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DF Spoilers / Star born and the Antichrist
« on: August 22, 2021, 11:52:57 PM »
So recently I was reading through Storm Front looking for other bits of information, and I stumbled upon a passage where Harry says "I was a walking Antichrist waiting to happen".

Given that Jim has said previously he has clues in Storm Front that no one apparently has picked up on, and that he planned certain things that affect the ending of the series way back in book 1 (or something along those lines), I believe that this clue might be one of those things. Especially given what we know now about star born from the last few books.

So I thought I would refresh my mind about the lore around the Antichrist and I found a few good things.

  • Firstly, the name is combination of the word "Christ" which meant "annointed one" in ancient Greek and "Anti" which means "instead of" and "against" and "in place of".

  • There is potentially more than one Antichrist. "He is one and he is many."

    This is super significant to me. The idea comes from the New Testament of the Bible and there are dual terms - Pseudochrist and Antichrist. The Pseudochrist means "False Messiah" and I will go into this more in another point. It's interesting to note that sometimes Antichrist was in plural form and could refer to a particular category of people rather than a singular individual.

    Little children, it is the last hour: and as you have heard that Antichrist cometh, even now there are become many Antichrists: whereby we know that it is the last hour.

    — 1 John 2:18 Douay-Rheims

    To me, this could be the star born. Individuals who possess the potential to be these Antichrists. Perhaps the term became distorted from the what it really means in the Dresden Universe. One thing we know is that many things have multiple names and identities, and many things get lost, so it's possible that Antichrists or even Christ might not mean what we think it does, especially as we only have reference to our world.

  • The Pseudochrist is a term more about an individual person who will try and displace Christ and lead good Christians astray. I don't believe this is exactly the same for the Dresden Files but I think there are some similarities.

    In Chapter 2 of Thesssalonians:
    As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here. Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction [Ed note - possibly translated also as "the son of destruction"]. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God.

    — 2 Thessalonians 2:1–4 NRSV (1989)

    Who could be called "the lawless one" in the Dresden Files? The "one destined for destruction"? Sounds quite like Harry Dresden whom Mab has called "an elemental of destruction", and Morgan called a possible "Destroyer" (capital D). What doesn't quite gel is the idea of Harry opposing and exalting himself above every god, and declaring himself to be God.

    So I propose there are two possible answers. One is that Harry is not the actual Pseudochrist, he's just a red herring, and someone like Elaine or Cowl or whoever is.

    The other possibility is that Harry is this Pseudochrist but doesn't yet realise it but the language of the passage is misleading. Harry elevating himself above gods is about ascending to be a god, and declaring himself to "be" God is about the nature of star born.

    I believe the latter is more likely. I think it's possible that star born are actually part of TWG in the Dresden Files, and Harry will realise that, but it also means he can become a monster. There are several hints about Harry becoming immortal - particularly Mab in Battle Ground. So in this scenario Harry the Pseudochrist and/or Antichrist is not the opposite of Christ, but merely has the potential to be. Case in point - look at Drakul.

  • Irenaeus wrote a book "Against Heresies" to refute the teachings of the Gnostics (a sect of Christianity sort-of). He used the number 666 to decode several possible names.

    It is interesting right after Harry refers to himself as "a walking Antichrist waiting to happen" Harry then quotes Yeats "Second Coming". Could Harry be the "slouching Beast, waiting to be born"?

    Indeed, Hippolytus of Rome identified the Antichrist with the Beast of the Earth from Revelations.

    By the beast, then, coming up out of the earth, he means the kingdom of Antichrist; and by the two horns he means him and the false prophet after him. And in speaking of "horns like a lamb," he means that he will make himself like the Son of God, and set himself forward as king. And the terms, "it spoke like a dragon," mean that he is a deceiver, and not truthful.[21]

    Interestingly, one of the few other confirmed star born just happens to be called Dragon, or rather, Drakul. We know in history Vlad II Drakul was named so because of his affiliation with a knightly order called the Order of the Dragon. Perhaps the Order of the Dragon were not a holy order (not in the sense of the Knights of the Cross) but perhaps more like a particularly dark sect devoted to a terrible truth of Christianity. Perhaps they were really just the Order of the Antichrist.

    Also - this is a good example of how saying something was "like a Dragon" didn't literally mean a Dragon. It was an allegory for liars and decievers - the word Dragon comes from the ancient Greek word "Drakon" which meant serpent. As we know in Christian theology, it is the Serpent in the Garden of Eden who is the tempter and the liar.

  • Jerome of Stridon said in his Commentary on Daniel
    "Let us not follow the opinion of some commentators and suppose him to be either the Devil or some demon, but rather, one of the human race, in whom Satan will wholly take up his residence in bodily form." Instead of rebuilding the Jewish Temple to reign from, Jerome thought the Antichrist sat in God's Temple inasmuch as he made "himself out to be like God." He refuted Porphyry's idea that the "little horn" mentioned in Daniel chapter 7 was Antiochus IV Epiphanes by noting that the "little horn" is defeated by an eternal, universal ruler, right before the final judgment.[29] Instead, he advocated that the "little horn" was the Antichrist:

    Satan in human form. Interesting that one of the star born we know of (Drakul) is "something entirely unhuman trapped in mortal form". Drakul's eyes are also described as "black as the soul of Hell".

    I am not so sure Drakul is Lucifer in human form though...but an aspect of the Devil could work, or a demon, either would work well enough. I feel like an Archangel would be too big and powerful to be in one body so perhaps spreads his power into several...or perhaps they are more like his children. I know Uriel transubstantiated into a single body (yet I suspect he was still operating in other universes - so the stakes might not have been *quite* as high as Dresden and Michael thought), even if Uriel just vanished from the multiverse to concentrate himself into a single event in space-time it could well be an entirely different circumstance as Lucifer is known for breaking the rules, after all.

    So I feel like these Antichrists are more likely the sons/daughters of Lucifer if anything.

    What's interesting is Jim has been quite coy on the subject of Lucifer. He has said Lucifer does rule in Hell as that was the deal and you can't get any worse than him, but he's also went back on what we were lead to believe in Small Favor in that Lucifer didn't personally unload his power on Earth, more likely a lieutenant did it for him. The way he said it was almost like he was trying to hint at something.

  • The Antichrist could be a mantle. The Wisconsin Lutheran Synod:

    The Bible does not present the Antichrist as one man for one short time, but as an office held by a man through successive generations. It is a title like King of England.

    Sounds like a mantle to me. And as we know, mantles are an excellent way for mortals to become immortal (without a rite of ascendance) and therefore perhaps more reversible.

  • The Son of Perdition has often been associated and included as being the same as the Antichrist. The Son of Perdition has multiple different titles e.g. The Lost Child and The Child of Corruption. Even "the one doomed to destruction" is another possible translation, and some associate the Son of Perdition with being the "Man of Sin".

    The idea comes from an association with "the star that fell from Heaven" using certain language - two names, one that is Greek and one that is Hebrew. The Greek name Apollyon refers to "eternal destruction, utter loss, and disasociation" and the Hebrew name Abaddon which it's root word "abad" is the same as the root of Apollyon "apollumni". It is said to be the destiny of "the great beast" to be slain and his body destroyed ('abad') and his body given to eternal flame (Hell).

    Harry, being an orphan, was a "lost child" and was raised at a formative age by a dark wizard - so could also be "a child of corruption".

  • Apart from being widely recognised as the Son of Satan, according to the monk and abbot Adso of Montier-en-Der, the Antichrist would be raised in all forms of wickedness by wizards.

    That couldn't be our protagonist...could it?

DF Spoilers / Storm Front - hidden clues
« on: August 13, 2021, 02:34:15 PM »
I am going to list a number of strange, possible clues in no particular order:

1) The Toad Demon - it rubs minds with Dresden. Dresden couldn't tell what an Outsider was or not at this point, but it's interesting his will directly came into contact with it and though it was horrible it didn't mark him. Despite his brain rubbing against it.

2) Dark magic. Similar visually to escaped nightmare in The Sandman comics (almost certainly ripped) - Dresden Sees (with his Sight) some sort of spirit/demon that scatters before him but hungers and feeds off of Dark Magic residue that Victor Sells produces. Is this possibly why Sorcerers and Warlocks go mad? Is it because these beings drive them mad or is it that they possess them, or is it something else?

3) Dresden's thoughts about what he could do with dark magic, particularly the power gathered around Victor Sells' house, is very similar to the thinking of Drakul or Cowl. Perhaps that's coincidence but some of the language is quite similar e.g. "bearded old fools"/"immaculate beardlinesses" and "shape the world to my liking"/"power to remake the world in one's own image".

4) Mac is in this book, along with Marcone. I think it's no coincidence that a retired angel and an incipient Knight of the Blackened Denarius are in this book. Marcone is most assuredly Dresden's ultimate villain, and is a big part of Hell's plan. But Marcone likely has his own ideas. Mac's presence might be to do with something else...

5) Harry almost loses control and his willpower gives out - but then *something* intervenes (likely his mother but maybe someone else) and lifts his hand to his mother's pendant. It helps him be clear even though his thoughts are being corrupted and clouded.

6) Dresden says "I was a walking Antichrist waiting to happen". I think this is huge foreshadowing passed off as Dresden being glib. Considering what we know now about star born. Considering we know it only happens every 666 years...I think it's highly possible Harry is a possible Antichrist. Not the Antichrist. But a possible one. I don't really know what that means but I guarantee it's to do with Lucifer and his war.

I believe it's possible that Rashid didn't simply vote Harry out because of whatever the stated reasons were i.e. Harry going rogue and being dangerous etc.

I think he might have been doing it so that Harry and the White Council will become more adversarial and set things in motion for the White Council to fall.

I am not sure why the Gatekeeper wants/expects this. I doubt it's for the same reasons as Cowl though, at least not entirely. Maybe it is a Dr Strange type deal, the White Council must fall so that the planet can be saved.

DF Spoilers / How hard did Ebenezar try to kill Lord Raith?
« on: June 19, 2021, 09:30:26 PM »
Do we really think Eb tried that hard to kill Lord Raith? Yes, magic seems to roll off Raith. But as Margaret worked out, the Hunger is vulnerable. Harry even guessed (mid-fight) that Raith likely wasn't immune to magic wielded physical objects. Eb surely could have worked that out. Also, when Eb tries to kill targets he isn't exactly subtle. He killed Ortega with a goddamn satellite. For revenge for his daughter...I am surprised he didn't use a bloodline curse like the one in Changes or just set off a tornado or volcano or something. It's not like he couldn't set it up.

By all accounts he is a bigger hot head than Harry. Look what Harry did when the vampires kidnapped his daughter. I just can't understand why Ebenezar has allowed the White Court to exist...let alone the White King.

DF Spoilers / MOVED: Kindle Unlimited
« on: June 06, 2021, 10:51:21 PM »
This topic has been moved to [DF Books].

Considering we have now seen a Titan, a proto-god who seemingly still had access to her power (rather than down-sized like Odin), I have wondered if that was the sort-of threat Cowl would have been after a successful Darkhallow - I shall call this hypothetical being God-Cowl. Please feel free to come up with a better term.

We know that God-Cowl would have had the necessary horsepower, in terms of at least raw magical strength if not physical strength (although I think it's all intertwined at that level) to defeat Mab. This was from a WOJ from years ago in a online Q&A.

Back in Dead Beat, Harry thought the Darkhallow would be more power than a mortal had held in more than a millennia. I believe Mab thought it was more than in the memory of humanity, which is significantly longer. Harry called this being a junior-league god. I am not entirely sure what a major-league god would thoughts tend toward Zeus, Mother Winter, Uriel, a fully powered-up Odin, perhaps Balor, etc.

So based on what we have here is a being stronger than Mab yet weaker than a major god. Which does seem to be about where Ethniu sits.

God-Cowl was also the kind of being that could have broken into the White Council headquarters at Edinburgh and the hospital in Dead Beat that the Merlin had turned into a fortress due to his "fancy wards". God-Cowl would have supposedly been so much stronger than the White Council as to be beyond their reach. Power enough to shape the world.

Also, this one's for you Mira, when Harry talks with Mab she actually confirms that the White Council struck down Kemmler as he was attempting the Darkhallow. This is in Dead Beat when she reveals what the Word of Kemmler is.

Now Ethniu isn't a slouch though. We saw her take on several demigods (Mab, Titania, the Erlking, and Vadderung - technically that's his power level it seems even if he is the remnants of a major god). Yes, she was also wearing her Denial Armour, but still. She also had no issue with Ebenezer, Cristos, River Shoulders, Listens-to-Wind, the Archive, etc. And even though the Knights of the Cross and Harry did the most damage with their super-crit damage holy weapons, she still kept going. Although one could argue the biggest damage was actually from Gungnir with Odin/Vadderung's direction. Even Marcone with all his "new" power and toys didn't do much but slow her slightly. And this doesn't even mention that the only two people who actually took a hit from the Eye of Balor, the magical superweapon of mass destruction, were Mab and Titania. And Titania mostly just redirected the energy while dampening the local magical energy, while Mab only partially blocked it so she only ended up burnt out and withered rather than completely annihilated.

To me, God-Cowl would have been slightly weaker. Now superweapon or armour of invulnerability. However, I suspect as he was fully powered up and new he would have had a bit of extra juice, which might have meant his base magical level was stronger. Also, Cowl is a far better tactician. Yes, he lost to Harry...when Harry blew up his highly delicate extremely explosive spell/ritual. Otherwise he hasn't yet lost a straight fight, and almost killed or severely maimed Dresden several times. Beyond that, he is smart enough ever after meeting Harry to not have direct contact again and send assassins and monsters etc.

I suspect if Cowl had become a god. He would have been a far worse threat than Ethniu. I doubt he would have done a big, messy, invade humanity battle type thing. No, he would have murdered humanities protectors one by one, in the shadows. He would have taken out the Senior Council, and therefore the White Council as a whole by extension. He would have destroyed their allies too, like the Venatori Umbrorum. Perhaps even the Librarians. Not to mention whatever competition was around, the Vampire Courts, the Archive, etc. Join or die, just like Ethniu.

Considering his tactics in Dead Beat like shutting down the power, communications of all levels, etc - just like Ethniu did, I suspect he probably would have been smarter and more targeted. Why create a magical dead spot when you could just take out the power stations and the communication towers and satellites? Yes, radio would still work but perhaps he might have some spell for that. Especially at god level. That much would be a danger all on it's own and he would never need reveal himself until the chaos was overwhelming...and then assert himself (if that was his aim) over the planet.

Not to mention whatever monsters and villains chose to side with him that he could use as his armies and death squads.

Hell, he might have used his newfound powers to control people and launch nukes. I doubt that even would have occurred to Ethniu.

DF Spoilers / The Circle's membership
« on: May 18, 2021, 02:01:09 PM »
Something way back in Storm Front got me thinking.

Harry says that you can only have 13 wizards in a circle working together on a spell.

Perhaps the Circle is simply 13 wizards/entities that have got together with a shared purpose.

That narrows down the membership a lot.

Cowl, Kumori, Mavra, Arianna, are all potential candidates.

Interesting that the Grey Council also only has 13...

It's a wonder to me that the Senior Council of the White Council isn't made of 13 Wizards.

Also, Harry speculated that Nemesis might actually be the Black Council (Circle) rather than just an organisation. Jim has said there is a limit to how many Nemesis can control. I'd be prepared to bet it's 13.

DF Spoilers / Harry and Kemmler
« on: May 17, 2021, 12:42:32 AM »
I am aware there was a thread about this recently, but it seems to be locked. I don't know what happened in that one but I don't want that here. With that in mind let's all be civil in this one, please. If you don't have anything relevant to contribute politely, this probably isn't the thread for you.  :)

Now as many, many people have pointed out, Harry does seem to resemble Kemmler a bit more and more as time goes on.

But let's look at the similarities and then the differences.

Allies: Kemmler had connections with demons, vampires, and even some of "the nastier Fae". Not just his necromancer pals and his undead slaves.

Harry also has demons (Bob and Bonnie), has held a Coin and worked with Lash, has worked alongside the Denarians, and has summoned Chauncy. Hmm.

Harry also has connections with vampires. His half-brother (not well-known, most think of him as close associate perhaps a lover) is of course a White Court vampire. He is often seen working with Lara Raith (the power behind the throne of the White Court) and is rumoured to be her lover. His ex was a half Red Court vampire (although he did kill her and the whole Red Court - but then again the White Court helped destroy the Black Court). And we know he eventually works with Mavra in Mirror Mirror. He even had a business dealing (admittedly under duress but still) with Mavra.

Harry also is deeply connected to the Faeries. His godmother is the second most powerful Faerie in Winter after Mab (the Mother's are excluded). He is the Winter Knight as worked for years as their emissary and ally before that (Mab was clearly preparing him). His grandfather (not commonly known) quite likely wields Mother Winter's walking stick (a incredibly powerful Faerie weapon). His own mother was literally known by the epithet "le Fay" because she was so closely associated with them. His former teenage lover and foster sibling/best friend was also a close associate of Summer for years. He was a contact and friend of Lily as Summer Lady and Fix (more before he was a Knight). He also has a small friendship with the current Summer Lady Sarissa. Despite hating him, even Titania meets with him. Harry has met and worked for the Mothers (something that most mortals never do and most wouldn't even survive). His former apprentice and daughter of one of his best friends is now Winter Lady. Despite the antagonistic relationship, he is actually quite close to Mab. He also is well acquainted with the Leaders of the Wild Hunt, particularly Kringle. He regularly journeys into Faerie and returns stronger, often after achieving impossible missions. He is aided by all manner of Faerie (Summer and Winter and Wyld), and commands a small army of Little Folk. He even knows some of the deepest and most important secrets of Winter (like how they defend the Outer Gates).

Harry has also performed necromancy, just once, when raising Sue. He also has returned from death, something normally only associated with necromancers. He even has commanded spirits of the dead. He has performed several acts of magic that skate the crumbling edges of the Laws of Magic, just like his mother, including enthralling Faeries and binding them, and binding demons. He has killed mortals multiple times with magic, both intentionally and otherwise, and has attempted to several times before being stopped. And he has done this in a pattern that continues to the present day, so it isn't just a part of his past.

He has a demon/spirit as a research assistant. The exact same one as Kemmler used.

Kemmler also used a gun (such as in A Fistful of Warlocks). Harry was one of the most well-known Wizards and the Warden's for using a gun.

Speaking of wardens, just like Kemmler he is now also the Warden of Demonreach.

Both Kemmler and Harry believe the White Council is self-righteous and too restrictive. They also have both openly defied this governing body. Kemmler believed might is right, and while Harry doesn't believe that totally, he certainly has approached some problems this way. Kemmler appears to have not cared if the world burned as long as he got what he wanted. While Harry doesn't normally think like this, on more than one occasion Harry has subscribed to that philosophy - even if later he realised it was wrong he probably still would have done what he did.

Kemmler fought and resisted the White Council for decades. Maybe longer. He set himself up as first a power in his own right, then as a warlord, and even had ambitions of godhood. He gathered power, weapons, and allies to him. He set himself up as Warden of Demonreach. He allied himself (I believe) with governments and politicians. He instigated wars and caused enormous loss of life. It is possible he attempted to destroy the White Council.

Harry also has resisted the White Council for years. He even is now openly beginning to defy them. He has set himself up as Wizard of Chicago and Warden of Demonreach. He has acquired great power, new weapons and many allies (both good and evil). He even has a sometimes ally in Gentleman Johnny Marcone, the Baron of Chicago and now Knight of the Blackened Denarius. He started a war with the vampires that caused enormous loss of life, and by ending it (with a semi-nuclear option) he left a power vacuum that caused further suffering and allowed for even a new war.

Kemmler allied with the nastier Fae, supposedly for power. Harry has never liked or tried to befriend the worst Fae (although that's becoming a grey area as we see they have purpose - so what's a nastier Fae then?) Mab could be counted among the worst, or Lea, etc. But Harry was largely forced into those relationships, whereas Kemmler mostly sought them out.

Harry didn't choose to be connected to the White Court, his mother made that choice for him. But he connected with Thomas through family love. His connections are mostly political to the White Court, and he has resisted being either their puppet or their friend.

Harry might have Bob and Bonnie, but he made Bonnie out of love and so I think it's not the same as summoning or binding a horrible monster. Bob is slightly different. They have a master-servant relationship yet have formed a close friendship too. He helps Bob find morality (as best he can) and Bob seems to prefer being on the good guys team. His relationship to Chauncy was similar to police questioning a prisoner for information. Harry did use it to acquire knowledge and power, but abandoned it when he realised he was holding the short end of the stick. Kemmler continued to bind demons to himself. While he did work with Lash, and Nicodemus, voluntarily (under duress but still) he betrayed Nicodemus and never tried to be his friend or real ally (no matter what Nicodemus promised) and he actually changed Lash into a nicer being and turned her against her originator (Lasciel).

Harry has used necromancy but never on humans. Harry also only attempted it once to save people in need. He never attempted to use it for personal power. He has enthralled faeries but established a strong friendship after so he didn't need to control them directly. When he killed with magic it was only in self-defence (although he did possibly negligently kill some teenagers at Bianca's, while defending himself with magic but in a wild and dangerous way). He killed some soldiers in a battle, but it was also kill-or-be-killed combat. Kemmler seems to have had no such restraints. Harry did return from the dead but not because he was smarter, had the knowledge, or didn't want to die, but because Mab, Demonreach and Bonnie wouldn't allow it (and Uriel probably had a hand in it).

Harry did choose to use Bob. But he didn't use him to acquire terrible and dangerous power or perform dangerous experiments and research dark things. He used him as a friend and ally, mostly to help him use his magic to help others. Harry never tried to use Bob's dark side, or to try and gain enormous personal power.

Harry does use a gun, but I'd argue that he uses it as defence, whereas Kemmler just wanted to kill people.

Harry became Warden of Demonreach by accident. He had NO idea of what he was getting into. He thought he was just getting a bit of solid ground in order to fight some dark enemies. He also has never tried to abuse the power of that island. He hasn't released any monsters, or taken knowledge or power from them. He has never taped the well. He never allowed any dark forces to release his prisoners.

It is unclear how or why Kemmler became Warden of Demonreach. But we do know he didn't immediately try and release his prisoners. He may have initially thought it was too risky, he may not have yet been corrupted. We don't know. But we do know he eventually tried to go back and the White Council spent a lot of time and effort making sure once he went dark side he couldn't actually go back. And I suspect he would have attempted to release some of the monsters should he have gotten on the island. Or perhaps even eat enough of them to become a really big dark god. I wonder if that's where he got the knowledge.

But Harry's motives have always been about trying to protect those he loves. This is a key difference I think between Kemmler who seems to be only after power, and Harry who only takes on power to protect those he loves and has always tried to resist taking power (only taking it when absolutely necessary) and he tries to do the best he can. Harry always tries to use his power in defence of those who need protecting, and he tries always to resist becoming a monster. Whereas Kemmler seems to have embraced it. Harry might have hated the White Council but he seems to be aware that without it the world would probably be worse. He believes it needs reform, not destruction. Harry also seems to be able to reflect that while he didn't care if the world burned if he saved his daughter, that also meant roasting his friends and that he should have been more careful of that.

Harry resist the White Council, but his introduction to them was the White Council trying him for murder and attempting to kill him. So arguably they started it. They made no attempt to rehabilitate him. Kemmler seems to have just tried to overpower them, mostly because he wanted to do whatever he liked.

Harry has acquired power but only when absolutely necessary and never to cause harm to humans and the weak. Never to rule others. He always has tried to use it to defend the defenceless. Sometimes power has been thrust upon him and he has done his best to not be corrupted by it. He hasn't always succeeded but he has tried to do better and tried to learn from his mistakes. Kemmler seems to have taken power for power's sake. He never seems to have tried to become a better person or tried to atone for his crimes.

Harry did gain allies, but many were made for him before his birth (like Lea and Thomas). Some he was even manipulated into. He has acquired more but he has always tried to remain true to his own beliefs, values and principles and never corrupted and controlled by them. He always tries to be his own man and stick up for those weaker than himself and protect them. Kemmler seems to have actively tried to seek out dark allies only to make himself stronger so he could rule the world and destroy anyone who resisted.

Harry might have started wars, but those wars would have started without him anyway. He was pushed into being the catalyst, but make no mistake that the Reds (and the Black Council manipulating them) were the ones that wanted the war. They simply used Harry to try and give themselves legitimacy. The Fomor too had been preparing to attack for centuries. They simply exploited the situation (the fall of the Red Court) to make their play.

Kemmler simply wanted to rule and cause enough chaos and violence to get what he wanted. He exploited certain countries and factions both mortal and supernatural in order to achieve his aims. Those wars might have been avoided, but Kemmler made sure that they happened.

While the similarities seem to outweigh the differences, I would say that the differences are more critical.

Yes, Harry and Kemmler are dangerous. But one is concerned with trying to save the world, to protect his friends, to defend the weak and defenceless, to help others and create a better world.

The other seems to only have wished to rule the world, to cause pain and misery and death and chaos, to destroy the established order and impose his own. Perhaps even to unmake it altogether.

I think you can work out which is which.

What do you all think? Have I missed anything? Should I add other things? Anything you think shouldn't be in there?
Let me know!

DF Spoilers / Faking death
« on: April 18, 2021, 03:02:51 AM »
I am not sure why it hasn't come up before but Mirror Mirror actually gives a great big hint on how a supernatural like a wizard could reasonably fake their own death.

So, could any others from the main universe have pulled off something like that? Not just wizards even, monsters, gods etc.

Could Kemmler have done this? Could the real Kemmler be elsewhere? Could Justin?

DF Spoilers / Gray Council (again) roster.
« on: April 18, 2021, 01:32:54 AM »
I know we've done it before but a recent thread made me wonder about membership. According to Jim, we know of at least six members not including Harry, McCoy or Vadderung. That leaves six we hadn't met prior to Changes (who we may have met since of course). We know some are wizards and some are "key allies". Yet all that turned up wore grey cloaks and held staves (or things that looked like staves *Vadderung*)

1. Ebenezar (duh)
2. Vadderung (duh)
3. Harry (duh)
- these are locked in

4. Listens-to-Wind (Injun Joe). Arguably Ebenezar's best friend, and the only Council member apart from Eb who didn't vote that there was no Black Council at the end of Changes.
5. The Gatekeeper. Despite voting that there is no conspiracy, he is old and wise and seems to be very much against the bigger enemies. Seems like a good choice, and friendly with Eb.
6. Anastasia Luccio. Would be angry after Morgan's death and frustrated that the Council wasn't officially doing anything. Likely candidates

7. Martha Liberty. She did vote that there is no Black Council, officially. She also doesn't seem to be the type to break the rules. Yet she is friends with Eb, and the right type of candidate.
8. The Merlin. Often cited as an unexpected member, he has no reason to be a part of the Gray Council. No more than the Queen of England joining US parliament i.e. they each have their own team already. However, if he were the type to do a sort of Bruce Wayne double life, maybe this is how he would do it.
9. Carlos Ramirez. Often people think he might have joined in, but the latest books make him out to be the Merlin's man. He also probably isn't that well connected to McCoy. Yet he did notice the existence of the Black Council and named them Black Hats, so he is a maybe.These are the less likely guesses

10. Mavra. Would be an interesting choice. She is a powerful Wizard and combatant. She might be using the GC to get her own ends, but she might also resent the Black Council. And it would make life difficult for Harry having her as an ally. Not only that, she is canny and resourceful and might have excellent reasons to want to Red Court dead (which she helped achieve). However, Eb hates vampires particularly White Court. If he somehow got over his issue with her being a vampire, then perhaps they might have common ground in getting rid of the White Court.
11. Sir Baron Gentleman John Marcone. Gosh he has a lot of titles. I wonder what his end game is... ;) This would be a WILD reveal. Some of you might say "but he wasn't a Wizard yet" except he quite possibly was by this stage. Perhaps Vadderung recruited him, as he would have the connection to bring him in. However, I doubt Eb would like him any more than Harry.These are the wild guesses

12. Unknown. Possibly Lea or (better choice), the Erlking.
13. Unknown. Possibly Eldest Gruff. The problem guesses. Also - honourable mention: River Shoulders (probably too big and doesn't need a wizard staff, but still would be fun and loyal).

The issue with the final two is that Lea is clearly not in the Gray Council, as all thirteen members (including Harry, Eb and Vadderung) are at Chichen Itza in Changes, and Eb and Vadderung bring the other 10. However the problem with having Eldest Gruff as a member is he would need to be balanced out by a Winter Fae surely (for the symmetry if not the politics), and Lea seems to be his counterpart...and yet she almost certainly is not a member. The Erlking is a good foil to Vadderung and they seem to work together a bit, so I can see him being a part of the GC. He normally doesn't wield a staff but he could I am sure, and we know he has powerful magic.

You could address the above Lea/Eldest Gruff issue by saying there is more than 13 Gray Council members, which is possible. But Jim seemed to imply in his 2010 Bitten Books interview that there was only 13.
2010 Bitten by Books Q&A:
#136 “I am also highly intrigued by the Gray Council showing up as 12 in number.”
Thirteen, actually: Harry was already there.
“So we found out who 2 of them were, i’d like to know how many of the rest we already know and how many of them haven’t been formally introduced to us yet.”
Hang on, counting… You already know six of the folks who showed up at Chichen Itza, excluding McCoy and Vadderung. :)

DF Spoilers / Ferrovax Identity - crazy theory
« on: March 01, 2021, 03:12:01 AM »
This one is a bit tenuous, but just for fun let's go through it.

Ferrovax, or Mister Ferro (as he sometimes goes by) is a capital-D Dragon. According to Jim, this kind of Dragon is a semi-divine being such as in the more Asian concept of Dragons rather than the bestial fire-breathing lizards of Western legends.

Ferrovax claims to be the Eldest and the strongest of his kind. We know that being the eldest tends to carry weight amongst species such as the Fey, so it's possible that it is the same amongst the Dragons. Ferrovax has also claimed his true form would shatter the earth and destroy the sanity of those mortals who gazed upon him. Bob backs this up in Battle Ground and says that if Ferro came to the Earth in his true form reality would break down. This is also confirmed earlier in a WOJ.

So who is he really? What makes him so powerful? We know that there are only a few major Dragons and Michael (or potentially Ebenezer...or both) killed Siriothrax who was in some ways the weakest. We only know of Pyrovax as the other Dragon, although there is another.

Often the speculation has been (probably due to one Dragon being called Pyrovax) that each Dragon is tied to one of the 4 or 5 elements. So Ferrovax is earth/metal, Pyrovax is fire, Siriothrax is (some speculate) air, and the unnamed Dragon presumably is related to water.

But what if it's something else?

In Latin, Ferro (two "R"s) means steel/iron. Vax doesn't mean anything on it's own. However vox means voice. So Ferrovax could mean "Iron Voice" or "Voice of Iron". Certainly would make a good reason why Mab wouldn't fight him (not to mention that he has far more "horsepower" as Jim put it).

But there are other translations.

"Fero" meaning "bearer" and if we take "Vax" as "Vox" then we have: "Voice Bearer" or "Word Bearer". What if Ferrovax is none other than the Metatron, the Scribe and Voice of God?

But then what does that make the others? Pyrovax then becomes "Voice of Fire" and so on. Siriothrax doesn't neatly translate. But Sirio is close enough to be translated as Sirius (as in the wolf/dog). So just as easily Siriothrax could be

Then again. There is one more translation.

The name of Lucifer comes from the latin "Luci" and "Lux" meaning light, and the "fer" comes from "Fero" as in bearer or bringer. Lucifer is sometimes referred to as a Dragon. But that seems a bit crazy, even to me. More of an interesting aside than a straight up theory.

DF Spoilers / The Outer Night and 13
« on: February 15, 2021, 02:34:42 AM »
So in Peace Talks, Harry banishes the Cornerhounds calling them "Servants of the Outer Night". Where have we heard part of that phrase before? Oh yes, the Lords of the Outer Night.

There are 13 Cornerhounds. Eb calls them "the whole pack". He also explains they are not actually 13 separate beings, but the one entity. Harry explains this as the entity is not actually in the mortal world, it creates a drone or avatar (or several) in which so visit the mortal world while safe in it's home reality.

Interestingly, there are also 13 Lords of the Outer Night. However, the Red King "Kukulcan" is an anomaly. If the Lords of the Outer Night were like the Cornerhounds, wouldn't they be limited to 13 as well? And the Red Court leave skeletons, not ectoplasm (except for their flesh masks I believe). Which would suggest they are more "real".

My theory is that the original Entity is Kukulcan, the Red King. He possesses a mortal human, perhaps even a starborn, perhaps not. But the being is so big that it cannot be contained in a little human shell. This is also part of why the vampires look human much of the time, likely the other reason is to blend in. When the Entity spreads the majority of it's power out amongst it's "children" they become the 13. Not a gestalt being as such, separate minds. Almost a combination of the original entity plus the mortal it inhabits. Yet intrinsically linked to the greater entity. The downside of course of being in the mortal world is it makes them more mortal...whereas a "drone" while destructible represents no great loss to the Entity as it is more like a tool than anything else. Perhaps it is the combination of mortal and immortal, sprit being and physical, that allows it to act. It might not be able to act anywhere near as much without a mortal, physical body. It's not like Harry or anyone else considered ever banishing the Lords of the Outer Night.

I suspect this is the case with the other Vampire Courts, and is what links them. It's also why they must feed on mortal blood/life. They have none of their own and cannot produce it, and therefore cannot maintain that level of being "real" without it. '

Perhaps Drakul is similar to Kukulcan, but undoubtedly worse. Curious he doesn't have 13 servants (although perhaps he used to - Jim said he always liked an elite team rather than a full Court). The extension of the power into a Court seems to weaken them in some way. I think it is in Changes that they discuss how the power of the blood of the Red Court is now spread amongst too many beings. In trying to grow larger there is less for all to take perhaps. Drakul seemed to want to avoid it, and when his son Dracula expanded things to a full blown Court, that's when the Black Court was nearly destroyed. Perhaps the trade off is between the weight of numbers versus individual strength. I imagine the White Court and Jade Court will be rather similar, and perhaps had similar beings as their progenitors (although likely they were weaker, I imagine it goes Black, Red, Jade, White in terms of strength).

But the salient point is there is a clear link between the Outsiders and the Red Court, and quite a lot of less obvious links between the other Courts and the Outsiders. Curious also that the Red Court Elders are styled "Lords" of the Outer Night. I never felt them on the scale of any of the most powerful beings of the Outside.

Also, I would be willing to bet that Nemesis (He Who Walks Beside) can only possess 13 beings at once. Also, I think the Walkers all must have possessed a mortal. He Who Walks Behind possessed Madge's body in White Night. I never saw anything about any of the Walkers turning into ectoplasm after death. They leave corpses of a sort. Which must mean they have a mortal, physical shell (even if the being itself is immortal). Nemesis always seems to be in a real body, rather than a created one - in fact so far we haven't seen him in his "true" form like his counterparts.

DF Spoilers / There is no Black Council
« on: February 09, 2021, 09:55:04 PM »
Here's a wild one for you, and it's probably been said before, but why not explore it again.

There is no Black Council and never was. In fact, what Harry perceives as a Black Council is quite possibly several different things.

We know that the "Black Council" is a relatively new force, in the supernatural world. We also know they like screwing up everyone. We also know they seem to have members everywhere.

While Dresden muses that perhaps the Black Council is none other than Nemesis spread around, I think we can safely assume it's more than that.

It's hinted at that Margaret Le Fay was involved somehow, as she seems to be well known by lots of supposedly dark beings. However the Wardens and others never outright state she was evil, just that she was very like Harry and walked around the crumbling edges of the Laws of Magic and railed against the unfairness and lack of responsibility of the Council. She was friends with vampires, dark wizards, Denarians, gods, dark faeries and probably more. Just like Harry is.

Sure, Harry sees them as allies of necessity. Who says that Margaret didn't? Harry is allies with the Lara Raith, Mab, Molly (the Winter Lady and former Warlock), Vadderung (a shadowy being even when he is a good guy), The Erlking (King of the Goblins), Bigfoots (which some regard as monsters), the Summer Lady, the most notorious gangster in America - Freeholding Lord and now Knight of the Blackened Denarius Gentleman John Marcone etc. Not very different to his mother really. Not to mention he also is THE Warden of Demonreach (a place filled with dark gods, demons, Titans, and almost certainly Outsiders plus probably many other nasties). He also earned the respect of the God of the Greco-Roman Underworld, Hades. Not to mention he has an armory of divine weaponry from the Redeemer and now also the Eye of Balor. From the outside he looks pretty bad. Not to mention all his terrifying accomplishments and open defiance of great powers - including the White Council.

My theory is that groups like the Grey Council and the Executive Ministry of the Accorded Nations (some of which are actually on the Grey Council), are actually just cells of the Black Council. Harry is on to of these and just doesn't realise it. They all seem to have good intentions, sure. But clearly everyone has other motives. The end result is the accumulation of power - something Harry is doing naturally and exponentially. Even if he doesn't mean to. The Grey Council haven't really shown what they are up to...which is to say I suspect they are not doing what Harry believes they are.

What if Cowl and others are just another cell? Perhaps that's why it's called the Circle.

What if in the end, Harry goes so far down the road he ends up on what he thought was the Bad Guys team just to stop the Even Worse guys?

What if he is already on the team and just doesn't realise it? 

DF Spoilers / Corruption, hate, love and other musings
« on: February 08, 2021, 11:47:32 AM »
Rereading the passage in Battle Ground after Murphy dies and Harry goes after Rudolph, and something stood out to me. Harry's is of course incredibly angry, irrationally angry (by which I mean he is bypassing his normal rational state for his emotional reaction). He talks about the purity of that hate and how it gets disrupted by something he can't quite explain when Sanya arrives to stop him. It's further interrupted when Butters arrives to stop him. When he tries to destroy Rudolph with lightning, Fidelacchius stops it. It's interesting how the sound of Fidelacchius is described during this encounter as an "angry chorus". When Harry attempts to pass through the sword thinking he will be immune (being purely physical and thinking himself not truly bad), he is burned badly and there is a smell of brimstone. The burn not only doesn't heal well, but Winter's mantle cannot numb it. Then afterwards he feels all his pain but also is made rational again, and realises there likely would have been extended consequences for his actions including on those he cares about most.

This book talks a lot about love and hate. About logic being the opposite. The Eye of Balor is a weapon that uses hate to destroy everything it touches. Mab's logic appears to save her from it, if only just. Harry's love of his child stops him from murdering Rudolph, and the love of his friends helps him realise that and try to stop him. Ethniu's hate is what caused her to attack the world. The Chicagoan's love of there city and their families causes them to fight for it. The themes are clear.

Way back in when we first learn about Denarians, we learnt that it's part of the nature of the Coins to be in circulation. A Denarian also tells Dresden "we are corruption, we are a part of you". This is a hint to the nature of angels and fallen, and why they are so interested in the souls of mortals. I suspect the interest is because of the nature of the soul and it's relationship to the fundamental reality. Jim has openly discussed that choices in the Dresden Files create/spin-off universes and this creates a spectrum of universes that the angels and fallen fight over. Perhaps the souls can do this because they are tied to the foundational energy of the universe - love, and by definition, hate. Which means souls contain both creative and destructive power/interest and the angels and fallen wish to tip a soul more one side than another, and therefore have more universes in their favor.

What does this have to do with Battle Ground? Well as discussed above that book is very much about love and hate, amongst other things. These are called two sides of the same coin by Mab, as it were. Love is fundamental and essential in creation and hate is essential in destruction. This is how the Eye of Balor can destroy anything it touches (providing someone hasn't prepared accordingly *Mab*) including a being like Uriel. The Eye is described as having "hate of the original vintage". This is interesting because what I believe Butcher is talking about is not merely hate as a fundamental part of universal power, but perhaps also what Lucifer tapped into. Whether or not it came from Outside is unknown. But I do believe hate is what makes Hellfire so strong, and love is what makes Soulfire so "real".

So I believe that Battle Ground was actually not merely about Ethniu or Outsiders or even the Black Council, per se. I think we got to see another microcosm of the Great Battle, but it wasn't just over Chicago but particularly over someone in it - Harry. I believe that Sanya and Butters didn't merely show up to counter Ethniu and her forces. We have learned that the Knights single most important purpose is to save souls, particularly those influenced by the Fallen. And while I think Ethniu was considered a grave threat, there were longer term moves going on. Drakul's presence hints at that to a point. But I think when Harry was about to kill Rudolph he was heading for the darkest timeline. That Harry would have been far worse for his universe, perhaps multiple universes and this was another pivotal moment in his life. Is it not amazing of all places that the Knights ran after Harry? Or that there was not some other catastrophe they had to prevent? I would say considering the purpose of the Knights of the Cross, it means quite a bit that two of them were there to stop Harry going dark side.

I also wonder if Harry particularly is susceptible to influence of the Fallen, in a way. Obviously anyone trying to manipulate him directly tends to fail as Harry is fairly obstinate. But depending on what Starborns have to do with Lucifer (and we know of two connections: 666 years and that Jim mentioned it specifically recently), perhaps that same power that allows him to resist Outsiders is also a double edged Sword. Jim often says being a Starborn is really unlucky. People often regard Harry as a monster if they know that he is Starborn. My guess is that Harry is somehow more connected to those fundamental forces, even more so than a normal Wizard, and therefore when he goes dark side it's really, mega bad. Maybe that's why he was burned by Fidelachius. Maybe that's why the hate felt so pure, and why it annoyed him so strangely that he was disturbed from his attempted murder. Perhaps, as others have guessed it's why Drakul is so different from other Starborn (so far). It should also mean Harry is just as susceptible to the good things (read: love) though I would think, but I don't feel the evidence is just as strong.

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