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The Duck Quacks

The Duck Quacks published on 4 Comments on The Duck Quacks

Theory 1: Molly/ Mab
Part 1

“You should not presume wizard. I adore Freedom. Anyone who doesn’t have it wants it”


This all started with the headaches. Harry has them, we all know this. There have been a few suggestions as to why; Lash coming back, permanent brain damage at the end of WN, perhaps he has strained his magic too much, but then I realized we know at least one cause for this headaches; he has them in SF, when Mab messed with his head while she borrowed his blasting rod, and reprogrammed his head to forget he had ever had it. While discussing this, I wondered well then, if she caused that headache, what else could have happened during the books that she could have taken or messed with?

Which gives us, in discrete mathematics, our starting point?

STATEMENT: Mab caused the headaches.

I am not saying this is the truth, I am stating it as the point of argument. In discrete math, you start with an assumption, then build on it one point at a time, as a test to determine if the original point is true. (For all rational numbers N, if N is F(N) is true, then F( N+1) is true; if you then can reverse it from the final conclusion, the theory is true ; this is called the principles of incursion and reduction.)

So, following this point, what other headaches could have been caused by Mab? It was He Whom Walks who first noted that in the book Turn Coat, that little Chicago was not mentioned. Which is strange, as Harry was desperate to find Thomas; and in every other book, Harry mentions it in every other book, and it had been repaired form it’s damage taken in WN as it was used in SF. Furthermore, when Harry does refer to the table, it is covered by a heavy tarp; which are the same words he used to describe his missing memories of the blasting rods on SF, page 312. And we know Mab caused those headaches, it describes the headaches, right on that very page.

Additional point, Namshiel’s missing coin. We have been assuming That either Marcone, Hendricks, or Gard took it. But Marcones says he did not, Hendricks has shown no signs of it, and Gard was driving. But what if there were other people on the island, undetectable to mortal eyes? Mab cannot interfere directly in mortal affairs, but she can claim anything Harry owns or has rights to. His “life, his fortune, his future”; once he defeated Namshiel was defeated his coin by right of battle was Harry’s and Mab could step in and claim it. ( I will admit this one may be stretching things, but it’s just a side idea.)

STATEMENT: Mab fixed little Chicago in Proven Guilty. “even if there HAD been a threshold, it wouldn’t have done diddly to stop any number of supernatural baddies. The fetches in PG hammered down the /Carpenters’/ front door, and that’s a threshold like the rock of firkin’ Gibraltar. The loup-garou sneered at such things. A threshold wouldn’t slow down a Denarian for a moment, nor would it stop ghouls, ogres, or any number of largely physical (as opposed to manifested spiritual) beings. And even if the skinwalker had been something summoned from the Nevernever into a manifested physical body, the toad demon was one of those too, and IT stomped through Harry’s pathetic threshold in the very first book”

-Jim Butcher

Which leaves questions of how Mab got past the wards, Past Bob- something I consider a point in her favor actually; of all the suspects she could mess with Bob the easiest; and most importantly, how could she have predicted this chain of events?

The World as Harry Knows It

The World as Harry Knows It published on 4 Comments on The World as Harry Knows It

The World As Harry Knows It
Storm Front, Fool Moon, Grave Peril

As with anything, Urban Fantasy is interpreted in many different ways by many different authors. Some authors have cloaked the fantastical world in secrecy, and it is hugely difficult for the characters to find out anything. Other authors (like Kim Harrison) have humans and immortals living side-by-side, working together, and even procreating. Butcher chose to place the Dresden Files somewhere in between, as is elucidated in the following quote:

“Science, the largest religion of the twentieth century, had become somewhat tarnished by images of exploding space shuttles, crack babies, and a generation of complacent Americans who had allowed the television to raise their children. People were looking for something—I think they just didn’t know what. And even though they were once again starting to open their eyes to the world of magic and the arcane that had been with them all the while, they still thought I must be some kind of joke.”

The government is not wholly unaware of magical doings, as is evidenced by the existence of Special Investigations. Karrin Murphy heads the Department that handles any cases that seem particularly unusual, like vampire attacks, troll marauderings, and faerie abductions. Harry has worked with SI before, though he is their consultant on a murder case for the very first time in Storm Front. Moreover, even in the first three books, before Harry has truly begun his career as Chicago’s avenger, we have evidence that someone is working behind the scenes to create dangerous enemies out of mediocre people. In Fool Moon, we have the FBI infiltrated by four agents who have had enough contact with the magical world that they have belts that turn them into wolves—the better to hunt down their prey. This betrays the fact that someone in the know, and powerful enough in their own right, has infiltrated the upper echelons of government and is pulling strings.

The fringe of society, occupied by the misfits, has its own belief and suspicion of such things. The local equivalent of the Weekly World News, the Chicago Arcane, covers “all sorts of supernatural and paranormal events throughout the Midwest.” Harry thinks of the yellow magazine with plenty of derision, though he does acknowledge it gets some of stuff right. “But once in a great, great while, the Arcane covered something that was real. Like the Unseelie Incursion of 1994, when the entire city of Milwaukee had simply vanished for two hours. Gone. Government satellite photos showed the river valley covered with trees and empty of life or human habitation. All communications ceased. Then, a few hours later, there it was, back again, and no one in the city itself the wiser.” In Storm Front, the magazine is popular enough that little Jenny Sells—daughter of the prime antagonist—recognizes Dresden’s face from it. In Fool Moon, the Chicago Arcane has had an image update, and is now known as the Midwestern Arcane. By the end of Fool Moon, the Arcane’s star reporter, Susan Rodriguez, has a syndicated column with global news outlets.

The Larry King show (alternately known as the Larry Fowler show) is also a way in which those with belief in the supernatural disseminate information. It is only briefly mentioned in the first three books.

Other organizations unaffiliated with the government have at least a small inkling of what creatures lurk in the shadows. It is widely assumed that John Marcone discovered the hidden world of magic and terrible curses through the course of Storm Front—this is simply untrue, after a closer look. We first meet John Marcone in a limousine after Dresden has visited the crime scene. Not only does Marcone have at least a semblance of belief in magic, he deliberately initiated a soulgaze with Dresden in order to take his measure: “That was his purpose in getting me alone. He wanted to take a peek at my soul. He wanted to see what sort of man I was.” Prior to the events of Storm Front, Marcone has spoken to people—people who can distinguish true magic from bragging. One of the enduring mysteries of the series is John Marcone’s past, and it’s hinted at from the moment we meet him.

There is also the other side of the equation to consider. The White Council, first mentioned in chapter two, is Dresden’s governing authority. Most of the Laws of Magic that the Council enforces are directed at how wizards employ magic against them. Outwardly, this looks very altruistic, but by not drawing attention to themselves and magic, the Council Laws help to prevent mortals from declaring war on a threat they don’t understand. So despite all these various factions and departments that are in the know—or at least know a little, it remains to be seen what methods the Council uses to suppress the knowledge of the supernatural world from everyone everywhere.

Storm Front, Fool Moon, and Grave Peril show a slow progression of magic being revealed to the masses, despite the interference of the White Council and other parties. The loup-garou in the police station, the not-quite-humanoid corpses left over from the Velvet Room (which Waldo Butters later reveals to be his induction into the secret world), the video tape of Murphy firing inherited-silver bullets at the loup-garou, and a myriad other examples. Jim Butcher initially wrote about a society that is starting to believe, but still in denial. As the series progresses, mortal authorities and civilians alike are gaining more and more knowledge. It’s exciting to watch this unfold, and I am excited to revisit this topic once the focus has widened.

The Butcher Block Begins

The Butcher Block Begins published on 12 Comments on The Butcher Block Begins


I have been buzzing about this feature of the site almost since the moment I became a part of it. Tomorrow, the great re-read and analysis of The Dresden Files begins. A lot of people aren’t entirely certain what this means — I haven’t widely shared the writing I’ve been doing all this fall. But now that it’s FINALLY happening, here are some of the things you can look forward to:

1) Giveaways! Five people will win paperback copies of Dead Beat; one person will win a signed copy of Skin Game; the winner of the trivia game will win a signed copy of the Dresden File of their choice; and one lucky contributor will win signed copies of the first three books with their original covers*.

2) Essays about the books. Is there a compelling argument that Murphy will ultimately betray Harry? Could Linda Randall have been a White Court vamp? What’s going on in the shadows in Proven Guilty?

3) Guest articles from Duck. Miss Duck has gained fame over in the forums for her keen insight. She’s graciously allowing me to turn her theories into a weekly guest post.

4) Guest articles that push our knowledge of Dresden further. Who were the Cahokians, and what’s their possible connection to the series? What’s the correlation between Odin and Santa Claus? Did Jim Butcher make up all this stuff about mantles and masks? All this and more will be explored in the coming weeks and months.

5) Transcripts of recent events. We all know how important Word of Jim is!

I am so happy this is finally beginning, and I hope you join me in the comments.

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