can't do something, then she can't, to be rather bizarre, especially if she's a cruel, cold, powerful, Sidhe-trained wizard. She can't be that devoted to what Harry says, particularly after Lea's training. Molly isn't stupid or some kind of Yes Woman for love, and if Harry said she wasn't capable of something that could save their lives but she knew she was, she would do it. And that still leaves out the high emotions of the battle. Earlier, Molly had to leave the Water Beetle's cabin because of the high emotions between Harry and Thomas. That's just two people (albeit in special circumstances). Multiply that by a hundred, then add in the alien minds of the Wild Hunt and the really alien minds of the Outsiders, and Molly would be really stressed to hold the spell up.
Actually, it's probably a lot easier to hide and veil a ship in the middle of the night, during a pitched battle, as compared to a clear, calm stretch of water during daylight. The confusion of the battle would make it harder to notice one individual ship even un-cloaked, the fighting means she doesn't have to dampen the sound much, and the water's a lot choppier to begin with, meaning the wake stands out less to begin with—and that's presuming the ship is even moving. She could've easily had Thomas stand the ship still for a while, then only started it up when she was needed.
So it's not really the same situation—in the first, it's making a single, highly-visible target invisible when people are actively looking for it and when all the factors are against you; and in the second, it's making a single target among dozens invisible when people aren't expecting it, and all the factors (aside from the water itself) are working for you.
In short, where is it easier to sneak through: In an empty, white hallway with all the lights on, or in a cluttered, noisy room where everything's being thrown about and the lights are off?
In that case, why bother hiding the wake/sounds at all? Harry explicitly says that Molly was concealing everything about the Beetle. There's a bit of Unreliable Narrator in there, sure, but it was quiet enough for Harry to hear the ice cracking, and once he realized what was going on, he still couldn't hear the Beetle until it came out of the veil, even though he knew it was there. In the cluttered, noisy, dark, chaotic room, making yourself completely silent is overkill.
Not if you're not sure how keen the senses of the ones you're trying to surprise might be. For all Molly knew, Sharkface could see in pitch blackness and hear a pin drop in the middle of a championship Bears game.
The underwater warehouse
When Harry tries to rescue Andi, Butters, Justine, and Mac from the Redcap, they're almost killed when explosive charges blow the part of they're building they're in into Lake Michigan. However, the part of the building that was formerly connected to the rest is somehow the part that hits the bottom. Exactly how is that possible? The roof would've had to acted like a hinge for the big hole in the building to be facing down; otherwise, it should've tilted so that the wall facing the lake was in the bottom, leaving the "top" of the wreckage one large hole for everyone to swim out of. Unless I misinterpreted the descriptions given.
It's a rather confusing section of text. The feeling I got was more that the warehouse's supports — the back twenty-feet of the warehouse were part of a dock over the water — were damaged, not the floor or the roof itself, and it splashed down at an angle with a hell of a mess of metal at the part of the building formerly connected to the rest. Not pointed down; the floor's still floor, but where it might have been navigable or had a usable exit, finding one before folk with head injuries drowned would be a bad bet.
Weren't they specifically in a back room of the warehouse? I got the impression that the section that fell into the lake included an interior wall, so the trapped people were fully enclosed, with water pressing the room's only door shut from outside.
How could Harry use magic inside Butters' apartment? His power should've been significantly reduced after he crossed the threshold, given the way magic works. Yes, he ripped the door frame away from the wall and could be argued as destroying the threshold, but he's still inside a dwelling place uninvited. If that was all it took, nothing could stop various supernatural predators from doing the same to get to their prey.
The point of that scene is to show just how ridiculously powerful Harry has become. Its been shown multiple times that thresholds aren't fool proof (They get broken apart on a regular basis, due to a weak threshold or supremely powerful being). It's just that Harry's never been able to break even a weak one before, let alone a reenforced one. And he does note that even after breaking in, his abilities are restrained, if only by a little.
He uses an elbow, his knees and (almost) a chair. He breaks the door with the power of muscle, not magical force. The only magical stuff he does in Butters' apartment was to pop the wards — done from the hallway, a commercial and public area — and to break a computer, which is something Harry's always doing and doesn't take much power. He thinks about creating a shield for bullets, but doesn't actually try to do so. So the threshold may well have tamped down his magical power, and it's just not mentioned because it wouldn't be enough to matter. And while the Winter Mantle makes Harry more prone to acting in Winterish ways, he's still mortal instead of a true supernatural predator; the point of the Knights is that they're human enough to go through thresholds with only being weakened or to kill people without breaking Fae law. Which is its own type of horror, given what the Winter Knight tends to be like.
A bit part of the Mantle's function is to provide enhancements that won't be diminished by a threshold. While Harry might use it mostly to enhance his magic, it also boosts physical strength and endurance: properties which thresholds don't seem to hinder much, if the destruction wrought by Kalshazzak in Harry's apartment or by the fetches at the Carpenters' place are any indication.
Butters was a reclusive, single bachelor until VERY recently, so his threshold would be minimal. It takes time, and stability inside the household to create a threshold worth a damn.
And if it's a rented apartment, that, too, limits the power of the threshold.
And Harry is a friend who has been in and out of that apartment many times in the service of using his barbarian's mighty thews to smite the forces of evil.
Why didn't Karrin's Harley break down after Harry rode it for so long?
I had assumed it didn't break down because The Wild Hunt is enchanting it making it immune to what ever cause Harry to mess up machinery.
Harry rode it for, maybe, an hour or so? Tops? Wizards breaking machinery isn't a 100% and instant thing. It just makes malfunctions more likely to happen than they already are.
It's a Harley. For those who are unfamiliar with them, they're basically one of the toughest and most reliable pieces of motorcycle engineering in the world. It can take a wizard riding on it for an hour, especially considering that it's handled similar trouble in previous books (Blood Rites being the most obvious).
Certain machines are less vulnerable than others. Computers break quickly, but vehicles like the Beetle tend to last ages before it really gets to them.
Motorcycles tend not to have as many computerized functions integrated into them as modern cars do. If it's a classic-style bike, it might not have had any at all.
Also remember that it's not the specific date on which a device is made that determines whether a wizard breaks it, but rather the complexity. Modern revolvers work just fine for Harry because there's really not that much difference in really basic function between a modern Tauros and an old Colt, they're very simple machines. Similarly if Murph's riding a fairly classic Harley, there might not be much difference between it and a "safe" WW 2-era motorcycle (since that's what some of the first Harleys were adapted from, I think I once heard?), meaning it would be fine. If you engineered a brand new "old" car for Harry it would probably work fine too.
Harry and Hats
In Changes, Harry says he doesn't do hats, so why do most if not all the cover art for the books shows him wearing the same black hat?
That's the joke. At the start, Harry just didn't wear hats, but he was shown wearing them on the covers anyway. Eventually, Butcher started having Harry insist he doesn't like hats, while at the same time the cover artist started making them more prominent. It's just an ongoing joke about Covers Always Lie.
Also possibly a reference to how plenty of vanilla-mortal detective series make the same error, depicting the protagonist in stereotypical "private eye" clothes on the covers even when they don't dress like that.
It started with the cover of Dead Beat, where the cover artist was told by the publisher that Harry wears a hat (possibly the publisher had gotten his description mixed up with Grevane, who does). Since then, it's become a running gag between Jim Butcher and the cover artist. Hilariously enough, in the one time Grevane is illustrated in the RPG's rulebook? He doesn't have the hat.
Accorded Neutral Territory in Cold Days
After the fight at the bar, Mac refuses to tell Dresden details about the Outsiders or interfere and points at the Accorded Neutral Territory sign. Uh, what? The Accords only involve signatories. There's no way that the Outsiders would be protected by them, and Dresden is only asking him about Outsiders, not Maeve. Mac might be using it as an excuse not to talk, except Dresden doesn't call him on it. So what's going on there?
Mac is saying that he's neutral, and that he doesn't want to get involved in the conflict, because he's "out". Dresden does tell him that being neutral won't really protect him, but Mac only gives up a tiny bit of information and then says he isn't willing to talk about it.
Mac had been equally reluctant to take sides, even before the war broke out. Getting his bar declared neutral territory under the Accords didn't create that policy, it just gave Mac's pre-existant impartiality some legal backing.
It also means that while the Outsiders may not recognize the neutrality of Mac's bar (or the Unseelie Accords in general), Winter and the White Council do. Harry's required to respect Mac's desire not to get involved, or to at least not push the issue within the bar itself. After that, Harry just has to accept that Mac might have good reasons to want to hold back that information, and trust Mac. It's not like Harry hasn't kept others in the dark before and asked for their trust while doing so.
Why is a vanilla mortal given the title Baron? Other members of the Accords seem to be recognized as Lords. Lord Raith is the White King but is still called Lord. The Red Court seems to have a few Dukes and Dutchesses, but Marcone is the only Baron.
The different titles come from different organizations, and different positions within those organizations. The Unseelie accords doesn't hand out everyone's rank, the members usually have their own titles as well. So you get the supernatural nations giving themselves titles like King or Duke, and then the accords giving people titles by its own standards. Marcone isn't part of any nation or organization, so he simply gets the title Baron to recognize his status. Lord Raith probably gets different titles reflecting his position in the White Court; he's the White King because he is the leader of the White Court, but since any of the Houses can lead the White Court, technically he also holds the position as Lord of House Raith separately. And so on.
"Baron" is probably the standard entry-level title for low-power Accords signatories who just barely rate a membership. Sure, Marcone would probably like to be acknowledged as higher than that, but vanity has never been one of his flaws; he's a prudent man, who'll wait until he's solidified his credentials as a power to be respected before he even considers upgrading his title.
Generally speaking, baron is the lowest level of noble title; Baronet is lower, but it A) generally doesn't involve a territory and B) was mostly a way for the crown to convince people with more wealth than sense to donate to the treasury. Since Marcone does claim a territory (Chicago, natch) and he's as low ranking as they come (since he's a vanilla mortal) baron seems to be the appropriate rank. On the other hand, it wouldn't be inappropriate for those who recognize the Unseelie Accords (signatories or not) to refer to him as 'Lord Chicago.'
Harry's read The Word of Kemmler and knows how to perform the Darkhallow. But could a mortal survive a correctly performed one? After all, it turns out that the reason the Kemmlerites tried to do it on Halloween night was because that's the one night one can attain immortality, not because it's easier calling up lots of ghosts (although that no doubt helps.) My point being, Maggie (and Harry, for that matter) clearly didn't have until Halloween, so even if Harry had felt the need to go that route for power, he really couldn't have ascended to minor godhood as the ritual intends. Can a mere mortal contain the Darkhallow's power? Or would it have been a very messy and pointless method of suicide?
Maybe, maybe not. It could be that Halloween is simply the easiest time to become immortal, not the only time. But either way, Harry didn't know about that at the time, so it doesn't matter. Mab's not exactly the type to say "No, sorry, that won't work because ___"
Oh, I never expected Mab to do something like that; even if she had known exactly what the Darkhallow was telling Harry how it worked (or why it wouldn't) would've been free information, and that's not how the Sidhe roll. It's that Harry, having read The Word, should've known the Darkhallow would only work on Halloween and not made an empty claim like he did.
It's also unlikely that Harry's Darkhallow would have been anywhere near as powerful as the Kemmlerites'. They were waiting until Halloween, when the boundaries to the Nevernever are the weakest, the Wild Hunt had been summoned, and Cowl had spent the better part of a day inciting panic to make the ritual even more powerful. Harry would have had no chance to do any of that, so it's likely he could have survived a scaled down version while still remaining mortal.
There's no evidence whatsoever that the Darkhallow can only be done on Hallow's Eve. Immortality was not the goal of the Darkhallow. Attaining power was the goal of the Darkhallow.
From Cold Days, when Harry talks to Bob: "Those Kemmlerite freaks and their Darkhallow," I breathed. "That was Halloween night." "Exactly!" Bob said. "That ritual was suppose to turn one of them into an immortal. And the same rule applies - that's the only night of the year it actually can happen. I doubt all of them knew that it had to be that night. But I betcha Cowl did. Guy is seriously scary."
It seems the sort of thing Kemmler would mention in The Word. And, of course, by the time the Darkhallow went down, Cowl could have simply asked Bob anyway. Although one could suppose that he specifically left that bit out of The Word as a trap for someone who had skipped the first three of his books, which would explain Harry's apparent ignorance. Or, alternately, Harry didn't actually read The Word, but if so it seems foolish to have bragged about doing so to two different supernatural powerhouses (not to imply that Mavra is anywhere near the same power level as Mab, but still...)
Cold Days takes place after Changes. In Changes, Harry had no idea it had to be Halloween for the ritual to confer immortality... and considering that's what later tips him off that that's the night when an immortal can be killed, it's hardly surprising Mab doesn't correct him.
Gaining power from eating ghosts certainly doesn't seem to be exclusive to Halloween night: both Kravos and Corpsetaker pulled it off on other nights, and Harry did it right back to the Nightmare as well. Possibly the Darkhallow can only confer immortality on Halloween, but can still grant god-caliber powers to a mortal at any time of year. The Kemmlerites didn't necessarily intend to become immortal, they just picked Halloween because they knew that's when the Wild Hunt could be summoned to boost the supply of (tasty) ancient hunter-spirits.
A related question that also seems to go under this point: How was Harry planning on casting a Darkhallow with a broken back? He can't move, which means he can't gather artifacts to call additional spirits or move out of holy ground to a more auspicious site. Would a Darkhallow with no artifacts and cast in the middle of a church even work? Not to mention that there are multiple people there who could and probably would try to stop him if he began to cast it.
Can Harry call his coin? If he could, he probably would make a deal with the true Lasciel to get started.
Yes, Harry can easily call the coin.
Harry knows how the Darkhallow works, and since it was on the table when he was talking with Mab, it presumably can be done with a broken back. He might need someone to drive him around to where he needs to go, but he can still do it.
Pretty sure he was bluffing when he said that to Mab.
Isn't that the entire point? By definition, the ritual would fail on any other night of the year. In order for it to be a "Correctly Performed" Darkhallow, it would have to happen on Halloween. If a mortal was killed because they tried to do it on any other night of the year, they'd be performing a Darkhallow-like ritual, but unless it's Halloween, it's not really The Darkhallow. For all we know, Step 1 is "Perform Only on Halloween." Remember, we readers are never given the text of the ritual so we don't know what it says (even Harry doesn't have it memorized - only Lash does. Harry just knows he can have Lash tell him how to do it).
Whatsup Dock in Cold Days
In Cold Days, Harry mentions building the dock along with Thomas, on weekends when the two of them would come to the island and work on it, prior to when he was shot at the end of Changes. But Harry doesn't claim the island as his sanctum until the events of Turn Coat, and by that point Thomas has been captured and tortured by the naagloshii. He mentions in Changes that after they got Thomas back, he's only seen him for "two, maybe three minutes" since then. So at what point did they get together to build the dock and start repairs on other parts of the island? It's a pretty minor plot point, but it kind of bugged me when I was first reading through it, given that a big problem in Changes was Thomas and Harry's strained relationship after Thomas started feeding again.
Either they were building the dock together at some other time, or Butcher just slipped up about continuity. He does that sometimes. At one point in one of the books Harry uses his shield bracelet despite just a few paragraphs earlier mentioning that he'd lost it earlier and felt naked without it. I've just kind of accepted these little "oops" moments as something that happens in the books and learned to live with it.
Presumably Harry and Thomas worked on the island between Small Favor and Turn Coat, as that's the only time when they were getting along and knew the place existed. Thomas had been using a small island as a safe house for the practitioners in White Night, so he might've asked Harry to help turn the uncharted lighthouse's into another refuge that would be even better-hidden. They built Whatsup Dock together in case they ever needed to use it, then hauled the floating dock to a concealed spot along the island's shore, so its presence couldn't reveal to the 9th District Coast Guard that people were hanging around a place civilians aren't supposed to know exists. Harry miss-remembered when he and Thomas had done the work, because once he acquired intellectus and could just know things about Demonreach, his brain got a bit lazy about storing facts about it in the normal way.
Harry actually mentions in Turn Coat that he and Thomas had taken several trips out to the island after the events of Small Favor, even before he had claimed it as sanctum. In Turn Coat there were buoys out to mark the way through the stone reef, and the floating dock had already been built— if you remember, they had to wade to shore in Small Favor.
How did the Archive get mordite?
In Death Masks, the Archive uses a mordite particle as the weapon for Harry's duel against Ortega. However, it's mentioned that mordite comes from Outside, and it seems utterly improbable that even the Archive would violate the Seventh Law so casually and risk getting killed off by the Council and/or Mab (IIRC, the Archive is supposed to be about equivalent to the Ladies in power and skill, so either Mab or the Council could probably take her in a straight-up fight). So where did the mordite come from and why did the Archive chose to use that instead of, say, a fireball tied to the same control spell she used on the deathstone.
Presumably, some of it exists in the world, and she was able to get a hold of it. Yes, it was originally from Outside, but as one of the most politically powerful entities in the magical world, it wouldn't have been too hard for her to call up a collector and buy or borrow it.
Why would the Archive give a fuck about the Laws of Magic? She isn't bound to them. Hell, she outright says to Harry that she will kill him right where he stands if he violates the rules of the duel, or later on in the subway station, and she's not doing that with superhuman strength. The Archive doesn't care about the Council's laws, which only relate to wizards. (incidentally, she is much more powerful than the Ladies. She's more akin to Mab herself in terms of magical whoopass) Not to mention that the rule regarding the Outer Gates is that one "will not seek knowledge from beyond the Outer Gates" not that one wouldn't seek to acquire objects or samples from said place. The Archive wants some mordite, there's not much that can stop her from acquiring some, on either side of the Gates.
Because opening the Outer Gates is going to royally piss off Mab and the Senior Council, and either of those could knock off the Archive with only moderate trouble. The Archive has a lot of power, but not that much. And the weird thing is that there's no real reason (that I can see at any rate) to use deathstone instead of binding a fireball or something to the same control spell.
On the Archive's power level, Luccio mentions in Small Favor that the council estimates the Archive's strength as approximately equal to that of the Ladies. Here's the quote, p295 in my version:
Luccio: "The council regards [the Archive] as a significant power in her own right, on par with the youngest Queens of the Sidhe Courts."
Why are you making the assumption that the Archive went out right then and there, opened the Outer Gates, and got the Mordite? For all you know, it's been there for centuries as one of the approved methods of dueling directly in the Unseelie Accords. Also, yes, that's what Luccio says—it's the Council'sestimate. Not an absolute measure of power, but a guess from a group that's not directly affiliated with her. In the RPG, Harry mentions that the White Council is probably significantly low-balling her power level, based on what he saw in the Shedd.
Good point (that the mordite might have been around for a long time). Makes sense! (OP here.)
Because opening the Outer Gates is going to royally piss off Mab and the Senior Council, and either of those could knock off the Archive with only moderate trouble. The Archive has a lot of power, but not that much. Haha, no. The Council is definitely low-balling the Archive's power. She was able to stomp down hard on a dozen Denarians singlehandedly with only the barest trickle of energy to draw upon. She possesses the full extent of all recorded knowledge, including magical knowledge. She likely knows more about magic than the entire White Council put together; hell, she likely knows about magic from Merlin's era. If she wanted to gather a piece of mordite, she likely both has the muscle and the authority to do so, especially considering that she's "publically" using mordite to mediate a duel of wills as part of an official duel between a White Council rep and the Red Court. If the Council didn't object then to her possessing mordite, they clearly don't object at all. Besides, there's no evidence that merely opening the gates is itself bad; if there was then there wouldn't be titanic legions of Winter soldiers on guard outside.
The Archive is a freeholding Lord under the Unseelie Accords. For either the White Council or Mab to come after her would be a breach of the Accords and rate as an act of war. As an autonomous power, those very Accords exempt her from Council prosecution for violating the Laws of Magic, same as they can no longer seek to execute Molly now that she's the Winter Lady.
Besides, even if it hadn't been around a long time (via whatever means), there's a perfectly understandable way for the Archive to get a piece of it without actually opening the Gates herself... just meander out to the Gate area and wait for some Winter soldier to come back with a chunk of it lodged in what's left of their body and/or armor. It would make sense for the Outsiders to use it as a weapon, like the magical (and extreme) version of white phosphorous. Rashid or some other medic manages to seal the stuff safely, Archive goes "I need that for a duel, I'll contain it", Bob's your uncle.
Incubi and Love
At the end of Blood Rites, Thomas moves in with Harry. It's sweet, and heartwarming, but Fridge Logic kicks in when you remember that Harry is still under the protection of Susan's love. How they hell did they manage to live together in a spectacularly crowded apartment if whenever Harry touches Thomas it burns him?
It only burns the demon, which only comes out when he feeds. Thomas is explicitly heterosexual, and wouldn't try and feed on Harry anyway. The problem he has with Justine is that he's been feeding on her for so long that he does it instinctively whenever they touch. For example, Lara was able to make out with him for a good few minutes, and it only kicked in when she went too far and started to actually feed.
This is a common misunderstanding regarding the White Court. White Court can touch someone protected by true love. The burning only comes when the demon itself attempts to feed on the protected mortal. Thomas gets burned by contact with Justine because the two of them had reached a point where he could feed from her simply through physical contact, and the demon tries to instinctively feed even when she's protected. Similarly, Madeline is always attempting to feed from everyone around her with no control, which is why she gets burned by Justine. By comparison, Thomas can make physical contact with Harry and not get burned because Thomas' demon isn't trying to feed from him, and Harry can touch Lara's bare hand because she's in such control that she won't try to feed either.
Are there levels/forms of immortality?
Cold Days and several other stories have emphasized the immortality of different beings. Harry once said that pretty much everything in the Never Never is immortal. But how immortal? The term gets thrown around a lot. Vampires claim to be immortal, but can be killed if enough damage is applied or killed the right way. Demons are said to be immortal. Destroying their bodies only returns them to the Never Never until they were summoned again. It was speculated a powerful enough weapon could permanently kill them. In many myths, gods are far more powerful than mortals. Yet they can still die. The Norse Ragnarok is one if the most famous examples, but there are others in mythologies across the world. Then we come to the fairies. It was stated the battle field from Summer Knight was specifically created so immortals can die. The queens themselves are unkillable except under specific circumstances. But does this apply to ALL FAIRIES? What is the big deal of breaking an ogre into a hundred ice pieces if he reforms in a few decades? How is that supposed to scare the others? It is painful, but for an immortal more of an inconvenience. What about Toot-toot? Is he impossible to kill even as far back as Storm Front? Or are we now talking about levels of immortality? Toot-toot may be immortal in the sense of an extremely to never ending lifespan, but he can still be killed. The same with most other magical creatures. The higher up you go the more damage it takes or the more difficult it is to harm them, but do enough any they die. The only exceptions would be the highest ranking or specially geared supernatural entities that are truly immortal save on Halloween. The battlefield in Summer Knight made the true immortals vulnerable to death and made the ones who could only be killed under specific circumstances like...a weapon made out of a specific wood vulnerable to death whereas other wise they would not be. What do you think?
"Immortality" just means "will not die of old age." Just about everything can be killed permanently with enough muscle behind it. Even heavyweights like Mab can be killed on Halloween.
Only a small number of entities seem to be properly immortal, with most Fae as examples of The Ageless. Low ranking Fae not only die but leave corpses. Apparently, it's impossible for immortals to suffer harm or gain/lose personal power except at confluxes. Bob says that if the Summer Knight battle hadn't been at the stone table, then they would still have lost a bunch of minor Fae. That said, there's an interesting indication there might be a higher level of immortality. The Queens can die, but the mantles are apparently flatly impossible to destroy. As I recall, when discussing what might have happened to the Summer Knight's mantle, one of the supernaturals said it could not have been destroyed outright. It's possible that top-level roles in supernatural hierarchies are only susceptible to the Oblivion War treatment. That would certainly explain why the Archive, which knows basically everything about everyone and is more powerful than some immortals, is going with that method instead of having long since rounded up a posse and gone hunting evil gods on Halloween.
Margaret favoring Harry?
Margaret left Harry this gemstone which fits into his pendant and gives him access to all her experience of the various Ways. Did she also leave a gift of some sort for Thomas? Did she make sure he had a powerful Godmother to protect him if needed? She left them both with a message to be triggered when they saw each others' souls, but did she actually leave Thomas anything else?
No, she didn't, as far as is indicated. Then again, Harry seems to have needed a great deal more protection than Thomas did, considering both his birthdate and power as a wizard.
Word of God is that Margaret saw Thomas as a "baby shark," and he'd be able to take care of himself. We also don't know the exact circumstances of her leaving—it might have been urgent and sudden enough that she didn't have time to make preparations for Thomas the way she did for Harry.
Considering what she'd done to Lord Raith, he'd probably have stolen or destroyed whatever Margaret left in Thomas's keeping if she had left him something. He probably only gave his son back his pentacle amulet after exhaustively testing it to see if she'd linked her death curse to the thing.
Also Margaret was kind of a bad mom. Harry semi-idolizes her specifically because he never knew her. Thomas seems to have a slightly less rosy view of her because he feels more abandoned. All indications are that while Margaret had a lot of Harry's good intentions and progressive views about what the White Council should be doing, she had little of his sense of responsibility and devotion to others. Her ideas of "taking care" of her children seem to have been heavily influenced by the sidhe she spent a lot of her time hanging out with.
Values Dissonance may also be a part of it. Margaret was raised by a man several hundred years old, and was probably a good deal older than she looked to Malcolm. She may well have grown up in an era when letting the nanny raise one's kids was normal practice for anyone who could afford to hire one.
It's fairly apparent that Margaret set up Harry's birth to put him in line for a special destiny. Likely her other gifts and bequests are intended to facilitate that destiny. So they come with strings attached. Thomas doesn't have the goodies but he also doesn't have the strings.
How is a techbane wizard so familiar with popular culture?
Harry loves quoting films and TV, but how does he manage to see them with his status as a walking techbane? We know from Ghost Story he goes to drive-in movies with Bob, but that would be inconvenient and wouldn't explain the TV references (e.g. Star Trek). How does Harry remain a pop-culture hero when he had such a messed-up childhood (I doubt Justin had a TV) and lives in borderline medieval lodgings?
He's not as much of one as you think. Most of the TV he quotes is fairly old (for pop culture references, anyway). He quotes a lot of movies because there's a drive-in he goes to that still shows new releases. He also mentions watching Knight Rider through a store window... presumably he spent as much time away from Justin doing stuff like that as he could get away with, especially when he was younger and his magic wouldn't have been shorting stuff out as much or as often. Notice that Harry rarely quotes things that a huge pop culture devotee in his age range would be likely to... there's not really any Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Doctor Who (no BBC America when he was a kid, and it tended to come on late at night on PBS, when he would have been at home and most stores don't leave their TVs on PBS), he's outright confounded by Bob's Firefly reference (the question being how he knew it was a reference), no Spongebob Squarepants, etc.
Also remember Harry wasn't born a techbane—he had a solid 15 or so years of his life where he could watch TV and play video games just like anyone else, which he did. And he's best friends with the Alphas. He'd be able to pick up a lot of references just from what they're saying, and for all we know they stick him in a salt circle and pop in a DVD while he's around. Word of God is that's exactly how Molly watches TV with her siblings, for example.
Do people not even bother looking at the archives? We've already discussed this before.
Are The Raith Mercenaries in the Know?
Do the mercs the Raith's employ know upfront that they're working with people who'll eat them? I can't see Lara doing a demonstration like Thomas of twisting a pair of dumbbells like preztels to prospective employees.
Yes, they know. They're not perfectly informed, but they know quite a bit, seeing how they mention the Accords and are wary of wizards. The guards outside the Deeps were at least in view of the thralls, some of whom were killed in plain sight.
My general impression is if you're a killer-for-hire mercenary, you've probably already consciously accepted the high probability of meeting an early and violent death. That's why they get paid so much. To one of them, the possibility of dying via mind-blowing sex instead might well be considered a perk.
The more so, if they're the kind of men who'd prefer a death like that to living with a permanent disability. Not everyone is psychologically prepared to accept a life-altering injury like the ones Lara's guards suffered; indeed, the fact that Shagnasty wounded those men in Turn Coat instead of killed them outright probably indicates it knew exactly what sort of damage those individuals couldn't bear to live with. The skinwalker's a sadist who can sense what hurts the most, and it always toys with its prey.
The sort of shady mercenaries who'd meet Lara's job specifications are probably already used to working for bosses who'll have them killed if necessary. It's not as if human criminals never have their own minions whacked: plenty of thugs-for-hire accept work knowing that, if arrested, they won't be left alive to trade their testimony for a lighter sentence.
Lara is also a progressive among the supernatural circles who is much more interested in practical utility than showy tradition. It's also been shown time and again that the biggest weakness of human forces is ignorance of what they're up against. Making sure her footsoldiers are clued-in is almost certainly in her interests and style.
Failed powers' status under the Accords
Has anything been said about what happens when a supernatural nation that's a signatory of the Unseelie Accords is rendered politically powerless? The Red Court is effectively history, but it's been mentioned that a tiny handful of Red vampires might theoretically have survived Changes. Would they still be considered signatories? Likewise, does anyone know if the Black Court ever signed the Accords, and if so, if it still applies to them in the wake of their decimation?
Nothing has been said, but I imagine they are no longer protected under them. The idea of the Accords was to regulate conflicts between supernatural powers. Weaker individuals form groups to defend themselves from others. As saw in the war between the Reds and Wizards these wars can potentially destroy the world. The surviving Reds no longer have the influence to warrant being covered by the Accords. After all if they complain without any muscle behind it no one will listen. The only reason a few individuals like Marcone are covered under them is they have either enough personal power or connections/influence that if they were attacked enough of a fuss would be created it could become something major. The surviving Reds have neither the personal power nor the influence. I imagine this is the same for the Black Court. They are not the type to win many friends and Maeve had to seek protection from the Red Court.
On a related note, what happens to members of the accords who needed the Red Court to vouch for them? In order for Marcone to sign onto the Accords, he needed three other people to sign for him - he got Harry, Donar Vadderung, and the White Court to sign for him. What happens to the status of anyone who joined the Accords because the Red Court vouched for them?
Not a darn thing. Marcone only needed the others vouching for him because he was a freeholding lord and not a supernatural nation. And anyway, it wouldn't make any difference. Once you're a signatory of the accords, you're a signatory of the accords. You might need someone's endorsement to get in, but not to stay in.
Presumably, the political entity that is the Red Court, as distinct from the class of vampires, would remain a signatory if one or more of the surviving vampires can make a plausible claim to being Red King by right of X. If none of them can do so, then the organization no longer exists and no one can claim any rights under the Accords by virtue of being a member. It's possible that there's some sort of periodic housekeeping to remove signatories, but given the nature of the entities who created the Accords that probably only happens a couple times a millennium. However, the accords mostly seem to declare that certain things are or aren't legitimate causus belli for major powers. Since the Red Court doesn't have a patron, in their present condition any threat of collective retaliation is fairly toothless. People will probably still grant them hospitality under the Accords, but aside from that their status as a signatory is basically meaningless.
Raising Sue in Dead Beat
How the hell did Harry get Sue's head over to her body? They're on different floors of the museum.
It's badly deformed by rock pressure during the fossilization process, too. But re-animating the bones covered them in zombie flesh anyway, so he probably didn't need the skull to conjure up a head for her along with the rest.
Disposing of the Denarians
Many of the coins have been taken by the Knights of the Cross and given to the Catholic Church. Given that they know about the corrupting influence of the coins, and that coins have gone missing from their coffers and back into the hands of the Denarians before, why don't they take stronger precautions to make sure they're not lost again. Put it in a box, cover that in lead, then have someone chuck it off a ship somewhere halfway across the Atlantic. No one will be getting that back anytime soon.
Leaving it anywhere unguarded will ensure that the agents of Hell will be able to get to it anyway. Chucking it into a lead box at the bottom of the ocean won't work forever; Down Below's going to send someone to recover it, even if it will free up Heaven to react, and the Denarians may well have someone physically tough enough, or wielding sufficent magical power, to actually go down there and recover it.
Also, the bottom of the sea is Fomor territory. Do you really want to see one of them getting hold of a denarius, or vice versa as the case may be?
Scars on a Porn Actress
In Blood Rites, the woman who falls in the shower and gets all cut up by glass is assumed to have suffered a career-ending injury, because no one will cast a scarred woman in a porno. Except...she's working for Arturo Genosa, who was stated earlier in the book to have no problem casting people with physical imperfections in his movies. By the end of the book, it seems like his studio is going under, but at the time of her accident, that was far from evident. So why the assumption that she would never find work again?
It's a spur-of-the-moment reaction, and remember that Arturo is a maverick in the porn industry and isn't the norm.
Also, there's considerable difference between physical imperfections (the occasional mole, non-perfect breasts, etc.) and having a huge, nasty scar clearly visible on the face and neck. Arturo, for all that he is good and noble, is still making porn—it has to turn people on. Less people are going to be turned on by an actress who is clearly maimed.
When Demonreach revealed the existence of a 'parasite' in Harry's head, he directed him to Molly in order to have it treated. Except...Molly is a fae now, and by their nature she can't simply treat him for free, she must take something in exchange. What exactly could she end up taking from Harry to treat that?
Years of training and protection from execution by the White Council, already paid and awaiting repayment?
Semi Jossed. Butcher has stated that when a changeling becomes a full Fae, all promises and debts they had as a mortal are null and void. It's entirely possible that this could be avoided as payment as of becoming the Winter Lady, even though Molly was simply a human before supposing the differences between changeing-Fae and Human-Fae are negligible.
Interesting! So it's a good thing Molly got the chance to give Harry his new coat before they went to Demonreach, isn't it?
Also, the Knight has duties to each of the three Queens, and they have duties to him. Molly's aid might fall under this.
Surely it does, given how Mab helped preserve Harry's body alive after he was shot without demanding a specific payment.
While, I personally don't believe Demonreach was talking about Molly, but about an some kind of actual grasshopper, wouldn't helping Harry with a parasite that's about to kill him be acting to protect her interests? Harry is her Knight too now. Or do the freaky laws of the fae prevent them from even doing that?
If Mab's agreement with said parasite involved Winter not involving itself in the parasite's causes, then Molly would be bound by that word and be unable to help Harry. But I doubt Mab got wrangled that badly.