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  1. So by the point we’re currently discussing within the story, Aurora would definitely be quantified as a bad girl.

    Literally speaking, I’d agree. But here’s the thing: there’s inconsistancies. There are women on that list above that he has gotten into a real fight with. But for the most part, they have been vampires, or demons, or something more Other than just being a woman.

    Aurora’s different. She’s not malevolent, she’s a misguided zealot. She did evil in the name of good, utterly convinced that she was doing the right thing, that the ends justified the means.

    What I wonder, here, is if that colored Butcher/Dresden’s perceptions. Does he only get his hands dirty with someone that’s sufficiently ‘bad girl’? Or do they have to cross the line into your earlier literary reference of ‘not a woman any more’?

  2. You’re pretty much making my points for me by now, Greg. :)

    One caveat: a woman usually starts out (metaphorically speaking) as a good girl/Madonna. Once she behaves in a way a man disapproves of, that’s when he labels her a bad girl/whore. So by the point we’re currently discussing within the story, Aurora would definitely be quantified as a bad girl.

  3. I double-checked: no, that’s actually not what happened. He was up close with her, and one of the changelings, Meryl, took on Aurora’s Lord Marshal to give him the chance to take on Aurora. He beat her to the table, and denied her the knife she was going to use.

    When the time came, though, that they would have slugged it out, the pixies with their Cold Iron was his weapon. He used them deliberately, instead of attacking her himself. Yes, the cold iron boxcutters were an effective weapon, and so was a swarm attack. But… the question is, and the question I’m not sure either Butcher or Dresden would ask themselves is this:

    Did he do it because he wasn’t sure he could mount an effective attack on a Queen of Summer by himself? or did he do it so he wouldn’t have to get his hands dirty, and kill a Woman(madonna?).

    I don’t know the answer either.

  4. Interesting points, all. I confess this is still something I’m turning over in my head, so I can’t really say one way or another yet. Thanks for the list of names; that helped refresh my memory. One caveat, though: I don’t recall Harry being next to Aurora at all while the Wilde fae slew her. She was gloating that he couldn’t reach her in time, and that’s when he released them, IIRC?

  5. You’re right, that Mercy doesn’t have that many female villians to choose from… but I would argue, at least, that Briggs can write a female to female fight scene, since that’s exactly what she did in her other series, Alpha and Omega. The interesting thing to not was that in both books, the fight was over so soon. No posturing or jutting or drawn out fight scene… often the combat was over after just seconds. Though to be honest, in one case it was a coup de grace, and the other, it had to be a swift, unexpected strike because the villianess in question was so much more powerful than Anna, and surprise was her best weapon.

    The Dresden series… I don’t know. I can think of many female mastermines off the top of my head that Harry has fought, though I can’t remember which of them actually got damaged by him personally.

    Through the series he has fought: Bianca, Leanansidhe (think was only a contest of wills), Aurora (who, while not attacked physically by Harry, did die of multiple wounds from boxcutters while Harry sat on her: not a nice death), Mab, Elaine, the Churchmice, At least two female Denarians (not including Lasciel, who he never met in the flesh), Mavra, Lara Raith and her sisters, Kumori, and, while not strictly a badguy, Ancient Mai.

    While I’ll grant you that most of them did not have a fight that resulted in serious injury of bloodshed, and those that did might no longer qualify as ‘women’ (like the Denarians, or the White Court), there was at least one instance where some of Harry’s female allies were badly wounded in combat (though one of those instances happened off screen, so it doesn’t count as much). Still, when you’re helping a woman sew up her disembowled belly…

    I think the obvious issue is this: if anything, Butcher is reluctant to have messy fights with or against women who are not preternaturally good at taking or healing damage. Of course, when you’re talking about urban fantasy, that counts for a lot of women… especially werewolves.

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