Dresden Files

Red King

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The Red King is a Red Court vampire and Red Court's leader. He is first mentioned in Grave Peril, and first appears in Changes.


The Red King is the Red Court's king.[1] In Chichén Itzá, his seat, he is known as "Great Lord Kukulkan".[2]

The pressure from his eyes was like an empty darkness that struck like a physical blow and easily lost in a void. His presence was too large for his body, a kind of psychic body heat that loomed large.[3]

The Red King was an addict, controlled by his bloodlust. Controlling one's bloodlust is the mark of power within the Red Court; his failure to do so would signal to the rest of the Court that he should be overthrown.[3]

Arianna Ortega is his daughter, he turned her, the thirteen Lords of Outer Night and the great part of the Red Court's nobility.[4]

He was five-two maybe five-three, well-muscled, but certainly not imposing. His hair was black and long, hanging to the top of his shoulder blades. He wore a dressy kind of skirt-kilt, is naked from the waistup and the kneecap down.[3]


In Changes, Harry dresden observed the Red King's bloodlust and then understood why the Red Court performed so inconsistently during The War: brilliant one minute and making insane mistakes the next. Harry deduced that Duchess Arianna Ortega must have caught on to the Red King's weakness and then built a power base to depose him. As long as the Red King stayed in power, the White Council would never face a unified Red Court.[3]

In the seriesEdit

Grave PerilEdit

Main article: Grave Peril

In Grave Peril, the Red King sent Paolo Ortega to Bianca's Ball as observer in the Red Court's effort to manipulate Harry into action that they could use for starting hostilities with the White Council. Ortega planned to carry the word of Harry's "treacherous attack" (Bianca St. Claire's words) and his breaking of the Laws of hospitality back to the Red King and that will mean War between White Council and the Red Court[1]

Proven GuiltyEdit

Main article: Proven Guilty

In Proven Guilty, at Venatori Headquarters in Oregon, Donald Morgan nearly killed the Red King in the battle when the White Council come to aid Venatori against the Red Court attack.[5]


Main article: Changes

In Changes, when Arianna Ortega kidnapped Harry's daughter, Maggie,[6] with the intention of sacrificing her in a Bloodline curse,[7] the Red King was determined to try to remove Harry from the equation (since he believed that Harry was the target). To this end he sent the Eebs to give Harry three potential offers to both get him off the case and to undo Arianna.[8] When Harry (having made a deal with Queen Mab to gain the powers to face the Red King[9]) arrived, the Red King decided to improvise; because Harry's claim was as legitimate as Arianna's he was obligated to allow Harry to try to collect it as he was Arianna. Since letting Arianna collect her claim first would make him guilty of interfering in the collection of a blood debt (since killing Maggie would kill Harry as well) he was able to force a compromise; Harry's claim would be addressed first, the duel would occur as soon as possible, and the ritual sacrifice would be delayed until after the duel to ensure a fair fight.[3] He even stacked the deck in Harry's favor by arranging for the battle to be fought purely with magic (which ultimately contributed to Harry's victory over Arianna)[10].

Unfortunately the Red King made the mistake of trying to doublecross Harry by ordering a Jaguar Warrior to go to the main temple in Castillo to kill Maggie on the altar.[11] Harry blasts the Red King but misses. The Red King and the Lords slam Harry and his team with their power, the pressure freezing them in place. Harry released Bob who blocked that power enabling Harry to move enough to cover Murphy. She drew Fidelacchius and cut the will of the Red King and the Lords with a swipe of the blade through the air. A huge battle broke out in the stadium. The shear number of foes made things desperate when the Grey Council arrived.[12]

The Grey Council's arrival allowed Harry to make it to the main temple atop the pyramid in time to stop Maggie from being killed by the Jaguar, but the Red King arrived immediately after Harry with four Lords of Outer Night and froze him with his will again.[13] The Red King throws Maggie on the altar and all Harry can do is watch because he is still frozen. Just before the knife comes down There is brilliant flash of white light out of no-where and the Red King's arm is cut off still holding the knife—Susan Rodriguez had cut the Red King's arm off with Amoracchius under a veil courtesy of the Leanansidhe's cloak. Four more Lords entered the Temple and Harry was locked down tight. Susan was unable to act because the Red King didn't know what the light from the sword was, only that it hurt him and he was afraid. To act would remove that small advantage. During this stand off, his arm began to return to the Red King climbing up his leg to rejoin itself to the upper arm. [14]

Martin entered the temple, attacked Susan, removing her robe which unveiled her with Martin's blade was at her throat. Martin had been the Red King's operative for one-hundred-and-fifty years and just handed him the destruction of the Fellowship of Saint Giles. Harry used the old mind-to-mind spell that he once used with Elaine Mallory to tell Susan that that if one of them dies on the altar, it kills their line not his. Martin reveals that Ebenezar McCoy Harry's grandfather and the man who killed Paolo Ortega. And, that he was the one who told them about Maggie. Susan lost it and killed Martin turning her fully into a vampire. While Martin was dying he soulgazed Harry revealing that this was his real plan to destroy the Red Court.[14]

Martin's gambit to have Susan Rodriguez become the youngest Red Court Vampire distracted the Red King and Lords of Outer Night enough for Harry and the Leanansidhe, disguised as a Lord, to launch an assault on the Lords, breaking Harry's prison and allowing Harry to attack the Red King. When Harry drove his ice-spear-tipped fingers into his eyes, the Red King screamed in terror and agony, which summoned his forces to the temple through his will. Harry told Susan that she being the youngest, her death on the Alter could kill them all. At her plea, Harry then killed Susan, and as a result the Bloodline curse the Red King had built up to use on Ebenezar McCoy's and Harry Dresden's family tree was turned upon its maker (the Red King).[14] The curse tore out his heart along with every other vampire's in the Red Court (and destroyed the vampire part of the semivamps around the world) at the end of the battle at Chichén Itzá.[15]

Ghost StoryEdit

Main article: Ghost Story

In Ghost Story, Harry thinks over the choices he made to take him down and his culpability in the resulting circumstances.[16]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Grave Peril, ch. 38
  2. Changes, ch. 42
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Changes, ch. 43
  4. Changes, ch. 44
  5. Proven Guilty, ch. 44
  6. Changes, ch. 2
  7. Changes, ch. 21
  8. Changes, ch. 26
  9. Changes, ch. 30
  10. Changes, ch. 44-45
  11. Changes, ch. 45
  12. Changes, ch. 46
  13. Changes, ch. 47
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Changes, ch. 48
  15. Changes, ch. 49
  16. Ghost Story, ch. 24

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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