The War generally refers to the attrition between the Red Court and the White Council of wizards.


The War was kicked off at the end of Grave Peril when Harry Dresden killed Bianca St. Claire.

If the Red Court defeats the White Council, the vampires will take control and do whatever they want, expanding from from Central America to Africa, the Middle East, the former USSR under Stalin and some parts of Asia, all places in chaos. The White Court will move on "civilized" places, and non-practitioners will be on their own with no protection from supernatural predators.[39]


In Grave Peril, at Bianca's Ball, Bianca St. Claire threatened to kill Lydia with Amoracchius, which would undo the Sword. Harry and Michael Carpenter had no choice but to stop Bianca and save Lydia. They did so, yet they were surrounded and Susan Rodriguez was taken by a horde of vampires. Harry Dresden, in his pain and fury, began to throw fire around, burning vampires, thralls and anything else nearby. Michael got Harry and Lydia out with the Leanansidhe's help, but Susan was left behind.[40]

Later, Dresden returned to get Susan and Justine back. However Bianca had a trap waiting for them. Waiting with her horde, she ordered them to take him and they attacked him, leaving Harry unconscious.

Dresden awoke in a locked room with Justine and Susan, who had been poisoned by the vampires' toxin. Bianca intended for Susan to kill Harry to change her fully into a Red vampire.[41]

In the end, Bianca and the Red King's representative, Don Paolo Ortega declared that Harry has started a war between the Red Court and the White Council. Bianca bargained that Harry could go and all will be forgiven, if Susan stays with her. Harry refused. He called up the spirits of Bianca's victims and with their aid, he escaped with Susan and Justine as Bianca was killed.[11]

In the seriesEdit

Grave PerilEdit

Main article: Grave Peril

At the end of Grave Peril, the White Council is at war. It's been reported that Paris and Berlin have broken into chaos. Now Harry Dresden has gotten notice that the White council is coming to Chicago to find out what happened.[42]

Summer KnightEdit

Main article: Summer Knight (novel)

In Summer Knight, Ebenezar McCoy gets the news that Archangel, a White Council stronghold in Russia, was attacked by the Red Court. The fortress is destroyed and Simon Pietrovich and hundreds are killed. There are no survivors. The Wardens say that there is evidence that someone let the killers in past the defenses—a traitor. It would have to be someone who knew the defenses well.[6]

The White Council is holding a conclave in Chicago and the Merlin and others are preparing to accuse Harry of starting the War and place the blame for a number of deaths on his head. The plan to put it to a general vote that would go against Harry because most of the Council members are afraid, and since Pietrovich is dead there aren't enough Senior Council votes to block it.[6]

Death MasksEdit

Main article: Death Masks

In Death Masks, Duke Paolo Ortega challenged Harry Dresden to a duel under the pretense of wanting to end The War.[7] Susan said that Ortega has killed half a dozen of the Wardens since The War started and he planned and executed the attack on Archangel[18]

According to McCoy, the Merlin won't let the Council take the offensive. He thinks the fancy wards will make the Reds give up. The wards have pushed back one major offensive and kept Council members from being attacked and killed in their homes. The Red's allies are putting pressure on the Council's allies and a few Wardens have died on intelligence missions. But war can't be won from behind a wall. The vampires will eventually take apart or drive off the Council's allies.[43]

Shiro Yoshimo, Harry's second, tells Harry that The War is not his fault. He explains that the Red Court has been quietly building their resources for years, and that is how they were able to launch an attack days after Harry defeated Bianca. Harry's not the cause, he's the excuse. Paolo Ortega and the Red Court intend to end the White Council in one stroke and the duel is just a means to delay for time since they lost the element of surprise.[44]

Dead BeatEdit

Main article: Dead Beat

In Dead Beat, Harry updates Mortimer Lindquist on that latest battle he knows about in The War. There was a nasty battle in Mexico City three weeks prior in which the "Wardens bloodied the Red Court's Nose" throwing a wrench into their plans.[8]

Captain Anastasia Luccio drafts Harry Dresden, resistantly, into the Wardens while telling him the long tale of devastating losses in battle after battle: Cairo, Madrid, Acapulco, Sao Paolo, Athens, Belize, and the most devastating battle was in Sicily. All of their wounded were gassed in a Congo Hospital along with hundreds of human civilians. And, the Reds trapped them in the Ways calling up Demons and Outsiders. Ebenezar McCoy and Martha Liberty came to their aid buying time for the Merlin and the Gatekeeper to put up a shield that held off an army of vampires. That morning, Luccio buried 143 Wardens out of 200.[1]

At the end, Dresden informs Donald Morgan and Joseph Listens-to-Wind that he thinks that Cowl had a deal with the Reds to keep the Council busy while he performed the Darkhallow. The Reds would get the Senior Council out of the deal. Morgan thinks the Edinburgh defenses are too good. It would take a god to break the defenses and that's exactly what Cowl was planning to do with the Darkhallow.[45]

Proven GuiltyEdit

Main article: Proven Guilty

In Proven Guilty, the Council's primary allies are: Venatori Umbrorum and the Fellowship of Saint Giles. The Venatori's strength is in analyzing information from a wide variety of sources. The Fellowship was turning out to be a formidable ally having been touched by the Red Court's dark powers and with a real interest in seeing it's downfall. Neither group is capable of challenging the Red Court in face-to-face combat, but wreak havoc on their supply chains, intelligence and support approaching from the mortal side of it. The provide the council with information on the Reds which has bought them needed time to launch successful raids and to regroup.[14]

Ebenezar McCoy asks Harry to find out through his Faerie contacts why the the Faerie Courts have not responded to the Red Court's assault on the Council within Faerie, why they have not retaliated to the incursion. McCoy asks privately, it's not an official mission.[14] The reds are watching Hospitals sending hits on the Council's wounded.[46] Harry learns from Lily and Fix that Mab has forces around the Summer's borders which keeps Summer from coming to the aid of the Council or the Venatori who are under attack by the Reds.[47]

Later, Fix informs Harry that the Reds found the Venatori headquarters in Oregon. The Council answered their call for help. The Reds interfered with the Ways causing Wardens to get sidetracked.[48] When Harry rescues Molly from Arctis Tor, it causes Winter to return, which allows Summer to aid the Wardens and the Venetori.[49] At Molly's trial, Lily bestows the Order of the Silver Oak leaf pins to Morgan and Dresden for their actions.[29]

Small FavorEdit

Main article: Small Favor

In Small Favor, Harry tells Michael Carpenter that Faerie is on the edge of internal war, which could reignite the war between the Council and the Vampire Courts.[50]

Turn CoatEdit

Main article: Turn Coat

In Turn Coat, both sides are getting their strength back after years of war that is still continuing. But the vampires could replace their losses faster than the Council can. If the Council dissolved now due to internal strife created by the traitor and perpetuated by setting up Morgan for the murder of one of the Senior Council, that could start a feeding frenzy amongst their enemies. And, that could bring about the collapse of the Council.[51] The War had reduced the ranks at Headquarters making the War room of the White Council and the barracks seem lonely and empty.[52]


Main article: Changes

In Changes, Duchess Arianna Ortega is the Red Court's emissary backed by Gregori Cristos, the newest Senior Council member. Though she talks of peace, it's merely a ruse; she has abducted Harry's daughter and plans to use her in a Bloodline curse[17]. This effectively blocks any assistance that Harry might have gotten from the White Council.[53]

Ebenezar McCoy tells Harry that Arianna Ortega laced the White Council Headquarters with some kind of disease. They're not only restarting The War, they're trying to decapitate the Council. With Headquarters out, they lose the Way nexus around Edinburgh making a counter stroke extremely difficult.[5]

When Red Court puts their final plan into motion, their Bloodline curse backfires, killing every Red Court vampire on the planet. This ends The War.[10]

Ghost StoryEdit

Main article: Ghost Story

In Ghost Story, with the Red Court vanquished, the Wardens went from fighting The War with the Vampires to fighting a war with a faceless enemy. They don't have enough Wardens to take care of all the threats.[54]


  1. The Red Court vampire strength number is a rough, extrapolated estimate based upon the multitudes on the Pyramid in Chichén Itzá.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Dead Beat, ch. 31
  2. 2.0 2.1 Death Masks, ch. 33
  3. 3.0 3.1 White Night, ch. 38
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 White Night, ch. 23
  5. 5.0 5.1 Changes, ch. 40
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Summer Knight, ch. 4
  7. 7.0 7.1 Death Masks, ch. 1
  8. 8.0 8.1 Dead Beat, ch. 10
  9. 9.0 9.1 Changes, ch. 46
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 Changes, ch. 49
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Grave Peril, ch. 38
  12. Aftermath
  13. Dead Beat, ch. 26
  14. 14.00 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08 14.09 14.10 Proven Guilty, ch. 2
  15. Summer Knight, ch. 34
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Proven Guilty, ch. 46
  17. 17.0 17.1 Changes, ch. 21
  18. 18.0 18.1 Death Masks, ch. 4
  19. Changes, ch. 44
  20. Changes, ch. 22
  21. White Night, ch. 36
  22. White Night, ch. 35
  23. Blood Rites, ch. 10
  24. Proven Guilty, ch. 47
  25. Proven Guilty, ch. 43
  26. Proven Guilty, ch. 44
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Turn Coat, ch. 49
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 Summer Knight, ch. 10
  29. 29.0 29.1 Proven Guilty, ch. 45
  30. Changes, ch. 3
  31. White Night, ch. 37
  32. Blood Rites, ch. 29
  33. Cold Days, ch. 33
  34. 34.0 34.1 Skin Game, ch. 43
  35. White Night, ch. 42
  36. Blood Rites, ch. 33
  37. Death Masks, ch. 31
  38. Dead Beat, ch. 42
  39. White Night, ch. 32
  40. Grave Peril, ch. 29-30
  41. Grave Peril, ch. 35-7
  42. Grave Peril, ch. 39
  43. Death Masks, ch. 9
  44. Death Masks, ch. 18
  45. Dead Beat, ch. 43
  46. Proven Guilty, ch. 4
  47. Proven Guilty, ch. 19
  48. Proven Guilty, ch. 36
  49. Proven Guilty, ch. 40
  50. Small Favor, ch. 15
  51. Turn Coat, ch. 3
  52. Turn Coat, ch. 14
  53. Changes, ch. 7
  54. Ghost Story, ch. 9

See alsoEdit