Dresden Files
Senior Council
White Council

Rashid is a human wizard, and a member of the Senior Council. He holds the position of the Gatekeeper, and is referred to as such throughout the series. He first appears in Summer Knight.


There is always a price to pay for knowledge. Always.— The Gatekeeper[1]

Rashid is the quietest of the wizards on the Senior Council. He stays out of most of the partisan politics and has a knack for knowing things he shouldn't know.[2] Although his religion is not mentioned, he appears to be Muslim.[3]

He is taller than Harry Dresden, standing at seven feet tall, and thin.[4] He typically dresses in a very dark purple, almost black cloak that covers him from head to toe with a hood that hides his face in deep shadows.[1] At council meetings, he wears the black robe and purple stole of the other Senior members, although his stole is darker, almost black, and has a deep cowl which covers his face entirely. He wears black leather gloves on his hands.[4][3]

Rashid has a long face with sharp features that are weathered like old leather, short beard with silver running through it, and short, stiff, brush of silver hair. One eye is dark, the other has a pair of horrible old silver scars running through it from hairline to jaw. The injured eye was replaced with a silver ball bearing.[1] Rashid has an artificial eye, which he apparently can use to track possible future outcomes.[1] The false eye is made from the same crystal material as the Outer Gates, and is tied to his detection abilities; when not at the battlefield at the Gates, he disguises it with a veil or glamour to make it appear as the steel ball.[5]

He has a resonant, gentle voice and his English has a gentle accent, part British and part something else, either Indian or Middle Eastern.[4] He has a rich deep laugh, like his speaking voice, that is somehow more—filled with warmth and purity that seems to well up from "some untapped source of concentrated, unrestrained joy".[1] Rashid has more of a sense of humor than some of his contemporaries on the Senior Council, and appears willing to go behind their backs to some extent if he feels it necessary.[3] Like Dresden, he has the ability to Listen.[4]

His raw power is less than de facto strongest wizard on the White Council the Merlin's, but his use of his magic shows an exceeding finesse and skill.[6] He only reluctantly expends his power and never wastes any of it.(reference needed) He has been shown to be very adept at wards[7] and opening Ways[3] It is strongly suggested that he has the ability to view future events in some manner; however, he can only reveal what he sees in the vaguest terms, to prevent any possibility of a paradox or a violation of the Sixth Law of Magic.[8]

In the series[]

Grave Peril[]

In Grave Peril, although he has not met Rashid, Harry Dresden mentions him when Bob suggests that they could be dealing with an Old One; saying that if it were, Guardian spells would be alerting the Gatekeeper.[9]

Summer Knight[]

In Summer Knight, a vote on Harry Dresden's status as a wizard comes down to Rashid, but he stalls long enough to ominously presage the arrival of Ancient Mai's messenger. He initiates a private Listening conversation with Dresden where he again shows his uncanny knowledge of the Winter Queen, Mab's actions and questions whether Mab is involving herself in White Council affairs, or whether they are meddling in hers. Before ending the conversation, he inexplicably asks for the date, and when Dresden tells him, responds with "Ah. Of course." He then decides to use his vote to initiate a trial by task - Dresden is to fulfill Mab's request and secure right of passage on the Ways through Winter territory.[4]

He appears when Dresden is stuck in a tree and assists him in getting down. Rashid tells Dresden that although his vision is limited, he knows that Dresden fulfilled his part of the mission for Mab, and that she will keep her bargain to grant the Council safe passage. Dresden is given the chance to step away and go home, but decides to see the matter through. Rashid responds saying that he will not vote against Dresden and that if he had chosen to leave, Rashid would have killed him. Then he gives Dresden a small bag containing two items: a small piece of the Stone Table on fine silvery thread to lead Dresden to the table itself; and some gel for the eyes to enable him to see through glamour and veils of the Sidhe. Although this would constitute interfering in the trial, Rashid tells Dresden that "What the Council does not know does not hurt it." He then creates a Way to Dresden's apartment and wishes him luck.[3]

After the battle of Chicago-over-Chicago, Rashid is present when Dresden is carried home. He asks William Borden an unknown question.[10]

Dead Beat[]

In Dead Beat, Rashid, along with Ebenezar McCoy, Ancient Mai, and other Senior Council members 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. After being counter-attacked in the Nevernever by Vampires, Demons and Outsiders, Rashid and Arthur Langtry, the Merlin, raise a powerful ward behind the retreating wardens.[7]

Proven Guilty[]

In Proven Guilty, Rashid sends a note for Harry Dresden's eyes only, via Ebenezar McCoy asking him to look into some Black magic happening in Chicago.[11]

When Dresden discusses this with Bob, who shivers at the mention of The Gatekeeper, Bob explains that Rashid must have received the information as a result of hindsight, and that he is deliberately being vague in order to avoid creating a paradox and violating one of the Seven Laws of Magic.[8]

Later, he stalls the vote in Molly Carpenter's trial. Taking an extended amount of time to deliberate, he is eventually pressed to vote by the Merlin, Arthur Langtry at which point Rashid breaks the Circle of Power and opens the doors, letting in McCoy and other retreating Wardens from Anastasia Luccio's attacked Warden Boot-Camp. Once the rest of the Senior Council and Michael Carpenter are in attendance, Carpenter is given a fair vote.[12] Thanks to the delay fatefully caused by Rashid, she is only sentenced to the Doom of Damocles, rather than executed.[13]

After they discuss the existence of a Black Council, Dresden and McCoy decide not to bring the Gatekeeper into the loop. McCoy says he likely already knows and used the note to point Dresden toward their existence.[13]

Turn Coat[]

In Turn Coat, Rashid attacks Harry Dresden and company at the dock on Demonreach. He instructs Dresden to surrender who refuses. Rashid then tells him, it is "not yet your hour" to challenge the White Council to battle and that what he's about to do will cost lives including Dresden's own. Dresden replies that he is not going to let the Black Council get away with killing an innocent man, Donald Morgan, so they can do it again later. Rashid questions him on what he means by Black Council, and Dresden explains his theory that some people are causing trouble between the powers. Rashid appears to be unsurprised and agrees, adding that there may be reason to think that Dresden is part of that conspiracy. When Dresden swears that it is not him, and asks for a truce to help his friends, Rashid agrees to a five-minute talk. He says he knows a way to the island, having been there before. When Dresden appears ignorant about where Demonreach connects to in the Nevernever, Rashid is shocked and remarks that he can't decide if Dresden is a magnificent liar, or truly ignorant. Dresden's response elicits a genuine laugh out of him. Once Dresden explains his thoughts about the island, Rashid states that the name Demonreach is certainly fitting, and tells him that the source of the ley line is the island - it wells up from it, rather than passing through it. After being warned about the likely failure of his endeavor, Dresden reveals that he has "other assets". Rashid then closes his living eye, and his prosthetic tracks back and forth, as if looking at something. He then says that the chances of Dresden surviving his plan are minimal. Once Dresden steps onto the island, Rashid repeats the ritual and chokes, swearing once he realizes that Dresden claimed the place as a sanctum. Rashid warns Dresden not to tap into the islands power. He also advises that should the traitor die, there will be no proof and both Morgan and Dresden will be executed. When Dresden asks if Rashid could lend a hand, he responds saying that he cannot step foot on the island because Demonreach holds a grudge, which reminds Dresden of the spirit's injury.[1]

He apparently told the other Senior Council members about Dresden claiming Demonreach as a sanctum,[14] and according to Ebenezar McCoy's writings, thinks that warning Dresden about the island's original purpose would be pointless.[15]

During Morgan's trial, when Dresden announces the name of the traitor, Rashid appears unsurprised unlike the rest of the White Council.[15] When the traitor releases the Mordite-infused Mistfiend, he assists the Senior Council in containing it.[16]

After Morgan's trial, Rashid visits Dresden in the infirmary at Headquarters sealing them inside a sonic shield. He asks for Dresden's insight into why the damage Anastasia Luccio sustained from Samuel Peabody's psychic manipulation was so severe. Dresden tells him that Morgan was covering for Luccio who was forced to kill Aleron LaFortier. Rashid lets Dresden know that, though she is fond of Dresden, she was pushed into it by Peabody, likely in order to keep tabs on him and perhaps to kill him if he got too close to the truth.[17]

According to McCoy, Rashid voted with Arthur Langtry, Ancient Mai, Gregori Cristos and Martha Liberty to make the official council position be that the events were the actions of a lone individual motivated by profit. "There is no Black Council."[17]

"Love Hurts"[]

In "Love Hurts", Anastasia Luccio mentions to Harry Dresden that although the Wardens don't have orbital satellites for detecting dark magic, the Gatekeeper may know something about what's going on. She states that Rashid has a gift for sensing problem areas, but that no one has seen him for weeks, which is not unusual.[18]

Cold Days[]

In Cold Days, Rashid is present at the Outer Gates when Mother Summer shows them to Harry Dresden. He looks over and scans each fallen Sidhe Knight who returns through the gates and Dresden realizes that the title “Gatekeeper” refers to these gates.[19] Rashid is impressed that Dresden has managed to find his way to the Gates, even if it was with the help of Mother Summer. He confirms that he shared some camaraderie with Dresden's mother and that they would often have dinner together, discussing their trips through the Ways. He also indicates to Dresden that he knows Margaret was the daughter of Ebenezar McCoy, which Dresden feels would only be the case if McCoy trusted him. Rashid removes his hood and Dresden notices that his left eye is not steel as it appeared the last time they met, but made of the same material as the Outer Gates. He tells Dresden that the other look was a disguise. The Gatekeeper helps guard the Outer Gates of reality from an unending assault of Outsiders, mainly assisting by checking all troops, medics and wounded who return through the gate for the presence of Nemesis. He is impressed that Dresden also is now aware of this contagion. Rashid warns Dresden that he has created a number of problems for himself and attracted attention which he is not aware of yet, before stating that he thinks they could be friends. He agrees with Dresden that one of the functions of the Outer Gates is as a kind of "spiritual CAT scanner" and his false eye allows him to detect Nemesis’ presence. Rashid also imparts Dresden with some advice that "You get used to it". He then says that he knows precisely how it feels to be where Dresden is, before promising to help with the required paperwork to re-establish Dresden’s official identity. Rashid leaves on a flying carpet.[5]


Al-Rashid or Ar-Rashid is one of the 99 names of Allah, translated as "The Guide, Infallible Teacher and Knower".[Footnote 1]

Word of Jim[]

According to Jim Butcher, one gets to the Gatekeeper's domain by walking across the surface of the moon.[Footnote 2]

When asked if Rashid could be "the mad Arab" Abdul Alhazred, Jim replied that Rashid is the one who "took down" Alhazred.[20] Since Alhazred died in the year 738,[Footnote 3] Rashid is presumably over 1300 years old, far older than any other known human wizard.



See also[]