Dresden Files
Red Court

Arianna Ortega is a Red Court vampire and Duchess of the Red Court of vampires. She first appears in Proven Guilty.


Daughter of the Red King, he created her and all of the Lords of Outer Night.[1] Her husband was Duke Paolo Ortega.[2] Arianna has possibly been alive since prehistoric times.[3]

Arianna was considered Red Court nobility and her rightful place was most likely on the eleventh tier of the Temple of Kukulkan pyramid directly under the Lords of Outer Night.[1]

At White Council headquarters, Arianna is gorgeous in a goddess kind of way. Tall, dark hair piled high, ivory skin. She wore a red silk gown with plunging neckline and jewels on her throat and ears.[4]

At Chichén Itzá, Arianna slightly changed the appearance of her flesh mask. Her facial features were pretty much the same but her nose was a bit longer, sharper and her skin color was now a reddish-brown and she had icy black vampire eyes. She wore a simple buckskin shift and a lot of gold jewelry.[1]


She has hated Europeans since Conquistador Hernán Cortés' conquest of Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America (early 16th century) and his subsequent conquest of the Mayans and Aztecs.[5]

She married Paolo Ortega (a descendant of the conquistadors) to torment him as revenge against Europeans. This she does by repeatedly cuckolding and returning to him feigning love.[2][5]

She hadn't left Mexico in over one hundred and eighty years, yet she goes to White Council headquarters.[6]

Arianna had figured out that the Red King had lost control of his bloodlust and was therefore weakened and ripe for deposing. She built her one own power base within the Court and plotted to undo Harry Dresden since dealing with her enemies was critical to maintaining her standing in Red Court society.[7]

At Chichén Itzá, Martin revealed that Arianna's true target was Blackstaff Ebenezar McCoy. "The child's father is the son of Margaret LeFay, the daughter of the man who killed her husband, Paolo Ortega." Martin admitted that he was the one who informed the Reds of Maggie's existence and her location. He saw her each time Susan visited her.[8] It's how they found and slaughtered her adopted family.

In Changes, Ebenezar McCoy states that his own daughter Margaret LeFay had once invited him to the Raith estate for a dinner she was holding. Arianna was in attendance and witnessed Ebenezar and Maggie arguing—like family. Arianna caught on and filed it away.[9]

In the series[]

Proven Guilty[]

In Proven Guilty, she was one of the bidders on Harry Dresden when Madrigal Raith tried to sell him on eBay.[2]


In Changes, Arianna goes to the White Council headquarters as a plenipotentiary ambassador.[10] Her mission to negotiate peace is a ruse meant to further her plot of revenge against Dresden, lull the White Council into a false sense of security while the Red Court are massing for a new attack[11] and infect the White Council with a disease.[12] She is abetted in this by new Senior Council member Gregori Cristos.[4]

Duchess Arianna Ortega found out about Margaret Angelica, daughter of Harry Dresden, and had her kidnapped,[13] to use her in a bloodline curse to wipe out her family.[14]

Arianna being at White Council headquarters as the Red Court's emissary for peace effectively blocks Dresden from getting the aid he needs from the White Council to get his daughter back. She was playing dirty. Dresden stormed into the Ostentatiatory anyway demanding that she return the girl she stole from her family or face him in a duel. Cristos, who's pandered to Arianna and backed by a large Council contingent, accused Dresden of restarting the War and breaking Safe Passage in the Accords. Dresden is escorted to the Worry Room by Anastasia Luccio.[4]

Dresden finds out about the Bloodline curse that Maggie is to be the center piece of from Donar Vadderung.[14]

Later, Dresden tells Ebenezar McCoy that Arianna plans to sacrifice Maggie, his daughter, in a ritual sacrifice Bloodline curse at Chichén Itzá. Ebenezar tells Dresden that while Arianna was there, she laced the Edinburgh facility with some sort of disease, sixty wizards are down, more are expected. Eben warns Dresden to stay away.[12]

At Chichén Itzá, Dresden evokes the Code Duello in the Unseelie Accords by challenging Duchess Ariana to a duel on the basis of her kidnapping his daughter. Dresden is betting that the Red King will go along with this plan to get the Duchess out of the way.[15] In the Temple of Kukulkan, Dresden makes a deal with the Red King to kill Arianna in a duel in exchange for taking his daughter home safely through Alamaya as interpreter. [7]

Just prior to the duel, Arianna admits out that Dresden was not was the real target, implying that she knows a secret Dresden doesn't but should. Her other goal was a seat on the Lords of Outer Night after one of them ascends to be King once she has ousted the Red King.[1]

Arianna was killed by Dresden in a duel.[16] Her plan to kill Dresden's family not only failed, but led to the destruction of the Red Court.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Changes, ch. 44
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Proven Guilty, ch. 26
  3. Changes, ch. 8
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Changes, ch. 7
  5. 5.0 5.1 Changes, ch. 38
  6. Changes, ch. 9
  7. 7.0 7.1 Changes, ch. 43
  8. Changes, ch. 48
  9. 9.0 9.1 Changes, ch. 49
  10. Changes, ch. 6
  11. Changes, ch. 7-8
  12. 12.0 12.1 Changes, ch. 40
  13. Changes, ch. 02
  14. 14.0 14.1 Changes, ch. 21
  15. Changes, ch. 42
  16. Changes, ch. 44 and 45

See also[]