A listing of characters that appear in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series. Beware of unmarked spoilers!Clare is also publishing a prequel series, The Infernal Devices. Check out that character sheet, too.
Clary's was perfectly content with living life with her overprotective mother and geeky best friend. But her normal life is turned upside down she starts seeing things other people can't. When she comes home one evening to find her apartment sacked, her mother missing, and a demon in the room, she is thrust into the world of the Shadowhunters. Which sucks, considering she was totally unprepared for it. And if that wasn't enough, she might be the only one who can stop the impending war.
Tropes that apply to Clary:
A-Cup Angst: Not as pronounced as some examples, but Clary feels insecure when she compares herself to the more traditionally beautiful, busty/curvy Isabelle.
Idiot Ball: At the end of City Of Glass, Clary decides to wish Jace back to life. Which is great except she seems to have forgotten about all the other Shadowhunters that died. Real considerate there, Clary.
She usually grabs the Idiot Ball and runs with it whenever Jace is involved, like when possessed!Jace is able to trick her into mind-control just by batting his eyelashes at her and playing on her hormones.
Sarcastic, cynical, and a ladies' man, Jace seems like the archetypal Byronic Hero. But it's not like that arrogance is unfounded - Jace is widely renowned as one of the best - if not the best - Shadowhunters of his age. He lives with the Lightwoods at the Institute, and is, for some reason, incredibly attracted to Clary.
Expy: Of Cassandra Claire's infamous interpretation of Draco Malfoy.
Hollywood Atheist: He believes that there is a God, just not that God cares, after seeing his father murdered in front of him.
Idiot Ball: Grabs it with a bloody deathgrip when he refuses to tell anyone about the possible prophetic dreams he's having about murdering Clary until it's almost too late, nearly starves himself to death, doesn't sleep... oh, and ends up getting himself possessed by Sebastian. What an IDIOT.
Omniglot: Jace can speak a lot of languages, thanks to all the training his father put him to.
An example is when he speaks to Sebastian in Romanian in City of Glass.
Jace: "De ce crezi ca va ascultam conversatia?"/"Why do you think I was listening to your conversation?"
Sebastian: "M-ai urmarit de când ai ajuns aici. Nu-mi dau seama daca nu ma placi ori daca esti atât de banuitor cu toata lumea.” / "You've been watching me since you got here. I can't tell if you don't like me or you're just this suspicious of everyone."
Blood Lust: After he becomes a vampire, he needs blood. Badly. After he is imprisoned by Inquisitor Aldertree, the latter tries to starve him to death to find out the secret of his being able to walk in daylight.
Mark of the Beast: The Mark of Cain, which dates way back to the book of Genesis. Subverted in that Clary puts it on him to save his life. It actually comes in handy several times during the fourth book, as anybody who tries to lay hands on him gets punishment laid down on them sevenfold. In book five, the angel Raziel removes the Mark of Cain when Simon summons him, in exchange for a heavenly sword to sever the bond beyond Jace and Johnathan/Sebastian.
Megane: Although he doesn't need his glasses after he gets Turned.
Muggle Best Friend: To Clary after she finds out she's a Shadowhunter. Eventually subverted when he gets turned into a vampire.
Only Sane Man: Recognized that loving Clary was a dead end, and had enough self-respect to let her go and move on to Isabelle and Maia. Yes, at the same time. Yes, they find out. He seems to be together with Isabelle at the end of the fourth book, though.
Token Minority: He's Jewish. This is especially hard for him once he becomes a vampire.
Too Dumb to Live: The incident with the vampires in City of Ashes may count. After ingesting a tiny bit of Raphael's blood, he believes he is turning into a vampire and goes there at night, alone, to be sure. Naturally they nearly rip him to shreds, but Raphael keeps him alive for Clary's sake. Then he gets turned into a vampire.
Walking the Earth: He's scared he's going to end up doing this, with the Mark of Cain and everything. Good for him the angel Raziel removes it
Isabelle "Izzy" Lightwood (Jemima West)
Alec's younger sister, Isabelle is beautiful, confident, and dangerous - she is an accomplished Shadowhunter, after all. Being the middle child, Isabelle is rebellious and attention-seeking. The snobbish, Fantastic Racism she seems to hold against non-Shadowhunters, as well as the Ice Queen persona she upholds, starts to crumble once she meets Clary and Simon.
Does Not Like Men: While she is not averse to dating them, she distrusts men in general (in contrast to Jace and Alec, who wear their hearts on their sleeves) because she was The Confidant to her mother, who told her how her marriage to Robert was breaking apart.
Foreshadowing: The Lightwoods have a history of marital problems. Isabelle is noted as wishing she had her parents' blue eyes instead of her own dark ones. Blue eyes are a recessive genetic trait, it's impossible for two blue-eyed parents to have a child who is not also blue-eyed.
It's All My Fault: Believes Max's death to be her fault, as she was in charge of him at the time. To be fair, though, she had absolutely zero reason to suspect Sebastian.
Middle Child Syndrome: Isabelle is always raring to go into fights, not to mention she consistently dates boys her parents would hate. Jace says she does it to get attention, as she is not only the only girl but also the middle child.
Razor Floss: Edges her whip. She uses it to take off Sebastian's hand in City of Glass.
Sibling Yin-Yang: With Alec. Isabelle is not averse to showing off her beauty, is generally nicer, and like Jace, always rushing headfirst into demon-slaying. It's implied that Isabelle is the way she is in part because she wants to draw attention from her brother's homosexuality, as she does not want her parents to find out when he wasn't ready.
Statuesque Stunner: According to Jace, Isabelle hates being taller than most boys her age and would rather be dainty and petite.
Demon Slaying: He's Nephilim. However, it's noted that up until late in the story he's never killed a demon because he's always looking out for Isabelle and Jace, who tend to do most of the dirty work.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He does seem to care for Jace, in a way, as well as Clary, Jocelyn, Sebastian / Jonathan and even Luke in his own twisted way.
Dead Person Impersonation: He killed Michael Wayland and his infant son (using that baby to make Jocelyn believe her son Jonathan was dead) and took over Michael Wayland's identity while raising Jace (who was Stephen Herondale's son. It's complicated.
Faking the Dead: While posing as Michael Wayland he faked his own death to strengthen Jace.
Guinea Pig Family: Experimented on his own children in the womb to create better Shadowhunters. He infused Jonathan/Sebastian with demon blood, which made him horrifically strong but had the unfortunate side-effects of making him soulless and Jocelyn depressed. To make her feel better he gave her angel blood, not knowing she was pregnant with Clary at the time...
Meaningful Name: "Morgenstern" means "morning star" - signifying, of course, Lucifer.
Never Found the Body: After his ship is destroyed - which naturally means that he's still up and kicking. That is, until he gets stabbed by the angel Raziel in City of Glass, is cremated and has a funeral. He is dead for good. Unlike his other son.
Convenient Coma: Jocelyn induces a coma on herself to avoid anyone squeezing information out of her about the whereabouts of the Mortal Cup. The only person who knew how to revive her aside from the warlock that cast the spell was an old acquaintance, who gets killed early on in the third book.
Hidden Badass: Under the Overprotective Mom stance, Jocelyn was a powerful, talented Shadowhunter who plotted to overthrow her husband during the Uprising. Not to mention she ran away from Valentine to prevent his turning Clary into a "monster" like he did Jonathan.
Hooked Up Afterwards: With Luke. They planned to get married in City of Fallen Angels but the marriage was postponed indefinitely, with Jace's possession by Lilith and subsequent disappearence.
Hot Mom: Jocelyn is said to be beautiful: tall and willowy, with sharp features.
It Was a Gift: The tarot cards she gave Dorothea which contained the Mortal Cup.
Your Cheating Heart: "City of Fallen Angels" reveals that all wasn't fine and dandy for the Lightwoods after the Circle broke up. Robert blamed their wrecked lives on Maryse, and it seems they were on the verge of separation/divorce but decided to stay together for the sake of Alec and their unborn daughter. Unfortunately, a few years later, Maryse found out about his having an affair with somebody, and confided in Isabelle about it. Still, they stayed together, even if Robert was spending more and more time away.
Hodge Starkweather (Jared Harris)
The tutor at the Institute, who taught Alec, Jace, and Isabelle everything they needed to know about Shadowhunting.
A member of the downtown werewolf pack, Maia's had a rough life. Her brother abused her, and her ex-boyfriend hit her and eventually turned her into a werewolf. She seems to be getting along fine though.
Tsundere: Towards Simon and Jordan in City of Fallen Angels.
Why Did It Have To Be Beautiful Men: She has a fear of guys that look like her deceased brother, who abused her as a child. There's also her possessive ex-boyfriend Jordan, who was mentioned as the reason she was turned into a werewolf.
The Proud Elite: In some cases an even better example than Isabelle, but it's played with as while he's certainly proud and he does see himself and vampires as elite, the magical world (re:the Clave) does not see them as so.
The Starscream: According to Camille, he was the reason she left - he killed mundanes and blamed them on her, causing her to flee. When she did so, he seized her position and told the rest of the New York vampire clan that she was struck with wanderlust and a desire to travel (something that was not unheard of in vampires.)
Lipstick Lesbian: Heavily implied in the third book. Although she is seen kissing Jace, she tells Clary later it was merely a test to see if any guy was "her type". Confirmed in book five, where she appears with her girlfriend, Helen Blackthorn, and it's revealed she came out the closet, inspired by seeing Alec do so.
The Mole: He was the reason Valentine knew what Jace's group was about to do. He killed the real Sebastian Verlac and posed as the Penhallows' cousin in order to get information.
Not Quite Dead: In the fourth book, it turns out that he isn't exactly dead because of Clary's wish at the end of City of Glass to bring Jace back to life, which screwed up the balance of life and death.
Polyglot: Like Jace, he's also fluent in a variety of languages.
Romantic False Lead: We all know who's going to win Clary in the end. Besides, he's her brother.
Break the Haughty: When she realizes that her plan to trade Jace for the Mortal Instruments wasn't going to work and she realizes that Valentine might not care for his "son" as much as she cared for hers.
Toilet Seat Divorce: Not played for laughs, and the divorce actually did happen. Valentine convinced Stephen to divorce her on the grounds that she had "undesirable family connections" - ie. her brother was turned into a Downworlder, and Valentine does not like Downworlders.
Long Lost Relative: To Luke, more or less, although it's more of the fact that they're estranged siblings and Luke's afraid that she'd blame him for her divorce.
The newest member of Simon's band, Kyle seems like your typical nice guy (although Clary describes him as superhot). He's a member of the local Wolf Guard as well as Maia's ex-boyfriend who turned her into a werewolf.
The Atoner: He does seem to sincerely regret what he did to Maia, and only picked Simon as an assignment so he could get close to her.
Chekhov M.I.A.: He was mentioned back in City of Ashes as Maia's ex-boyfriend who turned her into a werewolf and disappeared for nearly two years.