Grey Council
Senior Council
White Council

Ebenezar 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. Ebenezar's staff and a weather-worn shotgun rested on a rack of the passenger compartment.[1]

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

Ebenezar 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 Harry's good friends even after he left Ebenezar's farm in the Ozarks. On several occasions Ebenezar has come to Harry's aid, both politically and as a powerful combat wizard in his own right.

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

In Death Masks, Ebenezar recalls how he and Harry set up a telescope on the farm. Harry recalls with him how that asteroid they discovered turned out to be an old Russian satellite. Ebenezar 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 Harry after Justin DuMorne's death, giving himself a chance to keep Harry 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, Ebenezar can ignore the laws of magic in performance of his duties. He is, essentially, the White Counsel's hit man.[6]

In the politics of the White Council, Ebenezar 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.(reference needed)

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

Blood RitesEdit

Main article: Blood Rites

In Blood Rites, Ebenezar was forced to reveal to Harry 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. Harry alienates himself from Ebenezar 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 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 talk through the Speaking stone, and he refuses to lend a hand to Harry in saving the child, not knowing her connection to Harry. He says it's sometimes necessary to sacrifice one for the greater many, and hangs up.[10] Later, he calls Harry through the Speaking Stone again, This time Harry gets his chance to tell Ebenezar about Maggie, Arianna OrtegaChichén Itzá, the Red King, the Bloodline curse and that he's going to be there for his daughter. Ebenezar 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 Harry get to Maggie. Eben gives Harry his own personal staff (he has the Blackstaff).[13]

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

McCoy's Quarters at EdinburghEdit

Ebenezar'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 ButcherEdit

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.(reference needed)


Ebenezar: “Your Morse is rusty. On my staff it sounded like you spelled it ‘blampires.’”
Harry: “I did. Black Court vampires. I just shortened it some.”
Ebenezar: “Blampires. That's the problem with you young people. Shortening all the words.”
Harry: “Too many acronyms?”
Ebenezar: “Ayuh.”
Harry: “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.”
Ebenezar: “Don’t make me kick your ass.”[14]

Ebenezar: “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]

Harry: “He's Black Council.”
Ebenezar: “Or, maybe stupid.”
Harry: “Not sure which is scarier.”
Ebenezar: “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. 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. Blood Rites, ch. 27

See alsoEdit

External referencesEdit

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