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The Leanansidhe, or Lea, is a faerie of the Winter Court and Harry Dresden's faerie godmother. She first appears in Grave Peril.

DescriptionEdit

I don’t make metaphors, Harry. I’m too busy being one.— The Leanansidhe[1]
The Leanansidhe has reddish hair that curls down past her hips. She has flawless skin, high cheekbones, and lush, full, bloodred lips. Her eyes are golden and have vertical slits instead of pupils, like a cat.[2]

She is considered one of the higher Sidhe within the Winter Court and held a position of power up until her imprisonment by Mab. She has made no objection to Harry Dresden calling her "Lea", although she has objected to being called a faerie rather than one of the Sidhe.[1]

Despite being 'treated', it is still readily apparent that, by mortal standards, she is less than mentally sound, evidenced by her childlike behavior and excitement at times of extreme violence such as Dresden's victory in the duel near the conclusion of Changes.[3]

BiographyEdit

Her torture sessions essentially handed Dresden Dumbo’s magic feather: they made him think he was better, stronger, and faster without actually altering a damned thing, otherwise. And it worked. He overcame DuMorne.Jim Butcher[4]
The Leanansidhe made a deal with Harry Dresden when he fled from his adopted father, who had tried to coerce him into performing black magic at the age of 16. The Leanansidhe agreed to give Dresden the strength necessary to defeat DuMorne, in exchange for his life, fortune, and power. In actuality Dresden already had the strength he needed, so all Lea really gave him was confidence, probably saving his life and mind.[4] This deal was reinforced by another similar deal made by Dresden during the course of Grave Peril.[5] The debt from these deals was sold to Queen Mab before the events of Summer Knight.[6]

In the seriesEdit

Grave PerilEdit

In Grave Peril, the Leanansidhe has spent many years attempting to get Harry Dresden to honor his bargain and become hers to which she has expressed the desire to turn him into a hellhound as evident in which Lea chases Dresden and Michael Carpenter in the Nevernever.[7]

Dresden later dreams of the time when he was granted power by Lea in order to defeat Justin DuMorne.[8]

During The Nightmare's attack on Dresden and Charity Carpenter, Lea assists Dresden by providing him the advice needed to thwart the Nightmare's attack. In exchange, he promises again to follow her, which he soon breaks, resulting in her gaining possession of Amoracchius.[5] It also allowed Lea more power over him, allowing her to heal a cut on his head.[9]

Lea appears again at Bianca St. Claire's masquerade party where it is revealed that Dresden is weakened in her presence due to breaking his word to her three times. Susan Rodriguez bargains with Lea to cure him and in exchange Lea takes a year of Rodriguez's memory.[1] The faerie seals the bargain and leaves Rodriguez with no memory at all of Dresden - the year taken was not contiguous, but rather consisted of every moment Rodriguez had spent with Dresden.[10] At the same party, Lea is gifted a small black case and in return she gives Amoracchius to St. Claire.[11]

The next time Lea catches Dresden is again in the Nevernever. After he poisons himself, Lea makes a deal to do him no harm for a year and a day provided he remains in the mortal world. She points out that no such deal was made with others in Faerie and summons allies to chase Dresden down.[12]

Summer KnightEdit

In Summer Knight, the Leanansidhe has sold her debt over Harry Dresden to Queen Mab.[6] She does, however, indirectly assist Dresden, by posing as an elderly woman calling the cops during a fight with Grum.[13]

When Dresden summons her, she informs him that her gift from Bianca St. Claire was a dark-handled Athame of great power. She then takes him to an ethereal Chicago-over-Chicago and a great Stone Table on his task for Mab.[14]

Lea is mentioned, but not seen, during the Faerie Courts' battle over Chicago.[15]

Dead BeatEdit

In Dead Beat, Harry Dresden describes the Leanansidhe as an extremely powerful Faerie, comparing her with the Faerie Queens.[16]

He tries to Summon her, but Queen Mab answers instead (having taken Lea's duties upon herself), informing him that his godmother is at the moment "tied up" due to challenging Mab's authority.[17]

Proven GuiltyEdit

In Proven Guilty, the Leanansidhe is shown to be trapped in Arctis Tor, exhibiting signs of a personality more ruthless and devious than her dominant one. She reveals the nature of Lloyd Slate's torture and that Mab imprisoned her as a result of her own arrogance with power. She states that she knows "who, what and whose" Thomas Raith is before confirming that Harry Dresden's use of Summer fire brought all of the Winter Court to Arctis Tor.[18]

When Dresden tries to free her, Lea stops him and tells him she cannot be trusted. A personality struggle takes place within her and Dresden leaves her behind.[18]

ChangesEdit

In Changes, the Leanansidhe lulls the vampire parts of Susan Rodriguez and Martin to sleep, possibly demonstrating a way to treat half vampirism. Lea claims that Mab was treating her for an ailment during her imprisonment. She informs Harry Dresden that she maintains the garden on the Nevernever side of his apartment. She says that she will safeguard the treasures he buried there. At Dresden's request, the Leanansidhe admits that Margaret LeFay left something in her care to give to him and hands him his mother's jewel which contains all her knowledge of Ways.[19]

Lea is present at the Stone Table when Dresden makes his bargain with Mab to take up the Winter Knight's Mantle. She reminds him of her warning years ago to never let Mab bring him to the Stone Table. While there, she acts as interpreter for Mab as apparently the Winter Queen's true voice would make his ears bleed.[20] After the bargain is made, Mab assigns the Leanansidhe with the task of aiding Dresden on his quest, including an allowance for Lea to indulge herself.[21]

Lea picks up Dresden and Rodriguez in a limo driven by Glenmael and outfits them for the quest. She returns Dresden's stash, including Bob and the Swords of the Cross.[22]

The Leanansidhe accompanies Dresden's team to Chichén Itzá.[23] During their excursion through the Yucatán Jungle, she turns the whole party (except Mouse) into dogs, allowing them to move with much more speed and much less noise than otherwise. Mouse challenges her when she is reluctant to return them to normal.[24] She is appreciative of both Dresden and Molly Carpenter's skills during their initial assault on the temple and magnifies Dresden's voice as he challenges Arianna Ortega. Upon seeing Alamaya, she remarks that she has not sacrificed a holy virgin in ages.[25] As the Red King and the Lords of Outer Night are preparing a powerful strike against them, the Leanansidhe uses a small emerald to summon the Grey Council.[3] During the final battle with the Red King, she impersonated one of the Lords of Outer Night and struck down some of the actual Lords.[26]

At the conclusion of the battle, Ebenezar McCoy tells Dresden that it would seem Lea and Donar Vadderung ran their own game during the recent events. Lea states that she "negotiated" with Vadderung to arrange a Way that led directly back to Saint Mary of the Angels.[27]

Ghost StoryEdit

In Ghost Story, Mab sent the Leanansidhe to continue Molly Carpenter's training in her obligation to his Oath of Fealty—combat skills constitute an important part of it.[28] Lea talks with Dresden's ghost while watching Carpenter fight the Fomor servitors. Dresden makes her buy Carpenter's breakfast.[29] Sometimes, the Leanansidhe takes turns with Carpenter and poses as the Ragged Lady. [30] Dresden recalls in vivid detail his battle with He Who Walks Behind. the Leanansidhe bargains with Dresden for the rest of the tale in exchange for three questions.[31] Lea told Dresden about Corpsetaker for his second question. She couldn't answer him directly about "who killed him" so she gave Dresden's ghost three "true" answers despite "Eternal Silence"'s warnings.[32]

BombshellsEdit

In Bombshells, the Leanansidhe is involved in Molly Carpenter's training in survival, rough living and combat, before assigning her in the rescue of Thomas Raith in the Svartalf stronghold.[33]

Cold DaysEdit

In Cold Days, Molly Carpenter states that Auntie Leanansidhe taught her the locations of ley nodes around Lake Michigan a few months prior. Harry Dresden makes her mark the locations on a map.[34] The ailment afflicting Lea was an Outsider entity called "Nemesis" with a mind controlling influence taking possession of who it inhabits. Mab can cure the Outsider taint given time and the willingness of the afflicted. As Maeve was not willing to change back to normal, Mab could not cure her like she did Lea.[35]

Word of JimEdit

Lea serves as Harry Dresden's godmother because of a deal she made with his mother, Margaret LeFay, before she died. Not much is known about the deal other than that she was in a rush, so she wasn't as detailed as she would have wanted it to have been.[36]

Lea first appeared to Dresden before he was adopted by Justin DuMorne, although he did not know who she was other than a lady who did nice things for him, until after his adoption.[37]

In mythEdit

In Celtic myth, the leanan sídhe ("fairy mistress") is a fae or type of fae known for taking human lovers and providing them with artistic inspiration, at the cost of madness and an early grave.

ReferencesEdit

See alsoEdit