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Topics - KurtinStGeorge

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DF Spoilers / The Red Court vs. The Fomor
« on: January 09, 2021, 01:28:52 AM »
This isn't a who would win in a fight scenario.  I've been thinking about the Fomor; as one of the major powers in the story, and also looking at the few individuals we have seen of them, and I've come to a sad conclusion.  They are second rate villains, at least compared to the Red Court.  This is true if we look at the Fomor both as individuals and as a major power.  This makes the Fomor something less than compelling for me to read about.  There's an old saying that your story is only as good as your villain and the Red Court were pretty good at being villains.  That's true even if there is a greater power or powers that manipulated the vampires for their own ends.  To me the Red Court seemed to be scarier, more formidable and more compelling to read about, both as individuals and as a major supernatural power. 

Look at the major Fomor players we have seen so far.  (I don't remember their names, which IMO is a bad sign.)  There was the one that Marcone killed with a magic bullet in the short story Even Hand.  This Fomor managed to fight his way through Marcone's goons and get past Ms. Gard, but you would expect a supernatural heavy hitter to be able to do that or at least get close to doing that.  However, he was rather stupid; and with Gard's help Marcone suckered the Fomor Lord into a death trap. 

Then there was the one who set a bomb to go off at the Swaralf's party, whose plan was foiled by Molly.  OK, while Molly gained some experience working with Harry she was really taught how to think and fight by Lea, so Molly had at least one really good and ruthless teacher and an example of a mentor who never gives up.  However, Molly was still something of a newbie in the kind of covert mission Lea gave her, but despite the risks, setbacks and close calls she underwent, Molly thoroughly defeated the Fomor Lord's plan and publicly exposed his treachery.  Plus, he was something of a sniveling coward when he faced Mr. Etri's wrath.

Then there's King Korb.  I don't have to the exact quote, but Mab told Harry that Korb was more powerful, dangerous and treacherous than Harry, or words to that effect.  (If anyone wants to find the quote and post it here, I'd appreciate it.)  Personally, I found King Korb to be something of a joke.  Openly making himself Ethniu's slave wasn't much of a power move.  I'm surprised that Mab, or any of the major players at the peace talks didn't call him out for that, or Harry make some snarky comment on the subject.  Korb was cruel and vicious, but his henchman Listen is clearly smarter than he is.  Korb just wasn't impressive or really all that scary.  When the action was at it's hottest, King Korb was mostly overconfident, petulant or both.

The Fomor henchman Listen has been good at his job, but he's not really in Harry's league yet.  Listen would need a major power upgrade or have access to supernatural assets we have yet to see in order to make him into a truly dangerous and interesting foe.

The Fomor priest that Murphy fought in the short story Aftermath was a pretty dangerous opponent, but Murphy was just a vanilla mortal, so that bad guy was only a compelling enemy in that situation.  In a larger situation like we saw in Battle Ground, he would have been nothing more than another Fomor grunt.

The creatures that the Fomor can create are disgusting and have some sick and scary qualities, but by themselves they're just cannon fodder.

Now I don't want to look at everyone we met from the Red Court.  Mostly because I've written a lot already, but also because I don't think there are any really weak or boring Red Court characters.  So I'll focus on just one character, Bianca.  Bianca was the first sentient and dangerous nonhuman supernatural enemy we saw Harry match wits with.  For some time we have been able to discern that Bianca was manipulated by beings and powers smarter and far more powerful than herself, but that doesn't really matter.  At the time she went up against Harry, Bianca was scary, her motivations seemed fairly logical and her plan to take Harry down was a pretty smart one, overall. 

The beautiful person who is really giant blood sucking bat like creature underneath its pretty exterior camouflage was a really well developed idea that Jim came up with.  Add in that its saliva was addictive, so Red Court victims were often not just drained out, but made into willing vassals and slaves, made Bianca and her type both disgusting and frightening at the same time.

Bianca had been humiliated by Harry in her own home, at the very seat of her power.  Even if she hadn't been haunted by the ghost of her assistant and lover that she killed, Bianca still would have had good reason to want to get even with Harry.  And the thing is, Bianca's plan was a pretty good one.  Her chosen allies were properly distracting in the case of the Nightmare and powerful in the case of Mavra.  She also couldn't have known just how stubborn Harry could be.  A lot of other wizards would taken her deal to escape with their lives at the cost of someone else, especially if that someone else had already been half turned into one of the Red Court.  In their final confrontation, there was almost no way that Bianca could have figured out that Harry would make an inspired decision to call up the ghosts of her past victims to use against her, or that it would work, and no way she could have countered it.  Bianca just had really, really bad luck that day.  One more minor point.  Even her henchman and henchwomen, Kyle and Kellie Hamilton were pretty freaking creepy in their own right.

Finally, as a major power, the Fomor are somewhat nebulous.  They don't have a solid feel to them.  On the other hand, a nation of blood thirsty vampires is something truly nightmarish.  I don't think I need to say more than that.   

Mostly, I wrote this because I want to see if others agree with me, or if anyone thinks the opposite; sees things that I've missed that make the Fomor more compelling as villains than I do.  Also, I guess I'm hoping Drakul will be more interesting than what we've seen so far.  Drakul was in just a few brief scenes in BG so there's no way for us to know where Jim is going with this character, I just want something better than what we've had (so far) as a replacement for the creepiness', terror and fun that the Red Court brought to the table.     

2
I found the parts of Battle Ground that I enjoyed the most were the early chapters where Harry and the various supernatural leaders were together on the top of Marconeís castle.  In these chapters, I think we see the long-term planning by Mab, coming to fruition with the help of a judicious amount of real time manipulation of Harry.  Both Odin and the Erlking contribute to Mabís efforts.

Up on that roof, Harry and Ebenezer have at least three separate conversations.  In one of them, Eb warns Harry that Mab is a long-term planner and she will soon start ďputting the nails in.Ē  I think to some degree Mab is already there.  Iím sure Mab has some other scheme in mind to better control Harry; perhaps making him into an immortal is part of that.  However, I think Mab has already done a great deal of work to get Harry where she wanted him.
 
This next paragraph is highly speculative.  I wouldnít be surprised if we find out that River Shoulders was also recruited as a part of this scheme.  I donít mean the sasquatch became a coconspirator in the manipulation of Harry.  Instead, I think someone might have told River Shoulders that Mabís Knight was impetuous, and suggested that it might be a good thing if one of his friends watched out for him should Harry do anything foolish.  You know, like jump off the top of a castle and run into a battle without knowing what he might be facing.

So, when and what was the long-term planning that Mab put in on Harry?  On Marconeís roof, Mab told Harry, ďFrom the first time I laid eyes on you, I saw a being who had the potential for true greatness.Ē  So, when was that, exactly?  We canít be 100% certain, but it may have been during the events in Grave Peril.  In Summer Knight, Mab tells Harry, "Such anger. Such fire. Yes. I watched you stalemate your godmother the Leanansidhe autumn last. (When Harry poisoned himself to get out of Leaís clutches, or more accurately Leaís kennel.)  Few mortals ever have done as much. Bold. Impertinent. I admire that kind of strength, wizard. I need that kind of strength."  I think when Harry outmaneuvered Lea, that is when Mab realized that here was a mortal who could be molded into her weapon.  She had to test Harry to be sure, and to set him on the right path, and that occurred in Summer Knight.
 
In Battle Ground, it wasnít enough for Mab to get Harry in the right position, she needed him in the right frame of mind as well.  In other words, Mab saw Harry in Battle Ground like the guitar amplifier in Spinal Tap, she wanted him turned up to 11.  For Mab, the correct frame of mind for Harry would be for him to fully open himself to the influence of the Winter Knightís mantle.  When Ebenezer told Harry that he needed to hold back, Mab told both Eb and Harry that that wasnít going to happen.  Mab was almost openly telling Eb and Harry that she had set things up so she (or outside events Mab could forsee) would push Harry in the direction she wanted him to go.
 
I think Mab deliberately provoked Harry into taking his first positive action when she told the Red Cap to send out the malks.  Seriously, how were a bunch of psychotic oversized cats going to stop the flying squid assassins?  The malks couldnít have been anything more than a retaliation against King Korb, and that wasnít what Mab needed at that time, and Iím pretty sure she knew it.  The alternative is that Mab was so annoyed by Korb sending out those flying squid things that she lost her ability to reason clearly.  Iím not buying that.  Mab is all about reason.  Thatís why the Eye of Balor couldnít hurt her.  This doesnít mean Mab wasnít angered when Harry suggested she was acting irrationally.  Mab does get annoyed by Harryís less than respectful language and behavior, but I think that was price the Queen of Air and Darkness was willing to pay in order to goad her Knight into using a more appropriate asset to fight the flying squid things.  In this way, Mab started ramping Harry up to get into the fight.

Another indication of the preplanning that went into the events of Battle Ground is Odinís magic powered tactical map of Chicago.  When Harry makes a comment about the effort needed to make such a magical object, Odin replies that he has had more time than most and been to more places than most.  That sounds reasonable as Odin has been around at least as long as Mab, but thereís one of distinguishing feature about that map, it has streets on it, which means itís fairly modern by Odinís standards.  I donít know if Millennium Park is shown on Odinís map, but it seems likely that it was, seeing as Mabís stash of shotguns and ammo were stored within the Bean sculpture which is in Millennium park.  Construction of Millennium Park began in the late 1990ís and was first opened to the public in 2004.  The construction on the Bean, or Cloud Gate; began in 2004 and it was completed in 2006.  Jim has stated in a recent interview that Mab placed that cache of weapons, and has many others, but this cache couldnít have placed earlier than 2004.
 
If you look at the Dresden Files official timeline, you will see that Storm Front happened around the year 2000, or within one or two years in either direction, so sometime between 1998-2002.  Harry meets Mab in Summer Knight which occurs two years after the events in Storm Front; so thatís between 2000 and 2004.  Millennium Park is finished in 2004, thatís zero to four years after SF, and the Bean another two years after that.  So, I think that shortly after Mab identified Harry as her future weapon, it was about that time; or within a couple of years, when Odinís map was created and Mab set up her Chicago weapons cache.

Finally, we have the way Odin, Marcone and the Erlking behave when the Fomor scouts are spotted.  All of them behave with cold blooded precision.  They ignore the obvious death and destruction thatís happening within earshot.  (Iím not saying that Marcone is one of the people manipulating Harry.  Just that his cold-blooded nature could be counted on to be part of what would set Harry off.)  Finally, Harry does exactly what Mab has wanted him to do, he lets Winter have free reign over his emotions and actions and jumps into the battle.

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DF Spoilers / Raising a human child vs raising a spirit of intellect
« on: December 22, 2020, 07:35:33 AM »
Harry seems to have embraced being Maggie's father, but IMO he seemed a bit hesitant in his interactions with Bonea.  Harry knows Bonea has access to a vast amount of knowledge, but she lacks the context to safely use much of it.  In other words, Bonea is capital D dangerous.  (And maybe more interesting to watch as the series goes forward.  We might see Maggie display the beginnings of her magic ability and then get shuffled off to school, but Bonea might reveal things which will produce dramatic effects in the near term.)

Now there are lots of books on child rearing; some from respected authors, some from crackpots, and many in between the two extremes.  Plus, there are always people who will make their opinions on how to raise a child, known.  Unfortunately for Harry, there is literally no one person or source of information he can read which might help him with Bonea.  I doubt Lea or Mab would have any useful advice either.

Well, there is one possible source of information Harry could turn to, though he'd be loathe to let this individual interact with Bonea.  Of course it's Bob.  (Plus, there is a WoJ on Bob's parents.  We've already met them, I think.  Can anyone find the exact quote?)  So, my guess is that Harry will start pumping Bob for information about his early development.  Sooner or later Bob will figure out why.  I don't know what will happen after that but it could become interesting.  Well, there is one thing I'm fairly certain of.  At some point Bob will tell Harry that he's doing a terrible job as Bonea's parent.  Also, my guess is that a spirit of intellect has the potential to mature much faster than a human, but that's just a guess.   

I suppose I'm asking what do you think will or should happen with Bonea?  I think this character has lots of potential but Jim hasn't given us a clue where he's going with her.         

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DF Spoilers / Wait, How Did Warden Ramirez Know About...? - From PT
« on: October 31, 2020, 07:36:46 AM »
This seems like a rather minor part of a conversation Carlos had with Harry, at Marcone's Castle before Ehniu showed up.

Carlos - "How's Karrin doing?"
Harry - "Like always, but slower and grouchier."
Carlos - "I heard what she did.  Went hand to hand with Nicodemus Archleone and survived."

How did Carlos or anyone from the White Council know about this?  Was someone sitting under a veil watching the whole thing play out?  That seems highly unlikely.  I don't think Rashid saw it through some time travel message shenanigan's.  If he had it's unlikely he would have told anybody else unless he believed it was necessary to do so.

I'm going to eliminate Nicodemus and the Genoskwa from the list of people who would have spilled the story.  One's on the run and the other would rather kill a human than talk to one.  That leaves Harry, Murphy, Michael and Waldo Butters.  Charity was in the safe room with the children.

Murphy was pretending that her injuries occurred in a traffic accident and Harry would have backed her up on this.  That leaves Michael and Waldo and Michael was in the game a long time before that day.  Long enough to know there are some things you don't share around the campfire. 

I think Waldo Butters shared the story of Murphy going up against Nicodemus with some of the people on the paranet.  He wouldn't have done it out of maliciousness, just a lack of understanding that some things need to be kept under wraps.  Unless, it was Mr. Sunshine and that seems really, really unlikely.  Do you have a different solution? 

A couple of other questions come to mind.  Shouldn't Harry have been surprised by Carlos' question?  If Ramirez knows about Murphy going against Nicodemus, how much more does he; and the White Council, know about the break in of Marcone's vault?  For that matter, what about the rest of the major players in the supernatural world.  For example, shouldn't Lara know the same facts?  However, even though Carlos knew that Nicodemus had been set up, he gave Marcone all the credit for doing so, which was incorrect.  Marcone and Hades provided the bait.  Mab was the real brains behind the plan and Harry made it happen.  Do you think Carlos realized that Harry was involved, because it didn't seem like he did to me?  If you want to reread this passage, it's in chapter 25, page 238.     

5
DF Spoilers / Things you wish Harry said or did in PT / BG
« on: October 28, 2020, 08:55:17 AM »
There have been a few times in the series when I thought Jim missed an opportunity for Harry to say something cool or funny.  Though mostly, there are times when I wish Harry would get off the guilt trip or just share something, because the wizard secrecy thing can be a drag too.  Of course, then it wouldn't be the Harry Dresden we know.

In Battle Ground I thought there were a couple times Harry might have said something different that might have been fun or interesting, so I'll tell you one of them.  When Ebenezer and Harry first talked in Battle Ground, Eb said to Harry, "You look a little green, Hoss."  Instead of telling Ebenezer that he got seasick, Harry should have said, "It was a little rough on the lake coming back in, and I had to fight a kraken.  I don't think I would be here to tell you this Sir, if I hadn't had a White Court vampire around to help me."  It wouldn't improved Ebenezer's mood any, but he had it coming after the crap he gave Harry in PT.

So, was there anything you would have liked to have Harry say or do in either Peace Talks or Battle Ground?

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Sorry, I couldn't resist trolling this topic.  No way is the subject line going to happen.  I would probably give up on the series if Jim did something that lame.

What I really want is everyone's opinion about what will happen with Rudolph.  Did he already confess to killing Murphy?  (Actually, he did.  Butters was there when Rudolph was still holding the gun and he said, "Wait. Wait. I didn't mean...")  Did he confess it to anyone else?  Will Harry publicly accuse Rudolph of murder?  (It's pretty rare, but a few people have been convicted of murder without a body as proof that a murder occurred.)  Will Harry be charged with attempted murder?  He did mess Rudolph up pretty badly and he was trying to kill him.  Will Rudolph be held up by either local politicians or the Chicago PD as a hero who fought off the terrorists?  If Rudolph hasn't confessed, who could get him to confess and how would they do it?  Will Harry forgive Rudolph?

I would have done this as a poll, but I think there are too many possibilities to make that work.  It will be interesting to see if anyone can correctly guess where Jim will go with this character.   

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Exactly who was watching Justine and why?

We know Lara had her people watching Justine.  That makes sense.
Harry hired Goodman Grey to watch Justine.  That makes sense.
People from the Chicago PD and the local FBI office were watching Justine.  Why?

Goodman Grey told Harry that Agent Tilly wasnít involved; as far as he good see, but it was people from the same local FBI office.  Could these FBI agents have been doing surveillance for the benefit of the Librarianís?  I imagine these ďMen in BlackĒ are small in number and might occasionally need help from other more traditional Federal agencies, but thatís just a guess.

That still doesnít tell us why the Librarians or any mortal agency would be interested in Justine.  Someone would have to have some pretty detailed records about the White Court to want to put surveillance on her or at least know that she was Thomas Raithís lover and that he was involved in a hit of a major supernatural power.
 
However, that knowledge could only come from someone well connected within the supernatural community.  So not someone like the Alphas or most paraneters, with the exception of Paranoid Gary.  It could have come from within any of the major powers, but that doesnít tell us why someone in the know would share that information with mortals.  However, for the sake of argument letís say someone traded this information with the Librarians.  What about the Chicago PD?

My guess is that whoever started the investigation against Harry and Murphy was the same group or person who put Chicago PD personnel to watch Justine, but why?  She had nothing to do with the break in at Marconeís bank.  Originally, I thought that whoever was working for the Outsiders was behind Rudolph and his partner, but why would HWWBs put surveillance on itself?  This suggests another party is involved.  Just a guess, but we havenít heard anything about the late Wizard Peabodyís partner; the one whose presence Harry felt on Demonreach, since Turn Coat.  Whoever was responsible, it doesn't explain how they gained enough influence within the Chicago PD to get the investigation started.
 
These are just rough guesses.  They are not even deeply worked out WAGís. 


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DF Spoilers / Whose the backup plan for...? - Battle Ground Spoiler
« on: October 09, 2020, 02:18:53 AM »
"I meant Sarissa to take Maeve's place," Mab said. "But one does not place all one's hopes with any one place, person, or plan. Like chess, the superior player does not plan to accomplish a single gambit, a particular entrapment. She establishes her pieces so that regardless of what her enemy does, she has forces ready to respond, to adapt, and to destroy. Molly was made ready as a contingency."

Near the end of BG Harry meets the third walker, He Who Walks Besides.  The Walker also refers to itself as Nemesis.  I don't want to get into whether HWWBs is Nemesis or the three Walkers are all aspects of Nemesis.  That's something for future books to sort out.  No, I'm interested in who is going to confront Nemesis.  From our perspective, because Harry is Starborn and has the ability to wield power over the Outsiders; according to Lash, and may be immune to being taken over by Outsiders; if Ebenezer is correct, he seems like Mab's primary choice to deal with Nemesis. 

We don't know what the White Council wanted Starborn Harry for.  Maybe it's the Outsiders, but it could be something else entirely.  It's possible there are multiple roles a Starborn mortal can fill.  However, the Big Boss of the entire series appears to be Nemesis.  But all you have to do is read the statement I highlighted above to know that Mab has a contingency plan, or maybe it's contingency plans, for dealing with Nemesis and the Outsider threat. 

I should also add that Harry is the primary Outsider solution, from our prospective.  It's possible that Harry is Mab's contingency plan, but that doesn't matter.  For ease of understanding, I'm going to stick with with the idea that Harry is primary.  So, who is the backup or who is Mab's contingency plan?

The only other Starborn characters we know who are walking around are Elaine, Listen and Drakul.  Somehow, I'm not seeing Drakul as the savior of the human race.  In fact, in his final conversation with Lash, Harry makes an intuitive guess that there's relationship between the Outsiders and the Black Court.  Then again, maybe the Outsiders taking over our reality would destroy Drakul's food supply so the creature might have a reason to oppose the Outsiders.  Somehow I doubt that.  If Listen is still alive, which seems doubtful after Harry buried him under a wall of dirt, he might be a candidate, but I'm just not feeling it.  If Elaine had appeared in more than two books, I think she could have been an alternative to Harry, but she seems like a character who has been pushed so far to the sidelines as to be irrelevant.  I'm sure that Jim will drag her back into the limelight at some point, and we still have to find out if she is Kumori and, or she was responsible for infecting Aurora, but as the being who will defeat Nemesis; well, there's nothing there to indicate she has the ability to do so.

Many of us suspect Nicodemus Archleone has his own plan to defeat the Outsiders.  (I don't think it's been explicitly stated that that is the case.)  In a scene on top of Marcone's castle discussing who can defeat Ethniu, Mab opines that Nicodemus could cut through her defenses.  Mab clearly doesn't have a problem using monsters to get the job done.  Of course, Nic's plan is likely to be some kind of scorched earth strategy, but Jim has stated that Mab will sacrifice everything, including herself, to accomplish her goals.  If Nicodemus plan looks doable to Mab, she is that rare being who can put expected results ahead of personal issues, and she could always defer killing Nicodemus to a later time.
                                                   
Finally, a new contender is John Marcone.  Mab might see Marcone / Namshiel as a viable choice.  If Nicodemus has a plan to defeat Nemesis, Thorned Namshiel might already be all in on that plan.  Whether Marcone will agree with such a plan is questionable.  Marcone might balk at burning down his own empire to stop Nemesis.  However, we don't how long Marcone can remain himself.  Like Harry, Marcone is a very willful mortal, but breaking down mortals is what Namshiel and the other Denarians do and have done for millennia.

Whether Harry is Mab's primary Nemesis solution or he is her contingency plan, who do you think is Mab's other choice or choices?                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                   

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Another name for this thread was:
Battle Ground secrets - What should Harry do about them

1.  Of course, the big reveal was that Marcone is now a Knight of the Blackened Denarius.  I suppose if Butters or Sanya need to know this, their boss will point them at Marcone.  However, it seems rude for Harry to keep this knowledge to himself, especially as Butters and Sanya are friends, not someone he would have to trade favor for favor with.  Plus, it wasnít information Harry learned in confidence, Harry doesnít owe Marcone anything. 

Youíd think Lara Raith would like to know about this, seeing that her and Marcone are rivals even if they are not outright enemies.  If Harry; as a representative of Winter, is supposed to play nice with the White Court of Vampires, it might be a piece of information he should be willing to trade with Lara, if not tell her outright.
 
Mab really, really doesnít like Thorned Namshiel.  She knows a lot, but I wonder if she knows who Marconeís new friend is.  All Harry would have to say to Mab is ďI know who holds Thorned Namshielís coinĒ to see if Mab is interested.  She may already know, but if Mab didnít know it would be nice trading chip for Harry to have.
   
2.  Mab sees some benefit to an alliance between Winter and the White Court. (This isn't the secret.) Somehow, I donít think the White Council will be happy about this.  Related to this, there is an old secret Harry has kept; he knows the weakness of the White Court of Vampires.  Harry knows that Lara and every other member of the White Court (or at least House Raith) canít feed on him; for the time being, because of his love protection. 

My feeling is this information was something Thomas told Harry in confidence.  Itís not something Harry should tell the White Council, not that they want to talk to him anyway.   Even if Harry did tell anyone on the Council, they wouldnít believe him.  I have to admit I would like to see Harry try to explain to Eb or Carlos why Lara isn't a threat to him, especially if the arranged marriage between Harry and Lara takes place.

3.  Harry met the third Walker, HWWBsd and he knows that the Walker has possessed Justine and has done so for some time.  I thought it was interesting that Lara understood this.  She didnít want to say the name Nemesis out loud so sheís fully clued in.  I wonder how Lara found out.  Did Harry tell her or had she known for years?  I figure Lara knew about HWWB from listening in to the encounter Harry had with her father in Blood Rites, but I donít think the Walkerís name was said out loud.
 
The problem with this information is there is no useful way to convey it to the Swartalfs.  Harry doesnít know if Etri knows about Nemesis and the Walkers, and even if Etri does know, Harry doesnít have any proof he could offer in order to get the Swartalfs  to back off Thomas, assuming Thomas gets freed from Demonreach anytime soon and assuming Etri would see it as a valid reason to back off.

4.  Harry has learned that the Redcap works for Mab.  As a side note, the Redcapís a more interesting character now, he's no longer a two-dimensional bad guy.  While I expect Harry to warn Molly at some point, my guess is that after being trained by Lea and having seen how Mab works, Molly already knows.

5. Harry knows that Listen and Drakul are also Starborn.  Maybe that's important, maybe not.  Maybe Harry can figure out a way to feed Listen to Drakul.  Drakul likes to eat Starborn.   

6. The Stars and Stones. No one seems to want to clue Harry in on what that expression means.  Outside of asking Bonea; which would probably be a really stupid and dangerous thing to do, there isn't much Harry can do with this information.  Then again, now that Harry is out of the Council where else can he go to find out?  Sooner or later Harry is going to have to tap into the well of knowledge that Bonea possesses.  Perhaps Harry will think that is the only way he can find out.  Unless, Harry can find out what Stars and Stones means in the Mirror Mirror universe.

7.  The Librarians.  OK, the bigwigs in the supernatural world know about them, but Harry had never heard of them before.  (Unless they were mentioned in a short story.  Harry briefly tangled with some men in black in one of the short stories.)  Sooner or later, Harry's going to have to meet with one or more of the Librarians.  Maybe they'll talk about the Dewey Decimal system.  Probably not.   

8.  Harry's a wolf.  Not really a secret, a lot of people call Harry a wolf.  Ebenezer, The Erlking, Mab; I mean you'd think the Alphas would be jealous seeing as they really become wolves.  I'm looking forward to see Harry howl at the moon or do some other wolf like things.
     



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The question pretty much says it all.  I still believe Chandler is a traitor.  I just want to see what everyone thinks now, even though we may not get a definitive answer for several books. 

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DF Spoilers / Dresden Files Continuity Errors Ė There arenít any
« on: September 28, 2020, 05:36:00 AM »
No, the title of this thread isnít a joke or an attempt at a clever play on words.  Iím am quite serious when say there are no continuity errors in the Dresden Files novels, many of us just think there are.  Let me also state that the idea that various discrepancies of the descriptions of things, names and events; particularly in Peace Talks, that have been pointed out by many readers, are not due to poor editing or the failure of the Beta readers to point out these discrepancies to Jim.  Let me put it another way, these things arenít bugs in the story telling, theyíre a feature.  My guess is I am not the only reader to have figured this out, just the first to put it in writing on this forum.  For all I know someone on Reddit has already laid this all out.  Also, Iím not claiming Jim has been perfect, that he hasnít made any mistakes.  Heís human after all.  Itís just that the vast majority of any mistakes; and any deliberate retcons, are covered by what Jim has actually been doing.
 
The big clue that most of us missed; including myself, was in Skin Game.  Itís so obvious I canít believe it took me this long to figure it out.  Iíll just quote directly from chapter 14, but skip the dialog and edit the scene a bit.  Itís the one where Harry is dreaming.  No, not the sex fantasy part of it.

ďÖas I caught up to the action that was happening in the dream, it would roar off in a different directionÖ The whole while, I was conscious of several other Harry Dresdens in the dream, all of them operating a little ways off from me, doing their own confusion dance in parallel to mineÖ..

Harry then talks to Molly and they discover that they are somehow communicating with each other over a vast distance while both of them are dreaming.  At this point Harry sees himself in his old car, the Blue Beetle, with Molly sitting beside him.  After the dialog ends this happens.

ďÖ I was suddenly driving in a small herd of Blue Beetles, all of them filled with slightly different versions of Harry Dresden and Molly Carpenter.  I had to slalom the VW through themÖ.. The traffic got worse and worse and more confusing, and then there was a loud screech of tires and twisting metal, a bright light, and a sensation of tumbling and falling in an exaggerated graceful slow motion.Ē

The first part of the dream sequence that I quoted uses the word parallel in it.  I donít think thatís an accident.  This is the part of the clue that seals the deal for me.  The second part of the dream sequence; the part where all the different Harry and Mollyís are coming together and thereís a crash, thatís telling us that things are coming to a head.  Harry canít understand this, but we can because we know that a confrontation is coming up with a Harry from a radically different universe in Mirror Mirror.  The evidence that this dream isnít a dream at all, but our Harryís universe coming in close proximity to the other universes, is the fact that Harry and Mollyís communication with one another is real.  They arenít dreaming.  That means the things Harry perceives in what he thinks is a dream are also real.
 
So, to put it plainly, the Dresden Files are occurring in multiple parallel universes, at the same time.  In the ones where Harry sees ďslightly different versions of Harry Dresden and Molly Carpenter,Ē the same major events have occurred.  Harry has wiped out the Red Court, the Fomor have risen up from the deep and are at war with the White Council and other various supernatural powers, Harry isnít trusted by most of the White Council, Harryís relationship with his boss Mab, is strained at the best of times and Harryís relationship with John Marcone appears to be near the point of breaking into outright hostility.  I could list several other points of congruence, but Iím sure you get the general idea.
 
In at least one parallel world, Mort Lindquist has purchased, and lives in a home with a particular architectural style, while in another parallel universe Mort lives in a different neighborhood in a home with a different architecture style.  In either universe Harry knows Mortís address and their interactions with one another are identical or nearly so.  In one parallel universe the Churchmice stole the Shroud of Turin for John Marcone, but Nicodemus and company stole the shroud and murdered two members of the Churchmice before Marcone could take delivery.  In another parallel universe the Churchmice were contracted by Nicodemus to steal the Shroud of Turin, but Marcone offered them more money so they headed to Chicago and Nicodemus murdered two of them in return.  In at least one universe the Chicago anti-Fomor alliance calls themselves The Brighter Future Society while in another universe they call their alliance The Better Future Society.  In at least one of the worlds with a Better Future Society, Harry had never been to Marconeís castle in the flesh before Peace Talks, because the meeting between Marcone and Mab that took place in Skin Game occurred at a different Marcone property or possibly at Macís or even Arctis Tor.  It doesnít matter where that meeting took place, as long as it wasnít at the castle and it was a place that Harry could discover and go to.  I could go on, but youíre probably getting worn out by now.

I think you can see how Jim making the story flow through multiple parallel universes also neatly explains likely retcons, such as Harryís ability to use a wind spell to literally fly up from the lower floor of Victor Sells home to the second floor and make a nice landing in Storm Front, to Harry saying in a later book that flying spells are extremely dangerous and a thing he learned to avoid after trying to create a flying broom.  In one universe Harry can fly, at least a little.
 
Finally, I said that parallel universes can cover most mistakes, but I didnít say they could cover every mistake.  I donít know if this final example I will pull from Peace Talks is a mistake, but it appears to me that even a parallel universe doesnít entirely fix its problems.  Ramirez used a dot of magical ink to track Harry to the Raith Estate.  While itís possible that in one universe Harry and Ramirez shook hands instead of bumping fists; and this allowed Carlos the ability stick the ink spot on Harryís wrist, in either universe Butters should have washed the dot away when he cleaned and debrided the wounds on Harryís hands.  Iím not saying itís impossible to find an explanation that makes the magical ink stick and not be noticed by Butters; and do so in both universes, but the more complicated the explanation the less believable it becomes.
 
One minor thing to note.  While itís possible we will see some evidence to back up my analysis in Battle Ground, I donít expect to be fully vindicated until Mirror Mirror comes out.

12
DF Spoilers / Rudolph's evidence doesn't make sense
« on: September 21, 2020, 05:17:01 PM »
Obviously, there is a rational reason why Jim has Rudolph reappearing and going after Harry and Karin.  However, there are things Rudolph and his partner say and things that happened that don't make sense.  When Rudolph and his partner showed up they mentioned the murder of the accountant, but not the murder of Marcone's employee, just that a bank was robbed.  OK, maybe they're using the old trap of not mentioning key elements of a crime in order to allow the suspect to trap themselves by mentioning that element.  But there are other anomalies as well.

They have a photo of Murphy speeding down a Chicago street and Rudolph's partner knows that her injuries were deliberately inflicted by an unknown party.  So, what!?  As evidence it doesn't connect to either crime.  Murphy had left the abandoned slaughter house and was driving after Butters and Harry.  That doesn't connect her to Harry coming out of the bank or to the murder of the accountant.  There was reported gang activity near by.  I suppose those were Binder's summoned creatures chasing after Butters.  Again, it's nothing that can be connected to Murphy.   

They have one clear photo of Harry running down a street near where Harvey's body was found.  Running by himself?  When did that occur?  Harry was dragging Harvey around with him the entire time.  The only time Harry ran by himself was when he was chasing after Butters. 

What happened to the bodies of the four dead ghouls?  I think Rudolph should have said there were five murders, the four dead ghouls; who would have been identified as humans, and Harvey.  Did Harry open a way to the Nevernever and drag the bodies of the ghouls to the other side and dump them there?  That would have left a huge amount of blood on the floor that wasn't Harvey's.  Remember that Goodman Grey sliced two of the ghouls up when he killed them.  Harry smashed the frozen bodies of the other two ghouls into frozen bloody chunks.  The DNA wouldn't have been Harry or Harvey's either.  All that blood would have pointed to a fight with multiple parties involved.  Finally, Harry hit Tessa hard enough to splatter bits of ichor from her onto the floor.  That could contain her DNA as well.

Not an anomaly, but Harry has one thing going for him in the investigation of Harvey's murder that he hasn't considered.  Harvey's body was discovered several days after his murder.  That means there wouldn't have been a way to pinpoint the accountant's time of death.  Goodman Grey pretended to be Harvey the rest of the day.  Just a single phone call that Grey took or visitor he met while pretending to be Harvey would push back the estimated time of Harvey's death.  A picture of Harry running down the street where Harvey died that was taken at 12 noon isn't evidence against Harry if Grey took a phone call or met a visitor after that time.  This would be highly likely for a high level financial consultant.  Harry just needs to talk to Goodman Grey to find the exculpatory evidence he needs.

13
DF Spoilers / The Fomor already unleashed ... Battle Ground Chapters 1 & 2
« on: September 02, 2020, 01:02:56 AM »
Well that started off with a bang, but there wasn't much there to suggest where the story is heading.  (Other than it's going to be bloody.)  However, I do have to say that seeing
(click to show/hide)
 

I don't know about anyone else, but after hearing Jim say that Peace Talks was going to contain a very high level of supernatural violence, I was somewhat disappointed by the amount of action we got in the first book.  It looks like Battle Ground may make up for that decided lack of action, though at the same time I hope that Harry will soon get the time he needs to start thinking like a detective, and to start acting rather than just reacting. 

14
I think the title pretty much says it all.  I can't see Mavra, Elaine or Drakul showing up, though I suppose anything is possible.  If Cowl is on the scene I hope he doesn't remain hidden during the entire story.  I recall Jim stating that Cowl had been hidden in background of other stories and I don't want to hear after the fact that it happened again.

I suppose that I'm not so much hoping that any of the characters that I named above show up, as much as I'm hoping there will be a place in Battle Ground for the Archive to do something interesting.  It was something of a letdown for Harry to see Ivy in Peace Talks and not have her be a part of the story.  If Ivy does start to play an important role I will start wondering if Kinkade will make an appearance, but first things first.

15
DF Spoilers / Is Peabody's partner at the Peace Talks? (My guess)
« on: August 14, 2020, 01:54:47 AM »
Back in Turn Coat, Harry realized that Peabody had a partner with him on Demonreach Island, someone who was never identified.  Harry didn't even tell Ebenezer he knew this for a fact.  Ebenezer thought it was just speculation on Harry's part.  So, we know it can't be Ebenezer, LTW, Ancient Mai or any of the older wardens who were with them.  As possible suspects who are at the talks that leaves Martha Liberty, Cristos and the younger wardens.

We know next to nothing about Martha Liberty so there's nothing that really points to her.  She once said of Harry to Ebenezer, "You know what he was meant to be?"  That's such a vague comment it doesn't mean anything in this context.  Cristos looks more like a dupe than a serious player, so unless he's just playing stupid I don't think it's him.  More important, Ebenezer warned Harry that he is likely to be betrayed by someone he trusts and that sure isn't Gregori Cristos.  Of course, it might be argued that Ebenezer unwittingly betrayed Harry by the way he acted on the dock, but he wasn't the person who was with Peabody.  (Also, it would kill my WAG; make that educated guess, so it totally can't be Eb.)  That leaves the younger wardens, Harry's closest friends on the White Council and the members who actually look up to Harry.  (or at least they used to) 

Now it's possible that in Battle Ground some White Council reinforcements might arrive, but I can't think of any of them that Harry particularly trusts.  I'm guessing that Rashid will remain at the Outer Gates with Mab and Harry doesn't trust the Merlin or Ancient Mai; in fact, Harry would be looking for a sucker punch of some kind from Arthur Langtry.  I know I left out Anastasia Luccio, but after one of the wardens (I think it was Chandler) said that Luccio had ordered them to keep an eye on Harry, I don't think Harry would be too trusting of her either.  Plus, the mind whammy she had been under would always be in the back of Harry's mind.   

So, if the second traitor is at the Peace Talks I'm guessing it is one of the young wardens.  The natural suspect is Carlos Ramirez.  He's the one we know best and the one that Harry probably trusts, or trusted, the most.  Actually, Harry might be angry with Ramirez and company, but he probably still believes that they're all good guys, even if they don't particularly trust Harry at the moment.  Carlos told Harry that he voted to retain him in the White Council, which is exactly what someone who wanted to keep or regain Harry's trust would say.  We also know that Carlos is suffering, I'll just call it PTSD, after his near deadly encounter with Molly.  However, that incident occurred long after the events on Demonreach.  It's not something we can use to tie him to Peabody. 

So my guess is that Carlos Ramirez is a red herring and the real traitor is Warden Chandler.  He's the warden who went most out of his way to play good cop when the wardens stopped Harry outside the Raith compound.  Of the younger wardens, he's the one who is most trusted by the Senior Council and probably the one most trusted by Captain Luccio, because she's his boss and probably the person who assigned him to guard duty outside the Edinburgh complex.  A traitor wouldn't want to be working a territory in the field (unless it's a key area) if they could avoid it, they would do everything they could to put themselves near the seat of power and that fits Chandler, perfectly.  Finally, Chandler is also the warden who didn't get himself locked up during the events in Changes.  Exactly what a smart spy would do.

I'm discounting Warden's Wild Bill and Yoshimo because we don't know very much about them.  We've seen Harry talk to Wild Bill on the phone and I think Yoshimo made an appearance in Dead Beat, and both wardens were in one of the short stories. (War Cry, I believe.)  We haven't seen either of them build up any degree of trust with Harry.  Now I'm going to have to go back and reread every conversation Harry has had with Chandler.  If there are any clues they're going to be really minor ones, but I won't be surprised if there aren't any.  Anyway that's my guess, what do you think?

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