Dresden Files

The War, also called the Vampire War,[39][40][41] generally refers to the attrition between the Red Court and the White Council of wizards.


It’s like the Cold War, only with fewer Republicans.Harry Dresden[42]

The War was kicked off at the end of Grave Peril when Harry Dresden killed Bianca St. Claire.

If the Red Court defeats the White Council, the vampires will take control and do whatever they want, expanding from from Central America to Africa, the Middle East, the former USSR under Stalin and some parts of Asia, all places in chaos. The White Court will move on "civilized" places, and non-practitioners will be on their own with no protection from supernatural predators.[43]


In Grave Peril, at Bianca St. Claire's ball, Bianca St. Claire threatened to kill Lydia with Amoracchius, which would undo the Sword. Harry Dresden and Michael Carpenter had no choice but to stop Bianca and save Lydia. They did so, yet they were surrounded and Susan Rodriguez was taken by a horde of vampires. Dresden, in his pain and fury, began to throw fire around, burning vampires, thralls and anything else nearby. Michael got Dresden and Lydia out with Leanansidhe's help, but Susan was left behind.[44]

Later, Dresden returned to get Susan and Justine back. However Bianca had a trap waiting for them. Waiting with her horde, she ordered them to take him and they attacked him, leaving Dresden unconscious.

Dresden awoke in a locked room with Justine and Susan, who had been poisoned by the vampires' toxin. Bianca intended for Susan to kill Dresden to change her fully into a Red vampire.[45]

In the end, Bianca and the Red King's representative, Don Paolo Ortega declared that Dresden has started a war between the Red Court and the White Council. Bianca bargained that Dresden could go and all will be forgiven, if Susan stays with her. Dresden refused. He called up the spirits of Bianca's victims and with their aid, he escaped with Susan and Justine as Bianca was killed.[11]

In the series[]

Grave Peril[]

At the end of Grave Peril, the White Council is at war. It's been reported that Paris and Berlin have broken into chaos. Harry Dresden receives notice that the White council is coming to Chicago to find out what happened.[46]

Summer Knight[]

In Summer Knight, Ebenezar McCoy gets the news that Archangel, a White Council stronghold in Russia, was attacked by the Red Court. The fortress is destroyed, killing Simon Pietrovich and hundreds of others. There are no survivors. The Wardens say that there is evidence that someone let the killers in past the defenses—a traitor. It would have to be someone who knew the defenses well.[6]

The White Council holds a conclave in Chicago and the Merlin and others accuse Dresden of starting the War and intend to place the blame for a number of deaths on his head. They plan to put it to a general vote that would go against Dresden because most of the Council members are afraid, and since Pietrovich is dead there aren't enough Senior Council votes to block it.[6]

Following Dresden's successful completion of Mab's first favor, safe passport through Winter territories in the Nevernever is granted to the White Council, enabling the wizards to use the Ways and simultaneously winning the vote in Dresden’s favor, sparing his life.[15]

Death Masks[]

In Death Masks, Duke Paolo Ortega challenges Harry Dresden to a duel under the pretense of wanting to end the War.[7] According to Susan Rodriguez, Ortega has killed half a dozen Wardens since the start of War and planned and executed the attack on Archangel.[18]

According to McCoy, the Merlin won't let the Council take the offensive. He thinks that fancy wards will make the Reds give up. The wards have pushed back one major offensive and kept Council members from being attacked and killed in their homes. The Red's allies put pressure on the Council's allies and a few Wardens have died on intelligence missions. But war can't be won from behind a wall. The vampires will eventually take apart or drive off the Council's allies.[47]

Shiro Yoshimo, Dresden's second, tells Dresden that The War is not his fault. He explains that the Red Court has been quietly building their resources for years, and that is how they were able to launch an attack days after Dresden defeated Bianca. Dresden's not the cause, he's the excuse. Paolo Ortega and the Red Court intend to end the White Council in one stroke and the duel is just a means to delay for time since they lost the element of surprise.[48]

Dresden and Ortega's duel is interrupted by Martin when Ortega begins to cheat. As the matter remains unresolved, The War continues. Ortega is injured and retreats to his stronghold at Casaverde,[49] where he is later killed by a falling Soviet satellite, ripped out of orbit and brought down onto his castle by Wizard McCoy.[2]

Dead Beat[]

In Dead Beat, Harry Dresden updates Mortimer Lindquist on that latest battle he knows about in The War. There was a nasty battle in Mexico City three weeks prior in which the "Wardens bloodied the Red Court's Nose" throwing a wrench into their plans.[8]

Captain Anastasia Luccio drafts Harry Dresden, begrudgingly, into the Wardens while telling him the long tale of devastating losses in battle after battle: Cairo, Madrid, Acapulco, Sao Paolo, Athens, Belize, and the most devastating battle was in Sicily. All of their wounded were gassed in a Congo Hospital along with hundreds of human civilians. And, the Reds trapped them in the Ways calling up Demons and Outsiders. Ebenezar McCoy and Martha Liberty came to their aid buying time for the Merlin and the Gatekeeper to put up a shield that held off an army of vampires. That morning, Luccio buried 143 Wardens out of 200.[1]

Dresden informs Donald Morgan and Joseph Listens-to-Wind that he thinks that Cowl had a deal with the Reds to keep the Council busy while he performed the Darkhallow. The Reds would get the Senior Council out of the deal. Morgan thinks the Edinburgh defenses are too good. It would take a god to break the defenses and that's exactly what Cowl was planning to become with the Darkhallow.[50]

Following Luccio's body-swap, Morgan replaces her as the field commander of the Wardens and informs Dresden that he cannot spare any extra Wardens for Dresden's command due to The War.[50]

Proven Guilty[]

In Proven Guilty, the Council's primary allies are the Venatori Umbrorum and the Fellowship of Saint Giles. The Venatori's strength is in analyzing information from a wide variety of sources, while the Fellowship was turning out to be a formidable ally, having been touched by the Red Court's dark powers, and with a real interest in seeing the Red Court’s downfall. Neither group is capable of challenging the Red Court in face-to-face combat, but are quite capable of wreaking havoc on their supply chains, gathering intelligence, and providing support from the mortal side of things. They provide the council with information on the Reds which has bought them needed time to launch successful raids and to regroup.[14]

Ebenezar McCoy asks Dresden to find out through his Faerie contacts why the Faerie Courts have not responded to the Red Court's assault on the Council within Faerie, why they have not retaliated to the incursion. McCoy asks privately, not as an official mission.[14] The reds are watching hospitals, sending hits on the Council's wounded.[51] Dresden learns from Lily and Fix that Mab has forces around the Summer's borders, which keeps Summer from coming to the aid of the Council or the Venatori Umbrorum who are under attack by the Reds.[52]

Later, Fix informs Dresden that the Reds found a major Venatori Umbrorum headquarters in Oregon. The Council answers their call for help, however the Reds interfere with the Ways, causing Wardens to get sidetracked.[53] When Dresden rescues Molly from Arctis Tor, it causes Winter to withdraw from their borders toward their heartlands, which frees Summer forces to aid the Wardens and the Venatori Umbrorum. This in turn results in Donald Morgan getting close to the Red King, almost killing him before they successfully retreat from the combined Summer Court and White Council forces.[54]

Once the Council managed the counter-attack in the Oregon battle, the Red Court attacks Anastasia Luccio's Warden Boot Camp in order to force the Council to retreat. As the Council retreats through the Nevernever, they are again attacked by Outsiders. They eventually make it through to Chicago and interrupt Molly's trial.[16]

At the trial, Lily bestows the Order of the Silver Oak leaf pins to Morgan and Dresden for their heroic actions in recent battles.[29]

White Night[]

In White Night, the new Warden training camp is attacked by two Red Court employed Ghouls, killing two trainees. Harry Dresden explains to Karrin Murphy that the Merlin is still trying to negotiate a peace, but people are still dying.[55]

Most of the Wardens are in India dealing with a number of old bad guys under a Rakshasa who were attacking some monasteries friendly to the Council.[56]

Small Favor[]

In Small Favor, there is evidence that The War has "cooled off" lately. Anastasia Luccio mentions to Harry Dresden that the Red Court is catching its breath and Dresden tells Michael Carpenter that Faerie is on the edge of internal war, which could reignite the war between the Council and the Vampire Courts. Dresden mentions that there is a cease-fire (thanks to his efforts in the internal White Court conflict).[57]

Dresden tells Carpenter that he now has four Wardens under his command, in Atlanta, Dallas, New York, and Boston.[58]

Turn Coat[]

In Turn Coat, both sides are getting their strength back after years of war that is still continuing. But the vampires can replace their losses faster than the Council can. If the White Council dissolves due to internal strife created by the traitor and perpetuated by setting up Donald Morgan for the murder of one of the Senior Council, that could start a feeding frenzy amongst their enemies. This in turn could bring about the collapse of the Council.[59] Joseph Listens-to-Wind agrees that a Council civil war would be devastating for the world and intends to find Morgan guilty in order to prevent it.[60]

The War has reduced the ranks at the White Council headquarters, making the War room of the White Council and the barracks seem lonely and empty.[40]

Between 40 and 50 Wizards are killed by a Mordite-infused Mistfiend. Though this is attributed to the traitor and not the Red Court, it is nonetheless a significant loss for the White Council.[27]

"Love Hurts"[]

In "Love Hurts", Baroness Leblanc, a Red Court vampire, tells Harry Dresden that their nations are not, at the moment, in a state of war. Dresden works out that her actions are an attempt to both weaken the White Court and to create more people (i.e. food) for the Reds to feed upon. She also tells Dresden that there is a special cage reserved for him at the Red Court. Its bars are lined with blades and spikes, so that if he falls asleep, they will cut and gouge him awake. The bottom is a closed bowl nearly a foot deep and there are three spears waiting nearby so that anyone passing by can pause and stab at him. Apparently once he is dead, they intend to tan his skin and turn it into upholstery for one of the chairs in the Red Temple.[61]


In Changes, Duchess Arianna Ortega is the Red Court's plenipotentiary backed by Gregori Cristos, the newest Senior Council member. Though she talks of peace, it's merely a ruse; she has abducted Harry Dresden's daughter and plans to use her in a Bloodline curse.[17] Even so, the ruse effectively blocks any assistance that Dresden might have gotten from the White Council.[62]

Ebenezar McCoy tells Dresden that Arianna Ortega laced the White Council Headquarters with some kind of disease. They're not only restarting The War, they're trying to decapitate the Council. With Headquarters out, they lose the Way nexus around Edinburgh, making a counter-stroke extremely difficult.[5]

When the Red Court puts their final plan into motion, their Bloodline curse backfires thanks to Harry Dresden's intervention, killing every Red Court vampire on the planet. This ends The War.[10]

Ghost Story[]

In Ghost Story, with the Red Court vanquished, the Wardens went from fighting The War with the Vampires to fighting a war with a faceless enemy. They don't have enough Wardens to take care of all the threats.[41]


In Bombshells, Lord Froggy boasts to Listen that the bomb he designed for the Red Court in the Congo was "deadly enough". Molly Carpenter recalls a nerve gas which was used on a hospital tending wounded wizards. The weapon had killed tens of thousands of people in a city far smaller and less crowded than Chicago.[63]


  1. The Red Court vampire strength number is a rough, extrapolated estimate based upon the multitudes on the Pyramid in Chichén Itzá.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Dead Beat, ch. 31
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Death Masks, ch. 33
  3. 3.0 3.1 White Night, ch. 38
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 White Night, ch. 23
  5. 5.0 5.1 Changes, ch. 40
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Summer Knight, ch. 4
  7. 7.0 7.1 Death Masks, ch. 1
  8. 8.0 8.1 Dead Beat, ch. 10
  9. 9.0 9.1 Changes, ch. 46
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 Changes, ch. 49
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Grave Peril, ch. 38
  12. Aftermath
  13. Dead Beat, ch. 26
  14. 14.00 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08 14.09 14.10 Proven Guilty, ch. 2
  15. 15.0 15.1 Summer Knight, ch. 34
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Proven Guilty, ch. 46
  17. 17.0 17.1 Changes, ch. 21
  18. 18.0 18.1 Death Masks, ch. 4
  19. Changes, ch. 44
  20. Changes, ch. 22
  21. White Night, ch. 36
  22. White Night, ch. 35
  23. Blood Rites, ch. 10
  24. Proven Guilty, ch. 47
  25. Proven Guilty, ch. 43
  26. Proven Guilty, ch. 44
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 Turn Coat, ch. 49
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 Summer Knight, ch. 10
  29. 29.0 29.1 Proven Guilty, ch. 45
  30. Changes, ch. 3
  31. White Night, ch. 37
  32. Blood Rites, ch. 29
  33. Cold Days, ch. 33
  34. 34.0 34.1 Skin Game, ch. 43
  35. White Night, ch. 42
  36. Blood Rites, ch. 33
  37. Death Masks, ch. 31
  38. Dead Beat, ch. 42
  39. Summer Knight, ch. 1
  40. 40.0 40.1 Turn Coat, ch. 14
  41. 41.0 41.1 Ghost Story, ch. 9
  42. Death Masks, ch. 17
  43. White Night, ch. 32
  44. Grave Peril, ch. 29-30
  45. Grave Peril, ch. 35-7
  46. Grave Peril, ch. 39
  47. Death Masks, ch. 9
  48. Death Masks, ch. 18
  49. Death Masks, ch. 30
  50. 50.0 50.1 Dead Beat, ch. 43
  51. Proven Guilty, ch. 4
  52. Proven Guilty, ch. 19
  53. Proven Guilty, ch. 36
  54. Proven Guilty, ch. 40
  55. White Night, ch. 5
  56. White Night, ch. 34
  57. Small Favor, ch. 15
  58. Small Favor, ch. 22
  59. Turn Coat, ch. 3
  60. Turn Coat, ch. 15
  61. "Love Hurts"
  62. Changes, ch. 7
  63. Bombshells

See also[]