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     Word of Kemmler and the Archive 
  • In 'Dead Beat', Harry learns early on that the Word of Kemmler is the necromancer Kemmler's fourth book after Mavra blackmails Harry to retrieve it for her. Later on, of course, Harry has the need to keep the book from Grevane, Corpsetaker, and the hooded duo, so getting it himself or making sure that it stays hidden. But once he realized that the Word of Kemmler is a book, why didn't Harry consult the Archive, the living repository of the written word? The Archive has stated her neutrality in the Court/Council war, but Harry doesn't make this a Council issue until much later in the book. At the start, he's conducting a private investigation, and it wouldn't compromise Ivy's neutrality to create a duplicate of the Word of Kemmler for him. Perhaps she wouldn't spread knowledge of necromancy as a matter of principle, but to the best of my knowledge, it's never been established what exactly Ivy does with her knowledge, who has access, what Ivy won't provide, or anything of the sort. Even if Ivy's answer to the request would have been "no," wouldn't it have been worth a try to ask?
    • Because Ivy is neutral. Changes made this very explicit; Ivy cannot really get involved in this sort of thing. Not to mention that Mavra pretty explicitly makes it clear that Harry can't get any outside forces involved in this, and considering that the Archive's bodyguard is Kincaid, who is currently doing something with Murphy involving her pants, contacting the Archive can cause some serious complications.
    • Doublechecking Dead Beat, I can confirm that Mavra outright tells Harry that he is to find the Word of Kemmler alone. She pretty much tells him not to go for outside help or to tell anyone what he's doing. The Archive counts as outside help. That pretty much rules out Harry contacting Ivy for help with the Word of Kemmler.
      • Plus, we can pretty quickly figure out how a conversation between Harry and Ivy would go in this regard. "Hey, uh, Ivy? This is Harry Dresden. I need some help with something." "What do you require?" "You know the Word of Kemmler?" "Of course." "I need a copy of it." "......why?" "Uh....well....you see...shit. I can't tell you." "(click)" "Hell's bells."
        • Which, to be fair, would've been complete in character for Dresden. And also highly amusing.
      • Also, while the Archive is neutral, you can bet that the White Council is monitoring her in some fashion. So Harry—whose reputation with the council is touchy at best—asking about the great work of one of the Council's worst enemies is going to raise a red flag big enough to signal the moon with.
    • Another thing to note is that with Mavra asking for the Word of Kemmler by the end of Halloween, Harry immediately concludes that there's a supernatural power play going on, and that's a major part of the reason why Mavra is getting Harry involved. She's not just asking for the Word, she's asking for Harry to intervene and stop the Mini-Kemmlers. If he just had the Archive write up a copy of the Word and gave it to Mavra, the badguys would be prancing about and getting ready for the Darkhallow without his interference. He's not just getting the book for Mavra, he's also stopping the Mini-Kemmlers from doing their dastardly plots as well. The majority of Dead Beat really acknowledges this, with Harry spending the majority of it focused on stopping the necromancers first, and delivering the book itself later on.
    • And another thing: When Harry gave the Word of Kemmler to Mavra, he was listing the reasons she should get out of DodgeChicago, he said something like "I also know how to use necromancy against you". Mavra wanted to get the book, not just the contents of the book; possibly to keep someone from knowing this.
      • That's probably why Mavra wanted Harry to take down the Mini-Kemmlers as well. She probably has enough magical muscle to stand in the same league as Kemmler's disciples, but with their power over necromancy, they would have power over her as well, being Black Court. She can't take them on because of this, which is the entire reason she blackmails Harry into facing them.
    • Harry was so worried about Mavra getting pissed about him getting outside help that he was getting nervous just talking to the Alphas. The Alphas are, in the supernatural communty, almost beneath notice, being little more than a fairly organized group of minor vigilantes that know one particular trick of magic and patrolling one small area of the city. If Harry is worried about getting help from the Alphas and is later reluctant about getting them involved, there is no way he is going to even consider the possibility of bringing a heavyweight power like the Archive into it. He only brings in the Council and the Wardens when he realizes the scope of the enemies he's fighting and that the conflict with Kemmler's disciples extends beyond simply the hunt for the Word of Kemmler.

     Purpose of the Archive 
  • The above opens a larger problem. The Wardens made it an effort to destroy all three of Kemmler's previous books, and Cowl and Kumori originally maintained that they were trying to destroy all copies of Die Lied der Erlking to prevent people like Grevane and Corpsetaker from getting their hands on them. Isn't an effort to eradicate all existing copies of a book doomed to failure in a world in which there is a living Archive of them? Alternately, if the Archive knows the information contained within Kemmler's books and Die Lied der Erlking but won't share, what is the purpose of having an Archive?
    • Because the purpose behind the Archive is to save human knowledge in case of cataclysm or extreme need. This is explicitly laid out in Small Favor; her entire original purpose was to serve as a living archive of knowledge in case it was lost. However, she's also designed to be neutral and will not get involved in a conflict under any circumstances unless said conflict threatens her survival. That's why she doesn't go on a Denarian-stomping rampage after she recovers from being their prisoner. She may possess that knowledge, but the Archive will not give it out except in extreme circumstances.
      • There's also the fact that the Archive isn't stupid. The Archive will not release destructive or dangerous information to people who are obviously going to use it for ill intent. If someone came up to the Archive asking for, say, historical records, statistics, or knowledge about advanced but not dangerous technology, she'd probably release it. If they came up to her and asked for nuclear launch codes or necromancy or the ancient texts to summon Cthulhu and Friends, she'd refuse to give it out.
    • Keep in mind also that the Archive is about as secure a storage medium as one could ask for. The only reason the Archive was compromised in Small Favor was through some very careful plotting and manipulation intended to isolate and trap Ivy and limit her access to magic - and she effectively held off the Denarians by herself anyway. If any of Kemmler's disciples - up to and probably exceeding Cowl - came along and tried to take the knowledge she possesses by force, she'd squish them like a bug. If every copy of Kemmler's writings is destroyed excepting what's available to the Archive, then that pretty much means that no one is ever going to get that information.
    • Note that in Changes, Kincaid says that Ivy literally cannot allow sensitive or dangerous information to be released. It is physically impossible for her to give out information on the Word of Kemmler, as the Archive itself will disallow the distribution of information that will affect the state of global/supernatural politics. That's why when the Denarians are targeting the Archive, they are targeting the girl possessing the Archive rather than the database itself.
    • Luccio also explains the Archive's function in detail in Small Favor. Whoever designed the Archive created it to be "bound to neutrality" and thus have it wholly devoted to gathering and safeguarding knowledge. The entire purpose behind the Archive is to safeguard human learning in case of a catastrophe. That doesn't extend to giving out said information (presumably except in instances where there's been a catastrophe and a great deal of knowledge is lost). Barring something terrible like that, the Archive is only allowed to use her knowledge to defend herself; she can't give out information even if she wanted to (as evidenced in Changes when Ivy tells Harry, through Kincaid, that she can't help him)
      • One thing that bugs me is why Ivy waited until after Harry threatened to turn to demons for help to slip the info about Marcone. She must have known that she could give away that at least. It seemed a bit out of character to deny Harry that info at the very least.
      • What "info" did she slip about Marcone? She hinted that Harry should contact Marcone before resorting to demonic powers. That's not slipping any data to Harry, that's just her making a suggestion.
        • She could have made the suggestion before Harry threatened to turn to demonic powers.
      • Yes, she could have. Theoretically, she could have waltzed up to Chichen Itza and roflstomped the entire Red Court, too. Just because a character can do something doesn't mean that they would. The conversation, however, makes it quite clear she wants to make that suggestion, but her nature as the Archive means that she has to remain nuetral in these issues. It isn't until Harry threatens to resort to the little book that she makes the suggestion, and she has to approach it from a direction that lets her preserve her neutrality, kind of like how Fix and Lily have to approach helping Harry at an oblique angle because of Titania's geas. From how the conversation progresses, it seems to me that Ivy is trying to find some way to help Harry that doesn't violate her neutrality.
        • My point was that she said she was able to do it after he threatened; shouldn't the idea to tell him indirectly (which was ok) have occurred to her BEFORE he made the threat? Either she didn't care enough to do so until he made the threat (character derailment) or it never occured to her, both of which seem far fetched. The moment after harry made the threat she was like "ok here's what to do". If it hadn't occured to her before she would have waited a few seconds to respond.
      • You seem to be forgetting that The Archive is a very powerful force, and Ivy is, for the most part, the Archive first, Ivy second—and rarely, at that. The Archive is completely neutral. It can act to defend itself, but otherwise? You're shit out of luck. Ivy, the person, had to have something more than "help Dresden" in order to override that. Just helping Dresden wasn't enough—keeping him from doing something like going to demonic influence, on the other hand, was. Otherwise, what is quite literally one of the most powerful forces on the planet in the Dresden-verse is going to win out over the teenage girl.

        The Archive isn't some really really really smart person that was told, "Okay, but don't tell anyone, okay?" It is literally built into her very being that she is neutral, and does not take sides in any matter that doesn't directly affect her own safety. Just giving Dresden whatever little information she could probably took all the willpower that Ivy could muster.
        • So you're saying that because Harry's threat to turn to Demonic aide meant that refusing to help would have also thrown things out of balance, she was able to help because it was the only way to truly keep balance, am I right?
      • No. I'm saying that the threat of Harry dying wasn't enough for Ivy (the person) to override the Archive (the superpowerful entity) even a little, but the threat of Harry making a Deal with the Devil was.

     The Archive knows EVERYTHING 
  • In Small Favor, it's shown that the Archive automatically knows everything that was written down. Everything, including a note that Dresden writes on a napkin dozens of miles away, where she couldn't possibly see it. So why doesn't Dresden ever think of asking her for information during these mysteries? Sure, his enemies might be careful not to leave a paper trail, but you'd think someone would have gotten something in written format somewhere down the line.
    • He does, from time-to-time. The problem is that A) the Archive is neutral and can't get herself involved with "international" incidents (which Harry's investigations tend to involve) and B) the bad guys know she exists and generally do not write stuff down because she exists. The neutrality issue is pretty serious, as shown in Changes, the Archive is literally physically unable to get involved in issues surrounding powers like the Faerie Courts or the Vampire Courts.
    • It's also possible the enemy could be communicating through means that the Archive can't comprehend; for example, the Archive doesn't appear to be able to pick up anything written in the NeverNever, and there are theoretical codes that wouldn't be obvious, i.e. music tones written in sheet music format that, when played to the right people who know the code, conveys a message. If they communicated through purely verbal means, e.g. how Vittorio communicated with Cowl, then they could also avoid alerting the Archive.
      • The Archive also doesn't get anything on a computer unless it's printed out.
      • No, the Archive knows anything that is on any form of storage media. That includes the Internet and computer storage. There's a reason why they're afraid she could compromise nuclear defense codes and bank account information.
        • That was Word of God. "Electronic information doesn’t count until it’s printed out." - Our World, The Archive's Writeup
        • Jim apparently later changed his mind. In one of the Q&As he stated that the Archive gets all digital information, regardless of whether it's printed or not. Here.
    • Also the Archive has been implied to work in a matter similar to the Daemonreach's Intellectus. Just because she knows something doesn't mean she necessarily knows something.
    • This really doesn't need to be that complicated. The archive just doesn't care about Harry until after Small Favour- until then, they only have dealings when she's involved through the accords. Harry didn't ask her for help until after small favor because she had no reason to want to help him. He did ask in Changes, and she gave him the extremely limited help she was presumably allowed to give him - directing him to someone who was able to help. So it's really only in Turn Coat that he could've asked her and didn't.

     Archive continuity of consciousness 
  • If the Archives have all of the memories of the previous Archives, why would any Archive ever bother to kill herself if she knew the only difference would basically be transferring to a younger body and gaining her daughter's memories? Was Ivy's mother biologically unstable, and hoping that Ivy's infant brain would be more suited to handling everything emotionally than her own? Or is there no Amnesiac Dissonance, and the Archives know it, which means Ivy's mother intentionally subjected her baby daughter to having no personality buildup while still unaffected by the Archive's knowledge, as has been strongly implied in a "we don't actually know firsthand, but it's our best guess" way in-series? If the former, Ivy's mother should have known both academically and emotionally that it wouldn't change anything, whether she was the first Archive to commit suicide (which I doubt) or not, and would have had to have been literally insane to even try. If the latter, Ivy's mother did something even more horrible than it seemed at first glance.
    • The mind of the previous Archive doesn't transfer to the new one. Only the memories transfer. Ivy's mother is dead and her consciousness ended the moment she killed herself. Ivy herself makes this fairly clear, as she's a completely seperate person from her mother. Thus, its quite clear its the latter case, that Ivy's mother knew firsthand what she was going to do to her daughter and didn't care. Presumably, the pain of possessing the Archive's knowledge broke her mind, and Ivy has udnergone some sort of counseling or therapy to control it. Either that or her lack of personality served as a better insulation than an actual personality; prior to meeting Harry and getting a name, she was literally nothing but the Archive, and this didn't seem to bother her all that much.
      • If Ivy's mother committed suicide while pregnant shouldn't Ivy have died?
      • Not necessarily. A fetus doesn't just instantly die if the mother does. It's perfectly possible to save the baby if the mother dies in a way that doesn't directly affect the fetus and you get to it quickly enough.

     Harry, the Evil Overlord list, and other Pop Culture references 
  • How come, if electronics blow out whenever Harry goes near him, he's read the Evil Overlord List? Someone could've printed it out for him, but still...
    • He could have just been making it up on the spot, and thought it was original, but still joking. Great minds and all that. In addition A: the title "Evil Overlord List" isn't that complex, and B: Harry is genre savvy enough to come up with his own theoretical list.
      • Harry specifically refers to it as "that Evil Overlord List" (Emphasis mine), implying he's referring to a specific one.
    • He hangs out with gamers (the Alphas) at least occasionally regularly, and has been seen to play with them at least once as part of a weekly routine. It wouldn't be surprising at all for it to have come up in conversation during a game, or for one of them to actually have printed it out.
    • Harry knows an awful lot of pop culture for someone who shouldn't be able to see much of it. He's quite knowledgeable about movies, for instance - in Proven Guilty.
      • Apparently he knows where a good drive-in theater is.
      • How much tech is there in a movie theater? Its a big empty room where you should turn your cell phone off. The projector is up in back and is otherwise just light, so unless Harry sits in the back row he should be fine.
        • Am I the only one who can see Harry (or any other wizard) sitting in a cinema and smiling at the swearing as everyone who refused/forgot to turn off their mobile phone suddenly finds they need a new one. There has to be some advantages to hexing technology. I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned (then again it might, I haven't read all the books).
        • ...Man, if I was a wizard, I would go to movies all the time just to do that.
      • And the complexity of any electronic device is also a factor. Its stated at least once in 'Turn Coat' that a complex device like a cellphone will fry much more readily than something simple like a street light. Even the lo-tech blue beetle car that Harry uses to get around needs electric circuitry for the ignition and lights, and minus some trouble now and then his car is relatively fine. An analog movie projector is basically a mechanical wheel and a big lamp. For the 90 or so minutes a movie takes, Harry should be able to finish it without incident. The audio system might not be completely unaffected, as even the old systems are sensitive (cellphone near speakers, you know what I mean), but even then it should be okay.
        • Has anyone here been to a movie that quit half way through. The theater will give you a free ticket if they have technical difficulties. So if Harry did get too excited and accidentally fry the projector he could just go again
  • On a related note, in Changes, Harry makes a reference to being in danger of being eaten by a grue. I can live with the movie references and Harry being a horror movie buff - Chicago has a lot of vintage theaters with old projectors - but how the heck can Harry be playing COMPUTER games?
    • You needn't have played/seen something yourself to know something about it.
    • Case in point: I've never played Zork. Ever. Yet I still got the joke.
    • He's got nerd friends. They probably said something while playing pen and paper RPG.
    • Harry wasn't born a proficient wizard, he got trained as one when he was a teenager. The original Zork is old enough that he could've played it as a kid.
  • A bigger problem, Harry at one point references Aladdin, a movie that came out in 1992.
    • Er, no it's not. Harry knows a good drive-in theater and can sit at the front of a theater to avoid shorting out the electronics, as noted already.
    • It's in Aurora, about 75 - 90 minutes from downtown Chicago. He took Bob there to see Pirates, after all.
    • On a completely unrelated note, this editor saw "It's in Aurora" in the edit history and took it entirely the wrong way.
  • A related, but less obvious concern: Why is Harry's memory for pop-culture trivia so accurate? He quotes movies that haven't been in theaters for years or decades, yet even if he goes to every film Hollywood cranks out when it's released, he's unable to re-view them on TV or DVD and refresh his recollections. So how come he can remember things like the exact layout of the train station scene from The Untouchables, when it's almost 20 years since he could've seen that picture?
    • Harry doesn't need to have a DVD player. He games with the Alphas every week and likely watches movies with them. In such a case, all he has to do is draw a chalk circle on the floor, will it closed, and sit back in the circle and watch the movie.
  • Harry could also do the same to look at the internet, sit Billy or one of the Alphas with laptop inside a small-ish circle while Harry reads over their shoulder from outside the circle. As for his memory of pop-culture this troper and his friends find it easy to remember anything if it's awesome or funny, maybe Harry's the same?
    • It's also stated that magic requires a very precise memory and eye for details (which would also come in handy as a private investigator). Harry is able to recreate rather lengthy rituals from memory, including mental projections of the necessary material compnents. This is also backed up elsewhere; he's able to recognize some Einherjar that he saw once, in the middle of a battle in a dark cave, almost three years before. Next to that, movie quotes don't seem out of the ordinary.
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     Ferrovax in Grave Peril 
  • Whatever happened to that dragon dude from Grave Peril? When he caused Harry to drop to his knees at the masquerade ball just by saying his name, I was hoping he would do something incredibly badass later in the book, but it never happened. So I assumed they were saving him for a later book. 7 books later and he still hasn't shown up. Talk about a Chekhov's Gunman who never fired...
    • There are ten more books planned in the series, plus the three more volumes that will form the three parts of the final book. Chill out.
    • Every other new character from the party who survived has been connected with the Black Council (including unnamed cameos from Cowl and Kumori) plus the athame given to Lea in that scene seems to signify something important when it later shows up on Mab's belt (possibly contributing to her instability.) It's safe to say that the full fallout from that one event has yet to revealed, so it's quite possible that Ferrovax the Elder Wyrm may be a part of/an ally to the Black Council...
    • Butcher has confirmed that Mr. Ferro will be back in time for the apocalyptic trilogy.
      • Which is pretty much the only time that Harry might be able to face him, going by the power creep and what Jim has said about the true Dragons. I.E. he said that MAB would not be able to beat Ferrovax. The true Dragons are more like the Chinese versions, cosmic guardian things of unimaginable power.
    • That scene has other signicance too. The dropping-Harry-to-his-knees trick? Pretty much the exact same thing Vaderung, the Lords of Outer Night and the Red King do in Changes. Which makes sense, given they're in similar power tiers.

     Harry, the White Council, and soulgazes 
  • A lot of Harry's problems with the White Council seem like could easily be solved with a soulgaze. In Storm Front when Morgan accuses him of using dark magic to kill some people, the soulgaze could have proved otherwise.
    • The Soulgaze only works once. Considering how often Morgan accuses Dresden, this would be a use that would be rendered obsolete after the first time.
      • They've got enough wardens for the first fifty-odd accusations, which'd be a good start... but it's also stated that soulgazes aren't lie detectors; they tell you what a person is or can be, but not what they've actually done. Seeing Marcone's soul tells you a lot about the gangster, but not every person he's tossed in the river. Harry actually already has used dark magic to kill someone, and possibly for other purposes, so a soulgaze would only say that he was classic warlock — someone who used evil magic for what he thought were good purposes. His soul isn't going to come out of a gaze looking shiny any time soon.
      • Those who gaze Harry seem to be rather intimidated or freaked out by it, definitely.
      • Well, what about Luccio? All the time Harry was going out with her and he never made eye contact for more than the required few seconds? It would have spoiled the next book and a half, but COME ON! Really?
      • A soulgaze is pretty damned serious; Harry rarely engages in soulgazes unless he absolutely must, and I suspect that such a soulgaze with someone you're actively involved with is a serious step in a relationship, especially among wizards. He's not going to do such a thing lightly, especially with Luccio.
      • Soulgazes among wizards aren't likely to happen without conscious effor ton both sides; wizards can sense a soulgaze coming, and wizards don't soulgaze unless it is very important. Harry and Luccio would definitely not soulgaze at such a relatively early stage in their relationship. And it's not clear if soulgazing Luccio would even reveal anything. When Harry soulgazed Marcone, for example, he learned that Marcone had a secret but precisely what that secret was remained unclear. He might get a read that something would be off about Luccio, but precisely what might not be clear (especially considering that . The aftereffects of Evelyn Derek's mental manipulation were fairly obvious, but the mind-muckery done to Luccio was a lot more subtle and done by a professional wizard.
    • Soulgazes aren't lie detectors. This is stated explicitly multiple times throughout the series. They'll give you information about the individual's true nature, but they won't reveal everything about them.

     Tech-disruption and magic circles 
  • Dresden lives like he's in the 1800s and drives the Blue Beetle because he's Walking Tech Bane. But there's a ward that can block this effect, and it's stupidly easy to perform (Butters is able to cast it, many times, without becoming tired), which puts off a small enough anti-tech field that even things like GPS receivers work reliably within said ward, even when Harry's standing nearby. So... why not have a warded water heater?
    • That's not a ward, but a magic circle. While it blocks random magic, anything physical will break it. A fly going through it, accumulating dust, or Mister would interrupt it (it's new, Mister wouldn't like it). Also, the electrical wires would need to connect somewhere from the heater to a source.
      • The circle worked for Butters by shutting out the magical energy that was rampaging around Chicago at that point and screwing up the GPS. It wouldn't work for Harry because he's a source of magic; the magic would be trapped inside the circle with him and still screw up whatever he was trying to use.
      • Actually, something physical only breaks it if the person doing it knows of it. That's not a good explanation. Say Dresden tosses a paper clip past the circle. That'd break it. A fly going past is not going to break it unless Dresden himself picks the fly out of the air and tosses it in.
      • Then why was Harry worried about Susan breaking his protective circle while under the influence of a love potion? Or why he needs to clean dust and clutter off the circle every time he uses it? Harry himself even says anything physical across the circle will break it, so… you're wrong. You might be thinking of Binder threatening to break the circle protecting Harry and Murphy; his summoned boys couldn't break it, even if they could pick up a pebble and toss it, but that's because they're magic. A mortal can break one with no trouble, but a magical entity cannot. But anything in the mortal world (even dust) can threaten the integrity of a magic circle, up to breaking it.
    • Given that Harry is able to create something as impressive as Little Chicago, as well as his skill with both Air and Fire based spells (even without Lash), you'd think he could just create a magically powered water heater. It would have to be significantly easier than making Little Chicago, after all. Just a basic ward that, when triggered, applies heat to... uh... whatever is inside a water heater that heats up.
      • Water?
      • Yes, water. That element that can really mess with all magical energy. It seems safe to assume that any attempt at using wards around a water heater would be dicey at best.
        • No, not water. The Heating Coil, or whatever it is. It's not like a Water Heater just runs an electric current through the Water.
      • Note also that it takes a lot of heat to heat up water, and for all that Harry is powerful, magic generally seems to obey the law of conservation of mass/energy. Until Harry's Deal with the Devil in Changes, it's possible that a reliable water heater powered purely by magic would have been more effort than it was worth.
      • Also Harry isn't so big on finesse. Even if he actively heated his water before showering it would be fairly easy for him to scald himself.
    • Word of God on the matter here. Basically Harry rents and the Super/Owner isn't going to let him modify infrastructure. It is amazing that Mrs. Spunkelcrief lets him stay as it is, given the troubles of an active Wizard renting the basement.

     the Anti-tech Field 
  • How does the Anti-Tech field work? Why are modern cars and guns affected, but older models aren't, regardless of complexity? Harry drives the Blue Beetle partly because other cars would die on him, right? Did Butcher explain why?
    • Because modern cars are full of electronics, while an old proper VW is basics stuff?
    • So why the guns?
    • I think it was mentioned at some point that complexity does play a part. The Murphyonic field seems to mean that magic tends to make tiny little things go wrong - the more precisely everything needs to line up in, say, an automatic weapon, the more likely it is that whatever tiny little thing goes wrong will equal catastrophic failure (in this case, we can include a gun momentarily jamming when something's coming to eat one's face as catastrophic failure). The Blue Beetle is affected, but because of the way it was made, the effects aren't as pronounced and/or are easier to fix (if the timing's off or a spark plug starts behaving erratically, the car will need work, but won't necessarily just stop while he's driving; if the computer in a modern car gets fried, it will likely if not definitely shut off).
    • Definitely shut off if the engine management computer shuts off, the EMC controls the fuel injectors based on what the sensors are telling it about throttle position and exhaust gas mix and so forth. No EMC, no working fuel injectors, no fuel injected into the engine, no working engine. Basically, wizards need cars with carbureted engines. And carbs are pretty sensitive bits of kit as well.
    • The Murphyonic field doesn't seem to affect firearms that much, anyway; the only gun it's ever actually jammed was one of the assault rifles being used by Bianca's goons in Grave Peril. For pretty much the rest of the series, guns work just fine.
      • One other gun jams: One of the cultists at the end of Storm Front is trying to fire an uzi at Dresden when it jams, but this is almost certainly because Harry just disrupted their ritual, which means a huge amount of magical power is centered in the place and running amok. So yes, guns are generally safe.
    • The most obvious qualification is that the object operates on principles other than Newtonian mechanics.
    • The RPG says that a younger wizard messes up more advanced technology less often. A wizard only messes up technology he/she doesn't completely understand. I'd figure since a wizard's power is to make his/her beliefs affect everything around him it wouldn't be good if something worked differently than he/she believed.

     Titania being pissed at Harry 
  • Does anyone actually believe the whole "Titania's pissed at Harry for offing Aurora" theory? Unless she somehow had no idea the whole time that said daughter had been about to throw the world out of whack by giving the power of the Summer Knight to Winter when it was their turn to hold the Table. There's also the fact that Harry's still has a favor owed to Mab as of Small Favor (and God only knows what she'll ask with it), combined with the increasingly sound possibility that Mab is loopy. So isn't it possible that everything attributed to "Titania hates Harry" could just simply be more Summer-Winter crap?
    • I agree. It's probably less a maternal issue and more an issue of power. It's been mentioned a number of times that Harry's incredibly powerful for a wizard of his age. And he has strong ties to Winter, in the form of Mab and the Leanansidhe. And he killed Aurora, one of the Faerie Queens, resulting in the power of Summer being vested in a changeling rather than in someone who was pure fae. And he's friends with the new Summer Lady and the new Summer Knight. And Mab wants him to become the Winter Knight. Put it all together, and Harry's in a good position to upset the balance of power between Summer and Winter more thoroughly than Aurora ever did. And he doesn't seem to realize it. No wonder Titania is jittery.
      • Considering that in "Changes" Harry became the Winter Knight I don't think she'll change her perception of him anytime soon.
    • I actually do believe it. NEVER underestimate a pissed off mother. Never.
      • You'd think after Charity we'd all know this by now.
      • I also believe it, partially. These are the Fae. They are renowned for being incredibly easy to offend and for never forgiving a slight, no matter how minor. Titania may be in the nicer court, but I very much doubt she would forgive someone murdering her daughter, no matter how necessary. Just like Mab has made it clear that Harry's use of Summer fire in her capital, no matter how manipulated into it he was (by her, it would even seem) is not going to be forgotten.
        • Changes implies that it's forgiven, however, as Mab can speak to Harry again. Actually, depending on how you read that scene, Changes almost seems to imply that if Harry had ever actually apologized for tossing Fire around, Mab would probably have forgiven him.
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     Seasonal change and the interplay of the Summer and Winter Courts 
  • Summer Knight The interchange of the Summer Court and the Winter Court drives the seasons, such that if Aurora pulls her stunt off, climate change would result. What happens in the southern hemisphere?
    • Ask a climatologist.
    • Perhaps the southern hemisphere is the reason why the courts aren't powerless when it's not "their" season.
      • This is a fair question, though. Why is "their" season determined by the northern hemisphere? Shouldn't the exchange of power really be more like an exchange of territory?
    • I posit that they rule land, not sea, which fits with the (to me) standard idea that these are primarily creatures of the forests. There is considerably less land mass in the southern hemisphere, hence why carbon dioxide fluctuates. Er. In real life. I assume the books are the same.
    • Who's to say that the Stone Table's demense is the entire world? There may well be a different focus of power in the southern hemisphere that beats to a different drum, since I imagine such a thing would need to be intimately tied to the mortal world. And even if there's only the Stone Table, The Fair Folk have their origins in Eurasia and probably had their powers and rituals estalished long before the 'discovery' of the New World. For the longest time, it seems that North America was dominated by the American Indian gods and demigods while South America was ruled by the Lords of the Outer Night. The Fairy Incursion in North America is probably a recent product of the power vacuum caused by the retreat of the gods.

     Toot-toot serving Winter 
  • Why is Toot Toot excited to be serving Winter? Wasn't he grateful to Harry for saving him from Winter just a book earlier? Is he just that loyal to Harry?
    • He's perfectly willing to go toe-to-toe with a Native-American shapeshifter devil-god using a box cutter for Harry. Hell yes, he is loyal to him.
    • Of course he's loyal to Harry. Mab sure as hell doesn't keep him supplied with crack pizza.
    • Wasn't he grateful to Harry for saving him from Winter just a book earlier? Wait, what? When did Harry save Toot from Winter? He saved a bunch of Little Folk from the "lady of cold eyes" but that was Lara Raith.
      • The event of "saving him from Winter" in question was in Summer Knight. Whenever Winter and Summer decide to slug it out, all of the Wyldfae (neutral or unaligned Fair Folk) are called to one side or the other. However, most of them don't want to be drawn into the conflict, hence why Toot and the other Little Folk were forming an army in case Winter came calling. They were grateful to Harry for stopping the war from escalating before they got called in.

     Faeries, fetches, and corpses 
  • Faeries leave behind corpses when they die in the real world, as shown with both the gruffs and the hobs in Small Favor, and the spiders in Turn Coat. So why did the fetches in Proven Guilty turn into ectoplasm and evaporate when they were killed?
    • I don't really know, but the trolls and goblins in Proven Guilty left corpses behind as well, so it definitely wasn't a Retcon. Maybe it has something to do with the fetches being shapeshifters? It would make sense for them to be less grounded in the real world than other Faeries.
    • Wait? What? No faerie has ever left corpses. They may have taken a little bit to go * Poof* , but they all turn into jello in the mortal realm. Also, the spiders were in the NeverNever, as were the trolls in Proven Guilty, why would they turn to goop?
      • Except Harry says, right there at the beginning of Small Favor, that faeries leave corpses, just after the fight with the gruffs. They don't leave much that is recognizable, but they don't turn into ectoplasm.
      • For reference: the gruffs in the beginning of the book leave burning bodies after being killed with cold iron. The hobs leave bodies that also burn up under bright light, while Tiny left a whole limb behind when it got severed by the lightning bolt (which disappeared when he disappeared) While their bodies are eventually broken down into unrecognizable forms, they don't dissolve into ectoplasm like the phages did. Maybe it's just a property of the phages and their ability to take on the forms of movie monsters.....
      • You just talked about Tiny disappearing, and then you say they don't dissolve. Make up your mind, please.
      • "Disappear" != "dissolve". Pay attention to both the book and what someone else is writing, please. When Tiny "disappeared" he was using some sort of faerie power to pass through the floor and return to the Nevernever. His severed limb went with him.
    • Faeries leave corpses because they are from the parts of the NeverNever closest to reality. Fetches aren't faeries, they are other beings of the NeverNever. Beings from further away in the NeverNever don't have physical bodies, merely stuff pulled together out of the matter of the NeverNever. Thus they dissolve into goo.
      • Fetches are fae. They're Mab's assassins, spies and couriers. This is explicitly stated and confirmed by Butcher.
      • In one of the books, I don't remember which one, Harry mentions a difference between beings that cross over from the NeverNever through a rift and those that are summoned (like Chauncey). The former DieForReal while the latter are merely inhabiting a construct that falls apart from too much damage and disolves. This may be the difference.

     Gruffs and Guns 
  • One group of gruffs used submachine guns, and likewise, Toot-Toot's army of pixies use box-cutters. All this is Awesome, but Impractical considering how faeries react to iron and any iron alloys. It's theoretically possible that they could use those weapons without ever touching the metal, but that seems like a very high risk and inconvenience for relatively little reward. Especially the guns. How did the gruffs get them? Hard for a faerie to buy legally, hard to store safely in the NeverNever, hard to clean and maintain and load... I get that Butcher wants to show that these faeries are prepared for modern conflict and familiar with technology, but something like a top-of-the-line hunting bow would have done just as well.
    • Why would it be difficult to acquire the weapons? They have a Summer Knight who could buy them, and they have a number of other mortal servants who could also purchase the weapons. Many faeries look like humans too, and could easily walk into a store and make a purchase, and its not like they're limited to US gun stores. They could have easily bought them in some other country with much more relaxed gun laws; hell, they could have gone to to the northern villages in Pakistan where homemade gunsmithing is an art form and ordered them there. Alternately, who said they got the weapons legally? These are guys who can bypass mortal security measures with contemptuous ease, so they could have just stolen them. Acquiring guns is not that difficult if you put a bit of brainpower to it. Butcher never specifies the model of the submachineguns they're using or country of origin, so there are ''countless' ways they could have acquired those guns. They don't need to store the weapons in the NeverNever, and maintaining the weapons can be done by mortal servants. As for using the weapons, note that the gruffs were clad in full-body coats and gloves, with no exposed skin. There's a low likelihood of them touching the metal, which also helps with maintaining them; the gruffs could just wear gloves while loading or maintaining their weapons. For Toot-Toot and the other pixies, the box cutters are sheathed in plastic unless the blade is extended. Again, extremely low likelihood of contact with the metal - and more importantly, they're the only weapons those faeries can use that will hurt other faeries reliably. And I don't know about you, but personally I've never heard of a "top-of-the-line" hunting bow that can put out thirty arrows a second and be as portable and concealable as a submachinegun.
      • Of course arrows don't have the rate of fire of modern guns, but that's not the point. Stealing the guns is unlikely; faeries are generally lawful, even if they love Loophole Abuse. The Knights and Elaine are the only mortal servants of the Faerie Courts we have seen. Sure, more could exist, but it seems like they would be too rare to spend their time supplying low-level assassins like gruffs. So apparently Titania herself loaned out her favorite beautiful human cupbearer or something to... supply Mooks with guns? The point remains: modern weapons on faeries are a tiny bit awesome while very impractical.
      • Stealing the guns is unlikely; faeries are generally lawful. They have no qualms with breaking and entering, smashing down doors, ripping apart buildings, or storming a subway terminal and murdering everyone there. I don't see why they'd be bothered by stealing from mortals; they abide by faerie law but not by human law.
      • Sure, more could exist, but it seems like they would be too rare to spend their time supplying low-level assassins like gruffs. No, we see plenty of mortal thralls of the faeries in the series. Maeve has an entire gaggle of them in Summer Knight. In that same book, Toot-toot also mentions the faeries control various buildings around town when he talks about the faeries being recruited for the war, which means that the Sidhe have other mortal contacts. There's other examples of this, too, i.e. in Proven Guilty Harry mentions he got a golden feather created by svartalve faeries who had a mortal contact who sold their work. So its quite clear that the faeries have contacts in the mortal world. And the gruffs aren't Mooks; did you miss the part where Harry notes the Gruffs are high up in the Summer hierarchy as Titania's personal assassins? And again, its not that difficult for them to get guns if they know where to look; even if for some insane reason they can't contact a human to make a purchase for them, they can send one of the many, many, many faeries who look like humans into any free trade zone on the planet, buy a few guns, wrap them up, and go back.
    • Considering that in that very same book we see the freaking Summer Knight toting a shotgun, no, I don't think its going to be that difficult for him to get some of the higher-up assassins in Summer some mortal firepower.
  • Also, Word of God is that these were comparitively recent changelings. They could have owned the guns when they were mortals!

     Harry invoking a sanctum around his home/Chicago 
  • Harry managed to pull of a sanctum spell and managed to get a whole island to basically say "You are my partner." When fighting there he's got a power advantage and it's hard to take him by surprise there. Course it's in the middle of the great lake and he needs to make sure he fights there to get an advantage, something that a number of people know about now. Why not do the same for the city of Chicago, or if that's too big the area right around his house. He gets attacked there enough.
    • Chicago isn't a leyline source with intellectus.
      • Yeah, the description of the sanctum spell implies that it depends upon finding a location which has a spirit of its own, the "Genius Loci," which is presumably not all that commonplace. It's improbable that the entire city has one single spirit behind it, if it has any at all. Likely it would have multiple spirits which are connected to features within the city, and they may not be all that powerful, and thus wouldn't be of much help. The sanctum ritual is also implied to be a risky endeavor, so it may not be worth the risk.
      • Specifically, Harry gave himself less than a 50/50 chance of coming back from Demonreach in one piece, hence giving his shipmates instructions on how long to wait before booking it like the devil was on their heels. In a lot of ways, he was just lucky.
      • Further, the opposite could be true. A place as full of life as Chicago could have a very powerful spirit guarding it, one that would make Demonreach look like a rather irate duckling. Or it could have no spirit. Or perhaps the supernatural community would be less than accepting of a single individual essentially conquering Chicago. However, the most likely explanation is simply that Chicago doesn't have a spirit. Harry felt Demonreach the instant he first stepped on the island, no one has ever described feeling anything like that, even in the heart of Chicago.
      • Harry and Morgan also note that a genius loci with intellectus is EXCEEDINGLY rare. In fact, neither of them had ever heard of such a thing until Harry completed the sanctum ritual. Even if Chicago had a spirit or more within it, it's extremely unlikely that any of them would have intellectus.
      • As I recall, Harry notes that in order to perform a sanctum spell you first need to find a place with a Genus Loci. And Genus Loci are a long way from common by the way he talks about finding such a place.
      • Word of God says Harry will regret ever stepping foot on that island.

     La Fortier and Asian elements of the White Council 
  • So in Turn Coat, a whole lot of mention is made on how LaFortier was the only senior council member who supported most of the east Asian members, and the one with the most contact there. What about Ancient Mai? She's actually Chinese! The book shows that Mai is the Senior Council member the most pissed about LaFortier's death, but no mention is made on how come LaFortier has more Asian contacts then the senior council's only Asian woman.
    • China is not the entirety of Asia. Not to mention that it's not just that LaFortier has Asian contacts, it's because he represents the poorer half of the world, which is not just Asia.
    • There's also the 'Ancient' factor. Mai may have cultural values that instill a sense of national insularity in her dealings with other nations' wizards, given the diversity within China's extremely long history.
    • What confused me about the Asian factor is that they never tried to ask for help in their supernatural circles. With the exception of Ebenezar and Harry, there is almost no element of this in the series, being firmly rooted in the Christian/Norse Mythology. I mean, is there really not other contact in the Never/Never than the Sidhe?. Other organizations that could help against the Red court beside The Venatori Umbrorum?. It just seems... a little off that the Asian hemisphere, possesing some of the oldest Cultures and religions in Humanity, would have so little influence in a World wide campaing.
      • This has actually been discussed already on the page. Look further down to the folder marked "The Fae, Nevernever, and Deities." Short version is that A) Faerie is important because mortal culture and belief makes them more widespread and thus gives them more power and prominence, B) Faerie is the closest realm to the mortal world in the Nevernever and thus the most strategically important, and C) Faerie incorporates most of the creatures from everyone's mythologies.
      • Is not the same discussion, since here its stating about mortal influence and low level spirits/supernatural entities; associations like the Venatori Umbrorum or regional creatures that should exist, in one way or another from some of the oldest parts of the world. Or that the Wizards from the Asian bloque don't show a lot of influence in the books (but could it be the case of protagonist provincialism) and that most actions and World wide conflicts come from the Western part of the planet. About the Faeries: isn't the closeness to the mortal world and incorporation of mythologies in fact just Fanon speculation. Don't remember had ever read a post where Butcher say it was so and it was stated that while there are thousands of races of Faeries, it doesn't mean all the spirits are Faeries or in their circles. Take for example the Naagloshii, mouse or the Tengu commanded by Ebenezar in Changes. Also, Ferrovax was never stated to be from the Faerie race and was deemed from the Chinese Mythology (from the Space-Dragon-Gods-Immortal-dudes I think).

     Hit and run in Proven Guilty 
  • Whatever happened with the hit and run in Proven Guilty? Harry gets run off the road by "a real battleship of an old Chrysler, dark grey, windows tinted", but it is never mentioned again. That sounds like the kind of car a wizard would drive, but who? Black Council?
    • Peabody is a likely suspect. Remember that there was a big meeting of White Council personnel for the execution. Either Peabody or another traitor may have been present and taken a swing at Harry.
    • Given the amount of Chekhov's Gunmen at the party in Grave Peril, we might still hear about it.

     Harry giving parts of his name to Percy 
  • It really bugs me, bothered me ever since I first read the scene, that Harry trades away the knowledge of one of his middle names for such a stupidly small amount of information in the first book, second at the latest. Really, I should think he should have at least asked for "any one piece of information of my choosing that you can get, no matter who it ticks off, and any information you can get to me later without getting in too much trouble. And only true information! Is that acceptable?" Because now he's only got one part of his name left that isn't in the hands of demons, and even if they are incredibly possessive over the knowledge all it would take is a single security leak or demonic bully pulling the information out of a demon that knows it to ruin any possibility of bartering any but the last part of his name, and he doesn't even get a feed into the demonic information flow for his risk! I know he was just starting out as a professional wizard then, but really. That's like giving a kidney and half of your liver in exchange for a steak sandwich because you're really hungry and close to broke (worse, even, because liver grows back but the secrecy of a true name typically does not). Sure there may not be a better deal that you can reach before you starve, but you could at least request that on top of the sandwich you get a cup of broth every so often when you need it or no deal instead of just offering everything you can spare at the start of bidding. If this does not turn out to be a Chekhov's Gun, with the stupidity lampshaded, I will be so hacked at Dresden for grabbing the Idiot Ball with both hands when it wasn't even plot-necessary.
    • Eh, to tell the truth, it's not really that great of a cost. As Harry himself points out, a mortal's Name isn't as powerful as that of a supernatural entity's, because humans and other mortals can change their self-perception far more readily. A mortal gives you his Name, and a year later that name is null and void because the person they are has changed quite a bit. Not to mention that simply having the Name isn't good enough; you need to get it directly from the mortal's lips to get the right inflection and meaning behind the Name itself, and it's possible to simply mispronounce your Name to throw someone off.
      • But he didn't mispronounce it, and under implied but at least not directly stated circumstances of the deal, couldn't. Despite the possibility of a mortal name changing over time (and though Harry's changed, it doesn't seem like his spoken name has/would have changed significantly), giving something all but one piece of your name (since Harry Dresden is available to anyone who rings him on the phone or asks "who is this!?" during an investigation) really seems to be disproportionate payment as the first offer to the first person you call.
      • It has to be your name as you pronounce it. The obvious, reliable way to get it is from their own lips, but someone paying close attention (like, say a demon or mage who knows the true power of names) can both write down the proper pronunciation (see Leonid Kravos's pet demon in Grave Peril) or repeat it (Chauncey's likely uses for Dresden's name in Storm Front.) It's also been noted that a wizard tends to really know who they are as they grow into their powers; a reflection of the way Black Magic turns you inhuman. It gives a wizard some protection from mind-altering spells, but it also means they hold tighter to their names than most mortals.
      • I'd say that Harry has 'grown into' his powers quite a bit.
      • Per the RPG, the way mortals view themselves changes over time, and their truename changes with them. Harry's is probably pass the expiration date.
      • Added to this, the last lines of Storm Front go "My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk...I'm in the book."" At this point in the series, he's pretty confident that if any fae/demon creature tried conjuring his name, said creature would be biting off more than he could chew. It's been a while since I read it, but I think he mentions this in the narration as well, that he's comfortable giving parts of his name out partly because he thinks he could take whatever is foolish enough to use it.

     Who fixed Little Chicago? 
  • Speaking of dangling plot threads, did we even find out who fixed Little Chicago? It sounded like the work of Lash, but the characters themselves never even mentioned that possibility.
    • I've read a fanfic where the explanation was that Mouse used one of his superpowers to summon a guardian spirit that fixed Little Chicago. Personally, I liked that theory. Though truth be told, at the moment we just don't have enough information to really tell. If it was Lasciel then I think that Lash would be able to tell and she'd rub it in Harry's face as proof of her usefulness.
    • Occam's Razor: Thomas. He'd been living in Harry's apartment since the end of Blood Rites, and left at the end of Proven Guilty, where we learned about Little Chicago. Maybe Thomas helped him build it in the first place.
    • My crazy theory is that it was Rashid who fixed it, because he is actually Harry come back in time. Hence Rashid always doing and saying the right thing to propel the events along.
    • I always thought that Uriel fixed it. I believe that he implied he fixed Little Chicago in Small Favor.
    • It now looks pretty clear Lea fixed it.
      • No. Lea was sealed up inside the ice prison at Arctis Tor at the time - unless Mab did it on her behalf to fulfill Lea's obligations to Maggie.
    • The conclusion I drew from that was that God fixed it. Or Harry's Guardian Archangel. Pretty much anyone else who wants to keep Harry alive would have explained to him how he's a dumbass and they fixed his toy for him.
    • I always thought it must have been Lash as well. Since she didn't want him using it, she probably knew there was something wrong that could kill him. She's shown signs of self-preservation, and she talks to Harry while he's asleep, she she could have planted something about what needed to be changed in his mind. She also might have been able to sheild him from the backlash if something did indeed go wrong.
    • Per RPG liner notes, Bob outright believes Lash did it.
    • I'm now picturing all of the people mentioned here going to fix it, in the middle of the ngiht, and running into eachother. It is both awkward and hilarious.
    • This troper thought it must be Harry from the future, Since timetravel is expressly forbidden Harry will have to do it sooner or later.

     Potions 
  • Remember potions? If Harry is soo sick of everything he fights being faster, stronger, and generally more badass than he is, why oh why doesn't he whip up some super-speed reflex or some such potion? I get that it would be limited, as he described, you could be strong enough to lift a car, but you wouldn't be able to support it with your body-mass, etc, etc, etc. But potions that refresh or improve reflexes or cloak him from detection would make a HUGE difference, but we haven't seen them since Fool Moon.
    • On the other hand, consider the consequences of the stimulant potion from Fool Moon- though it helped him briefly in the short run, the euphoria it caused led to him overexerting himself, and ultimately made things worse in the long run. There's also Bob's comment that a stealth potion wouldn't work on a werewolf; how can you be sure that wouldn't apply to various other ghoulies as well?
    • Potions have their limits, i.e. a super-reflex potion wouldn't help Harry deal with the strain on his body that rapid reflexes and/or an overclocked brain would inflict. And taking a potion to counteract that problem is just like any other form of mixing medications: a Bad Idea. Also, in a lot of the books, Harry is in a time crunch and potion-brewing is a time intensive and exhausting affair. He usually doesn't have the time to brew a potion.
    • Harry does use some more potions in Changes - as the above troper notes, however, this is after he's gotten some prep time, and scouted out the area he needed to work in.
    • There's also the James Bond Gadget effect to avoid. When Q gives James some gadgets, you immediately know they're going to get used somehow. Likewise with Harry and potions, if he makes a pep-up potion and and invisibility potion you KNOW he's going to need extra energy and will have to go invisible.
    • Per Jim, Harry initially making potions was more of busy work in the first few books, because he wanted to be doing something but he didn't know what to do, so he started making things that he thought might be useful. Of course, after the big screwup he had in Fool Moon where his pick-me-up potion backfired on him (and the Love Potion he made for Bob also backfired on him when Susan drank it) he wisely stepped off the wizardly equivalent of cooking up random drugs while bored.

     Confronting the traitor at the trial 
  • Why did Harry directly confront Peabody at the end of Turncoat? He's seen time after time that the Black Council has a lot of nasty tricks up their sleeves and no hesitation in using them. If he had gotten the Wardens to sedate the guy before revealing his evidence to the White Council, a lot more people would be in a lot better shape.
    • Showmanship. Remember, the Merlin is against the very concept of a Black Council. If a high-end functionary of the White Council is shown to hundreds to be a mole, then it's good for Harry.
    • You're assuming that Harry (though of as Lucifer: The Next Generation) could convince the Wardens (under the mole's control) to do that based solely on his word.
      • Further, Harry did tell the wardens, and the Blackstaff. Apparently they decided that outing him in the open was the only way to get anyone to accept him as the actual guilty person, and were hoping that they could contain him. Plus, of course, you assume that Peabody wouldn't have just used his mind-control powers to halt all the wardens after him, open a portal to the NeverNever at his convenience, and then invite in a whole bunch of nasties, which we can probably assume he would've done had Harry and Morgan not been right on his heels.
    • The purpose of the trial wasn't to determine the person who did it. It was to give the factions of the Council that were about to leave someone to blame for the murder. The whole thing was basically political maneuvering. If Peabody had been arrested beforehand and substituted for Morgan in the trial, the splinter factions would have assumed that the Merlin was fabricating evidence in order to save his right-hand man. The Merlin knew this, so he distanced himself from Morgan, and let Harry and his allies, who are usually opposed to him, accuse Peabody instead. It's true that it didn't work out as well as they hoped, but they accomplished the main goal of preventing the Council from splitting apart.
      • Added to this, if Peabody had been put 'on the stand' as it were, he'd probably have spent the whole 'trial' spouting exactly that. And even if he was found guilty and executed, his accusations would've stuck in the rest of the council's mind. Confronting Peabody in the open and forcing him to show that he was a traitor was the only way to make sure that everyone present at the trial knew it was the truth.

     Baptizing little Harry in Grave Peril 
  • Grave Peril Michael and Charity's last child is named Harry. At the end of the book. How sweet. How utterly impossible. The baby was dying. Michael would have had him baptized within minutes after the C-section, doing it himself if a priest wasn't handy.
    • That's assuming Michael's particular brand of religious beliefs place that level of importance on baptism.
      • Did you manage to miss that he's Catholic? For which the beliefs are neatly written down in a Catechism? Michael would certainly regard it as his responsibility to ensure the baby did not die unbaptized.
      • Maybe he just had faith that his kid would survive. He does mention his family is suppose to be protected by Angels.
      • That would fall under the category of "tempting God." He shouldn't rely on angels doing that when he could just baptize the kid.
      • Did you manage to miss that there are currently ten hojillion variations on the idea of Catholicism? I speak from personal experience that there are Catholics who do not necessarily believe baptism to be entirely necessary. Michael as a character may be Catholic, but that doesn't necessarily mean he adheres to every single tenant of Catholic doctrine.
      • And it's assuming that Michael's and Charity's particular brand of catholicism allows him to preform a baptism. Of said ten hojillion variations, there are a few that don't expressly forbid but do strongly frown upon someone doing an emergency home baptism (generally because of unclear determination between whether it should be redone officially, in the presence of the Church or a suitably ordained representative, or not redone to avoid blasphemous redundancy). Just because Michael's the Fist of God doesn't mean he's qualified to do anything beyond any other non-clergy member with a magic sword.
      • Particular brand of Catholicism? You are confusing Protestantism, which comes in 'ten hojillian variations' with Catholicism. Which comes in one. You can look up what the Catholic Church actually teaches, which is that anyone can baptize anyone else. Anyone. All you need is water, to do it in "the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit," and the intention to baptize. (You notice I do not include being baptized yourself, because — nope, that's not required.) Your Catholics, BTW, are either badly catchetized or are referring to the possibility of salvation when baptism is impossible — which it is not in this situation.
    • This Troper fails to see a problem here. A child can't be named before baptism now? Unless you mean that Michael would have tried to remove a kid from a hospital to baptize him, despite the fact that doing so would kill him for sure. Let him maybe survive to be baptized later, or kill him attempting the baptism. Way to Paint the Hero Black.
      • Huh? You wouldn't even have to unplug the baby from any machinery. All he needed was to pour water on the baby's head — or other body part at need — and say, "I baptize you Name in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." Which would have named him as well. In short, you Did Not Do The Research.
      • Exactly, there is no problem here. I fail to see how this is utterly impossible. The entry implies that the naming, baptism, and survival are mutually exclusive. They aren't.
    • It never says when he named the kid. He just tells Harry at the end of the book that the child was named after him. Isn't it possible he baptized him under the name "Harry Carpenter"?
      • No, he said that they are naming the boy Harry. Which is kinda odd if he meant, he named the boy Harry.
      • That depends entirely on how grammatically correct you feel like being at that moment. I've actually used the present tense when describing past events before, particularly when engaging in group activities.
      • It does say that Michael made the decision while Charity was still too drugged to tender an opinion, if I recall correctly. In any case, I also do not see how the circumstances would have made it impossible for Michael to have named his son whatever he wanted to name him.
      • You do realize that many hospitals keep a priest on call for stuff like sunday services and last rites, right? I just assumed that a nurse had paged one down to the delivery room at Michael's request.
      • And maybe Michael didn't have the heart to tell Harry he'd chosen that name until after all the trouble was over and he knew Little Harry was going to live. Dresden had enough troubles to cope with already, without the added stress of knowing it was his namesake who was laid up in the neonatal ICU.
    • I don't understand where this whole argument came from. The baby was in trouble, but the fact remains that he didn't die, which seemed to be the original point. It somehow got on the subject of baptism, which doesn't have anything to do with the baby surviving. The baby survived. Part of his life-force had been eaten by the Nightmare, and when the Nightmare was destroyed, he got better.
      • I think the point is that little Harry's baptism would have stopped the Nightmare from eating his lifeforce (assuming it hadn't carry over from any chunks the Nightmare took out of Charity) but the whole thing got lost in a "What is Catholism" debate.
      • I'm not sure that's the point, since the lifeforce got a bite taken out of it before the little guy was even born. I think the original point was that a hurried baptism would somehow not leave time for Michael to decide to name his son after Harry, because it had to have happened before the conclusion of the book. Harry had just saved Charity's life, so Michael making that decision would not have had to wait for the conclusion. Though I'm not entirely sure about all the aspects of this argument, if it helps at all, there is mention early in the book (chapter nine) that Micahel spoke to Father Forthill about christening the new baby when Charity gave birth. Given that the priest has been their babysitter at times, I'm sure that he would come out to the hospital to baptise/christen little Harry.

     Harry and Esperachius 
  • Near the climax of Small Favor, Harry gets cut in the leg with Esperachius. This isn't much of a big deal and seemed to be a fairly pointless event, until you remember that the Swords can only be destroyed by the blood of the innocent. Now, we know Harry isn't the best guy, but neither was the girl in Grave Peril. Nothing happened, which bugs the hell out me. The scene was completely unrelated to the plot and relied on the clumsiness of a Knight of The Cross. I am waiting for this to bite someone in the ass.
    • The 'girl in Grave Peril' hasn't killed anyone.
    • Intent is important when using holy swords. An accidental swipe probably doesn't count, unlike a premeditated impaling.
    • Spilling the blood of an innocent is what breaks the power of Ammorachius. It's mentioned in Death Masks that the power of Fidelachius can be broken by breaking a promise, appropriate since its name means faith. Esperachius is the sword of Hope, and so its power is probably only broken by giving in to despair and Harry's slice is probably not a big deal.
    • So it would be probable that the only way to destroy Esperacchius is if the rightful bearer of the sword uses it to commit suicide, the ultimate expression of despair.
      • I'm pretty sure that the holy swords can only be destroyed by intentionally killing an innocent. Breaking a promise simply allows someone of a more malicious intent to hold the sword (and then they can go murder an innocent with it).
      • In...Small Favor, I think it is, it's mentioned that the Denarians cannot, actually, destroy the swords even if they're given to them willingly, because the swords are protected against losing their power. The only way to remove that protection is to try to use the sword in opposition to the principles it upholds. After that has been done, then the blood of the innocent will harm it. Harry says that that protection is why all three swords haven't just been stolen and destroyed in the 2000 years they've been around. Further, intent definitely does matter with them, so yeah, accidentally nicking an innocent probably doesn't matter anyways.
    • It could also be that Harry doesn't fall under the checkbox of 'Innocent'. He has killed a lot of people/creatures, for good reasons probably but he still has a lot of blood on his hands. He also broke the Laws of Magic prior to the books, in self-defense, but it has been stated that Black Magic leaves a taint on your soul even if you turn away from it. When a soulgaze with Harry happens, people generally don't seem to see nice things, which might be the taint from Black Magic or something else. Furthermore, the stint with Lasciel's coin and his usage of Hellfire don't really help him as being an Innocent.
    • Alternately Esperachius itself arranged for the cut to happen. Blood can be used to form a magical connection in the series meaning that if anything happens to Sanya, Esperachius and Harry have a pre-established connection (see WMG about Harry being the future wielder of Esperachius)

     Hellfire replaced by Soulfire 
  • More about the fandom's phrasing than the books themselves, but why do so many people say that Harry's hellfire was replaced by soulfire? One gives him a powerup to his fire-based spells at the cost of him getting slightly more worried about slipping up and taking an easy route with a Deal with the Devil, and the other gives him telekinesis at the cost of eating away part of his soul, so he uses it only as a very last resort. He did get them from conflicting sides of an argument, and one was described in the most vague of terms as the opposite of the others, but the only thing that's really the same in use or substance (aside from the origin of the sources) is the names.
    • Cause they're both his deadly super ultimate technique, and they're opposites, Hellfire makes his attacks more powerful, the other one gives his magic longevity. Evil is power, good is control. They're thematic rivals.
    • Lasciel's shadow was the source of Harry's ability to use hellfire. If Lasciel's shadow was redeemed but still exists Harry's his mind, it's only logical that, by no longer being a shadow of Lasciel but instead having been redeemed, it might give Harry access to soulfire instead.
      • Correction, Harry got his soulfire from Uriel in "Small Favor", it was a gift from an angel, not something he acquired because Lash redeemed herself.
      • And why do you think Uriel gave Harry access to soulfire in the first place?
    • Not only that, but Thorned Namshiel says something to the effect of how dare some mortal use their power (presumably meaning angels, fallen or otherwise) when he sees Harry using soulfire. It's pretty apparent that soulfire and hellfire are different aspects of the same thing (or, alternately, that soulfire is untainted-by-hell hellfire, for however much difference that makes for you.) It seems likely Lash masked the consequences of using hellfire from Harry while she was in residence, or paid for it herself; after all, she was intended as an expendable 'fix' to get Harry hooked on demonic power.
    • Soulfire isn't Telekinesis, it is more a creative power that allows Harry better control, more Umph or extra abilities in his magic. Bob has specifically stated that Soulfire is inherently constructive.

     Lasciel's coin 
  • Lasciel's coin. We've seen that Denarians can voluntarily give up coins. In Death Masks, when Harry and the Knights are interrogating their captive Denarian, he reaches up to his forehead, pulls on the symbol, removes the coin, and hands it over. Moreover, SANYA, a current Knight, once possessed a coin. So why, in God's name, was it such a big deal that Harry had touched the coin? If all it takes is an act of will to throw it away, like Sanya obviously did, and it seems like Death Masks guy did, why did Harry go on and on about "sealing the coin away" and Micheal tell Harry to "walk away from his power?"
    • In both those cases, the person involved had already taken up the coin and starting sharing their body with the Fallen before they gave it up. Remember that just touching the coin created a copy of Lasciel in Harry's mind, and she was constantly tempting him into taking up the coin. If Harry had taken up the coin, shadow Lasciel would have been absorbed into the real Lasciel, but as long as he didn't take it up, the shadow would remain in his mind no matter how much willpower he put into resisting the coin. So essentially, he was in constant danger, from the viewpoint of the Knights.
    • And, giving up a coin after taking it up is a lot more difficult than it sounds. Sanya had more or less decided to commit suicide when he gave up his coin, and the captive Denarian did it in order to save his life and he was under the immpression that he would get a new coin right away. I think it requires a bit more than just an act of will to get rid of the coins properly.
    • As to why he didn't just take up the coin and then get rid of it straight away, the impression I got was that 'taking up the coin' means more than just picking it up and using it's full power; it means actually willingly signing on with the Denarians, with all the evilness that implies. If Harry chose to use the coin fully then he'd get it's power, but wouldn't have actually 'taken it up'- and thus been in a position to chose to get rid of it- until he'd started actively working with Lasciel of his own free will and with no hesitations. And at that point, he wouldn't want to get rid of the coin unless something shocked him badly or forced him to, as with Sanya or Cassius. Just my impression of the situation, but it makes a vague kind of sense.
    • Giving up the coin itself is a simple process, but the Denarians are more than just a coin. They are Power (capital P). When you join a Fallen and take up the coin, it is a willing act that transforms the individual and allows the Fallen within to more intensively influence their actions. Sanya repented completely when he gave up his coin, and expected to die and was at peace with that. When Cassius gave up the coin, he did so fully in the belief that he would get another one, and he refused to repent for his actions, even going so far as to mock the Knights while doing so. Cassius was willingly working with the Denarians and he was fully intended to rejoin them, get another coin, and get more power, and thus remained the twisted, hateful monster he was when he had the coin, even as he was dying from old age from being separated from the coin. Even without a blackened denarius, Cassius was still a slave to the Fallen, and was obsessed with getting another one. That is what terrified Harry about the Fallen. Becoming a Denarian opens him up to that possibility, or worse, such as being enslaved like Rammussen was enslaved by Ursiel. If Harry willingly took up Lasciel's coin, she would invade his mind offer him power, and he would be sorely tempted to use it - and he knows this, and he knows he could end up like Cassius. That is why taking up a coin is so dangerous: one can throw it away, but one cannot throw away the power the Fallen offers as easily.
      There's also the simple fact that Lasciel offers Harry power in and of itself. It is one of the dominant, recurring themes in the books, discussed over and over again, that Harry is constantly defined by the temptation to power. (hell, in the Dresden Files RPG, it's even one of the primary character traits he possesses, right up there with "Epic Wise-ass") Nicodemus discusses this when he has Harry as his prisoner, Mab routinely brings it up everytime he encounters her, and it's one of the defining aspects of Changes that Harry has to deal with the consequences of power and the temptation to claim it. Dead Beat discusses this as well, particularly when Harry has his mental conversation with his own id and Lasciel, and in that discussion, Harry's id even admits that he is interested in gaining more power, and Harry weighs the dangers and temptations of taking that power for himself and using it. Don't forget that Harry also carries the stain of black magic on him from when he killed Justin and later when he killed all those innocents by accident at Bianca's ball. He is, forever, going to be touched by that subtle, infectious desire for power, and Lasciel offers such power. That is one of the reasons why she scares him and why he is so concerned about using her power. He can throw away the coin, easily. Just yank, pop, and it's gone. But if he takes up the coin, Harry Dresden will not want to give it and the power it gives him away.
    • Also, until Lash died, Harry had her, in his head, and couldn't get her out without giving up on his magic, which was tied with Lash. So, everyone was concerned because, well...HE HAS A DEMON IN HIS HEAD! And, when asked what it would take to renounce her...he said 'eff that'. So, yeah...cause for concern. And, again, Michael straight out SAYS why he's concerned later...they didn't believe Lash was dead. That had NEVER happened before, that Michael knew. (And Harry calls out the arrogance). Plus, he knows that people can, at times, summon their coin.

     Lash, free will, and the afterlife 
  • If Harry gave Lash free will, would her death be of a different being than the coin? So would she go onto an afterlife?
    • It was already mentioned that Lash is an entity separate from the Lasciel in the coin, so the fallen angel Lasciel definitely still exists (why else would Harry need to dispose of the coin via a holy agency, if it wasn't possessed by the malevolent spirit of a fallen angel?) The semantics of a metaphysical clone ceasing to exist, however, are beyond me.
      • Questions about the true afterlife and who goes there upon death are inaccessible to anyone in the Dresden Files universe. People of faith believe there is an afterlife, of course, but if it exists it's in an inaccessible place beyond the NeverNever as we know it. So Harry's just as stumped about that question as you are.
        • Additionally Harry couldn't find out without breaking the Fifth Law of Magic: Never reach beyond the borders of Life and Death.
      • One of the books says something about all the described afterlifes (afterlives?) in the world existing within the NeverNever. Odds are we'll find out more about that in 'Ghost Story.'
      • Butcher himself says revealing anything about Lash may be spoilers, we may not have seen the last of her, and the above speculation would make quite a bit of awesome sense, ghost Lash meets ghost Harry anybody?
      • It's worth pointing out that the only person (originally) claming that the Shadow of Lash isn't the same thing as Lasicel herself with reduced powers is, you know, Lash. Harry starts claiming it too as the series goes on, but, the source is the Shadow who frequently misuses 'She' and 'I' when stressed and speaking about her Bigger Half.
  • Jim Butcher said in an interview that Lash is not in the afterlife, and that he won't tell why because it will be important later on

     Harry not communicating Nicodemus' weakness 
  • Harry! You've just discovered the only weakness of the otherwise-invincible Nicodemus! You almost killed him with it! Why don't you tell anyone?
    • For all we know, he did.
      • For all we know, he didn't. It's never mentioned in any of the books that he tells anyone, and in Small Favor, he says, "As far as I knew, I was the only one who had figured out how to hurt [Nicodemus]." That sort of implies he hasn't told anyone.
      • There's no reason for him not to tell them, so it's reasonable to assume that he did mention it to everyone else. The line that "I was the only one who had figured out how to hurt (Nicodemus)" means he was the only one who had actually figured out how to hurt him, not that he is the only one who knows.
      • There's no reason not to? There's a trope for that. Two, actually. And even assuming he did tell people (which I'll do, to let this matter rest), it still bugs me a little that we never see him telling people.
        • Harry discovered it. Then he fled for his life, then he went to the hospital. Presumably Uriel doesn't need to be told, and Michael, the person he would be most likely to inform about Nicodemus, was still unconscious when the book ended. Denarians have not been seen or mentioned since then. We can certainly hope that Harry would have told Sanya and/or Father Forthill at some point since the end of that book, but there's no reason to think it would have appeared on the page just because it doesn't fit with the events of those stories. To make a long story short, whether he tells anyone or not there's no good reason to mention it on the page so far.
        • Except that he figured it out way back in Death Masks, not Small Favor. At the very least one would expect him to mention it when the Denarians get involved in Small Favor. That said, as others have mentioned, we don't know if he told people earlier or not; as yet it hasn't become plot relevant, as Harry's been the only one with a chance to use this knowledge.
      • One thing to remember: The most likely people to fight Nicodemus, and to need the info, are the Knights of the Cross. As the RPG rule book shows, one of the explicit powers of the Swords of the Cross is to satisfy the catch of whatever the wielder is fighting, provided they spend a fate point (probably representing that they're in Mission from God mode)—this is how Michael was able to beat a Plot Device-level dragon singlehandedly.

        In other words, the people Dresden would most likely need to tell Nic's weaknesses to don't actually need to know it. If one of the Knights got within swinging distance of Nicodemus and landed a solid hit with his or her sword, he'd be dead, noose or no noose. Why do you think he's so eager to capture and/or destroy the Swords?

        There's also the issue that the weakness requires getting within arm's reach of a 2000 year old combatant with a prehensile shadow, dozens of servants, and all manner of magical defenses. Even if you did know that you could strangle Nic with the noose, getting to the damned thing is another matter.
    • Strangling Nicodemus with the noose would cut off his voice and deny the old S.O.B. the chance to surrender, and we already know that the Knights literally cannot deny the Denarians that option while remaining true to their calling. So even if Harry did tell them, it's questionable how much use that knowledge could ever be to the Three. To some other opponent, now...

     Denarians and the Accords 
  • The Denarians are signatories of the Accords? Really? These are the same angels who rebelled against God eons ago and have spent the last two thousand years trying to bring about various apocalypses (apocalii?) while doing their best to corrupt or kill every man, woman and child in sight. Lasciel makes a serious point about how unpleasant the Fallen find the idea of being controlled and told what to do. These creatures don't like rules. Heck, I'm not even going to ask how you can have a peace-keeping agreement with a group who's sole purpose seems to be entropy and the destruction of, well, everything. Even IF Nicodemus managed to convince the other twenty-nine that it was in their best interest to pretend to play along and keep a low profile (unlikely when you're dealing with beings like Ursiel, who honestly want nothing more than to kill everything in sight), how many Black Plagues does it take for the supernatural community to say "You know what? We've had enough of your shit." I'd think that some iteration of the Council (or perhaps a high-ranking fae)would have at least attempted to take them all out at once, similar to the hunt for Kemmler. Obviously it's not going to work in the long run, we all know that the cursed pocket change has a way of getting free, but why not make the attempt? I'm simply amazed that anyone could be under the illusion that these guys operate in anything resembling good faith when they've been marauding since the early A.D.
    • Technically speaking attempting to annihilate the earth/kill most humans doesn't violate the accords. Otherwise Aurora would've been in violation.
    • Causing widespread destruction to mortals is not a violation of the Accords. The Accords are violated when one of their members - who are almost exclusively supernatural powers - is attacked by other members of the Accords or violates the rules set within, i.e. violating the parameters of a duel. The fae mostly don't care what happens to mortals, and to be honest, they don't really have much sway in the mortal world. Even Mab and Titania can only act in the mortal world through their knights or with mortal agents, and most of their business is conducted in the Nevernever. As for signing the Accords themselves, while some of the Denarians are violent psychopaths, they're apparently intelligent enough or rational enough to follow Nicodemus' or Tessa's lead, and both of them are smart enough to recognize the value of a treaty that offers them protection from supernaturals but doesn't hinder their interactions with mortals, which is their main schtick anyway. As for why the White Council didn't destroy the Denarians, the White Council is very much a hands-off organization that restricts itself to dealing with wizards. They targeted Kemmler because Kemmler was a wizard. They don't bother the Denarians because the Denarians focus on mortals; they only get involved with the Denarians when they do something extremely serious, i.e. compromising the Archive.
    • They may not like being signatories of the Accords, but the Denarians cannot afford to not be signatories. If you're a supernatural faction and you cheese somebody off on the spooky side, and you don't have the protection of the Accords, its open season on you and everyone else in your faction. The Denarians tend to step on toes on the spooky side from time to time, and they need some form of legal protection from the other supernatural heavy-hitters. The "Our World" book also goes into some detail as to what the Accords covers, and it specifically doesn't cover causing destruction in the mortal world beyond avoiding cheesing off the supernatural factions there. Note also that Nicodemus is probably also gaming the system, as he routinely goes against his word; signing the Accords affords him an advantage in terms of legal freedom and protection that he can twist to his own ends (just like everyone else).
    • Per Word of God, the Council generally avoids getting involved with the Denarians, though periodically they will take the "kid gloves" off and lay the smackdown on a powerful being that is a serious threat. For the most part, they keep everyone else in check by the fact that wizards might be able to whup your ass, being wizards.
    • Also, the Council and the Denarians don't apparently cross paths very often, to the point that Captain Luccio, supreme asskicker of the Wardens and pretty much one of the most experienced wizards in the world when it comes to whupping eldritch ass, is largely unfamiliar with them. The Denarians probably deliberately keep their distance from the Council, too, to avoid having them come down on them.
    • Just because they signed it, doesn't mean they follow it. There are DAMN good reasons to keep a treaty you have no intention of following. All they have to do is make sure to kill the people who catch them breaking it! Or, wait for people to forget.

     The White Council and Muggle Troops 
  • One thing that's always bothered me, especially since Dead Beat: Why doesn't the White Council use mortal troops? I can understand that they might not have the raw firepower and versatility of a Warden, but since the Wardens' numbers are already so extensively limited, supplementing them with mortal footsoldiers might be helpful, especially after they suffered so many casualties in the Red Court assault. We know that informed mortals who know what they're up against can handle themselves well enough, and while they wouldn't have access to immensely advanced technology, fairly rugged gear like shotguns, semi-automatic rifles, and grenades appear to work just fine around wizards. I'd imagine weapons like the RPG-7 would work well around wizards too, being fairly simple devices. Soldiers properly outfitted and trained by the White Council and armed with weapons suited for fighting supernatural threats would be a boon to the Council in most situations, especially after the huge losses they took in Dead Beat. The only reason I can think of for them to not use vanilla mortal soldiers is strict traditionalism among the Senior Council and the Council's general tendency to not keep up with modern times.
    • Do they even have the budget to maintain a cadre of mortal troops?
    • Considering the amount of money they have to blow on places like the Ostentatiatory, and how long the Council has been around - Pre-Roman times, according to Turn Coat - and the width and breadth of their operations, not to include the accrued personal interest of many of the members, they certainly should. At least enough to keep a few thousand troops with small arms to handle guard duty/combat support.
    • When the White Council fights, it fights against supernatural things. A RPG might be powerful, but seeing as mundane troops in the series die in droves, the Council might see them as temporary meatshields that get in their way in even the best circumstances. The Council also sees itself tasked with keeping the magical world outside the consciousness of the mundanes, so I doubt they would even consider mundanes as troops. And even if its not a rational consideration, the idea that they would even need the mundanes isn't compatible with the general arrogance and feelings of superiority in most high ranking Council members.
      • Ordinary troops die in droves, yes, but that's because they don't know what they're up against. In White Night we see well-trained mercenaries who are experienced in dealing with the supernatural, and they hold up very well against the monsters they're fighting.
      • In Changes we find out those weren't exactly vanilla mortals.
    • I think it's just an issue of the White Council wanting to keep themselves secret. Harry is still the only wizard we know of that operates in the open, and even he only drops the White Council's existence on a need-to-know basis. Whether or not this is actually practical is another matter, but stubborn adherence to tradition does seem rather characteristic of the Council (or, indeed, any organization that's been around for more than a couple centuries)
      • Indeed, it seems that Harry is seen as pretty much a radical for even considering that mortals might be better off knowing about the supernatural. At one point (I think it was in Proven Guilty), Madrigal Raith tries to smugly point out that they're in public in the belief that it means Harry won't risk revealing his magic - and is rather shocked when Harry points out that he's in the yellow pages under "Wizards."
      • Seriously? This is an issue that has been addressed since pretty much the first book. If any one side starts openly using mortal humans to fight their battles, then they'll all start doing it, in order to redress the balance of power. This would quickly descend into chaos, as all the sides start sending whole armies of armed and informed mortals against one another, with no care for subtlety since by that point The Masquerade has pretty much gone out the window. It would cause unprecedented destruction.
      • Which stops the Red Court from using mortal soldiers to - oh wait, nope, they've got mortal mooks all over the place, and have no issues with employing entire armies of their vampire-worshipping cult members and mercenaries. Well, at least the White Court won't - oh, nevermind, look at the legions of thralls they have. But we can at least count on the Denarians to - no, wait they use mortal soldiers too; a virtual "nation" of fanatic cultists according to Shiro. For heavens' sakes, the only supernatural force in the Dresden setting that doesn't make use of mortal soldiers aside from the Council is the Faerie Courts, and even they have the Knights and thralls. OP isn't saying that they should be alerting the world governments about it, but asked why the Council isn't using mortal armsmen to supplement their forces, especially when everyone else already is doing the same.
      • As I recall, it was just sending mortal authorities after a supernatural entity that was taboo. Police, politicians, and others that have a chance of breaking the masquerade are out, but non-influencial mortals seem perfectly fine. Perhaps influence is allowed if the victim is still unaware of the supernatural, but as no one wants the masquerade broken, someone who might make the public aware cannot be used. Still, the White Council is just behind the times by a ridiculous amount. On second thought, it's the White Council's job to protect mortals, not send them to the front lines; that's why most of the Laws have to do with humans and aren't broken when magic is used against supernatural creatures. They can't use mortals because they still want to keep awareness down and in addition are doing all they can to protect humanity from the supernatural.
      • No, it's not just the authorities, that just comes up because of Murphy. A roiling mass of hysterical mortal humanity is described as the nuclear bomb of the supernatural world.

     The Skinwalker's shapeshifting 
  • The Skinwalker. It's portrayed as this nigh-unstoppable killing machine that tears through everyone and everything in its path. But then, during the Shape-Shifter Showdown, it isn't able to hurt "Native American Joe" because its claws can't cut through a bear's thick hide. Seriously?
    • Did you even read the scene in question? The skinwalker had long, thin, delicate claws suited to slicing apart unarmored humans on long, thin arms. Those won't affect thick armor very well; it's like trying to shove a stiletto through chobham, or a needle through thick wood. You'd need claws in a different shape with a different thickness of muscle behind them to penetrate armor like the kind the bear-form had.
      • But, see, if the Skinwalker was as badass as it was made out to be, it should have been able to shove a stiletto through chobham or a needle through thick wood.
      • No. Force and momentum still exist in The Dresden Files, and the skinwalker's muscles still have to do business with physics. If the blades are not the right shape to penetrate thick hide and the skinwalker's muscles aren't of the right shape to drive them through thick hide, they're not going to penetrate. And since this is a magical bear the size of a minibus created by a Magical Native American member of the Senior Council, that bear's hide is probably going to be pretty damn thick. The skinwalker's going to need thicker muscles and shorter, tougher claws to penetrate that armor.
      • I assumed, given the huge swaths of destruction it created earlier, that the Skinwalker had mystically enhanced strength. Like how Thomas only has the muscle mass of a decently in-shape human being, but can bend steel in his bare hands if he has to.
      • Superhuman strength still has to come from somewhere, and the skinwalker is pitting itself against a magically generated bear the size of a minibus formed from one of the most powerful wizards on the planet. Its armor is going to be thick.
      • Okay, I can buy that the bear Injun Joe turned into was tougher than your average bear, though if that was what Jim Butcher intended he didn't get it across very well, at least in my opinion.
      • Actually he did; you just didn't pay attention.
      • It's a bear the size of a minibus. How in the nine and a half hells does that not get across to you "tougher than your average bear"? For future reference, if you take a bear, and make it six or sevene times larger, with human intelligence and powered by the magic of one of the seven strongest wizards on the face of the planet, it's going to be tougher than a regular bear. I'm at a loss for how in the hell this could have been at all unclear.
    • If the skinwalker was equally powerful regardless of its form, then what would be the point of it shapeshifting in the first place? A major factor in it being such a powerful killing machine is because it is able to assume whatever form is ideal for the task at hand, and changing between them rapidly. It just so happened that Listens-To-Wind was capable of changing shapes so that he was in the ideal form for either defending himself from the form that the skinwalker had taken, or for attacking it in turn, and he was able to keep pace with it. Combined with the fact that Injun Joe was able to negate its magical attacks, and it becomes a battle of attrition that the skinwalker is unable to risk losing. Joe does admit that if they he had given chase to the skinwalker, there was a good chance of it getting the best of him simply by virtue of exhausting him or gaining a more advantageous battleground.
      • I thought the general consensus was that if he gave chase, Injun Joe would be the one to come on top, he didn't want to give chase because he knew the Skinwalker would kill a lot of innocent people to try and distract him.
      • Injun Joe himself says it could've gone either way, as the Skinwalker would've gotten desperate and probably done things like endanger innocent people to get an edge.

     Murphy's P 90 
  • ....wait a sec. I though Murphy dropped her P90 in the lake in Small Favor. Did she get a new one between Small Favor and Changes? Or did Kincaid buy her a new one?
    • Actually, in Dead Beat, Harry says he helped a coin collector track down a box of coins he dropped into Lake Michigan. Its most likely that Harry simply used some classic thaumaturgy to track down the P90 and recover it.

     Demonreach's knowledge 
  • Demonreach is (1) holding secrets about Harry's past, and probably his mother; (2) linked to somewhere interesting in the NeverNever. After Turn Coat, why didn't Harry just go back to the island and remember the answer to all those secrets?
    • Because Demonreach doesn't know those answers at all. Note that when the wards first appear, Harry is confused and doesn't know what's going on; given how the intellectus works, if Demonreach had known what that was, the moment Harry started wondering what was going on, he would have known. If something happens on Demonreach and Harry can't comprehend it through the intellectus, then that's because Demonreach doesn't know it either.
      • Its also possible that even if Demonreach possessed that information, it doesn't understand it. Its not human; its a malevolent, immortal spirit of pure magical energy. It doesn't necessarily understand things like humans do, so it may literally not understand human secrets or thoughts. Remember that Demonreach's intellectus is focused entirely on things that happen on its shores.
    • The issue with the NeverNever is likely entirely outside of the bounds of Demonreach's intellectus as well; Demonreach knows everything about itself, specifically. It doesn't know anything about the NeverNever; when the wizard team hops onto Demonreach, they literally appear on Demonreach, with no warning, and Harry doesn't know where they came from; if Demonreach knew where in the NeverNever they'd come from, that question would have answered itself the moment they started appearing.

     Harry's scars and wizard healing 
  • In Small Favor, we get a list of scars Harry has accumulated. How can Harry have scars when wizards heal until all traces of their wounds are gone?
    • That all of Harry's wounds will (probably) heal fully without leaving a trace does not mean that healing is instantaneous. E.g. the broken bones on Butter's X-Rays had years to heal, and his hand has also been continually healing for some years (and is still badly scarred.) He has an assortment of scars because he pretty much gets beat to hell and back in every book, so they accumulate faster than his healing powers have had time to make them fade.

     Margaret's name on DF wikis 
  • Less a problem with the books and more a problem withthe fandom information sharing archives: Why is Margaret LeFay/Margaret Dresden (nee Margaret McCoy) registered in every wiki I could find that had her in it as Maggie Dresden, an obscure nickname used only by her husband and father? Her given name is Margaret, her title is Lefay, and the name by which the viewpoint character knows her is Margaret Dresden, so why has the fandom latched onto the name "Maggie Dresden" instead of one of the names searchers are more likely to use? Particularly annoying since Maggie Dresden is now the usual name of Margaret's granddaughter).
    • First three hits of a DF wiki found through Google: Margaret Gwendolyn LeFay McCoy Dresden, Margaret Gwendolyn LeFay Dresden, Margaret Lefay. None of the three have "Maggie" in the article's title or opening line.
      • There were three (aside from the Wikipedia page), and I couldn't find any others. It's possible that the wikidot page was changed to reflect new information, and they added a page, unless it was the other way around.
    • Also, "Maggie" for "Margaret" isn't exactly obscure.
      • It was (as of pre-Changes) and probably still is obscure name for her.

     Molly using visible light in combat 
  • A fairly minor and sciency issue, but why does Molly stick to visible spectrum light with her magic? Heat, X-rays, Microwaves, etc, are all beams/streams of photons exactly like light is, just with different frequencies, so logically she should be able to alter her rave spell to produce them without too much difficulty. Doing so would give her an extremely effective method of attack that's invisible and travels at the speed of light, making her far more capable of defending herself. I know it's possible she simply hasn't had the time to work out how to do this, but I can't see it being that much of change from her usual rave spell, which she has apparently been using for a while by Changes.
    • Well, as you just pointed out, she's not that experienced; she probably didn't have the training under her belt to alter an existing spell like that. Since she's specializing in altering the visible spectrum (i.e. veils) she may not have much skill or experience altering nonvisible spectrums. Also, keep in mind that magic is still focused on intent - Molly may be willing to help, but if she's mentally unable to bring herself to cast lethal magic, there's not going to be lethal magic flying about, period. And as Harry has pointed out, Molly is extremely emotionally sensitive in combat, so she's likely mentally incapable of firing off magic capable of doing harm. Hence the 'Rave' spell, which confuses and frightens the vampires with bright light.
    • It's also a power issue. There's nothing special about infrared that makes it heat things up - enough visible light will do exactly the same thing.
    • Ditto for microwaves and X-rays. You'd need to put a lot of power into either to be really effective; a powerful blast of X-rays is probably going to give a victim cancer and they'll eventually die, but that's going to take a while, and while microwaves are painful, they're not immediately lethal unless you put a lot of power into them. For comparison, we currently have microwave-generated "pain ray" technology, but in order to get to effective levels it needs a vehicle-mounted generator. Molly might be able to create a similar pain ray, but it won't last long - especially with as raw and untrained as she is. Give her as much time as Harry to train up and learn how to achieve more with less, and Molly might be able to use other elements of the spectrum as weapons.
    • Like someone else said, intent matters. Well, so does perception. How could Molly (or any magic-user, although an experienced one might figure out some clever way to do this) create light outside the visible spectrum if she doesn't know what that light looks like? A wizard needs to be able to picture something to create it and someone with human eyeballs can't picture something that's not visible.
      • Through the indepth study of Physics, something Molly is lacking but is not out of the realm of possiblity for some other wizard.
    • Molly is also under the Doom of Damocles. She's not likely to be researching anything that can be immediately lethal anytime soon.
    • Another issue was brought up in Small Favor: Molly is very empathic and thus very sensitive to the ebb and flow of combat and the psychic shock of battle, and she's not terribly good at evocation and other quick-and-dirty magic. Put together, it means she has a great deal of trouble simply keeping her head clear in combat, let alone regularly casting destructive evocation. As a result, it makes a lot of sense that she'd stick with spells she knows. Also, casting spells of blinding light and illusions is probably a hell of a lot less energy-intensive than casting beams of focused light capable of burning flesh. She may be capable, theoretically, of casting harmful spells using the visible spectrum of light, but that doesn't mean she is capable of doing so practically.

     Harry's location at the end of Changes 
  • At the end of Changes Harry doesn't have a home and gets the Water Beetle from Thomas. Why doesn't he move to Demonreach where the intellectus would protect him from anyone trying to get close enough to kill him? He could fix up the cottage, there'd be wildlife for Mister to chase. He could put in a garden (he'd know exactly how to get it to be the productive) and raise free range chickens and such. (Where are the eggs? Right over there!) He spent time living on Ebenezer's farm, it wouldn't be that unfamiliar a lifestyle.
    • For the short term, he was absolutely, incredibly, totally, unbelievably tired. He was just trying to recover from all the crap he'd just survived. He probably could have moved out to Demonreach, given a bit of time to rest and think. Unfortunately, he caught a bad case of sniper.
      • Also, it was the really short term (he'd only had a snack, taken a nap, and gotten cleaned up from the event that morning), and he had a hot date that afternoon/evening. It was just like him crashing at Thomas's place that one time after a case before heading home, assuming he even wanted to live on a fount of dark energy where he immediately knows everything, which would be like having an annoying neighbor with a telepathy-powered stereo on all night.
      • And in the long-run, the commute from Demonreach to Chicago would be hell. The boat ride takes hours and considering that Demonreach is a source of dark energy, stepping into the Nevernever could be extremely dangerous.
    • And it would be pointless. He knew Mab was coming to get him anyway, he didn't need to make long-term plans and was too exhausted to even think about it.

     Difference between mortal magic and vampire magic 
  • Has the difference between magics (Say, Harry's wizarding and Thomas' Hunger) ever been addressed? Specifically, the Murphyonic field; Thomas drives around in a tank of a car, yet it's not until Harry gets in that things start to break. Same thing with the Alphas and their trucks — everything works fine until Harry gets into the picture. Is it only wizard!magic that affects technology?
    • I don't know if it's been directly addressed, but yeah, it seems like it's strictly wizard magic that does it since everyone else in the mystical world doesn't seem to have a problem with higher technology.
    • Harry says it is specifically wizards who have that kind of effect on technology. The more powerful the wizard, the more they muck up technology. The Alphas are not very powerful and only know what looks like some kind of internalized magic, probably something that can be taught to any vanilla mortal. I'd assume that if the source of the power is external, i.e. the Denarians' magic, it probably doesn't effect technology either. Then again, we never see many of the Red Court upper-level muckamucks or the Denarians using advanced technology either. They tend to let mortals do the computer work.
      • Then again, a lot of the reason the Red Court and Denarians tend to let mortals do their computer work is because it's all newfangled shininess to them. Fountain pens are newfangled shininess to some of them.
    • The RPG rulebook Your Story gets into more detail about this. Nonhuman beings, like faeries, have complete control over all their magic. Mortal beings have inner conflict, which leads to some of that magic being uncontrolled, and thus leaking into the environment. Presumably, White Court vampires get a free pass because it's the Hunger that controls their power, and not their mortal self.
      • And the story Backup gives a little more insight, as it's told from Thomas's perspective. He calls his hunger his "demon" which acts almost like a separate entity in him. Basically, it's the devil on his shoulder egging him on. It's treated as entirely separate from any wizardry-type magic, which Thomas views as a skill more than anything. He knows enough to do a decent tracking spell, but not enough that it endangers any of his electronics.

        As for the Alphas, in Day Off, Harry looks at two of them with his Sight, and he notes that there's a magical aura on them that he's used to seeing, but only when they're shifted, so while they're in human form, there's no more magic on them than a normal person.

     Blood Rites and angry actresses 
  • Here's one that I never got: in Blood Rites, when Harry prevents the shower accident from being a fatal accident, one of the actresses mentions that the girl who was hurt wouldn't be able to work in adult films any more if she were to have a scar from the accident. Harry comments, "It could be worse," and by "worse" he clearly means "dead". So then where does the woman's rant come from, about how porn is no less valid a choice of career than any other form of acting and Harry is a terrible person for thinking otherwise? It comes out of nowhere and doesn't really relate to the conversation they've been having up to that point.
    • Because Emma is used to getting crap from people for her work, and at the moment is tense, and thus overreacting? And she says so herself, the first part during her rant and the second part when she apologizes to Harry immediately after?

     Justine's "Bow" 
  • A little random, but: In Grave Peril, Justine has a bow on her, somewhere. This looks like Getting Crap Past the Radar, but I honestly can't figure out where it's supposed to be, and...well, it seems a little redundant if that's the case, given that we've already been told explicitly that she's nude otherwise.
    • I figured she was wearing it around her waist. That way, she wasn't really covered at all, and I figure it's where it would be most comfortable.
  • I had always thought that it was a ribbon tied strategically around her chest and breasts, though showing everything except what everyone would really want to see. Makes sense to sorta kinda hide the goods if you want Harry to "unwrap" his present.
    • I assumed it was a bigass bow tied sideways around her waist. And another question would be: Why is Thomas handing over the woman he loves to his brother for a night?
      • Possibly because in Grave Peril he a) wasn't yet in love with her (and hence could feed on her) and b) didn't know Harry was his brother. So what he was doing was sending his favorite plaything to help console the guy who saved her from Bianca, and had lost his lover in the process. Sort of nice in a creepy, White Court Vampire kind of way.
        • Or Thomas knew Harry wasn't the type to have casual sex, especially with a White Court Vampire's snack of choice, and just sent Justine to maintain his cover as a stupid playboy.
        • Yes, he did know Harry was his brother. That is why he already knew Harry's name, and was so pleased to meet him. He knew who his mother was, so it wouldn't have been difficult to look up birth records for that sort of thing, especially if he knew when his mother died, and learned that it was when Harry was born.
        • So, in that case, since he wasn't in "True Love" with Justine at that point, if really liked her...he basically considered it a good idea to send his brother a prostitute so he could get laid. Makes sense for Thomas, actually. *Sarcasm tags are off*
      • Or maybe it's that Justine herself was feeling horny, but Thomas was worried that his Hunger was too intense that day not to damage her permanently if they were intimate. So he sent her to get boffed by one of the only males whom he trusts at all.

     Elaine's spellcasting language 
  • In Summer Knight, Harry mentions that Elaine uses Egyptian as her spellcasting language. But in White Night, she shouts "Fulminaris!" for a lightning spell... and "fulmen" is Latin for "lightning". Is the Egyptian similar, is this a plot hole, or is it some other third thing?
    • You can use any words you want for spellcasting. Elaine simply chose a different word for casting the energy-blast spell. Harry could potentially cast spells using the words "bloogity-bloogity" if he wanted.
      • see: Flickum Bickus.
      • Yes, they can. But they don't. Even Flickum Bickus sounds like it's based on Latin (with the -um and -us endings), which is how Harry structures his spells. It doesn't matter if it's gibberish in the spellcasting language. It's still gibberish in the spellcasting language. "Fulminaris", to me, sounds conspicuously like Latin and nothing like Egyptian.
      • I'm not sure what the issue is here. You don't need to stick to a particular language for your spells. Most wizards do, but they don't have to. Obviously, Elaine chose to use words in different languages (or other gibberish) for different spells. There's no rule that wizards have to follow one particular language schema for their spells. For all we know, Elaine switches up the languages for her spells to keep people guessing what she's about to use.
      • There's no rule that they have to use language at all. They explicitly state over and over again that the words just serve to delineate the boundaries between 'my brain' and 'this magic'. The more unfamiliar the words are, the greater the buffer. Harry casts without words on occasion, and the result is basically a magical acid trip as he is unable to tell the difference between his senses and his magic. They also explicitly state that they could use any words at all, it's just the more unfamiliar they are the better it works.
      • Is that why Harry still sucks at Latin?
      • He sucks at Latin because he learned it from a mail-away correspondence course.
    • Elain used to copy Harry's answers. Maybe he came up with the spell idea?

     The Masquerade 
  • Fool Moon Question: I get that people try and pretend that the supernatural doesn't exist no matter what happens, but they never explain how they cover up the Loup-garou's attack on the police station. Camera's caught him, along with the entire police station. Bodies were ripped and bitten through in a way that can't really be explained other than a creature like a werewolf. There are DOZENS of eyewitnesses. The number of people that died, did none of their families go out of their way to show their mutilated bodies to the pubic as proof of existence? What about all the damage Dresden did in the office as a wizard, along with the loup-garou? What exactly did they say to the mayor when they said they needed to rebuild Police headquarters? How on earth did they cover THAT one up? * Note: I have only read the first 2 Dresden books, so if it's explained later on, try to avoid spoilers if possible*
    • It is passed off as an animal attack, for the most part. Most of the eyewitnesses are SI cops or prisoners (both "unreliable" officially) I believe the damage itself was passed off as terrorism. SI pretty much has to bullshit everything that happened because the higher-ups refuse to accept supernatural explanations; the entire point behind SI is that they take supernatural crap and come up with a "realistic" explanation for all of it; Harry even specifically says that SI writes more fiction than many novelists.
      • Did the families of those who had their loved ones ripped to shreds really accept that an ordinary animal somehow wandered into the police station and started ripping people limb from limb? Did all the officers really just accept that the government just covered it all up with convenient excuses? I mean, I understand that the higher ups would try to handwave all this away with 'realistic explanations', but I just find it hard to believe that people directly connected to what happened there didn't make more noise in trying to reveal the truth about what happened. In the 30 or more people that saw the Loup-garou, in all the family members who had their loved one torn apart in a way that no local animal could do it, no one went on the air about this, telling personal stories on the news and stuff like that? No one displayed the bodies to public media that proved that there was no way an ordinary animal could do all that? What about the families of the prisoners? They were slaughtered in the custody of the police before they got a chance at their trial. Did people related to them just accept that an animal somehow got through metal bars and tore them up?
        • Did they ever specify that it was a local animal? Maybe they claimed some drug dealer who was pissed at the cops turned his pet grizzly bear loose in the station, or something.
      • In a word, yes. Because to sane, rational humanity, werewolves don't exist. This is a setting where people abjectly (and rather thick-headedly) refuse to accept the supernatural exists. Trust me, the loup-garou attack is literally trivial compared to the degree by which people are willing to refuse to accept the supernatural later on. In Grave Peril, several vampire corpses are recovered from Bianca's ball, and they are actually subjected to a complete autopsy by a certified medical examiner who conclusively asserts that they are not human, and he is immediately blacklisted by his superiors and thrown in a psychiatric ward, because vampires don't exist and his conclusions prove he's possibly insane. In Dead Beat, Harry speaks to the aforementioned medical examiner after he's attacked by zombies, including the corpse of one of his coworkers, and still has to work to convince him of what's really going on. In that same book, Harry rides a zombie T-Rex through downtown, smashing several buildings and stomping through a National Guard checkpoint, and no one takes it seriously. In Changes, a major historical landmark is the site of a massive battle leaving hundreds of corpses scattered about, and while it causes a stir, no one even considers it to be due to the supernatural; it's put down to an earthquake. To the majority of mankind, the supernatural doesn't exist. It was a big, nasty animal, coupled with a terrorist attack. It was a localized earthquake. It was faulty work by a deranged medical examiner. It was something other than vampires, werewolves, zombie dinosaurs, or warring wizards. And the series regularly acknowledges this, and Harry himself is exasperated by how bone-headedly stupid the Muggles are in his world, and angrily comments on how the "rational" explanations do make less sense than supernatural ones.
    • Well, um.....wow. Really. Wow.
      • Yes, and as noted, this is acknowledged in the setting. Humans are derisively mocked by the various supernaturals because they refuse to acknowledge the supernatural is there, preferring to find "rational" explanations. People who come up with supernatural explanations are branded quacks or insane; people who claim to have witnessed magic in action or seen monsters are labeled as insane. The entire reason Special Investigations exists is to cover up what's really going on, not because of some conspiracy, but because their superiors abjectly refuse to accept any supernatural explanation because that doesn't exist, and all evidence to the contrary is false. Of course, there's some evidence that there may actually be a concerted effort by some of the supernaturals to push this point, particularly on the White Court's part, as they have nothing but benefits from a humanity that refuses to believe in the supernatural, and we know they've got fingers in various government agencies (and as of Changes, Lara Raith has gotten high enough up in the government that she can move US Navy helicopters around into foreign countries....) There is some sort of government coverup going on at some level, as evidenced by the disappearance of the loup-garou videotapes. We know the Black Council has infiltrated the FBI, Nicodemus is active across the globe and likely is behind a lot of it as well (and is an expert at covering his tracks and destroying evidence), and the Red Court pretty much controls South and Central America and Mexico and has major controlling interests in Africa and Europe. So, we know the supernaturals are able to quash investigation at the higher levels, or at least run interference long enough to destroy evidence.
    • The beginning of Aftermath actually devotes about a page to Murphy narrating exactly this process.
    • There are strong indicators that the supernatural groups and organizations are engaging in a deliberate campaign to make humanity disbelieve in the supernatural and suppress the truth. The Red Court, for example, has Duke Paolo Ortega, who has a reputation for debunking supernatural occurences as hoaxes, and it is strongly implied that they have plenty more active agents working to keep the truth suppressed. As noted above, the Denarians actively destroy records relating to them. The W#hite Court's power and influence allows them to stymie investigation. The White Council supresses knowledge of their activities in an effort to avoid a neo-Inquisition. So, Harry's complaint that there's no conspiracy to suppress the truth is kind of disingenious, because there does appear to be at least some deliberate efforts on the part of the supernatural powers to avoid attention lest humanity go on a murdering spree.

     On broken legs, phone booths, and asshole Denarians 
  • I never really got the whole part where Harry breaks Cassius' legs then threw the quarter to him to call for help, only to have it pointed out that phone calls cost 50 cents. But I live in a place where public phone calls to emergency services are free. Were they expecting him to call non-medical services, or do emergency calls in Chicago actually cost money?
    • Cassius may actually be forced to not call emergency services. Remember, he's a Denarian, his biology is weird, he's likely a wanted man, he's an enemy of Marcone and the Church, and he's a sorcerer. Going to a mortal hospital may very well be a Bad Thing for him.
      • His biology is different? With the demonic possession absent from his body, why should Cassius be substantially different from that of a normal person? He is (likely) a wanted man, as well as having no legitimate ID and, if his next appearance is any indication, probably little to no money.
      • We can't be sure what effect giving up the coin would have had on his body. Maybe he would have gone back to being a normal human, maybe not. Even if so, though, how old was he? Because some Denarians were thousands of years old. If Cassius was even just two hundred years old, his body would have had noticeably different antibodies than a modern person. In addition, as a wizard, he'd be Walking Techbane. He wouldn't care about the risk he'd pose to other people in the hospital, but unpredictable mechanical failures could be bad for him too as a patient. Simply put, he has many reasons to not want to wind up in a Muggle hospital.
    • If Cassius doesn't have the money for a phone call, he wouldn't be smart enough to remember that. Heck, they might be RELYING on Cassius realizing, after putting in the 50 cents, that emergency calls are free. Harry was just being a dick to Cassius...MST 3 K mantra.

     Bloodline curse 
  • Here's one that's been bugging me since I finished Changes: So we have this bloodline curse that kills off anyone related to the sacrifice. That's why they chose Maggie - her blood runs from her father Harry, to his mother Margaret, to her father Ebenezer, who was the intended target. But then Harry sacrifices the newly-turned Susan in order to wipe out the Red Court. Shouldn't Maggie have been affected as well, seeing as Susan is her mother? Did I miss a part of the book that explained this? Did becoming a Red Court suddenly nullify Susan's bloodline with Maggie?
    • Bloodline curses apparently only work upwards. If you used a bloodline curse on the King of the Red Court, for instance, you wouldn't take out the entire Red Court, only the vampire which created the King (who may have been the first RCV).
      • Bloodline curses work sideways— Harry said to Thomas that if Maggie had brothers and sisters, they'd die first— then upwards. They kill off your generation and all generations above you in your family tree. They do not work downwards at all.
    • Also, when Susan was turned, it was a complete turn. There's nothing human left there. She may still have her memories and feelings from being a human, but the transformation into a Red Court vampire is absolute in a biological sense.
    • True this. Harry asks Bob how Thomas would be affected by the curse at one point. Bob says that because Maggie is human, only the human parts of Thomas would be affected, leaving him trapped in his body, and that the curse wouldn't spread to his Raith siblings. Thus, because Susan is fully vampire by the time she is sacrificed, only the vampire portions of her "family" tree are affected. Even the half-vampires in the Red Court are purged of their vampiric essences and made human, though aged according to how long they've lived as such.

     Bloodline curse and Thomas 
  • Why didn't the Red Court use Thomas for the blood sacrifice? I mean its not like Thomas is that hard to kidnap, seeing as he's been held hostage two or three times before. If you kill off Maggie, you wipe out Harry, Ebenezar, Susan, and all their family. Bob said that Thomas probably wouldn't die because of the Hunger, but might get sent into a coma. But if you kill off Thomas, you not only kill of Harry (his half-brother) and Ebenezar ( his grandfather), but at best you get to kill off the entire White Court, the very force that has prevented the Red Court from moving into much of Europe and North America, or at worst wipe out the entire house Raith and seriously destabilize the White Court, letting Skavis and Malvora pick up the pieces. You get more for less.
    • Thomas is under the protection of the White Court. Taking Thomas is a direct provocation to the White Court in general and Lara in particular. Attacking Thomas like that is going to provoke a war with the Whites, and at the end of Changes, Lara is implied to be in control of the US military - or at least having enough control to arrange for a few dozen cruise missiles to find their way to Chicen Itza. I don't think the Reds want that. There's a reason why the Whites have been able to keep the Reds out of Northern Europe. Not to mention openly attacking the White Court will likely be a breach of the Unseelie Accords, and any allies the Whites have (like, say, mortal militaries in countries they have dominant interests in) and supernatural allies will be all over the Reds.
      • It's also worth noting that the curse goes upwards, so you won't get Harry or Lara. You'd get Thomas, you'd get the White King, and you'd get Ebenezer. Probably not worth violating the Unseelie accords over.
        • No, it also works sideways. Read the topic above, Harry says it would have killed Maggie's siblings if she had any. Thus, if the curse was used on Thomas, Harry would also die.
    • Does the Red Court even know how Thomas is related to Harry? The only people who actually know aside from Harry and Thomas are Luccio, Murphy, Molly, Bob, Lara, Justine and Ebenezar. Hell, I don't think even Michael or Sanya know they're related. Besides, the entire reason why the Red Court went after Maggie was because Martin fed that information to Arianna.
    • Almost no one knows that Harry and Thomas are related. This is a major point between Lara and Harry for a while; Lara knows Harry and Thomas are related, but that information is balanced against Harry knowing she controls the White Court. Neither of them will act against the other because they don't want that information getting out. The Red Court is included in that list of folks who are unaware They didn't kidnap Thomas because they didn't know it would work on him (also, as noted above, he'll be harder to capture and attacking him provokes the rage of the White Court).
    • They comment about how it is somewhat specific. Harry understood that it would kill Thomas' human aspect if used against Maggie, leaving his demon stuffed inside a shell and not affect anyone else.
    • Even if they knew Thomas was related to Harry, it would be unlikely that they would target him. The Red Court might be able to overpower Thomas, but he's still stronger and tougher than any mortal. They'd have an easier time targeting a mortal family with no awareness of the vampire threat than they would with a powerful, skilled vampire scion of the White Court.

     One too many minivans 
  • In Proven Guilty, when Harry and Thomas arrive at the Carpenter home while tracing the rebounded Fetches that Hary sent after their summoner, the place is trashed, and the Carpenter family minivan is squashed flat, effectively destroyed. Yet Charity, Harry and Thomas get in the van with all the remaining Carpenter children, and drive to St. Mary's. Oooooops!?
    • Its possible the Carpenters have two minivans, but yeah, was probably a goof on Butcher's part.
    • With all the kids they have, and probably expect to have in the future? Even two minivans might not be enough!
    • This is one of several minor acknowledged goofs in the series.

     Who hired Stevie D? 
  • Who hired Stevie D? In Changes, a gunman called Stevie D tries to kill Harry, and he identifies Susan as the one who hired him. While Harry speculates that the Red Court vamps hired Stevie D and made him think they were Susan, nothing is ever confirmed. He never mentions the incident again, not even when he and Susan have some time together during the magic limo ride. And even if we just assume the Red Court did it, that still doesn't answer the question of why they hired a Muggle sidearms specialist for the job when, as Harry points out, that's pretty much the worst sort of hired gun to send after a wizard?
    • Well, yeah, Harry doesn't mention it to Susan, because its pretty obvious that it was the Red Court in her guise. This is a setting where the supernatural boggledeyboos regularly pack shapechanging and illusory powers. Hell, Turn Coat even mentions Harry saying he's had a "shapechanger kind of night" and Luccio immediately understands. A goon saying they were hired by someone who looked like X means nothing when you've got vampires who can alter their fleshmasks to look like whoever they want and mindfucking gaze attacks. Regarding how Stevie D is "the worst sort of hired gun," don't forget that in Small Favor a pair of gunmen attacking Harry nearly killed him and Murphy and Mouse and Molly - and they were fully armed and alert. In Harry's case, he's battered and crippled when Stevie D shows up, and Stevie very nearly kills him outright; if Butters hadn't been in the way, Stevie would have walked in, put a pair of bullets in Harry's head, and been out in seconds. Also don't forget that sending a disposable mook to kill Harry is entirely in the Eebs' methodology. The Eebs just keep relentlessly hounding Harry with a constant series of attacks that each individually have a low chance of success but will eventually catch up to him, until they kill him.
    • It's also noteworthy that at the end of Changes, another (presumably mortal) assassin tries to kill him with a gun - and succeeds. It's entirely possible that this was a second attempt by whoever hired Stevie D, which would make it a mystery and upcoming plot point rather than unresolved but finished plot thread.

     White Night: Why not go to Harry's apartment? 
  • A minor example, but in White Night when the group's security has been compromised and they go to Elaine's hotel, why didn't Harry take them to his place instead? Sure, the bad guy might know where that is (this is before they find out that the bad guy's among them, obviously) but he'd have to be crazy to come after them there. I understand that there were plot-related considerations, but if someone has a better explanation, I'd be happy to hear it.
    • The villains had already fire-bombed an entire apartment building to try and get a target, burning down Harry's place wouldn't be any more difficult. And as Changes shows us, Harry's apartment is not even remotely prepared for being set on fire. Harry's place is defensible, but it is a known location, so it can be attacked. Elaine's is an unknown, the villains can't attack it if they can't find it.

     Inconsistencies in the treatment of mental magic 
  • Why is it, that in Small Favor Molly looking around in Harry's mind while he's sleeping is viewed as mildly unsettling but still a good thing to do, but in Turn Coat when she literally does the exact same thing with the exact same result he acts like she just sacrificed a puppy to Satan... on his good rug.
    • In the former's case, she's not talking to wizards of the White Council about it, and she didn't actually enter Harry's mind, she simply observed him. A wizard can observe someone without violating the law against messing with someone's mind. In the latter case, she actually entered Luccio's mind and poked around in there, and Morgan caught her in the act of doing so.
    • Having reread the scenes in question, there are a couple of differences. In the former's case, Molly didn't do it on her own; she was specifically asked by Michael Carpenter to observe Harry. In the latter case, Molly did it on her own volition. Doing something of your own volition in this series carries significantly greater weight than doing it for someone else. And also don't forget the above-mentioned caveat: Molly was caught in the act of using it by a Warden of the White Council, and the most violently fanatical among them. Even brushing against black magic is an instant death sentence for both her and him due to the Doom of Damocles. He seems to be reacting more to her being caught than her use of mental magic (as well as reacting to all the other stress and the Doom of Damocles). Also, Harry doesn't find it "mildly unsettling" that Molly was examining him; he's quite disturbed and even chews Michael out for making her do that.
    • You're misrepresenting both scenes in question. Molly observing Harry's mind in Small Favor was not presented as a "good thing to do" - Harry chews Michael out for letting her do it in the first place. In Turn Coat Harry does not act like she "just sacrificed a puppy to Satan" - he just seems tired and resigned and disappointed that she did it and that he probably didn't each her well enough to prevent her from backsliding. The only real difference between the two scenes is that Morgan caught Molly in the act in the second case.

     Boundaries of the First Law 
  • What are the boundaries of the first law? It says that mortals cannot be killed by black magic, but where does it draw the line? If Harry were to roast a half turned red court vampire would that count? They are human but with bonuses. Also, do White Court count as human with a dark part of their soul that they can draw on, or are they just monsters who are the closest to resembling humans that vampires can get? If Harry had to could he get away with killing a White court. The dual with Madrigal Raith and his partner in White Night, suggests he can but that was a Law Protected dual. Duals may have a loophole. As well can a wizard burn down a building they fully believe has only monsters but actually has one or two people in there, and be not effected by black magic corruption. if they are is it when told or is it there but not clear until they know.
    • Since Harry burns down a building that has humans in it and is not promptly executed, I think that one's been answered. Maybe since he wasn't deliberately directing it at mortals, it didn't corrupt him the same way. White Court are human until they feed/kill for the first time, and then they become Succubi and Incubi, and I think they are not considered human. They may be immortal at this point, and they are supernatural predators and killers as well. Half-turned Reds may well be the same deal; human until first vampy kill, then fair game. Of course, that's moot at this point and we may never get a canon answer.

      ...It's really not clear to me why black magic is corrupting and addictive when used deliberately against mortals, while some of the same exact spells can be used on animals and supernatural creatures with no such ill effect. Harry, for example, deliberately uses necromancy, but he isn't addicted to it because the target was a T-rex? Really? That's the part I wonder about.
    • If it isn't a pure-blooded human, it's fair game as far as the White Council is concerned. The White Council only cares if magic is used by humans against humans. The prohibition of using destructive magic does not apply to White Court; no one batted an eye when Harry killed Madrigal using magic. In addition, killing humans in and of itself using magic does not appear to be corrupting; that is an act that is specifically attributed to mind-controlling magic. Ditto for necromancy. Rather, using necromancy or lethal magic against humans is generally tied to the fact that you can't work those things without believing in them, which indicates a very twisted (or, in Harry's case, very desperate) person to begin with. Necromancy probably also gets a general round of condemnation because of associations with Kemmler. Of the other Laws, going beyond the Outer Gates and messing with time are Bad Things in general for the whole of reality, so they're right out, and I suspect changing someone else's form is as self-destructive and corrupting as enthralling or invading others' minds, which is why it is outlawed.
    • The RPG rule book Your Story gets into a bit more detail with the laws. It admits that there's some fuzzy areas where mortal/not mortal is distinguished, but the one solid thing is that humans are off limits. In the first book, Morgan tries to get Harry for 'enthralling' Toot, who's not human, but that could just be Moran being Morgan.

      That said, the book breaks them down as the first four deal with the victim's life and soul, and the last three are ones that are "just wrong" from a cosmic sense. The way I look at it, the first four are the ones that really stain the soul, because you're directly negatively affecting a person's life and soul with magic. I believe that the Necromancy falls in the last one: It's a perversion of life and death, but the victim is already dead, so you're not messing with their life and soul.

      Harry getting away with Sue was basically rules-lawyering/Loophole Abuse taking advantage of the human-centric writing of the laws.
    • It's entirely possible that the White Council is simply wrong about the Laws of Magic. (Based on the novels and short stories, at least. This troper hasn't read the RPG sourcebook or several other sources of Canon outside the books themselves, so if they are more authoritative about the Laws of Magic, I wouldn't know.) They believe that Black Magic is literally, physically corrupting, and if someone uses any of it then they're more and more likely to use worse forms of it. But is that true? Well, we've seen enough in the story to say with pretty good certainty that mental magic actually does screw you up, like the teenage warlock in Proven Guilty, and the many similar instances we're told exist and just haven't been seen. Beyond that, it just makes sense, given the very personal way magic works in this setting, that messing with someone else's mind would be very dangerous to your own. But as for all the other stuff that's against the Laws of Magic - killing, necromancy, time travel, transforming others and seeking "beyond the Outer Gates" - it's entirely possible that they're dangerous simply because they're hard to control, and they're only corrupting in the general psychological sense that power corrupts. The White Council might know this and maintain the official line about Black Magic being inherently corrupting because it's a convenient excuse to keep such dangerous practices banned, or the White Council might not have done enough research into Black Magic to even know it.
      • Keep in mind that the White Council didn't just establish the Laws of Magic to keep individual wizards from being corrupted. The Laws were established to protect mortals from wizards (Luccio explains this in Turn Coat). The fact that mental magic corrupts the mind of the user was probably incidental, and the Council's concern is that mental magic harms the victim first and foremost. Magic that directly harms mortals in any way (at least directly) is banned.
    • Per Jim, the Laws of Magic are unfair when it comes to nonhumans.
    Lighsabre: Note also the killing law only applies to Humans.
    You can kill as many faeries as you want with magic.
    Butcher: Bingo. It hardly seems fair, does it?
    The Laws of Magic don't necessarily match up to the actual universal guidelines to how the universal power known as "magic" behaves.
    • Part of it may also have something to do with the methodology used in magic, specifically predetermined over self-defense. Victor Sells and Leonid Kravos, for example, used predetermined thaumaturlogical magic to kill, and it clearly began to affect their minds. Harry, on the other hand, used an evocation used in self-defense at Bianca's party (but which went wildly out of control) and while fighting Justin. Therefore, we can conclude that predetermined use of magic to kill is probably corrupting, and by its nature thaumaturlogical magic is definitely predetermined. On the other hand, use of magic to kill humans in self-defense is less corrupting, which is what happened when Harry used his evocation at Bianca's party and when fighting DuMorne. As always, intent is important for how it affects one's mind, but the White Council doesn't really care about intent; kill a man with magic in self defense or with predetermined maliciousness, and they'll lop off your head in equal measure. The only difference is whether they'll consider a Doom of Damocles sentence first or just leap straight to choppy.

     Poor communication 
  • What is it with the poor communication in this series? Yes, of course, it's totally realistic, but still. I can even understand Harry, to a degree at least, not telling most people the important things, but my god it's contagious.
    • For example, in Aftermath. Murphy is going after the Fomori to stop them from Kidnapping more Magic Users in Chicago. That's fantastic and she does a great job and doesn't need help. But she also knows that the Fomori are pulling this all over the world. Does she bother to inform Ebenzezer? No. Okay, so, maybe she doesn't know how. Elaine? We know she's in the Phonebook now too. Nope. Hell, she could've at least taken the 30 seconds needed to tweet Lara Raith saying "Lara- Fomori are making power play on Magic Users to fill Red Court Void all over. Stop them and gain favor w Council + protect interests."
    • The entirety of Aftermath takes place over a single night wherein Karrin neither has time to contact anyone else for help nor does she have the capacity to contact anyone who can respond quickly enough. Elaine is in Los Angeles, she can't reach Ebenezar, and for all she knows, Lara is behind the kidnappings. Don't forget that Lara Raith, for all her helpful tendencies, is in charge of a group of inhuman creatures whose ultimate goal in the eventual subjugation of humanity to feed the White Court. Murphy has no reason to trust her. As for afterwards, we don't know if she contacts anyone at all because Aftermath ends immediately after the rescue. We have no idea what Murphy does afterwards.
    • And now that Ghost Story is out, we know that Murphy is in active communication with Elaine Mallory, Marcone, the White Court, the Wardens, and the Paranet to organize a counteraction against the Fomor and other supernatural threats.

     Harry can't make nice with villains 
  • In a similar vein, why exactly is Harry incapable of making nice with people like Lara Raith, Mab, and John Marcone. Not making nice in the sense of 'Hey let's all go get waffles', but with Marcone for example, he absolutely refuses almost everything Marcone ever offers him, including (in later books) things that would help him do exactly what he was going to do anyway. Harry would be in no way hindered by having a somewhat less antagonistic relationship with any of them, and would probably find it mildly easier to get things done.
    • Are you seriously asking Harry Dresden to "make nice" and not have an antagonistic relationship with people he knows are either corrupt, evil, or monstrous? If you're actually asking this question, you obviously haven't been paying attention, because being antagonistic with villains is what Harry does. You might as well ask Tony Stark to stop drinking.
      • Tony Stark actually did stop drinking, in the comics.
    • but with Marcone for example, he absolutely refuses almost everything Marcone ever offers him, including (in later books) things that would help him do exactly what he was going to do anyway. Examples? Because in the later books he does work with Marcone, even gating a group of Marcone's mercenaries into the Deeps to save the White Court, so I'm not sure what you're getting at.
      • Marcone is evil, there is no getting around that. Yes, he doesn't harm children, but he still murders and prostitutes adults on a regular basis. Harry doesn't want to be involved with him. The few times he goes to Marcone for help are times when he's fighting someone even more evil, like the White Court or the Denerians.
      • As a libertarian, Marcone's evil is more of a informed atribute. He's a criminal obviously, but the only crimes we see him commit are illegal CC of guns and employing people who do the same (Harry and Murphy do this), killing people who try to hurt him (Harry does this), running a brothel free of ST Is, drug use and coercion (most of the reasons prostitution is bad aren't present) , and dealing drugs to adults (never kids).
      • There also is grand theft (of the Shroud of Turin), assault on people simply because they refused to work for him, and murder of people who were just in the way.
      • The first was to try and heal a little girl who took a bullet meant for him, the latter two I don't recall actually happening. The biggest example of someone who "refused to work for him" is Harry, who is...not harrassed in the least by Marcone for this offense. On the "murder of people who were just in the way," examples please? Because it's noted explicitly in the books that collateral damage from crime is down since Marcone took power.
        • I don't get why you say that he did nothing to Dresden when he was beaten senseless with a baseball bat by one of Marcone's goons in Fool Moon.
      • That would be the second book of the series out of 12 so far. It's been years since I read it, but what's the context? Was it actually on Marcone's orders, or was it the goon acting on his own volition?

     Gratuitious Bisexual/lesbian women 
  • I was getting really annoyed the that a good chunk of the females in the series are bi or lesbians, only because it was obvious Author Appeal. Why not have a few guys be bi or gay, hmm? Thomas doesn't count.
    • Could you be more specific? The only females I can think of that are explicitly bi or lesbian are a handful of the Wraiths and Warden Luccio.
      • The Raiths don't even really count, considering they're sexual predators that can feed from either sex and aren't really human. Bianca may have been lesbian or bisexual, but she's also not human in the slightest. The vast majority of the females in the series are very much hetero. Luccio is the only human female character who is even implied to be bisexual.
      • Papa Wraith is strongly implied to be unusual for not being Bi. Thomas is Bi, Lara assumes he's been feeding off of Harry. He's just in love with a woman at the moment.
    • Well, true many of them are supernatural (including Lea from the interest she took in Susan) but it annoys me why we don't see any male supernatural who are bi or gay. I can't recall any, and I just think if you're going to have the 'they are supernatural and feed off anything' excuse, show it with both genders. Right now it feels way too Author Appeal-y for my tastes.
      • Lea is a sidhe noble. I assume the fact that she has a gender is her accommodating us mortals. I assume they view sexuality the same way they view morality.
    • I don't get what it matters. Is 'who wants to fuck what gender' really that important? The books aren't about sex. It's mentioned casually and occasionally. He's not writing the Kinsey Report. Who cares?
      • Agreed. I just don't see how this really matters. There's a grand total of one character that is actually confirmed to be bisexual (Lara) and some vague hints of it regarding Bianca, Luccio, and Lea - the latter of which I'm really iffy on, personally, since she's a damn faerie and acts like that to everyone she encounters. It doesn't bother me at all, and there's no real logical issue here either.
    • It does seem to be guided by Author Appeal, but a relatively minor example, and justified in-story. As for faeries, the only ones we've seen even remotely relaxing and enjoying themselves are women. (Not counting halflings like Fix, who were raised mortal.) Maybe the Erlking would have liked to get all Spartan with Harry, we don't know, but we've only seen him for about a chapter and a half. And as for the White Court, it seems sort of like Beethoven Was an Alien Spy. Papa Raith just happened to not be bisexual, which is unusual but not unheard of for White Court vampires... and then he spent hundreds of years guiding Western culture to match his preferences. In real life, yes, Raith women probably are bi as Author Appeal and Fanservice, of course, because in real life we live in a culture that tends to commoditize female sexuality, but in-universe, the characters live in a culture that tends to commoditize female sexuality because Lord Raith isn't bi!

     Harry and mirrors 
  • This is a minor issue, but in one of the earlier books (maybe Fool Moon or Grave Peril), even though Harry's mentioned he doesn't keep mirrors in his house, he says something about looking at himself in a mirror in his bathroom. It bugged me.
    • Harry has a small shaving mirror that he keeps covered. That's all he really needs, and it's not quite big enough for nasty-wasties from the NeverNever to slip through.
      • At least, probably not.
      • Moot anyway, Lea lives on the other side of Harry's House and kills everything that would try to go through.

     The Nevernever at Harry's apartment 
  • In Grave Peril, the Nevernever near Harry's apartment looks like Harry's apartment, and opens up into something like Chicago, while in Changes, the same area is a garden guarded by Lea. At first I chalked this up to the Nevernever changing, but Margaret found lots of routes through the Nevernever that didn't change in the twenty or thirty years between her death and Changes.
    • In Grave Peril, did he open it from near his apartment, or in his apartment? Even the distance of a few feet can be miles away in the Nevernever. That's why it's used as quick transportation.
    • This has been outright stated multiple times. Entering the Nevernever at one location can take you to one point, while entering it literally a few steps away can open somewhere else. That's the entire reason why Harry has to be so precise while traversing the Nevernever in the first place, because one misstep can drop him at the wrong location. The Nevernever inside Harry's basement is different fromt he area outside his apartment, and Harry aknowledges this in Changes, even stating that he's never crossed over from inside his apartment and has no idea what's on the other side. I'm confused as to how you missed this, considering how it was clearly stated in that scene.
      • Well, the language in Grave Peril is pretty vague as to where the portal was opened. It just says, "The Nevernever, near my apartment, looked like... my apartment." Does that mean "near", metaphysically speaking, as in opened in his apartment, or "near", physically speaking, as in opened just outside of his apartment? Assuming the portal in Grave Peril was opened outside of his apartment, I'd have no problem with the change. I guess I just assumed that in Grave Peril, it was inside his apartment, so that no one on the street would see three people tearing a hole in reality and stepping into it.
      • I thought that it was fairly clear. "Near" does not mean "at" or "inside." It means "near." If Harry had opened the gateway to the Nevernever inside his apartment, he would have said as much. "Near" implies he opened the gateway outside the apartment, in the immediate vicinity. Regardless, this doesn't change the simple fact that the Nevernever is dramatically different depending on exactly where you open it. Opening the Nevernever inside Harry's living room can take you to a different area than opening it inside his lab. That's why Margaret's directions to traverse the Ways are so extremely precise; opening a gate even a meter off can take you somewhere completely different.
      • You must've missed the "metaphysical" part - once Harry enters the Nevernever, he's no longer in his apartment, so technically he could open a portal in his apartment, and the place the portal opens to could be called "near" his apartment. But given that the Nevernever is so screwy, I'll just assume he opened it in his living room in Grave Peril and his basement in Changes. Of course, THAT brings up the fact that Lea would have to guard several locations to prevent bad guys from entering his apartment, but she's fairly powerful, so that might not be a problem for her.
      • It seems pretty clear to me that Harry opens the way to the Nevernever from the main room of his apartment, and not from his sub-basement. They specifically state that they leave his apartment in the Nevernever by going up the stairs leading out of his apartment. No mention is made of heading up from the sub-basement, so I think it's safe to shrug off the discrepency as being a case of two physically close locations opening onto metaphysically distant ones.
      • It might have something to do with how he uses the space. Maybe his living room opens up into a fairly 'normal' and 'safe' area of the Nevernever because he doesn't do much magicing there. It's his living space, where he meets with people, and probably doesn't have much mystical stuff in it. Meanwhile, his lab is completely sealed off, covered by a trap door and heavy rugs so that you wouldn't know it's there at first glance, and that's where all his magic stuff is kept, so it makes sense that it'd link to a wholly different area of the Nevernever.
      • Remember also that Harry outright says that you can enter one part of the Nevernever from one point in the material world, and then walk five feet away and enter someplace completely different in the Nevernever. So, the point that Harry's living room connects to in the Nevernever could easily be completely different from the point his basement connects to.

     The speaking stone in Changes 
  • Near the end of Changes, Harry realizes that Ebenezer is trying to reach him through the speaking stone that is in the bag of contraband that Lea returns to him. He didn't use the speaking stone for the first time until after his rushed packing job and trip to Lea's garden.
    • Yeah, that looks like a minor goof. If you want to handwave it, he did slip the stone into his duster pocket and Lea fiddled with his duster, so she might have moved the stone, but that's it.
      • That might work, except Harry should be wondering how the stone got in the bag if that were the case, unless his mind had been tampered with to make him think he'd put it in there himself, which would be a strange thing to be messing with.

     Housekeeping brownies in Changes 
  • Near the beginning of Changes, Harry starts cleaning up his apartment because Susan is coming over. Did he lose the faerie housekeeping service at some point?
    • No, but he can't actually "call" them to clean. They only work when he's not around, and it's not something he really controls.
    • Also, he's cleaning up almost unconsciously. Harry himself says that it's a habit from when he was dating her.
      • The thing that bugs me is that he would have much to clean. Yeah, they only work when he's not around, but they seem to work every time the apartment is empty, and they leave it spotless. They get no mention in Changes and there's suddenly enough mess for him to unconsciously clean.
      • Harry is a bit of a slob. He''ll naturally leave some stuff lying around, especially if he knows that the faerie housekeepers will run around and pick it back up. He's probably just moving stuff around and organizing it, as well - finding unconscious makework and so on.

     The Carpenters' money 
  • Where do the Carpenters get their money? Charity is a professional mom, which doesn't pay much. Michael is a part-time contractor who spends much of his time roaming around fighting evil. They have half a dozen children and never seem to show any financial strain. This all might be attributed to inheritted money, except that Molly seems to have no financial troubles after running away from home, given the elaborate tattoos she managed to aquire.
    • Michael likely has backing from the Catholic Church. They're likely not going to let one of their heavy hitters go broke... unlike the overseeing council of a certain other fictional bruiser
    • Michael owns a full contracting business that does construction work. Most likely he has a full-time manager who actually runs the company itself day-to-day and Michael deals with the large-scale planning. And yes, companies like that can make very good money.
      • "Michael's small company built houses. Years of vanishing at irregular intervals to battle the forces of evil had probably held him back from moving up to building the really expensive, really profittable places. So he built homes for the upper couple of layers of the middle class instead. He probably would have made more money if he cut corners, but it was Michael; I was betting that never happened." This is all mainly conjecture from Harry's point of view, but it's the only look at Michael's day job we really get. It must be true that the church was helping out.
      • Michael may miss out on the "really expensive, really profitable" jobs, but speaking as someone who's audited not a few construction companies, they can still be plenty profitable even if they're not making McMansions. And while cutting corners may make some more profit on each job, doing a damn good job, which Michael likely does, is going to keep you in business.
      • Still doesn't explain how Molly was able to get several hours worth of ink spiraling all over her body. Fake ID wouldn't explain where the money for that kind of ink came from. Something that expansive could easily run into the thousands of dollars.
      • Just because she left home doesn't mean she doesn't have access to cash from her folks. Also, it's likely she got the tattoos over several years.
      • It doesn't? Most runaways who haven't been seen by their families for several months don't have access to cash from their folks. There is a distinction here between "left home" and "ran away." Molly ran away. And I know twentysomething tattoo addicts with less ink than Molly had at seventeen. Healing time and (mainly) cashflow are the usual obstacles there. I'm just sayin'. Since she wasn't sleeping with a tattoo artist, it seems a bit odd that a seventeen year old runaway has something like 30 hours worth of ink on her. I doubt Charity was giving her a few hundred dollars a month without asking where it was going, either, even before she took off.
      • Michael's got a divine blessing going on; if he ever did start running short of cash, a massive financial windfall would probably just fall into his lap. As for Molly's tattoos, it could be explained by her memorizing her parents' credit card numbers.

     Running water 
  • Less a Fridge Logic thing and more a What If thing, but if running water grounds magical energies, does that mean that the best weapon against magical super-nasties is a fire hose? It doesn't need to be a natural flow - in Death Masks, Nicodemus prevents Harry from using magic by restraining him under a pipe that water's coming from. Of course, Harry will never be able to get his hands on a fire hose, but like I said, this is mostly What If.
    • Depends on the nasty. If it's a creature using a vessel formed of ectoplasm, running water will fuck it up good, as happened to the Nightmare. If you spray an actual creature, you're just going to piss it off. It also needs to be running fairly fast; for example, being over the shores of a lake doesn't ground out magical energies (unless you're fairly far out) but being over a running channel that's moving fast will ground them out. Similarly, running water in sewers doesn't ground out magic either - usually - so you have to be close to the running water. The issue with using a fire hose is that you have to keep the target exposed to running water constantly to affect them; if they get out of the spray for even a second they can resume the magical ass-whupping. Running water is more effective as either an imprisonment or a barrier than it is as a weapon, really.
      • That's why I said a fire hose - very pressurized water, very fast-moving water, lots of damage (or at least pain). A fire hose is pressurized enough to rip your skin off. Two people could also play tag team: one sprays water, the other sprays bullets. As for the sewers, I forgot to mention that Harry was in the stream of water the whole time. But you've got some good points: fire hoses are Awesome, but Impractical.
      • Fire hoses are probably only really effective against either constructs coming out of the Nevernever or wizards. Other baddies will either be able to evade the wate rhose or it simply won't effect them (eithe rby hurting them or by negating their magic) Mag, the fomor sorcerer in Even Hand for example, is unaffected by running water because he's an aquatic entity.

     Rudolph the Brown-Nosed Reindeer 
  • I know he's supposed to, but Rudolph bugs the hell out of me. Harry and Murphy saved his life at least twice in Changes alone. Harry saved him from a Devourer Ick Demon. Went out of his way, in fact, to save him. Incidentally, he also took some bullets that may have been meant for Rudolph. Harry and Murphy saved him from another Red Court attack, and he still moved to sledgehammer Murphy out of a job. I know that they're the heroes and everything, but it seems like leaving the little weasel to the mercy of the Red Court would have been poetic.
    • Rudolph is an asshole. That doesn't mean he deserves to die. Unless he becomes an outright villain, Harry and Murphy are unlikely to let the monsters eat him. Still, I hope Murphy will eventually get around to breaking his teeth.
      • He allied himself with the Reds. That's not villainous? (When the Reds were gone, and presumably no longer leaning on him, the persecution continued, so you can't say that none of it was his choice.) I didn't say he deserved to die per se, but that it would be poetic were he left at the mercy of his allies.
      • Rudolph didn't ally himself with the Reds. They threatened him into doing what they wanted, and it's pretty clear that he didn't even know who they were. All Rudolph actually does is try to get the investigation to focus on Harry, and granted, he probably would have done that even without being threatened, but nothing suggests that he suddenly joined the monsters or was trying to kill people.
      • He helped and reported to them, and he did it willingly. He wasn't scared until the attack, so it's very unlikely he had been threatened. They probably just asked. If he paid the slightest attention for the last decade, he would have at least had some idea of who they were. While it could be argued that Rudolph has been totally and willfully blind for the entire series, that's pretty weak tea. Wasn't trying to kill people? Maybe. He was assisting in an attempt on Harry's life, at the very least, and wrecking Murphy's life to boot. And, again, after having his own life saved multiple times, there isn't so much as a thanks, let alone an ease-up on the asshole throttle. Basically the man has no redeeming characteristics, or even very interesting ones. He's a flat character who only exists to be a weasel. Where does that get fun at all? He bugs me.
      • No, they threatened him. Even before the attack, Harry describes Rudolph as being shaky, desperate and scared. And we already know that Rudolph tries to pretend that the supernatural doesn't exist. He has been doing that for as long as he's been in the series. Rudolph wasn't trying to get Harry killed, just arrested. He had no idea what the Reds had planned. Rudolph has convinced himself that Harry and Murphy are a couple of loons that should be locked up, but he's never tried to get them killed. His role in the story is as a minor antagonist, in the "opposes the heroes" sense, not in the "does evil because he's a bad guy" sense. Rudolph is not suppose to be fun, he is suppose to be a problem.
      • He was shaky and desperate because he wasn't working at the behest of his superiors, and it was possible that he would be caught in a lie by the Feds. That, at least, is the logic chain that was used to conclude that Rudolph was working for the bad guys. He was described as nervous then. When he got scared, he kind of had a BSOD.

     Magic and the Loup Garou 
  • When Harry killed the loup-garou, how come the magic in the amulet mattered? Bob says that basically the only thing that can hurt one is inherited silver, so why would magic do anything? Admittedly, Bob says, "silver weapon" when explaining it to Harry, so maybe an inherited-silver amulet turned into a magic hand grenade counts as a weapon, but why wouldn't Jim Butcher explain that right before Harry does it? It only would've taken one sentence.
    • The magic was to turn it into a bullet-speed projectile so that it would actually pierce the loup-garu. I thought that was pretty clear.
      • I just read it again - it's not very clear what the spell does, since he uses the words that he usually uses to make wind, but the spell discharges fire, and if he wanted to speed it up, he'd probably use "forzare" to apply more force to it. Anyway, the book says the silver in the amulet "shattered the loup-garou's invulnerability", so if it did that, a fireball could conceivably kill it.
      • Well, remember it's the inherited bit of the silver that makes it able to harm the loup-garou. Harry may have been boosting the effect of the inherited silver with the other big thing he inherited from his mother: his magic. Or possibly using his magic to draw out and enhance the energy inherent in inherited items.
      • So he basically made the silver more inherited? That just sounds weird. But I have heard stupider explanations in my life, and Harry never says what, specifically, he does to the amulet: he just says "Vento, venitas servitas," (usually used to make wind), and the spell seemingly creates a fireball, so he could've done some extra, behind-the-scenes magic that we don't know about.
      • I think of it more that he was "focusing" the inherited-ness, but yeah, basically. Sure, it might sound weird, but then again so does a lot in the series.
      • The spell does not create a fireball. If anything creates a fireball, it's the inherited silver hitting the enchanted flesh of the loup-garu. Yeah, Harry uses the wind spell instead of the force spell, but I'm fairly certain he hadn't come up with the force spell yet, as I don't recall it being used or mentioned in the first couple books. So, lacking a force spell, he had to rev up a wind spell to give the inherited silver amulet enough force to pierce flesh. It couldn't just hit the thing, it had to be piercing. Like, say, a silver bullet. The spell was for power. The will going into the amulet made it glow, like it always does, but the spell was about making it fast and powerful enough. When the inherited silver hit the enspelled flesh, the result was flame, but that wasn't something that Harry called up, it was just a result of the enchantment meeting its counter measure.
      • Except the silver bullets used by Murphy at the police station do not burst into flame when they hit the loup-garou, so it's at least partially the spell. And anyway, earlier in the book Harry used "vento servitas" in a form he normally uses "forzare" for, so maybe he used "vento servitas" for force and wind until he decided to separate the two and start using "forzare". If that's the case, he could easily accelerate the amulet to something beyond human ability and hit the loup-garou hard enough with it to kill it. Wind alone couldn't do it - the amulet has too small a profile.
      • The way I read it was that Harry spun the amulet, and "focused his magic" into it, thereby increasing the effect. The wind spell, I assumed, was in order to help increase the speed of the rotating amulet, thus giving it more impact when he let go.

     The Loup Garou's circle 
  • Maybe I just didn't pay enough attention, but in Fool Moon, part of plot is sent in motion by destruction of circle designed to hold Loup Garou. Was it ever explained how he got it?
    • He needed a wizard to construct the circle to hold him. The girl Harry was speaking to was trying to create the circle, but she was too inexperienced and wouldn't tell Harry why she was creating it (he was assuming she was summoning something) and he withheld the information under the assumption that she wouldn't try if she didn't know how - but she needed to contain the Loup Garou. Its pretty much a classic case of Poor Communication Kills.
    • Yeah, I got that part. But before that he had a circle in basement, which got destroyed. Moreover it's destruction was rather important plotpoint. I am bothered where he got the first, functional, circle before he found himself in need to get help of the girl.
      • It's never explained where he got the original. Presumably, he had a more knowledgeable wizard do it the first time, who was subsequently unavailable when it got broken. What I'm wondering is why he didn't try and contact Dresden directly. I mean, he's in the phone book and everything.
      • Unless he thought that Harry was a ripoff or not as talented as what he needed based off the fact that he's in the book.
      • Maybe the circle's design has been passed down through his family. Seems like the kind of thing a family with a cursed bloodline would want to keep around.

     Loup Garou curse and bloodlines 
  • In Fool Moon, it was mentioned that part of the curse of this particular Loup Garou entails his bloodline never dying out, but no mention of this was ever made later... Puppies, anyone?
    • He WAS hanging out with that wolfwere woman...
      • So a shapechanging wolf has little wolf cubs, one of which is fated to ... turn into a wolf every full moon? Possibly that's exactly what the pair of them had planned, to neutralize the curse's effect.
    • The cursed line wouldn't end until the end times or something along those lines. Using a fairly liberal interpretation of that could mean we are in the end times now.
      • I don't remember any mention of the end times in that curse.
        • It's there; from Chauncy's description of the curse: "the cursed line of the family would never, ever die out, lasting until the end of days".
  • There is also the possibility that Harley Mac Finn had siblings or children from an earlier relationship. Hell, he could have had a one-night-stand in college, or gotten some girl pregnant when he was in 'Nam, and had a child he didn't know about. If so, then the curse will be passed on to that child, or his siblings' children. If D Fwiki is correct (can't go to the source right now, I'm afraid), the curse was that one member of every generation of the cursed bloodline would become a loup-garou. Then again,considering the fact that the author has repeatedly referred to the trilogy that will cap off the series as "apocalyptic" the end times could very well be approaching.

     Luccio's new body and magical power 
  • Luccio is stated to be incapable of manufacturing new Warden Swords because her new body doesn't have the same capacity for magic that her old body did. I call bullshit on that statement because Corpsetaker was able to do some crazy shit, up to and including stealing Luccio's body. I could understand Luccio not being used to her body (and Corpsetaker, who has had lots of experience switching bodies, wouldn't be so hampered), but "not the same potential for magic" excuse I find tenuous.
    • The only magic we ever see Corpsetaker do are mind-rape spells, which don't require enormous brute force, but tactile precision.
    • Luccio is still able to work some fairly impressive magic even in her reduced state, but it is all focused on very precise magic. The only time she is able to work a large-scale spell is when she creates the massive obscuring illusion in White Night, and that was a major strain on her. Also, remember that different people have different areas that they are naturally talented in; Alicia's body is probably literally incapable of working the same kinds of magical forces that Luccio's original body could, and just because Alicia's body is able to work necromancy doesn't mean it can work antimagic to the same degree. Also keep in mind that the Corpsetaker has probably been jumping bodies for centuries or longer, and presumably knows how to work within the confines of moving between different bodies with different talents for magic. There's also what appears to be a significant transfer of power from the Corpsetaker's original body to its next body; in fact, this is even explicitly stated in the Dresden Files RPG for the Corpsetaker's entry in the "Our World" sourcebook. Finally, what the Corpsetaker does is undeniable black magic, which the White Council both forbids and has limited experience in understanding, so expecting them to even really understand how the transfer works or how to recover Luccio's power is a serious stretch.
      So, in short, we can't really use the Corpsetaker's feats as a measurement of how powerful Luccio "should" be, because the Corpsetaker was far more experienced at moving between bodies and transferring power between bodies than Luccio, who has never experienced such a thing before, and is in a body whose magical talents travel in a completely different direction. Plus, I think we can trust Luccio's own word that she can't do these things. She both understands her own magical abilities better than Dresden, and she simply knows a hell of a lot more about magic in general than Dresden. If she says she can't do it, she can't do it.
    • Word of God indicates that the Corpsetaker was very adept at keeping it's/her/his power while transferring between bodies, and that the Corpsetaker was "not a good housekeeper" when discussing how it/she/he treated former bodies. So this is definitely a case of the Corpsetaker carrying a great deal of power during each body-hop, and Luccio being forced to deal with a body that has less potential and different talents, forcing her to work harder and differently to get the same results.

     Harry's protection from the White Court 
  • So, Harry's last night with Susan back in Death Masks (I think that was the book) left him touched by True Love, and thus he's protected from Lara's advances as a White Court vamp. But what about Thomas? I don't recall Thomas ever having any problems touching Harry. Did Butcher overlook this, was he just really careful about not describing them touching skin to skin, or is Harry's Love not as intense as Justine's is for Thomas?
    • It's been stated specifically that the burny reaction only happens when an incubus or succubus is attempting to feed on someone. Thomas instinctively tries to feed on Justine when she's around, so he gets burned by any touch, but he has never tried to feed on Harry. I think some detail is in Turn Coat.
    • Nope. Lara is burned by touching the wrong wedding ring, and Thomas is careful not to let his skin touch a scarf that Justine made for him—and neither of them would be "instinctively" feeding on an inanimate object. Madeline is burned just by Justine's hair brushing against her. It's clearly any skin-to-skin contact, not just attempts to feed.
      • Um. Madeline was attempting to feed on Justine. Harry and Thomas had a whole conversation about the why right afterwards, if you will recall, the very conversation I was talking about in which Thomas says he instinctively feeds on Justine, and Madeline feeds on anything with a pulse that comes near her. The objects, being symbols of love, are an entirely different problem than a person who has love. Harry goes out of his way to explicitly state that the scarf Justine made for Thomas with her own hands was a symbol of her love for him. Wedding rings, too, are an explicit symbol of love. They're infused with it, where as a personal protection brought on by being touched by love is just that - a protection. It manifests when the predators are moving in to rip your guts out. Since Thomas and Harry do touch on certain occasions, it is very clearly not any kind of skin-to-skin contact. Since Lara has, in fact, managed to touch Harry and actually kiss him without getting burned until she started trying to feed on him, it's again clearly not just any kind of contact.
    • When meeting with Lara in White Night, Harry takes her hand in his own, and Lara is not burned. Later on, during the kiss, she is actually able to maintain contact with Harry for a while (even pressing her bare chest against his) without being burned, up until she starts trying to feed. So yes, it is very much a case of feeding = burning.
      It may also be influenced by how much control the Hunger has over the White Court in question. Love is specifically an anathema to the Hunger, and Lara and Thomas have demonstrated tight control over their Hunger, whereas Madeline is explicitly shown to be very overt, constantly feeding, and generally indulging her Hunger and letting it control her. That may have contributed to how violently she reacted to Justine (not to mention the abuse she went through; getting stabbed through the hands, slammed against a wall, and having a metal chair broken over your head would take some healing, and that would require drawing on the Hunger). So I think its definitely a question of how "close to the surface" the Hunger is.
    • Don't forget that Harry and Thomas touch all the time. *Fist-bump*
    • Touching someone in true love doesn't affect a White Court vamp; this was explicitly shown as early as Blood Rites in Lara's first scene, when she takes Arturo's hand. Arturo was protected by true love so none of the White Court could brainlock him, but it doesn't preclude touching. Later on, when Inari tries to instinctively feed on Harry, she doesn't get hit with the burning effect until she actually feeds on him - prior to that they kiss quite intently with no ill effects. Thomas and Justine's relationship is driven by the fact that his hunger is actively attempting to feed on her whenever they're in proximity, which he can't really control (Lara mentions that Thomas and Justine had reached a point where Thomas could feed off her simply through tactile contac)t. Madeline had the issue of her Hunger being in control, so she is always trying to feed on everyone, making her vulnerable to Justine's protection.
    • Rereading Turn Coat, I can confirm this is the case. In Chapter Ten, Thomas and Harry discuss how true love and the White Court interact. He confirms that the love burns based on how in control the Hunger is of a particular White Court vamp. Madeline gets burned routinely because she is constantly feeding and her Hunger is in complete control of her, while Thomas gets burned by Justine because his Hunger tries to feed on her whenever they're in proximity (and, as explained in Blood Rites, Thomas was so accustomed to feeding from Justine that he could take energy from her by simply touching her). He doesn't try to feed from Harry, so he can touch Harry without an issue.

     Gard and the Accords 
  • Is there some reason, in Small Favor, that Gard can't lodge a complaint under the Accords herself? She works for Monoc Securities, which is a signatory, and she's contracted to Marcone, who is a signatory ...and she talks as though Harry has authority to lodge a complaint because the White Council is a signatory. If only a Warden could lodge a complaint, that would be one thing (it would also be a massive imbalance of power within the Accords, but that's neither here nor there) but... why can't she lodge a complaint herself? Other than the disemboweling, I mean. Why doesn't she have the authority?
    • One doesn't exactly "lodge a complaint under" the Accords. The Unseelie Accords, by themselves, don't establish any sort of higher court or authority that moderates such conflicts; it simply provides rules and means by which the supernatural powers can act and negotiate. The Accords allow freeholding lords like Marcone or Vadderung to appeal to bigger powers if their rights are breached by other Accord signatories. Thus, Gard telling Dresden about the breach in the first place is the closest thing you can get to lodging a complaint under the Accords, as she's appealing to the White Council to enforce the Accords. That's the entire reason why Harry has to talk Luccio into enforcing the negotiation (and tell her the white lie about Mab closing the Ways if they don't help) and bring the Denarians to the table.
      • You're right, one doesn't lodge a complaint, one lodges a challenge. There still doesn't seem to be good reason for Gard to not have the authority to call challenge herself. If the Council is the only organization that can call challenge or whatever it is, that seems terribly lopsided, especially since Harry makes some comments about them not wanting to get involved in a fight that isn't theirs. Saying that Vadderung would need to appeal to "bigger powers," considering who he is, seems... well, wrong. Gard, considering who she is, should certainly have enough authority to call challenge under the Accords, or ask Big Daddy to. It seems very odd to me that she insists Harry do it:
      "The Accords have been breached. A challenge must be lodged, an emissary summoned. As a Warden, you have the authority to call challenge. Call the Council. Lodge the challenge. Another signatory [of the Accords] just as Marcone is now [took him]. I have no authority to challenge their actions, but you do."
      • It is most likely the difference between a freeholding lord and a major power. Freeholding lords are neutral forces that don't get involved. Plus, it is probably also a matter a actual muscle as well as "legal" authority. And yes, the Accords are somewhat lopsided. They were established by Mab. They've never been about being fair, they've been about ordering conflict, and Mab likes to see a little bloodshed. Not to mention, as noted below, Gard probably doesn't have the authority to issue a challenge, either because she doesn't have the power (being an agent of Vadderung or employee of Marcone) or she is unable to issue a challenge under the Accords because she works for the aggrieved party.
        Now, what is interesting is that as a Warden, Harry is at least able to issue a challenge (which means he has to go to his higher-ups to get approval, which means technically he doesn't have the authority at all). This indicates that the White Council probably empowers Wardens to issue challenges, but only with approval from at least the Captain of the Wardens. I don't think that's a mechanic of the Accords; the Accords probably specify that a particular nation or lord can empower certain agents to be able to issue challenges under the Accords, per their own discretion. If that is the case, Gard is not empowered by Vadderung to act, while the Wardens are by the White Council.
        • This, most probably. It is stated in the books that the White Council, Vadderung and Marcone are signatories of the Accords. The difference between the Council and the other's being that the Council is just that: a council. An organization. Thus it would imply that anyone in their group would have the authority to lodge a challenge, unless someone higher up in the same organization would veto it. Monoc and Marcone's organization however, are not signatories, only their "CE Os" are. At least I interpreted it that way.
    • Vadderung was probably either unavailable, or decided it wasn't the best course of action to do shit himself. From what we know of him, he doesn't like getting involved in direct fights too often. And there's not much reason for him to do so if he knew Harry was getting involved anyway. Gard just doesn't rate high enough to have authority under the accords.
      • Mmm. I don't buy that. She's a centuries-old Valkyrie who is in the inner circle of at least two signatories to the Accords. If that doesn't rate, but being a thirty-ish, unwilling Warden does... Well. Lopsided. I think it far more likely that she's manipulating him for some reason. That or it's a big gaping case of MacGuffin/"I forgot."
      • Vadderung won't issue challenges on behalf of those who have contracted with him because he runs what is essentially a mercenary organization: whatever role he may play as a Magnificent Bastard enabler of the good guys, he can't continue his long term plans as they are if he gets involved in the conflicts of those who he makes contracts with for security.
      • Working for a signatory of the Accords doesn't make someone into a signatory of the Accords. Neither does being really old and magical. It's a political position, so Gard would either need to be a Freeholding Lord herself, or a ranking member of a major supernatural nation. Instead, she's a mercenary. And being a Valkyrie is, apparently, just a job with really good perks. She most likely counts as a servitor under the Unseelie accords, which technically gives her no rights at all.
      • Yes, Gard is pretty much a servant of Vadderung and mercenary employee of Marcone. The Accords don't care about age or power. They care about whether or not your boss says you can issue challenge in their name or not (and note that technically, that 30-year old human Warden wasn't able to issue the challenge either; he had to go to Luccio for approval, and she was unwilling to do so at first). And yes, they are "lopsided." As noted above, they were created by Mab, who cares as much for fairness as humans would care about the feelings of ants.
        Besides, even if Gard had the authority to issue a challenge, it would probably still be a good idea for her to get Council support, especially since Dresden just showed up. These are the Denarians, after all. If I were in her shoes, and a Warden of the White Council showed up asking about what happened my employer who had recently been kidnapped, I would do whatever it took to get the Council to back me up and get him back.
    • The main reason why Gard can't issue a challenge is that somewhere in the Accords, it says someone like her cannot issue challenges. That's it. The specifics are probably laid out somewhere in the Accords as to why, but since the Accords are some mound of epic legalese, good luck trying to find the reasoning and specifics. For whatever reason, Mab and whoever else wrote the Accords decided that individuals like Gard who work for individuals like Vadderung don't get to lodge challenges, and everyone signed the agreement because it was the best they could get. It's not fair, but treaties are rarely fair, and Mab doesn't play fair.

     Harry and his, erm, "little wizard" 
  • Pardon the crudety, but does Harry Dresden ever masturbate? Seriously, for someone who resists sexual temptation on a fairly regular basis we get alot of talk about cold showers, but I can't tell if that's also used as a euphemism or not. It seems like a fairly straightforward way to relieve "pressure," but it just seems like something that never comes up even indirectly. And if not, why not? When he takes Molly as an apprentice, he specifically tells her not to engage in "solo exploration." When she understandably asks why, he answers in typical wiseass fashion ("You'll go blind."), but we never actually get a reason.
    • The books are effectively his case files or journals, which he would be expected to pass down to his apprentice or possibly children should he have more, so it's understandable that that's something he wouldn't mention. As for Molly, he tells her that sex can screw with magical energies, so until she's got firm control over those energies, it's a bad idea to knock boots. Presumably, 'solo exploration' works similarly.
      • In that case, his super-steamy sex scene with Susan in Death Masks is what... educational literotica?
      • Let me ask you this. If you were writing your autobiography, which are you more likely to include: Having to crank one out to avoid going nuts, or having wild monkey sex with a hot woman?
      • That's a completely different point: the idea that he wouldn't mention masturbation because he's writing for future students and possibly his children, is contradicted by the explicit sex scene (rather than just a mention, like most of his rare sex). On the newer point though, Harry doesn't have to explicitly describe a jack-off session to make some innuendo about relieving sexual pressure on his own. The original question remains unanswered: why is masturbation by all indications forbidden? For Molly, who was still getting a handle on her powers, maybe, but for Dresden too? He can clearly control his magic during sex, not sure why solo-work would be any different.
      • It's also noticeable that the only detailed sex scene in the entire run of novels resulted in Harry's daughter. I'm actually not quite sure what to make of that, but there it is.
      • Well there was also the latest one with the Winter Queen, but that was slightly fuzzy, and also an event of great importance.
      • As mentioned, it's a significant sex scene; not only does it result in his daughter, but it also shows how he dealt with a blood-crazy Susan. And I don't remember it being that detailed or explicit. He didn't walk through the penetration and everything, he described some of the foreplay (if you can call it that) then fade to black.

        Also, the sex scene deals with something relevant to the case. Wanking off isn't part of the case any more than him eating would be, and it's something of a taboo subject anyway so if and when it does happen, he's got no real reason to mention it.
      • It's the most detailed and explicit sex scene in the series. And it does walk through the penetration. "I pulled her hips back against me, feeling my way, and in a rush of fire and silk felt my hardness press into her... I took her that way..." Well, etc. with the screaming and shuddering. It doesn't just fade to black, though most sex in the series does.

        ...Makes me wonder what other events in the series might result in children. Eep!
      • Might be a case of Fridge Brilliance: Harry never goes into explicit detail when talking about all those nights he spent with Luccio, because they're not as relevant as the one involving Susan.
      • Alright, so my memory was off. Given that he only gets explicit with Susan, the love of his life, it might be that he just wanted to write down everything he could remember of the last night he really spent with her because he wanted to hold onto the memory however he could.
    • It's possible that since Harry's used to it, a cold shower is all he needs. Cold water would suppress his libido (including all the external and semi-external physical bits), especially since he's used to the shock of showering completely in cold water and thus can handle colder water for longer periods of time compared to someone who is used to warm showers. After that, the occasional nocturnal emission shouldn't have any more effect than the horrible, violent, fireball-spewing nightmares he tend to have for a while after significant scares and losses. Heck, it might even help, since wizards' magic is catalysed by emotion and (with Harry's usual power-over-finesse magic style) every little bit of pent-up energy helps when The Power Of Lovin' isn't there as a bigger, better replacement.

     Margaret and childbearing 
  • On a semi-similar note: Word of God has apparently said that Harry's mother was over 100 years old when she met Malcolm Dresden. If we accept that Margaret is human (given we know her grandfather, probably true), how did she have any eggs left? Unless I'm misremembering health class, human females only have so many, and given that one drops out on a monthly basis, shouldn't she have hit menopause like a normal person somewhere around 50-60 years old? By all rights, this should be the one thing about aging that Wizards Live Longer doesn't stop unless it slows down a woman's cycle, and there's no reason I could see for that to happen.
    • More likely than not magic was involved. Note that as a wizard ages, they do lose their sex drive (this happened to Luccio, and the return of her sex drive caused her some consternation). Margaret probably either used magic to create more eggs, or had help from a fae or other Nevernever entity, many of which she was on good terms with.
    • Or possibly wizard regeneration includes replacing lost eggs, or female wizards use their powers to suppress their menses unless they want children.
    • Seeing as aging slows down considerably for wizards at some point after reaching adulthood, it wouldn't be unreasonably for natural cycles to slow down as well. The mechanism for menstruation is tied to the body more than it's governed by time itself.
    • Luccio mentions in White Night that is has been over a century since she dealt with either sexual urges or a cycle, and she was born (IIRC) back in the 1700's, so it appears that while female wizards do eventually live past childbearing age, it is probably simply longer (or a slower cycle) than a mortal woman's cycle.
    • Also possibly important: She's over a hundred years old in real-world time. But she's Margaret LeFay, who spent a great deal of time in the Nevernever. She may be over a hundred years old but still relatively young physically.
    • Women are born with about two million eggs. If her wizard's longevity put off menopause, I could believe it everything was natural.

     Harry's ethnicity 
  • Is Harry Irish, or German? Or a mixture? Anyone? I'm writing a book inspired by TDF (but mostly New York Magician, which was heavily inspired by TDF) , and I want occasional references to "the Irishwoman" (Nuala Anne McGrail) and "the Irishman" (Harry), except I checked and realized "Dresden" is a German name. If it's "mixture", I'll just have characters refer to "that guy from Chicago". (And in case you're wondering, the book isn't going to be finished anytime soon. Heck, I've been working on my first serious attempt at a novel for nine years now. And that's a trilogy.)
    • He's neither; he's an American. From what we've seen, he's lived his entire life in the US, so calling him either an Irishman or a German would be inaccurate; if anything, he's probably a mutt. He's much more identified as being in/from Chicago than the nationality of his name. If you just call him "the German" or "the Irishman," nobody's going to know who you're talking about because neither nationality is ever referenced in his whole series.
    • Harry's got some Scots-Irish in him, from Ebenezar, and Malcolm Dresden probably has some German in him. But I'm not sure how much of either he's got in terms of ancestry. Regardless, he's definitely American and from Chicago, and identifies himself as such, so I'd just go with "That guy from Chicago."
      • Danke to you both. I checked my notes, and I have "that trenchcoat guy in Chicago"(heh), as well as "the french dude in new york".
      • For the record, if you do want to describe the ancestry of an American who is primarily or exclusively of one ethnic origin, the way to do that is to use hyphens. Karrin Murphy was born in the United States, but her ancestors are mostly from Ireland, so she can be properly described as "Irish-American". Compare that to Ebenezar McCoy, who was born in Scotland and later moved to America, so could be called a "Scottish immigrant" instead.

     Storm Front and Nazis 
  • What bugs me is that the first book in the series has the same name as a certain Neo Nazi internet forum. I'd like to read this series, but I'd rather not have it that anyone who is watching me read the book on the bus is thinking I'm reading Neo Nazi propaganda.
    • A name that's also a common meteorological term and spelled as one word on the forum. Worry not.
      • It's also the name of a Billy Joel album.
      • stormfront.co.uk is an Apple retailer.
      • And really, I wouldn't say the cover looks all that Nazi.
    • Those Wacky (Neo) Nazis and non-nazi white power groups are know to appropriate and corrupt everything they touch as far as names, titles or symbolism goes. The swastika was originally a Eurasian sunwheel symbolizing luck, peace and prosperity, among other things. The Celtic Cross. Nordic/Scandinavian runes are still stupidly considered nazi symbolism by some European governments. People don't name their kids Adolf anymore, even though it used to be a completely unremarkable German name. This happened and still does with such regularity that there should be a trope for it.]] Only way to fight this is to not let silly hate groups like that get away with appropriating symbols and names. Still, it's understandable that it might give you some weird looks if your read the book on a train.
    • Just make yourself a nice book-cover out of a brown paper bag. That worked for me when I was reading Heroes in Hell at a job where I had one too many bible-thumping coworkers.
    • Neo-Nazi forum names are not generally common knowledge. You should be fine, and it says more about other people than it does you if they draw a connection.
      • The Dresden Files are also a lot more popular than the forum its far more likely that you would run into someone who recognized the series than you would run into someone who knew about the forum, thought they had published a pulp novel and didnt realise that Storm Front is a term unrelated to Nazis and used far more outside that forum than in.

     Murphy's "vacation". 

I understand that for most of the plot of Dead Beat to continue, Murphy had to be out of the picture. But Butcher couldn't find any other way to get her out of the way than going on a vacation with Kincaid? She's well aware of the risks, and tells Harry about it just in case something happens. She actually says that she's doing something that could get her killed, with a non-completely-human who she barely knows the sole purpose of being dangerous. It was a total Idiot Ball character derail moment, and served no purpose.

  • I didn't get the impression she was going out with him for the purpose of being "dangerous." She was going out with him because she likes dangerous men, and wanted to go on vacation where she could relax. I don't think she expected it to turn out to be "P90, a broken arm, and katana-swings." I think she expected a few days of "Beach, dinner, and sex."
  • Nor was she actually alone. It was her sister's wedding.
    • Wait, what? Where did you see that?

     The Summer King Is A Wyldfae? 
  • I recall reading that the Erkling is a wyldfae, not tied to any Court. Which made sense. Then I read that he is also the Summer King. Um... what? Doesn't that make him tied to a Court? Then how can he be a wyldfae? Same thing with the Winter King: the RPG says he's a wyldfae with his own Court. How can that be?
    • The Courts are fairly complex. The "kings" aren't exactly part of the Queens' Courts, as they're sort of the exact opposites of the Queens who rule over the Court in question. Think of them as wyldfae Courts that are separate from the Summer and Winter Courts, while still associated with them. Is your head hurting while trying to imagine that? Good, because that's how those bloody faeries like it. You're dealing with The Fair Folk, after all.
    • It may be a little easier to understand if one stops thinking of them as "king" or "queen" and defaults to just "ruler" — it's hard to see the terms next to each other, especially with all the other court terms flying around, without wanting to associate them in the traditional human manner. The Erlking has a court of Wyldfae and his height of power is in the summer/autumn because that's when hunting is best, and so gets a footnote attachment to the Summer Court because their spheres overlap. Santa has a court of Wyldfae who get the same boost in winter/early spring because... Santa, and the same tenuous attachment to the Winter Court. As mentioned above it's about opposites, like the seasonal changeover instills balance, the wyldfae Courts instill balance within the season: Titania and the Summer is about plenty and growth, the Erlking culls the herd so they don't starve come winter. Mab and the Winter is harsh frost and dormancy, Santa brings generosity in a merciless climate. It's not so much "tied" to a Court as "concurrent".

     The Red King, The Unnecessary Translator, and confusing mental gymnastics 
  • Towards the end of Changes, Harry has a conversation with the king of the red court through a translator. During the conversation Harry says something, it gets translated and the vampire gets pissed, kills someone and drinks their blood. Observing this, Harry concludes that the vamp is losing control of his bloodthirst and is going crazy, and that this explains the contradictory actions of the court during the war. However, later, the red king demonstrates that he speaks English perfectly, thus demonstrating that his "rage" was nothing of the sort and was presumably a manipulation. My issue with this is that the whole thing is unnecessarily complex. As Harry notes earlier: "you don't live 2000 years among a nation of predators without a brutal sense of practicality". If big red is manipulating Harry, why go through the translator at all?
    • He's a jerk. Alternatively, he was sizing Harry up.
    • It's made clear that he wanted an excuse not to release Maggie once Harry killed Arianna. The translator allows him to honestly say "we never spoke to each other so technically I didn't make that promise."
    • The Red King is beginning to succumb to his bloodlust. That's the whole reason Arianna wants to overthrow him. And he probably was pretty pissed that Dresden was threatening him, so his anger was likely real as well. You're blowing his 'manipulation' of Harry way out of proportion, as what he did was actually pretty simple. He pretends not to speak english, sets Harry up to fight Arianna for him, and then he gets kill Harry, the child and the Blackstaff without going back on his word, all because he never actually promised Harry anything to begin with. The whole scene where the Red King kills the slave just shows that if necessary, he can control his anger for ten seconds in order to keep his act going.
    • Blech, I screwed up my phrasing, so let me try again. The red king shows *no* reaction after Harry provokes him, none whatsoever. He waits until the translator is done until he "loses control". Given that he understands English just fine, if he's so on edge that he's liable to go ballistic at any provocation, wouldn't he lose control *immediately* after hearing Harry threaten to wound him? If he has enough self-control over to wait until after the translator is done to freak out then why freak out at all, given how dangerous it is to reveal his weakness?
      • Well, showing Harry that he's losing control isn't that big a risk. He thinks Harry will be dead soon. He's banking on the fact that Harry would rather just kill Arianna in a duel and walk away with his daughter than fight the entire Red Court. And because the Red King wants Arianna gone, he dangles that opportunity in Harry's face. If he had reacted to what Harry had said, then his little plan would have fallen apart and Harry might have decided to carry out that threat. So he waits maybe thirty seconds at most, and as soon as the translator tells him what Harry said, he can flip out and kill the slave just like he wanted to anyways.
      • Pretty much. It's a delayed fury; he hears Harry insult him, gets royally pissed but manages to keep a lid on it, and then releases it the moment he gets the chance to do so. Humans do this all the time; its a standard psychological defense mechanism.
    • The scene in question implies that the entire thing was one long, deliberate act to convince Harry that he had enough of an upper hand that he would readily go along with the duel against Arianna. All of it, the translator, the fake reactions, the appearance of being out of control of his bloodlust, and so on, was just to manipulate Harry and position himself so he could have Harry take out his treacherous subordinate and then betray him without breaking the rules of promises. He's a Red Court vampire who's literally older than written language, and head of the entire Court. One doesn't get into that position without being good at this kind of manipulation.

     Fae, Nevernever and Deities 
  • This is one that had bugged me since Summer Knight and went overload with Wordof God: According to Butcher the only beings in the planet that can face Mab are: Titania, the entire Vampire courts, the entire White Court, Ferrovax Drakul etc and that is without counting her millions of followers... Let's leave outside the absurd Power of Mab for a second (The entire White Council? Really?) But what about the other GODS? Since the first book Harry had stated that all mythology is real, all religions are represented in the infinite realm that is the Nevernever and more and with the introduction of Morloch Company, it has shown that other gods are and can affect the world. And not a single one can face a Faerie queen? What about Hinduism? Or Shintoism? (a small force appeared in Changes) Confucianism and the Celestial Bureaucracy? Taoism? What about the Gods that are no more and their pantheons?. In fact it seems that the only powers that exist in Dresden Files are either Faeries or Christian mythology? SERIOUSLY?. Oh and Faeries had power enough to alter the entire world if any of them die. Why? Why would other deities allow such insanity? They are only Faeries. If going by belief and demographic alone Faeries are among the smallest and least believed group in the history of Mankind (They where only super humans at best and if marketing is enough, why not the other supernatural beings and gods are equally affected?) It's just... so annoying that he put so much weight in the Faeries propaganda to the point of Fanboyism, leaving aside an entire Universe of Beings and races outside. Even the GOD asseveration can and come heavy handed to the rest of the religions (I totally see Vishnu stopping him cold or the Celestial Bureaucracy simply eradicating his "interference" or Amaterasu beating Mab in a Fight) who had creation mythology of equall importance/absurdity and are far older than His. Just seems lazy and plot hole delicious.
    Titania—though it would be a coin toss. Almost literally.
    The Mothers (who wouldn't)
    The White Council. As in, ALL the White Council. Every wizard on the planet. And they'd need her Name.
    Drakul.
    Ferrovax.
    The Red Court—again, ALL the Red Court, though their odds wouldn't be good.
    The entire White Court—very, very long odds on that, but if they actually pulled it off, whoever took Mab would effectively control her power.
    Cowl (if the Darkhallow had succeeded).
    A union of the old Elders of the Black Court. They were freaking scary until the Whites arranged to have them hounded down by mortals.
    • Butcher has never stated that Mab cannot be defeated by deity-level entities. Mab is not a deific entity and is beneath them in terms of raw power. This is very much a setting where there is always a bigger fish. Now, to address specific points:
    • In fact it seems that the only powers that exist in Dresden Files are either Faeries or Christian mythology? SERIOUSLY?. No, it's just that these are the only ones that Harry regularly interacts with. Harry interacts with servants of the White God and His enemies, up until he brawls with the Red Court, or makes constact with Norse entities. That said, there are mentions of other power bases, among them the Native American deities, rakshasa, etc. They just don't cross paths with him.
    • Oh and Faeries had power enough to alter the entire world if any of them die. Why? Why would other deities allow such insanity? If the indications in the series so far are accurate, most deities are very hands-off, or simply don't care. There mere act of having an agent kill a mortal is an extreme act of "breaking the rules" according to the first chapter of Ghost Story.
    • If going by belief and demographic alone Faeries are among the smallest and least believed group in the history of Mankind (They where only super humans at best and if marketing is enough, why not the other supernatural beings and gods are equally affected?) Because the Fae do not draw power from belief. They draw power from actions that affect the world.
    • It's just... so annoying that he put so much weight in the Faeries propaganda to the point of Fanboyism, leaving aside an entire Universe of Beings and races outside. How is it "fanboyism" to make the Queens very powerful? Butcher has never said that Mab is utterly invincible nor has he ever indicated that the White God or other deities couldn't stop her.
    • Even the GOD asseveration can and come heavy handed to the rest of the religions What? The White God has three active, mortal agents operating across the entire world. Three. His angels are unable to actively interfere; the most Uriel can do is give harry access to a bit more power, and only when Satan crosses the line and interferes in the mortal world directly. He can't do much more than give Harry advice in Changes, and even that involves him stopping to consider the implications and impact.
    • (I totally see Vishnu stopping him cold or the Celestial Bureaucracy simply eradicating his "interference" or Amaterasu beating Mab in a Fight) And none of the above are going to bother, because none of the above actively interfere with the mortal world. Hell, indications are that the presence of other deities is precisely why the deities do not interfere much in the mortal world, as they don't want to stir things up with other deities. Word of God compares the higher-level entities' interactions as being like those of countries with nuclear weapons: once you've got nukes, you treat everyone else who has nukes with far greater caution because even a weak nuclear-armed nation can cause massive harm. That's how beings at Mab's tier interact, and that's how beings of deity tier interact.
    • Indeed, but still, it’s annoying. And about the gods; Norse gods are still active and had several deals with Chicago... why not the other deities had similar business and influence? After all is constantly stated that Chicago is one of the biggest Magic Nexus in the planet, which would make it a very big price to let alone. About Mab... no, he never stated that those who had appeared but those that exist. Maybe he phrased it wrong but that is the message that he left and why it bother me so. And about Harry only dealing with the Faeries: you are totally right except in one instance, INFLUENCE AND RAMIFICATION. The Faeries are not only one of the world movers and shakers but are vital to the surviving of the White Council during the war, the strongest mortal organization and line of defense against things that bump into the night and the White Council is made from wizards around the world. Why this is jarring? They are from around the world and they couldn't find another entity to help them. When Mab threatened to remove her blessing (not really) it forced the White Council to comply to her wishes. In fact it's seems that the entire Nevernever are either Summer or Winter. What, does the infinite realm had no other ruler that could help the White Council? Did really wizards from Egypt, China, Africa and Australia are instantly beholders of Faeries, even when they are not even near into their cultural Mythology? No other god or Magical tribe had a say in the destiny of the Human race? In their hundreds of years they had never managed to form another alliance? Are the Faeries the only ones who can control the gateways from the other plane and why?. See, this is why I find so annoying; is not only Harry but the entire Human/spirit race that seems to dance at their tune and walk fearfully at their wrath and is so provincial that it make the Fantastic/Horror world of Dresden Files look no better that a half assed rpg session with half of the rules books and figurines lost.
      • All those old gods are dormant, likely due to a lack of believers. Part of the reason the White God is so powerful is that majority of the world's population (54% according to Wikipedia, with 30% subscribing to other religions and 16% nonreligious) believes in an Abrahamic faith, with the bulk of the remaining religions either Buddhist or Hindu. There may only be a relative handful who still believe in those old powerful gods, limiting the efforts they can expend, and that's not counting the ones where faith is likely entirely extinct (pre-Islam Arabic polytheism, the Ancient Egyptian religion, etc.) It's a simple fact in the Dresdenverse that gods require faith as a source of power - else Odin would not be running a corporation and hiring out mercenaries.
        On the other hand, faeries don't require faith as a source of power. Mab isn't godlike because people believe in her, she's powerful because she killed a shitload of faeries and incorporated their power into herself via the Stone Table. This, plus a fairy's own status amongst their own kind determines how powerful a fairy can be. Toot-toot isn't growing more powerful because anyone believes in him, he grows more powerful because he's hitting hard out of his weight class enough to impress other faeries, plus hitching his wagon to Dresden's star (the guy Mab was hot to get hitting on her side as a heavy-duty badass).
        And there it is. Old gods may be more powerful than the Faerie Queens, but they don't have enough juice to do more than hit hard once, if that. Mab is pulling off her own innate power and the respect and fear of her Court, and can keep the pressure on - and that, the White Council quite wisely realizes, is the stamina necessary to conduct a protracted war.
      • Faerie is not the only part of the Nevernever, but it is explicitly stated to be he part that's closest to the mortal world, so of COURSE they'd be the supernatural group with the most influence on Earth. Further, Mab's help in the war was keeping the paths through the Winter part of Faerie safe enough for the Council to use, not any sort of military aid or the like. Rescinding that would cripple the White Council's ability to move easily around the world, and even if another deity-level being were willing to help, they might not be able to provide access to areas of the Nevernever that humans could easily pass through or even survive in. And as Changes showed, other beings like Odin ARE involved and giving aid, they just might not care about the war between the Council and the Red Court specifically.
    • Actually, the issue of Mab's relative strength compared with deities like the White God, Vishnu, the Celestial Bureaucracy, etc. was already dealt with in Summer Knight. Lea explicitly says that Mab is comparable to "archangels and lesser gods" (page 269). From that, we can reasonably conclude that middling and greater deities are superior to Mab.
      • Proven Guilty also explicitly lays out a number of entities that could take down Mab in the heart of her power, when they arrive at Arctis Tor. Harry mentions various gods could have stormed the fortress with ease:
      "Old Greek and Roman and Norse deities. Lots and lots of Amerind divinity, and African tribal beings. A few Australian aboriginal gods; others in Polynesia, Southeast Asia. About a zillion Hindu gods. But they've all been dormant for centuries."
      • So no, Mab isn't top-tier. Not even close to top-tier. You're overblowing her power for the sake of whining.
      • From the RPG rulebook:
      from generally most powerful on down (note that some entities may change their position in the rankings depending upon various circumstances):
      The Almighty (AKA the Creator, Michael’s Boss)
      The Faerie Mothers, the Archangels
      The Fallen, Old Gods, Old Ones
      The Faerie Queens, the Erlking, dragons, the Archive
      Outsiders, regular Angels, the Faerie Ladies
      Ancient demons, Knights of the Faerie Courts, Denarians, Knights of the Cross
    So, once again, you have three levels above, and one level concurrent that are more powerful, or comparable in power, to Mab.
    • And about the gods; Norse gods are still active and had several deals with Chicago... why not the other deities had similar business and influence? He has one deal. A contract to loan out a single valkyrie to Marcone. There's no evidence he has other dealings in Chicago.
    • After all is constantly stated that Chicago is one of the biggest Magic Nexus in the planet, which would make it a very big price to let alone. One of the biggest nexuses of power. Not the only one. After all, Edinburgh is also a major nexus, which is why the White Council moved there hundreds of years ago, before Chicago ever existed.
    • About Mab... no, he never stated that those who had appeared but those that exist. Incorrect. Quoting directly from the link I posted above: (emphasis mine)
    Jim Butcher: In terms of pure, raw power, several who have appeared or been mentioned in the books could pull it off, though neither side would really "win" as much as "continue to exist." (...) But here's who has the necessary horsepower do it: (list quoted above follows)
    • Perhaps you misunderstood, but I feel the quote made it quite clear he was simply listing people from the books who had appeared thus far. Also, keep in mind that, again, Lea has stated that Mab has power comparable to archangels and lesser gods. Anyone who stands over an archangel or minor deity will stand over Mab on the supernatural mojo-tier list.
    • Lengthy rant on Summer and Winter having great influence Yes. That's because in the DF cosmology, Faerie is the part of the Nevernever most closely interlinked with the mortal world. It's simple spirit-world geography. It's not that other realms in the Nevernever couldn't provide aid, it's that Faerie and the beings within it are most closely tied to the mortal world and therefore can have the greatest influence.
      It is also probable, if not even very likely, that many of the entities associated with many world cultures actually came from Faerie and are either wyldfae or part of one of the Courts. After all, both Courts possess hundreds of millions of entities of all descriptions, and the number of wyldfae outnumber them by an immense degree. Also keep in mind that the Nevernever is in a constant state of flux as well. For all we know, the parts of the Nevernever that correspond with other cultures' mythology were closer to the mortal world thousands of years ago, and Faerie became closest only recently. That being said, there's still enormous amounts of territory in the Nevernever that belong to non-fae entities; it's just that Faerie is the most strategically valuable to the White Council because it possesses the most Ways, which is important to an organization that is technologically limited.
      • Also, (I feel bad for the OP, btw, it feels like we're being kinda rude) I always got the impression that faeries as we knew them was a larger term then we think. You mention all these different mythologies, and gods aside I think most creatures from there ARE faeries. So if you count all mythological entities that are not gods but are supernatural (Djinn, redcaps, satyrs), the Faerie Courts are REALLY strong. I may be wrong, but that's how I always took the term.
    • Part of the reason why the faeries are so powerful is because of the connection caused by mortal minds. Gutenberg and the Grimms posted all those stories about them, and they became powerful due to their being buried in mortal consciousness thanks to those faerie tales. Other, older deities and demons and the like became less powerful because of a lack of belief in or memory of them. That's pretty much the whole point behind the Oblivion War, whose whole purpose is to knock out those old deities and reduce their connection to the mortal world.
    • Ghost Story spoiler that puts things into perspective: Mab, after changes, is so weak that she can't even order around Harry any more once he realizes she could turn him into a meat puppet, but that would mean a near ineffectual Winter Knight if he didn't go along willingly.

     Egyptian Mythology 
  • Most likely nothing, but reading through the books and most of the Word of Jims, whenever the ancient mythologies are mentioned, there's always the list of norse, greek, roman (sort of redundant, but whatever) about a zillion Hindu gods. Not once has Egyptian been mentioned. Of course, there's LOTS of others that aren't brought up, but Egyptian mythology has been part of what I consider to be the "pop culture pantheons," those whose members have entered part of the public conciousness of ancient gods (the others are norse and greek, btw). It's possible I'm simply wrong, about either the lack of mention or the promenance of Ancient Egyptian mythology, but it in the fantasy kitchen sink that is the Dresdenverse, it almost seems conspicous by its absence.
  • You're probably right. It may show up prominently a little later in the series.

     Energy, magic, and will 
One of the things Harry stresses about magic is that it follows the law of conservation of energy. However, he also states that his energy source is usually his will. How is "will" converted to "work" in the physics sense? How many joules are generated by intense hatred? Intense love? Intense lust? Can brainstorming be converted to more candelas than the thinking done while on a difficult math problem? How many newtons can be derived from the excitement while on an intense roller coaster? How does the sadness from a Tear Jerker of a movie compare to the terror from a horror movie in the amount of coulombs it makes? Does the hilarity from narm make more teslas than the hilarity from a genuinely good comedy? And why is Harry physically tired after using lots of magic rather than apathetic, if all of his will has been consumed?
  • I think it works better if you assume Harry's body is more a conduit through which magic can be done, rather than its own source. His body can only take so much stress channeling magic, and channeling that magic takes mental focus without which it can't be done. Using physics with magic is simply a way to get more efficiency out of a spell, but the Nevernever has all the extra "mana" as it were to avoid thermodynamic violations.
    • Normally, I'd accept that explanation, except that Harry explicitly says that his will is his source, not something similar. There are also several places where he implies he himself is his source. For example, in Fool Moon, right before facing down the loup-garou, he says, "I had to find enough magic inside me to end this." (Emphasis mine.) When he freezes the water in White Night to escape from the ghouls, he uses a fire spell, and takes the energy for it from the water in the lake, rather than himself.
  • Will does produce energy, it's just you need either wizard talents or intense training to harness the power of your emotions to generate spell effects. Magic is pretty much just tapping into the power generated by emotions (or other sources of power) to create effects. You probably can calculate "how many joules are produced by intense hatred" if you were to take the effects of a blast of fire Harry creates and determine the energy requirements needed to generate that effect. Of course, one has to keep in mind that Harry and other wizards lean toward more efficiency as they become better, so Harry is able to generate more power with less corresponding physical exhaustion. Of course, obtaining an exact energy yield for a particular emotion is likely impossible, because of how variable magic is from one person to the next, not to mentiont he mutable and inconsistent nature of magic. Therefore, obtaining an exact calculation of yield from emotions is likely impossible beyond general terms. You could probably, using a White Night example, calculate the amount of energy that can be gathered from lust induced by a White Court vampire by calculating how much force would be required to resist the energy of enough C4 to blow apart a cavern the size of a cathedral, but the calculation would be inexact because you'd be dealing with wildy-differring variables like Harry's ability to generate energy and convert lust to energy, Lara's ability to generate lust, and an inexact amount of force from the charges used to blow up the Deep. Calculating a consistent will->energy conversion rate is probably an exercise in futility because of the sheer amount of variables involved.
    As for becoming physically exhausted, believe that this comes from serving as a physical conduit of the energies he's working. The energy comes from his emotions, but he has to channel it through his body, and that process is physically exausting. There are a few instances where Harry uses so much power he's left apathetic and unable to generate any emotions at all, like at the end of White Night where he has to make Lara induce lust in him to generate the shield. But when Harry is too physically exhausted to continue casting spells, it is generally because he's been exhausted as a physical conduit of energy, instead of running out of emotional power.
    • That's a good explanation. Thanks.

     Margaret, Thomas, and Harry 

So, Margaret met and (presumably) fell in love with King Raith and popped out Thomas. She and Raith had some sort of falling out, and she escaped Chateau Raith (and left Thomas) for her life. A few years later she meets Malcolm Dresden, falls in love, and has Harry. It's implied that Thomas knew of Harry long before they met in Grave Peril, and in Blood Rites, Margaret says she's been doing what she can to prepare them both for the day they discover their relation to each other. How? Unless she went back to Thomas after Harry's birth and told him about his (half) brother, which would've been impossible because she died in childbirth. Except that she didn't, and was killed by King Raith. So Raith knew about Harry, but didn't kill him. Or tried to but couldn't, and lost his power.It's just not clear.

  • No, it's quite clear. Raith runs an effective intelligence-gathering apparatus and Papa Raith would know about Harry. Thomas is far smarter than he lets on and can listen in and put two-and-two together. He simply paid attention, knew who his mother was, and was savvy enough to figure out that Harry was his brother. As for Margaret preparing Thomas and Harry to meet, there were several obvious examples of this, primarily among them being the fact that she left a working within each of them that reflected her personality and memories to each of them if they ever soulgazed, and gave both of them identical pendants. Margaret is also implied to have been setting up other elements to help her children, among them the Leanasidhe's protection, the gemstone containing knowledge of the Ways, etc.
    • Okay. But how did she get killed? It says an entropy curse, which I'm assuming means that Raith was not present at the time. How did Margaret hit her death curse without being face-to-face? Unless she was just that powerful.
    • You don't need to be face to face to hit with a death curse. You just need to know your target.
      • Yeah. Harry was fully prepared to direct his death curse at Grevane in Dead Beat when he was about to be killed by Morgan, and Grevane wasn't face to face with him at all, so it is quite clear that death curses do not require line of sight. In fact, I can't really think of any magic in the series that requires line of sight beyond evocation, and that's more of a limitation of throwing fire and lightning around than anything else.
        Hell, when Kincaid is explaining how he'd kill Harry and dodge his death curse, he even specifies that the whole point of using the sniper rifle with hypersonic ammunition would be because it would kill the wizard before the wizard could fire off the death curse. It has nothing to do with range or line of sight, and has everything to do with getting that critical second or two to prepare the death curse. If Kincaid were to snipe a wizard but the wizard survived long enough to realize he or she was dying and knew who their shooter was, they could fire off a death curse at him anyway, no matter how far away.

     The Fairy Donut 
  • I don't get it. Harry asks for a donut and Summer stops chasing him?
  • It's more complicated than that, and it's explained explicitly how and why it works in the exact same exchange where Harry makes the request. The whole logic of it is literally right there.
  • You have to remember that the Fae are all bound by rules and obligations. Harry is acting as a servant of Winter in the current case, and so Summer, being Winters rival, is sending people to stop him. The case is nearly at an end, and once it's over Harry will no longer be acting for Winter and Summer won't be required to fight him. The Gruff that shows up doesn't really want to kill Harry, he's just acting under orders. And Summer owes Harry one favor. So Harry uses his favor to ask the Gruff to get him a donut. The Gruff, being a fae, is obligated to honour the request, and obtaining the donut occupies him long enough that Harry can finish the case. By the time he comes back with Harry's donut, the Gruff is no longer required to kill him and just goes home.
  • To explain it in detail, since the obvious explanation in the book apparently flew over your head: The entire conflict between Summer and Winter is caused by the fact that Mab wants to free Marcone, and Titania operates in opposition to Mab because that's how Summer and Winter roll. Mab chooses an Emissary, in this case Harry. The gruffs go after Harry because Titania orders them to take out the Winter Emissary. The gruffs view Harry as a Worthy Opponent and don't like the idea of going after him. When Harry gets on the island, he frees Marcone, ending the entire spat between Summer and Winter. However, because Eldest Gruff is still on the field, and so is Harry, then they have to hash it out until Harry can get off the island. When the confrontation occurs, Harry uses the boon Lily gave him back in Proven Guilty, which is a boon that exists in the service of the whole Summer Court. Harry can't get Eldest Gruff to back down from killing him, but he can use the boon to make Eldest Gruff adjust his priorities to go fetch a donut first before Eldest would kill him. Eldest takes the boon, and then takes his sweet time getting a donut for Harry, giving him time to get off the island and thus allowing the gruffs to end the conflict peacefully. It's a Loophole Abuse of the finest sort, and exactly what the faeries get a kick out of, which is why it works.
    'Technically, Summer stopped chasing Harry the moment he freed Marcone, but because Eldest was on the island (drawn by the fire Harry used on Tessa) with Harry, they were required to duke it out until Harry could actually quit the field of battle (read: get the hell away from the island). Harry's act of using his boon to make Eldest go fetch a donut for him simply kept Eldest from killing him as he was required until Harry could escape, at which point any obligations toward violence had been concluded.
    It doesn't hurt that Eldest really doesn't want to kill Harry, so he's going to delay as long as possible until Harry is gone from the island, at which point it's over.

    Eldest Gruff: The confounding enchanment thou didst employ upon our tracking spell was most effacious.
    • Not the clearest syntax for the modern reader. Unnecessary rudeness aside (or did I misunderstand the purpose of this page, too?), I suppose I could have been clearer with my original question. From later mentions in the series (Turn Coat and Changes) it seemed like donuts were some type of in-joke. From the explainations here, it sounds like Harry started the joke. That part was what bugged me. I thought it had originated in a short story, but I guess it was here (Small Favor).
      • It became a joke because people who weren't there would think it was silly for Harry to ask for a doughnut. (As an aside, why do you have a quote there about the confounding enchantement? That had zero to do with the doughnut request, unless you consider Elder Gruff's respect for Harry's ability to tie in, which I suppose it did in a sense. As an earlier troper said, Elder didn't really want to kill Harry, allowing them to reach the 'errand' compromise.)

     "Mountain Ice Demon"  
  • In Changes, Esmerelda says something like 'Oh! It cheated! It brought a demon of its own! A mountain ice demon from the Land of Dreams!" What was she talking about?
    • She was referring to Mouse, I am pretty sure. He is Tibetan in origin (thus, "mountain ice" and "Land of Dreams," unless the latter refers to the Nevernever), and as confirmed later in the book, he is much, much more than a dog. The only other allies of Harry's present were Thomas and Molly, and it couldn't have been referring to either of them, plus the three of them were closing in thanks to Mouse following Harry's scent.
    • Yeah, she was talking about Mouse. Ancient Mai confirmed in Turn Coat that Mouse is an actual Foo Dog, not just a scion of one, thus the "demon" part.

     Vadderung's Secretaries 
  • What exactly are they?
    • Well they were referred to as "H" and "M" , so Huggin and Munnin, Odin's ravens observation and memory (notice "M" reminds him of the meeting)from the norse legend.

     Six Necromancers 
  • Okay, i don't know how i don't get this, maybe i read too fast and missed it, but in Dead Beat were told there are supposed to be six necromancers in Chicago. Who are they? I can only see four, Cowl, Grevane, Corpsetaker, and Kumori, and maybe Cassius. But even if you stretch to include him, that's only five. So who the hell is the sixth? Is it the body Corpsetaker was using before taking that coed? Is it just supposed to be Kemmler even though he's dead? Is it supposed to be Harry after he resurrected Sue? Is it Mavra? This really bugs me. Harry comes out and says there are six necromancers, is that just an incorrect assumption he made after using that spell to find six uses of necromancy? Or did i just completely miss a character somewhere?
  • The Corpsetaker had a ghoul in his/her employ, so if you count Cassius, I suppose the Ghoul counts too. When does Dresden say six of them, again? If it's before he's ID'd those four, he might've mistated, yeah.
    • It's a mistake on the printing on the back of the book. Harry was basing the "six necromancers" idea on the fact that Morty's ghosts were able to pick up six points of necromancy-based energy in Chicago. There are actually only four, with a pair of drummers to back them up.

     Winter Knight durability 
  • Okay, so Harry gets shot, and wizards aren't much sturdier than normal people. But he's also the Winter Knight, and the knights are much sturdier than normal people. Specifically, they're enough sturdier that Slate survived being struck by lighting.
    • ....and? Slate survived being shocked by magical lightning, which faeries and those being empowered by them are more resistant towards. Harry, on the other hand, got shot through the freaking heart by a military-grade sniper round. Getting shot in the chest by a sniper round that punches clean through your heart is going to kill you, Winter Knight or no. Winter Knights aren't Superman. Being the Winter Knight doesn't make you immune to bullets, especially the kind of bullets that do massive internal organ trauma like those of most sniper rifles. There would be an inconsistency if, say, Slate had been shot and suffered comparable trauma to his body, but he hasn't.
    • And besides, surviving a lightning strike isn't a superhuman feat. People in real life have survived being struck by lightning.
    • Hell, the fact that Harry didn't die instantly when the sniper round punched through him, but had time to be confused and linger for a bit before toppling off the boat, is a testament to how tough he'd have to be thanks to being the Winter Knight. Sniper rifles, by design, tend to be both high-powered and high-caliber. Getting shot through the chest by one would kill a human outright, not give them enough time to stop and stare at their own blood splatter for a few seconds and wonder where the red paint came from.
    • I don't think the round that hit Harry was high powered and high caliber. It seemed to be a subsonic sound, since Harry never mentions hearing the ballistic crack. It was just a straight shot to the heart. Being extra tough doesn't mean your skin is bulletproof.
      • Er, no. Most modern weapons fire bullets at supersonic speeds. At the distance handguns and normal rifles are used at, the difference in time between the bullet reaching you and the sound reaching you would be so small that you'd think it was simultaneous. With sniper rifles, however, the shooter can be so far away that you die before you hear the sound, which is what happened to Harry.
      • Yes, most modern weapons do. I was saying that since Harry never mentions hearing the ballistic crack—even when it takes him a few seconds of stumbling after being shot—this particular rifle was probably using subsonic ammunition. Yes, a sniper can be so far away that the sound never gets to you, but this one didn't have to be, and depending on the topography and building layout of Chicago, it might not've been feasible.
    • Nope, it was a high-powered round. In Aftermath, Murphy notes that the round fired went through Harry and both walls of the boat to hit the lake. You'd need a pretty powerful round to do that. Harry probably didn't hear the crack because by the time the he would have heard it, he was dying of blood loss.

     Madrigal's weapon of choice 
  • I know that Madrigal's considered pretty stupid by a lot character's in White Knight and Proven Guilty ,but I'd never pegged him as plain suicidal. I understand that he was unprepared for a duel in the first place and that he had to make do with what was in the armory,but if you can get your hands on Anti Magic armbands then why just pick a spear?. Especially since he never was able to get in range for a proper thrust or throw considering his opponents could easily destroy it mid-flight.
    • Probably it's just that it was the melee weapon he felt he was best with. Ramirez went into the fight with a sword, after all, and he had about as much opportunity to use it as Madrigal did his spear. Also, thrown weapons were fairly effective when you consider the Malvora landed at least two knives in Ramirez's leg and gut.
    • His weapon is less of a "stupid" choice and more like the only choice. It's the weapon and gear he had in his room at the estate. If he'd kept his assault rifle stashed in the estate they probably would have brought that as well. Besides, a spear is a pretty good weapon, especially if you're outfitted with gear that nullifies magic, and you're a superhumanly-fast and -strong vampire taking on a puny human wizard and you don't have the chief weapon of choice against said human wizard, which is surprise. The next-best choice against wizards is to get in close quarters with them, and a weapon with long reach like a spear would be pretty effective in the hands of a creature who can twist steel barbells like pretzels. The White Court in general prefer close-quarters and light weapons anyway, so his weapon of choice is perfectly in keeping with his Court.

     Martin's Xanatos Roulette 
  • in changes it is revealed that Martin manipulated events so that Harry could turn the bloodline curse against the reds. The problem is that it would have required a lot of factors to line up perfectly (they'd have to arrive after the theoretical crossbow was ready but before the actual sacrifice, Harry his friends and the red king would all have to be in the chamber at the same time etc). It just seems overly convoluted.
    • The impression I got is not that he planned for everyone to be in that room at that precise moment, but rather that he walked in and like Harry, improvised in such a way that he could get into position without getting vaporized by the Red King so that Susan could attack him, kill him, get turned, and be used as the trigger for the spell. Less Xanatos Roulette, and more Xanatos Speed Chess coupled with Indy Ploy. He didn't plan the whole thing out, he just improvised on the fly.
    • Also, his overall plan wasn't "get everyone in that room at that exact moment so they can do exactly what I planned for them to do." It was "Give Harry the biggest reason possible to bring total war on the Red Court, let him do his thing." Martin is fully aware of what Harry's capable of; he was just being Genre Savvy.

     Maggie's Protection 
  • When justifying sending Maggie away to live with some mortal family instead of with Harry, Susan says that Harry couldn't offer her anything other than "a life under siege". Fine. But why couldn't Susan have sent Maggie to Chicago not to live with Harry, but with the Carpenters? The Carpenters have an enormous family and they're Good People, so I highly doubt they would have so minded taking on one more, and on the "protection from the Red Court" front, I can't think of much better protection than living the Fist of God in a house protected by an archangel. Harry could have even visited her and seen her without bringing her all that much danger. So in short, had Susan sent Maggie to live with the Carpenters, Susan would have had peace of mind, Maggie would have been safe, Harry would have been able to know about his daughter's existence, and even the Carpenters would have felt good about saving one more child. Everybody wins.
    • Well, except for the Red Court, obviously, but that's kind of a given.
    • Did Susan even really know the Carpenters? Michael was Harry's friend for a while, but I don't recall if Susan was ever shown talking to him. While Harry trusts Michael with his life, Susan probably just didn't know them well enough to trust the family with something like that. Also, being protected by the Archangel didn't stop the Fetches from ransacking the place in Proven Guilty, nor did it stop the Ick from attacking the place in Changes—and by the time the kidnapping plot occurs, it's well after Michael is out of action. That protection might keep them safe from run of the mill boogeymen, but it's not that great when the enemy attacks deliberately and in force.

      Plus, having the kid live with the Carpenters and be regularly visited by Harry would've thrown up all of the red flags that it was, in fact, Harry's kid. Priority one for Susan was ensuring that nobody knew it was Harry's and thus wouldn't use her as leverage.
    • Maggie wouldn't be safe. Archangel protection only applies if the Knight is retired; if he's active in his duties, there's no holy angel sitting overhead. Furthermore, Michael isn't around 24/7, as shown by the fact that his family has been directly or indirectly attacked three freaking times by supernatural entities (Nicodemus throwing Lasciel's coin at little Harry, the fetches, and the gruffs) and there's no defense, supernatural or otherwise, against mortal goons. All the Reds would have to do is wait until Michael leaves to go a-Knighting, and then smash down the door, murder everyone, and take Maggie. Maggie's only defense is in nobody knowing who she is.
      And as was noted above, Susan doesn't know much about Michael. She'd barely met him in Grave Peril, and had minimal contact with him in Death Masks. By the time she'd given birth she was back in South America, and while she likely could have gotten baby Maggie to Michael through indirect means via the Church, but the Church's capabilities are limited. Maggie would likely be tracked back to the States and the Reds would follow - and you know the Reds would take interest in a child who is obviously to one of the Carpenters' children being adopted by friends of Harry Dresden. Her only real hope is to find a family in South America willing to raise the kid and minimize contact.
    • Point of irony: in Ghost Story, Maggie is now living with the Carpenters. Of course, this is after the guardian angels have been established following Michael being crippled.
  • Different headscratcher: From the reader's point of view, sending Maggie to live with the Carpenters is obviously the best solution: they're nice people and it's the safest place in the world for her. However, at the end of Changes, Harry notes that she probably doesn't speak English (and it's never been suggested that any of the Carpenters speak Spanish). This is not a small problem even under the best of circumstances, much less for a child who was recently introduced to the supernatural world by way of watching her family get torn to shreds by people-eating monsters. I know the adults around her were primarily concerned with her safety, but it's still irritating that nobody mentions this.
    • Why would anyone need to mention it? Its outside the scope of most of Harry's immediate concerns in Ghost Story. It is a problem, but not an insurmountable one.
    • As you said, Harry, who hasn't actually talked to her, thinks she probably doesn't speak English. In truth? Harry, our narrator, has no idea what languages she speaks—and given that her mother's native language is English, and said mother did correspond with Maggie occasionally, it's pretty likely she did understand the language.
    • Not to mention that Spanish is an extremely common language to learn in American high schools, in addition to Micheal possibly picking it up from his travels around the world.

    Sex Is Better Than Blood? 
  • Okay, Death Masks. I forget the exact circumstances, but Susan gets all vampy from overexertion, requiring Harry to tie her up with some unbreakable rope, which is only prudent, and the only thing keeping her from jumping him and sucking him dry (No, not like that. Well, not yet, anyway). Then, One Thing Led to Another, etc. etc. Harry wakes up later, entwined with Susan, with that unbreakable rope untied, and she's not hungry for blood anymore.

    Mainly because I've gotten into the RPG and have started thinking of the in-book events in terms of game mechanics, how does this work? Did Harry, ahem, wear her out? Did slaking one urge do the job for another?
    • Yeah, it's strongly implied that he wore her out, exhausting her and overriding her vampire urges with...others. I suppose orgasms will do that.
      • Huh. No wonder half the females in the series want to get into his pants.
    • Susan says outright that she "can't separate the hungers" when it comes to Harry. Lust for his body turns into lust for his blood, and vice-versa.

    How tough is the Winter Knight? 
  • I understand that he got some major power from the transformation but in one of his posts Jim ranked the Winter Knight in a decently high position of power (I am looking for the right link) so what can Harry do now that he's a Winter Knight?
    • Winter Knight power varies depending on the Knight in question. Lloyd Slate admits this right to Harry that if he and Ruel had gone head to head, the old man would have smoked him. So, power is dependent on the individual and their talents and experience - kind of like wizards.

    The lunatic fringe 
We've heard Harry's explanation for why people ignore the paranormal. However, where are all the people that do believe in it without encountering it? According to Gallup polls, about half the people in the US believe in ESP, and a fifth believe in witches. Sure, there's Susan, but where's everybody else? How come no one's come to Harry and asked for some sort of proof that he's a wizard? Or asked if they have a burgeoning magical talent for this or that reason? Or even just some otherkin asking for help to regain their "true" body? People that don't believe in the supernatural seem to have no trouble finding Harry, so people actively looking for it should find him easily. Even if someone doesn't believe in it, there's got to be some dedicated debunkers that ask him for proof of wizardry. There might even be more people like that than in real life, as Harry's Chicago has a police branch that investigates the most-definitely-not-supernatural, which is ripe for conspiracy theories. Come to think of it, what does SI tell the public that they do?
  • Because a lot of questions are being asked here, in order:
  • How come no one's come to Harry and asked for some sort of proof that he's a wizard? Generally speaking, anyone asking for proof that he's a wizard is interested in the supernatural community; those whom he's demonstrated proof to effectively become part of the occult community through simply being exposed to said knowledge.
  • Or asked if they have a burgeoning magical talent for this or that reason? That's why Harry has a bunch of pamphlets in his office discussing magic, and what he has done before for some people. If someone has some talent, he'll give them some advice and point them int he right direction, and maybe some training (for a fee, naturally). If someone has serious talent, he points them to the White Council, and they take it from there.
    • We do see him with Kim in Fool Moon. She's a minor talent he's helping learn magic.
  • Or even just some otherkin asking for help to regain their "true" body? This may fall into grey areas around the Laws of Magic. But regardless, see above on teaching.
  • Even if someone doesn't believe in it, there's got to be some dedicated debunkers that ask him for proof of wizardry. And Harry would likely do his best to avoid them, as either they'll generate negative publicity for him, or they'll just not believe he's an actual wizard no matter what he does (magic shorting out recording devices doesn't help). Also keep in mind that some of these dedicated debunkers are in the employ of the bad guys, like Duke Ortega, who spends a significant amount of time debunking magic, including real magic.
    • Larry Fowler who is still suing him last time we heard?
  • Come to think of it, what does SI tell the public that they do? SI investigates weirdness. That is the public and professional image.
    • Also, Harry is like one guy in the middle of a huge city; he's not a well known, public figure. Plus, he may be in the phone book, but be honest: When's the last time you opened a phone book? Hell, when's the last time you saw a phone book? Barely anyone uses them anymore, and Harry doesn't have a website, so to quite a lot of people out there, he's effectively anonymous.
      • Just to further the phone book issue; he's the one entry under "Wizards". It's not like "Auto Repair" or "Grocery Stores" where you have a good chance of hitting the section by accident opening the book at random. So anybody finding him under there was probably looking for a wizard already. We don't ever even see anything to suggest he's listed elsewhere in the book ("Private Investigators" would be likely, but I don't recall any mention of it.)
  • On a more general note, I would imagine that those people who both believe in the supernatural and are willing to go look for it meet one of three fates. If they're lucky, they meet with the occult underground community or some of the kinder supernatural beings out there, and they eventually join that society or just hang around it and are told to keep quiet about it. If they're not so lucky, they might get turned away or get scared off by the supernatural when they actually find it, and end up going back to their normal lives. If they're unlucky, they stumble upon the monsters before they know any better, and then get eaten or enslaved by whoever finds them. The Vampire Courts, the Winter Fae, and all the other supernatural baddies seem to have no problem getting servants and food from the mortal population, so I think those beings all have ways of drawing clueless mortals to them as a method of getting easy prey.
  • And just because people believe in the supernatural (like this troper) for instance, doesn't mean they necessarily go looking for it. And it doesn't mean they'd actually believe it if they saw it. Believing something might exist and coming face to face with it are two completely different things.

    Doom of Damocles 
  • So the Doom requires a sponsor and the accused. If the accused does something wrong, the sponsor is proven wrong as well and gets killed along with the accused. So why is Harry running around in Storm Front with the Doom still over him, and Ebenezar is apparently unconcerned?
    • Incorrect. The Doom of Damocles itself does not require a sponsor. Rehabilitation of a warlock requires a sponsor until the warlock has been judged to be properly trained, and both the warlock and the sponsor are under the Doom during this time. Once the warlock is judged to be capable of operating on their own, they are released to work on their own, with a probation officer assigned to keep an eye on them and lop off their head if they relapse.
      • Alright then. That makes more sense...
  • Another thing. What happens if the sponsor dies? Shouldn't that cancel the Doom and kill the accused as well? So since Harry just died, shouldn't Molly get killed?
    • Maybe. If the sponsoring wizard dies, another will need to take up the duty of teaching the warlock. If no one is willing to do so, Molly will be executed as a matter of course. So three things are likely to happen: The Council puts out the choppy order on Molly, another wizard intervenes and becomes her master until she's judged fit for duty on her own, or the Council will test her to see if she qualifies as a full wizard in her own right and assign probation. It is also possible that Harry might be resurrected before the Council even realizes he's dead, depending on how Ghost Story plays out; remember that during Changes the Council is in complete chaos due to Ramirez's uprising, Luccio's detention, and the sickness spread through Edinburgh, so it might take some time for them to respond to anything.
      • The Ghost Story preview chapters state it's been 9 months since Harry died, and while Molly's status hasn't been covered yet, I'd think they'd have realized by then. Even Aftermath was 6 months after, by Side Jobs' reckoning. (Or so I remember...) I think Ebenezar would take over. And do a lot of grumbling next time he can talk to Harry.
      • What? Aftermath started about 45 minutes after Changes ended. This is stated explicitly right at the start of the story.
    • According to Ghost Story, it's only been six months, but without Harry around the Council has been trying to pass sentence on Molly and kill her. They're mostly tied up dealing with the fallout of the Red Court extinction, so one warlock is just a drop in the ocean compared with the fighting erupting in the resulting power vacuum. Molly's also damned good at avoiding being caught.
      • Murphy says that Carlos has come by looking for Molly at least once, but he's dragging his feet - and presumably has much bigger problems on his hands.
      • Yeah, Ramirez's "looking for Molly" is probably along the lines of, "Hi Murph, you haven't seen Molly, right? No? Okay, I'll be on my way bye."

     The Lightning Gate 
  • After the Battle Of Chichen Itza the team was able to leap right back to Chicago. If that was the case, why not jump straight to the point 5 miles out of Chichen Itza?
    • They needed a target to center the gate at; Vadderung couldn't just open the gate in the middle of the center of the Red Court's power. Lea had to place a beacon of some sort that allowed for the gate to open, which is kind of why she threw that beacon down in the first place. Also keep in mind that Vadderung was with Ebenezar and the Grey Council and was not privy to Harry's exact plan.
    • Remember what Vadderung says when Harry goes to meet him. At that time, in that place, the Red King is as strong, or stronger, than he is. He simply wouldn't have been able to make such a portal without the Red King at least being distracted.

     Thomas and Justine in Ghost Story 
  • It was really sweet and all, but really? He can't touch a scarf she made for him as a token of her love in previous books and now he can touch her?
    • Once the True Love Protection is gone (which she is trying to invoke at the end of Ghost Story), yeah.
      • ...via threesomes?
    • ...yeah? The mechanics of the protection caused by true love have already been very clearly established. So long as Justine's last intimate contact was with someone who possesses true love for her, that remains a part of her life energy that the White Court feeds on. If she has sex with someone who is not in love with her, that protection is gone and she can be fed on again by any White Court vampire who feeds on lust. So Justine's solution is very simple; have sex with someone who doesn't love her, then she can have sex with Thomas. The process of doing so will again result in her being protected by true love. Rinse and repeat.
      It's the exact same thing as what happened to Harry after he started sleeping with Luccio. She didn't truly love him, and thus he lost the protection that Susan's love for him had conferred, allowing Madeline to use her WC powers on him. There is nothing contradictory about Thomas and Justine.
      • Thank you, I finally got what the 'Rinse and Repeat' part was about. Oh, that had been bugging me for hours.
  • OP here, I understand how they are getting around it I just think it's bogus when you add in the fact that White Court Vampires can't touch things which are a token of love, eg. weddings rings, the scarf Justine made. Harry having sex with Luccio kinda means that he's not so in love with Susan anymore. Justine is just trying to get close to Thomas. It just makes no sense to me that he presumably can't touch the scarf but he can touch her.
    • Objects and tokens of affection have a clearly different effect from physical contact. This is one of the consistent rules within the setting (like only inherited silver working against loup-garou). Tokens of affection burn regardless of whether the Hunger in question is trying to feed. Remember that the rules surrounding magic and supernatural beings are at times arbitrary - see the faeries and the vast web of restrictions and specific rules that govern them. Compared with them, the behavior of objects created or gifted as tokens of love is nothing.
    • Moreover, a person can nullify the protective effect of their love by having sex with someone other than their beloved. Such intimacy, even if done with the full consent of the beloved, is at least symbolic of betrayal: of throwing over the beloved for somebody else. An object given out of love can't go cheat on the recipient sexually, and thus discard the protective effect; to ruin a love-gift's protection, you'd probably have to do something else that's symbolic of the end of love, such as dropping a wedding ring down the sewer grating in front of a courthouse where the couple just finalized a messy divorce.
  • Plus, how would that even work, when does sex end? at orgasm? because thats going to be an awkward place to have blisters. Not until the snuggling's finished? That seems like its stretching it a bit.
    • It's not clear, but we know that it likely occurs sometime after the intimacy ends. Thomas was able to finish having sex with Justine in Blood Rites before she became protected by his love, so more likely than not the protection is only conferred afterward. Of course, this is likely specific to the individuals involved, like a lot of Dresden magic.

    A Shout Out Missed? 
Jim Butcher is One Of Us, and definitely a Marvel fan as well. So how is it that when he puts Harry up against a skull in a Nazi uniform, he doesn't turn that skull red somehow?

    Explosion positions 
When Harry detonates the gas pumps to, for lack of a better term, banish He Who Walks Behind, he has the pumps at his back and sends the fire over his shoulder, as HWWB always comes from, well, behind. However, he describes the explosion as knocking him "on [his] ass", even though it came from behind him. Did the explosion make him do a flip or is this just a minor goof, as in the minivan example above?
  • The explosion likely spun him around or lifted him up. Force generated by expanding air from improvised gasoline explosions do not hit with uniform, perfectly spherical shapes.
    • The narration mentions nothing about him being spun around, and getting spun at all is incredibly unlikely anyway; he's got his feet on the ground, so any applied force would be much more likely to push him forward than around.
    • It's an expression. I've said the same thing about particularly hot buffalo wings and not once has a piece of chicken literally knocked me on my kiester.
      • There's a big difference between using it to describe food and using it to describe exploding gas stations. In this situation, the literal usage is much more likely.
      • Yes, but it doesn't mean it's a goof if Harry did not literally end up squarely on his buttocks. He was describing how strong the explosion was, not giving a clinical physics analysis of the forces at work and exactly how they affected his body as it was pushed into the air by the shockwave. Good lord do people take things way too damn literally sometimes.
        • But when Harry describes HWWB dying, he describes it as a "not-figure" in the fire, where the fire goes around something invisible. He can only see HWWB in reflections, and turning doesn't necessarily change where HWWB is, because he saw the cashier get ripped apart without looking in a reflection. Because Harry can't see HWWB, he's not looking at the gas station windows, assuming they're still intact from the explosion.
      • So there's your answer. The explosion hit him in such a way that he got turned around, and was thus looking in HWWB's direction, therefore he fell on his ass.
        • Which, as I've said, is incredibly unlikely, and nothing is mentioned about Harry getting spun around. I'm thinking this is just a goof.
      • "Incredibly unlikely," based on what? Also, you just said that Harry's description of it means he's turned around—ergo, there's mention of him being turned around.
        • Incredibly unlikely based on physics. While an improvised gas station explosion would, as you said, not be perfectly spherical, most of the force would be away from the pumps. When was the last time you saw an explosion in a movie turn someone around, rather than bowling them over or launching them through the air? And there's no mention of him being turned around; he's facing away from the pumps when he sprays fire, then towards them when they explode, without anything in between.
      • He'd actually have to be half-turned to do the attack in the first place. He's spraying the flames from his open palm, after all, which would need him to at least twist his torso about so he could angle his arm to aim at HWWB. If he's already half-turned, the force of the explosion is going to hit him at the angle, and is more likely to turn him.
        • If he was half-turned, I could accept that. But it's not hard to just point your hand over your shoulder, which is how I interpreted it happening. Try it.
      • Yeah, but I don't have a plume of fire coming out of my palm. Putting your hand over your shoulder puts your hand right next to your ear. Not mentioning getting turned around is one thing, but I have to imagine Harry's narration would've mentioned it if he scorched the side of his own head in the process.
        • Magic. Harry's contained heat from fire before; the ball of fire he uses on Molly is twelve hundred degrees, but nothing bursts into flames or melts. And if it didn't scorch his palm, why should it scorch his shoulder? Plus, IIRC, the narration specifically mentions him sending it over his shoulder.
      • The heat is still there, magic or no. Harry's not very good at the subtle stuff like that—especially if it's the first time he's casting a spell of that size. The small ball of fire in particular he specifically says is something he took a lot of time and effort pre-preparing just for that occasion, and it's explicitly not something he is capable of putting together on the fly. I recall the narration mentioning him sweeping the flame side-to-side when he's attacking HWWB which would have been hard to do without melting his ears off if he's holding his hand the way you're suggesting.
        • The narration specifically mentions Harry sticking his hand over his shoulder. Besides, he has to control the heat at least somewhat; throwing that much fire around means he'll get burned at arm's length if he doesn't keep the heat off in some way. Think of a fire in a fireplace or fire pit, and multiply it by a hundred.
      • Nowhere in the passage (I'm looking at pages 288-290 in the hardcover) does it specify that he's putting his hand over his shoulder. All it says is Harry "extended my right hand back toward it." The only time his shoulder is mentioned is as part of how the heat is traveling down his arm to his hand. As for getting burned with his own heat, he specifically mentions smelling burned hairs even as he's gathering the power.

        He can certainly direct the heat well enough, but he can't get rid of it entirely—by pushing the heat forward, away from him, he protects himself from being burned by his own spells, but if his hand were over his shoulder, he'd have to be really flexible to get his hand far enough past his head where he wouldn't burn his own hair.

        Plus, once again, the passage says he sweeps the flame from side to side—which would definitely get his head scorched if he was doing it over his shoulder.
        • Okay. I probably misremembered it. So, in the name of simplicity: standing sideways, explosion turned him a bit.
        • Any kickback effect from throwing all that fire might've helped spin him around, too.

    Joining the White Council 
Exactly what does it take to join the White Council? It's not just age: Molly angsts that by the time the White Council takes her seriously, her youngest siblings will have died of old age. Harry Jr. was born in Grave Peril, and since each book takes place roughly a year after the previous one, he's about ten now, so with the American life expectancy at about eighty years, Molly will be about ninety when Harry Jr. dies, but main-character Harry is less than forty. Ramirez mentions a test of some kind in White Night, but it's not clear whether it measures skill, power, or some combination of the two. Molly is mentioned as being skilled, but not very powerful, and if a wizard's power grows as they age, it's possible that Molly won't be powerful enough to be considered for membership until then.
  • The precise requirements are not clear, but you need to be able to use multiple forms of magic with enough skill and capability. Molly angsting that she'll be accepted as a wizard by the time her family is dying of old age is simply inaccurate, as Harry was accepted as a member of the White Council in his early twenties, Elaine could have joined at the same age, and Ramirez joined in his teens along with a lot of other young Wardens. Molly's wrong, but there's nothing new about that.
    • The requirements are that you have to be at least capable of all varieties of Thaumaturgy as well as Evocation. Molly isn't angsting about how old she'll have to be to be on the White Council, she's saying that that's how long until anyone respects her as a wizard. Seeing as she's the former/possibly-still Warlock who's been trained by what most of the council thinks of as "Lucifer: The Next Generation", and the state she's in when she says that, I'd argue she's got a point.
  • The earlier books suggest that there are particular requirements; Summer Knight, in particular, states that there are "Trials" for a full-fledged wizard to overcome. The Senior Council members say that Harry never had to endure the trials because he defeated Justin Du Morne in a duel, which presumably fulfills the requirements. Also remember that at that White Council meeting, Harry says that he is the youngest wizard there out of several hundred by at least a few decades. As for the younger Wardens, it's possible that there are Wardens specifically trained in combat that don't necessarily fulfill the requirements of full White Council membership, but that's digging into Wild Mass Guessing territory.

    Lord Raith's Whereabouts and Mental Stability  
  • When the Skinwalker attacks the manor in Turn Coat Lara asks Justine for a head count, and Justine rattles off her sisters and Madeline being present. No mention is made of her father,which while it's understandable that he wouldn't be doing any fighting, it's also a good idea to be able to keep track of your figurehead's whereabouts especially when a demigod attacks the house. Also just how in control of himself is Papa Raith?, as he's clearly able to function enough to host a meeting between the other House Leaders and I'm sure they'd be able to sense any White court-style mental tampering.
    • Why would his whereabouts be an issue? Lara likely knows exactly where he is and maintains a guard detail to keep track of exactly where he is. Besides, Lara doesn't need to know where he is; she specifically asks "how many of the blood" are "in the house" - which means she needs to know how many of her family are present that can move around on their own. Lord Raith is almost certainly inside the house, so Lara doesn't need to be updated as to his location; she already knows where he is. And why should the White Court be able to detect mental tampering? They've never once at any point in the series demonstrated the ability to readily detect mental tampering in others. Don't assume they have an ability they've never shown.
    • White Court vamps clearly have no ability to "detect" mental tampering—even if they were the ones doing the tampering. When Lord Raith first meets Murphy, he tries to put the whammy on her, and she resists—but he still believes it worked. If the King of the White Court can't tell that his own mental tampering didn't work on someone standing less than five feet away from him, what makes you think that anyone else in the court is going to be able to tell he's been whammied himself?
      • He wasn't using his Hunger powers on Murphy, he couldn't remember? He was just attacking her psychologically.
      • Feeding on her =/= putting the mental whammy on her. He could still induce emotions in others, he just couldn't feed on them anymore.
      • Yeah, the description of what he's doing to her clearly described Papa Raith as inducing lust against her will. He appeared to have misjudged its effectiveness on her.

    Carpenter Angelic Defenses 
In Ghost stories it shows that the Carpenter house is the Impel Down of the Dresden verse. Around two dozens of angels (each a One-Man Army unto themselves) guarding 24/7 365 days, making it literally one of the most protected places in the world against the supernatural. But seeing this, how was Nicodemus capable of coming close to the House in Small Favor? or throw the Denarian coin to little Harry, forcing Harry to be possesed by the Fallen Angel in Death Mask?. Isn't this the kind of things that the Angels are supposed to protect them for? Or how where the servants of Winter capable of assaulting the family and abduct Molly to the Never/never? Is the protection only existing recently because Michael is crippled and if this is the case, why they didn't do anything when the crazy militant father decided to rob the swords? Kind of confusing, since the Angles were shown to take the matter very, very, very seriously.
  • The angels are part of the Knights' "retirement package." Simply put, they weren't there until Michael was forced to give up the Sword. As for the events of The Warrior, as I recall the guy never assailed the house direction, which is what the Angels were protecting. He grabbed Michael's daughter from softball practice, and when he tried to jump Harry he wasn't in the house.
  • Also, I'm pretty sure it's been stated that the angels will only protect Michael from supernatural threats.
    • Yes to both of the above. The angels are only there to protect against supernatural threats, and were only posted once Michael retired. Their entire purpose is to protect Michael's family from retaliation now that he no longer has the Sword. If Michael were to take up the Sword again, the angels would be recalled and his family would be vulnerable to attack again. And the angels only act against supernatural threats. Father Roarke was a mortal and thus they couldn't act against him. I also believe that they would intervene if someone threatens the Carpenters outside their home too, at least until they reach Molly's age and move out.
      IIRC, it is explicitly stated that this is the case in Changes when Susan asks Harry if Michael would be willing to help him.
      • Okay, so what stopped Nicodemus to kill the Carpenter's Family while Michael was out? Or any other denarius taking a shot before the retire package was on? I mean, the guy knew where they lived, what they did and even tried to condemn little Harry as a living weapon (showing that nothing stopped him to act) and Nicodemus was ruthless enough and savvy enough (not to mention petty) to had the lot killed just to hurt one of the swords. That would fit in their modus operandus. If the carpenters didn't posses enough protection to stop low level Faerie spirits or a middle ground warrior to snatch their daughter or they where unprotected while out of the house, how can they still be alive after declaring war to the heavy weights of the spirit world with who knows how many fanatical warriors at their disposal and money to hire mortal mercenaries if needed?.
      • Do you know what happens if someone does lasting harm to the Carpenter family? Michael happens. The Fist of God comes down on you like, well, the Fist of God. The protection a Sword wielder's family has is the Sword wielder himself. Nicodemus doesn't just want to hurt one of the Knights; he wants to destroy them and the swords themselves. Killing the Carpenter kids does nothing but make Michael want to hunt him down personally, immediately.

        Remember, Nicodemus is the long term planner. What stopped him from slaughtering the Carpenter household? It wouldn't further his plans. All it would do was make the wielder of the most powerful of the three Swords come after him personally. There's no benefit to Nicodemus in this scenario.
      • Killing the Carpenters won't do him any good except piss off a Knight of the Cross even further. There's no point to it, no profit to it, and there's a good chance it will provoke Harry Dresden into pulling out the stops, picking up the big sticks, and going after him. But mostly its because he doesn't care. He's got more important people to kill, ore important plots to hatch, and far greater priorities than a spite killing.
        Not to mention that this is a Knight of the Cross here. If Nicodemus were to seriously attempt to kill the Carpenters, there's about a 100% probability that Big G is going to prod probability to have Sanya end up at Michael's house at the right moment and that Michael will return just before the attack hits. That's how the Knights roll. Remember that both times that the Carpenter family was actually attacked by a supernatural force (the Nightmare attacking Charity, the fetches attacking and kidnapping Molly), probability was twisted so that events played out so that they got out mostly unscathed.
      • Nicodemus is not scared of Michael. He had killed hundreds of Knights of the swords through history. Even Michael stated that to defeat a single Denarian let alone the strongest one, they prefered three to one odds. Hiro was legendary in the fact that he could kill a Denarian single handely and even "survived" a confrontation against Nicodemus and Michael accepted he was nowhere near his level. And he will not face Michael alone or fairly. He is also not afraid of Harry. Once again, is the other way around and Harry managed to won thanks to blind luck, as always. Even so, Michael stated that you can't use the sword for personal reasons, so he could go and bring him "divine justice ". In fact, twisting Michael into rage would be a very devious and smart move from Nicodemus: either he is hurt and broken or he decided to hunt him against the tenets of the Lord (Vengenace Is Mine) and even manipulate Harry in somekind of plan (somehow, who Knows. I'm not a millenary old fallen angel). Also, isn't (trying) condeming his youngest child in becoming the very abomination he hunt an act that might piss him off?. And about GOD... that seems to be a cheap cop out, to be honest. You got a Deus ex Machina at your bet and call so you can make any excuse and put it as "divine internvention" or "God works in mysterious way" and be done with it. You couldn't even said: well, Nicodemus had slaughtered other Knigts, assaulted their stronghold to burn down any information about them, hunt down those who could possibly know anything about them (including the Archive) but he loves Michael so very much that is going to put his foot down, so there. Even if you point that Faeries and mortal can act against them and somehow managed to come out fine, it was thanks to God and not their effort, decision and luck and you can't logically discuss it. Also, wasn't Uriel who stated that Heaven can't act or alterate the World to their desire to allow humans free will?. But that is discussion for another moment. So, another reason why Carpenter's where untouchable before the retiring package that is not "God's mysterious (offscreen) will" that you can think of?.
      • No one said Nicodemus was afraid of either Michael or Harry (except for Word of God post-Small Favor regarding Harry). However, he respects both of them in terms of the threat they represent, and he is afraid of the Swords. He shows this quite clearly when Harry pegs the one thing that seems to scare him - the possibility of mortality, be it a Sword lopping off his head or getting choked to death on his own noose. Even the off-chance that death might happen is an unsettling and terrifying thought to Nicodemus. One bad turn of luck is all Nicodemus needs to find himself on a quick trip to Downbelow, so he's going to mitigate those chances wherever he can.
        In addition, just because the Knights nor Harry could present a serious threat to Nicodemus' personal health doesn't mean that he wouldn't be afraid of them getting involved. Harry doesn't need to kill Nicodemus to derail his plans, and the Knights specialize in derailing Denarian plots. Harry just needs to be a greater thorn in Nicodemus' side as an active opponent than he would be if he stayed put, and Nicodemus has all the reason he needs to avoid provoking him. He'd likely ignore the Carpenters on that basis alone, because a Harry Dresden who is actively fighting against and disrupting Nicodemus' plans is very bad news and something he'd really want to avoid.
      • Even so, Michael stated that you can't use the sword for personal reasons, so he could go and bring him "divine justice ". No. A Sword can only be misused if the user willing turns it against its purpose. Use of Amoraccius to escape debts is a misuse of its power. Use of Amoraccius, the Sword of Love, to bring divine justice for the deaths of the ones one loves would not likely be a misuse.
      • In fact, twisting Michael into rage would be a very devious and smart move from Nicodemus: either he is hurt and broken or he decided to hunt him against the tenets of the Lord (Vengenace Is Mine) While it would be "clever", it could easily backfire on him. Michale might not go into a blind fury. Michael could simply redouble his dedication to fighting Nicodemus and his ilk. Nicodemus wouldn't really know how Michael would react, for good or ill, so he's unlikely to directly attack Michael's family. Nicodemus can't be certain, so he's not going to risk it without some ulterior gain; he's a plotter, but not a gambler.
      • Also, isn't (trying) condeming his youngest child in becoming the very abomination he hunt an act that might piss him off?. Quite possibly, but Nicodemus' actions were not intended to piss Michael off. They were intended to either ensnare Harry or ensnare Michael's son. We know Michael witnessed the act, but we don't know what his immediate reaction was except gratitude that Harry had protected his son.
      • And about GOD... that seems to be a cheap cop out, to be honest. You got a Deus ex Machina at your bet and call so you can make any excuse and put it as "divine internvention" or "God works in mysterious way" and be done with it. Alteration of probability to assist in the protection of a Knight's loved ones has been demonstrated before in the series. Coincidence always helps the Knights to achieve their goals; this is demonstrable fact. You don't like it, tough. Cry some fucking more.
        More importantly, Nicodemus knows this. He would recognize the danger of targeting the Carpenter family directly because Big G has the capacity to alter probability to put a Sword in his way. It might not be flawless, but the possibility is enough of a danger that Nicodemus would be unlikely to take the risk. As said before, he's a plotter, not a gambler. The only time he takes a risk is when either outcome benefits him.
      • Also, wasn't Uriel who stated that Heaven can't act or alterate the World to their desire to allow humans free will? No. Uriel never said that. He said they couldn't directly intervene when someone was facing the consequences of their actions. They certainly seem fully capable of altering probability to aid the Knights in their endeavors; there's just too many instances of events lining up perfectly for the Knights and their allies to be in position so that they could act. That's a fact within the setting.
      • And again, you're not addressing the primary point I made before: Nicodemus has more important things to do than muck around with Michael's family. The only times he's ever made even a threat toward said family was when he happened to be in Chicago and it favored his interests. Otherwise, he has no particular reason to target them, because they don't matter, they won't help his plans in any way, and he's got bigger things to deal with. Nicodemus is not the kind of person who kills for shits and giggles; every murder he perpetrates is calculated. The only benefit he might gain is that he might piss off Michael and Harry, but that's not guaranteed and could result in Michael and Harry stomping all over whatever plans he's cooking up elsewhere in the world. Nicodemus is quite content with Harry staying in Chicago and holding one of the Three instead of angry, mobile, and actively looking for either someone else to take up the Sword or taking it up himself. Also keep in mind that Harry is packing Lasciel's shadow, who can supply Lasciel's coin, and if Harry gets pissed, he might just take it up - and his first target would be Nicodemus.
      • Nicodemus didn't survive for 2000 years and kill hundreds of Knights of the Cross by being petty and picking fights he didn't have to. That would be a stupid way for an intelligent villain to operate, and it would've gotten him killed centuries ago.
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