Grey Council
Senior Council
White Council

McCoy is a human wizard, and member of the White Council. He first appears in Summer Knight.


McCoy is a senior member on the White Council. He is the Blackstaff, a covert wet work position, which he has held for at least a century.

McCoy is a short, stocky man, with white tufts of hair fringing his mostly bald head, and a white beard covering his mouth and jowls. He often wears a white tee-shirt, denim overalls and a big grin.[1]

He drives a black '37 Ford pick-up with rounded fenders and wooden sides on the bed. There was no rust on it and it is usually freshly waxed. McCoy's staff and a weather-worn shotgun rested on a rack of the passenger compartment.[1]

McCoy wore a scarlet stole the first time he was in the series.[1] After being promoted to the Senior Council, he wore a purple stole. 


Home and familyEdit

McCoy was Harry Dresden's mentor, after Dresden killed Justin DuMorne. McCoy taught and kept watch over Dresden for 2-3 years, showing Dresden why one does magic, in addition to how one uses it, forming much of Dresden's belief about being a wizard. He placed even more importance on teaching Dresden general values and providing a stable life.

McCoy lives and has lived on a farm in Hog Hollow, Missouri, for at least a couple of centuries.[1] He possibly keeps sheep.[2]

He has continued to be one of Dresden's good friends even after he left McCoy's farm in the Ozarks.[Footnote 1] On several occasions, McCoy has come to Dresden's aid, both politically and as a powerful combat wizard in his own right.

McCoy's affectionate nickname for Dresden, "Hoss"[Footnote 2] seems like it's drawn from the Western "Bonanza".[Footnote 3] His assumption of the Ben Cartwright role to apprentice Dresden's "Hoss" is a paternal, friendly reference, a bit similar to the "Grasshopper" and "Padawan" nicknames Dresden gives his own apprentice.

In Death Masks, McCoy recalls how he and Dresden set up a telescope on the farm. Dresden recalls with him how that asteroid they discovered turned out to be an old Russian satellite. McCoy thinks that Asteroid Dresden was a better name than Kosmos Five.[3]

In Changes, he is revealed to be father and mentor of Margaret LeFay, thus grandfather to Harry Dresden and Thomas Raith and great-grandfather to Maggie Dresden. It is likely that this relationship had some bearing on McCoy's decision to defend and mentor Dresden after Justin DuMorne's death, giving himself a chance to keep Dresden from execution by the White Council.[4]

He says that Arianna Ortega discovered his connection to his Maggie when she invited him to the Raith estate for dinner. They fought like family and Arianna caught on. [5]

White Council and BlackstaffEdit

McCoy has served as the White Council's Blackstaff for at least a century. As Blackstaff, McCoy can ignore the laws of magic in performance of his duties. He is, essentially, the White Council's hit man.[6]

In the politics of the White Council, McCoy and Arthur Langtry, the current head of the White Council are often at odds with one another, owing to a rift that occured between the two men during the French and Indian War.[Footnote 4](reference needed)

McCoy has dealings with his counterparts as Blackstaff in other factions, notably Jared Kincaid. The two had a professional courtesy for each other until events taking place in Istanbul around the year 1900.[6]

Abilities and backgroundEdit

As an established member of the White Council, McCoy is fluent in Latin. He also penned a text on magical ethics and the basic mechanics that govern the use of magic, titled Elementary Magic. It is commonly given to novice practitioners by their master.[7]

His magical talents are significant, ranked as the 7th most powerful member of the Senior Council at the time of his nomination, but the most experienced in direct mayhem. Considered the heavyweight champion of wizards when it comes to conflict and duels, he could reasonably be expected to overcome Donald Morgan, the most notorious Warden on the Council in his day.

His forte has been shown to be terramancy and kinetomancy, and the associated manipulation of gravity, force and electromagnetism. Examples being pounding structures to rubble, tossing creatures half a mile away with a gesture, and dragging objects out of orbit to turn them into comet like projectiles.

He comes from a line of Masters and Apprentices that stretches back to the original Merlin.[8] There is some speculation that, due to the nature of how Magic is somewhat based on bloodline and on the traditional nature of the Master/Apprentice relationship, he, and through him Harry Dresden, is a descendant of the original Merlin.

Ebenezar McCoy crafted the Speaking stones[9] and has a stone that is identical to Dresden's.[10]

In the seriesEdit

Summer KnightEdit

Main article: Summer Knight (novel)

In Summer Knight, After the attack on Archangel resulted in the death of Senior Council member Simon Pietrovich,[1] McCoy joined the Senior Council, having long declined the opportunity in the past, to help Dresden win a vote for his own life.[2]

Death MasksEdit

Main article: Death Masks

In Death Masks, McCoy calls Harry Dresden to tell him he doesn't have to fight the duel with Paolo Ortega, "We're going to slap it down". Dresden tells him not to bother because Ortega has brought in goons, both human and vampire and will kill people he cares about if Dresden doesn't Duel. Dresden tells McCoy all about the what happened with Ortega and that he'll figure out some way to give himself an advantage. Then, McCoy updates Dresden on The War.[3]

Blood RitesEdit

Main article: Blood Rites

In Blood Rites, McCoy was forced to reveal to Harry Dresden his other position on the White Council, that of Blackstaff. During the course of his duties as Blackstaff, he caused the Tunguska explosion, the New Madrid earthquake, Krakatoa and brought down a Soviet satellite on the Red Court stronghold of Casaverde, and other events. Dresden alienates himself from McCoy for a time because he is outraged by the hypocrisy of the mentor who taught him the evils of Black magic yet uses it as the Blackstaff. [6]

Turn CoatEdit

Main article: Turn Coat

In Turn Coat, he proposed to Harry Dresden the creation of the Grey Council, to fight the Black Council. He is the only one to know the names of those few trusted individuals involved.[11]


Main article: Changes

In Changes, he and Harry Dresden talk through the Speaking stone, and he refuses to lend a hand to Dresden in saving the child, not knowing her connection to Dresden. He says it's sometimes necessary to sacrifice one for the greater many, and hangs up.[10] Later, he calls Dresden through the Speaking Stone again, This time Dresden gets his chance to tell McCoy about Maggie, Arianna OrtegaChichén Itzá, the Red King, the Bloodline curse and that he's going to be there for his daughter. McCoy accepts this and wishes him well and warns him against going to White Council headquarters in Edinburgh, as there's a mysterious disease there released by Arianna.[12] Later, he shows up with the Grey Council at Chichén Itzá, which helps Dresden get to Maggie. McCoy gives Dresden his own personal staff (he has the Blackstaff).[13]

He and Dresden talk at the end. He didn't tell Dresden he was his grandfather because he did not want him to have the same enemies, at least not until Dresden was ready—he looks around and says "I reckon you are, more or less." He knows that Dresden had to sacrifice Susan to save Maggie. McCoy says he came more for Maggie than for Dresden. He's not sure if Gregori Cristos is Black Council or just stupid.[5]

McCoy's Quarters at EdinburghEdit

McCoy 's receiving room was lined with overflowing bookshelves.[8]

King, Heinlein, Clancy, Hawking, Nietzsche, Julius Caesar, DH Lawrence, and great religious texts of the world. Hundreds of books were handmade and handwritten, including museum-worthy illuminated grimiores. The books were not in any order and some were upright, some were laying on their sides.  

One neat row held leather bound journals, all the same general design, though with slightly differing materials. These were the journals of his mentor and those preceding him all the way back to the Original Merlin.[8]

Word of JimEdit

McCoy is over 300 years old. He and the Merlin have known each other for a very long time and they fought on opposite sides in the French and Indian wars.[14]


McCoy: "Your Morse is rusty. On my staff, it sounded like you spelled it 'blampires.'"
Dresden: "I did. Black Court vampires. I just shortened it some."
McCoy: "Blampires. That's the problem with you young people. Shortening all the words."
Dresden: "Too many acronyms?"
McCoy: "Ayuh."
Dresden: "Well, then. I'm glad you took the time to RSVP me. I have a problem that needs to stay on the QT, but is rapidly going FUBAR. I'm sorry to call you LD through AT&T instead of using UPS, but I needed your help ASAP. I hope that's OK."
McCoy: "Don't make me kick your ass."[15]

McCoy: "There're things we keep hidden from one another. Things we hide from ourselves. Things that are kept hidden from us. And things no one knows. You always learn the damnedest things at the worst possible times. Or that's been my experience."[5]

Dresden: "He's Black Council."
McCoy: "Or, maybe stupid."
Dresden: "Not sure which is scarier."
McCoy: "Stupid, Hoss. Every time. Only so many blackhearted villains in the world, and they only get uppity on occasion. Stupid's everywhere, every day."[5]


  1. Ozarks
  2. Hoss - wikipedia
  3. Bonanza - wikipedia
  4. French and Indian War - wikipedia


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Summer Knight, ch. 4
  2. 2.0 2.1 Summer Knight, ch. 5
  3. 3.0 3.1 Death Masks, ch. 9
  4. Changes, ch. 48
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Changes, ch. 49
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Blood Rites, ch. 35
  7. Dead Beat, ch. 7
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Turn Coat, ch. 47
  9. Changes, ch. 48
  10. 10.0 10.1 Changes, ch. 19
  11. Turn Coat, ch. 48
  12. Changes, ch. 40
  13. Changes, ch. 46
  14.,11734.msg538824.html#msg538824 2009 Independence signing]
  15. Blood Rites, ch. 27

See alsoEdit

External referencesEdit