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Characters from The Dresden Files, the Church.

WARNING! Due to the books relying heavily on mystery and surprise, the pages would be virtually unreadable with excessive spoiler tags. Therefore, all spoilers except for the most recent novel (Battle Ground) are UNMARKED. Tread carefully.



Somewhat self-explanatory. In addition to the normal things the actual Roman Catholic Church does, the Church arms and supports the three Knights of the Cross, who travel the world righting wrongs and battling the forces of cosmic evil on a mission from God, whether or not they are actually, themselves, Christian. And all of them are backed up by the very highest of powers.

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Knights of the Cross

    In General 

  • Church Militant: Amusingly zigzagged for the most part; The actual religious adherence of the individual Knights seems to be pretty variable, and the Swords only seem to care if the person is actually a genuinely good enough person to wield them. As of Battle Ground, the known Knights in the series have included a legitimately righteous and devout Roman Catholic man, a Japanese man who accidentally became a Baptist and still operated his life in line with Shintoist philosophy, a Russian man who still firmly considers himself to be an agnostic despite having a literal Archangel hand him a Sword of the Cross, an Irish Catholic woman who is non-practicing for the most part in the present, and a polyamorous Jewish man who is also shown to be mostly non-practicing in the present.
  • Cincinnatus: According to Nicodemus (who, granted, isn't exactly reliable as a source), the average Knight only takes up the mantle for about 72 hours. That means that, while a few Knights like Michael devote their lives to being Knights, the vast majority of Knights only use their sword once or twice to deal with a single specific problem and then renounce the mantle forever.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The main superpower of a Knight of the Cross, with minor events/situations changing ever so slightly to keep them one step ahead of their foes.
  • Detect Evil: Knights gain an awareness to the darker supernatural aspects of the world and, perhaps because God favors the Truth, can see through some disguises and camouflages supernatural monsters give off. Sanya demonstrates this in Small Favor by pegging Thomas as a White Court vampire seconds after seeing him. However, Harry also notes that it's possible it's just a matter of the the personality of the men chosen to be Knights is to seek truth in that which is hidden.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: The majority of Knights have been normal humans who do not have power like wizards, vampires, fae, or other beings. They are simply men and women who have been asked to help at this time and are granted a Holy Sword to aide them.
  • Forgiveness: Their singular creed is to follow this ideal towards those who fight them. If the enemy surrenders and relinquishes his or her weapons, the Knight must abide by this and not attack further. Most notably, according to both Michael and Sanya in Death Masks, their job is not to simply defeat/kill the Denarians, but instead help encourage the Fallen's mortal hosts to put aside their coins and seek redemption.
  • Mission from God: While the general mission is to fight against the evils of the Fallen Angels in their Coins, there are times when Knights are chosen to aide for a singular mission and no further expectation is asked.
  • Physical God: invoked When "on the clock," some of the Knights can operate on this level, as Michael Carpenter was able to slay Siriothrax the Dragon (and as a friendly reminder, according to Word of God Dragons with a capital "D" in The Dresden Files are entities with such power that they are tasked by the White God to start Ice Ages or reshape continents).
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    The Swords of the Cross 
Amoracchius the Sword of Love. Fidelacchius the Sword of Faith. Esperacchius the Sword of Hope. Three of the strongest holy weapons in existence capable of smiting forces of evil of any caliber from low-level hobbs to Dragons and the Fallen. In each of their hilts lay a single Nail that pierced Jesus Christ so long ago.


  • Crossover Cosmology: As befitting The Dresden Files being set in a world where All Myths Are True, the three Swords of the Cross have also held the the names of other famous swords in other cultures: Amoracchius was Excalibur (of King Arthur), Esperacchius was Durendal (from The Song of Roland), and Fidelacchius was Kusanagi (of Japanese Mythology). What makes the latter-most all the more noteworthy is how it's a sword with a nail from the True Cross worked into it... while also being a blade given to the royal family of Japan by the Shinto sun goddess Amaterasu - though as the Shroud of Turin demonstrates when it appears in Death Masks and the original appears in Skin Game, it is possible to have two versions of the same mythical artifact, so it could just be a case of having the same name.
  • Good Counterpart: To the thirty Denarii.
    • They are the cosmic counterweight to the Denarii and will counter any Divine or Supernatural buffs the opponent has, which leaves the wielder in a test of mortal strength and wit against the opponent's strength and wit. This is seen in Small Favor where even a non-Knight like Harry is protected from Anduriel moving to save Nicodemus from being strangled when Fidelacchius lays passively nearby.
    • In Peace Talks it is confirmed an Angel resides within each Sword and uses its Absolutist view to Judge each action the wielder takes and if that action is Just or Unjust.
  • Holy Burns Evil: Typically, a supernatural being who has been tainted by evil cannot grasp the Swords, even if one does so for a good reason like Susan saving Fidelacchius from falling down a shaft "merely" numbed her arm for a month. That said, there are exceptions to this rule:
    • If the Knight or its custodian lies or misuses the Sword, the protections weaken and allow for an unclean being to touch it.
    • If the unclean person swears to use the Sword in good faith, follow the ideals of the Sword, one can use it. Susan demonstrates this, again, when she takes up Amoracchius when on a mission to save her daughter from the evils of the Red Court. The blade never rejects her or harms her in anyway. It allows her to use its full strength on this quest.
  • Meaningful Name: The most important thing about these weapons isn't that they are Swords, but the virtue they represent. A person who resonates with that virtue, even if just for a short time, can draw out the true strength of the blade, and even remake the Sword if the physical shell is broken beyond repair.
  • Public Domain Artifact: As noted above, each of the Swords are a famous blade from various mythologies. Additionally, each of them has a nail from Jesus Christ's Crucifixion worked into its blade.
  • Reforged Blade:
    • It is casually mentioned that both Fidelacchius and Esperacchius have had their mortal blades remade at least once each in the past. Amoracchius is the only one which hasn't.
    • With Murphy's, Nicodemus', and Butter's actions in Skin Game, when the physical shell of Fidelacchius is completely shattered, the Angel within the Nail still seeks to do its Duty. When the hilt lands in Butters' grasp and the angel looks upon him, seeing him not just worthy of being a Knight but his knowledge of Star Wars allows the Angel to move the Sword to more a spiritual weapon. It will no longer do harm against a mortal flesh, but do direct harm to the spiritual evils and physical items.

     Michael Carpenter 

Sir Michael Joseph Patrick Carpenter

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/michael_carpenter.png

"Our lives belong to the Almighty. We serve and live for the sake of others. Not for our own."

A Knight of the Cross, wielder of the holy broadsword Amoracchius, badass, and overall Nice Guy. His wife is Charity Carpenter, and the oldest of his many children is Molly.


  • Abuse Mistake: In Grave Peril the wounds Charity suffers from the Nightmare are inquired about by the police and they suspect Michael is the real reason for it. Michael, a loving husband, is horrified by it.
  • Action Dad: He is a Holy Knight who has faced more than his share of baddies. He even killed a dragon that was about to kill the woman who would become his wife.
  • And the Adventure Continues: In Uriel's eyes, this is the case. While Michael lacks the physical condition to fight things like Dragons, demons, and Denarians, his moral goodness, helping anyone who comes across his path, showing mercy to those who hurt him, and just being a good person helps change so many lives. His examplar status in showing what people can be when they act in a truly good manner can help people find the better way for themselves.
  • Back in the Saddle: In Skin Game, Uriel temporarily heals his wounds and allows him to resume his role as a Knight for the duration of the book.
  • Badass Baritone: Has a deep, rolling one, most noticeable when calling out his Latin battle cries.
  • Badass Preacher: Though not aggressively evangelical, Michael is still there with words of comfort and advice and invites Harry to come to church with him. His battle cries are generally some piece of scripture or Latin phrase.
  • Badass Normal: Though as a Knight of the Cross, he gets upgraded to a full-on Empowered Badass Normal.
  • Bargain with Heaven: They're called Knights of the Cross for a reason. Part of his retirement is being put on a "No Touch" list for supernatural hitters. To make sure this stays in effect, he has a full contingent of guardian angels around his home and property.
  • Bash Brothers: He and Harry have slain plenty of monsters and baddies together.
  • Battle Cry: "Lava quod est sordium! In nomine Dei, sana quod est saucium!"Latin translation  Notably, it is implied that this is not so much Michael's battle cry, as the battle-cry of the angels that back him up.
  • Berserk Button: Don't threaten his children, especially while claiming to be serving the cause of good while so doing. He's also very defensive of his friends, with him giving a civil warning to Ferrovax when he pins Harry to the ground with telekinetic force.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: As much of a genuinely Nice Guy that he is, he can be terrifying on the battlefield. He also has one of the most chilling moments out of the entire series - Namely, when he warmly tells Harry that he'll be there for him if the latter decides to set aside their magic after being infected with Lasciel's Shadow, he then calmly puts his fingers on the blade of Amoracchius and quietly tells Harry that he will also "be there for him" if Harry falls to Lasciel's temptations and joins the Denarians. Harry is appropriately terrified.
  • BFS: Amoracchius is described as 5 feet long at first, sometimes closer to 3 feet long later on. It might be able to change size.
  • Big Brother Mentor: For Harry, he's somewhere between this and a Parental Substitute, with Molly observing that Michael is basically the Cool Uncle he never had. Despite Harry's initially adversarial relationship with religion (it later becomes non-committal, despite a long running Odd Friendship with the Archangel Uriel), Michael basically sets the moral standard against which Harry measures himself, and he's always Harry's first stop when dealing with moral confusion.
    • Michael is also shown to be this to a certain extent for Sanya and, after his Knighting, Butters.
  • The Big Guy: When even Murphy isn't enough.
  • Blasé Boast: Upon seeing Ferrovax crush Harry to the ground with sheer willpower, Michael calmly notes that if Siriovax had known that trick, it "might" have been enough to stop him.
  • The Cape: An entirely non-comic-bookish example. Even after "retirement", whenever Harry Dresden finds himself in a moral conundrum, he always goes to see Michael for spiritual advice.
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • In Small Favor, he states that Charity has had formal medical training and he hasn't, while in Skin Game he mentions that he used to be a medical corpsman and helps splint a broken arm for Harry.
    • Michael even mildly scolding Harry about sleeping with Susan comes across as out of character considering how open minded and forgiving he is in later books - though considering how well he already knows Harry, it could be that he's trying to coax Harry into getting over his post-Elaine issues and propose (or at least admit that he loves her) before it's too late.
    • Michael generally comes off as more prudish and "parochial" (for lack of a better word) in his first appearance than he does at any other point in the series, where he's considerably more sex-positive, open-minded, and even seems to have a subtle You Need to Get Laid attitude towards Harry. It's suggested that he's mellowed a bit over the years, as his children have grown up (and Molly went through her goth phase).
  • Church Militant: Known and feared as "The Fist of God" throughout the supernatural-nasty community.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Justified, in that this is explicitly part of how being a Knight of the Cross works. When one of them is needed, coincidence occurs to get them where they are needed in time for them to help. This has ranged from Father Forthill's car breaking down near Michael's house just when Michael needs someone to watch his children while he heads out to fight evil, all the way into some really awesome Big Damn Heroes moments (Proven Guilty being the most notable one for Michael).
  • Cool Sword: Amoracchius, the Sword of Love, a two-handed greatsword . . . that's also known as Excalibur.
  • Deadpan Snarker: While he's mostly The Comically Serious, he has a few moments like this, such as him admitting to the terrified travel agent in Small Favor that God doesn't usually answer peoples' prayers as fast as he and Harry are at the moment.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: He met his future wife by saving her from a dragon and slaying it in the process. Keep in mind that, in the Dresdenverse, the dragon he kills is on the low tier of Physical Godhood, having once served Him in duties like changing the seasons.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Averted towards Butters. While he puts Butters through rigorous training, he is very kind during it.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • Michael spends his entire adult lifetime fighting against the forces of darkness, fully expecting that he would die in that quest, and quietly afraid of what it might mean to his family. In Small Favor, he is crippled but alive, and forced to retire from his duties as a Knight, but this leaves him able to take care of his children, coach their sports games, and build houses, like he always wanted to. This is, ultimately, the best he could have hoped for, as Harry notes that most Knights end up retiring feet first in a wooden box.
    • Very nearly namechecked in Ghost Story when Harry sees the dozen or so Guardian Angels posted around his house. Uriel's commentary? "Michael Carpenter has more than earned them."
    • In Skin Game, he and Charity are set financially by the share of diamonds gotten in the heist.
  • A Friend in Need: Both one to others (usually Harry), and receiving this.
    • In Proven Guilty, Harry steps up to first raid Arctis Tor to get Molly, Michael's eldest child, back from the Fetches (though Charity is heavily involved), then puts his life on the line to ensure she gets clemency from the White Council - in the process, leaving him under the same suspended death sentence that she is. At the end of the same book, Michael reveals the sheer level of trust he has in Harry - he's known all along about how Harry has Lasciel in his head, having seen him pick it up to protect Michael's son, and believes that Harry has at least taken up the coin (justified, since no one on record has resisted a Denarian's shadow for more than a few weeks), and he still trusted him to look after his family. He also offers to be there, if Harry ever wants to give up his magic to get rid of Lasciel's shadow.
    • In Ghost Story, it's revealed that he's raising Maggie in the stead of the presumed dead Harry, giving her both a loving family and the protection of his house having a contingent of literal guardian angels.
    • In Skin Game after he calls Uriel his friend and chooses to face down Nicodemus despite his injury, Uriel loans him his Grace of God to heal his injury.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: He's described as shaking his head in baffled horror/shock in Skin Game when he sees Nicodemus kill his own daughter Deidre to get through the Gate of Blood.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: Michael is a very perceptive person, and while he may intentionally allow himself to get involved in another person's plans — trusting in God to see him through it — because he feels that it will give him the best opportunities to do some good, he's never blind to the risks. He also knew the entire time that Harry had picked up a Denarian coin to prevent Michael's son from getting possessed, and figured out that Molly was the new Winter Lady before she told him — though admittedly, he had a great big honking clue in the form of Hades' statue.
    • And while he believes that God will protect him, he's also willing to invest in Kevlar. Just in case.
  • Good Is Old-Fashioned: Played straight and subverted. Michael gets on to Harry about sleeping with a woman without marrying her, though in the same book Harry thinks he might have a point (and in context, it seems less like he's scandalized and more like a Shipper on Deck who believes his friend should spend more time with loved ones). See his Knight in Shining Armor quote for the subversion.
  • Good Parents: Probably the best parent in the entire series (Charity and Malcolm Dresden run him a close second, due to her overprotectiveness/stricter and more judgemental nature pre Proven Guilty, and his being too dead to really get to know him). It gets to the point where Thomas frankly states that he wishes Michael had been his dad (albeit tacked onto a comment about how he still isn't Maggie's actual dad, and Harry should therefore stop feeling guilty and actually go and see her).
  • Handicapped Badass: Played with. His injuries in Small Favor force him to retire from Knighting. Doesn't stop him from kicking the crap out of a former Army Ranger who is wielding Fidelacchius with a bat and Amoracchius in the short story The Warrior.
  • Happily Married: To Charity.
  • Hero of Another Story: His adventures as a Knight of the Cross are storied enough to be worthy of making up their own entire series. And those are just the ones we hear about.
  • Heroic Lineage: Descended from Charlemagne. All known Knights of the Cross are descendants of royalty. This isn't as hard as it may sound - more or less everyone in Europe/of European extraction is descended from Charlemagne (though Michael might have a more easily tracked line of descent, since Molly managed to trace it back for homework).
  • Holier Than Thou: Refreshingly averted. See Open-Minded Parent for just one example. When talking about Michael, Harry described him as "righteous". The person he's talking to, Susan, assumed he was talking about this trope. Harry corrected her, saying that he meant the word in its most literal sense - including enough humility to deny it, such as when Harry tells a frightened bystander in Small Favour that no, they aren't angels, but Michael is probably the closest to one that she'll ever see.
  • Humble Hero: In the best Paladin tradition, he doesn't set himself up as a role model, just does the best he can—and everyone looks up to him for that.
  • Ideal Hero: Played beautifully straight. Michael's probably the closest thing to The Paragon being played entirely straight in this whole damn series, and it all works very well in terms of both characterization and his impact on the series as a whole. He's only got two real flaws, and one of them isn't even a flaw. First, his Papa Wolf instincts are the one thing that could override his principles, to the point where Harry has to talk him down from executing a Well-Intentioned Extremist who had wrapped Alicia, one of Michael's daughters, in cordite as leverage on Harry (who he believed was intentionally keeping the swords hidden and out of use). Second, the fact that his nobility means that while others aspire to meet similar standards, they also can't bear to let him down, which is why Harry avoids him for a couple of years while struggling with Lasciel (it turns out that he knew all along).
  • I Regret Nothing: In Skin Game he mentions he made his choices and left things in God's hands. While he may be crippled, have nightmares about Demonreach (thanks to the psychic effect it puts off), not put an end to Nicodemus and stopped the Denarians all together in Small Favor, he regrets none of his choices. He is content with how things are.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Figuratively and literally, as part of his Good Is Old-Fashioned persona. Charity makes it. And reinforces it with Kevlar.
    Michael: My faith protects me. My Kevlar helps.
  • Knight Templar: Averted in all its shiny glory. He is a calm, rational man who doesn't judge his enemies, including the extremely dangerous Denarians. He simply knows it is not his place.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After years of serving the Lord with no monetary reward for their work, they get one-fifth of the diamonds stolen from Hades' vault. Charity insists to Michael (who is still hesitant to take several million dollars of loot) that it's a divine gift. After all, they have children to put through college, and grandchildren to plan for.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Michael's closest friends and family constantly hide secrets from him. Harry hid the fact that he grabbed Lasciel's coin, Charity hasn't told him about her former magical power, and he wasn't told about Molly being the Winter Ladynote  and Molly's role in Dresden's death. It's not really Michael's fault, but because he's placed on such a pedestal by his loved ones, no one wants to disappoint him.
  • Martyr Without a Cause: Averted, actually. In Small Favor, Michael tells Harry outright that a Knight of the Cross doesn't have to give his life for the greater good to stop being one. But, because of the sorts of people they are, most do anyway.
  • Meaningful Name: "Michael" is also the name of the Archangel of War; "Carpenter" is both Michael's family name and his day job. The latter is especially meaningful when one recalls a certain other carpenter.
    Michael: I'm not the carpenter who set the standard.
  • Muscles Are Meaningful: Michael is seriously rippled. In Grave Peril, he is described carrying an injured Harry with the effort of carrying his children, who were pre-teens then.
    • Harry once visiting him finds him benchpressing 250lbs, and calls it Michael's light workout. This is after Michael's retirement and thus having lost muscle mass due to it.
  • Name's the Same: In-Universe, with the Archangel Michael. Lampshaded in both Death Masks and Small Favor when Sanya mentions he met with Michael and corrected himself saying he meant the Archangel.
  • Nice Guy: If you are a good person, Michael will give you the coat off his back. If you're a bad person, he'll at least make the offer.
  • Not So Above It All: Played for Laughs in this below moment in Small Favor when he, Kincaid, the Archive, and Luccio are all trying to get a nearly-unconscious Mouse and Harry into the latter's apartment:
    Harry's Narration: I opened the door for [Luccio], the way you're supposed to for a lady, but the damned thing was stuck until Michael shoved it open with his shoulder and muttered something disparaging about amateur work.
  • One Last Job: He comes out of "retirement" for a final adventure in Skin Game. Atypically for the trope, he not only survives, he deals a terrible blow to his Arch-Enemy in the process, and gets a pile of diamonds to help his family at the end of it.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Because Michael so rarely loses his genial good temper, something is probably really bothering him when he does. (Usually related to threats against his family, or reminders that his duties as a Knight might end up leaving his family without a father.)
    • Easily the biggest example of this is in "The Warrior" short story, where not only does he coldly remark how "that son of a bitch hurt my little girl," but Harry has to talk him down from executing Father Douglas at the end of the story since he's full of such utter rage at the man.
    • A close second is when he hears that the White Council has expelled Harry in Battle Ground. His response is a Cluster F-Bomb.
      Michael: Those fuckers.
  • Open-Minded Parent: When Harry brings Molly home in Proven Guilty, the first thing Michael does on seeing his daughter, now covered in tattoos and piercing, is hug her. While he then expresses concern for Molly, and is rather stunned by her new look, he never condemns her.
    Michael: Harry, tell me, am I too old?
  • The Paladin: A pious and valiant warrior who fights to protect the weak and innocent. He embodies the archetype realistically by being lawful-good like paladins are supposed too without falling into traps like lawful stupid.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • As early as Grave Peril, we see this tendency as well; when Lea makes a coy offer to return the Sword to Michael in exchange for Molly, his response is to literally snatch her up and lift her off the floor and promise that he will destroy her if she messes with his children. Lea, by the way, is already well-established as a deadly Sidhe Sorceress who absolutely terrifies Harry, and is later established as being the most powerful being in the Winter Court after Mab and Mother Winter. Michael, by contrast, doesn't have his sword, and technically, any superpowers.
    • "The Warrior" shows just how bad an idea it is to threaten his kids. He nearly lets his anger control him when he confronts and defeats the man who put a bomb on his daughter. If not for Harry, he wouldn't have let him be captured in such good shape.
    • The RPG basically calls this his main flaw. So long as he can keep his heroic works as a Knight of the Cross and his being a father separate, he's the most moral person ever. But, when his children get involved, it introduces a nasty bit of complexity into Michael's otherwise simple and easygoing worldview.
    • He is very protective of all children. He will immediately strike down those who harm children in his presence.
  • The Paragon: Harry really doesn't believe he's a good person. Michael believes otherwise, and Harry will often rise to the occasion to be worthy of this trust.
    • However, it's also slightly deconstructed. Everyone looks up to Michael so much that they end up hiding secrets from him because they can't bear disappointing him (See Locked Out of the Loop). Never mind that he doesn't judge and offers forgiveness every time.
  • Parental Substitute: While Michael and Charity love Maggie as if she was their own, they are well aware that they aren't her parents. They both encourage Harry to take over the role, both for Maggie's sake and his own.
    • He’s also a subtle, nearly peer-in-age version of this to Harry at times. When Harry needs paternal advice and comfort, it’s noticeable that Michael is who he goes to.
  • Place of Protection: While not the typical church or other holy site, for his work as a Knight of the Cross, guardian angels watch his house and it comes with a safe room empowered by Archangel Raphael. This makes it an ideal place to hide in should one not be able to make it to St. Mary's. In Ghost Story this was invoked by Molly as a place to hide some mind-addled children who were ordered to shoot up Murphy's home from both Murphy and the police. For this reason, Murphy hid the Swords there since soon after they came into her custody.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Downplayed (he fails to recognize Harry's Monty Python reference in Skin Game), but he does use a Mjolnir bottle opener in the same book, implying that he's familiar at least with the MCU.
  • Power Glows: If Michael wants to, his sword can emit holy light which will incinerate any lesser evil beings, bother even the most powerful, and break through any darkness inducing enchantment.
  • Power of the God Hand: Known as "The Fist of God". Unlike most of the Japanese examples, this isn't just a boast; Carpenter is a Knight of the Cross and empowered by God to fight evil.
  • Precision F-Strike: In "The Warrior" he says, "That son of a bitch hurt my little girl." Even Harry is floored.
    • Happens again later. In Battle Ground, after learning that the White Council has kicked Harry out, Michael utters a heartfelt "Those fuckers." That's all we the readers get, but according to Harry, Michael went into a full-blown Cluster F-Bomb in several languages about it.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives an absolutely vicious (though admittedly deserved) one to Father Douglas, calling him out on both his Knight Templar antics and sheer arrogance in thinking that he knew better than God in how the Swords of the Cross should be managed.
  • Rage Breaking Point: For kidnapping his daughter, trying to kill Harry, wrapping his daughter in explosives, and doing this all in the name of God and proclaiming you know what is the best course of action, Father Douglas came a hair's breadth away from being killed in Michael's vengeance. Only because of Harry's words did Michael avert this trope.
  • Red Baron: Care to go up against "The Fist of God", anyone?
  • Religion Is Magic: The exact nature of his faith-based powers is left unexplained, but it's suggested that they're based on how much He is willing to intervene at any given point. One time by a simple prayer Michael was able to undo most of the mental binding that freaking Mab put on Harry. All Harry noticed (in the midst of the trauma of realising that his mind had been screwed with) was Michael's hands became incredibly hot. He can also burn a swarm of conjured insects off Harry at one point sent by a Fallen Angel, and his house has a safe room warded by angelic magic.
  • Retired Badass:
    • Forcibly retired from the evil-slaying business due to injuries suffered in Small Favor. He is still, however, hinted to be under the personal protection of a literal Archangel — at the very least, he's confirmed to have a whole contingent of guardian angels protecting him and his family — so messing with him is still not a good idea.
    • Per Word of God, getting shot and crippled as he was is his "happy ending". As Harry notes, most Knights end up retiring in coffins. In Michael's case, he gets to build houses and take his children to sports practice.
  • Royal Blood: Descended from Charlemagne - yes, the original Holy Roman Emperor. Of course, technically speaking this is nothing special, as science has proved that more or less everyone of European extraction is descended from Charlemagne, but his line of descent is direct enough that Molly can trace it for homework, suggesting that there's at least some aristocrat not far back in his family tree.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: He's much more on the ball than many realize, but won't force a confrontation with someone if they want to keep something a secret.
    • He saw Harry pick up Lasciel's coin to save his son, but did not confront him about it until Harry was willing to talk about it.
    • When Molly admits that she's the new Winter Lady, Michael's response is to kiss her hair, gently chide her for keeping it a secret, and inform her that her rank isn't going to keep her from helping set the table (he'd already made sure to get out the dishes which don't have iron content).
  • Shipper on Deck: Needles Harry throughout Grave Peril to confess his feelings to Susan, ASAP. Harry regrets not listening to him at the end.
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy: Though not without a sense of humour of his own, he usually serves as the straightforward, serious Straight Man in contrast to Harry's Wise Guy.
  • True Companions: With Harry and Murphy. In Skin Game, when he sees them in a dire situation, despite his crippling injuries, he plans on walking out to help them. They plead for him to not make a senseless sacrifice.
    Michael: You'd both do the same for me.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: When Michael had defeated Rourke, after the man kidnapped his daughter and put a bomb on her, he came close to lashing out at him further in vengeance. Only Harry's pleading for Michael to stop and offer to be the one doing the hitting did Michael relent and just capture him.
  • Weapon of Choice: The massive two-handed broadsword Amoracchius, which is Excalibur.

     Shiro Yoshimo 

Shiro Yoshimo

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shiro_20.png

The eldest of the three Knights of the Cross, a Japanese man who wields the katana Fidelacchius. Part Shinto monk, part Mr. Miyagi; he could easily be compared to a version of Michael in thirty years or so.


  • Arch-Enemy: Possibly to Nicodemus. He was the only Knight to worry Nick, as he could match sword skills with the two-thousand-year-old bastard.
  • Bargain with Heaven: It is implied that for his years of service and Heroic Sacrifice, he has earned a nice retirement in Heaven.
  • Batman Gambit: Harry wonders if beyond knowing it was his time to die, tasking Harry, not Michael, Sanya, or any church fellow, to find the next person to wield Fidelacchius was based on special insight of Nicodemus. This is because, in Small Favor, Harry's instincts told him the person he should give Fidelacchius to IS Nicodemus. Harry, acting on this instinct, was able to goad Nicodemus into acting foolishly, which lead to his entire plot falling apart.
  • Blessed with Suck: He has The Gift of swordsmanship, to the point that Harry believes that few other people could match his skill level after a lifetime of training, yet he personally hates fighting and would rather look for another way to resolve conflicts.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: Averted; he's a Baptist, at least nominally. Although he, in his own words, "tried to be a good Baptist", in many ways he still acts more in line with Shintoist philosophy.
  • Church Militant: As a Baptist, he walks with a holy sword doing His good work.
  • Cool Old Guy: When not on duty, he can be a real fun-loving man who helps Charity with the groceries and helps Harry out of his troubles.
  • Cool Sword: His is Fidelacchius, the Sword of Faith, which takes the form of a katana and is also/is also believed to be the heavenly sword Kusanagi no Tsurugi of Japanese legend.
  • Death by Irony: Subverted. A member of an order known for being in the direct line of fire of various supernatural nasties finds out he's dying... of cancer, that ostensibly had nothing to do with his work as a Knight. Instead, Shiro sacrifices his life to save Harry's.
  • The Dreaded: To Nicodemus. When Shiro comes to rescue Harry in Death Masks, Harry's narration notes that it's the first time that Nicodemus has actually looked afraid.
  • The Gift: Shiro had an incredible natural talent for the sword. So much so, that he was skilled enough to beat even a master like Nicodemus in the past, so badly that Nicodemus freaked out when he heard Shiro coming to rescue Dresden.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: In one scene only, he pulled out a cigar while in discussion with Dresden about Don Ortega. In an unusual case for Good Smoking, it was a cheroot. They had a bit of a conversation of it that proved prophetic.
    Dresden: Those things will kill you.
    Shiro: [smiling] Not tonight.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He gives his life to save Harry, knowing that Nicodemus would trade anything to kill him, and that his enemy was unaware he was already Secretly Dying anyway.
  • Hero of Another Story: As a Knight of the Cross burdened with the opportunity to help people, Shiro has spent a lifetime moving from place to place helping people and likely stopping world-ending plots.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: His sword is a katana, though it lacks a guard and he carries it around in a wooden sheath, letting him disguise (and use) it as a cane. It is later revealed to be Kusanagi, the sword of Japanese myth.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Well, he wears an aikido-style uniform, not formal armor, but he is this at heart.
  • Lost in Translation: A literal example, Shiro converted to Christianity because he was at an Elvis concert and a preacher asked the audience to "Meet the King". Thinking it was an invitation backstage, he went and later found out he had converted to Baptist Christianity.
  • Master Swordsman: Simply put, if you try to take him on with a sword, you lose. Even if you happen to be a 2,000-year-old Denarian, you will lose. In the RPG he has plot device levels of swordsmanship. He was said to have "known swordsmanship like Mozart knew music."
  • The Mentor: To Michael and Sanya. His example also influenced Harry long after his death.
  • Reluctant Warrior: He confides in Harry that he hates fighting and bloodshed, yet concedes sometimes it must be done.
  • Sacrificial Lion: He is a wise old Knight of the Cross who scares Nicodemus, and he dies in the book he was introduced in.
  • Secretly Dying: In a letter he left for Harry after his death, he revealed he was already suffering from terminal cancer before his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Nice Guy: To his friends, he is a nice, warm fellow.
  • Old Master: The oldest and, in his own way, wisest of the Knights. His skill with the Sword made even Nicodemus respect the man.
  • The Paragon: He is a good man doing His good work, helping protect those he can from the evils of the world. Should one be in need and he is there, even if he has only just met the person and that person has a checkered past about being a full on good guy, like Harry, he will help him.
  • Royal Blood: Descendant of the last king of Okinawa.
  • Weapon of Choice: Fidelacchius, the Sword of Faith, a katana that is supposed to be Kusanagi.

     Sanya Ivanovich 

Sanya

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sanya_0.png

Civilian: God in Heaven. He must have sent you to us, son.
Sanya: It was probably just a coincidence, ma'am.

One of the Knights of the Cross, and a former Denarian who went straight. He's black, Russian, and prone to wearing Kevlar and hauling around a Kalashnikov to match his sword, Esperacchius. Oh, and he's an atheist/agnostic, despite having been handed his sword by the Archangel Michael himself.


  • The Anti-Nihilist: Sanya doesn't fight evil for God, but because someone has to. See Arbitrary Skepticism for details.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Despite working directly for God and wielding a literal holy sword given to him by the Archangel Michael, Sanya is an agnostic, though he's willing to. He believes there's power, just not that it's God. Or he may be having a sustained hallucination from a coma or something, or maybe he was given Esperacchius by aliens masquerading as angels. He actually throws all of these out as possible explanations. Still, God or no God, the job needs to be done. Harry once called him "O Knight of Maybe".
  • The Atoner: For when he was being used by Magog.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: This is initially his chief problem in combat. He grows out of it though.
  • Bargain with Heaven: Or possibly aliens, see above.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In Changes he arrives just after Harry fell off a ladder, in time to help Harry and save the other tenants from the fire.
  • Black Vikings: Black people were a rarity, to say the least, in post-Soviet Russia. Sanya mentions that his skin colour turned heads even in Moscow, and that in the countryside he could cause car accidents just by walking down the road. Needless to say, it made him feel pretty understandably resentful at the world... making him the perfect sap to fall for the Denarians' sales pitch.
  • Blood Knight: While a Denarian, and he says he's still this as a Knight. He's just better at fighting the good fight.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Powerfully built, extremely strong, and quite loud and cheerful.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Unfazed by the events of Small Favor, and stays chatty during the meeting at the Carpenter house.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Uses an assault rifle while the other Knights limit themselves to their swords.
  • Contrived Coincidence: As in Michael's case, it's part of being a Knight of the Cross, and results in an epic save in Changes. Amusingly, as befitting his Flat-Earth Atheist standpoint, he still claims that it was just a coincidence. While climbing a ladder up to a third-story window.
  • Cool Sword: Esperacchius, the Sword of Hope, which looks like a cavalry saber and is also known as Durendal.
  • Dangerous 16th Birthday: He says in Small Favor that he was sixteen when Rosanna convinced him to take up Magog's coin.
  • Drunken Master: Drinks vodka before some big fights. Even advised Harry to take up the practice, as it makes the darkness seem a little lighter.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Despite living in a Fantasy Kitchen Sink where All Myths Are True, he still considers himself an agnostic. Heck, he got his sword directly from an archangel, and you still wouldn't know it from his views on religion.
    • An old woman cries out "Oh God in Heaven, help us!" Then Sanya shows up and claims it's a Contrived Coincidence.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Growing up as a minority in Russia and being treated like a freak (in his own words, "I was a minority the way Bigfoot is a minority") was what caused him to initially join with the Denarians, especially since Rosanna, his recruiter, didn't care he was black at all. However, Sanya is also thoroughly of the mindset that this does not justify any of the atrocities that he committed while working for them.
    Sanya: invoked By the end of that time, Dresden, I wasn't much more than a beast who walked upright. Oh, I had thoughts and feelings, but they were all slaves to my baser desires. I did many things of which I am not- (looks away, visibly ashamed) I did many things. [...] I heard what Rosanna truly felt about me, heard her report about me to Tessa. And I finally understood what an idiot I'd been. I dropped the coin in a canal and never looked back.
  • Gallows Humor: A lot of Sanya's jokes tend to be classically dark Russian humor, such as joking to Harry after he becomes the Winter Knight that if he became a monster and Sanya had to kill him, he'd do it painlessly. In Changes he even advises Harry to have this attitude, as it makes the awful things he sees seem lighter. He also advises Harry drink vodka.
  • Hero of Another Story: As a Knight of the Cross burdened with the opportunity to help people, Sanya has spent years moving from place to place helping people and likely stopping world-ending plots. In Skin Game Nicodemus arranges for some other Denarians to try something with an Iranian nuclear reactor, to keep Sanya busy so he can't interfere with Nicodemus' plans in Chicago.
  • Hope Bringer: As a Knight, he walks in the dark places and fights the dark forces that lay there. Even more appropriate is his sword is the Sword of Hope. His mere presence in Changes makes a cynical Martin have hope the mission could be a success.
  • Husky Russkie: He's nearly as tall as Harry, and his muscles make Michael look like, in Harry's words, "he needs to eat some wheat germ or something."
  • Lightning Bruiser: Very fast for a man of his size.
  • Monster Façade: Sanya is a good man, and kind and nice to pretty much everyone. However, as Stevie D found out, when he wants to be scary, Sanya is scary.
  • Muscles Are Meaningful: Even more than Michael. During the attack on Chichen Itza, he kills a Red Court vampire with a single kick.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Known only by his first name in the books, but is given the last name Ivanovich in the tabletop game.note 
  • Nice Guy: Yes, all of the Knights are incredibly nice people who would go out of their way to save anyone in need. This however also means that the saving deals with fighting monsters that normal people would faint at the merest sight of.
  • The Prankster: When sparring with a fellow Knight, he pretends to have gotten his hand cut off by Fidelacchius just to screw with him and Harry.
  • The Philosopher: Describes himself as such. From what we've seen it seems apt.
  • Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": Bellows with laughter throughout the whole battle against the Red Court in Changes.
  • Redemption Quest: His exact actions and evil acts done during his time with the Denarians isn't known to the readers, but now with this power given to him, he can work to undo some of the harm and help others the way he was helped.
  • Royal Blood: Sanya can trace his ancestry back to Saladin.
  • Scary Black Man: Though quite congenial to his friends, he invokes this when interrogating Stevie D in Changes.
  • Schizo Tech: Fights fallen angels with both a cavalry saber and a Kalashnikov.
  • The Strategist: Analyzing the landscape of Deamonreach and predicting how an enemy would prepare for battle there in Small Favor indicates that he is this.
  • Sword and Gun: Specifically, Esperacchius and a Kalashnikov assault rifle.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The youngest and greenest of the three Knights in Death Masks, who needed Michael to back him up and was nearly killed by Nicodemus during the Traintop Battle at the end of the novel. By the time of Small Favor, he's kicking ass right alongside Michael as his equal. By the time of Changes, he's the only Knight in the world, and he's thriving as the world's professional Big Damn Hero.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Arguably deconstructed in the sense that Sanya has to deal with some pretty nasty prejudices as a result of his background; he's a black man in Russia. In his own words, for Moscow he was very strange. If he went into smaller towns, he had to keep off the main roads because he caused accidents due to motorists taking their eyes off the road to gawk at him, as he was "a minority in the same way that Bigfoot is a minority." As Harry notes, him living in such a prejudiced environment made him easy pickings for manipulation by the Denarians. For an added bit of diversity, he is descended from Saladin, a Kurd.
  • Villainous Friendship: His relationship with Rosanna was a Type III; he genuinely loved her and his Heel–Face Turn happened when he found out just how little she cared for him.
  • Weapon of Choice: Esperacchius, once known as Durendal, reforged into a cavalry saber. Also a Kalashnikov.

     Waldo Butters 

Waldo Butters

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/waldo_wildcard.png
The doctor is in the house.

"Polka will never die!"

Originally just a Chicago medical examiner, polka enthusiast and geek extraordinaire. He was assigned to autopsy the corpses found after a fire, but since said fire was in fact the result of a wizardly temper tantrum, he got a vampire corpse, called it "humanlike, but definitely nonhuman" and consequently got stuck in a mental institution for observation for three months. This gave him a cheery disrespect for authority that helps him get along quite well with Harry. After discovering that magic exists, he begins studying it in detail and working out ways he can use it to help people. His courage, valor, and faith in goodness and justice allows him to ultimately take up the new Sword of Faith... which just so happens to be a lightsaber.

Narrates the short story "Day One".


  • Action Survivor: Butters started as a normal, but highly principled man. He is nothing special but then some zombies attack and it kick starts his journey to being a badass normal in a world of the supernatural.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Downplayed; He's not described as being exactly hideous in the books, but is portrayed as more of a straightforward Hollywood Nerd in the comics.
  • Amazon Chaser: Dates Andi in Cold Days who still has a well-muscled body and could easily lift Butters.
  • Ascended Extra: He becomes a significantly more important and major character as the series goes on, even taking on the newest mantle of the Knight of Faith in Skin Game.
  • Ascended Fanboy: He gets to be a real, honest to goodness Jedi Knight, complete with a special sword of his own, with a mission from God.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: His fighting style is very aggressive - not due to a lack of talent, but due to his philosophical place in the world. He's the Knight of Faith swinging around a direct manifestation of God's will, and if he hits something, it will almost certainly be for the best. See Healing Shiv below.
  • Badass Longcoat: Grabs Harry's bulletproof one at the climax of Skin Game, although the difference in their size means that it fits him more like a Jedi robe...
  • Blind Without 'Em: "Day One" verifies that he is functionally blind without his glasses.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He may be a bit overly fond of polka, but he's very good at remembering bits of random information and thinking about them logically, even when faced with a Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Character Development: One of the most stark examples in the whole franchise, going from the resident Smart Guy and Combat Medic to a heroic Magic Knight with Nerves of Steel.
  • Character Focus: He's the Supporting Protagonist of both Dead Beat and Skin Game, the former being focused around him being introduced to the supernatural world and him trying to help Harry stop the Kemmlerites' evil plots, while the latter reflects on his Character Development over the last several books and him becoming the newest Knight of the Cross.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • His one-man polka suit in Dead Beat.
    • His deep love of Star Wars and the ideals of right overcoming wrong and one man being able to make a difference, even if it is by a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • In Dead Beat, Harry taught him how to make a magic circle so Harry's magic wouldn't interfere with his technology. Later he draws a magic circle to prevent the undead armies from killing him and his drum.
  • Cool Sword: Wielding a Sword of the Cross is awesome enough, but when said Sword has reforged itself into a lightsaber? Even more so.
  • The Coroner: The reason why he's a coroner, despite being an excellent medic, is that he doesn't have the professional detachment needed to be one.
    Harry: Butters hated seeing people in pain.
  • Cowardly Lion: At first, he runs in terror from a necromancer with some zombies. Later, he begins using magitek with Bob's help to fight back against supernatural predators. And then he becomes a Chicago defender.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • In Changes, he is shot in the back. A few minutes later it is revealed that he put on a kevlar vest the minute he got the call, and brought garlic and chalk too.
    • In Ghost Story he has Bob examine and then shadow Harry, without Harry knowing it, to ensure that if Harry's shade is some trick or turns evil, Bob will end him.
  • A Day in the Limelight: He's the narrator of the short story "Day One".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Can keep up with both Harry and Bob in the snark department.
  • Diagnosis from Dr. Badass: Does this to Aristides in Ghost Story.
    Butters: That sound you just heard was your lateral collateral ligament and anterior cruciate ligamate tearing free of the joint. It's also possible that your patella or tibia was fractured. (sneers at Aristides as he raises a monkey wrench) Get rid of the knife, or I start on your cranium.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: As of Skin Game, he is a Knight of the Cross. A Jedi Knight of the Cross, lightsaber and all. A Jewish Jedi Knight of the Cross, no less (and yes, even Butters found it to be an amusing twist of fate).
  • Enemy-Detecting Radar: In Battleground, Butters comments on having this by looking out at where Ethniu's forces are and commenting on there being a lot of "red carats".
  • Foreshadowing: In Dead Beat, as Harry is being tortured by the former Denarian Quintus Cassius, he notes that when one of the Denarians does something horrible, usually the Powers That Be make sure a Knight of the Cross appears in their way. Harry is desperately hoping that one will come to save him... when Butters suddenly shows up to rescue him with Mouse. As Uriel lampshades in Skin Game, what's a better counterpart to an ex-Denarian than a Knight-to-be?
  • Healing Shiv: His version of Fidelacchius is less of a weapon and more of a concept - it directly smites evil and protects good, without any inconvenient sharp metal getting in the way. As such, striking allies with its blade is not only harmless, but beneficial - it heals, cleanses, emboldens, strengthens, and does anything else that might be necessary to facilitate God's will. This also makes life much easier for Butters in a fight - he can hit whatever's moving and be reasonably sure he's helping out.
  • Hidden Depths: Another layer gets peeled off with every appearance. Butters is probably the poster child for this trope; initially he appears as just a polka-loving nerd, but by the time of Ghost Story he is one of Harry's most valuable allies, for his brains, his honesty and his incredible courage, considering he has nothing even resembling super-powers, or even ordinary strength, to take into battle with him.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: Waldo Butters, about 120lbs soaking wet, tried to become part of the US military but washed out of boot camp. Same with the police. He failed both times but still had the push to be stronger. This push led him to ride on a zombie dinosaur to save the world and pursue other dangerous paths. This finally culminates in him becoming a Knight of the Cross.
  • Jewish and Nerdy: Self-described as such in-universe.
  • Jewish Mother: Mama Butters, from Bob's description, is capable of whipping up a massive Fancy Dinner for Jewish Holidays, as Harry sees in Bob's "apartment". Also nags Butters about finding himself a Nice Jewish Girl if only he'd clean up. Bob fills in for her at times, complete with Yiddish accent, to Butters' dismay.
  • Jumped at the Call: After the events detailed in Took a Level in Badass, Butters can't contemplate not accepting Fidelacchius.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: During Skin Game and beyond, he is defending Chicago in Harry and Molly's absence.
  • Laser Blade: Fidelacchius reforged itself into an honest-to-God holy lightsaber for him on the strength of his belief in Star Wars.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: He saved Harry's life by attacking Cassius. And later, subdued a gunman with an improvised taser. Later on in Ghost Story he cripples Aristides by knowing exactly which bones to break. And he becomes a bonafide Knight of the Cross in Skin Game, turning this trope Up to Eleven.
  • Lovable Coward: Deconstructed and then subverted. His fear at the supernatural suddenly ramming its way into his life with zombies trying to catch him leads him to be a very panicky man during Dead Beat, but after getting a rousing speech from Harry, he finds in himself courage he never knew he had, even riding with Harry into battle on the back of a zombie T-Rex.
  • Loved I Not Honor More: He loves Andi deeply. However both take protecting Chicago very seriously and know it is a dangerous job. By the end of Skin Game Butters plans to sacrifice himself trying to delay Nicodemus' attack on Michael Carpenter's home. He knows his chances are slim and orders Bob to depart in a few minutes to return to his home and tell Andi what happened and he loves her.
  • Magitek: Butters is not very strong with magic in a practical sense. He is, however, brilliant in the theoretical sense. With Bob's help, he can make enchanted items which give him a distinct edge and element of surprise, like a self-propelling skateboard that can clock up to 30mph. He can even make a listening device that won't short out when he sneaks it into Harry's bandages.
  • May–December Romance: By the time he starts dating Andi before Cold Days. By that point she's a few years out of college, so about mid to late twenties. Butters was 37 in Dead Beat, so he's about 45 by Cold Days.
  • The Medic: Although he says he finds it weird to operate on people who are still alive, Harry's acquaintance with him comes in handy when he, say, needs a bullet wound treated and doesn't want to intrude on the police's busy schedule. Or sewing up a sliced up Morgan in Turn Coat.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: He's utterly heartbroken and sickened in "Day One" when he's forced to kill the baku baku Miyamune, viewing her as a Fallen Hero who turned to evil through no fault of her own.
  • Nice Guy: As to be expected from any Knight of the Cross. Even before he takes up one of the Swords, Butters is a kind and friendly person who has willingly put his life on the line for what he feels is right and utterly refuses to back down and compromise his principles.
  • Notice This: In-Universe example. Because of Butter's RPG history, it seems Heaven will be giving him signs like this. On a jog with Michael, he notices a homeless man with a yellow exclamation point over the man. Michael explains to him this is a job.
  • Nerd Glasses: He wears them.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: By the end of Skin Game, he is a Jewish Batman Jedi Knight of the Cross, M.D..
  • Non-Action Guy: Doesn't stop him from being useful when the need is there. And this becomes flat-out averted in Skin Game when he starts to take up Harry and Molly's self-appointed mantle as the representative Defender of Chicago.
  • Older Than They Look: By Peace Talks, he's in his mid-forties, but is pretty consistently described as looking more like someone in their early thirties at the oldest.
  • Polyamory: Heavily implied in Peace Talks to be in a romantic relationship with both Andi and Marci, though he's incredibly embarrassed about it and utterly refuses to talk about it to others.
  • Post-Modern Magik: In Ghost Story he rigs up a two-way radio for Harry to converse with the others. Bob the Skull observes that while Butters has no talent for magic himself, he probably understands magic theory better than Harry.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: He's very smart, and he's tiny, apparently — when he curls up into a fetal position, Harry thinks he could probably fit in a grocery bag.
  • Survival Mantra: When shaking to his core in Dead Beat because of the attacks by zombies, Harry gives him some good reasons to not give up. The more important reason becomes this mantra. That reason: "POLKA WILL NEVER DIE!!"
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: With Bob the Skull's help. He may not have any power in magic, but with his mind, he can make inventions and devices based around formulas and applications of magical theory that are beyond what even Harry can understand.
  • Taking Up the Mantle: When Harry goes M.I.A. and then Molly vanishes to become the Winter Lady, he steps up to become Chicago's defender from the forces of darkness. This takes a further turn when he is offered the mantle of the Knight of Faith and takes it up to further helping the helpless.
  • Threesome Subtext: In Peace Talks, it's very strongly implied that he's in a romantic relationship with both Andi and her Old Flame Marci, though he refuses to go into specifics.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • As of Ghost Story. Before the series, he was a plain muggle coroner. But after receiving a few victims in Harry's cases, from the exploding hearts of Storm Front to claiming some of the remains found from the Velvet Room were not human, and then meeting Harry in Death Masks and the whole debacle in Dead Beat Butters learned quickly if he was to be part of this other world, he would have to toughen up.
    • As of Skin Game this nearly defies belief. First off, using artificial spells and Bob as a portable magical battery, he's got a magical skateboard that travels at sub-motorcycle speeds, skill with an improvised whip that would put Indiana Jones or Simon Belmont to shame, and magical amnesia grenades. And that's all before he becomes the Lightsaber of Faith wielding Jewish Jedi Knight of the Cross. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: For perfectly understandable reasons, he's noticeably colder and visibly distrusting of Harry in Skin Game since, from his perspective, Harry has come Back from the Dead and yet completely left his friends out to dry while seeming to become one of the bad guys. Thankfully, his Broken Pedestal eventually fades as he realizes that Harry's actually still on the side of the angels.
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     Other Knights 

The myriad other Knights who wielded one of the Swords throughout history. They include:

  • Saladin
  • George Washington (who specifically wielded Esperacchius)
  • Joan of Arc
  • Karrin Murphy (who wields Fidelacchius in Changes)
  • Susan Rodriguez (who wields Amoracchius in Changes)


  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: George Washington wields Esperacchius during his time fighting in the French and Indian War, where he has encounters with a few of the current Senior Council back in their adventurous youths.
  • Historical Domain Character: Several of the previous knights were drawn from actual history.
  • Word of God: invoked The series' author, Jim Butcher, has confirmed that Saladin, Washington and d'Arc were Knights. This information isn't present in the books themselves.

Priests

     Father Anthony Forthill 

Father Anthony Forthill

Father Forthill is senior shepherd at St. Mary of the Angels church in Chicago, Harry's main contact with the militant side of the Catholic Church. While relatively little about his background has been revealed, there are hints that he was much more active in his opposition to the forces of evil in his youth.


  • Armor-Piercing Question: He takes his promise of secrecy seriously. Even Michael's anger doesn't make him falter. But Harry reminding him that Alicia's life is a stake by asking if the church takes "Bring On To [God} The Children" literally makes Forthill falter.
  • Badass Pacifist: He's probably the least militant character in the entire cast-and still incredibly awesome.
  • Badass Preacher: Enough to tackle the gunman who shot Butters while unarmed.
  • Church Militant: A member of the Ordo Malleus.
  • Cool Old Guy: If you're not willing to share sensitive matters of faith with your priest, he's willing to pull out a bottle of brandy so you can tell them to your bartender. He also gives Fitz the opportunity to make a Pedophile Priest joke, as they seemed to be popular.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Puts Harry and Fitz at ease by snarking at them gently.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Has an Eye of Thoth tattoo, a remnant of his vampire-slaying days.
  • Evil Lawyer Joke: Harry is nonplussed when he reveals that he's the Carpenter's lawyer.
    Harry: He's a priest. He's a lawyer. This does not compute.
  • Genre Savvy: His car breaking down right in front of the Carpenter house? Michael probably needs a babysitter again. His exasperated resignation makes the scene a wee bit hysterical.
  • Good Shepherd: He will, without fear of his own mortal well being, tend to the injured and meek without comment on their current status in life. Whether it is a group of street urchins who must commit crimes to survive, a cult leader who would rather stick him with a knife, or an unhinged Molly Carpenter, he will treat them kindly and, if he sees a need, call them out on their less than proper behavior.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: In "The Warrior" Harry is nonplussed to hear he actually says Mass sometimes.
    Forthill: Harry, you didn't think that I just sit around in this old barn awaiting my chance to make you sandwiches, bandage wounds, and offer advice?
  • Hidden Depths: Is also a lawyer who does pro bono work for his congregation, to say nothing of how he got the Eye of Thoth tattoo.
  • I Gave My Word: Takes his promises seriously. When sworn to secrecy he will not divulge any information whatsoever.
  • Place of Protection: For the same reason many use it when Seeking Sanctuary.
  • Retired Badass: When he was younger he swore an oath to protect the innocent from supernatural threats and helped to slay a vampire. Though given that he's now a Badass Pacifist, he's less "retired" and more "moved into a different line of work."
  • Saintly Church: He runs St. Mary's as such.
  • Seeking Sanctuary: Nine times out of ten when Harry is need of protection from supernatural baddies, he will head to St. Mary's.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: In Grave Peril when the Nightmare is seeking a young girl on his church, Forthill confronts it from behind his threshold and begins quoting the Bible at it. This pisses the Nightmare off, but it cannot set foot on the holy ground.

     Father Vincent 

Father Vincent

Another member of the Eye of Thoth. He was killed shortly before the events of the Death Masks case.


  • Chekhov's Gun: His tattoo that he and Father Forthill had of the Eye of Thoth is found on his corpse covered in blood. The fact it is hidden allows Harry to Spot the Thread and out Cassius.
  • Church Militant: Went on a successful vampire-slaying mission shortly after taking his Holy Orders.
  • Posthumous Character: Died before Death Masks began and was subsequently impersonated by Cassius.

     Father Paolo 

Father Paolo

A priest encountered by Fitz and Dresden's spirit in Ghost Story.


    Father Douglas Roarke (aka "Buzz") 

Father Douglas Roarke

Appears in the short story "The Warrior". Former member of the Army Rangers, Father Roarke was trained as a chaplain in the US Army and eventually joined the Ordo Malleus (aka the Inquisition) to fight evil. Once Harry became custodian of Fidelacchius and Amoracchius, he became convinced that either Harry was misusing the Swords or that he was actively trying to keep them out of the hands of the Knights, and took steps to recover them.


  • Badass Normal: Manages to keep Harry on the backfoot, despite having no magic whatsoever.
  • BFG: Wields a .50 caliber Barrett sniper rifle that punches clean through Harry's shields.
  • Church Militant: Quite literally, as he was in Special Forces before joining the Church, and feels that escalating to utilize his military training is quite justified.
  • Cold Sniper: Shiro's death devastated him and left him with a sense of despair at the future. Harry's difficulties in finding a new bearer for the sword didn't help.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The man is very smart about confronting Harry. Any time Harry got the upper hand, he ran. He would snipe Harry from the distance, use a detonator with a kill-switch that would go off if Harry tried using magic, and not be above giving Harry a groin attack.
  • Escalating War: His attempts at getting the swords became this. First, he was satisfied with some breaking and entering, then he's willing to kill Harry by sniping him, then he was willing to kidnap Michael's daughter as a hostage he was willing to kill as leverage.
  • Hostage For Macguffin: He took Michael's daughter hostage in exchange for the Swords.
  • I Have Your Wife: Kidnaps Michael's daughter Alicia and holds her hostage to get the Swords back.
  • Knight Templar: To him, the sacrifice of an innocent girl is a valid price to pay if it means the Swords can be removed from Harry and put back into their job of helping the world.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Michael delivers one to him with a baseball bat and the flat of Amoracchius.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He genuinely hopes that no one will get hurt because of his little scheme, but he also isn't squeamish about collateral damage. "Better for one to die..." as a certain chief priest once said about a certain random guy.

Angels

     Uriel (aka "Jake", aka "Mr. Sunshine") 

Archangel Uriel

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/uriel_37.png

The Archangel responsible for gifting Harry with Soulfire. Liked by Mab (which does not bode well), respects free will above all else, interferes only when he has to balance the influence of Hell, and is apparently Heaven's spook/Black Ops guy. Harry has spoken to him a couple of times so far.


  • All-Powerful Bystander: Uriel has the highest confirmed power level of those characters who've appeared on page, with his power compared to some other higher level characters a matter of speculation. He could easily solve pretty much all of the problems and threats Dresden comes up against, but is forbidden from doing anything that interferes in mortal free will.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's unclear whether he tacitly approved of Colin Murphy pulling the wool over Harry's eyes and was acting in front of Harry, or whether he was actually blindsided and just took advantage of it.
  • Angel Unaware: That janitor at the end of Small Favor was not the janitor. But his ruse did allow for him to pass on some wisdom to Harry and help the man out of his rage.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil:
    • As guardian of Free Will, if a Fallen influences a mortal enough that the mortal dies, Uriel is obligated to help that mortal to balance the scales. If it doesn't result in the person's death but just torment, pain, and suffering, Uriel cannot directly help there.
    • In Small Favor he was able to give Harry Soulfire to keep things balanced when Lucifer gives the Denarians more power for their plot.
  • Batman Gambit: See Guile Hero.
  • Big Good: He's one of the most powerful forces for the side of good in the series, serving as an avatar for the Greater-Scope Paragon of God Himself to act through.
  • Brought Down to Badass: As noted in Brought Down to Normal, Uriel can become human, however one needs to remember he is a soldier of God and is still a skilled fighter even in a limited form. In Skin Game he slashes the neck of one of Nicodemus' squires during the attack on the Carpenter house.
  • Brought Down to Normal: It is possible for Uriel to invert the act of transubstantiation, the act of wine and bread becoming the blood and body of Jesus, and give his Grace of God, the core of his power, to another being to hold for this duration. In Skin Game he lends Michael his angelic Grace so that Michael can temporarily take up Amoracchius again to face Nicodemus. He's mortal for the duration and if Michael were to abuse that power, he'd Fall. Michael, needless to say, doesn't.
  • Celestial Paragons and Archangels: The only we've one seen so far, though Michael has made a couple of off-screen appearances and Raphael and Gabriel have been briefly mentioned.
  • The Chessmaster: Kill two birds with one stone — save (at least) two souls with one move. It's his business.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Harry realizes if he picked a fight with him, it would end badly for Harry.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Very subtly. After Harry first meets him, he leaves behind a copy of The Lord of the Rings, with a line ('the burned hand teaches best') as a bit of advice. Harry then receives Amoracchius from Sanya, to be its caretaker, along with Fidelacchius, something he is distinctly grumpy about. As he slams his car door, the book falls out and open at a page with another line underlined: 'The reward for work well done is more work.'
    • At a later point, he comments that Molly needs help, and if only he'd set something up to assist her. Lo and behold, Mort pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Didn't See That Coming: For all his knowledge and wisdom, he tends to be shocked a few times over the course of the series.
    • In "The Warrior" he is very shocked when Harry tries to bill him for being God's instrument of good and helping save people.
    • In Ghost Story he mentions, with Captain Jack's actions and hanging up on him, humans have a tendency to surprise him even after all this time.
    • In Skin Game:
      • He seems genuinely shocked Michael would consider him his friend.
      • He confesses to Harry he did not think he would see the Sword of Faith being remade into a Laser Blade under his watch.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Because I Know Your True Name is serious business, Uriel gets very frosty with Harry for calling him "Uri". This is because Harry has on at least two occasions affected characters' identities by giving them nicknames. Since the "el" in "Uriel" means "of God", one can understand why he would be a bit touchy about having it removed. Especially considering that "Uri" is light, which, with a separation from the connection to God, makes him seem like somebody else.
  • Exact Words: He is very careful with what he says and how, due to the enormous limitations on him.
    • When Harry meets "Jake" the janitor, the latter tells him he's never had much schooling. This is, indeed, true.
  • The Fettered: There are a lot of times where he'd genuinely like to help but he can't because he's not allowed to tamper with Free Will or its consequences.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: As his True Form would likely be too much for a human mind to comprehend, Uriel always takes on the body of a simple human. He tends to take on different forms as needed, whether he is an old janitor or a young and healthy man.
  • A Friend in Need: In Skin Game, he gives Michael his Grace to make sure he can face down Nicodemus without his crippling injuries when Michael goes out to face him.
  • God's Hands Are Tied: Played with. In the same book that Harry calls him useless for refusing to use his powers to directly help the heroes, Uriel risks his immortal life and (potentially) whole galaxies to help Michael Carpenter for a few days.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Apparently he is responsible for a lot of the Old Testament. For instance, the slaying of the First Born of Egypt. Since Uriel is often equated with the Angel of Death this is not surprising.
  • Guile Hero: Manipulates, tricks and maneuvers people to defeat the forces of darkness on the quiet. He's good enough at it that he impresses Mab. He also once conned Satan, aka the Father of Lies.
  • Hope Bringer: It is implied he acts as this as frequently as he can get away with it and not break the rules. When Harry was at a low point, seeing Mab over him proclaiming her victory and malevolent plans for Harry to become her private monster with nothing he could do to stop it, Uriel gives Harry hope that he can remain who he is and still be the Winter Knight.
    Uriel: Lies. Mab cannot change who you are.
  • Humanity Ensues: Briefly in Skin Game. He lends Michael his Grace so that he can function enough for Harry not to have to go into the Vault of Hades alone with Nicodemus and his allies. The side effect for Uriel was transubstantiation, and possible Falling if Michael misused it.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: According to Mab, Uriel is "by far the most dangerous" of the Archangels, despite Michael traditionally being seen as "the boss"/the most powerful. Probably because he's Heaven's wetworks man.
  • Idiot Ball: Discussed; He mentions how serious Names are, but the way humans toss their Names about so frivolously is, to him, like watching children play with grenades.
  • I Know Your True Name: Likely coming from Intellectus, the ability to know everything within a given category, Uriel can speak the True Name of any being. When Harry tried to call him "Uri" he responded by saying "Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden" with perfect inflection.
  • In Mysterious Ways: Uriel is a being outside of humanity's limited view of time, able to see not only future events but the multitude of events that can come from many choices. In "The Warrior" when Harry gets fed up with this line, Uriel notes that Harry helped save many lives without meaning to or intending to, but his little choices helped wake a mother up to the truth her child was being abused. Later Harry made a man not work while drunk, saving his life from an accident, and in a few months his daughter will require a bone marrow transplant to fight the cancer she will develop and her father would be the only match. Harry gave a young girl some cheering up and confidence which would inspire her to become a counselor who would go on to help thousands. Lastly, when Michael's children are on the line, the good man will lose focus and be more likely to give into his darker side, but Harry's words calmed him enough from not striking Douglas with vengeance but granting him mercy. And all of these examples happened in just a few days.
    Jake: The real war happened when you weren't looking.
  • Loophole Abuse: Uriel is not above using these minor details, along with obfuscating, to get what he needs to happen, happen. In Skin Game he cannot interfere with Michael and Nicodemus' deal as it is being made freely by their own free will. Uriel knows if Michael faces Nicodemus, he will be killed. So Uriel makes the only choice he can make. As Michael already made his choice to walk out, Uriel makes his choice to loan Michael his Grace of God, healing his friend for a time.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Averted. Every life is important to him (and Him). And the true battle against evil isn't fought just against the dark forces of the Denarians, against the fathoms of evil monsters, but on the simple every day choices humans make. The choice between vengeance and mercy, kindness over hatred, strength of higher convictions over succumbing to fear. Every life matters.
  • Nice Guy: He's incredibly kind and compassionate, as noted above. Every moral victory that a human makes, no matter how small, is one for him.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He will play the ignorant part, claiming he had no idea a subordinate was acting in a way, so as to not technically violate the rules binding him. One instance is whether or not he permitted Jack Murphy to use a half-truth to convince Harry to go back (as that would be a lie in Uriel's book). At the same time when that lie helped put Harry in the right spot at the right time to save Molly's life, Uriel noted he wished he had the foresight to send an agent to give Molly the inspiration or idea to see the solution before her, just before Molly was saved because of some actions Harry took earlier in the book in regards to Molly and the one who saved her.
  • Odd Friendship: He has lunch with Vadderung once a year. Though, given that both of them are The Spymaster, it's entirely possible that it's more of a professional get-together.
  • Our Angels Are Different: They're apparently composed entirely of soul-stuff and interfere only within their particular area of responsibility; in Uriel's case, he safeguards free will. So far, he has only appeared in entirely human forms. Apparently, they can also enjoy human media.
  • Plausible Deniability: He kept enough distance and disdain for Jack Murphy's actions in Ghost Story, letting him be vague and omit certain details to Harry to get him to go back and save Chicago, Molly, and others. Uriel even notes this by saying on the hypothetical, while Molly was in a bad situation, if he had the presence of mind to help he would have sent an agent back to provide some help. Then, what do you know, someone Harry helped earlier in the book pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Enjoys Star Wars, particularly the music and the Black-and-White Morality.
  • The Quiet One: One of the reasons why Mab likes Uriel. Uriel only says what is needed and permitted, nothing more or less. The only useful line Harry got out of him that wouldn't violate any of the many laws preventing him from talking more broadly is, "No matter where you go, there you are."
  • The Spymaster: To Heaven. While Archangel Michael will lead the armies of Heaven, Uriel works in the shadows helping prevent the perversion of Free Will. He has near-unlimited knowledge and a good guess at what people will do in the right situation.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Uriel has the power to destroy galaxies, making his power at least on par with Mab's if not the Mothers of Faerie (and perhaps even beyond them). Yet he is severely restricted in how he can use that power (namely, he cannot, in any fashion, prevent the exercise of a mortal's free will or nullify the consequences thereof), preventing him from solving every problem in the series.
  • Time Stands Still: When he appears, he can freeze the surrounding area, so rain just hangs in the middle of the air and even a dog's bark is paused.
  • Touched by Vorlons: He is the one doing the touching when he gives Harry soulfire, the fires of creation as balancing the scales because Lucifer gave his ilk Super Hellfire.
  • What Is This Feeling?: In Skin Game, he physically hurts himself for the very first time after giving up his Grace, and the feeling reduces him to tears.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: In Skin Game he quickly rebounds a bad situation for the heroes by making one move Nicodemus failed to ever consider, and ended up turning a dark day into a good future.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: Harry, without even his True Sight on, accidentally stares into his halo when he gets mad at Nicodemus and his human disguise starts breaking up. He describes the sensation as like seeing every bad, hurtful thing he'd ever done to someone else in his life, and how easy it would have been to do something else. Needless to say, Uriel prefers A Form You Are Comfortable With for a reason.

    Angel of Death 

Angel of Death

No name is given, but this angel is set forth to guide and protect the souls of the dead to their proper place. It is not in her power to decide who ought to die or when, but rather in the event human choices lead to that outcome she is there. Harry meets her when she stood over Father Forthill's body in Ghost Story.


  • Badass Boast: In her own words, she would fight the Prince of Darkness himself if he came to try and steal a soul under her protection.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Harry described her as wearing black shoes, black pants, black shirts, black tie, dark hair, and skin that looked like it was dyed in an ink well. Even the sclera, the whites of her eyes, are black. All that said, she is not a force of evil but a guardian from evil.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: When she and Harry meet, she's pleasant enough and is there to act as a soul's bodyguard on its final journey. She's even nice enough to ignore Dresden's various threats since, Dresden being Dresden and all, he doesn't realize until halfway through the conversation that she could utterly destroy him with a passing thought if he continues getting in the way of her duties.
  • The Fettered: She has no open opinion on where a mortal's choice will lead them. Stupid or wise, if the choices of mortals lead to a death, she will guard the deceased.
  • First-Name Basis: She speaks of people using their first names, unless pushed, at which point it becomes a Full Name Ultimatum with the exact tone and style the owner of the name uses.
  • God's Hands Are Tied: She refuses to give aid to Forthill as he lay injured on the floor because it was his choice to come to the situation and the choice of the scum who beat him to beat Forthill. She will not intercede on points of free will.
  • I Know Your True Name: Like Uriel, she can Know the True Name of any mortal. Harry realizes fighting her would be impossible because this includes his name.
  • Rerouted from Heaven: Her job is to avert this as the forces of Hell would steal even the souls of saints if they could and the nether region between the mortal world and the final destination is not one a mortal soul can safely traverse alone.

    Guardian Angel Amitiel, et al. 

Amitiel and other guardian angels

Amitiel is the only, thus far, named guardian angel. He is the protector of Captain Jack's Chicago branch. Other angels have been spotted at and inside the Carpenter household.


  • God's Hands Are Tied: Throw a supernatural threat at the Carpenter house or other places under their purview, and they will stop them cold. Throw a mortal mugger or thief, and they will sit back and watch. They will not interfere with a mortal's freewill.
  • Guardian Angel: They are these.
  • Invisible to Normals: And even to beings like Wizards. Presumably if one uses their Sight, they can be seen, but as mentioned below, this is a bad idea for the wizard.
  • Loophole Abuse: The angels are limited in any confrontation that involves Free Will being used. These guys will fight any supernatural threat, but a stupid human with a gun can walk right by them.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: Amitiel halts Harry from using his Sight on even just the angel's gun, which was a disguise for his heavenly sword, because Seeing too much could hurt Harry.


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