Harry Dresden describes Uriel as aggravating and scary; there was something "hideously absolute" about him, something that would not yield or change. Something about his presence made Harry feel fragile. Harry also calls him the Spymaster.
Mab describes them as "The Prince of the Host, The Trumpeter, the Demon Binder and the Watchman." Among these four, Uriel has been described as the one who works in the shadows, acting inconspicuously, hence the reason for Bob and Harry's description of him as Heaven's Black-Ops.
One of Uriel's main tasks–how much of this is shared by other archangels is unclear–is to preserve free will. One of the methods he uses to this end is employing dead spirits in metaphorical police stations.
Uriel is the quietest and therefore likely the most dangerous, but managed to con the Father of Lies, Lucifer. He is peers with Mab. He also occasionally visits Harry with annoying, cryptic advice.
Uriel stated that the "el" part of his name is an important part of who and what he is. (In Hebrew, the suffix '-el' means "of God". Being an archangel in the service of the Almighty, it's quite clear why. Interestingly, Uriel's name means "Light of God")
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 make an informed choice, as Harry insisted on, Uriel took him around to see his friends and family to make sure they are alright. Harry saw Molly Carpenter and Mortimer Lindquist defeat Corpsetaker with the aid of angry wraiths under Morty's control. Harry 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.
"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: when Harry calls Uriel, "Uri", in Ghost Story it causes Uriel to react very negatively. The omitted 'El' means God. Logically, the implication Harry made was that Uriel was light independent of God and/or light all his own. Compare "Lucifer", lightbearer.