Harry Dresden describes Uriel as aggravating and scary; with something "hideously absolute" about him, unyielding and unchanging, that makes Dresden feel fragile. Dresden also calls him the Spymaster.
Mab calls him him the Watchman, and describes him as the one who works in the shadows, acting inconspicuously. Uriel is the quietest and likely the most dangerous archangel. Bob and Dresden considers him as Heaven's Black-Ops.
One of Uriel's main tasks is to preserve free will, often employing dead spirits in a metaphorical police stations. He is peers with Mab. He also occasionally visits Dresden with annoying, cryptic advice.
Harry Dresden claims, mistakenly, that Uriel has the power to destroy the solar system. Uriel quickly corrects him, stating bluntly that he could annihilate galaxies. The extreme restrictions on Uriel's usage of his immense powers, however, severely limit his effective influence in the mortal world, generally to a level below that of his Sidhe contemporaries such as Mab. Due to such limits, Uriel is forced (at first) to walk away angry from a confrontation with the significantly less powerful, but (technically) mortal Nicodemus Archleone, who challenges him directly.
Uriel is able to entrust his power to a mortal, though with ruinous consequences should the power be abused; in this case, Uriel would Fall.
In Changes, Uriel appears as a tall, young man wearing a tee shirt and jeans and a farmer's duck coat. His blond hair falls over his guileless blue eyes. He snorts when laughing in a non-angelic way.
In Ghost Story, Uriel appears as a young man with dark gold hair that hung messily over silver blue eyes and sharp cheekbones. He wears jeans, old boots, a white shirt, and denim jacket, standing with utter stillness.
In the series Edit
- Main article: Small Favor
At the end of Small Favor, Uriel appears to Harry Dresden in the hospital's chapel in the guise of a little old janitor, named 'Jake'. He talks about God and gives advice. He then disappears suddenly, leaving behind the janitor's cart with a copy of The Two Towers.
- Main article: Changes
In Changes, Harry summoned Uriel after being severely wounded. Uriel regretfully told Harry that he couldn't fix his back, that he was limited to what he had already done. He did tell Harry that his daughter was still alive, confirming that she is indeed Harry's daughter.
- Main article: Ghost Story
In Ghost Story, Bob suggests that Uriel is conning Harry that Uriel and Mab are colluding in some way, that there is a kind of "shell-game" going on. After Harry remembers who ordered the hit on him, Uriel freezes time and has a chat with him. He informed Harry that a Fallen Angel whispered lies into his ear that took his freedom of choice away driving Harry to take dire action. Uriel chastised Collin Murphy, who seemed unfazed, for making Harry believe three of Harry's people would die if Harry did not return. Uriel got both scared and angry when Harry calls him "Uri" leaving off the "el" part saying that an important part of who he is.
To help Harry Dresden make an informed choice, as Harry insisted on, Uriel took him around to see his friends and family to make sure they are alright. Dresden saw Molly Carpenter and Mortimer Lindquist defeat Corpsetaker with the aid of angry wraiths under Lindquist's control. Dresden saw that Karrin Murphy, Waldo Butters, and the wolves were all OK. Uriel enlists Sir Stuart Winchester on his team of ghostly agents in Between. Uriel showed Harry how Thomas and Justine were taking their relationship in a new direction in attempt to get closer. Then Uriel took Harry to the Carpenter home where he saw that Maggie and Mouse were doing well under the love and care of the Carpenters.
- Main article: Skin Game
In Skin Game, he lends Michael Carpenter his Grace to help him in his challenge to Nicodemus Archleone. He also reminds Charity Carpenter that, though he's weakened by this action he was fighting wars when the solar system was still an unformed cloud of gases hurling in space.
"Love your child, Dresden. Everything else flows from there. A wise man said that. Whatever you do, do it for love. If you keep to that you will never wander so far from the light that you can never return."
A typical translation of "Uriel" is God is my light. An interesting side note: in Ghost Story, Dresden calls him Uri, and he reacts very negatively; the omitted -el means God. Logically, the implication Dresden made was that Uriel was light independent of God and/or light all his own. Compare Lucifer, lightbearer.