(Almost) Rooting Against the Protagonist: Harry Dresden

Oh, Harry Dresden. I’m trying to stay in your corner but you are making it very hard to do so!

Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Yes, his middle names were based on 2 “magicians”. Speaking of magicians, Dresden is that: a magician, living in Chicagoland, working as a Private Investigator. He, like all magicians of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files universe, is versed in the magical arts, usually is bound to the White Council, a ruling body of wizards, and unintentionally wrecks havoc on modern technology (so, a wizard should not be in a hospital, for example). He, like most wizards, also has a little bit of an arrogant streak.

However, Dresden’s arrogance, combined with a chauvinistic streak and a streak of “hero mode” bordering on suicidal, is making him very unlikable.


I just finished Book 3 of the 15-book series. In it, Harry Dresden has to work with, help, and even fight, women a lot of times. When this happens, Dresden:

  1. Gets offensively chauvinistic
  2. Gets creepily piggish

He often describes women in terms of how curve-fitting their dresses are, how well their tops accent their chests, and how quickly he will drop everything to “save them”. This includes women that are actively trying to kill him. While his heart is occasionally in the right place, his rushing off to rescue the damsel in distress has led to serious problems, including starting a major war. 

The main thing that bugs me about Dresden is his arrogance and how he uses it to ignore advice from allies and friends. Yes, it’s easy to think that you can overcome anything when you are a wizard but when your friends are telling you that you are over-matched, and your body is warning you that going without rest (to recharge) will backfire horribly (and it has, multiple times), at least make the effort to listen to them.

I will give Harry Dresden credit, though: he at least makes the effort to protect his friends and allies in any way possible, unlike this whiny ball of suck. Dresden feels the responsibility, as the only active wizard in Chicago, to protect everyone and everything. I just hope that his “hero mode for the ladies” ended with Book 3. Spoiler Alert: I don’t think it does.

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