Dresden Files

Thorn manacles are a form of manacles used to prevent the cuffed person from using magic. They're first mentioned in Grave Peril and first appear in Dead Beat.


Wizards or practitioners who call on their magic while locked in the manacles writhe while dozens of sharp points prick into the wearer's wrist. They have been used on witches and wizards for centuries.[1]

According to Quintus Cassius, formerly of the Order of the Blackened Denarius, Nicodemus Archleone himself has designed the manacles he puts on Dresden. Dresden himself suspects the Red Court designed them for their war with the White Council.[2]

According to Lash, however, the manacles were made by troll smiths of the Unseelie Court, and to overcome the bindings of the manacles one needs to seek the bane to those who made them. Dresden did it with iron and sunlight, the bane to trolls.[2]

In the series[]

Grave Peril[]

In Grave Peril, Harry Dresden has a nightmare in which he is locked in silver manacles which pierced his wrists like thorns, while being torturing by The Leanansidhe in a cave filled with translucent crystal.[3]

Dead Beat[]

In Dead Beat, Harry Dresden is locked in a pair of thorn manacles by Quintus Cassius, while torturing him in the Field Museum of Natural History.[1]

Proven Guilty[]

In Proven GuiltyDarby Crane and his assistant Lucius Glau abduct Harry Dresden and Henry Rawlins. Dresden wakes up in a pair of thorn manacles as well as a gag and hood at the Full Moon Garage, all to keep him from using his magic. When he attempts to reach for his magic, he feels the manacles become a frozen agony so strong they wipes out all thought. After a brief discussion with Lasciel to plot an escape, Dresden dislocates all the joints in his bad left hand and painfully squeezes it out of the manacle.[2]

Word of Jim[]

In a Barnes and Noble Q&A Jim Butcher explained the way the manacles work: by diverting the incoming flow of magic to the Nevernever so the wizard would be unable to use it.[4]