Grey Council
Senior Council
White Council

Ebenezar McCoy is a human wizard, and member of the White Council. He first appears in Summer Knight.


There're things we keep hidden from one another. Things we hide from ourselves. Things that are kept hidden from us. And things no one knows. You always learn the damnedest things at the worst possible times.— Ebenezar McCoy[1]

Ebenezar McCoy is a senior member on the White Council. He is the Blackstaff, a covert wet work position, which he has held for at least a century.(reference needed)

McCoy is a short, stocky man, with white tufts of hair fringing his mostly bald head, and a white beard covering his mouth and jowls. He often wears a white tee-shirt, denim overalls and a big grin.[2]

He drives a black '37 Ford pick-up with rounded fenders and wooden sides on the bed. There was no rust on it and it is usually freshly waxed. McCoy's staff and a weather-worn shotgun rested on a rack of the passenger compartment.[2]

McCoy wore a scarlet stole the first time he was in the series.[2] After being promoted to the Senior Council, he wore a purple stole. 


Home and familyEdit

Ebenezar McCoy
Your Morse is rusty. On my staff, it sounded like you spelled it 'blampires.'
Harry Dresden
I did. Black Court vampires. I just shortened it some.
Ebenezar McCoy
Blampires. That's the problem with you young people. Shortening all the words.
Harry Dresden
Too many acronyms?
Ebenezar McCoy
Harry Dresden
Well, then. I'm glad you took the time to RSVP me. I have a problem that needs to stay on the QT, but is rapidly going FUBAR. I'm sorry to call you LD through AT&T instead of using UPS, but I needed your help ASAP. I hope that's OK.
Ebenezar McCoy
Don't make me kick your ass.
— McCoy doesn't like change.[3]
McCoy was Harry Dresden's mentor, after Dresden killed Justin DuMorne. McCoy taught and kept watch over Dresden for two or three years, showing Dresden why one does magic, in addition to how one uses it, forming much of Dresden's belief about being a wizard. He placed even more importance on teaching Dresden general values and providing a stable life.[4]

McCoy lives and has lived on a farm in Hog Hollow, Missouri, for at least a couple of centuries.[2] He keeps horses[5] and possibly sheep.[6]

He has continued to be one of Dresden's good friends even after he left McCoy's farm in the Ozarks.[Footnote 1] On several occasions, McCoy has come to Dresden's aid, both politically and as a powerful combat wizard in his own right.

McCoy's affectionate nickname for Dresden, Hoss[Footnote 2] appears to be drawn from the Western Bonanza.[Footnote 3] His assumption of the Ben Cartwright[Footnote 4] role to apprentice Dresden's "Hoss" is a paternal, friendly reference, a bit similar to the "Grasshopper" and "Padawan" nicknames Dresden gives his own apprentice.

In Death Masks, McCoy recalls how he and Dresden set up a telescope on the farm. Dresden recalls with him how that asteroid they discovered turned out to be an old Russian satellite. McCoy thinks that Asteroid Dresden was a better name than Kosmos Five.[7]

In Changes, he is the father and mentor of Margaret LeFay, thus grandfather to Harry Dresden and Thomas Raith and great-grandfather to Maggie Dresden. It is likely that this relationship had some bearing on McCoy's decision to defend and mentor Dresden after Justin DuMorne's death, giving himself a chance to keep Dresden from execution by the White Council.[8]

He says that Arianna Ortega discovered his connection to his Maggie when she invited him to the Raith estate for dinner. They fought like family and Arianna Ortega caught on.[1]

White Council and BlackstaffEdit

McCoy has served as the White Council's Blackstaff for at least a century. As Blackstaff, McCoy can ignore the laws of magic in performance of his duties. He is, essentially, the White Council's hit man.[9]

In the politics of the White Council, McCoy and Arthur Langtry, the current head of the White Council are often at odds with one another, owing to a rift that occurred between the two men during the French and Indian War.[Footnote 5][10]

McCoy has dealings with his counterparts as Blackstaff in other factions, notably Jared Kincaid. The two had a professional courtesy for each other until events taking place in Istanbul around the year 1900.[9]

Abilities and backgroundEdit

As an established member of the White Council, McCoy is fluent in Latin. He also penned a text on magical ethics and the basic mechanics that govern the use of magic, titled Elementary Magic. It is commonly given to novice practitioners by their master.[11]

His magical talents are significant, ranked as the 7th most powerful member of the Senior Council at the time of his nomination, but the most experienced in direct mayhem. Considered the heavyweight champion of wizards when it comes to conflict and duels, he could reasonably be expected to overcome Donald Morgan, the most notorious Warden on the Council in his day.(reference needed)

His forte has been shown to be terramancy and kinetomancy, and the associated manipulation of gravity, force and electromagnetism. Examples being pounding structures to rubble,(reference needed) tossing creatures half a mile away with a gesture,(reference needed) and dragging objects out of orbit to turn them into comet like projectiles.[12]

He comes from a line of Masters and Apprentices that stretches back to the original Merlin.[13] There is some speculation that, due to the nature of how Magic is somewhat based on bloodline and on the traditional nature of the Master/Apprentice relationship, he, and through him Harry Dresden, is a descendant of the original Merlin.

Ebenezar McCoy crafted the Speaking stones[14] and has a stone that is identical to Dresden's.[15]

In the seriesEdit

"A Fistful of Warlocks"Edit

In "A Fistful of Warlocks", Anastasia Luccio mentions him as having once brought down three warlocks against her one.[16]

Summer KnightEdit

In Summer Knight, After the attack on Archangel resulted in the death of Senior Council member Simon Pietrovich,[2] McCoy joined the Senior Council, having long declined the opportunity in the past, to help Dresden win a vote for his own life.[6]

Death MasksEdit

In Death Masks, McCoy calls Harry Dresden to tell him he doesn't have to fight the duel with Paolo Ortega, "We're going to slap it down". Dresden tells him not to bother because Ortega has brought in goons, both human and vampire and will kill people he cares about if Dresden doesn't Duel. Dresden tells McCoy all about the what happened with Ortega and that he'll figure out some way to give himself an advantage. Then, McCoy updates Dresden on The War.[7]

Blood RitesEdit

In Blood Rites, McCoy was forced to reveal to Harry Dresden his other position on the White Council, that of Blackstaff. During the course of his duties as Blackstaff, he caused the Tunguska explosion, the New Madrid earthquake, Krakatoa and brought down a Soviet satellite on the Red Court stronghold of Casaverde, and other events. Dresden alienates himself from McCoy for a time because he is outraged by the hypocrisy of the mentor who taught him the evils of Black magic yet uses it as the Blackstaff. [9]

Dead BeatEdit

In Dead Beat, McCoy persuaded the Senior Council, including The Gatekeeper and Ancient Mai to take the field with the Wardens in a major assault on Red Court territories in order to gain intelligence on the whereabouts of White Council prisoners. He and Martha Liberty then helped defend the retreating Wardens against Outsiders after they were counter-attacked moving wounded through the Nevernever. McCoy was injured in this attack.[17]

Proven GuiltyEdit

In Proven Guilty, McCoy is present during the beheading of a Warlock in Chicago.[18] Afterward, he stops Harry Dresden from leaving to ask him to find out why the Faerie Courts are not attacking the Red Court for passing through Faerie (location). He explains that the Senior Council does not know about this request as they don't know who the traitor is. Before leaving, he gives Dresden a message from The Gatekeeper.[19]

After the battle in Oregon, when the Reds attack Captain Luccio's Warden Bootcamp, McCoy, Joseph Listens-to-Wind and Martha Liberty lead a force to protect the camp. With Michael Carpenter's help, they manage to successfully relocate all the trainees and mentors to the Chicago Warehouse.[20]

McCoy and Dresden make up over a beer, and McCoy draws out the beginnings of Dresden's theory about the Black Council. After telling Dresden not to reveal this theory to anyone else, and vouching for Injun' Joe, McCoy states that he was at Dresden's trial and sentencing and even defended him.[21]

White NightEdit

In White Night, McCoy is occupied, along with most of the other Wardens, in India. Apparently, McCoy and Donald Morgan are busy hammering a group of "bad guys" serving a powerful rakshasa who were attacking monasteries friendly to the White Council.[22]

"Dog Men"Edit

In "Dog Men", Harry Dresden dreams of Ebenezar McCoy intervening in a fight between himself and Donald Morgan making him stand down.[23]

Turn CoatEdit

In Turn Coat, McCoy orders Anastasia Luccio to keep Harry Dresden out of the investigation into Aleron LaFortier's murder.[24] When Dresden visits the White Council headquarters in Edinburgh, Chandler the Warden describes McCoy as one of the few wizards capable of overpowering Donald Morgan.[25] When Dresden confronts him, McCoy denies his request to join the war party. Once he realizes Dresden's intent however, he suggests speaking to Joseph Listens-to-Wind.[26]

McCoy brings the war party, including Listens-to-Wind and Ancient Mai to Demonreach to confront Dresden, and on arrival confirms that Rashid has spoken to him before unsuccessfully arguing with Mai and Listens-to-Wind against arresting Dresden.[27] After Morgan is arrested, McCoy tells Dresden that Listens-to-Wind has offered to teach him about dealing with injustice. He goes on to rebuke Dresden for focusing on saving Thomas Raith rather than taking down the killer, confirming that Molly Carpenter used her shield crystal to defend against the vampire.[28]

In his chambers, McCoy tells Dresden that the number of journals in a bookshelf are the musings of a trail of apprentices to masters that traces all the way back to the original Merlin. He suggests that Dresden should take care of them and add his own one day.[13] Following Dresden's presentation of evidence against the traitor, McCoy and Carlos Ramirez searched the traitor's chambers, finding further evidence of mental manipulation.[13] During the Mordite Mistfiend attack, McCoy assists the Senior Council in trapping the creature.[13]

While walking back to Chicago, McCoy explains to Dresden some of the Council politics involved in the selection of the latest Senior member, Gregori Cristos. He informs Dresden that some people are planning to 'do something' about the recent events facilitated by the Black Council and proposes the creation of a Grey Council, to fight them. He is the only one to know the names of those few trusted individuals involved.[29]


In "Journal", Donald Morgan regrets the Blackstaff's intervention in favor of Harry Dresden, as he is worried that Dresden may have been corrupted by Nemesis. However he recognized that Dresden managed to stay away from the Adversary's spiderwebs in the Senior Council.[30]


In Changes, McCoy sits among the Senior Council listening to Duchess Arianna Ortega's peace proposal when Harry Dresden interrupts. He meets Dresden's eyes and silently indicates that the younger wizard should allow himself to be escorted from the room.[31] He was in fact, besides Gregori Cristos, the only other senior member present at the proposal.[32]

McCoy and Dresden talk through the Speaking stone, where Dresden beseeches the Grey Council for help. McCoy refuses to lend assist in saving the child, not knowing her connection to Dresden. He says it's sometimes necessary to sacrifice one for the greater many. He asks Dresden to meet him in order to assist the Grey Council, and hangs up.[15] Dresden misses this planned meeting.[33] Later, McCoy calls Dresden through the Stone. This time Dresden gets his chance to tell McCoy about Maggie, Arianna OrtegaChichén Itzá, the Red King, the Bloodline curse and that he's going to be there for his daughter. McCoy accepts this and wishes him well and warns him against going to White Council headquarters in Edinburgh, as there's a mysterious disease there released by Arianna Ortega.[34]

During the battle at Chichén Itzá, he shows up with the Grey Council who join the fray. McCoy gives Dresden his own personal staff and draws the Blackstaff for himself. He uses the Blackstaff's power to rip the life from over a hundred men before instructing another Grey Council member to create a Way, allowing an army of Kenku to join the battle, stating that they owed him a favor.[35]

He and Dresden talk after the battle. He didn't tell Dresden he was his grandfather because he did not want him to have the same enemies, at least not until Dresden was ready. After surveying the remains of the Red Court, he acknowledges that Dresden more or less is ready. He knows that Dresden had to sacrifice Susan to save Maggie. McCoy says he came more for Maggie than for Dresden. He's not sure if Gregori Cristos is Black Council or just stupid, saying that stupid is scarier every time. He points out that one of the members of the Grey Council is none other than Donar Vadderung, who apparently taught the original Merlin. Before leaving, he says Dresden can keep his staff until he makes a new blank for him.[1]

Zoo DayEdit

In Zoo Day, Harry Dresden mentions Ebenezar McCoy as not so much parenting as enacting psychological damage control after Dresden's stay with Justin DuMorne.[36]

Peace TalksEdit

In Peace Talks, Carlos Ramirez mentions MacCoy as the person tasking him with relaying Harry Dresden that the Fomors have convened a peace summit in Chicago, and informing him of his duties in this situation.[37]

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McCoy's quarters at EdinburghEdit

McCoy's receiving room was lined with overflowing bookshelves, hundreds of which were handmade and handwritten, including museum-worthy illuminated grimiores, but also writings by Stephen King,[Footnote 6] Robert Anson Heinlein,[Footnote 7] Tom Clancy,[Footnote 8] Stephen Hawking,[Footnote 9] Friedrich Nietzsche,[Footnote 10] Julius Caesar,[Footnote 11], D. H. Lawrence,[Footnote 12] and great religious texts of the world. The books were not in any order and some were upright, some were laying on their sides.  

One neat row held leather bound journals, all the same general design, though with slightly differing materials. These were the journals of his mentor and those preceding him all the way back to the Original Merlin.[13]

Word of JimEdit

McCoy is over 300 years old. He and the Merlin have known each other for a very long time and they fought on opposite sides in the French and Indian wars.[38]


  1. Ozarks - wikipedia
  2. Hoss - wikipedia
  3. Bonanza - wikipedia
  4. Hoss - wikipedia
  5. French and Indian War - wikipedia
  6. Stephen King - wikipedia
  7. Robert A. Heinlein - wikipedia
  8. Tom Clancy - wikipedia
  9. Stephen Hawking - wikipedia
  10. Friedrich Nietzsche - wikipedia
  11. Julius Caesar - wikipedia
  12. D. H. Lawrence - wikipedia


See alsoEdit

External referencesEdit

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