Black Council

He Who Walks Before is a Walker which Harry Dresden nicknames Sharkface. He is also named Gatebreaker, Harbinger, Feargiver, and Hopeslayer.[1] He is first seen in Cold Days


Sharkface is a Walker from the Outside; he is the instrument with which the Outsiders plan to enter the universe.(reference needed)

When he first enters McAnally's Pub, he appears like a giant rag ball similar to what is used in a carwash, only spherical in shape as it rolls, creating havoc. Standing, he appears to be humanoid in shape -- tall, lanky and covered in a garment made of strips of rags. He's tall enough to hit the ceiling fans, hairless and without eyes, only smooth skin where they once were. He has pearly skin with stripes, like on a shark. His mouth gapes open minus teeth with a bone ridge where they would be on a human. Its lips are black and black drool drips down to its chin.[2]

Harry Dresden describes his power as "not greater than Mab. But his is horribly, unbearably deeper than hers".[1] Sharkface is capable of launching a psychic attack felt as an intense wave of despair.[2][1] It can sense the world without its missing eyes.[2] He can split into multiple identical shapes, all independently fighting.[3]

The rag strips on his cloak can defect bullets and grab to surfaces. They can even separate off the main garment and seemingly of their own volition, pick up furniture and throw it with superhuman force.[2]

He is the general of the Outsiders on the barges, in Cold Days.[3] In this book, he leads a plot to free the monsters—Naagloshii and the Dark Gods—imprisoned underneath Demonreach, while blowing up the island and half the Midwest.

He calls McAnally "Watcher".[2] Mac comments says "It's only the first." After the fight, Mac adds that there are three[2] Outsiders. He Who Walks Before and the previously-mentioned He Who Walks Behind (who Dresden met immediately after escaping DuMorne) are two of them. (Since we know that there are countless Outsiders at the Gates, presumably these three are the leaders.)

In the seriesEdit

Storm FrontEdit

The first mention of Sharkface is in Storm Front where he is briefly mentioned in the rambling of the Three Eye junkie Dresden meets in the police station. Upon locking eye balls on Dresden the unnamed man begin to babble, shouting "Wizard! I see you! I see you, wizard! I see the things that follow, those who walk before and He Who Walks Behind! They come, they come for you!"[4]

Cold DaysEdit

In Cold Days, Sharkface attacked McAnally's Pub when Dresden refuses to give himself up. McAnally and Thomas Raith back of Dresden. Dresden names him Sharkface based on his appearance and manner. Dresden breaks his psychic assault and attacks him with fire combined with Soulfire. Then he threw an unexpected punch at him with an ice-coated fist. He threw bottles of alcohol at Dresden making the fire flare. Sharkface hid in his rags and left. Dresden put out the fires with ice. Dresden told Mac and Thomas that he was an Outsider.[2]

Dresden explains to Thomas what an Outsider is and how it's different from creatures from the Nevernever and just how dangerous they are, though few know very much about them—Outsiders are not of this world or universe. Dresden's intuition told him that the Outsiders are planning a jailbreak. Mac refused to be a part of the fight to stop them or tell Dresden anything about them. As Dresden is leaving, Mac covertly informs Dresden that there are three Walkers using three beer bottles as a message.[5]

Off the shores of Demonreach where Dresden and the Wild Hunt tried to foil his plot to free the Naagloshii and the Dark Gods buried underneath the island. Outsiders used three barges as platforms for a huge spell. Dresden fended off He Who Walks Before's psychic attack and demanded to know who he is, asking three times. Before he dissolved his misty shape, he told Dresden that his real name is He Who Walks Before.[1]

Dresden confronts him later and they battle. At some point Sharkface tries to recruit Dresden. Just when Dresden thought he can't defeat him, the Water Beetle exits a veil to the tune of "We will, we will rock you"...stomp, stomp, clap...stomp, stomp, clap. The Beetle rams the barge. Dresden shoots him in the skull adding energy through the barrel of his Winchester. Sharkface's skull exploded into black ichor while his cloak of rags threw his body into the lake. A black cloud escaped his body with a scream and the body and the rag cloak went limp in the icy water.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Cold Days, ch. 43
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Cold Days, ch. 22
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Cold Days, ch. 45
  4. Storm Front, ch. 11
  5. Cold Days, ch. 23

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