Ethniu[Footnote 4] is a Celtic Titan. She wields the Eye of Balor, who was her father and the Celtic mythological leader of the Fomor,[Footnote 2] along with a bronze skin made by Greek Hecatoncheires.[Footnote 1] She first appears in Peace Talks, but is mentioned as early as "Bombshells" and has influenced world events since the fall of the Red Court in Changes.
Her voice was sex and chocolate and hot soup and a bath on a cold, rainy night. It was a voice that promised things, that you could find yourself listening to with absolute intensity.— Harry Dresden
Ethniu is a nine foot tall goddess, immortally beautiful, and wearing a formfitting metal skin of titanic bronze. She has long, thick silver hair, has an emerald green eye, and in the other eye is recessed the Eye of Balor.
In the series
I offer you something I was never given: a choice.— Ethniu
In Peace Talks, Ethniu attends the Accorded peace summit with her retinue of Fomor servitors and her second, King Corb of the Fomor, who she holds at the end of a leash. Her minions kill all of the mortals in the summit just to make a point, and she marks her own entry by blasting through Mab's incredibly powerful defenses to kick her clear through her throne and through several walls behind it, leaving her broken temporarily. She uses the opportunity to deliver a speech, lamenting the march of humanity's progress (holding particular contempt for Baron Marcone) and how the supernatural world has grown soft. To remedy this, she intends to completely wipe out the city of Chicago in order to rile up the mortals and cause chaos, forcing the supernatural world to defend itself from their wrath, to grow strong again or die.
She offers everyone a choice, to stand aside or die by her wrath. Although Ethniu shows deference to Vadderung, she insists that everyone abandon the mortal world, and then unleashes the power of the Eye of Balor on Chicago — destroying the power grid even as she and her retinue vanishes.
In Battle Ground, Mab indicates that Ethniu chose Chicago to assault purely for an opportunity to attack Mab in vengeance. The White Council's move to completely halt the Fomor advance forces Ethniu to take the field herself, sending Jotnar to break forward and unleashing the Eye of Balor on a skyscraper filled with Marcone's troubleshooters. She continues down Lake Shore Drive, destroying buildings on her way to confront Mab. When Dresden's volunteers decimated a fifth of King Corb's legion, Ethniu used the Eye to incinerate hundreds of them, allowing the legion to resume its advance. At some point during the battle's prelude, she has Listen lead an assault on Michael Carpenter's home.
Ethniu stops to plan with Listen and King Corb, saving Listen from Corb while also agreeing to Corb's plan to assault Mab directly. Ethniu demands that Mab yield, but Mab refuses, and withstands a direct blast from the Eye. Dresden then came before her and had Waldo Butters distract her while he summoned Titania, who Ethniu also sought to strike with the Eye, but in so doing she created a downpour that grounded out the chaotic energy the Eye needed to function. Left with a useless weapon, she fights Odin, the Erlking, and Titania all at once and wins, albeit with wounds afterward. Waldo again stops Titania from attacking Dresden, and when Marcone arrives with an army of his own, she flees to the legion of Fomor to rally a defense.
Ethniu uses a mound of corpses to survey the battlefield and maintain advantage, striking first at the Blackstaff and holding off assaults until Sigrun Gard breaks her ankle. She manages to kill Gregori Cristos, disables the Blackstaff and the Archive, dislocates River Shoulders' shoulder, and breaks Listens-to-Wind's back while in bear-form. Still not done, she defeats both Knights of the Cross, although they managed to draw her blood in a wound that she quickly cauterizes. However, at a critical moment before she unleashes the Eye once more, Gungnir the spear she stole from Odin suddenly betrays her, twisting into the Eye of Balor to unleash the blast full in her face. This blasts off her left arm and destroys her skull, and although she survives, the damage is enough that Lara Raith's flying kick to the back of her head sends the Eye flying from her skull, which Marcone recovers.
After hunting down Marcone, he taunts her as a fool and throws the Eye into Lake Michigan. While going to retrieve it she snaps his neck, but closing the distance allowed Marcone to draw her blood with an infernal knife of his own. When she emerges from the water, Marcone distracts her with the help of Thorned Namshiel, until she drives him into the lake. She turns to Dresden, only for her to entrap her in a circle of power in the form of Bob. Weakened, Ethniu struggles against Dresden's will and attempts to use a vision of Listen killing his family to demoralize him, but he realizes that his family is safe while Ethniu assumes that Listen betrayed her. She attempts to break his will, but his memory of his daughter keeps him strong, and enables him to complete the binding. Once done, Demonreach is summoned to contain her, aided by the Spear of Destiny. Demonreach crashes down upon her in a tidal wave and drags her down to the prison.
- Peace Talks, ch. 30
- Battle Ground, ch. 25
- Peace Talks, ch. 29-30
- Battle Ground, ch. 6
- Battle Ground, ch. 15
- Battle Ground, ch. 17
- Battle Ground, ch. 19
- Battle Ground, ch. 34
- Battle Ground, ch. 26
- Battle Ground, ch. 28
- Battle Ground, ch. 29-30
- Battle Ground, ch. 31
- Battle Ground, ch. 32
- Battle Ground, ch. 33