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    The Series 
  • In Turn Coat, we learn that Harry is in line to inherit the personal logs and diaries of a whole line of wizards dating back to the original Merlin. Then, we consider that all the stories are written in a first person perspective... we're reading Harry's logs.
    • And Aftermath and Even Hand are Murphy's and Marcone's notes that he somehow acquired and added in, maybe as a lesson to future readers not to underestimate a Badass Normal.
  • All the wizards we meet, from the Merlin to Molly, are a stubborn obstreperous bunch. But if magical ability is about imposing one's will on the five elements, it stands to reason that anyone with a significant talent is going to be remarkably strong-willed.
  • Every time the Denarians act, it seems to backfire in some way. In Death Masks, the good guys end up with the Shroud, Harry gains vital experience with them (which he uses to inform his strategy in Small Favor), and their plague ultimately is averted. When Nicodemus throws Lasciel's coin at Harry, it leads to Harry convincing her to pull a Heel–Face Turn, allowing him to survive the events of Dead Beat and White Night, plus the birth of the new spirit of knowledge.
    • Their kidnapping of Marcone in Small Favor backfires hard in Skin Game, and they also set up base on Demonreach, which Harry would not otherwise have known about and been able to use one book later. They're able to use Hellfire to imprison Marcone and the Archive, but Harry gets Soulfire in return, which saves his bacon too many times to count.
    • When Harry is Driven to Suicide in Changes, his resulting time as a spirit helps him to defeat Corpsetaker and do lots of good.
    • And their raid on Hades in Skin Game, and even the Sword of Faith getting temporarily broken...well, the overall positive effects are pretty obvious even within that book, and we later learn that Fidelacchius being rebuilt actually makes it more powerful in a way. This just underlines Mr. Sunshine's Chessmaster tendencies, as well as providing a contextual connection with The Lord of the Rings, one of Jim Butcher's inspirations, where one of the themes is consistently that evil is self-defeating.
  • In the writeup of Cassandra's Tears in the RPG, you have the ability to predict the future but people won't believe you. In Lydia's writeup, despite her claims to have this ability, the author ascribes her foreknowledge of the events of the case file she's in to her more mundane connections to the events. Meaning the writer doesn't believe she has the ability to predict the future.
  • Harry is named after three legendary stage magicians, men who used skill, trickery, and intelligence to pull off seemingly impossible feats. And like his namesakes, Harry has more often used skill, trickery, swift-thinking, and intelligence to defeat enemies and escape situations that are considered impossible. In retrospect, Malcolm and Margaret Dresden chose the perfect people to name their son after. The RPG confirms that Butcher gave him the name Dresden because of the Dresden bombings. So his name is really meaningful when you combine the skill, trickery, intelligence and deceit with his Destructive Savior tendencies. It's also heavily tied to his pyromaniac tendencies. Usually in the defense of good, but there's always that collateral damage, like after the vampire ball...In Ghost Story, when Harry possesses Molly, he comments that he was never good at illusion spells (not that he's no good at creating illusions in other ways) but he's never had a particular problem with actual fire. It's a subversion, because it plays to Harry's style exactly, which is to always finish from an unexpected angle. With a bit of pyromania thrown in for good measure. Well named indeed.
  • Psalm 23:
    • Anyone remember what Harry's favorite weapons are?
      Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
    • Harry spends most of the entire series in said Valley himself, or helping others through it.
    • Also, a rod is used to strike the foe, while a staff is used to guide and protect the lambs... and Harry's blasting rod is used exclusively for striking the foe, while his staff is more utilitarian and controlled.
  • Sexism:
    • Some of the series' detractors complain about the apparent sexism in the series, stating that Harry seems far too descriptive when he encounters women, particularly any of The Fair Folk. It didn't terribly strike me as being that sexist (maybe I'm just less sensitive to that sort of thing). Maybe a bit overbearing and descriptive, at worst. Then, as I read through the series, I noticed various elements of Harry's attitude around women (his tendency to describe them in detail, his overly-protective nature towards them, etc) Then I read a Word of God statement by Jim Butcher himself that noted that the reason why Bob is so obsessed with sex is because he has been influenced by Harry. Then I realized something that should have been extremely bloody obvious: Harry's tendency to exquisitely describe women is just a reflection of his character and his hyperactive and troublesome libido, which he regularly has to work to suppress. The Purple Prose that crops up whenever a beautiful woman shows up is a rather subtly-reinforced character trait of Harry Dresden.
      This is especially noticeable if one compares the prose in the Dresden Files books to that of the Codex Alera series - the Purple Prose is virtually nonexistent, because it is being told from a third-person-limited perspective from multiple characters' viewpoints. Harry's reaction to beautiful women is just that: Harry's reaction, written into his case files. What would be a point of contention in other series is a reinforced character flaw and trait in this series. Brilliant.
    • Harry also freely admits he's kind of a chauvinist. He also has understandable mommy issues. Plus his traumatic psychosexual development. If readers can't put two and two together, it's not Butcher's fault.
    • It becomes really apparent when one reads Aftermath and see things from Murphy's perspective, or Even Hand and see things from Marcone's perspective. The kind of detailed description of feminine form doesn't occur in those stories because neither Murphy nor Marcone are those kinds of people. Sure, we have Murphy noting that Andi has a good figure, but less detail is devoted to her than was devoted by Harry to Michael and Sanya's epic Spartan physiques in Small Favor.
    • The purple prose about women seems to fit in with the film noir influences (Pessimistic, snarky narrator with big coat and big revolver investigates, faces people trying to kill him and femme fatales.)
    • As an additional point to the bit of brilliance above, pay attention to which specific books Harry is making the overly-detailed descriptions of women. Note that he doesn't seem to do it as much during the first three novels, and he doesn't do it during the course of Turn Coat either, not even when confronted by several stunning women (Evelyn and Madeline get at best cursory descriptions, the latter of which is more focused on presence and impact instead of her actual appearance). The common thread between these books? He's regularly getting some from either Susan (at the start) or Luccio (around the time of Turn Coat). In addition, pay attention to the books where he is overly descriptive: Summer Knight, with its lengthy description of Mab, is immediately after he lost Susan. Blood Rites has a detailed effort at trying to describe Lara's beauty, after he had a single evening with Susan again in Death Masks (and spent some time in the presence of lovely adult film stars). Proven Guilty's lengthy description of Molly occurs after Dead Beat, where Harry's discovered the lovely woman he's become attracted to is a demon infecting his mind and she's constantly pestering him with her girl-next-door good looks. Small Favor, which again has a lengthy description of Mab, is after Lasciel sacrifices herself and Harry was slapped with that painfully teasing kiss from Lara. In other words, Harry's overly-detailed descriptions are happening during the points in the series where he's most sexually frustrated. I'm not sure if this is deliberate, but if it is, Jim Butcher is a goddamned genius.
    • It's probably also worth noting that several of the women who get excessively over-described are not human. This makes them even more notably beautiful, which might account for some of the Purple Prose. But many of them also have varying degrees of mental manipulation as either an explicit power (in the case of White Court Vampires), or as a low-level feature of their species. Harry's narration might be so horny because he's being whammied by (sometimes literal) Succubi.
    • As for Harry's old-fashioned habits of chivalry towards women, remember that he was raised by 1) a stage magician, whose mannerisms on-stage were probably a bit formal and "courtly" because that's what was expected of illusionists at the time; 2) a Warden, who was a strict old-school disciplinarian; and 3) a cantankerous old coot about three hundred years old (according to Word of God). How could he not have learned an antiquated set of manners?
      • Oh, and don't forget-the closest thing that he's ever had to a maternal figure (aside from maybe one or two in the foster system) is Lea. That alone would mess someone up.
  • Jim Butcher apparently likes playing with costumes. Recall Mavra's Hamlet getup in Grave Peril. How does the action in Hamlet start? A ghost spurs Hamlet's quest for revenge. Kinda like how Paula's ghost tormenting Bianca drives her to seek revenge on Harry. Similarly, pay close attention to the outfit Lea puts Susan into in Changes. It's a sacrificial robe.
  • Fomor:
    • It's odd that the Fomor seem to be something out of an H. P. Lovecraft story, seeing how the Fomor were a race of giants forced out of Ireland by the Tuatha Dé Danann. However, the Fomor are old enemies of the Fae that were banished to the sea. The Tuatha Dé Danann are described as a race of supernaturally gifted people, and are often linked to the Fairy Folk in old stories. If the Fae and the Tuatha Dé Danann are the same, then the relationship between the Fae and the Fomor would make sense. Since Ireland is an island, the Fomor wouldn't have many other places to go besides the ocean.
    • Meta-wise, it's entirely in keeping with the themes of Lovecraft to link an ancient breed of fae who've been driven into the deep places with Cosmic Horror. Arthur Machen, who explored the concept in works like "The Novel of the Black Seal", was one of Lovecraft's literary idols, and the fae and Eldritch Abomination-kind are heavily conflated in related works by HPL's pen pals, like Robert E. Howard.
  • So, Harry and other English-speaking wizards use faux-latin or otherwise mishmashed words from other languages to cast their spells, and we see that Molly is starting to use Japanese. Then it occurs to you that there must be Japanese wizards. Might they use, say, English to cast their spells? Making it so that the garbled Gratuitous English used when an anime character is Calling His Attack, he's actually accurately representing how magic works?
  • It seems kind of silly that Scully Syndrome is so prevalent among the 'muggles' of the setting, doesn't it? Especially contrasted with all the people in real life who never quite seem to fully want to buy into the idea that magic really, honestly doesn't exist, as the ongoing popularity of the concept in all sorts of contexts (including but far from limited to self-admitted works of fiction) will attest. But...that's real life, and that's also where the comparison breaks down because in the Dresdenverse magic, monsters, and the supernatural in general are very much real and, if what Harry keeps running into is anywhere near a halfway representative sample, all too often quite scary and dangerous. Is it really any surprise, then, that the average person on the street would rather look away, try not to get involved, and do their best to disbelieve? A certain amount of natural selection may be involved as well, as vanilla-humans who learn about supernatural threats and don't deny what they've seen are likely to get Killed to Uphold the Masquerade by said threats. Enough generations of that sort of thing is bound to suppress any "The supernatural is cool, let's check it out!" memes in Muggle society.
    • Furthermore, if you do investigate and don't get killed, chances are you'll want to learn at least a bit of magic to protect yourself from what's out there (and/or because magic is just plain cool). Which then makes you part of The Masquerade!
  • The Knights of the Cross, apart from the Order of the Blackened Denarians, are also foils to the White Court: the WC draw power from the feelings of Lust, Fear and Despair, while the Knights draw from Love, Faith and Hope. Lust tends to be about satisfying your own selfish sexual desires, while Love leads you to unselfishly help those around you. Fear is about (among other things) not being able to face things you believe are too much for you, but you can do it if you have Faith in yourself and those who work with you. Finally, Despair is when you lose the will to go onward with what you are doing, while Hope is when you feel that you can still do something (in fact, despair is defined as losing all hope). So, potential Kot C-WC future conflict?
  • Yeats's interpretation of the leannan sídhe states that if mortals accept her bargain "they are hers, and can only escape by finding another to take their place". Harry is only freed of his godmother's attentions when she turns an eye to his apprentice Molly, and he himself inherited Lea from his mother - specifically, Lea claims he was promised to her. Looks like Maggie Dresden found someone to take her place.

    Storm Front 
  • Harry says that he doesn't know of anyone with the stones to summon St. Nick. Word of God, and the way that the Dresdenverse generally works, imply that Santa is the Winter King - making him the equal of the Erlking. Guess someone has the stones after all. And according to Cold Days, Santa (a.k.a. Kringle) is not only the equal of the Erlking—and, apparently, his friend, since they appear together repeatedly and ride the Wild Hunt together—but Odin. Neil Gaiman was right. Old gods do new jobs.
  • Why does Harry bother to pay for an office, especially in the earlier books where he's perpetually broke? Because Harry has to have an office, since if he ran his detective business out of his apartment, it would probably lose its threshold and Harry wouldn't be able conjure effective wards. Harry's office is, indirectly, one of the reasons that his apartment is so safe.
  • When Bianca is introduced, the revelation that Red Court vampires are loathsome bat-hybrid freaks sheathed by temporary human husks seems a little schlock B-movie-ish, or else like Butcher's deliberately employing the Our Vampires Are Different trope. Events in Changes reveal that having them work this way wasn't just an arbitrary excuse for Body Horror: It means that Susan, in becoming a full vampire, shed and discarded her original human body. Therefore, Harry could sacrifice her emerged vampire-self and kill the Red Court without worrying that the heart-ripper spell would rebound on her human relatives, which include her parents and grandparents (if they're alive) as well as little Maggie. Admittedly, there was little chance of that anyway, since Susan had no living relatives and the curse works backwards from the one killed. Killing Maggie would get Harry, McCoy, and Susan, but killing any of those three would not have directly harmed Maggie. Still if there was any chance at all, it was stopped.
  • There's a moment during the confrontation at the Varsity when Hendricks seems to have botched it at his job, as he allows Gimpy Lawrence (who's all but confessed to selling Marcone out) time to pull his gun and fire at Harry before drawing a weapon himself. A bodyguard should react to a potential threat before bullets are flying, not after. However, Hendricks is used to working with a partner—Tommy Tomm, one of the first heart-ripper victims—while guarding Marcone, and as the Big Guy, it would've been his responsibility to body-block Marcone in a crisis, while Tommy drew on a potential attacker. The ferocity with which Hendricks puts Gimpy down was his split-second self-correction, after having erroneously reacted as if he still had his partner there to back him up.
  • Harry doesn't learn that wizards eventually develop precognition until ten books into the series, but he may actually have experienced his first flash of it all the way back in book one. Riding up to the heart-ripper murder room, he briefly gets the heebie-jeebies about being confined in the elevator with Murphy. Several chapters later, the two of them nearly die while trapped in an elevator. Lucky guess or generic paranoia? Possibly not. It actually makes sense that that's when he'd have an early flash of foresight: the scorpion's attack on the elevator happened within walking distance of the spot where his premonition took place, in a similar environment, and it involved two factors — Murphy and a threat connected to the Black Council and/or Nemesis — that would have pivotal influences on his life for years to come. Even Demonreach isn't as central to Harry's life as his most trusted ally or his perennial enemies.
  • The Three-Eye addict Harry encounters at the police station rants about seeing "those who walk before and He Who Walks Behind" coming for the wizard. At the time, Harry was floored that the addict's drug-induced Sight had revealed the mark of his past encounter with the Walker of that name. But as of Cold Days, it seems that the addict may have also seen Harry's future encounter with He Who Walks Before, whose Self-Duplication power accounts for the junkie saying "those", not "he". Furthermore, the addict in question freaks out and starts screaming when the two cops start escorting him to the holding cells. As in, the same cells where the loup-garou would be tearing prisoners to bits, a few months later. Definitely a prescient aspect to that drug's effect, to send the guy fleeing in shrieking-and-bouncing-off-the-walls terror.
  • Three-Eye being illegal, normally it takes time to get a new drug banned but Three-Eye contains peyote and hallucinogenic mushrooms, and the base is absinthe, which was banned in the States at the time of writing.

     Fool Moon 
  • Billy and the Werewolves go through a nice little character development that was far more subtle than it originally seems. In Fool Moon, they're wearing biker leathers trying to appear tough, but they're still amateurs. By the later books, they're typically wearing loose shirts and sweats so they can transform more quickly into their wolf forms. Why mention this? A line about Mouse from Proven Guilty. "Like all the most dangerous people I know, he didn't feel a need to make any displays." Billy...err, Will's pack went from being posers to being truly dangerous. Even better illustrated by the fact that, his first time out in Fool Moon, Billy gets his wolf-legs caught up in his bathrobe when he gets his game face on. By Summer Knight, he can shed his sweats so well that he doesn't even bother to drop his pants, he just leaps out of them as he changes on the run.
  • Harry's Latin:
    • Harry has stated repeatedly that the reason wizards choose ancient languages for their spells is because they don't want to accidentally say a word that has meaning for them, and remember belatedly that it's tied to their fireball spell. Harry uses Canis Latinicus for his spells. He also has a hard time learning actual Latin. It's probably a good thing he didn't do well with that stupid correspondence course. He wouldn't want to torch the entire Council, would he?
    • Double Fridge Brilliance: Justin allowed Harry to use Latin as his language of magic. Meaning that if/when the Council finds out about Harry's situation, he's less able to communicate with the other wizards. Poor Communication Kills turned Thanatos Gambit for Justin.
    • In a follow-up case of Fridge Brilliance, Harry's Latin has apparently improved a lot by Turn Coat, as he uses it to communicate with a non-English-speaking Warden with no difficulty. Presumably he's had to re-learn it in the course of teaching Molly, but with face-to-face assistance from Michael and/or Father Forthill rather than another substandard correspondence course.

     Grave Peril 
  • Mister Ferro appears as a green-eyed Roman centurion. Later on, Jim Butcher would write an entire series about magical Romans, the most powerful of whom all have green eyes.
  • The swords themselves are linked to the three Christian Virtues: Faith (Fidelacchius), Hope (Esperacchius), and Love (Amoracchius)...and the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13. Even better, some translations have the three Christian Virtues as; Faith, Hope, and Charity (the name of Michael Carpenter's wife).
  • Harry remarks in passing that he hasn't had much luck with women in his life, what with all the demons, ghosts, and human sacrifices. Of his three long-term girlfriends, he lost contact with Elaine after Justin sicced a demonic entity on him; his relationship with Luccio was messed up because the Corpsetaker, whose ghost battled Harry, stuck her in a body that was vulnerable to mind control; and as for Susan...
  • Very minor example: Michael Carpenter's construction company builds middle-class houses in the suburbs, without cutting corners or settling for shoddy workmanship. On the surface, that just goes to show he's a nice man of great integrity ... but it also means he doesn't have to cut deals with the likes of Marcone, who owns a great deal of Chicagoland real estate and presumably has the city's corrupt contractors under his thumb.
  • Lea offers at the party to trade Michael the Sword for his firstborn child. Later in the book, Michael gets the Sword back... and ten books later Lea has become Molly's mentor and guide, and of course in Cold Days Molly is made Lady Winter.
  • Thomas gets a burn on his neck, and claims it's from Lea having given him a kiss. This happens after Lea bargained with Susan for a year of her memories, and selected the ones about Harry, which she removed by kissing Susan. Either Lea got some of Susan's makeup on her lips when she did so - makeup that Susan had applied while thinking of how she wants to look her best for Harry, hence a token of her love for him - or the transferal infused some of Susan's actual love for Harry temporarily into Lea's lips. Either way, Lea then took the opportunity to test how genuine Susan's feelings for her godson were, by kissing Thomas and seeing if his White Court vulnerability was triggered. Harry's fairy godmother was running Secret Test of Character scams all through that story.
    • In a later book, Thomas explains that White Court vampires only get burnt when they are attempting to feed. Thomas was attempting to feed on Lea.
  • When Harry attempts to summon the ghost of Leonid Kravos, he calls Kravos a "Two-bit fire-caller", and is ecstatic when Kravos shows. Why? It's mentioned all the way back in Storm Front that calling fire is the absolutely easiest thing wizard can do. So Harry has insulted Kravos. BUT spirits only respond to the names they identify with, meaning Kravos really is a crap magician and knows it, which is why Harry is so happy.
  • Harry starting the war with the Red Court for Susan's sake becomes a total Tearjerker after Changes. He began the war to save her life and protect her from becoming a vampire. He ended the war by tricking her into sating her bloodlust and murdering her.
  • It's fairly minor, but Harry often insists that he's not that great with a sword. While he's certainly not up to, say, Michael's standard, the fact that he's able to fight through an entire mob of Red Court vampires indicates that he's probably a lot better than he lets on—it's just that, in comparison to a Master Swordsman like, say, one of the Knights, he's not incredible. And why would he be? Like anything else, becoming proficient with a sword requires dozens of hours of practice to be competent, and hundreds or thousands to truly excel. He's never really seen the need to be all that great, while Nicodemus and the Knights of the Cross have had to put those hours of practice in.

     Summer Knight 
  • The Unicorn:
    • When Harry mentions the unicorn he and Elaine encountered on their way, one of the Mothers asks "What unicorn?" At the time, this strikes the reader as a clue that the Mothers didn't put it there. Later this takes on new meaning when it's revealed that the "unicorn" was a disguised centaur, suggesting that the Mothers could see through its disguise ... and it does it again when Turn Coat indicates that the Mothers have the power of intellectus, meaning that they may never even have realized that the centaur was in disguise. Intellectus would've informed them of what Harry was talking about after the fact, but Fae by nature encapsulate information based on knowledge of its recipient; asking Harry a two word question gave him the same information that two sentences of direct explanation would have.
    • Post Cold Days, it appears Mother Winter was being even sneakier than that. EVERY part of their conversation with Harry tells him something important provided you look at it correctly. Remember, the Fae cannot give something without taking something in return eventually and are master rules lawyers. At this point Harry knew it couldn't have been Mab or Titania after seeing the table. Or either of the Mothers, because he still exists while talking to them. That means it can only be Aurora, Maeve or Lloyd Slate. How does the conversation go? Harry asks who dunnit. The Mothers tell him he's asking the wrong question. Then ask him a question themselves. The answer he gives them is ALSO the answer to his own question 'Neither one nor the other.' the only other option is 'both'. I.E, Winter and Summer acting together. As Aurora is the only Summer Fae left her accomplice doesn't actually matter. Harry has just been given his answer.
    • And what does this have to do with the Unicorn? The Mothers are trying to help him and while they can't give him information they CAN ask him questions. And what question does Mother Winter ask? 'What Unicorn?'. Which has two implied meanings. One 'We don't have a unicorn' and two 'that isn't a unicorn.'. The Mother's conversations are properly cryptic. Once you know the key everything they say makes perfect sense. And it's all directly helping Harry.
  • The battle at Archangel comes into a whole new light when you know about the Arkhangelsk Explosion of 2004. Right time frame too...
  • Ebenezar tells Harry that the Merlin always has three schemes for accomplishing his goals: a plan, a backup plan, and an ace-in-the-hole. If one re-examines the White Council's war with the Red Court overall, this seems to have been true in the long term: the Merlin planned to defeat the Court by fighting defensively if he could, held a backup plan to exterminate them wholesale in reserve, and left it to Harry — a hothead who could be relied on to pick a fight with the Reds in a pinch, just as Morgan could be trusted to pick a fight with Harry in Summer Knight — to be the (unwitting) ace-in-the-hole.
  • Considering how bent out of shape the Fey when even a mortal uses iron to combat them, imagine how the rest of Faerie must now regard the Za-Lord's Guard, a ragtag swarm of Little Folk who murder the SUMMER LADY with steel boxcutters. It's a good thing they're protected by way of having been obeying their Lord's orders at the time, since the rest of Faerie probably now ranks them somewhere between "notorious" and "war criminals".
    • Alternatively, it's possible that they're only seen as tools of Harry. Which would explain why Titania hates him so much-not just because he murdered Aurora, but he also did so in pretty much the most agonizing way possible.
  • In the scene where Harry convinces Elaine to help him contact the Mothers, she begs him not to ask her to do it. An initial read makes it seem like she doesn't want to be further involved Fae politics, but after completing the book, it seems more likely that she is trying to keep him from falling into Aurora's Batman Gambit, which relies on Harry getting the Unraveling from the Mothers.

     Death Masks 
  • Satellite:
    • Read the scene in which Ebenezar McCoy offers Dresden sanctuary at his farm. The mention of Asteroid Dresden the Russian satellite is in that scene as obvious foreshadowing for what McCoy does later. Ebenezar's asking where they packed the old telescope seemed casual enough, up until he asks if the observation logs were there, too. He's been tracking it for a while. McCoy was getting set to drop the satellite on Ortega even then. Better yet, Ebenezar asks Harry about the telescope after Harry tells him how Ortega is threatening Harry's friends to force him into the duel. Learning about Ortega's threats may well have been the clincher in Eb's decision to Colony Drop the Red warlord's manor house. That scene also sets up Harry recognising the satellite drop as Eb's handiwork. And that nobody else has that information.
    • The fact that it's an old Russian satellite is Fridgy too, as Ebenezar's close friend Simon had been killed in the Reds' attack on Archangel shortly before the events of Summer Knight. Simon was Russian, so using something his countrymen built to counterattack his killers was McCoy's idea of fitting payback. Kincaid even confirms this in Blood Rites.
    • The satellite was probably a major contributing factor to Harry's later status as The Dreaded, since nobody knows who did it except Harry, Kincaid (as per Blood Rites, presumably recognizing his fellow's handiwork) and Ebenezar himself - and perhaps the White Council, since there's little reason to lie to them. As far as everyone else is concerned, Paolo Ortega threatened Harry Dresden's friends and then a satellite fell on him. This is most likely why the Red Court doesn't appear again until Changes—they've learned the hard way about what happens when you mess with Harry and co. Especially since pulling a Colony Drop ought to be beyond someone of Harry's skill level and experience.
    • Also a little bit of foreshadowing to the entropy curse in Blood Rites where Harry uses the shoddy spellcasting to drop a frozen turkey onto a Black Court Vampire rather than its intended target.
    • There's no way Ebenezar could've done that without shattering the First Law of Magic into pieces, but the White Council doesn't take him to task for it. Almost as if he has (pardon the phrase) a license to kill...
  • Lord Raith, after being asked to be Ortega's second for the duel, sends his son Thomas instead—partially as a good joke, partially in the hope that he'll die. There's a third reason: since Lord Raith can't feed or replenish his reserves, there was a very good chance he could have been wiped out at the duel—and that's why he sent Thomas: because he was worried he'd die. Also, it's an early indication that he considers his sons expendable; by the next book, we learn that Lord Raith arranged the deaths of each of Thomas's older brothers.
  • Kincaid serving as Ivy's bodyguard makes a huge mount of sense when one considers that most of Ivy's power comes from magic, whereas Kincaid's primary means of beating ass is with guns, melee weapons, and physical power. They're an excellent complement for one another who can support each other in areas that they can't cover.
  • Shiro's name is a good hint of both his character and his ultimate fate. Shiro means 'white', which symbolizes purity in Western countries, showing his kind and patient nature. White also symbolizes death in Eastern countries, hinting at Shiro's death at the hands of the Denarians. "Shi" is also the sound of the Japanese kanji for "Death."
  • There's a very good reason why no Knight of the Cross came to the rescue when Harry was being disemboweled by Cassius. In Death Masks, Harry arguably subverted the Knights' purpose and principles by giving Cassius that beating, so he got a thorough beating in return. In addition, Harry shows the view throughout Death Masks that the Denarians aren't really people and are entirely evil, and has no issues with passing judgment on Cassius as evil. When he's nearly killed by Cassius in Dead Beat, what does he do? He makes a deal with Lasciel's shadow, the first step to becoming a Denarian himself. It's both a repercussion for his previous actions, and a chance to learn empathy by understanding the process by which someone could fall. It's not the Knights' job to save him from that lesson, or from the consequences of his own actions. As of Skin Game we now know a incipient knight of the cross DID save him.
  • Shiro hands his sword to Harry, saying he will know who to pass it on to. The next Knight of the Cross will be Butters, who Harry met for the first time just a few minutes before he first met Shiro. Butters has just told him that his job gets way more interesting when Harry has been called in.
  • Consider all the paperwork probably generated about Harry: police reports, White Council records, his own case files, increasingly antagonistic reports from villains. Ivy knows exactly what sort of man Harry is and knows he would protect her.
  • Consider Ivy's fondness for animals: petting Mister in Death Masks, watching the sea otters in Small Favor. At first glance, it looks like she's simply slipping out of character as an all-knowing savant to act like a little kid; then, when you recall that it's all human knowledge which she possesses, you realize that even the all-knowing side of her is probably just as pleased to spend time with them, because animal knowledge isn't part of her database and their behavior is thus refreshingly unpredictable to her.
  • The first significant act which Martin performs in the series is to risk breaking his own neck by deliberately crashing the limo at the art gallery, distracting Marcone's thugs from Harry and Susan. This seems like a minor off-camera event, until you read Changes, after which it becomes Foreshadowing for how Martin is willing to offer up his own blood, or even his life, to ensure Harry and Susan can take down the villains. Plus, Martin is a half-vampire like Susan, who can easily tackle things through walls. He can take a car crash without trouble.
  • Initially Michael's line "My faith protects me. My Kevlar helps." just comes off as a joke, but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. God helps those who help themselves. Michael takes steps to take care of himself, and the big guy does the rest.
  • Ortega suggests that Harry should willingly die to end the war, because then the Red Court will be able to minimize the killings by their members. Harry replies that those lives could also be saved by killing every vampire in the world.
  • Harry, Mort Lindquist, Ortega and Father Vincent all appear on The Larry Fowler Show. The studio's equipment progressively fails, and Harry blames his own imperfect control over his emotions for the malfunctions. However, we later learn that "Father Vincent" was really Cassius, a Denarian and sorcerer, who'd altered his appearance with an active illusion. No wonder the studio went kablooee within minutes of the other two guests' arrival. This could actually be a stealth case of Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!, too. Given that Ortega and the Denarians are operating independently of one another in this novel, it's likely that he had no more clue that Father Vincent was an illusion-cloaked imposter than Harry did. In which case, Ortega would've assumed Harry's failed concentration was solely to blame for the cameras' malfunctions, and that Harry's willpower must not be very strong. Hence, his opting for "will" as the duel's format ... a choice which, in fact, actually gave Harry a much better chance of success than armed or unarmed combat would have. So in a sense, Cassius saved Harry from getting dismembered by Ortega before sniper-Martin could get off a shot. Not to mention that Ghost Story reveals Mort was a much stronger practitioner than Harry realized, which also contributed to the equipment breakdown. This also goes with the theme (see above) of the Denarians constantly foiling their own schemes by accident.
  • An already-annoyed Charity gets angrier when Molly gets caught listening in on her phone conversation with Harry, and makes a crack about "Surrender, Dorothy!" after saying it's like her Mom is telepathic. We later learn that Charity actually was a practitioner who'd been tempted into black magic at one time, so Molly implying she was a mind-reader or witch really hit below the belt for her.
    • Especially since Molly's talent for mind magic was inherited from her mother, meaning Charity probably had a similar type of talent.
  • Ortega gets really, really mad when Harry rejects his "offer" to make him a vampire slave and throws his own "life is more than mere survival" line back at him. This takes on new depth once we learn more about Ortega's role in the Red Court hierarchy, and realize Ortega himself must have given in and accepted a similar offer from Arianna centuries ago, and had been her abused lackey ever since.
  • This is the book where we learn about the three Knights of the Cross, whose swords are called Amoracchius, Esperacchius and Fidelacchius, after Love, Hope and Faith. Considering the Bible verse Thomas mentions, about those three things, and how Love is the most important of them, could it be a bit of a joke that Amoracchius' wielder is the first we meet, and has the most important role in the plot?
  • Harry disliked Martin from the moment he met the guy. While on the surface this might seem to just be jealousy of his relationship with Susan, analysis of the later books reveals something far more serious. In Changes Harry's house and office are destroyed, his back is broken, he has to accept the role of Winter Knight, he has to slit the throat of the woman he loves, and he ends up getting killed. Moreover, in the next two books we see that as a direct result of Harry's actions Molly first goes nearly insane and then is forcibly made the Winter Lady, Murphy is torn to shreds emotionally, and the whole world is thrown into a war that is threatening to break the Masquerade and is destroying the magical community. Now consider that all this was directly or indirectly caused byMartin. And Turn Coat establishes that wizards have a sort of precognitive knowledge of things that will be important to them. How could this awareness not make Harry hate the man who would destroy so much of Harry's life?

     Blood Rites 
  • Harry takes Ebenezar's role as the Blackstaff as a betrayal. He wonders how the man who taught him all about how magic was the stuff of Life could also be the White Council's black ops man. However, it's precisely because Ebenezar believed in those things that he was the Blackstaff. Someone with a Warden's mentality is second only to an out-and-out evil psychopath for people who should not wield the Blackstaff. But a true believer, someone who believes in the Life of magic, and is willing to fight, kill if need be, to protect it, and will limit themselves. That's who you want. Such considerations add new depth to why McCoy didn't want to be on the Senior Council all those years, and perhaps why the Merlin didn't want him there either. All other political and personality-clash issues aside, and morally suspect as it is to have a Blackstaff at all, it's even more morally-dubious to have the Council's secret hitman voting on decisions regarding whom he should kill, rather than acting solely at the behest of others.
  • Harry makes an off-hand joke to Arturo about him being a leader, and how they need to buy Arturo a big round table. Arturo gets the joke and laughs, comparing himself and Harry to King Arthur and Merlin. Its a small thing, but considering that later on we learn Ebenezar has been trained in the tradition of the actual Merlin and Harry is safeguarding a sword that is but outright said to be Excalibur, and a small scene becomes a brilliant bit of foreshadowing.
  • When Harry leaves baby Mouse at the police station, he returns to find the puppy gnawing and shaking a battered old Snoopy toy kept to amuse visitors' children. Odds are, it's the same Snoopy that Harry'd used to hamstring the loup-garou a few books earlier, in a sympathetic-magic ritual using the creature's blood. Even as a pup, Mouse's foo dog senses could recognize the scent of years-old monster blood.
  • Mouse's cuddly-puppy behavior in Blood Rites seems, upon first reading, to be simply a case of puppy cuteness in action. Once later books reveal that Mouse is every bit as intelligent as a human, it becomes clear that Mouse is yet another character who's dealing with family problems in that novel — he's just been kidnapped from Tibet and then separated from his littermates, after all — so he sympathizes with Harry's loneliness because he's suffering from family-loss issues, himself. Plus he might well be invoking the cuteness trope, to make Harry keep him.
  • Ebenezar is clearly reluctant to talk to Harry about being the Blackstaff, remarking that telling Harry the truth could get him killed. But it's not just his status as the Blackstaff that he's afraid of Harry finding out - he doesn't want Harry to know that he's Ebenezar's grandson, as it would paint an enormous target on Harry's back if anyone found out.
    • Not only that, but Ebenezar mentions that he became estranged from Maggie, which also would explain why Ebenezar never raised him. Quite possibly, he never found out that Malcolm had died until Harry showed up under Du Morne.

     Dead Beat 
  • Corpsetaker's favorite tactic makes a lot of sense if one wants to be a sneaky infiltrator or to hide out by changing identities, but it makes even more sense when one considers the nature of thaumaturgy. Jumping from body to body ensures that anyone who gets a sample of blood, hair, nail clippings, DNA, or anything else traditionally used for targeting thaumaturgy spells can't use it on him/her/it - something very important when one's chief rivals are wizards and necromancers to boot.
  • How did the Kemmlerites know to look for the Die Lied der Erlking for use in the Darkhallow? Because they're part and parcel of the Black Council, and a Black Council agent wrote the bloody thing, so of course they'd know it contains a summoning ritual.
  • The back of the book makes it clear, you know, that Chicago is Dresden's beat, and there's a lot of necromancy about. Except that an integral part of necromancy in this setting involves drums. Drums that you have to beat to control the dead. Brilliant.
  • Morgan:
    • In Dead Beat, after Dresden shoots the Corpsetaker in Luccio's body, Morgan goes ballistic on him and refuses to listen to any explanation. The first time around, this just seems like normal overzealous Morgan who hates Dresden. Then you read Turn Coat, and realize that Morgan was acting like that because he just saw Dresden gun down not just the leader of the Wardens, but the woman he was in love with.
    • Small Favor reveals that every wizard who lives long enough develops a measure of prescience about things that will be very important to them. Think about how important Morgan's captain is to him, and then consider what his prescience might've ever-so-slightly hinted would one day happen to Luccio's original body. No wonder he couldn't help but loathe Harry from the moment he laid eyes on him...
  • The battle at Sicily in Dead Beat seems to be modeled after a battle in ancient Greece, where a seemingly invincible power suffered catastrophic losses because it was unable to withdraw from the island.
  • The pairings of necromancer with drummer all make perfect sense. Cowl is so powerful that he wouldn't have much use for has-been Cassius or a brute like Li Xian, and Kumori's ethics are something neither Grevane nor Corpsetaker would put up with in an underling. Grevane wouldn't want Li Xian working for him because the ghoul would be too tempted to eat his corporeal-zombie minions, and he already has all the thugpower he needs: a smart ally like Cassius is much more useful for herding his meat puppets around. Cassius has had centuries of experience sharing his mind with a Fallen, so Corpsetaker would be wary of dealing with him closely — who knows what mental defenses he's built up, that could balk her from manipulating his thoughts or usurping his body if she felt the need? — but Li Xian can feel safe from mental usurpation in her company (who would want to be a ghoul?) and gets to snack on her victims, since she only needs peoples' ghosts and minds, not their corpses. Sick, but practical.
    • And then there's the fourth pair- Harry and Butters. Harry quite clearly disagrees with Kumori's goals, so there's no way he'd have her. He has personal issues with Cassius and dislikes ghouls on general principle, so those two are out. Butters is an ordinary human, so he'd be Beneath Notice to the other necromancers. Since he's a moral person (and huge nerd) like Harry, so Harry would pretty easily befriend him and have good reason to ask him to help out.
  • Cassius curses Harry to "die alone:"
    • This could refer to Harry being shot when he's alone on the Water Beetle at the end of Changes. But remember what else Harry's been busy with. Despite going up against certain death with all of his allies in tow, the only ones to die did so because Harry specifically caused their death (Telling Ebenezer about Maggie to try and convince him to help, bringing a team to kill the Red Court, telling Susan what Martin did to induce her to kill Martin, stabbing Susan to kill Susan and the rest of the Red Court). So for the good guys, Harry alone died, which in all likelihood is a trade Harry would have willing made in the first place. Great death curse there, Cassius.
    • Cassius has spent centuries as a willing partner of a fallen angel, and is dying for lack of that fallen angel. "Die Alone" is plausibly, for his point of view, the worst curse imaginable.
    • Harry notes later that everyone dies alone. That's what death is, the ultimate separation from others. At its heart, it's a pretty meaningless curse.
  • In Dead Beat, Gard rescues Harry from Li Xian at Marcone's request. She chases Corpsetaker's minion off easily while disparaging him several times, spoiling for a fight. This makes perfect sense when you know that she's a Valkyrie, Chooser of the honored battle-dead, so she should be a natural enemy of corpse-defiling scavengers like ghouls.
  • Gard's rescue:
    • Gard rescues Harry, who was supposed to die in the alley, and immediately afterwards has a conversation with Marcone about there being consequences and him paying the price. Next time we see Marcone, he's been abducted, tortured, and forced to watch Ivy being tortured - which given how important protecting children is to Marcone, is probably one of the worst things that could possibly happen to him. That particular chain of events behave consistently with the sort of thing that happens in a Norse mythic cosmology when you try to mess with destiny.
    • There may be more of a "price to pay" than that. Harry is the current Plan A to save the world from Outsiders. But he was about to give an important artifact to Mavra because she was threatening Murphy. Maybe Mavra getting the Word of Kemmler will have such negative consequences that God was willing to sacrifice Harry and go with Plan B. But of course, Jim Butcher would be out of a job if Harry is killed off (or maybe not - Ghost Story), so Jim needed an agent of free will to counter God's will. Perhaps Mavra's getting the Word will come back to haunt Harry in the big apocalyptic trilogy.
      • Except that God doesn't sacrifice Harry-He sent Butters to help out.
  • In Dead Beat, Carlos soulgazes the young woman whose body Corpsetaker had previously occupied, correctly guessing that Harry was right about her swapping bodies with Luccio. At the time, this only seems to prove that he's quick-thinking and more willing to trust in Harry's judgement than Morgan is; later, Molly's Battle in the Center of the Mind from Ghost Story goes to prove that Carlos was also incredibly brave to make the attempt, because if he and Harry had guessed wrong about the body-swap, he'd have been assaulted himself by a high-caliber necromantic mind-rapist desperate to seize an unwounded body. He'd have lost, too, because the White Council hadn't yet resumed training its Wardens to fend off mental assaults effectively.
  • The appearance of Harry's father is something not seen before or since Dead Beat. Malcolm Dresden notes that under normal circumstances he could never do so, and could only do so now because someone else crossed a line in trying to influence Harry. This can be presumed to be Lasciel, who had spoken to Harry as Sheila not long before, due to the rustling of the demon in the scene's background as soon as it's mentioned. The important detail, however, is in the terminology, Malcolm's insistence that he could only act because the other side "crossed a line." This has consistently been how Uriel justifies acting directly in Small Favor, Ghost Story, and Skin Game. He can only act because someone else, usually the Denarians, have already broken the rules. This strongly suggests that Uriel is responsible for giving Malcolm the opportunity to advise his son. While speculative, it's further helped by the revelation at the end of Skin Game that Uriel's side has been moving events as early as Dead Beat, such as having Knight-to-Be Butters be the one to rescue Harry when he was hoping for a Knight of the Cross.
    • Aside from any advice Malcolm gives, just giving Harry the opportunity to talk to his Dad is very much something that the above would do.
  • Butters, nascent Knight of the Cross, doesn't just save Harry once — he also shows up and breaks Lasciel's "Sheila" illusion, forcing Harry to realize she wasn't real. Mysterious ways, indeed.
  • Sue's skeleton in the Field Museum, in real life, is at least partially made up of casts of the fossils as opposed to actual fossilized bone— the book even notes that the skull on the main display is a cast, with her real one being on the second floor at the museum. So why does Harry's attempt at reviving her work? Magic works on belief in the Dresdenverse, and Harry doesn't necessarily know that most of Sue's body is plaster as opposed to actual mortal remains. He believes that the display of Sue is Sue, which allows the rite to take hold.

     Proven Guilty 
  • A nice bit of foreshadowing that Molly has magical talent is when Harry's getting his name tag, the lady says that the printer's been on the fritz.
  • There's a picture floating around of Molly standing in front of a set of mirrors, a scene from Proven Guilty. One of the images is her as a Warden, one is her as a party girl, and the third has her as the Winter Lady. That picture is official art for a calendar, with one of Jim Butcher's friends (and a frequent Molly cosplayer) as the model. The real Fridge Brilliance there though is that the Wintery Molly is the only one in the same pose and stance as the Molly in front of the mirrors.
  • There are a couple of reasons given for Charity to dislike Harry, including the fact that he manages to get Michael in trouble several times and the fear that he's going to lead Molly into black magic. But another reason, one Charity may not have admitted even to herself, is that if she admits that Harry is using his power for good, she'd have to acknowledge that she might have been able to do good with her talent as well, if she hadn't set it aside.
  • Molly trusts Harry to an unhealthy extent, something which is explained by her infatuation with him. Given that he later becomes her Knight, it's also possible that wizardly precognition is influencing her to do so.
  • As mentioned in Fridge Horror below, it's awfully lucky that Rashid was present at Molly's trial to stall via Bothering by the Book until Michael's God-given great timing kicked in. Considering the man can see across time, Rashid knew darn well where and when he had to be to make a difference.

     White Night 
  • The conversation between Harry and Luccio takes on a new meaning after the events of Small Favor, where Thomas points out that Luccio is attracted to Harry and coming onto him in a roundabout manner, and Harry realizes that she's not entirely confident (having spent about a hundred and forty years without dating or a sex drive). The faintly awkward conversation between Harry and Luccio, particularly Lucchio's mention of her frustration with having to deal with her body and offhand mention of her sex drive, seems more like a shy girl trying to test the waters with a guy she likes but is uncertain about - which is exactly what she is at this point. The conversation becomes a subtle but excellent bit of foreshadowing of the relationship that develops between Harry and Luccio. Of course, this takes on a darker and more brilliant turn when one considers that Luccio was being mentally-influenced into being attracted to Harry, and what we know about how people react to mind-control magic. Luccio's awkwardness and uncertainty is also a subtle indicator that she's being mind-controlled.
  • As of Ghost Story, we know that whenever Hell lies to someone, Heaven evens the balance by telling the truth in the same number of words. The Shadow said seven words to Harry that were false ("And it was all your fault, Harry.") that drove him to suicide, and in turn, Uriel said seven true words to Harry ("Lies. Mab cannot change who you are.") that gave him hope. When Harry and Lash are talking about how Lash had changed herself, she said four words that were false ("You. Cannot. Change Me."), and Harry countered with four words that were true ("Lady, you ain't Lasciel."). Even before it was directly established, Hell's lies were directly balanced with Heaven's truth, and Heaven's truth won out.
  • When Lash sacrifices herself to save Harry from Vitto's psychic attack, it's not just for the reasons mentioned openly in the text. When she realized that Harry genuinely would sooner stay and die than leave Thomas or Murphy behind, she also realized that even if she survived Taking the Bullet, Harry would NEVER accept Lasciel's coin. Why not? Because Harry thinks of Lash as a person who'll die if he does. And Harry doesn't sacrifice his allies, much less his friends, to save himself. Lasciel's last hope of ever claiming Harry had been lost the moment he explained "the freaking point" to Lash.
  • There's another reason Harry so completely loses his temper: At this point, Molly is a young woman in love with Harry, with only rudimentary knowledge of the magical world, who follows Harry into dangerous situations (involving vampires) with no conception of just how bad it can get. When was the last time something like that happened? Oh, yeah. Look how well that turned out...

     Small Favor 
  • A subtle thing, but when Harry and Thomas go to meet Hendricks and Gard at the safehouse, Gard has Thomas stay downstairs before bringing Harry up. At first glance this is just the usual criminal cagey paranoia about wanting to keep the vampire where they can watch him, but remember that Gard is badly wounded, and Thomas is a natural predator whose instincts push him to attack wounded prey. Keeping Thomas downstairs and away from Gard not only protects her, but it makes things easier on him as well.
  • Mab warns Harry to not call Uriel by his name for fear of Summoning the Archangel. In Changes she called Jesus "The White Christ". If someone of Mab's power spoke Jesus' name, he would be summoned in one form or another.
  • Harry remarks that he thinks of his ball-of-fire spell as a "little ball of sunshine". This turns out to be much more than just a casual quip, as it explains why he still has access to that spell, despite Mab's mental tampering: he didn't think of it as a fire-based effect, so Mab missed it when she erased his memories of fire-magic. Otherwise, he couldn't have set off the sprinklers at the train station, meaning the hobs would have done a lot more damage, and it would've been Tiny who showed up on the island, probably far less willing to parley than Eldest Gruff.
  • We realize in Small Favor that the Swords Of the Cross are one of the very few things Nick is afraid of, to the point where he is willing to risk a virtually guaranteed and extremely profitable scheme to get a shot at getting rid of one of them. The brilliance comes when you take a look at the RPG and note that the Sword's main power is the ability to ignore any Toughness or Healing power, including Nicodemus's immortality from the Judas Noose. They are practically the only thing in the world that could actually kill Nicodemus.
  • Ivy being taken out by gas isn't just a bit of tactical brilliance on the Denarians' part: it's a potential Classical Mythology reference. Some of the Archive's previous host-bodies were surely very familiar with psychoactive gases, given that they moonlighted as the original Pythia.
  • Harry's final attack against Tessa is "a bar of blue-white fire so dense it was nearly a solid object", which burns a hole through Tessa's chest despite her usual discorporation power. Now this is the book where Harry gets Soulfire, which manifests by making silvery-white, oddly solid versions of Harry's regular magic and which, if added to combat spells, makes them harder to resist or regenerate from.
  • When recovering from the aquarium assault, Mouse spends some time licking Harry's hand, the one that has gone numb from his use of Soulfire, and it helps dispel the pins-and-needles sensation. Later in this book we learn from Bob that Soulfire consumes a portion of the practitioner's soul for fuel, and Bob has said previously that soul-stuff can be traded by close, emotional contact, and we already know that Mouse, as a Temple Dog, has supernatural senses. Mouse noticed the damage to Harry's soul, and was restoring it with his own.

     Turn Coat 
  • The Council has always been characterized as being filled with reactionary Jerkasses who are fanatical and unreasonable and unwilling to swerve or compromise. Morgan is a hostile, fanatical killer, the Merlin is an uncompromising, prideful schemer, Ancient Mai is a harsh traditionalist, LaFortier is and as of Turn Coat, was a complete douche. They're so set in these ways because they're old wizards who've seen a lot of terrible things that resulted in a rigid, uncompromising organizational doctrine. Now, in Turn Coat, Molly talks about mind control, and notes that if she were to manipulate someone's mind, she wouldn't be overt about it; she'd use subtle methodology, to push someone who is naturally of a particular persuasion further along that path, i.e. making someone who likes to fight more prone to fighting, or someone who is a schemer more prone to scheming. Now, consider the fact that Peabody was drugging the inks he used for years, possibly decades, or maybe even centuries to subtly mind-control many of the Council. Now look at the characterization of the Council again. Jim Butcher, you are a magnificent bastard.
    • And if Peabody's been doing it for decades or centuries, that explains one reason why Ebenezar is less of a Jerkass...he hasn't been on the Senior Council for decades or centuries, and it seems like the only work he does for them (as the Blackstaff) isn't exactly of the official paperwork kind.
  • Harry and Molly talk about her reaction to Morgan, and why his distrust of Harry bothers her so much. Now think about Harry's response to her: "Because if I'm just a ticking time bomb, and I'm the one trying to rehabilitate you, then you haven't got a chance. I get it." Once upon a time, Harry was in her position as the frightened apprentice wrestling with his own inner darkness. He got saved by Ebenezar, who turned out to be the Blackstaff. He's not just trying to reassure her, he really does get what it's like to worry that the person you trusted to save you isn't everything they claim to be.
  • When Harry is sent by the Merlin to get the report about LaFortier's death, Peabody tries to get him to sign for the report, to keep the records tidy. Harry refuses to do so, since he knows his own investigation isn't supposed to be happening, and if he leaves a paper trail, it'll come back to him. Peabody's persistence to get him to sign for it is because he was trying to subvert Harry using his drugged ink. At the same time, one of the documents we see Peabody give to a Senior Council member to sign is a form required to establish a new White Council safe house in Jakarta. The big Red Court offensive that caused Harry to be drafted as a Warden included attacks launched against a Council safe house. Peabody presumably did the paperwork for that one too, so could inform the Reds of exactly where it was.
  • The white, rubbery Spy Catsuit-style outfit Justine wears takes on a whole new meaning if one has read Even Hand, since Justine is now an agent for Lara, performing clandestine infiltrations, so it literally is a Spy Catsuit.
  • We learn Ebenezar's line of Master-to-Student connects him way back to the Merlin. We also know Amoracchius was really Excalibur in the Arthurian Lore. Then considering Ebenezar is Harry's grandpa and many parent wizards train their children, Harry could easily be a descendant of Merlin. So, since the end of Small Favor Harry is following in Merlin's footsteps looking for good men or women to wield two holy swords. Simply put, when God is involved in the Dresden-verse, there are no coincidences.
  • A second reading of Turn Coat gives a very different insight into why Morgan tried to shoot Molly for probing Luccio's mind. First time, it seems like his anti-warlock fanaticism, but in subsequent readings, you know it's because he was afraid Molly would succeed and discover mind-controlled Luccio was LaFortier's killer.
  • While incredibly dangerous, in a fight Shagnasty is not actually an efficient killer compared to, say, the Loup Garou. For example, he breaks Luccio's collarbone with one blow when you would think it would have been better to take her head off. But then we learn from Word of God that Shagnasty has intellectus for suffering, and it suddenly all makes sense. Like Harry on Demonreach, he's able to use his intellectus to cheat and find the move in a fight which would HURT his enemy most...but not neccessarily the one that would kill them. And indeed, every fight we see him in results in a large number of people quickly and brutally incapacitated (broken backs, broken arms and collarbones, blinding...) but a relatively low body count. Shagnasty also grows in power the more people fear him. He may very well want his victims to live, so they can continue to fear him and tell others about him. Brutal life ruining, but non lethal, wounds ultimately spread fear of him better then a clean kill.
  • Before the big confrontation on Demonreach that serves as the climax of the novel, the Gatekeeper appears and tries to dissuade Harry from going through with his plan. He expresses suspicion about Harry, about whether whatever it is that has been causing so many crazy things to happen so close together in time over the previous years (read: previous books) has gotten to him, or is affecting him. Come Cold Days, you get a much more specific idea of what Rashid was worried about when he met with the younger wizard.
  • When Harry reveals Peabody as the traitor, almost everyone present is shocked... except the Gatekeeper. Not surprising, given what we find out about his fake eye in Cold Days.
  • Harry could have handed Shagnasty his ass in seconds if he had known what Demonreach really was. The skinwalker might be able to fight with Listens-To-Wind and survive, but had Harry known what was going on below Demonreach, that battle would have been much shorter. Of course, that would have robbed us of Harry's suuuuuper genius moment, and Injun Joe's completely awesome moment.
  • Related to the above, a combination of Fridge Brilliance and Chekhov's Gun: Cold Days explains just why some of the Senior Council have a Mass "Oh, Crap!" when they find Harry hanging around on Demonreach: they presumably know exactly what it is, and what's down below.

  • The Erlking is described as being the leader of the Wild Hunt, the pack of hunter spirits that doesn't give up once they're on your trail, but... is also possibly a protector of children. So, of course, his home links up with the FBI office. On a nastier note, don't forget that the FBI Building is what the Hexenwulfen were operating out of, a few years back. More relentless not-exactly-moral hunters, there.
  • At the end of Changes, Harry wipes out the entire Red Court. It wasn't until later that you remember that the Red Court violated Faerie territory in Dead Beat and brought the wrath of both Summer and Winter down on them. But while Summer struck first, Winter delayed attacking the Court. Harry's the Winter Knight. Therefore, he was acting as Mab's instrument in wiping out the Red Court. In other words, Mab was playing a very long game.
  • There's a minor mention that Harry has seen Chandler (the British wizard that looks like John Steed) making tea for the other Wardens. At the time, it just seemed like Harry was making the point that Chandler is one, nice, and two, very British. Until you realize that that means all the other Wardens trust him enough to make them food. Think about that. Morgan let someone else make him a drink. Chandler suddenly becomes ten times more awesome.
  • The point any area in the Nevernever that connects to the mortal world generally reflects the nature of the mortal area. The point that connects to Harry's apartment? A peaceful, beautiful garden watched over by a terrifying guardian that gets meaner and nastier and more relentless the more you hurt it, which at first glance looks innocuous and generally doesn't get noticed until you step all over it and piss it off. Exactly like Harry. Lea must dig this sort of hilarious parallel design. Heck, based on what's learned of such things in Skin Game, playing up the parallelism was the only way Lea could make sure the garden would link to his apartment. Even Harry's penchant for lame jokes gets a reference, what with the centipede occupying/being the 'primrose path', and all.
  • When you realize that the name of the Monoc corporation is a kenning (Norse Incredibly Lame Pun) for Odin. "Monoc" = "Mono Oculus" = "One Eye" = Odin. Also, the CEO is named Donner, which is the Germanic name for Thor. The CEO's name is itself a giveaway. "Donar Vaderrung" translates to "Thor Father-king." Thor's father and king is, again, Odin. This is reinforced by the fact that Vaderrung is, indeed, one-eyed. Harry even says in Cold Days that Vaderrung's missing eye seems to see everything everywhere—which, given that Odin sacrificed that eye for wisdom, would make a lot of sense.
  • A couple short paragraphs compare Harry and his friends to the Fellowship of the Ring. Played for laughs, but it has an uncanny amount of resemblance.
    • Thomas is the easiest as Legolas. Other than being the prettiest male, Thomas comes from a race of inhumanly beautiful creatures, stronger and faster than humans, and immortal except through injury.
    • Mouse is Gimli, "being the shortest, the stoutest, and the hairiest". Also, Mouse has a close bond with Thomas, the two of them being Harry's only family. Other than Mister, of course.
    • Sanya is Aragorn. Growing up with a traumatic childhood, Sanya finds peace and accepts his new destiny. Like Aragorn, Sanya is a descendant of kings (Saladin), and it's upon receiving a historically and magically significant sword (Fidelacchius/Durendal and Anduril/Narsil) that he takes on the mantle meant for him.
    • Lea is Gandalf. A powerful, more-than-mortal creature with powerful magic who serves an entity even more powerful than herself. She is the guide of the team, seen as a little crazy and quirky to some, but truly cares about (some) of the people she's with.
    • Reread Changes and you'll find tons of foreshadowing of Martin's fate. Martin is unobtrusively assigned the role of Boromir. A man with his heart in the right place. He was seduced by the Ring and corrupted by its power, but realized what it was doing to him, shook off its influence, and in the end sacrificed himself to protect the friends he had come to love. Sort of what happened to Martin, just over a centuries-long lifespan. Additionally, it's each character's sense of duty to their respective Fellowships that drives their sacrifice.
    • Harry's role as Sam is amazingly accurate. Aside from what Sanya says, Harry has admitted that an ideal day would be spent at home, reading his books and hanging with Mouse and Mister, much like how all Sam wants to do is stay in Hobbiton and take care of his garden. Like Sam, Harry is suicidally loyal and willing to follow the people he loves into Hell itself. That loyalty is what protects both of them from the temptation of dark power: Sam has no desire to carry the Ring because the only thing that matters to him is helping Frodo in his quest, and Harry won't let himself become a monster because then he'll be the same as everything he's tried to protect his loved ones from. Also like Sam, Harry may seem a little dull and stupid at first, but has a hidden badass side, and successfully takes on things way out of his league. Lastly, Sam is the only member of the Fellowship to have a child by the end of the books/movies. A girl, no less. Probably unintentional, but what does Lea use to guard Harry's apartment's Nevernever side? A pleasant garden.
    • The remaining three members aren't specified, but it can be speculated that Karrin and Molly are Pippin and Merry, which leaves Susan with Frodo. Haunted by a burden that she didn't want, she slowly grows detached from her humanity and leaves everything she knows behind to travel to a faraway land to attempt to find a new life. Of all the members, Susan was closest with Harry, who was devastated when she left, but knew that it was for the best. Unfortunately for Susan, she doesn't get a happy ending. Like Frodo, at the final moment she is consumed by the darkness she's been carrying for so long, but unlike Frodo it results in her death. Or, if you want to be generous, that being consumed by the darkness did not stop her from doing her part to end the great evil they were up against.
    • Finally, there is the tenth member of the party. The last 'secret' member, who went through all the same things the Fellowship did, but did it alone and unregarded, with only Gandalf really aware of their presence from the start. Weak and small, a shriveled husk of a once-great being, at the penultimate moment, theirs is that action that ultimately saved the world. Like making a blank spot in someones head two minutes wide to keep them from going insane. Hello, little spirit of knowledge.
  • Molly admonishes Harry that he references Star Wars too much, and he should throw in some variation. Turns out, she wasn't just annoyed by the repetition, but because she's a Trekkie. It's also Fridge Brilliance when you realize that, while Harry does offer up the occasional Star Trek reference for variety, it's always to the original series. By the time Next Generation went on the air, he'd already moved in with Justin and started shorting out televisions, so he never got to watch anything but the Kirk-and-Spock-era Trek.
  • At one point, while confessing that he'd been under Senior Council orders to kill warlock Harry if he'd ever stepped out of line, Ebenezar reminds him that it wasn't Harry's fault he'd been raised by that son-of-a-bitch DuMorne. Revelations in Changes bring new meaning to this admission, as Ebenezar is Harry's maternal grandfather. He wasn't just speaking in the abstract: it was Ebenezar's fault that Harry went into the foster-care system in the first place, because he'd let his estrangement from Margaret go on too long. If he'd only swallowed his pride and made up with his daughter in time, he could've claimed custody of his six-year-old grandson after Malcolm's death, and Harry would've had a normal, loving childhood and apprenticeship in Hog Hollow, Missouri. And to add some horror to that, DuMorne would still have done what he did to Elaine and likely not been caught until the damage was far too advanced to save her.
    • Or maybe not — it's possible Justin only adopted Elaine as a method of controlling Harry. He wasn't just after an apprentice, he wanted the Starborn...who happened to be a hormone-driven teenager. Adopting a lovely young woman about Harry's age and putting them together in the same house, both of them having lost all of their other family, with their guardian often out of that house, leaving them alone together with their hormones, is a recipe for the very relationship that did develop. Her defenses weren't as strong as Harry's, likely a deliberate choice by Justin, so it was easy to enthrall her and try to use their love (and hormones) to weaken Harry's defenses. Additionally, it's noted that she was adopted slightly after Harry was, which could lend credence to this theory.
    • Word of God is that Elaine is a potential Starborn as well, so she wasn't "only" adopted to control Harry.
  • It takes until Changes for this bit of Brilliance to kick in. Way back in Blood Rites, Lord Raith was planning to kill Thomas and Harry to end their mother's bloodline and death curse and get rid of his psychic impotence. Here's the kicker: It wouldn't have worked. Why? Because down in South America, probably just a newborn, is Harry's daughter. Maggie would keep the curse on Papa Raith running, and he wouldn't even know why or how.
    • Becomes Fridge Horror, if you consider that Lord Raith surely wouldn't have just given up hope if that happened: rather, he would've set out to track down every woman Margaret's sons ever slept with. In Thomas's case, that could've been thousands of women he'd fought his demon to leave alive, plus Justine, who's completely vulnerable and right there in Raith's own house. In Harry's case, that means Elaine and Susan. How many of Thomas's lovers have had kids since they hooked up? How many of those kids would Lord Raith have murdered, just to be sure? Would he even hesitate for a second to kill Justine - or give her to Madeline - on the off chance that she might be pregnant right then?
  • It's mentioned several times that magic requires strong belief and emotion to pull off. So how is Harry able to kill off every single Red Court vampire? Well, he's just murdered the woman he loves, which was only the latest part of the Trauma Conga Line he's been through all book, not to mention with decades of experience turning pain and anger into magic. As for belief? These guys are responsible for Susan being turned, his rape, and pretty much the whole above-mentioned Trauma Conga Line, not to mention that he's in full-on Papa Wolf mode. Not too surprising that he can pull it off, really.
  • Ebenezar's line "Oh, Hoss" and the sympathy in it takes on a hundred times more meaning when one remembers that he's the Blackstaff, and responsible for the deaths of millions. He isn't just being kind there; he's been exactly where Harry is.
  • When Harry got his mother's "map" of the Nevernever, I was reminded of a throw away line in another book where Harry said that even if two wizards opened Ways in the same place, they would lead to different locations due to the differences in the wizard's perspectives. At first I though that that was just a continuity error or Harry was wrong or lying or something, but then I realized: having a map changes someone's perspective quite a bit, doesn't it? Essentially, the only reason the map works is because Harry has it. It's accurate because *Harry* believes it to be.
  • Fighting the Red King, Harry's first target is the Red Court progenitor's eyes. This is the same tactic he'd used on the White King back in Blood Rites, so no surprise that he'd expect it to work.

     Ghost Story 
  • Harry talks a lot about how life is all about pain, experiencing it, getting through it, and learning from it. Now, given Jim Butcher's Word of God that he's going to take whatever path makes Harry suffer more, it seems really obvious that this would mean keeping him alive.
  • Georgia didn't show up. Because Georgia was pregnant in Aftermath, so she's probably taking care of her kid.
  • How did Lea make a reference to Hollywood, or snarkily reply to Harry that she "missed that episode" when it's shown how many supernatural creatures are clueless when it comes to pop culture references? Simple: Lea gives inspiration to artists in return for their blood, and movies have been made into an art form over the years. She's the type to sit on her chosen artist's film to see her inspiration fully developed. It is also a subtle tell that Lea is 'one of the good guys'. As has been pointed out in the Goodman Grey example, the REALLY bad guys in the Dresden-verse can't keep up with Harry's pop culture references.
  • There were several times when the Sword of Faith might have come in handy, most specifically at the end during the battle with Corpsetaker. Murphy, however, never takes it up. She would be unmaking it if she had. Even though she still believes in her oath to protect the denizens of Chicago, she also believes that she had acted against that vow by killing threats without turning them over to the police.
  • Uriel has a notable freakout when Harry drops the -el at the end of his name. The -el suffix means "of God", and the series has already thoroughly established the power of names in the setting. So, Uriel is an archangel, but Uri doesn't have the "el". Are there any other archangels who don't have the 'el'? Let's see, Michael, Raphael, Lucifer...well there you go. Even stronger than that - Uriel is Hebrew for "God is my light" or "light of God." Remove the -el and it's just light—and Lucifer means "light-bringer."
  • Uriel's reaction also sheds light on the transformation of Lasciel's Shadow in White Night. Harry nicknames her "Lash" just as she begins to question whether she can have her own, independent existence. By giving the shadow a Name without the angelic suffix, Harry may have actually made it possible for Lash to exercise free will.
  • Father Forthill managed to find the one place he could place Maggie and let Harry spend time with her safely. An ex-Knight of the Cross adopting an orphan isn't going to look strange. Harry Dresden visiting his apprentice's family won't look strange either. The guardian angels make an attack or spying run on the household pretty much impossible. Net result: Harry will get to spend some time with his daughter. And he'll have an excuse to total anyone who messes with her without revealing her parentage, because everyone knows by this point that messing with his friends makes him almost as mad as targeting his daughter.
    • Of course, there's also the fact that, as Michael pointed out, last time someone threatened his daughter, the entire Red Court got wiped off the map. When Nicodemus attacks, as a direct result, he loses many, if not all, of his squires and runs away panicked. Even if some baddie does find out who Maggie really is, they'll probably think twice about messing with her.
  • In Ghost Story, Word of God is that Inez was Mab's proxy. Inez wasn't talking about Harry steadily becoming a monster as a ghost, she was talking about Harry becoming a monster as the Winter Knight.
  • In Ghost Story, the reason Molly was upset by the "you're one hell of a woman, Molly, thank you" line from Harry was because it's the exact same thing Harry said to comfort her while she was helping him arrange his suicide.
  • It's easy to assume that the being who whispered the Seven Words to Harry wanted him dead. But when you think about it, those words actually increased his chances of success and survival. Three things happened as a result of those words;
    1. He becomes the Winter Knight, giving him a chance of saving Maggie.
    2. He arranges his death, but due to the circumstances, he's sent back, is able to stop the Corpsetaker, and can be revived.
    3. Uriel is allowed to "balance the scales" by telling Harry that Mab can't actually corrupt him without his consent. Even if everything else could have happened without this entity's interference, Uriel's hands would have been tied on this point.
  • In Ghost Story: Remember when Molly made her "entrance" at Murphy's house? Well, she definitely wasn't there the entire time, as she wasn't up to speed on the "Harry is back as a Ghost" situation, and the radio only shorted out that last time. So when was she invited in? Answer; She wasn't. She cast that perfect illusion while weakened by the threshold.
  • Also in Ghost Story, when Harry reveals himself to Molly as a ghost, he quotes Obi-Wan at Hoth: "You will go to the Dagobah system. There you will learn from Yoda, the Jedi Master who instructed me." Who's teaching Molly now that Harry's gone? Leanansidhe, the master of magic who instructed him.
  • Lea answers Harry's question about who killed him with "three truths" since she is both bound to answer Harry's questions as part of their deal and bound not to give him the information he was looking for because he had to figure it out himself. The three statements she makes: his killer was a male he was acquainted with, had a death toll in the thousands, and worked for someone even more powerful than him apply to both Kincaid, who physically pulled the trigger on the gun that killed Harry and Harry himself, who ordered his own hit and erased his memory of it just before becoming the Winter Knight and killing the entire Red Court.
  • Harry spends much of Ghost Story caught up in introspection, re-thinking how he's lived his life and where it went wrong. Initially, this doesn't seem that surprising: as a shade, he'd have every reason to dwell upon the past, and there's little he can do to affect the physical world, so he has no distractions to speak of. However, the short story "Bombshells" points out something interesting: the very best veils, and post-Changes Molly's in particular, operate by subtly influencing potential witnesses to get lost in introspective thought and overlook details, even as they conceal their subject physically from view. Given how poor Harry himself is at veils, it's very likely that Lea's the one who taught Molly that subtlety ... and that Harry-the-shade spent so much time in self-reflection because Lea was following him around, hidden by a veil, to observe the outcome of Uriel's "gamble" on Mab's behalf.
  • Or: Harry spends much of Ghost Story caught up in introspection. In the next book, Demonreach takes him back below the island and shows him the organic intensive-care unit his body had been lying in during that time, and points out that the room itself influences people into 'REFLECTION and MEMORY'.
  • This hearkens back to events of Grave Peril but the brilliance only hits when this books comes about. In this book, Lea says memories are stored not just in the limited 3lb bit of flesh we call a brain, but in the essence of reality itself. This is why Harry's memories of events around him when he was vaguely aware are so crisp and clean. Now, back in Grave Peril Susan gave up her memories of Harry, but Harry got her to remember by, inadvertently, going deeper and beyond the mere flesh limitations, to which Lea could alter. And if love is one of the greatest forces in the universe, it would make sense why this would allow her access to something beyond human limits.
  • Butters says he'll jump in the ring to start training with the Einherjarn "about five minutes after I get a functional lightsaber." Which is exactly what happens by the end of Skin Game...
  • Marcone's decision to buy the former site of Harry's apartment and turn it into a fortress makes more sense if you consider that, post-White Night, the crime lord has had direct personal experience of the Nevernever. He knows that regions on Earth don't correspond geographically with those of the Nevernever, but rather, with locales of a similar character: that's why Thomas had to guide him and his mercenaries to the Raith Deeps. He knows that Harry's apartment had been a fortress against supernatural threats when Harry was living there, so logically (and without ever seeing Lea's garden himself) he concluded that its Nevernever counterpart must be one too. Thus it was an ideal place to build a new such fortress.
  • Harry tells Mab that as her Knight, he'll basically be in a kind of Enemy Mine situation with her, working for her and supporting her aims while being independent, like his godmother. And when did he learn that? Earlier in the graveyard, while talking with her. And Bombshells states that she already knew he was Not Quite Dead. So? So she must've deliberately told Harry, while passing it off as casual conversation, to put the idea in his head when he returned to life (while Mab was looking over her shoulder, no less)! Ladies and gentlemen, Magnificent Bitch the Leanansidhe.
  • Evil Bob recognizing Harry's staff as being similar to that of Ebenezar's makes a lot of sense when you remember that, according to Luccio's short story, he was the previous Captain of the Wardens. Ebenezar probably crossed swords with Kemmler and his disciples multiple times.
  • In Catholic theology, suicide is one of the few sins that brings automatic damnation (if you commit a "mortal sin" such as rape or murder or suicide and then die before confessing your sins and receiving atonement, you are damned, and obviously you die upon committing suicide). This might explain why Colin Murphy is still hanging around Chicago Between: he committed what he believes to be an unforgivable sin, and until and unless he accepts that even that sin can be forgiven he cannot pass on into Heaven.
  • Seeing Mr. Sunshine's MO in this book makes one wonder how many times other Contrived Coincidences, such as Big Damn Heroes moments happening just in time, throughout the series are due to him *cough* not interfering in the affairs of mortals *cough*.

     Cold Days 
  • Why is the Winter Court in charge of warring against the armies of the Eldritch Abomination Outsiders? Because they represent death as part of the natural cycle of our world; and the Outsiders are usually outside that cycle. They are the most suited towards introducing the unnatural to the natural cycle of death. Moreover, Winter's internal culture appears to be far more callously-backstabbing and vicious than Summer, which is accepted as a parallel to wintertime being harsh and unforgiving. In reality, such ingrained heartlessness and paranoia towards one another may be a pragmatic and justified defense mechanism, as Winter's forces face constant threat from Nemesis, a contagion that strives to drive them mad and turn them against one another. Not letting themselves feel trust or affection may be less of an innate property of Winterfae, and more a cruelly-logical response to the fact that any of them could be suborned by Nemesis at any time.
    • This fridge is confirmed in the short story “Cold Days”, additionally explaining Winter’s excessive sex drive as incentive to reproduce and provide more warriors.
      • Or, you know, it could be both. Winter is harsh and unforgiving, predatory and violent, filled with powerful instincts tempered by reason, all of which is useful in the unending war against the Outsiders. The fact that these traits are useful in the war encourages and strengthens them, which assists in the war, etc.
  • Mab's desire to get Harry as her Winter Knight suddenly looks very reasonable when you consider the revelations in Cold Days that it is the duty of Winter to protect reality from the siege of the Outsiders, and that Harry has been hinted at having power against Outsiders due to circumstances of his birth. And even without the second spoiler, Harry is one of the strongest wizards alive. Top 50. Slate was a normal guy without the Mantle, and we're all seen what he could do. Harry hasn't even begun to become the terror he'll be now that he's Winter Knight.
  • Molly's fate as Winter Lady in Cold Days is foreshadowed in several ways in earlier books. Her hair is dyed in hues more or less matching those favored by Maeve. In Grave Peril, Lea tries to make a deal with Micheal for his first born child, the first born child in question being Molly. Come Ghost Story, Lea has taken over Harry's mentoring of Molly ostensibly to do the job in his stead, but upon the conclusion of Cold Days it becomes obvious she was prepping Molly for her potential role as Winter Lady.
  • Stare at the Cold Days book cover under the sun. You'll notice it gives the book's raised letters a shiny, opalescent sheen. In Summer Knight, Dresden's description of Mab is, as quoted: "Opals set in silver flashed on her ears, at her throat, glittering through an array of colors I wouldn't have expected from opals—too many scarlets and violets and deep blues. Her nails had somehow been lacquered in the same opalescence." And also, Dresden describes Mab in Cold Days as having "opalescent highlights". For some reason, opals are always associated with Mab, or maybe just Winter in general. Now look at that Cold Days book cover again. What color is that raised letter sheen?
  • At the end of Cold Days, when Harry and Murphy are talking, Murphy tells him, "don't you start taking the highway to Hell. Because I'm going to be right there with you." One book later, Harry gets involved with the Denarians when they plan an underworld heist. And he insists Murphy be brought along with him as a partner.
  • Read Cold Days, then go back to Proven Guilty and re-examine Harry's conversation with half-frozen Lea. Once you're aware that Nemesis-infected faeries can lie, you realize that every time Lea gets that insane gleam in her eyes, it's Butcher indicating precisely when she's speaking an untruth under Nemesis's influence.
  • According to WOJ, a previous Starborn killed the Winter Lady. In Changes, the future Winter Lady (Molly) kills a Starborn. The symmetry is very Fae-esque.
  • ANOTHER ONE is the cryptic opening statement of Demonreach when Harry first visits him on the island, and it is never explained. But Harry was here with Demonreach just a few months ago. and Demonreach was then bargaining with The Parasite, who is a spirit of intellect living in Harry's skull. And The Parasite is present once again, but this time, so is Bob, who is *also* a spirit of intellect living in a skull. Demonreach is just commenting that Harry's brought ANOTHER ONE.
  • It has been repeatedly emphasized throughout the series that Molly actually has a very weak magical talent. She was effective as a human because she'd learned to use what magic she did have very efficiently. Now, that skill is going to be backed up by the power of The Lady Of Winter. Better yet, what form of magic is Molly most adept with? Illusions, perhaps the single most fundamental and important of the Fae powers.
  • Mab is pretty cold and calculating. We've seen that time and again from her interactions with Harry pre-Knighthood. Mother Winter called Mab "too romantic." Titania said that Mab was dedicated to logic and the mind. So we can see what is a pattern for the Winter Queens; logic and reason, vs. Summer's emotional impulses. With this in mind, consider Maeve; she is irrational, egotistical, and petty, all pretty emotional drives. And then we're introduced to the "Nemesis," an outsider corruption that changes the nature of one who is infected to be more helpful to the outsider cause. So, with these three facts, it becomes obvious which of the Winter Queens were afflicted with Nemesis.
    • This also suggests that we will be seeing Molly become more rational and cold as she continues to work for Winter, which has already been hinted as of Skin Game.
  • In retrospect, it becomes clear that of the terrible choices Harry could have made in "Changes" (Mab, the Darkhallow, or the Denarians), he not only made the best choice, but also the only choice that would have actually worked. The Darkhallow would not have worked because it was not Halloween, and thus he would not have ascended, just ended up killing a whole lot of innocents for nothing, since if he couldn't ascend, then all that power would only have made him explode. Taking up a Denarius would also not have worked because the only one he would even have a hope of calling on in time is Lasciel's, and as we saw, she was so pissed at him she lied to get him to kill himself. Even if she might have been willing to agree, between her and his spirit of intellect daughter, there would not have been enough room in his brain (he'd already been having headaches for years, and that was with her limiting herself), which would likely have exploded from having two insanely strong spiritual beings in it. Given this, taking up the Winter Knight's mantle is the ONLY move that wasn't futile or instantly going to kill him.
    • It's also quite possible that Mab knows the thing about Halloween. So why didn't she tell Harry it wouldn't work? Well, aside from the usual "not telling him more than he needs to know" bit, she's also experienced enough in manipulation to let him think that he has the advantage.
  • The fact that at least the higher levels of Fae have access to intellectus helps explain why they are so roundabout in their communicative techniques. Since they can instinctively deduce the true answer to a question from even the smallest amount of information, they can't tell what is sufficient information for a mortal to figure out what the hell they're talking about, because it's all equally clear to them.
  • Harry mentions that he didn't want to contact Thomas because of how ashamed he was for becoming the Winter Knight. No wonder, then, he's never reached out to Ebenezar—if he's scared of what his brother might think of him following his Deal with the Devil, how much more so his Parental Substitute and the man he modeled himself after?

     Skin Game 
  • When Hannah sees Harry changing, she notes that he doesn't have many scars on his back and concludes that he doesn't run away from a fight very often. Joke's on her; he runs away constantly, but his magic duster protects his back (and not much else).
  • Why didn't Harry's subconscious suspect Hannah? Yes, he figured someone on the crew would secretly have a coin, and was wary of hot women coming on to him out of habit, but why her? She's only a beautiful, capable woman with a traumatic past who killed people in self-defense and has an an enmity with the White Council, an affinity for fire magic, and even a last name that could be related to fire. I mean, it's not like she was probably recruited specifically to appeal to Harry, right? That she's just too good to be true?
  • The Genoskwa is hostile toward Harry right from the beginning; it could be that Harry was just being his usual annoying self, but it could also be subtle foreshadowing, since the Genoskwa is revealed to have taken up Ursiel. The last time Ursiel was seen back in Death Masks, he tried to kill Harry, but all three Knights of the Cross showed up, killed his host, and locked away his coin. Since Ursiel wasn't mentioned in Small Favor, it's likely that he was still kept by the Church, which means Ursiel was imprisoned for at least 5 years. Ursiel was probably still holding a grudge against Harry.
  • At the end of the story, at the hospital, Harry asks if Butters has the Sword with him. He replies, "Are you kidding? I may never put it down again." Maybe that's just an innocent comment... or maybe it's foreshadowing that Butters' career as a Knight won't be a short one.
  • Another about Butters' knightdom: back in Dead Beat, Butters insists in bringing his polka suit, even though it is huge and barely fits in the car, which makes for a hilarious moment, but then it proves fundamental for Harry's Zombie T-Rex plan to work... so you've got to wonder if this was yet another instance of the Knight of the Cross' Contrived Coincidence superpower at work.
  • When Butters goes out to fight Nicodemus, he puts on Harry's duster ... which still has the "knife" from the Jesus collection. Butters goes into the fight carrying the Spear of Destiny.
  • It's revealed that Lasciel's persuasion partially influenced Harry's suicide. In other words, she did to Harry exactly what he did to her shadow—and it turned out to be similarly ineffective. Harry died in part, but ended up living on, just as Lash died in part but lived on (through her daughter, Bonnie).
  • In retrospect, Murphy was never meant to wield Fidelacchius. Every previous Sword wielder we've met has a personality and/or motivation that matched the Sword they wielded.
    • Michael fights for love, pure and simple. Love for his family, love for Harry, love for his fellow man. Amoracchius is a perfect fit.
    • Sanya fights for hope. He doesn't fight for love, and his agnosticism means he doesn't fight for faith. He uses Esperacchius hoping that his actions can repair the damages he caused as a Denarian.
    • Shiro's defining moment in the series is sacrificing himself for Harry. He had faith that Harry would be more important in the future than himself. Shiro had faith that his death was not a waste. He had faith in Sanya when Sanya left the Denarians.
    • Susan's brief usage of Amoracchius is, as Harry outright states, motivated by love. Love for her daughter, Maggie.
    • Butters picking up Fidelacchius reflects his faith in his friends and in good overcoming evil. When Butters goes out to meet Nicodemus, he's ready to go to his death. He doesn't necessarily do it out of love, and he doesn't do it hoping that somebody will show up. He knows that somebody will come and save the day, and all he needs to do is buy time. His faith in his friends and his faith in the good guys winning is what reforges Fidelacchius and solidifies himself as the newest Knight of the Cross.
    • Murphy doesn't fight for faith or for hope, she fights for love. Murphy loves her city, she loves her job and her coworkers, and she loves Harry. When she follows Harry into danger, she doesn't follow out of faith or hope, she follows out of love. She doesn't have faith that she can use the Sword of Faith, which compounds her unsuitability.

     Peace Talks 
  • In the short story, "Curses," it's said that the 'Billy Goat Curse' which prevented the Chicago Cubs from winning the World Series was cast by a Fae king named Gwynn ap Nudd. Since that story's publication, the Cubs finally went on to win the World Series (in the real world). And indeed, in this story, we learn that Gwynn ap Nudd was killed offscreen by the Fomor at some point... which would explain why the curse is no longer functioning and the Cubs are able to win.
    • Also, Harry's holding off Ebenezar for as long as he does is fairly impressive—but it becomes less so when it's realized that a) Ebenezar is clearly holding back and b) Harry was able to maneuver him onto ice and then close the distance, where as the Winter Knight, he would have the advantage. Ebenezar would've creamed him in half the time otherwise.

     Battle Ground 
  • Michael of all people having a Cluster F-Bomb is a huge example of OOC Is Serious Business. But it also makes perfect sense. Two of the most important things in his life—very probably the two most important institutions—are his family and the church. Both of which are inclusive, both of which prioritize forgiveness. So hearing about the White Council expelling Harry, whom he knows to be a good man and in need of support, would naturally push him over the edge.
    • Also, considering the time they almost decapitated his then-teenage daughter, it makes sense that Michael might not have an especially high opinion of the White Council to begin with. The only other time we’ve heard him swear was when “that son of a bitch” Father Douglas abducted another one of his daughters in ‘’The Warrior.’’
  • Harry's call-sign with the Chicago Alliance being Booster Gold - While Harry takes offense at this given Booster's reputation as an Idiot Hero, it perfectly suits Harry given the more modern comics where Booster Gold is a master of Obfuscating Stupidity who plays at being a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk while secretly being a major force for good with far more power and ability than anyone suspects. As the events of the series show, everyone continually underestimates Harry, not realizing how dangerous he is until it is far too late. While maybe not a full blown Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, Harry has a lot going for him given his status as Winter Knight, Warden of Demonreach, Guardian of the Sword of Love and a Starborn, yet he's largely viewed by the supernatural community as a petty thug who is in way over his head, at best.
    • Additionally, Booster Gold was always teamed with Blue Beetle.
  • The Reveal in this book that the Red Cap was working for Mab all along explains why he was such an Anti-Climax Boss in Cold Days. He probably let himself get knocked out of the fight early.

     Short stories 
  • In Aftermath, Murphy keeps coming back to what it means to be female. At first this just seems like a male author's best attempt at writing a female character, then you realize that she spends pretty much all her time in a male-dominated field.
  • In Day Off, several Alphas complain that Harry's RPG character gets to kill more enemies than theirs do. This is a funny metaphor for how the Alphas feel in real life, too.
    • They were actually complaining about Billy’s character, but Billy was playing a wizard who liked using fire spells, so the point still applies.
  • Also in Day Off, Darth Wannabe's van has inverted crosses painted on it. The inverted cross, also known as the Cross of St. Peter, really has the meaning of humility and unworthiness before Christ. This is a double-whammy: Any actual evil beings would likely know of the cross's true meaning, which pegs Darth Wannabe as, well, a wannabe, and if you take Harry as Jesus, then it shows just how utterly outclassed they are before him.
  • In Backup we find out about the Oblivion War, a war waged to erase the Old Ones from living memory. To make them forgotten, and thus powerless. The brilliance comes in when you realize that one of the definitions of oblivion is "the state of being forgotten, especially by the public." He even says that when the Archive erases the final memory of an Old One(its own) it is sentenced to oblivion.
    • Also, Lara specifies that none of her instructions to Thomas can be written down. Maybe because she doesn't want the instructions to get stolen? Or maybe for another reason, since the commander-in-chief of the Oblivion War (according to Word of Jim) is the Archive.
    • Which also explains her fighting on the front lines in the Battle of Chicago. It's probably not the first time she's gone toe-to-toe with eldritch abominations, although most likely not on Ethniu's level.
  • In Heorot, Gard comes upon Harry just after he's finished fighting off a thug and his back up dancers. When she reveals herself, she notes that she didn't expect him to do so well against them. Harry doesn't seem to catch on to this, but this means that Gard was watching the whole time, she expected Harry to get beaten up, and did nothing. Combine this with her immediate request for his help, and the why becomes clear: She intended to let the thug and his crew start beating on Dresden, "save" him, and then leverage that assistance to get Harry to help her in return. That Harry was able to handle it himself throws her off and makes it harder for her to get his aid.
  • In Cold Case, Molly remarks that Maeve hadn't done her duties correctly for hundreds of years, leaving her with a massive backlog of work to get done. While Maeve's infection with Nemesis was fairly recent, her neglect of a specific part of those duties makes sense given the end of Cold Case: part of the Winter Lady's job is collecting children from Winter tribes who will be trained as soldiers and sent to the Outer Gates to fight the Outsiders. Maeve's refusal to collect the tribute meant that the Outer Gates wouldn't have as many soldiers as normal, giving the Outsiders an advantage.
  • In Jury Duty, it’s said that Hamilton Luther once took a ten-year jail sentence rather than betray Marcone, and despite being married and a father of two, he still chose to pursue a vampire in order to save a little girl. Even when the vampire started fighting back and proved himself much stronger than a man of his size should be, Luther still never backed down and finished the fight for the girl’s sake. The key link between these three points? Courage. Beyond all doubt, Hamilton Luther proved himself, over and over again, to be an incredibly courageous man. Now, remember what True Love does to the lust-eating Raith family? And remember that the particular vampire Luther killed was Gregor Malvora, a Fear-Eater? Luther was protected by True Courage just as much as Justine is protected by True Love. No wonder the guy won with just a few minor injuries; Malvora couldn’t mind-whammy him to make him flee in fear, and any skin contact he had with Luther would have burned him alive.

Fridge Horror

  • There's a moment in Ghost Story that seems like a Pet the Dog moment, when Justin DuMorne gives Harry his first present: A baseball glove, and then invites him to play catch. It seems sweet, until you remember a passing moment from Small Favor when Harry talks about his first shielding lesson having been with baseballs. Given Morgan's nonchalant statement about how his mentor taught him defense by throwing rocks at him, using baseballs may have been Justin being nice.
    • Let's not forget that Morgan's teacher was Luccio.
  • Just to drive home the Crapsack World nature of The Dresden Files, when Daniel goes in to save Forthill from Aristedes the lion, Daniel and Butters have to fight him, and Daniel gets busted up. i.e. Daniel goes into the lion's den, and gets stabbed.
  • In Summer Knight Lloyd Slate is a rapist and murderer, and hung around Maeve's court. Maeve—no less a bitch herself- regularly had the changeling kids dragged into her Court... This is all but confirmed in Proven Guilty.
  • Cold Days reveals that Slate had been a good man before becoming the Winter Knight. This has serious Fridge Horror implications for Harry, which he certainly recognizes, and it also makes Slate's own history seem even uglier.
  • The disturbing scenario at the end of Proven Guilty becomes far more disturbing if one considers how it would have played out if Michael had been a couple minutes later, stepping into the room to find his daughter either about to be executed or having been executed by the White Council, with Harry either standing against them or already dead. Particularly disturbing is that Ammoracchius, being the Sword of Love, would possibly not lose its power in the inevitable unstoppable rampage that would ensue, due to Michael's love for his daughter and the injustice of the Merlin's sentence. Let's just say that it's a good thing for the Good Guys that Michael arrived then and not a moment later, because the carnage that would have ensued would have been catastrophic, no matter who won. Also, right next to Michael is Ebenezar. And if the Blackstaff sees his apprentice and grandson being murdered, there's more than a passing likelihood that another Tunguska might come to pass then and there. Good thing Rashid was there. Helped delay the process as long as was needed (and that part of the God-given abilities of the Knights of the Cross make them just happen to be in the right place at the right time).
  • More Fridge Callousness than Horror: In Proven Guilty, Murphy mentions that the police had found a couple of freshly-killed bodies after the events of Dead Beat, one mauled by an animal and the other shot in the back of the head. While Cassius had been one of the series' nastier lesser villains and didn't particularly deserve a respectful burial, the head-shot body was that of the Commander of the Wardens: someone who'd served the White Council for generations, and whom one of their surviving members had been quietly in love with for decades. Granted, Luccio's actual self had been forcibly transferred to another body, and was still very much alive; even so, having Morgan and the other Wardens just leave the original body of their heroic leader lying there in the street, devoid of I.D. and destined for anonymous cremation by the city, seems terribly cold-blooded, especially considering they weren't yet sure if Luccio's new body would survive its injuries or not.
  • In Proven Guilty, Harry is impressed by how much Fix and Lily seem to have matured under their present responsibilities as the Summer Knight and Lady. Mac suggests it's because they've grown up, which seems fair enough ... or it did, until new revelations in Cold Days suggest that it's not maturity that's changed them, but their own personalities giving way to the overriding drives of the Summer mantles they've assumed. Those sweet, well-meaning kids which Harry met in Summer Knight simply don't exist anymore.
  • Murphy is aging at a normal human rate, while Dresden is aging somewhat slower. Murphy is going to die long before Dresden. While this is not horror in itself, think about how stubborn Murphy is and how she's willing to do pretty much anything to keep up with Dresden to show how tough she is. Eventually, as they get older, they will start slowing down. Dresden will have his magic to throw around (which will increase as he ages), but Murphy's going to just get older and older. Unwilling to accept her limits, she will eventually lose to something, and Dresden will have to watch as his friend is killed, no matter what he tries to save her. canon
  • A throwaway line in Blood Rites mentions that Black Court vampires have normal human teeth, rather than the pointed incisors normally attributed to vamps. Human teeth are meant for mastication, not for puncturing flesh like the teeth of a wolf other quadrupedal predator. As such, a Black Court vampire's feeding routine wouldn't resemble the traditional "poke delicate holes in the neck" routine—the vamp would have to literally bite a chunk out the victim's neck and lap at the viscera as it comes spilling out.
  • In Love Hurts, Murphy and Harry talk about all the other couples whose happiness they'd be ruining. But consider this: the spell was on the Tunnel of Terror ride at a fair. Imagine how many people would go to a fair on any given day. How many parents with children, younger children or volatile teenagers got on that ride? And what happened to them after the spell was broken?
  • It is mentioned that Bianca, the vampire who runs a whorehouse in Chicago (that is, until Harry gets involved), is always on the lookout for new girls. At first one might pay no mind to this, at least until one starts adding the pieces together and the Fridge Horror sets in. If you are an attractive woman in the Dresdenverse's Chicago, you might be kidnapped, drugged to the gills on the vampire's narcotic saliva, and then unwillingly sold into prostitution to anyone who can pay the right price. Worst of all, you have no choice in the matter, nor any way to prevent it. The vampires can just randomly grab you off the street and do this to you whenever they want. And they're willing to break the supernatural equivalent of the Geneva Convention to do it. Oh, and it gets worse. If you are lucky, you can end up as a sex slave to one of these vampires, forced to serve their every whim. That is, until they have a momentary lapse in control and eat you for no reason. Hell, this applies to just about any supernatural nasty that Butcher introduces. With few exceptions, any monster that Harry fights will be A. only one of many, B. active for a long, long time, and/or C. capable of doing horrible, horrible things to people who don't know enough to defend themselves, and whose loved ones will never know what happened.
  • In Dead Beat, we learn that the Corpsetaker originally inhabited the body of Doctor Bartlesby, and transferred to the younger body of his assistant, Alicia, before killing the old body in a rather gruesome ritual, while the rest of the body was cut up for food by the doctor's other assistant, a ghoul in disguise. That means that a young woman who was likely innocent and ignorant of her boss and colleague's true nature was suddenly torn out of her body and thrown into a different one, then held down and watched while her own body and face sliced her open and her coworker tore chunks out of her legs, and was fully conscious the entire time. Yee-gads.
  • On another note, Thomas getting tortured by the Skinwalker in Turn Coat. The torture itself is bad enough on its own, but the Skinwalker also kidnaps teenage girls and let Thomas kill them to feed himself. Thomas admits he doesn't even know how many it was. This is twofold. First the realization that Thomas had to kill innocent girls, and second, who do you think SI is going to call on to find the missing girls, or look into the case when it turns out they died without any sign of trauma? That's right, Dresden likely had to investigate his own brother's slaughter, without being able to tell anyone about any of it. Brrrr.
  • In Ghost Story, at the meeting of the Chicago Alliance, Will is constantly described as terrified of being in Molly's presence again. There are multiple reasons why he is: Murphy knows her through constant interaction with Harry and Daniel and Forthill are a younger sibling and a respected family friend. At best Billy knows her through the training sessions Harry had her do with the Alphas and Murphy vouching for her. Her illusions are something he can't fight with fangs and teamwork and they affect the main advantage the Alphas have always had which is their minds. No wonder he's not keen on doing another intervention.
  • When the full impact of the bloodline curse becomes evident in Changes — that it's able to wipe out, not just a single line of ancestry, but all of its side branches also — you have to wonder about what other uses the Red Court might have made of it, had they succeeded the first time. And then you recall that different vampire breeds have no love for one another ... and that the youngest member of the Raith lineage is Inari, who probably doesn't even have a demon to help her defend herself anymore.
  • After Turn Coat reveals that Peabody is using mind-control inks to influence the Senior Council, it's clear that the Black Council has been nudging their decisions in whatever direction it chooses. If you then re-read Proven Guilty, you find out that the Merlin was actually consulting the traitor for information during Molly's trial. Not only that, but the only reason why McCoy, Listens-to-Wind, and Martha Liberty weren't subjected to this same psychic influence was because they had been in the field when the hearing was called, not at headquarters where Peabody could inflame their suspicions, too. Had they checked in long enough to sign some paperwork, one or more of them could've voted differently.
  • Also in Turn Coat, Shagnasty tortures Thomas until he's crazed with Hunger, and Molly avoids him by hiding behind the wards in Demonreach's cottage. Previously, we'd learned that Molly is a virgin in Proven Guilty, and that White Court vampires find virgins especially tasty in White Night. It was really, really fortunate that she had that crystal...
  • In AAAA Wizardry, one of the short stories, Dresden tells a class of junior wardens about a case he had which involved helping a mother whose children were having horrible nightmares. After the story's over, two of the young wardens point out that one of those children exhibited aspects of the gift, which came to the fore in very traumatic circumstances, qualities that, when put together, tend to spell "Warlock." Despite the story's relatively happy ending, Harry and the two young wardens cannot quite shake the thought that the little girl Harry had saved might end up with her head on a warden's chopping block in the future. Not only that, but that story apparently took place between Small Favor and Turn Coat, which means that all of the students Harry was teaching and joking around with during the lecture are going to get mindboinked by Peabody as soon as they take up their duties at Council HQ. Even the young woman whose leg Peabody sliced open during his escape attempt might've been there.
  • Molly is the new Winter Lady. And Harry is the Winter Knight. Think about it. Her affection for him was always restrained due to their positions, but she's technically in charge now and Maeve treated Lloyd Slate like a toy, while he couldn't do a thing about it despite his power. Now while Molly wouldn't normally order or force him, the mantle changes its wearers into an archetype, meaning that eventually a Maeve-ish personality will surface and take hold of her desires. Good thing Harry has spent the past several years teaching Molly to control her impulses and think about her actions, not to mention setting a very good example of how someone with power should not take advantage of someone they have power over. Exactly the skills she'll need to resist the influence of the Mantle of the Winter Lady and stay her own person, the very battle Harry is also fighting against the Mantle of the Winter Knight....
  • Will had bad experiences with the Winter Lady. Will had bad experiences with Molly. What will Will think now that Molly is the Winter Lady?
  • At the Winter Court party Maeve made Harry a tempting offer, and even suggests to include Sarissa. It becomes a bit squicky when you find out later that Sarissa is Maeve's twin sister, Maeve was offering a threesome with her twin sister.
    • Since we now know that the mantle of the Winter Lady will react VIOLENTLY to any attempt at activity there, this was actually a pretty clever assassination attempt.
      • Perhaps, perhaps not. We know that Nemesis allowed Maeve to deny her nature enough to tell outright lies. It could be that it gave her other options as well. It could make the same offer to Molly...
  • In Summer Knight, the Red Court demands Harry's extradition from the White Council, and he's afraid they'll hand him over to be killed by Ortega in revenge. After the events of Changes, an uglier potential motive than revenge seems evident: if they'd taken Harry captive, the Reds could have kept him imprisoned and in torment for years while they finished their preparations for war, then sacrificed him at Chichen Itza to murder the Blackstaff.
  • The porn industry in the Dresdenverse is controlled by the Raiths, and we know at least one fear-feeding White had an influential position in the horror movie industry. So which, if any, branch of entertainment and/or the media has House Skavis, the despair-feeders, insinuated their slimy way into? If the writeups from the RPG are to be believed, the fields to maximize despair are economics/business. Seriously. The members of House Lagios take special care to make sure that certain jobs and economic redevelopment never take hold in Baltimore, and then feast on the despair the poverty creates.
  • One of the possible future Mollys Harry sees when he soulgazes her in Proven Guilty has a burn on one cheek. This doesn't seem that significant until White Night, when he tests her resolve with his "little ball of sunshine". You have to wonder if that possible-Molly is one who'd messed up that test big-time, and had to remember Harry deliberately hurting her for the rest of her life... Considering that it's the Warden Molly that has the burn scar, that possibility also has interesting implications depending on your opinion of the Wardens.
  • Spend any amount of time thinking about the Archive, and Fridge Horror will hit you.
    • She has memorized the entire works of the Marquis De Sade.
    • Ivy has access to all the recorded information of humanity. This includes things like Nazi propaganda and pornography.
    • Hell, it includes humanity's most private moments. Every diary entry, and in the digital age, every freaking blog, post or even text messages (they don't have to be sent even. Just written). She basically knows every secret desire anyone has. Across the world.
    • All works of fan fiction. Including all fanfiction involving her. And all of this site.
  • Harry's narratives in the novels are implied to be actual autobiographical transcripts of his experiences, even providing source material Will Borden used to compile the Dresden Files RPG. That means Harry had to sit down and write out what he'd been through, with detailed descriptions of what he did, felt, and sensed, for all his major cases ... including Turn Coat. Remember what he goes through, even several books later, whenever he makes the mistake of thinking about Shagnasty? Now, imagine how painful it must've been for him to write about his encounters with the skinwalker, and get smacked in the face by the memory of Seeing it over and over again. And then there's that Tearjerker in Battle Ground...'
  • A very personal bit of Fridge Horror for Murphy, if she ever finds out the full truth: not only was Kincaid the one who shot Harry at the end of Changes, but he probably tracked Harry down by following her. It's surely not a coincidence that he carried out the hit very soon after she'd stopped by the boat, and Kincaid wouldn't have otherwise known how to quickly find a man whose home, office and car had all been destroyed. But he could find out Murphy's location by spying on the cops until she checked in with CPD, then follow her from the church to the marina.
  • When Thomas wishes Harry a happy birthday in Dead Beat, he also remarks that he was a bit surprised he'd remembered to do so. At first, it seems like they've just been too busy to think about things like that. But when you stop to consider how Margaret Dresden died, you realized that Thomas could never forget Halloween's significance to their family, because for him, it's the day his father murdered his mother. So what surprised him was probably not that he'd remembered the date of Harry's birthday, but rather, that he'd remembered Harry considers it a day of birthday celebration, and not grief for their Mom.
  • In Ghost Story, we get to see the aftereffects of his decision on many of Harry's friends and family...but imagine what Ebenezar would've felt like. From a pragmatic point of view, he's lost probably one of his strongest allies in the Grey Council. From an emotional point of view, he's got a heap of guilt for driving away Maggie and probably a bunch more on not taking in Harry after Malcolm died (how much is deserved is debatable), but now his daughter's dead, and his grandson is as well without any goodbye, or even a funeral that he could've visited, and his only living family (that he knows of) is the great-granddaughter he'll never be able to know.
  • Everything about Nemesis. There's no way of knowing who's under it's thrall—it's explicitly stated that even the Gatekeeper at the height of his power can't be 100% sure someone's clean, and it seems the characters themselves don't know until it pulls a Villain Override. And we don't know how the contagion spreads, either. Literally everyone not a Starborn (so, almost all the main cast) is a potential sleeper agent.
  • Battle Ground elaborates on how many of the Accorded beings and nations view humanity as Awakening the Sleeping Giant. What kinds of things are they willing to do in order to keep The Masquerade in place?
  • Murphy being taken to Valhalla is treated as a worthy reward for a noble hero... except she never ascribed to that religion. She and her family are "very Catholic" by their own words, which means she's trapped in an afterlife she never asked for and will never reunite with her father or her family ever again.
  • Something regarding Alamaya the mortal priestess working for the Red Court in Changes. She might preside over sacrifices or torture of the Red Court's victims - we don't know. But what we DO know is that she's considered expendable enough to offer to a sufficiently important visitor to freely murder, rape or presumably do anything else horrible to. And she sees absolutely NOTHING wrong with this. This implies that she's either been raised as a Red Court servitor from childhood, or she's so thoroughly broken and dominated that she has pretty much no will of her own. Either way, she's unquestionably a slave of little importance to the Court - and after the battle, she gets brutally murdered as a two-line afterthought. No redemption, no rehabilitation, just death for something she had no choice in or power over.
  • When briefly talking to Harry about what the Denarians did to her, Ivy says only they did "things". Harry comments about having been there and his own experiences. Unfortunately the only incident Harry uses the term "things" about was a heavily implied rape by Bianca's people back in Grave Peril, which, given that Ivy was naked when rescued, leads to questions about exactly what was done.
  • The fact that Nicodemus, had he not taken the bait and sought to capture the coins and Sword, would have given Thorned Namshiel's coin to Ivy—and thus, unwittingly handed the Archive and all its knowledge over to the Black Council. We know it's the Fallen, not its host, who's in charge in Namshiel's case because of how he's referred to, so if Uriel is right about him, Cowl's crew would have gotten the god-caliber agent they'd been trying to produce in Dead Beat.

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