WMG: Dresden Files Peace Talks Predictions

No sooner does one novel of The Dresden Files hit the shelves, than fans start speculating about the next one. All Wild Mass Guesses about Jim Butcher's next entry in the series, Peace Talks, belong here.

Warning: Unmarked spoilers for Skin Game and previous novels.

WMGs:

A new home, lab and toys for Dresden
  • He has a lot of money after after Skin Game, so no reason not to get a house close to the Carpenters, where Maggie will be close to them, and a proper lab to develop some excellent new toys.

We will finally get to meet the other members of the Accords.
  • This includes Drakul, the Jade Court, and others only mentioned but never actually shown.

Any romance will be put on the backburner.
  • Bonus points if Harry and Murphy do finally get somewhere within the book only for the plot to provide a convenient moment killer, literally and figuratively.
    • Yet another idea Butcher shouldn't read. He'll do it! By this point even the Blue Beetle has blue balls.
    • Alternatively, Harry and Murphy have LOTS of times they ALMOST get somewhere, but get interrupted to the point of running gag...with the scenarios getting more ridiculous as the book continues.

The sub-plot with Listens-to-wind that was pushed over from Skin Game to this book will involve Listens-to-wind mentoring William Borden/Alphas.
  • So many of Harry's group have gotten upgrades since Changes. Harry and Molly have gotten Winter Mantels, Murphy started sparring with vikings and leading Justice League Chicago, even Butters got his hands on some serious firepower. The Alphas have been all but absent since Ghost Story. With the exception of Andi who appears alongside Butters in Cold Days. Aftermath and Ghost Story seemed to hint that there were some major developments brewing with the Alphas. Billy was made the Lancer of Justice League Chicago, Georgia was pregnant with Billy's child, Billy and Marcy mentioned that they had been experimenting with new applications for their magic, and in Ghost Story they seem to be the main patrol force of the Chicago Alliance. Then in Cold Days the only appearance of the Alphas is with Andi being a Damsel-in-distress and the others barely even being mentioned when one of their own is assaulted and kidnapped. None of them even appear in person in Skin Game with Butters mentioning that Billy and Georgia were seriously wounded between books. All in all it must seem to The Alphas that they are falling behind that their meager talent might not be enough to make a difference anymore. Enter Listens-to-wind, the world's expert on shape-shifting and healing magic, an acquaintance of both their former mentors (Tera West and Harry Dresden), and perfectly positioned to play the role of Yoda and complete their training.

Mavra will make a reappearance at the peace conference as the new Black Queen.
  • She's had Kemmler's book for years, and we know from Harry's threat to her that its contents can be used against Black Court vampires. Plenty of opportunity for her to smack all the other powerful blampires into submission and claim the title.

The Summer Court will be an antagonist in this book.
  • Well, it's about time, isn't it? Titania is going to be very annoyed at Summer Lady #2 being killed, and there has just been a series of imbalances involving Winter gaining a lot of power.
    • I feel like this has a lot for it. I don't think its going to escalate into a confrontation, though. I think it is going to either A. result in Harry being pulled all the way into the Oblivion War (I highly doubt this, that seems more like the hook for the Apocalyptic Trilogy) or B. Mab will release Harry from the role of Winter Knight. I lean more towards the latter because Harry is the only person that Hades feels should use the relics of Christ. That is too big of a boost for the Winter Knight to go unnoticed by Summer. So either Harry has to turn those to the front lines and be null and void for the balance struggle, or Harry has to not be the Winter Knight. If Peace Talks happens in October, its almost assured that Harry is gonna lose the power of Winter, at least in my eyes.

Harry will ask Klaus the Toymaker to make a body for his spirit-daughter
  • The only trope the Dresden Files doesn't have is the Robot Girl. Also, Klaus is too awesome not to use.

Harry will spend quite some time deciding on a name for his spirit-daughter
  • Naming and nicknaming powerful entities is something that Harry does. Bob, Lash, Ivy... But since this is his daughter and he wasn't really involved in the name-selection process for Maggie, he'll take his time deciding on what to call his new one. I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't come up with a name until the very end of the book.
    • Nah, it's obvious what her name has to be. A female (yes, I know technically she's neither male or female, but Harry sees her that way) spirit of intellect who sprung from his head? And with Skin Game's Greek mythology motif? How could she be named anything but "Athena?"
    • Except that Harry will presumably want her to develop as human-like a personality as possible, not a god-like one. Much easier for her to relate to people if she thinks like a mortal, so an ordinary human name would be more practical. This troper's hoping for "Ashley", because it shares the first four letters of her mother's name, with a y on the end for "Harry", and she arose like a phoenix from the ashes of her mother's Heroic Sacrifice. Plus, it'll give Harry the excuse to make a stupid Pig Latin joke.
      • I'm betting on this one. She will be her mother wished she was.
      • Why would you think that? She's not human. Besides, spirits of intellect take on the personality of whoever's holding their container, so she'll have a human personality regardless. I mean, unless it's Cowl. Then she'll be treated like a research tool.
      • True, but only when someone does have claim to their container. If the new spirit winds up in a similar position to Bob's in Dead Beat, when Cowl set him down and he got to choose for himself whom to follow, it's her name that will have the deciding influence over her nature then. Names have serious power in this Verse.
      • I like Ashley and your reasoning, but I don't think that's going to happen. Harry has a certain way of naming things that's a little at odds with the power he knows names have. If you're an enemy, you get named with a sophomoric insult that'll make him laugh. (Not knocking it!) But the allies he's given names to? It's almost been *shrug* *pick something random that just floated by his subconscious* Done. He's given names like Bob. Mister. Ivy. Mouse. All simple. While this one will be more important to him, I still think he's going to go in the direction he usually does, which is KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). He won't be one for baby name books (although that'd be funny), flowery names, or even names with many facets with deep meanings. The facets may happen, but I don't think it will be because he specifically chose them.
  • Keeping the Greek aspect in mind, and the nature of her, I think that "Sofiya/Sophia"-wisdom-would be an excellent name for the spirit-daughter.
  • I like Ashley too, especially since it also sounds like Lash. But I'm still going to go with the head splitting associations and a more human name than Athena: Minnie, short for Minerva. It fits with names like Bob and Mr, and it still refers to her nature and origins as a spirit of wisdom. Plus, we know he's read Harry Potter: how does Minnie Mc Conagle Dresden sound?

Harry Dresden will finally throw down against the Senior Council

  • From the beginning of the series, Harry's had (at best) tenuous relations with the White Council. While he has a following among the younger members of the council, Harry is in direct opposition to the Council's political old guard. These relations hit a low — if not the proverbial rock bottom — in Changes, when Harry tried to rally the Council against the Red Court to rescue his daughter, Grigori (a Senior Council member) told Harry to bugger off, and the rest of the Senior Council refused to help him.

While Harry and Molly are most likely no longer subject to the Council's political jurisdiction, I don't think Senior Council members are going to forget the number of times Harry has disobeyed, embarrassed, or crossed them. Plus, at least a couple probably still think Harry's a warlock with plans for world domination. Some of the most powerful wizards in the world have ample reason to fear, dislike, or hate Harry Dresden.

In Turn Coat, the Gatekeeper implied that Harry will do battle with the Senior Council in the future. I suggest that future is in Peace Talks. When Peace Talks rolls around, Harry will be more powerful than he's been in a long time. He will have the Winter Mantle at his disposal. He will have the power of Demonreach, should someone be foolish enough to confront him on his island. The parasite will be out of his head. And with his recently earned fortune, Harry will have the ability to bring to bear any number of magical toys. So Harry will be ready to rumble.

Thematically, this also makes sense. Jim Butcher plans twenty books, plus a big apocalyptic trilogy. Peace Talks (Book 16) will be the perfect place to clear away the old order and begin building whatever new order will confront the coming apocalypse.

Final prediction: Like Delenn with the Grey Council in Babylon5, Harry will break the White Council and move to form a new governing body for the world's wizards, possibly with him in charge of it.

  • This troper wouldn't bet on it happening in Peace Talks, if only because there's so much more that's bound to happen with the various dignitaries' scheming against one another that there may not be room. Plus, Harry is reportedly going to interact with Listens-To-Wind in this novel, which probably means he'll be taught how to better cope with the Winter Mantle's aggression and/or how to shapeshift: two developments that will also need to pre-date the BAT if Harry's to be at the peak of his powers when all Hell/Outside breaks lose. But Peace Talks may lay the groundwork for Harry's break with the White Council, to be resolved in the next two or three books.

    • Hmm. Do we know the parties for the peace talks yet?
    • I think that all we can safely say at this point is it won't involve Denarians. That and we haven't seen Ebenezer for 3 books.
Ivy will be appearing in this book.
Given the title, her previous roles as a mediator seem a natural fit.

Moreover, she'll be about sixteen or seventeen years old, and a teenaged Archive is just the thing to annoy Harry with.
  • Better yet, she'll be able to meet Harry's new daughter and become fast friends, because they have a lot in common.
  • And she has yet to play with Mouse (She met him in Small Favor, but didn't have the opportunity to play with him like she has Mister).

Peace Talks will prominently feature the White Court of vampires.

  • I even have a formula to figure this one!
    • Book One / Eleven - evil wizard antagonist.
    • Book Two / Twelve - Harry puts on a set of new, dark, predatory powers to overcome his adversary.
    • Book Three / Thirteen - super ghost antagonist.
    • Book Four / Fourteen - fairy princess antagonist.
    • Book Five / Fifteen - A demon tries to steal a sacred relic from an underworld figure.
    • Book Six / Sixteen - White Court vampires (specifically the Raiths).

  • Furthermore, dealing with Lara is on Harry's to-do list, as per Cold Days.
    • Isn't Harry on Lara's to-do list, but in a different sense?
  • Given that Butcher has a numeric theme going, with the White Court vamps showing up after the Denarians, and it feels right that the vampires will be prominent in this one. Also, Lara Raith once said, "I love peace wizard....I will kill your folk with peace, wizard. I will strangle them with it. And they will thank me while I do." With the title, this seems very strongly to be in play.
    • Sells wasn't a wizard, he was a sorcerer. And Nicodemus stole the Shroud from the Church, not an underworld figure.
      • Nevertheless, Sells was still a mortal practitioner as the antagonist of the first book. Close enough according to the Laws of Magic. And Nicodemus didn't steal from the Church, some expert thieves were hired to do so (technically underworld in the mortal realm) and Nic was set at odds against Marcone (VERY much so criminal underworld) over who got the Shroud.
  • I like the formula, but Not the White Court Part. Instead:
    • Book Six / Sixteen - Harry's family is threatened.
      • Not necessarily his daughters, either. Even if his relationship to them and Thomas stays quiet, there's still Ebenezar. What if someone else figures it out? Maybe there'll need to be a new Blackstaff by the end of the book...

Peace Talks are between Winter and Summer.
  • It has been awhile since we did the whole Stone Table change of seasons thing.
  • There have been alot of high-level shake-ups.
    • Word of Jim suggests it's about a conference between representatives of the various supernatural nations, to discuss the aftermath of the Red Court's demise and establish new territorial boundaries.

It's Molly's Debut
  • Point 1: Based on Summer Knight and Proven Guilty, we can extrapolate that the Summer Lady and Winter Lady may act on their own. Point 2: Molly can be very idealistic. Point 3: It's likely that Molly now understands what, exactly, is at stake with the Outsiders. Point 4: We've seen previously that that Winter and Summer, or at least the Knights and Ladies, can act in concert, if they choose. (Fix said the "frenemies" situation is "kind of traditional.") Speculation: Molly, in her capacity as Winter Lady, will call the peace talks in Chicago. Molly wants the supernatural factions to reach some kind of peace, with an eye toward an eventual alliance against the Outsiders, perhaps even the Fomor. Thanks to her actions in "Bombshells," Molly already has personal credibility with two factions: The svartalves and the White Court of vampires. Her position as Winter Lady gives her an official title and ex officio standing to call the peace talks.
  • Sub-speculation 1: Molly first goes to Mab and Sarissa for support for these peace talks. Mab, as a major entity, will remain officially noncommittal. Sarissa, meanwhile, will try to lend the Summer Lady's credibility to the talks.
  • Sub-speculation 2: Molly will ask the Winter Knight to provide security at the peace talks. Mab will give Harry a directive either to keep Molly out of trouble or to sabotage the peace talks in some way.
  • Sub-speculation 3: Fix is going to be gunning for Harry.

Murphy becoming older
  • One subplot of the book will be about Murphy having to accept that she was wounded in Skin Game, with some permanent damage, and is becoming older and therefore will not be able to fight as well as before. This will probably put a strain on her and Harry's relationship for a while (as she mentioned in an earlier book that this was one of the reasons she never got together with him) as she has to realize that there are things other than front-line combat that she can do.
    • Possibly she and Butters will trade roles: he's taking the field as a Jedi Knight plus Batman gadgets, whereas she'll be shouldering the responsibilities of a tactician, analyst and Team Dresden's new computer-geek.
      • Maybe she'll take a page from Butters and his batman routine with Harry's "parasite" daughter as a co-pilot.
    • Given A) the Bat-Butters act, B) her background and injury, and C) the series's love affair with shout-outs, how could she not become Oracle?

Vampire Courts and Amoracchius
  • Since the white council was at war with all the vampire courts, the destruction of one of the courts would not be sufficient to end the war. Technically, the war against the vampire courts is still going on. Mavra or Lara (most likely the latter) will approach the council for peace talks, ostensibly in order to Enemy Mine against the Fomor. Since, technically, Harry started the war (by technically violating the accords) and then completely genocided one of the factions, Mavra or Lara (most likely the former) will insist on Amoracchius as reparations. And Cristos will likely put pressure on the council to force Harry to hand Amoracchius over. Mavra is likely to be Black Council as IIRC she was involved in giving the corrupted dagger to Lea and Cristos seems like Black Council as well. Harry will likely be sent on some errand to kick some Fomor ass, but will still end up having to hand over the Sword to the vamps. Harry will use the ambiguity of the demand to give the Sword to Thomas making him a Knight of the Sword and he will lop of Mavra's head when she is too stunned to resist. This would all have been orchestrated by Lara (as part of her Venatorii duties) in order to wipe out the black court.
    • Problem. The root of the sword's name is "love". Thomas is a being whose biggest rule of existence is DO NOT EXPERIENCE LOVE because you will end up like the guy who drank from the wrong cup in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Tossing him the physical manifestation of love is just going to leave him melted, burned, blown up, or all of it.
      • There's already precedent for Amoracchius suppressing its vampire-burning properties for the sake of a worthy wielder in Changes, however. If it can exempt a half-Red from being burned by it inherent holiness, possibly it can also spare a White from being hurt by Love.
      • Love-protection against Whites has to derive from mutual love between equals, according to Word Of Jim. Amoracchius is wielded in Love's name, but it's not necessarily representative of the right kind of love to affect Raiths: if anything, it embodies God's love for mortals, which is hardly a relationship between equals, no matter how pure. So it may be harmless for Thomas to touch it, the same way he could touch Justine back when he was still treating her as a favorite doe, not a life partner.

Harry is going to take Molly's virginity.
  • We know that as of "Proven Guilty", Molly was still a Technical Virgin, and since then we only have records of one or two dates, rendering it very unlikely that she's been deflowered since then. In addition, considering the fact that she was and still is deeply in love with Harry, I can see her saving herself for him. Furthermore, Harry is now, to quote Mab, "Consort to the Queens of Winter", and we know that Slate and Maeve slept with each other, as did Fix and Lily. Molly is no longer Harry's apprentice, nor a child, but his Lady.
    • Speculation: This will likely occur midway to 2/3 through the book, after Harry and Molly both call on their mantles to overcome a major foe. We saw how Harry got around Maeve when he went too deep into the Knight's mantle. Now imagine that mental state inflicted on both Harry AND Molly in a moment when both are weary. How much could they resist the power of Winter? If Harry and Murphy have become a full-time couple by the time Peace Talks starts, this will create one heck of a complication.
      • I actually speculate that the catalyst won't just be a major fight, but a major emotional hammer-blow for Dresden. Namely, the death of Murphy. Molly will be there to comfort him, and their mantles just kind of take over from there.
    • Oh dear God no. Someone get this down before Butcher reads it! He'll get ideas!

Harry will ask Butters attend the titular peace talks in his new Jedi Knight status...
...and he'll refuse, taking some jabs at the Star Wars prequels.
  • "Well you were right about one thing, Dresden. The negotiations were short."

There won't actually be any peace talks
  • Instead, there will be random acts of destruction.
  • Or maybe the Accords' version of peace talks is perfectly in accord with aforementioned acts of destruction.
  • Either way, somebody's place is going to burn down.
    • ...and it won't be Harry's fault.
  • It's likely that someone in the supernatural (or natural, Marcone) community will take the golden opportunity to blow the heads off as many factions as possible. Particularly if Nemesis decides it wants to weaken the Winter Court at a vital time (possibly leading to a major incursion by the Outsiders).

The Carpenters will find out what's happened to Molly
  • Harry will probably somehow get stuck in the position of having to tell them, and Charity may actually physically lunge for him. In any case, no matter how Mom and Dad find out, crap? Meet fan.

Peace Talks will be the Empire Strikes Back of the series.
  • Things have been going too well for Team Good Guys in the last few books. Outsider corruption of the Winter Court has been purge, Denarians have been decimated, holy artifacts have been obtained, new Knights have been chosen. It's time for some pushback. Something major will go terribly terribly wrong by the end of Peace Talks. Possibilities:
    • The White Council will split, or even go outright hostile against the Winter Court and Harry?
    • Major character death? Major character corruption?
      • The death of a character (unknown if major or minor) has been comfirmed as his editor warned his readers on twitter that she had given him a suggestion about killing of a character. His response (to her and later on twitter) was an evil laugh.
      • I hate to say it, but it seems to me that the major character most at-risk for getting killed off may be Murphy. With her injuries, her usefulness is at an all time low, but her emotional connection is still high, so killing her off would put Dresden in a very dark place.
    • Huge power up for the Outsiders?

Alternatively, Peace Talks will be the Hope Spot
  • (Or, to continue the Star Wars analogy, think Edge of Victory.)

    Starting with Changes, there have been a lot of, well, changes going around the world — big political shake-ups with the Reds, Marcone, and the Denarians, the cast growing into new roles (Winterfae, Knight of the Cross...), and so on. Harry in particular has been bouncing around so much he's almost grown callous about it. (After all, he's already died, not to mention seeing how much he's hurt Molly. How much more can he really be made to suffer?)

    In keeping with Butcher's usual MO for his characters, the obvious thing to do is set up a status quo that looks, if not peaceful, at least solid and defensible: give Harry more resources, allow him to make real progress setting up counters to the Outsiders, and have his allies make in-roads with the other non-murderous factions. Give his complicated family life a little positive resolution. Let him survive the climax by something other than the skin of his teeth. In short, let Harry build up goodness in his life.

    It should go without saying that all of this goodness is so that he has something to lose in the next few books...

The peace talks will be for a truce between Summer and Winter.
  • Ordinarily, Summer and Winter oppose each other in everything, but they team up at the Outer Gates, and there are hints that in sufficiently dire circumstances they will work together in this world as well. Specifically, it is stated that Summer and Winter banded together to drive the Formor into the seas, and I'm guessing that with the Formor returning (plus all the chaos the Black Council is stirring up), Mab and Titania will agree to suspend their conflict and work together to destroy the Formor and other invaders once again.
    • If combined with Titania being furious over the death of another Summer Lady, this situation could put Harry in a very dangerous and awkward situation. Possibly mirroring his "do or die" directive back in Summer Knight.

Interesting. Maybe we will learn that they were Tuatha De Dannan-I bet Mab was Morrigan, Titania Aine and Mothers's one name is Danu/Modron/Dea Matrona.

Harry will have to fight a duel.
  • Not a skirmish or glove drop, not a battle with enemies...a formal, PROPER duel with a faction champion. As part of the titular peace talks, Harry - in his capacity as Winter Knight - will disagree with another faction, and it will be done in such a way as to force a duel between him and a champion of another side. Bonus points if it answers the "who would win, Harry or xyz" that we usually don't see due to them usually being on the same side - for instance, Gard, Kincaid etc.
    • Even more bonus points if it's the White Council he disagrees with, and he has to fight Ebenezer...