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Topics - dspringer1

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DF Spoilers / Dresden and Lara
« on: January 22, 2021, 12:07:35 AM »
This is an interesting plot twist that can go so many ways

1) Dresden and Lara have a great deal of respect for each other.   
2) They are also clearly attracted to each other in a way that has nothing to do with magic or inner demon beings
3) This ties Lara even more tightly to Mab -- a very strong political alliance for Mab.  After all, the White Court has a great deal of power in the mortal world - where Mab is fairly weak (relatively speaking).
4) It demonstrates Mabs power over Dresden in a very public way right after he was just super scary
5) It provides another layer of protection for Dresden vis-a-vis the white council.  I am sure there are other allies of the White court that would not hesitate to target Dresden before but would hesitate after a marriage.
6) Does this give Dresden access to white court resources?  Aka - cash and favors? 

1) Lara feeds on souls -- so hard to see how they can have a marriage without that being a pretty strong barrier
2) Dresden is going to resent the hell out of a political marriage and that will create a lot of issues.  And if it becomes a real marriage then either Mab loses a lot of control over Harry to Lara (aka - she feeds on him scenario) or it turns to love and this becomes very damaging to Lara. 
3) A lot of worry that Lara is infected by outsiders based on odd behavior.  That could have been Justine distorting things-- or it could be a real sign that Justine infected Lara (or visa-versa as her father was probably associated with outsiders as well.
4) A distraction for Dresden. Normally that would be a good thing for Mab, but things are very ugly right now and having her winter knight be off his game would be dangerous. 
5) A political marriage involves obligations on both sides.  What would Mab promise Lara to make this happen?  Or does Lara already owe Mab too much to say no. 
6) Kids - enough said
7) Lara is the responsible type -- and a soul eating vampire.   Relations with Maggie will be complicated.....  of course, this might explain why Maggie goes to boarding school.... 
8.) Dresden will have obligations to Lara that might conflict with his obligations to Mab.  And Mab cannot just override such obligations as winter law applies. 
9) Lara's family are mostly a bunch of monsters.   Her extended family/court even more so.   That cannot end well when Dresden walks into the room.  And they are unlikely to take a few random deaths as well as the winter court did. 

DF Spoilers / So what is next
« on: January 15, 2021, 05:07:56 PM »
is the next book Butcher writes going to be another Dresden, his alternate series (with the flying ships) or the strongly hinted YA series focused on Maggie. 

DF Spoilers / Why imprison Thomas in Demonreach
« on: January 14, 2021, 11:27:56 PM »
I get why Harry hid Thomas on the island.   But I do not get why Dresden put him into the prison as opposed to just stranding him on the island.   Especially as that gave him the opportunity to question Thomas.   Even if he had to imprison him initially, why not release him as soon as he identified Justine as the culprit. 

I am also puzzled why Dresden confronted possessed Justine while on the waters.   He could easily have docked, stepped on the island while having Justine stay aboard.   He then consults with Demonreach and arranges mentally to have Justine imprisoned as soon as she steps on the island.    Probably not good for Justine's body or the body of the baby, but leaving he possessed by the outsider is probably equally bad for both. 

It just feels like the author is deliberately making demonreach less useful to Dresden.  For the same reason, Dresden's reasons for not having his normal foci by this point are also pretty weak.  While I can get it that the author does not want Dresden to be too overpowered to be challenged, peace talks and battleground seemed to be stories where overpowered was not a problem as the enemy was so greatly overpowered to begin with.   

DF Spoilers / What changes with Battleground
« on: May 26, 2020, 04:38:05 PM »
Jim said in an interview that Peace talks was originally going to be a turning point book comparable to Changes.  It turned out to be too complex and the book was split into Peace Talks and Battleground with Battleground being the turning point. 

After Changes, we had big dramatic changes including:
*  Molly on her own, damaged
*  Dresden working for Mab
*  Dresden dead, ghost and back
*  Red Court Destroyed
*  Major power imbalance rocking the supernatural world
*  Dresden comes into his own as Warden of Demonreach
*  Harry looses his job, his home, and his car

What will Battleground Bring in the sense of fundamental upsets in the "norm" comparable to what happened in changes?

Possibilities that have been hinted at or speculate on before
1) Ebeneezer dead -- and Dresden the new Blackstaff
2) The mortal world becomes "aware" of the supernatural and starts taking a very active role in the supernatural events
3) Open power struggle/splintering of the White Council
4) Public declaration of the existence of the Black Council - as an supernatural agency directly opposed to the White Council - and the White Council makes serious changes in response.
5) Thomas takes over the White Court as the White King.
6) Harry shows the world he can imprison beings in Demonreach - when they are NOT on the island
7) The Merlin dies
8) Paranet is established as a supernatural org under the accords and begins acting like a supernatural nation

What else am I missing?  Which of the above possibilities (including any new ones mentioned later) seem likely?

DF Spoilers / How do Wizards make a living?
« on: October 17, 2019, 06:02:26 PM »
This is a murky subject for the books as the author has provided very little detail.  Some thoughts shared via the books include:

*  The White Council has vast financial resources and pays it staff a reasonable some.  Given the hints about how much Harry was paid as a regional warden, this sum probably allows a normal but not extravagant life for anyone working for the council. 

*  Some wizard abilities related to information probably allow some wizards to invest in the stock market or otherwise financially benefit from information. 

*  Clearly some wizards are selling items of power to other wizards/supernatural agents and can probably make a good living at this.   But multiple comments in the book imply that making items for other people is rather hard and requires a lot of skill. 

*  Some wizards are in the entertainment business (aka - old Morty) or otherwise "pretending" to be entertainers rather than real wizards.  But few could make a real living in this way. 

*  Some wizards can probably have a "normal" profession where they excel due to (in part) their wizard abilities.   And Ectomancer would probably make a good detective or a geomancer a good structural or mining engineer. 

However, it does seem like the study of magic is a very time consuming endeavor that makes "other careers" a challenge.  Add in the issues with technology and it seems like most wizards would have a tough time earning substantial income without engaging in questionable activities. 

Anybody else see things differently? 

There are probably only a few thousand real wizards of the white council in the world, so realistically there can only be less than a dozen wizards in most countries.   United States and European countries are probably the only exceptions.  That small a population allows for some really specialized niches. 

DF Spoilers / Should representatives from the Paranet attend peace talks
« on: October 15, 2019, 10:56:21 PM »
This is an important question.   They are an organization that did not exist a few years ago, but was clearly impacted to some extent by the war between the White Council and the Red Court.   They are certainly impacted by the post war chaos/Formor. 

Arguments in Favor
*  It is a way to establish themselves as a distinct power and set the stage for eventual accord status.  Right now they receive no protection from the accords beyond some (minor) indirect benefits from the White Council.  Given how hesitant the White Council is to act, those benefits are pretty minor today. 

*  It is the only way that can establish territory -- aka exclude supernatural predators - from their more strongly held territories.   The results of the Peace Talks may end up enshrining into the agreement valuable protections for the lesser powers -- protections that might not happen if they are not there speaking up.

Arguments Opposed
*  They are not signatories of the Accord.   This is true, but not sure it is relevant.  Logically any participant in a war should have a right to discuss how to end that war and I am sure the Accords allow for non-members to participate when relevant.  Proving relevance might be an issue, but the option must exist.    The Fey are very careful to consider all possibilities when creating something like the Accords. 

*  The lesser talents represented by the Paranet are already represented in the peace talks by the White Council.  This is arguably true as well, but the White Council relationship is more indirect than direct.  If the Paranet insisted, I suspect they can represent themselves.   

*  Representing themselves may establish precedents that prohibit the White Council from aiding lesser talents in the future.   This is a serious concerns. 

*  The visibility involved in attending the Peace Talks as representatives of the Paranet/lesser talents would simply be dangerous for the organization - providing a lot of unwanted attention and few if any benefits.   This is a fair argument - although people can differ on what gains they will get to justify this cost. 

*  Lesser powered individuals are weak -- and supernatural nations are predators.   Visibility = Danger for the representatives personally. 

DF Spoilers / The Next Knight
« on: September 24, 2019, 04:36:45 PM »
Who among the characters we have already seen would make a good Knight.  And by that I mean someone who both has the potential to truly be a Knight (aka - personality/morals) and has the potential to be a tough/capable knight on an ongoing basis (aka - no one shot knights please).

Because of the need to be descended from a mortal ruler, a knight has to be at least part human in ancestery.  And arguably any pure supernatural like a vampire or fey would be excluded even if they were originally "born" a changeling or human.  I think humanity is an essential element, although I freely admit that nothing in the books directly supports this theory. 

Possible Candidates
*  Murphy - a long time candidate
*  An Alpha could be a candidate, but none of them seem to have the necessary exceptional moral character.  They are moral, but a Knight seems to need a bit more in this space.
*  I think if any of Michael's kids would get a sword, it would already have happened.  But one of them could face a true test and come out changed for the better. 
*  I have always found the Hellhound Kincaide to be an appealing candidate.  He seems an individual that has been in darkness for a very long time and is trying to pull himself out into the light (or at least twilight).  His clear approval of Dresden's orders to save the kids first rather than focus on killing vamps was the point where he popped up as a serious candidate in my mind. 
*  Charity would be an ideal candidate in many ways now, but I think she would prefer to be with her family.  She would rise if the call is made, but I think Uriel would not burden her with this duty as he knows she would (on some level) be unhappy in the role. 
*  Carlos could be a knight, but I suspect Knights and Wizards do not mix.   

Not a candidate
*  Any supernatural person already with a significant role like Ivy or any of the Fey. 
*  Thomas - at least as long as he is a White court vampire.   The act of feeding would be contrary to the ethos of a knight
*  Dresden himself - long established that he is a bit to grey for this
*  I do not think Marcone could be the knight.   He is also one who lives in darkness and has his code, but he just does not feel like a person who can rise to the light.   Rising to the grey seems like the best he can do.   It is them main difference between Kincaide and Marcone.  I think Kincaide can reach the light. 
*  I do not see Elaine as a candidate as she does not seem to fit in so many ways.   Not a bad or incompetent person, just does not "fit".  She lacks the idealism that is required -- and the desire to fight which is also pretty necessary.  I also think her moral code is a bit to flexible. 

DF Spoilers / Mab's Limits
« on: September 16, 2019, 05:20:30 PM »
As a general tendency, the forum generally assumes Mab is effectively all-knowing, all powerful, at least from Dresden's perspective.   

This thread is more focused on Mab's very real weaknesses.  I would argue that Mab is a key player, but nowhere close to all knowing/powerful. 

*  Immortal
*  Fairly low powered god.  The combination of Lady, Queen and Mother is collectively equal to a strong god like Hades in power.  The Mother has the lion's share of that power, so Mab by herself has to be fairly weak in the god power scale.  I would argue that the very weakness of her god power is a strength as she suffers much less restrictions on the use of her power as compared to the more powerful gods.  The universe as described clearly has rules that severely limit the more powerful beings.  The Mother must be far more constrained than the Queen and the Lady should be less constrained than the Queen. 
*  She is Winter --- great power over cold, ice, winter, etc.   Fey are very nature focused, so expect she has great ability to influence anything winter related in nature. 
*  She is clearly very smart and capable
*  She can hear things spoken at night, especially if her name is spoken.  Great source of intelligence
*  She is a planner - always having multiple plans for every contingency
*  She commands the winter fey.  Mother may be stronger, but the queen rules day to day operations
*  She no doubt has a "bank" of favors accumulated to leverage as needed
*  She has a very capable 2nd in command in Lea -- as well as a capable (if young) Lady in Molly

*  Mab shares all the weaknesses of Fey - cannot tell a lie, vulnerable to iron, bound by winter law, must honor agreements, cannot give gifts without payment. 
*  Mab is automatically countered to some extent by Summer. That is the role of Summer
*  Mab's nature is Winter Fey --> which means her reactions are somewhat predictable if you understand winter fey in general
*  Mab cannot harm a mortal directly, but must wait for them to make themselves vulnerable (via a deal) or use the Winter Knight. 
*  Mab is weaker in the summer months, which means enemies can time their threats to when she is least able to deal with them
*  Mab must devote a large chunk of her time and energy to defending the outer gates.  If she wishes to be elsewhere, she must assign a substitute (typically Lea). 
*  The Fey are not easily controlled - as evidenced by Mab's use of unyielding edicts (like nobody can go to the mortal world until dawn as seen in Cold Days) as more subtle/flexible rules are likely to be bypassed by clever fey seeking advantage.   I would also argue that the Molly as Lady short story also highlighted the restrictions Mab operates under via her conversation with Molly.  She asked Molly for alternatives and Molly could not provide them.  That implies pretty strongly that Mab is operating with some pretty significant constraints. 
*   There are MANY other powers comparable to Mab out there in the universe.   Her attention must be split to counter many of them and/or make sure their agenda does not hurt Mab's agenda.  For example, the entity behind the "worshipers" in the molly short story has nothing to do with the Outsiders, but was still a threat to Winter's interests.   Even though the Outsiders are clearly making a move, Mab cannot afford to ignore the other threats just in case they are acting while Mab is distracted. 
*  Mab has been surprised several times, so clearly her ability to find useful/critical information is limited.

What am I missing?

DF Spoilers / What does the White Council Do?
« on: June 12, 2019, 09:42:36 PM »
I have read all the books and short stories and listened to a few of the forums, but I have to admit that I have only a hazy idea what the White Council actually does

There are some hints
1) They have a financial arm that trades in the stock market, manages investments
2) They have the wardens that enforce the laws of magic and defend the white council/wizards  (collective security)
3) They find and train powerful practitioners in the art of Wizardry
4) They have alliances, mostly with smaller powers who they protect. They have diplomatic relations with all the significant supernatural powers and are members of the unseelee accords. 
5) They are located worldwide, but the center of their power is Europe.  They are fairly strong in North America, much weaker elsewhere.   Less about physical territory and more about spheres of influence
6) Pyramid watching - although what purpose that services.

#3 is clearly the center of the their purpose, but #2 is also pretty high up.   But judging by Harry's life, the White Council has very little impact on the day to day lives of Wizards and relatively little impact on the supernatural balance in their community.    Harry upsets the balance (in a good way), but he is clearly an outsider in this respect. 

But none of the above really speaks to what role the White Council has in the larger supernatural community.   Maybe they are just a supernatural nation defending their own interests, but there is always this undercurrent that they (should) serve some larger purpose (humanity perhaps).   Certainly they are one of the very few powers (and probably the only powerful one) that acts to some extent out of a sense of human morality.   The other supernatural nations are all either very focused on their personal interests or predators or both.   I suspect it was no coincidence that the first nation targeted by the outsider attack was the White Council. 

Which leads to my next question - how much purpose did the original Merlin try to embed into the White Council -- and how far has the current White Council fallen short from that original vision?

And my last question - what allies did Merlin have (like Odin) that are still around - but no longer tied to the White Council's current agenda.  Harry is going to need to gather strength for the final battles.  Odin is one arrow in his quiver, but he needs more.    Given another future book involves professional wrestler who are ex-gods, that might be another way Harry gathers powerful champions for that pivotal fight based on the outcome of that book.    And Thomas is gaining reputation and power in the White Court -- which means he might eventually bring the White Court on Harry's side as well in the end days.  Perhaps bigfoot will play a role as well :)

DF Spoilers / Role of Murphy going forward
« on: May 08, 2019, 05:09:23 PM »
We left skin game with the fate of Murphy somewhat up in the air. 
*  She is clearly NOT going to be a knight of the cross - or at least the odds are a lot lower than they were prior to Skin Game
* She is clearly seriously injured and will have a long recovery -- and her final physical condition will be noticably "less combat effective" than previously was the state. 
*  Dresden and Murphy are dating seriously
*  Next book is Mirror Mirror, which is unlikely to involve This Murphy to any extent. 

So what Role with this character play in the remaining 8+ books?
*  Clearly Murphy will be a trusted confidant and adviser.  She is already playing that role in both Cold Days and Skin Game
*  Clearly Murphy will not be a cop or part of SI.  That ship has sailed and is not going to come back.
*  I would not be surprised if Dresden has some revelation about murphy in Mirror-Mirror. 

Possibilities  (with highest probability options on the top)
*  Murphy will become/continue as one of the top national/world leaders in the paranet -- and take the lead in integrating the Paranet efforts with that of the White Council.  She becomes a politically powerful figure.    [moderate probability - evidence is that she has already been doing this, jim has already foreshadowed that paranet will be more important, who else is will situated to do this?]

*  Dresden gets the cup to heal Murphy, restoring her her full physical abilities and/or some other magical means of achieving same outcome.  Becomes Dresden's full partner in his business and in life.   [moderate probability, but the outcome will not be a return to the Murphy of Cold Days.  There will be some significant changes in her life].

*  Murphy will become the support spouse for Dresden - take care of the home, family, advice, detective partner, support - basically Charity with cop skills added on.   [Low probability, although real possibility in the post injury environment] 

*  Murphy will work for the government supernatural agency [very low probability -- just not seeing it as Murphy would see it as betraying confidences with Dresden ] 

*   Murphy dies [very low probability - if only because it would not appreciably add to the story, at least in the next few books]

Other possibilities?

DF Spoilers / Cowl Unmasked!
« on: May 06, 2019, 09:57:18 PM »
This is not about "who" Cowl might be.  There have been acres of threads on that topic and everything worth saying has been said at least thirteen times.

This thread is about "how" Cowl will be unmasked.  My assumption is that Dresden will realize the true identity of Cowl at some point and mayhem will result.   He is a detective and it makes sense that he will use what he learned and his intuition to discover the real identity of Cowl. 

Intuition based on what you ask?   Answer - intuition based on the facts that Cowl himself shared when he encountered Harry

General factoids that can limit the pool of potential candidates from thousands to perhaps a few score -- plus some number of presumed dead white council wizards as well whose bodies were not clearly identified. 
*  Cowl was seen at three specific points of time - Bianca's party, events in Chicago during Dead Beat and (indirectly) during the final battle in Raith cave vs the super ghouls.   Clear alibi's during that time slot could rule out many people -- or a lack of an alibi could seal the accusation
*  Cowl was clearly identified as male during Dead Beat when he met Harry in front of the book store.
*  Cowl's height was identified during Dead Beat when he met Harry in front of the book store.
*  Cowl has a female apprentice.  Wizards take apprentices pretty seriously and I doubt they would use the word when the true relationship is something else (like ally or minion) at the time of Dead Beat's events.   

Aka - half the wizards are male.  Probably a lot less than half of those males wizards have a female apprentice, with the rest obviously having a male apprentice or no apprentice at all.  If your pool is obviously mature/powerful wizards of the White Council, there cannot be more than a few thousand of those.  Probably no more than 15% of that number are male with a female apprentice.  The three score wizards remaining could probably be reduced in half again with some simply screening around the dates.    You now have a viable pool of potential candidates for Cowl that is of sufficiently reasonable size as to work with. 

Other factoids are more specific to Cowl and Probably are something that is best used to winnow the near final list to the real Cowl.   
*  Cowl expressed a preference for specific classical book authors when he met Harry in front of the book store.
*  Cowl used specific words when casting his spells.  Harry uses his words as one of his spellcasting "aids" and I suspect Cowl does the same.  This could easily be the "trigger" that causes Dresden to put everything together.  Ditto with spellcasting gestures, how he vanished, etc. 
*  Cowl's magical signature could have been memorized by Harry - but as this was never mentioned I assume that Harry did not pick up the skill to read magical signatures until Small Favor -- or he remembered to do so too late to be useful.
*  Cowls words implied that he is not -- or is not currently - a member of the grey council.  He speaks of them as if he is not a member.  This also implies that he is not completely "in the know" as to why the Council takes special care with regards to Dresden. 
*  Cowl cannot be the Merlin or Gatekeeper - simply because those positions are so powerful that the Outsiders would have already won if either had been held by their stooge. 

Any other clue I missed? 

DF Spoilers / Peace Talk Speculation
« on: April 19, 2019, 10:57:48 PM »
This will almost certainly repeat prior threads, but we are getting close to the publish date for peace talks.  Probably worth settling some key questions.

1) Whose "peace" is peace talks about.    Is this about ending the war with the Red Court?

On one level, this question seems stupid.  The Red court is destroyed.    But on another level, this question is very valid.   The war was NOT between the Red court and the White Council.   The war was between ALLIANCES.  On one side is the White council, a few informed human organizations, Summer and Winter.   On the other is the Red Court (destroyed), the Black Court, the White Court and probably some other unnamed lesser allies.

Under the accords, I suspect a formal peace treaty is required to end this state of war, at least from the perspective of Winter and Summer.  I suspect all the warring powers would prefer that the "state of war under the Accords" be ended.    The Accords apply completely different rules to nations "at war" than to nations "not at war" and those rules probably matter a lot to many of the participants.  Therefore it is of considerable value to formally end the war under the Accords. 

2) If the peace talks are about ending the war, what is the problem?

Again, in theory the peace talks should be easy.  The White court wants peace and would be perfectly happy to return to the status quo.   I mean that seriously - the White Court has done very well in the war and they are likely to retain most of their gains in power and territory by a peace treaty.  Previous statements are that the black court is not a major power any more and I doubt any other formal allies wield great power.   So the only real power opposing the White Council's alliance wants peace.      In theory - this should make peace talks a slam dunk. 

But it is pretty obvious that the Peace Talks will not be easy.  So why not.   The answer was pretty clearly stated in Ghost Story and in Aftermath:  Power Vacuum.  The reality is that the peace talks are not about ending the war, they are about dividing the spoils.   And just like in WW1 or WW2, there are a ton of nations that played some minor role or jumped in at the last second and now want their own bit of the spoils.  So these nations are participating in the peace talks to get their share of the goodies. 

Then there are other nations like the Formor which simple took advantage of the power vacuum to grab territory/people.   So any division of the spoils means the war powers have to enforce that decision on the Formor and other supernatural nations that grabbed some spoils even though they were not part of the war.    These nations either need their "grabs" to be tacitly approved (aka - lack of protest = acceptance) or they need to managed (aka - included in the talks and convinced to support the collective division of spoils) or they need to driven out (another war).   

I suspect the Formor are there as the White Council cannot ignore their activity  (aka - grabbing spoils), but at the same time the White Council does not want another war.   So trying to manage the Formor via Peace talks is the only option that might give the White Council what they want.     I doubt many in the Senior Council believe this happy outcome is likely, but it is perfectly clear that most "lay wizards" are desperately tired of the war and willing to accept nearly anything that looks vaguely like a decent peace.     

DF Spoilers / Any news on Peace Talks
« on: November 14, 2018, 06:33:09 PM »
There has been a pretty clear absence of official updates on the status of Peace Talks.    No news is generally bad news in this biz.   Anybody have any recent updates?

DF Spoilers / I expect to see
« on: November 09, 2018, 12:38:38 AM »
These are some events that I expect to see in future Dresden books
*  Kincaide wielding one of the swords
*  Dresden in a tux, about to get married.     (not predicting if he actually gets married --- that just screams out for bride killed at the alter....)
*  Michael finding out that Molly is the Winter Lady -- in the middle of a battle where it comes out of her own mouth when she as she talks smack to some bad guy (forgetting her father was nearby....)
*  Ebenezer dying and Harry picking up the Blackstaff - and the job of Blackstaff - from his bloody corpse
*  Harry introducing Maggie and Thomas to Ebenezer on Christmas day -- probably in the same book where Ebenezer dies
*  Harry calling the head of the federal agency who monitors magic to invite them to some major magical conflict - and he got the number from the events in mirror mirror.  Incidentally I expect Stalling to be a member of this agency.... :)  His name has been mentioned way too often to NOT have a future role to play. 
*  Harry appears as godparent when Thomas presents his child to the White Court.    [in many ways functioning as Maleficent in the sleeping beauty...someone very scary that shows up to the party].  Probably a short story, but you have to admit it would be FUN. 

DF Spoilers / Modern Memes and Harry's magic
« on: March 22, 2018, 10:13:43 PM »
One of the themes of the series is that the white council wizards are conservative old biddies who are having difficulty adapting to the changing world.  Harry being the exception.  The classic is Harry mocking Morgan for creating the 'star wars rip-off" hologram of the world to show danger spots. 

So my question is this.  What "very modern" element of the world should Harry leverage in his next magical innovation.  Cutting edge science?  Leapfrog off a technology?  Cultural ah-ha? 

My personal item would be Harry creating a magical sensor using a cell phone case -- so it basically looks like he is taking selfies while actually doing a detailed scan of the magical nature of the area.    Or alternately, using cell phones "connectivity" to provide a structure to a complex spell that needs to effect a very large area. 

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