When a person gets "infested" with a Denarian shadow, does the Fallen from who that Shadow is a copy of have access to any knowledge about what that shadow then goes on to learn/do?

For instance: Shadow Fallen knows Fact A and therefore Actual Fallen also knows Fact A automatically.

Or is the only way the Fallen can learn that, the Shadow's host going on to pick up the coin - them being in the dark until/if that potentially happens?

  • Tricky question. My first reaction was to say that the host has to take up the Coin. However, Lashiel seemed to know the nature of Harry's parasite.
    – Verdan
    May 3 '19 at 16:22
  • @Verdan She knew the nature of his parasite because it was discussed during the book and Anduriel was almost certainly watching Harry every second he possibly could.
    – Revenant
    May 4 '19 at 0:18

When one picks up a coin, there is a connection made between mind of the holder and the entity in the coin and an imprint (a basic copy) of the Fallen is placed in his mind.

Also, there has to be constant contact in order for the holder of the coin to tap to full power and abilities of the Fallen. That is why every KoBD places the coin in direct contact (including, for example placing it under skin or swallowing it constantly).

Harry picked up the coin and then refused to take it up ever again. So all he had was the imprint. But... To answer the OP's question another one must be asked:

Who is Lasciel?

She let out a cold little laugh. "Such arrogance. Do you think you could change the eternal, mortal? I was brought to life by the Word of the Almighty himself, for a purpose so complex and fundamental that you could not begin to comprehend it. You are nothing, mortal. You are a flickering spark. You will be here, and be gone, and in the aeons that come after, when your very kind have dwindled and perished, you will be but one of uncounted legions of those whom I have seduced and destroyed." Her eyes narrowed. "You. Cannot. Change. Me."

So, taking above into account it stands to reason that if there was any connection between the two, the below would not be possible:

I nodded agreeably. "You're right. I can't change Lasciel. But I couldn't prevent Lasciel from walking out of the room, either." I eyed her hard and lowered my voice. "Lady, you ain't Lasciel."


"You're an image of her," I continued. "A copy. A footprint. But you've got to be at least as mutable as the material the impression was made upon. As mutable as me. And hey, I've got newfound anger issues. What have you got that's new?"

White Night, chapter 33

So, to use the analogy from the OP: Fallen knows fact A, thus Shadow knows it, too. But reverse flow is happening only when holding the coin.

Again, White Night, chapter 41:

"I can't," she replied, her voice anguished. "She would never forgive that. Never accept me back into her... just take the coin. Harry, just take the coin. P-please."

It can be reiterated that with any connection Fallen-Shadow above would not be possible.

  • While I agree with your conclusion, the opening couple paragraphs aren't quite right. The physical contact (after the first touch) isn't actually necessary, nor is it why the KotBD swallow or embed their coins. It's pretty consistently explained from Death Masks forward that the connection is a metaphysical one and "taking up the Coin" is a choice, an act of mortal will, not anything special about the physical nickel. The specific case of hiding the coin on their person was explained as a way to prevent theft.
    – Paul
    May 16 '19 at 15:56
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    The Lasciel-shadow offers to teach Dresden how to summon the coin after he buried it in his basement. If physical contact (or at least physical possession) wasn't needed to let the actual Fallen in then such a summoning wouldn't be necessary. Though it's also unclear if that's a feature of the coin, or an application of a wizard's magic. May 16 '19 at 16:08
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    The transformations seem to be one of the more powerful aspects to the Fallen, and does seem to require possession of the coin to use. Otherwise a Denarian willingly giving up a coin couldn't be trusted to not just change and kill you off when your guard is down. May 16 '19 at 16:11
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    @aherocalledFrog - If it was metaphysical then accidental contact with skin of the mortal would not expose one to the danger... You can't have it both ways.Either picking up a coin is a concept or physical act (and Lash acts as if the latter counted)... Though... as far as I can tell it's actually both: picking up and choosing to use Fallen's power is a requirement. Also, remember that Harry is one of the Magi, thus, obviously, a lot of things work differently for him. Sanya could switch sides by dropping the coin, but Harry is not so lucky... He had to work for freedom from his Fallen...
    – AcePL
    May 21 '19 at 9:09
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    "Sanya could switch sides by dropping the coin" -> Sanya could switch sides by /choosing/ to drop the coin. There's a difference betwen the two.
    – AerusDar
    Jul 17 '19 at 23:11

This cannot be answered with any certainty with our current information.

That being said, personally I would lean towards no because of what happened near the ending of Small Favor

Nicodemus tells the shadow to disable Dresden however the shadow is already dead and gone which to me says there is no communication between the shadow and the fallen, however it could just mean the fallen can only communicate with the shadow and nothing else

  • Not quite correct. In at the very least two places in the series there is rather unambiguous information that there is no communication between the Fallen and it's Shadow.
    – AcePL
    May 16 '19 at 13:20
  • I think the OP was asking about the Shadow's own Fallen (e.g., Lasciel's Shadow and Lasciel being able to talk to each other). The example you give proves nothing, as it's not a communication between Lasciel and her Shadow.
    – Paul
    May 16 '19 at 15:49

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