Oh man, though ... only having read Turn Coat once, re-reading that scene where Justine tells Harry that Thomas loves him and that she thinks of him as family, knowing what happens later ... it's about equal parts heartmelt and total OUCH. These books, oh. *flails*
Anyway. The Swords. For all I know, this is a thought that half the fandom has already had (and for all I know, maybe we've actually discussed it in my past Dresden Files discussions when I went through the series the first time; I've forgotten most of what we talked about), but my brain claims it's new, anyway. I've just read the part of Small Favor in which Harry's talking to the Knights about Shiro being descended from the last king of Okinawa, and it comes up that the other two (at that time) Sword-holders are both descended from royalty as well. So Harry theorizes that it's a prerequisite, or at least something to narrow his search a bit.
I'm not convinced it's actually a hard-and-fast prerequisite (for one thing, as Sanya says, if you go back far enough, most people have some royalty in them somewhere). But you know who in the books is actual, literal royalty, and is also, perhaps not coincidentally in the grand scheme of things, the first person that Harry goes and talks to right after Sanya tells him that all he has to do now is to find a real live prince or princess.
He's literally a prince (the son of a king). And one of his main fighting weapons, probably the one he uses most next to his various gigantic guns, is a sword -- his saber. So at the very least he knows how to use one.
And then there's that bit way back in Blood Rites when Thomas quotes Corinthians at Harry: "Faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love." The context is completely unrelated to the Swords, but those are the names of the Swords too. And while it's been occasionally implied that Murphy might be the one to pick up Fidelacchius (Faith), there has been no hint yet as to who might be the new wielder of Amoracchius (Love).
Love is also thematically related to Thomas's personality and vampire powers ... just as Faith is a good thematic fit for Murphy. And on top of all of that, Thomas is the only character in the books other than Michael who is both in love and in a steady relationship from the very first time we see him.
He's also the person who returns the sword to Michael when it's stolen by the Fae and Red Court in Grave Peril.
There are so many hints pointing at Thomas being the new wielder of Amoracchius that it's almost too obvious; it makes me wonder if it's misdirection.
And there's another problem: I don't know if he'd actually be able to pick it up in his current (vampire-enhanced) state, even without the whole going-darkside thing. The other vampires don't seem to have that problem -- in Grave Peril, Bianca is able to handle Amoracchius (I think ... I don't have the book handy to check right now). But given what Amoracchius represents, and what the weakness of White Court vampires happens to be, it seems likely that one of them would not be able to touch the Sword directly. True love burns them; a Sword dedicated to that concept would probably torch them. I don't actually know, but it seems to follow from what we know about how the whole thing works. (I forget if it ever came up in Changes, when they're doling out weapons. I'll have to check and see.)
There's a loophole, though.
In Turn Coat (I think), when Thomas explains to Harry what happens when he touches Justine, the way he explains it is that it's the demon side of him that's burned by the physical contact. Of course, the two are, physically, more or less one and the same. But I'm curious if wielding Amoracchius for a selfless cause could actually destroy the demon, basically burn it out of him, without harming him.
The whole thing fits together so ridiculously well. Of course, I have no idea if this is actually where Butcher is going at all -- in fact, I'd had a totally different WTF theory about Thomas right before hitting the part about the royal heritage of the Sword-bearers, which was that Thomas was going to take up Lasciel's coin in order to gain enough power to get Harry back from being ... dead, or whatever state he's currently in. (Given characters' tendency to recur from book to book, I strongly suspect we have not seen the last of Lasciel, and Thomas is both a) very tempted by the Denarian coins in Small Favor, and b) would seem to make a very likely host for Lasciel due to his nature. Also, the idea of Thomas as a Denarian is both terrifying, and ... weirdly compelling.) But then I hit the thing about royalty, and suddenly everything just seemed to make sense.
Also, I think I'm trying to sooth myself that Thomas isn't going to die heroically-yet-tragically in the near future, and/or isn't gone darkside permanently. (Everyone in the books, aside from Harry, is so very convinced that vampires can't change their fundamental nature. I want to believe that these books aren't going to squash my fangirl soul like a bug, but there is that little wibbly part of me that wants so badly to know that everything is going to turn out okay and yet fears that it won't. Of course, Harry is also the guy who managed to reverse-corrupt a Denarian with his fundamental selflessness and general stubbornness, so if anyone might be able to turn a vampire back from the dark side, he's the guy for the job ...)
AUGH. IS IT APRIL YET?!
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