Dresden Files

Charity Carpenter is a female human born with magical potential that she ignores and allows to wither. She is married to Michael Carpenter, and is the mother of seven children, the most prominent being Molly Carpenter. She first appeared in Grave Peril.


Charity Carpenter is Michael Carpenter's wife, and the fiercely protective mother of seven children. She has a strained relationship with her daughter Molly, who inherited her magical potential. She has a very poor opinion of magic in general, and initially dislikes Harry Dresden for what he is.

She is married to Michael Carpenter and they have seven children: Molly, DanielMatthew, Alicia, Amanda, Hope, and Harry.

As of Ghost Story, they had adopted Margaret Angelica Dresden at the behest of Father Forthill. Mouse also joined the household to watch over Maggie.

Charity Carpenter makes all of her husband's armor and lines it with kevlar[Footnote 1] making them bullet proof as well as sword and knife proof.[1] She used to work on motorcycles.[1]

In Grave Peril, Dresden thinks she shows blazing passion and unshakable loyalty to her husband Michael.[2] She is ferocious where Michael's safety is concerned.[2]

When Dresden shared a hospital room with Charity, she started in on him the moment he woke up. Dresden says she has a tongue sharper than any sword.[3] In Small Favor, however, Charity invites Dresden to sit and wait with her and Molly at the Stroger Hospital while Michael is being operated on, saying "Families stay, Harry."

Skills and abilities[]

Charity Carpenter is a formidable warrior in her own right. While she armors up to retrieve her daughter Molly from Arctis Tor, Harry Dresden describes her as broad-shouldered with heavily muscled arms carrying a 4-foot steel war hammer.[Footnote 2] She's been her husband's swordsmanship practice partner for 20 years.[4] In Small Favor, she is noted to have a degree of skill with improvised weapons; using a nail gun[Footnote 3] to wound a Gruff before smashing its skull in with a steel ball-peen hammer.[Footnote 4][5] Her hallmark armor is made of titanium ring mail (effective against blades and claws) sandwiched between layers of ballistic cloth (kevlar), effective against bullets.[6]

Carpenter has been noted for her great cooking skills, even when using limited resources and ingredients,[7] and it is reasonable to assume that she can clean, perform minor repairs, and all other tasks required of a stay-at-home mother of seven. Her husband also comments that she has medical training.[8]

In the series[]

Grave Peril[]

In Grave Peril, Charity first appeared in the series when she bailed her husband out of jail after they defeated Agatha Hagglethorn. She blamed Dresden for landing her husband in jail and generally getting him into trouble every time they're together. Dresden told Susan Rodriguez that Michael Carpenter rescued her from a fire-breathing dragon.[2]

Later, the Nightmare abducts a pregnant Charity as revenge on Michael.[9] Michael and Dresden track Charity to an all-night grocery. While Michael is searching the grocery, Dresden rescues Charity from the Nightmare in the nearby Graceland Cemetery.[10] At the end, Dresden is placed in the same hospital room with Charity. Michael decides to name their new baby Harry since Dresden rescued him when he rescued Charity.[3]

Death Masks[]

In Death Masks, Harry Dresden calls the Carpenter house to ask Michael to be his Second in his duel against Duke Ortega, but Charity answers the phone and Dresden finds himself wondering whether she will pass on the message. Later in the day, Dresden visits the Carpenter house seeking Michael, but finds only Charity, the children, and Shiro. Charity makes Dresden help unload groceries and tells him that she hasn't heard from Michael. Yoshimo asks whether Michael would agree to be Dresden's second, which Charity says he would, commenting that Michael is sometimes an idiot. She then begins preparing dinner, which Dresden assists her with. Charity shares some of her worries with Dresden, stating that Michael has only been seriously injured three times and that all three were on missions with Dresden. Harry asks why she didn't lie to Shiro to sabotage his chances in the duel, and Charity responds that she may not like Dresden personally, but that losing him would break Michael's heart, which she will not allow to happen.[11]

Proven Guilty[]

In Proven Guilty, Charity tells her story to Harry Dresden in the back pew of the balcony in Saint Mary of the Angels. When she was sixteen, Charity's magic began to manifest. Her parents were wealthy and respected. Like most other mortals, it was easier for them to believe Charity was drug addicted or unbalanced. They sent her to schools and hospitals disguised as schools. Eventually she ran away and got involved with a cult led by Gregor. Gregor offered her as a sacrifice to the Dragon Siriothrax in exchange for power. Michael Carpenter rescued her from the Siriothrax.[12]

After she married Michael she gave up and repressed her magic, which withered away. Her first daughter, Molly, inherited her mother's wizarding talent. Charity did not mention any of her other children as displaying magic powers.[12]

Small Favor[]


In Small Favor, while the Carpenter kids were playing in the snow, Charity playfully shoves snow down Dresden's back. Dresden never had a family to play in the snow with as a child; she's giving Dresden a taste of family fun in the snow as a kind of gift. When three gruffs come attacking the Carpenter home, Charity emerges from the workshop shed with a Ball-peen hammer in her left hand and nail gun in the other. She shoots one Gruff with the nail gun then bashes his skull with the hammer. The other two run from mortals with steel—they're faeries.[5] Charity's nail gun heroism genuinely impressed her husband.[13] Charity takes the kids elsewhere for a few days while the Denarians are in town, no school anyway with all the snow.[14]

The Warrior[]

In The Warrior, she sees to her husband's physical therapy, and is very tired for it, though happy for her husband no longer being in mortal danger.[15]

Charity opens the door for Harry Dresden, letting him in, and informs him that Molly has gone to bed early. He replies that he is stopping by for a visit, but Charity remains unconvinced, asking confirmation from her husband. In his office, Dresden shows her the picture he had shown earlier to Michael, and she realizes immediately what they mean, agreeing with Dresden that something has to be done.[15]

Ghost Story[]

In Ghost Story, Charity is mentioned as Harry Dresden's shade notes some members of the Brighter Future Society, including Daniel Carpenter[6], Molly Carpenter[16], and Karrin Murphy[17]

Skin Game[]

In Skin Game,

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Peace Talks[]

In Peace Talks,

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Death Masks, ch. 33
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Grave Peril, ch. 7
  3. 3.0 3.1 Grave Peril, ch. 39
  4. Proven Guilty, ch. 34
  5. 5.0 5.1 Small Favor, ch. 1
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ghost Story, ch. 38
  7. Small Favor, ch. 35
  8. Small Favor, ch. 20
  9. Grave Peril, ch. 20
  10. Grave Peril, ch. 21
  11. Death Masks, ch. 15
  12. 12.0 12.1 Proven Guilty, ch. 32
  13. Small Favor, ch. 2
  14. Small Favor, ch. 15
  15. 15.0 15.1 The Warrior
  16. Ghost Story, ch. 41
  17. Ghost Story, ch. 46

See also[]