WoJ on Angels, Demons (Fallen), and Knights of the Cross

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Knights of the Cross (and the swords)

It’s mentioned that the Swords of the Cross have a nail from the Crucifixtion worked into them…are they visible (as in, part of the guard or blade), or are they hidden or reforged into the metal? Also, the katana has the symbol for faith engraved on the blade…do the other two have their respective namesakes engraved on them somehow? What are they? (As in, is it a symbol or word in the blade of the broadsword and calvary sabre?)

The nails are visible–Harry does his best to convince himself that it’s rust, not blood, on the nail in the hilt of Michael’s sword in Grave Peril.  They are worked in to the metal of the blade, at the base, just above the guard, point toward the end of the blade.

The other two swords bear one kind of marking or another, but Shiro’s was very specific to him, as he had to seek out a new sword when he inherited the old Fidelacchius.  His was custom work, essentially.  Sanya’s sword actually has an Egyptian heiroglyph for the sun on the pommel, and he could use it as a letter-seal if he was of a mind to do it.  The Egyptian, who had the sword before Sanya, often did.  Sanya isn’t really the wax-seal-letter-writing kind. :)

Amoracchius, though, is completely unadorned, pure function.  Though it’s possible that there may have been designs on the crossguard or hilt that have worn away over time.

2009 Lexington signing:
Q:  Will Thomas get one of the Swords of the Cross?
A:  [sing-song voice] I’m not gonna tell you! [/sing-song voice]
2010 Bitten by Books Q&A:
#263 “With the light-hearted joke where the characters were cast as Lord of the Rings roles who would you put as Gimli?”
Sanya. :)
#387 “You mentioned that all of the Knights of the Cross were of royal heritage. Why is this? Does being royal make you more qualified to be one of the Knights?”
It doesn’t make you qualified, so much as it makes you /responsible/. It’s a small but important distinction.
I’ve seen a well-done argument that defined goodness, in the Dresden stories, as power balanced by responsibility–and evil as power without accompanying responsibility to restrain and control it. I liked it.
Really cool story about a guy that JB used as inspiration for Shiro @5:10
2011 Naperville Signing
Do you have anyone in mind or assigned yet for who bears the Swords?
Several people actually, I haven’t decided who they’re going to fall out to. I’ve got several really cool candidates that would just be a whole lot of fun, but it’s like, “But I don’t want to do it to you guys, you’re nice! Give you one of these Swords and I’m going to have to be mean to you.” That’s kind of the way it works out.
2011 Bitten by Books Q&A
How can Kusanagi be a Sword of the Cross when it predates the crucifixion?
Because the Swords are ideas and symbols as much as they are physical objects–maybe even more so. Kusanagi isn’t the original Kusanagi, Exaclibur isn’t the original Excalibur, etc. But their title, their /idea/ has been passed down from one generation to the next, much as the names of warships are passed down to the next generation of ships, with the new ship inheriting the titles, victories, and traditions of its forbears. The nails are passed on from one sword to the next, bringing bits of the metal of each sword that came before.
Jim’s twitter feed on July 12th 2015
@longshotauthor What were the Knights of the Cross doing during the Crusades?
@therealcarew Trying to bring them to an end
@longshotauthor As unaffiliated but superpowered mediators, like the Jedi?  Or was there supernatural ass that needed kicking?
Well, Saladin was one for a while…

Michael (and his home)

Micahel (sic) is still physically up to fighting the good fight in sufficient of an emergency.
 Um.  No he isn’t. :)

Michael went ten seconds against one guy who /didn’t/ know how to fight with a sword after that guy had run down multiple flights of stairs and sprinted across several city blocks.  That is a far cry from going up against a vampire or a Denarian /without one of the Swords/.  I mean, he needs a cane to walk because he /needs/ it.

You blow out a knee bad enough and you don’t play in the NFL no more. :)  Maybe you can play touch football at the park with friends, but that’s a long way from getting another superbowl ring.

Q:  Why did you shoot Michael?
A:  Read The Warrior. Getting shot is Michael’s happy ending.
Q:  Was Michael based on anyone?
A:  Michael was a Paladin that Jim wanted to do right, a man who lives his life according to the bible.  Nicodemus is Michael’s opposite, trying to live his life exactly opposite of what the bible says to do.
2009 Bitten by Books Q&A:
#69 “I also just finished Mean Street and am wondering if you have a story arc that will provide Harry a little more peace of mind with respect to Michael?”
I’m really not terribly interested in Harry’s peace of mind. :) I kind of make my living torturing the guy. Oh sure, maybe eventually, but…
…Michael has a LOT of things Harry wants, at one level or another. I think Harry’s state of mind with regards to Michael is as peaceful as it can be, so long as Harry still lacks those things–peace, quiet, family–for himself.
2011 NYC Signing Q&A
What, if anything, could threaten the Carpenter household right now?
Nuthin’ much. Yeah, Michael’s got a dozen angels on constant security detail. He’s fine. There’s one that goes with each kid when they go to school. It’s ridiculous around there. And they’ve also got, you know, Mouse, there to keep track of things.  Plus they’ve got like the biggest threshold in the entire WORLD for that kind of thing.
2011 Bitten by Books Q&A
Harry entered Michael Carpenter’s house at the end of Ghost Story without an invitation. Was this because he was running around naked in his soul or because he previously had had invitations into the home? We note that Harry couldn’t enter other homes earlier in the book but was that because he truly believed he was a ghost and knowing that a ghost can’t cross a threshold his belief stopped him cold? (Extrapolating from the Leanansidhe’s information that the only limits on Harry at this point are the ones he places on himself)
The presence of an Archangel, essentially an executive VP of Creation, probably had something to do with it.
Booktalk Nation Interview 5-15-14
How did Michael know about Elaine in Grave Peril?
At that point Michael and Harry had had enough bonding time for Harry to share some things with Michael that he hadn’t shared with anybody else.  He’d actually known Michael for about a year by the time Grave Peril got started.
How did Harry and Michael Carpenter originally meet?
It was on a case that Harry was working that he crossed trails with Michael.  I don’t want to say much more than that in case I want to go back and write it at some point, but it’s in my notes back there somewhere.  They wound up fighting the same bad guy.

Angelic Types

2010 Bitten by Books Q&A:
#180 “Could Uriel have chosen to help Harry if he had wanted to, or is there actually some universal limit that prevents him from directly influencing the world in such overt fashion?”
A little of both. Technically, it was /possible/ for Uriel to act directly, but the consequences would have been extreme, both for him and for the mortal world–to the point where you’d have to be moderately insane to do it. Or else, really, really committed to some kind of personal moral compass that was 90 degrees off true.
The last angel to do that is a little notorious.
#259 “Does the same apply to hellfire/soulfire. What would happen if Harry were to take up Lasciel’s coin and then try to use soulfire and hellfire together? Would that result in Harry dying horribly?”
Those are different. They’re really two sides of the same coin–but they can’t really exist together like that. They aren’t explosively reactive, but they aren’t additive, either. Which one came into the person to be used would depend on the person who was using it, and what they were using it for.
Angelic types have access to both. Which one they use is partially what determines what /kind/ of angels they are. (Emphasis added)
2012 Reddit AMA:
zebrake2010: When the skinwalker asked Harry who gifted him the life fire, Harry responded, “Doubt you know him. He’ve taken you out.”[1] Were you foreshadowing that we will get to see Uriel[2] in actual combat at some point? (And if you weren’t foreshadowing, well, will we get to see Uriel in combat anyway?[3] )
Jim: 1) A being like Uriel doesn’t really do battle in the sense of contested violence. He just sort of thinks about annihilating galaxies and it happens. His battles are much more complicated than that, and involve things like choosing seven words very carefully, and handing off a few sparks of energy to the right person in the right place at the right time.
@longshotauthor In the Dresden Files, are the fallen 4.6 billion years old or approx 4000? Big bang vs God making everything really.
@GiftedMonster How do you know that before the Big Bang, God didn’t say “Let there be light.” :) It’s fantasy fiction, Ashely, not theology  
@GiftedMonster Though for the record, the Dresden universe angels have been around since before time was a Thing. #TemporalHipsters

Denarians and fallen

It seems to me that as long as the Church has some of the coins, those paerticular Denarians are neutralized.  Doing a Mt Doom with the coins might free up the spirits housed within to act freely in the world.

Well.  Not quite freely, but MORE freely, certainly.  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.  If they were suddenly freed it would do all kinds of horrible things to about a million balances of power, with repercussions that would last for centuries.

Which assumes that they /can/ be destroyed.  I mean, don’t think that in 2,000 years, no one has ever TRIED it.  And there are still thirty of them kicking around.

Which isn’t necessarily to say that it’s impossible.  But it sure as Hell wouldn’t be easy.  And given that, while in the coins, they ARE effectively frozen in carbonite without a human agent to assist them, containment certainly seems to be a prudent course.

Funny you should mention that whole notion about redeeming Lasciel . . . >:)


Editor’s note:  The forum member Bob above is the same person Turn Coat is dedicated to. -Serack

Regarding Nicodemus: 
At the Independence dinner, Jim confirmed that Nicodemus is NOT dead.  I believe he made mention that Nicky is, in fact, quite and thoroughly frightened of Harry at this point.
2009 Lexington signing:
Q:  Jim’s favorite recurring villain?
A:  Marcone, when he’s being a villain.  And Nicodemus, because he is pure evil.
Q:  Why did the Denarians in Small Favor seem less powerful than in Death Masks?
A:  If a Fallen has essentially overpowered their human host, then they have limited free will (they can’t use the free will of the human); a Denarian is much more powerful if they use the human as a partner.
Q:  Difference between the Fallen and other creatures from Hell?
A:  Fallen are like corporate – they’ve got the backing of an organization.
2010 Bitten by Books Q&A:
#252 “I’ve occasionally tried to have this question pop up over the years, and Small Favor answered some of it, but not all — do you have (and are you willing to share) the names of all 30 of the Denarians worked out?”
Yeah, I’ve got them written down in a notebook somewhere. I go pull it out whenever I’m doing Denarian plots. :) I’ll only share them as they become relevant to the story.
2010 Dragon-Con @3:50
Does Nicodemus have any alternate forms other than his shadow?
No, he just has his shadow do things for him.  You go relying on an alternate form to get things done, that still puts you in personal danger and Nicodemus is more practical than that.  He’d rather stand over here and let something else kill and get the work done.  Unless it’s something cool like a Knight of the Cross, in that case he’s still got something to prove.
2011 Bitten by Books Q&A
Where are the coins kept? Does Father Forthill keep them at St. Mary’s or are they sent to the Vatican?
Neither.  :)
What’s the range of influence for the Fallen in the coins? How far can they extend themselves away from their Denarian hosts?
Oh, their range is very, very limited, to this one little planet. :D
2011 DC signing
Are we going to see more of Nicodemus or Mavra?
Nicodemus will show up on schedule, which you can figure out if you stop to look at things, I think. Mavra’s not done yet either, but she eventually probably will be, and I’ll leave it at that.
2014 AMA
Would the Denarius coins be Tiberius Caesar Denariuses? Being that Tiberius was in power when jesus was crucified and the Denarius coins are said to be the 30 pieces of silver Judas received. I just want to know because I want to make a necklace of a blackened denarius and having the correct authentic coin would be awesome..
Well, Tiberius had only been emperor for fifteen years, give or take a few, when Christ was crucified. Coins of that period stayed in circulation for a pretty hefty time period, and would travel out from Rome in ripples when new coins were minted. Palestine was a pretty good distance from the heart of the Empire. They were probably a mix of newer Tiberian and older Augustan coins, unless you hypothesize some kind of Romanocentric conspiracy for killing off Jesus, that might well be funded with all newer coins. :)
2015 AMA
Is Nic older than Mab?
He is.

I got to see Jim yesterday during his visit to Sweden.

As he was quickly signing books, I figured I wouldn’t be able to get a long answer out of him, so I shot for a yes no question – “Does Satan rule hell like Hades rules his place?” was what I tried to ask, but as soon as I said “Does Satan rule hell-” he frowned and said no. But then he heard the rest of my question and elaborated. I think I remember his answer verbatim: “Hades is like the CEO of his own small company, sort of. Satan is more like an officer of a sprawling multinational conglomerate – the hierarchy of hell operates exactly like a corporation, obviously” By ‘an officer’, I assume he meant CEO, what with being a fallen archangel and all, but the word he used was officer.


2007 Huntington Beach B&N Q&A @42:45
What roll will Lasciel play in future books?
That’s going to be another one of those where I go “Hahaha, I know and you don’t” because, you know, it’s the whole, I want to provide for my family thing.  Were’re not done with Lasciel.  We might not even be totally done with Lash, but we will have to see how that goes.
2009 Chicago signing:
Q:  Will we see Lash or Lasciel again?
A:  Lasciel’s story is not over.  And keep in mind what’s said about ‘a woman scorned.’  Also keep in mind that Lasciel is NOT Lash; Lasciel did not reabsorb the entity that Harry actually changed. (Yes, he use those words “that Harry actually changed.”)
2009 Independence signing
Q:  Was the voice in Harry’s head at the end of White Night (when he was playing guitar) a sign that Lash is still there? 
A:  Not really.  But Lash’s story isn’t done.
2008 Comic-Con Q&A: @ about 6:11
Q:  Does Lasciel’s shadow get to heaven because she redeemed herself?
A:  The answer to that is so much more complicated than is easy to give, especially without giving out extra story and ruining the fun.  No.  Lasciel’s spirit didn’t go to heaven.  And now, (sing song) I’m not gona tell you. *mutters about heroin for writers*  But it will come out, don’t worry the story will be there.
2008 Comic-Con Q&A pt.2 @7:24
Going back to Dead Beat and Lasciel’s shadow, I’m having a debate with the fan who got me into the series is insisting that Dresden accepting help from Lasciel’s shadow is completely against character, and will not accept the argument “but he was going to die.”  Do you have anything else to help justify that change of heart in accepting help from the demon?
Oh, Harry delving into dark dark gray areas in order to get the job done?  *smirk* No, I don’t think there’s any basis for that whatsoever.  Although you could argue at the time that Lasciel wasn’t necessarily the demon that she was when she got there.  Although Dresden didn’t know that so it’s not really a very good argument.  But really, that’s a lot of what the series is about, is finding out what is and what he isn’t really willing to do for whatever the stakes might be.
And it wasn’t like he picked up the coin and turned into dark superman or anything.  He just kinda accepted a little help.  The problem was that was the whole issue, the demon was a tempter demon who could say “here here’s a little help.  Oh would you like a little more, here’s a little more I’m happy to do that for youuu.”  It was that kind of situation where it just couldn’t have gone anywhere good.  And Harry knew that too.  The other justification is that, I don’t know if you noticed but Harry isn’t quite perfect.
Amazon.com review response
Open plots from past books remained gaping while brand new ones left me thinking, “Wait, what?” more than once. Harry can still call Lasciel’s coin to him whenever he wants? Really? Because….?
Some plots are still open because, you know. The story isn’t done yet. And Harry knows it’s possible for the coin to be summoned because Lash told him it was doable. As far as him being able to summon the coin, well. He kinda lied to Mab. It’ll be clearer why he did, eventually.
2011 Bitten by Books Q&A
What twist has the series taken that even surprised you? I am constantly surprised by the twists and turns.
The whole Lasciel’s coin plot was something I instigated on the spur of the moment back in book 5, and which isn’t over yet. Lots of things happen that aren’t specifically spelled out, but which can be woven into the overstory plot that I’ve been pursuing. I expect new stuff will continue seeping out of my subconscious and prove to fit pretty smoothly into the outline.
2011 Boston Signing
Is Lasciel going to make a comeback? The coin is still buried in the lab, right?
Her coin isn’t in the lab anymore. Her story is not yet over. However, both Lasciel and Lash appeared in Ghost Story, but not under those names.

See the Free Will section in the miscellaneous WoJ compilation page for more on Lash

Jacqueline Lichtenberg seems to have discussed Lash with JB in a 2007 interview (right after WN), but did not give direct quotes.  Very good info here though


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