This article is for the stage magician. For the wizard, see Harry Dresden.

Malcolm Dresden is a human male, the husband to Margaret LeFay and the father of Harry Dresden. He is mentioned in Storm Front.


Malcolm Dresden worked as a stage magician who would put on old-fashioned shows, traveling around the country performing for kids and old folks. He died of a brain aneurism while still young.[1]

According to Harry Dresden, he was a good and generous man, more than he could afford to be, never having much to give to his family.[1]

Ebenezar McCoy described him as: "A man. A mortal, without powers, without influence, without resources. But a man with a good soul like few I have ever seen". [2]

Malcolm had promised his son he'd be his assistant, but died before fulfilling the promise.[1] However he managed to teach Harry one of Houdini's first rules: the means to escape is always within reach.(reference needed) According to the Leanansidhe, Harry favors him.[3]

He was acquainted with David Copperfield from the SAM when both were at a similar point in their careers.[4]


He met Margaret LeFay and married her, and they had a son. Struggling to support his family, he was often traveling, and was not present at the birth of his son and death of his wife. He arrived more than a day after Harry's birth. He named his son Harry Blackstone Copperfield after the three stage magicians: Harry Houdini, Harry Blackstone, and David Copperfield. He then took his son with him on his travels across the country.[1]

Malcolm died in his sleep one night; his six-year-old son, Harry, found him cold and smiling. The cause of death was stated to be a brain aneurysm.[1]

In the seriesEdit

Storm FrontEdit

Main article: Storm Front

In Storm Front, he's remembered by a depressed Harry Dresden walking the streets of Chicago.[1]

Dead BeatEdit

Main article: Dead Beat

Malcolm Dresden makes an appearance in Dead Beat during a dream of Harry's. The dream comes after beginning to read the book of the Erlking Harry procured from Bock Ordered Books and defended from the necromancer Cowl. In the dream, the two of them allude to Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to Alice in Wonderland. The dream begins with Harry awakening next to a campfire to see his father seated on the other side. Malcolm Dresden speaks to him and lets him know that he is real and not simply an illusion in his mind; it can be presumed that they can communicate due to the proximity of Halloween and the turmoil stirring up the veil between the Nevernever and the real world. Malcolm also alludes that he is only able to speak to Harry now because "others have crossed the line." Malcolm speaks with love and affection for his son, assuring him that he is not alone. He also explains that Harry has more to lose now than he ever has because he has a brother, and friends whom he loves.[5]

In the dream, Harry sees the tops of trees being taken down and hears a "creature" in the forest. His father explains that it is a "Jabborwocky" but affirms that Harry really knows twhat it is. Malcolm also assures Harry that he is a good man and has what it takes to keep control over his life. He then states that it is time for him to go and ruffles Harry's hair which makes his son say to himself, "for that brief second I was a child again, [...] utterly certain of my father's strength." After that, Malcolm says, "Sleep. I'll keep the fire lit until morning," after which Harry enters a peaceful sleep for the rest of the evening.[5]

Malcolm later makes an appearance at Harry's grave where they discuss Quintus Cassius's death curse. Malcolm reminds a dejected Harry that "everyone dies alone. That's what it is. It's a door. It's one person wide. When you go through it, you do it alone. But it doesn't mean you've got to be alone before you go through the door. And believe me, you aren't alone on the other side."[6]


See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

Harry Houdini

Harry Blackstone

David Copperfield