Dresden Files
Summer Court

Eldest Gruff or Eldest Brother Gruff is a faerie, specifically a gruff. He is a champion for the Summer Queen, Titania. He first appears in Small Favor.


I dislike being cast as the troll.— Eldest Gruff[1]

Wearing several stoles of the Senior Council, Eldest Gruff appears to be an incredibly powerful individual, who disposed of Magog within seconds. He is the eldest of the Gruff brothers, and also the most powerful. However, he is also the smallest of his family. Eldest was also the most personable of the Gruffs, willing to speak with Harry Dresden on normal terms and even giving him the chance to recover before their fight.[1] He told Dresden that he personally admired the young wizard, and had wished to avoid the fight altogether if possible, but will still fight to kill Dresden, albeit with great regret, since it was his queen's order.

According to Harry Dresden, Eldest Gruff is about five foot high, five foot two at the most. He wears a robe with a cowl pulled down. He has curling ram horns, goat-like features, long white beard, yellow eyes with an hourglass pupil. He carries a wooden staff in his right hand, carved with runes that look very much like Dresden's. Around his rope belt hang three purple stoles of the Senior Council, indicating that he killed three of the most powerful wizards on the planet.[1] Like the Faerie Queens, the Eldest Gruff wears a mantle that passes on at the death of the wearer.[2]

In the series[]

Small Favor[]

In Small Favor, he was sent to Chicago defeat Harry Dresden by order of Queen Titania, but had been confounded by Dresden's spell using Little Chicago. When Dresden used fire magic to attack Tessa seeing Eldest Gruff was able to track him to the island Demonreach, just as his younger, (and larger), brother did at Union Station.. Eldest Gruff destroyed Magog when he refused to get out of his way. Dresden cleverly got him to back off by redeeming his boon (favor) with the Summer Court that came with his silver leaf pin to get him to leave the battlefield long enough for Dresden to leave as well, removing the need for Eldest Gruff to continue pursuing him. Dresden did this by asking for a freshly made doughnut, the real kind from Chicago, not a construct, which had to have white frosting and sprinkles on it.[1]

Later, when Dresden reaches the shores of Chicago, his brother Thomas has coffee waiting for him in the car. Next to the coffee is a brown paper bag containing a cake doughnut with white frosting and sprinkles—still warm. Thomas Raith is perplexed how that got there. Harry Dresden just ate in utter joy.[3]

Turn Coat[]

In Turn Coat, Donald Morgan reveals that Titania's retainer, through whom he arranged protection from the Queen, had told him the story of Harry Dresden's request for a doughnut. Apparently, the story has spread. The entire Summer Court has been laughing about it for months.[4]

Cold Days[]

In Cold Days, Eldest Gruff greets Harry Dresden at his birthday party in Arctis Tor, he's friendly and gives him his best wishes. He's acquainted with Sarissa, being aware of some secret concerning an obligation that he promises to continue to keep quiet about.[5]

Titania revealed Eldest Gruff had given her wise counsel that killing Dresden would not bring Aurora back to her. Dresden thinks to himself that he owes Eldest Gruff a beer for speaking on his behalf.[6]


See also[]