Dresden Files

The Soulgaze is a form of supernatural perception that occurs when a wizard locks gazes with a person for too long. It first appears in Storm Front.


When a mortal looks on something with the Sight, really looks, as a wizard may, the memories of what he sees are indelibly imprinted on him. And when a wizard looks into a person’s eyes, it’s just another way of using the Sight. A two-way use of it, because the person you look at gets to peer back at you, too.— Dresden[1]

When a practicing wizard and a being with a soul (all mortals along with White Court vampires and others) look each other in the eyes, it begins what is known as a soulgaze. It gives the other a window into their soul, which can't be faked. It doesn’t relay specific information (you can’t use it to interrogate someone), but it does give one a vague impression on whether they’re trustworthy or not, or if they've been psychically harmed, etc. Just like if one were to use their Sight, the memory of the gaze doesn’t fade with time, being as sharp years later as when it happened. One circumstance in which a Soulgaze doesn't occur, is when a doctor looked into Harry Dresden's eyes. She didn't so much as look into his eyes, as examine them, which is professional intent.

In the series[]

Storm Front[]

In Storm Front, Harry Dresden exchanges one with John Marcone. Dresden described Marcone as having a “tiger's soul”. Dresden also states that there is something that Marcone did not want anyone to know hiding in the soulgaze. This turned out to be a shooting that incapacitated a little girl.[2] Later, Dresden and Monica Sells Soulgaze. Dresden sees what drives her, protecting her children.[3]

Fool Moon[]

In Fool Moon, Harry Dresden accidentally soulgazes Parker, leader of the Streetwolves while he was holding back the pack from Dresden who was trying to drive away. Dresden saw that Parker had to kill him when he was alone to prove his strength and to keep his position as leader, and that he didn't know anything about the killings.[4]

Later, he deliberately uses one on the main antagonist, Agent Denton, in order to stall for time. His soul is represented as a well ordered structure where everything is in its place, smooth and secure (much like a cop's mind). Then add a couple hundred years of wear and tear: water stains, age spots, rough edges, muddy the skies with polution, the greenery is kill, the people are derelicts. Then all of it covered in a dark think sludge of filth and decay. — A good man who was jaded by years and poisoned by power.[5]

"Ghoul Goblin"[]

In "Ghoul Goblin", Harry Dresden soulgazes Joseph Talbot when the latter was dying. Talbot knew his family was cursed and requests Dresden to end the curse.[6]

Grave Peril[]

In Grave Peril, Harry Dresden remarks on Michael Carpenter insisting on a Soulgaze when the two first met, and recalls that Seeing Carpenter’s soul had made Dresden weep for joy. Later, because Dresden and Susan Rodriguez had once soulgazed, he uses that and his love for her to break through the Leanansidhe's forgetful spell on her while they are trapped in Bianca St. Claire's basement.[1]

Death Masks[]

In Death Masks, when Harry Dresden encountered his first DenarianUrsiel (Rasmussen)—not knowing what it was, he looked into its eyes to find it had a soul. Dresden found the soul of a human chained to a mountain, with a vast demonic face etched across the cliffs above.[7]

Blood Rites[]

In Blood Rites, Harry Dresden shared a soulgaze with Thomas Raith to find out if Thomas was speaking the truth. Dresden described Thomas’ soul as Mount Olypmus if the gods had died. The area was made of black and white marble, and thunder could be heard in the distance. Thomas was standing in front of a mirror, which had an image of some sort of luminous monstrosity. Their mother, Margaret LeFay, speaks to Dresden during the soul gaze and gives him a gift of knowledge in the form of a gem.[8]

Proven Guilty[]

In Proven Guilty, Harry Dresden uses a soulgaze on Molly Carpenter to determine just how stained she has become by her use of Black magic. Molly appeared as normal, but was backed by a hallway of reflections, each showing a potential future that Molly could become.[9]

White Night[]

In White Night, Harry DresdenSoulgazed Helen Beckitt, where he witnessed her memory of watching her child murdered in gang violence perpetrated by Marco Vargassi who intended his bullet for John Marcone.[10]

Dresden witnessed a Soulgaze from the outside for the first time when Lara Raith and Carlos Ramirez Soulgaze each other. Carlos says it was to dissuade himself, apparently from her Succubus lure by seeing the demon inside her.[11]

"Down Town"[]

In "Down Town",

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Turn Coat[]

In Turn Coat, Harry Dresden soulgazes Evelyn Derek, a lawyer at Smith, Cohen and Mackleroy, a law firm in Chicago to determine whether or not she was being controlled mentally.[13]


In ChangesThomas Raith and Molly Carpenter soulgaze. Molly apparently saw how much pain he's in and how alone he is.[14]

Dresden and Martin soulgaze, Martin instigated it. Dresden Saw that Martin is a triple agent, that his whole plan was to have Dresden there, then and cause the end of the Red Court.[15]

Ghost Story[]

In Ghost Story, Harry Dresden looked into Corpsetaker's eyes, no soul gaze occurred.[16] Later, Molly Carpenter soulgazed Corpsetaker inside Butters' stolen body and they proceed to do mind battle.[17]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Grave Peril, ch. 35
  2. Storm Front, ch. 3
  3. Changes, ch. 20
  4. Fool Moon, ch. 9
  5. Fool Moon, ch. 31
  6. "Ghoul Goblin"
  7. Death Masks, ch. 6
  8. Blood Rites, ch. 21
  9. Proven Guilty, ch. 41
  10. White Night, ch. 29
  11. White Night, ch. 35
  12. "Down Town"
  13. Turn Coat, ch. 22
  14. Changes, ch. 27
  15. Changes, ch. 48
  16. Ghost Story, ch. 45
  17. Ghost Story, ch. 48

See also[]