Dresden Files
Winter Court

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


The best thing about my faerie godmother is that the creepy just keeps on coming.Harry Dresden[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 a high Sidhe within the Winter Court and held a position of power up until her imprisonment by Mab. She was considered by Aurora to be more powerful than Maeve and second in power only to Mab.[3] 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.[4]


I don’t make metaphors, Harry. I’m too busy being one.— The Leanansidhe[4]

Back when Mab was originally the Winter Lady, the Leanansidhe was her equivalent to Jenny Greenteeth, her handmaiden and sidekick. So when Mab ascended as the Winter Queen, the Leanansidhe got promoted too.[5]

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.[6] This deal was reinforced by another similar deal made by Dresden in Grave Peril.[7] The debt from these deals was sold to Queen Mab before Summer Knight.[8]

In the series[]

Grave Peril[]

Lea and her hounds

Lea capturing Harry in the Nevernever.

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.[9]

Dresden later dreams of the time when he was granted power by Lea in order to defeat Justin DuMorne.[10]

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.[7] It also allowed Lea more power over him, allowing her to heal a cut on his head.[11]

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.[4] 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.[12] At the same party, Lea is gifted a small black case and in return she gives Amoracchius to St. Claire.[13]

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.[14]

Summer Knight[]

In Summer Knight, the Leanansidhe has sold her debt over Harry Dresden to Queen Mab.[8] She does, however, indirectly assist Dresden, by posing as an elderly woman calling the cops during a fight with Grum.[15]

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.[16]

Lea is mentioned, but not seen, during the Faerie Courts' battle over Chicago.[17]

Dead Beat[]

In Dead Beat, Harry Dresden describes the Leanansidhe as an extremely powerful Faerie, comparing her with the Faerie Queens.[18]

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.[19]

Proven Guilty[]

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.[20]

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.[20]

"Wild Card"[]

In "Wild Card", Harry Dresden invokes the Leanansidhe for information on and help against the fae instigating a turf war in Chicago; she requests him to pay the debt he incurred with her many years earlier when he asked the power to defeat Justin DuMorne in order to save Elaine Mallory from him. In the end, neither got fully what they wished, as Puck exacted payment for a service he rendered Mab a long time earlier.[21]


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.[22]

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.[23] 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.[24]

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.[25]

The Leanansidhe accompanies Dresden's team to Chichén Itzá.[26] 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.[27] 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.[28] 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.[29] 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.[30]

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.[31]

Ghost Story[]

In Ghost Story, Mab sent the Leanansidhe to continue Molly Carpenter's training in magic due to her obligation to Harry Dresden. She emphasizes that "pain is an excellent teaching tool" and is doubtful when Carpenter tells her that Dresden's shade is in town.[32] She does however, announce herself to Dresden as he watches Carpenter fight some Fomor servitors. She tells him that she is instructing Carpenter in the use of fear and terror. After the fight, Dresden realizes that it was set up for his benefit as well as Carpenter's. He then makes her pay for the girl's breakfast.[33]

Sometimes, the Leanansidhe takes turns with Carpenter and poses as the Ragged Lady.[34] She tells Dresden that the knife she traded for Amoracchius was a very treacherous gift and that part of the reason she gave him such power at the battle of Chichén Itzá was because he defeated Bianca St. Claire before she could.[1]

The Leanansidhe bargains with Dresden for the rest of the tale of his battle with He Who Walks Behind in exchange for three questions.[1] In answer to the first two questions, she provides Dresden with information regarding Ghost's memories and Corpsetaker. She is prevented from directly answering his third question ("who killed me?") by Eternal Silence, so she gives him three true statements regarding the killer. The Leananshide seems to have respect for, even showing deference toward Eternal Silence.[35]


In Bombshells, the Leanansidhe is involved in Molly Carpenter's training in survival, rough living and combat. Lea informs Carpenter of the Thomas Raith's location, in a Svartalf stronghold. She has also been subtly training Carpenter to deal effectively with certain Svartalf magical security, and provided the information about Raith as a means of motivating the girl to raid the stronghold and disrupt the Svartalves' treaty with the Fomor. Lea states that the Fomor are, and always have been, betrayers. Her intent was to reveal this to the Svartalves. As she walks off, Lea reveals to Carpenter that Dresden is not alive - yet.[36]

Cold Days[]

In Cold Days, the Leanansidhe provides pizza to the Za-Lord's Guard in Harry Dresden's absence[37] and her influence on Molly Carpenter has started to show.[38][39] Carpenter has a room prepared for Dresden at her apartment because thanks to Lea, she knew Dresden was alive. She also tells Dresden that Lea agrees Demonreach is close to exploding.[40]

Carpenter refers to her as "Auntie Lea", and tells Dresden that she has been teaching her the locations of Ley line nodes around Lake Michigan. The closeness of their interactions, and the potential that Mab may be infected by the contagion causes Dresden to worry that Lea may have passed the contagion to Carpenter.[41]

Sarissa tells Maeve that Mab cured the Leanansidhe of the contagion, but that the cure required the subject to be willing.[42]

Mab tells Dresden that the Leanansidhe was infected by Morgana's Athame, which was given to her at Bianca St. Claire's ball. Lea infected Maeve before Mab could stop it.[43]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ghost Story, ch. 30
  2. Grave Peril, ch. 5
  3. Summer Knight, ch. 17
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Grave Peril, ch. 27
  5. Jim Butcher 2015 DragonCon
  6. Jim Butcher 2009 Bitten by Books Q&A
  7. 7.0 7.1 Grave Peril, ch. 21
  8. 8.0 8.1 Summer Knight, ch. 2
  9. Grave Peril, ch. 6
  10. Grave Peril, ch. 9
  11. Grave Peril, ch. 22
  12. Grave Peril, ch. 28
  13. Grave Peril, ch. 29
  14. Grave Peril, ch. 33
  15. Summer Knight, ch. 11
  16. Summer Knight, ch. 23
  17. Summer Knight, ch. 32
  18. Dead Beat, ch. 08
  19. Dead Beat, ch. 21
  20. 20.0 20.1 Proven Guilty, ch. 39
  21. "Wild Card"
  22. Changes, ch. 15
  23. Changes, ch. 30
  24. Changes, ch. 31
  25. Changes, ch. 38
  26. Changes, ch. 40
  27. Changes, ch. 41
  28. Changes
  29. Changes, ch. 46
  30. Changes, ch. 48
  31. Changes, ch. 49
  32. Ghost Story, ch. 21
  33. Ghost Story, ch. 22 and 23
  34. Ghost Story, ch. 23
  35. Ghost Story, ch. 33 and 34
  36. Bombshells
  37. Cold Days, ch. 9
  38. Cold Days, ch. 14
  39. Cold Days, ch. 18
  40. Cold Days, ch. 13
  41. Cold Days, ch. 28
  42. Cold Days, ch. 51
  43. Cold Days, ch. 53

See also[]