Archangels are powerful beings who serve God. Directly translated from Greek, "archangel" means "first" or "ruling angel" (the term angel comes from "angellos" meaning "Messenger").
Archangels are high ranking angels who possess unfathomable power, which as of Skin Game, is revealed to exceed that of any other character directly encountered in the series. During a conversation with Harry Dresden, Harry suggests that Uriel would be capable of destroying the solar system; Uriel however, corrects Harry by stating that he had the power to obliterate several galaxies. In spite of this power however, there appear to be a series of extremely restrictive "rules", and prospectively even "laws" which limit their exercise of such power. Some "rules" can apparently be bent, particularly by fallen angels, as a member of the Fallen did in Changes by influencing Harry. Another potential incidence of a "rule" being bent was when an entity of tremendous power worked with the Denarians in Small Favour to create the massive pentacle. When such rules are violated, it appears that agents of God can only balance the scale, not retaliate.
In Skin Game, Uriel reveals that archangels like him have the power of "transubstantiation": an archangel can pass his Grace to a mortal, temporarily giving them all of his power—and obligations. Should the mortal choose to use that power for evil or break the rules restricting the archangel's act, the archangel who entrusted them his Grace will Fall. Furthermore, until the mortal returns the Grace to him, the archangel himself becomes mortal and vulnerable just as humans are.
The number of archangels varies from tradition to tradition. Catholicism venerates three: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Christian Orthodox venerates seven, including the previous three, who are: Uriel, Sealtiel, Jegudiel, Barachiel, and Jerahmeel. This notwithstanding, in Small Favor, Queen Mab identifies four Archangels without calling them by name: "the Prince of the Host", "the Trumpeter", "the Demon Binder", and "the Watchman". The Dresden Files RPG rulebook, Our World, identifies them as such:
- "Prince of the Host" refers to Michael, since the epithet "great prince" is most commonly given to him in the Abrahamic traditions. Mab also says that he leads an army of seraphim, which matches the traditional description of Michael as the general of the Heavenly Host's armies. One translation of his name is "Who is like God?"
- "Trumpeter" refers to Gabriel, who is said to sound a trumpet at the end of time in the Bible. One translation of Gabriel's name is "God is my strength"
- "Demon Binder" refers to Raphael. While Rafael is named in both the Christian and Jewish traditions as an angel who bound a demon, apocryphal sources don't paint him as a prolific binder of demons. One translation of his name is "It is God who heals." The name is normally something of an intercession for healing.
- "The Watchman" refers to Uriel. His name can be variously translated as "fire of God" or "light of God".
Additionally, Harry's monologue and the following dialogue with Uriel implies that there was a fifth archangel, who has fallen. Although Harry only refers to him as "Prince of [...] Darkness", he very likely means Lucifer. As all identified angels in the Dresdenverse follow the Hebraic tradition of theophory—including name for God, "-el", in their names—it stands to reason that Lucifer might not be the "Prince of Darkness'" original name. In Skin Game, Harry again explicitly mentions (without names) that an archangel has Fallen before.
In the seriesEdit
- Main article: Ghost Story
In Ghost Story, Uriel shows Harry that a dark angel had been whispering lies into his ear that robbed him of his free choice and brought him to believe that he could only end his life.
It has been speculated that Anduriel was the Fallen who tricked Harry Dresden out of free will in Changes (brought to light in Ghost Story); however, there is an alternate theory that Harry was lied to by Lucifer. Based on the speculation that the term "Fallen" refers to any fallen angel and not necessarily one of the Order of the Blackened Denarius and the details put forth in the conversation between Harry and Uriel at the close of Ghost Story in regard to balance between the influence of the Archangels and that of the Fallen makes it conceivable to think that the fallen who lied to Harry was of an order equal to Uriel (whereas the Denarians have consistently been countered by the Knights of the Cross and not directly by Uriel). As above, Uriel's implication of a fifth archangel who has fallen would leave only one option. Further speculation in regard to the medium of inference with Harry’s free will (lies), may also add credibility to this theory as Lucifer is also known as the "Father of Lies". This speculation also seems to fit the past aspects of Uriel's balanced influence in opposition to the Fallen during the events in Small Favor.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Skin Game, ch.31.
- ↑ Small Favor (paperback edition), p. 417.
- ↑ Small Favor (paperback edition), pp. 414-416.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Ghost Story, ch. 50
- Michael (angel)
- Gabriel, the Trumpeter
- Raphael, the Demon Binder
- Uriel, the Watchman
- Fallen angel
- Order of the Blackened Denarius
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- Seven Archangels - Wikipedia
- Angel - Wikipedia
- CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Angels
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