Dresden Files
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An athame is a ceremonial blade, often, but not always, with a black handle, used in witchcraft or religious rituals. It first appears in Grave Peril.


Not much is known about this object of power as of yet, but seemingly it is comparable to the Swords of the Cross in power, wielded by the White God's own chosen Knights. It has been suggested that the knife is not important because of any specific enchantment or material intrinsic to the knife, but (like the Swords of the Cross) powerful because of its connection to a previous owner. The Swords are connected to Christ, and the Athame, the Leanansidhe suggests, is likewise connected to a powerful being.[1] The author has confirmed it was owned at one point by Morgan LeFay,[Footnote 1] and it gained more power than it may have already possessed by being present and employed in serious workings of Power performed by the Original Merlin's fabled rival.(reference needed)

This athame has been referred to as a treacherous gift by the Leanansidhe because it allowed Nemesis to infect her, and through her Maeve was corrupted. Lea spent years in Winter's Wellspring at the heart of Mab's garden in Arctis Tor[2] recovering from the experience. Mab found out that Lea had infected Maeve as well, but, unlike Lea, Maeve rejected her help and was beyond curing. Mab has only recently mastered her unfathomable fury to the point where her spoken voice is no longer aneurysm inducing.

In the series[]

Grave Peril[]

In Grave PerilBianca St. Claire gave the Leanansidhe a small black box, and peering at the contents made her shiver and her flame-red hair shift and glisten.[3]

Summer Knight[]

In Summer Knight, the Leanansidhe told Harry Dresden that after Bianca St. Claire's ball she returned to Faerie with great power, meaning the athame, and upset many balances. To redress the imbalance, Dresden's debt to her was the means that Mab chose to redress them. the Leanansidhe said the athame was not created by the vampires and it was a trade rather than a gift—an artifact of magic in the same league as Amoracchius. Lea hinted that the value of the knife lies in whom it once belonged to.[1]

Dead Beat[]

In Dead Beat, Harry Dresden recognized Kumori and Cowl from Bianca St. Claire's ball (in Grave Peril) as the ones who gave the Leanansidhe the athame.[4] Mab told Dresden that she has the Leanansidhe detained because she challenged Mab's authority, that certain events made Lea believe she no longer was bound to Mab's will.[5]

Proven Guilty[]

In Proven Guilty, Harry Dresden found the Leanansidhe encased in ice in the heart of Arctis Tor. This was for "growing too arrogant with power I held. I thought I could overcome what stalks us all."[2]


In Changesthe Leanansidhe told Harry Dresden that Mab had imprisoned her at Arctis Tor because an affliction, a madness had beset her—"robbed me of myself. Treacherous gifts"—meaning the Athame.[6]

Cold Days[]

In Cold Days, Mab confirmed that the reason her voice made people's ears bleed was due to her rage over Maeve being taken by Adversary. She said: "It was the knife. Morgana's[Footnote 1] athame. The one given her by the Red Court at Bianca's masquerade. That was how the Leanansidhe was tainted—and your godmother spread it to Maeve before I could set it right."[7]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Summer Knight, ch. 23
  2. 2.0 2.1 Proven Guilty, ch. 39
  3. Grave Peril, ch. 29
  4. Dead Beat, ch. 8
  5. Dead Beat, ch. 21
  6. Changes, ch. 15
  7. Cold Days, ch. 53

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