Pretty much what it says on the tin. Unless I change my mind, I do not plan it to be an article. Rather, all credits go this timeline on the Jim Butcher forums, which is in great parts copied here, but I think is inaccessible to some or if you don't have an account. It is also impossible to save the original timeline on the web archive, so this blog post also serve for recording purposes in case the original timeline get lost somehow.
Without further ado, a timeline trying to list the events in the Dresdenverse in chronological order. This timeline will try to harmonize the events from all the mediums that tell the stories of the Dresdenverse, so long as they are canon, things that happen in the story as it goes, things that have come to pass or mentioned in passing, and things that may. It will keep being updated, so don't worry if something is missing. References will also be added later. And because of its dubious canonicity, events mentionned in the the Dresden Files RPG will be marked with an asterisk:
Preface from the original timeline: It's impossible to pin down exactly what year Harry was born due to continuity errors. One could say Harry couldn't have been born before 1974 because that's when David Copperfield assumed his stage name, but one could argue Harry couldn't have been born after 1972, because that marked end of routine smallpox vaccination in America. To allow for flexibility of interpretation, let's say "Storm Front" and "Fool Moon" take place in the year 0, and every thing else is either BSF (Before Storm Front) or ASF (After Storm Front). Smallpox aside, the timeline editor believes the most compelling data points to "Storm Front" taking place in 1999, putting Harry's birth in 1974:
- PRO: Works with mayoral elections
- PRO: Major series events in the war with the Red Court dovetail with major post-9/11 historical events: terrorist paranoia, War on Terror, end or Iraq war, and death of bin Laden
- PRO: Lydia's prophetic dream about the Challenger disaster in 1986 hits at a more plausible age (while still certainly plausible for Harry being born in 1976). Assuming she's talking about the assassination attempt on Reagan in 1981, this is also the most plausible.
- PRO: Harry's birthday is on a full moon. This isn't mentioned in the books, but it's just cool.
- ISH: David Kotkin (age 18) takes the stage name "David Copperfield" in 1974, though his career doesn't take off until 1975. Still, if Malcolm knew him from the SAM and even helped him choose a name, this isn't a deal-breaker.
- CON: Butters assures Harry that he's vaccinated against smallpox, but routine vaccination of the American public stopped in 1972 after the disease was eradicated in the United States.
- CON: Doesn't fit with Knight Rider timeline. The show aired from September 1982 (when 1974!Harry was just shy of 8 ) to April 1986 (when 1974!Harry was 11). In "Ghost Story," Harry watches new episodes of Knight Rider when he's 13. In order for the timeline to fit, Harry would've had to have been born between 1968 and 1973. Alternately, Harry could've been watching reruns, but I doubt that was Jim's intention.
Pre-Series (Before Storm Front)
- Birth of Creation, the Universe, Earth, and the Nevernever.
- War in Heaven: Lucifer rebels against the Almighty, but his rebellion is crushed and the archangel falls from Heaven and into Hell with the other angels who sided with him. Among them, Lasciel is banished from Heaven not for siding with Lucifer in the War in Heaven, but rather because she tried playing both sides.
- Birth of humanity.
- The Old Ones, who ruled over the mortal world, are cast outside of reality, notably by humans having the help of the old gods.
67 million years ago
- Sue roams the Earth.
circa 2000 B.C.
- Birth/Rebirth of the Red King Kukulkan, who is about 4000 years old in Changes. His daughter is supposedly older than writing.
- A Shoggoth is summoned by the Akkadians, and promptly destroys them before attacking Hammurabi's Babylon.
8th century B.C. to 4th century A.D.
- The past Archives act as the Pythia, the Oracle of Delphi, using their knowledge of the past to deduce the most probable future.
1st century A.D.
Between 30 and 33 A.D.
- The Christ is put to trial, and is later crucified by the Romans. He dies on the cross, wearing a circlet woven from thorny branches, and has his side pierced by a spear. His blood is collected in a clay cup. After the Crucifixion, Joseph of Aramthea wrap the body of Jesus in a burial clothe, and the cloth has the image of Christ imposed on it in his blood. Christ later resurrects three days after his death, starting Christianity. Supposedly, three holy swords are later each forged with one of the nails from the Crucifixion.
- Eaten away by the guilt of having sold out Christ to be taken to his death, Judas Iscariot, after returning the thirty silver coins he was given for his betrayal to the high priests, hangs himself in the potter's field. The coins are later used to buy the aforementionned field.
- Sometime after the Cruxifiction, some of the Fallen, the elite of Hell, are bound to the thirty coins of Judas Iscariot by Lucifer because he didn't want them to stab him in the back. Thus is born the Order of the Blackened Denarius.
- Sometime this century, Nicodemus Archleone acquires the Coin of Anduriel and becomes the first Denarian.
- In Thessalonica, Polonius Lartessa is sold by her father to the temple of Isis to pay for his debt. She spends a year there before Nicodemus finds her and give her the Coin of Imariel.
- Life of the Original Merlin: he builds Demonreach, creates the White Council out of the chaos of the fall of the Roman Empire, saves most of the critical texts from the Library of Alexandria as it burns down, and helps create the Catholic Church to further preserve knowledge during the European Dark Ages.
- The character of Scottish folk balad Tam Lin is known to have existed and have been a Winter Knight.
- According to the legend, Saint Patrick curses the MacFinn family’s ancestor to become a beast at the full moon. The curse would be passed down to a member of each generation in the family, remaining unbroken until the end of days.
- The Battle of Hastings occurs, and it is the last time the Winter Queen Mab and the Summer Queen Titania speak to each other.
- The Denarians have a hand in starting the Hundred Years' War.
- The Denarians may have a hand in starting th Black Plague. This is the last time Nicodemus and Tessa work together.
- Freeholding Lord Vlad Drakul, father of Dracula, is born. He is something inhuman and very powerful who was somehow stuck in human form, and he is formidable, dangerous, and cruel. Jared Kincaid, called the "Hound of Hell" or the "Hellhound," serves as his right arm for centuries. (This is the date historians attribute to his birth, not necessarily his Dresdenverse birthdate. He could have been "born" a thousand years earlier).
Between late 14th century and mid-15th century
- In France, Bob's spirit is bound to a random skull by a fellow called Etienne the Enchanter. Word of Jim on the subject.
Between 1428 and 1431
- Vlad Dracula is born as the half-human child of Vlad Drakul. He will wind up creating himself as the first Black Court Vampire in an effort to win his father's approval.
- In France, Gilles de Rais is condemned to death by hanging for serial killing and raping of children. He was a Winter Knight.
- Tessa and her group of Fallen have a hand in starting the War of the Roses.
- Paolo Ortega sails to the New World as one of Hernán Cortéz's conquistadors. There, he falls in love with a local princess, Arianna, and marries her. She is actually a Red Court vampire and she turns him as revenge against Europeans for the conquest of the Mayans and Aztecs.(According to Thomas in DM, "living about six hundred years isn't something you do by playing nice," which would have put his siring in late 13th/early 14th century, but that doesn't match up with the timeline of Spanish conquest of the Yucatán).
- At the end of the Middle Ages, the White Council moves its headquarters to the Hidden Halls of Edinburgh "just under 500 years ago."
- Oberon, Mab, and Titania are caught in a romantic triangle back in the days of Shakespeare. Oberon doesn't survive it.
Early Modern Period
269 BSF (circa 1739)
- Aleron LaFortier is born.
1754 to 1763
- The French and Indian War occurs. According to Jim, Ebenezer McCoy and Arthur Langtry fought on opposite sides of the war.
- The Beast of Gévaudan, a loup-garou active in 18th century France, is killed with a silver weapon.
Between 1797 and 1810
- Between 200 and 150 years ago, the twin sisters Maeve and Sarissa are the product of an union between Mab and an unnamed Austrian composer who died young. It is speculated that said composer was Franz Schubert.
- About 150 years ago, Maeve becomes the new Winter Lady.
- Establishment of the Library of Congress.
- Admiral Horatio Nelson dies of a gunshot wound suffered at the Battle of Trafalgar. Gard is present and takes the fatal bullet from his body.
- Ebenezar's wife dies.
- Ebenezar, as the Blackstaff, causes the New Madrid Earthquakes, including the largest earthquake ever recorded in the contiguous United States at an estimated 8.0 on the Richter scale.
- The Brothers Grimm publishes their fairy tales, incidentally ensuring by that act that the Fae are never forgotten by mankind and thus impossible to eliminate by the Venatori.
- Founding of Chicago.
- Rasmussen becomes the host of the Fallen Angel Ursiel while on his way to California, presumably to pan for gold.
- A Fistful of Warlocks
- Ebenezer causes the eruption of Krakatoa. Atmospheric shock waves from the eruption reverberate around the world seven times and were detectable for five days.
- Donald Morgan is born.
- Kincaid loses Ebenezar's respect in Istanbul, to the point McCoy threatened to kill Kincaid on sight next time he saw him. Previously, both assassins at least shared a professional courtesy.
- Ebenezar causes the explosion at Tunguska. The energy of the blast was later estimated to be between 10 and 20 megatons of TNT, which would be equivalent to Castle Bravo, the most powerful nuclear bomb ever detonated by the US.
- Bram Stoker is accidentally killed by Lara Raith when she feeds on him while she was thanking him, sexually, for publishing Dracula.
- World War I starts, courtesy of Kemmler, who had a hand in events of the 150 years leading to the war. He will disappear at the end of the hostilities. Morgan fights for Britain.
- Kemmler acquires a certain spirit of air and intellect, bound to a human skull. Bob works for Kemmler about 40 years before his death.
- German serial killer and rapist, Fritz Haarman, the Butcher of Hanover, is executed by beheading for his crimes. He was a Winter Knight.
- American writer H.P. Lovecraft publishes Call of Cthulhu, spreading knowledge of the Old One called the Sleeper imprisoned at the bottom of the Pacific, giving it power.
- Kemmler reappears during World War II, which he may have had a hand in starting, when he animates mass graves and rampages through Eastern Europe.
- British serial killer, John Haigh, the Acid Bath Murderer, is executed for his crimes. He was a Winter Knight.
- Morgan leads a skinwalker onto a nuclear test range in Nevada and steps into the Nevernever, leaving the skinwalker to be destroyed by a nuclear blast.
- ~43-48 BSF: Michael Carpenter is born. He's about twenty years older than Harry, who was born in 25 BSF. He's probably closer to the younger side of that spectrum, as in Grave Peril, Michael jokes about starting a midlife crisis(reference needed), which most commonly occur at 40-45.
October 30 or 31
- Kemmler is attempting the Darkhallow Ritual on Halloween, but he is defeated and killed once and for all by all the forces combined of every member of the White Council. On the same day that Kemmler died, Soviet Russia decided to test the most powerful nuclear device ever developed, the Tsar Bomba. Given further hints from the author, it is quite possible that either the bomb was used to kill Kemmler, or the "bomb" was his death curse. Warden Justin DuMorne acquires Bob the Skull from the smoldering ruins of Kemmler's lab.
- Charity Carpenter is born. (Note of original timeline: Dates are VERY approximate and based on pure guesswork. I'm assuming she was in her early 20s when she was rescued by Michael. They're supposed to be close to the same age, but that raises big questions of what Charity was doing from her late teen years, when she was sent to "special schools," to the time Gregor tried to sacrifice her. How old was she when she escaped from the hospital? How long was she on her own before she met Gregor? How long was she in Gregor's coven before he tried to feed her to Siriothrax? The dates of "36-39 BSF" correlate with Charity being 22-25 when she was rescued.)
- Murphy's second husband, Richard Boughton, is born (he is in his mid- to late thirties in Blood Rites).
- Waldo Butters is born.
- Karrin Murphy is born, the first child of Collin and Marion Murphy. Harry observes that her first husband looked about ten years older than her, guessing that Murph was 18 at the time, so I originally put her at 30 BSF. However, assuming Lisa has the same father as Karrin and given Karrin's age at the time of her father's suicide (11), I had to adjust the date.
- According to Jim, Malcolm Dresden met David Kotkin (David Copperfield) through the Society of American Magicians, which DK was inducted to in 1970.
- One year after her escape, Maggie LeFay meets Malcolm Dresden.
- Collin Murphy saves rookie CPD officer Rawlins from an unspecified supernatural creature in a dark alley, killing it with a shotgun full of rock salt. (~30 years before Dead Beat)
Some time between August and October
- Malcolm Dresden and his heavily-pregnant wife Margaret visit the Lincoln Memorial.
- Harry is born. Harry's mother, now Margaret Gwendolyn Dresden, dies in childbirth at over a hundred years old. She is murdered by a ritual entropy curse, courtesy of Lord Raith, but with her death curse, she makes him unable to feed. It is unclear when she sets up the special Harry and Thomas soulgaze message.
- The Denarians have a hand in starting the Cambodian genocide.
- When Harry is 6, his father, Malcolm Dresden, dies of a brain aneurysm. According to Chauncy, this death was supernaturally engineered, but we don't yet know the specifics.
- About 20 years before Grave Peril, Michael kills Mavra's "children" and "grandchildren," after some three dozen people were killed in the space of a month.
- The Denarians have a hand in starting the Rwandan genocide.
- Russian serial killer and Winter Knight Andrei Chikatilo is executed. It can be presumed that the Winter Knight's Mantle was then passed on to Lloyd Slate, who will stay Winter Knight until his death in 11 ASF.
- The Unseelie Incursion, "when the entire city of Milwaukee had simply vanished for two hours. Gone." It was reported on in the Midwestern Arcane.
- The Shroud of Turin was nearly destroyed in a mysterious fire. According to Harry, this takes place "a few years" before the events of Death Masks, which is 3 ASF in the Dresden calendar.
- ↑ Skin Game, ch. 31
- ↑ Jim Butcher Q&A MalCon at 43:10 of youtube video
- ↑ Dead Beat, ch. 31
- ↑ "Cold Case"
- ↑ Changes, ch. 8
- ↑ War Cry, issue 3
- ↑ Small Favor, ch. 46
- ↑ Skin Game, ch. 40
- ↑ Skin Game, ch. 21
- ↑ Death Masks, ch. 3
- ↑ Word of Jim: The Fallen bound in the coins are the freaking elite of Hell--everyone the big D didn't want trying to stab him in the back, basically.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Small Favor, ch. 33
- ↑ Cold Days, ch. 49
- ↑ Cold Days, ch. 16
- ↑ Cold Days, ch. 7
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Fool Moon, ch. 11
- ↑ Skin Game, ch. 36
- ↑ Word of Jim: Uh, the Ladies, Queens and Mothers, their mantles change very, very, very rarely in general. I mean, Mab’s been there for better than 1,000 years. And Maeve’s been there….there was a Winter Lady before Maeve, uh, in Mab's time.
- ↑ Cold Days, ch. 30
- ↑ Small Favor, ch. 20
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Jim Butcher Reddit AMA
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 Blood Rites, ch. 35
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 Fool Moon, ch. 7
- ↑ Link is dead, so here is a retranscription: Etienne the Enchanter picked it (Bob's skull) up on the cheap, back in medieval France, and skulls weren't exactly uncommon. Etienne himself probably had it for the reason that so many writers and sages had skulls hanging around--to make their office look cooler. Etienne, though, is the one who originally laid out the enchantment on the skull to enable it to be a little home-away-from-home for Bob, and he's been passed down, wizard-to-wizard, ever since.
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Cold Days, ch. 19
- ↑ Changes, ch. 38
- ↑ Death Masks, ch. 18
- ↑ Turn Coat, ch. 14
- ↑ Jim Butcher Reddit AMA
- ↑ Jim Butcher forum response
- ↑ Word of Jim: He's British, brought up during the time of the British Empire, and is old enough to remember when the United States was a bunch of penny-pinching colonials with no sense of loyalty to the Crown. Ebenezar, btw, is of roughly the same age, and they were young men together, which must have had a fairly high special effects budget, given that both of them were born brawny-wizards, like Harry.
- ↑ Jim Butcher Dragon-Con Q&A @6:30 of youtube video
- ↑ Jim Butcher Reddit AMA
- ↑ Skin Game, ch. 22
- ↑ 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 35.4 35.5 Dead Beat, ch. 3
- ↑ Link is dead, so here is a retranscription: She can barely remember the War of 1812 (which puts her in the same category with most modern American students), but it was of no interest to her at the time, growing up in southern Italy.
- ↑ "Even Hand"
- ↑ Death Masks, ch. 7
- ↑ "Cold Case"
- ↑ Turn Coat, ch. 7
- ↑ Grave Peril, ch. 32
- ↑ Proven Guilty, ch. 5
- ↑ 43.0 43.1 Summer Knight, ch. 7
- ↑ Dead Beat, ch. 21
- ↑ Jim Butcher Reddit AMA
- ↑ "The Dresden Files RPG"
- ↑ Blood Rites, ch. 28
- ↑ 48.0 48.1 48.2 Blood Rites, ch. 21
- ↑ [Word of Jim]: Harry's dad was acquainted with David Copperfield from the Society of American Magicians when both were at a similar point in their careers—just getting going. Malcolm was a bit older and more experienced, but didn't have the same kind of raw talent and had not had any major success or anything. Malcolm had an enormous amount of admiration for the young performer (and may or may not have contributed the notion for his stage name).
- ↑ Dead Beat, ch. 13
- ↑ Jim Butcher Mysterious Galaxy Q&A @8:15 of youtube video
- ↑ Blood Rites, ch. 39
- ↑ Storm Front, ch. 18
- ↑ Grave Peril, ch. 28
- ↑ Storm Front, ch. 5
- ↑ Death Masks, ch. 28