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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.
Angel Unaware: Unintentional, as Valentine didn't know Jocelyn was pregnant when he experimented on her with angel's blood.
Clare has stated when asked by a fan "What kind of a name is Clary?" that she was named after a friend, who's full name is Clarissa, much like the Clary in the books. The only real similarities seem to be red hair (though Cassie also states that she imagined Clary's a much darker shade) and the first four letters of their names.
Bio-Augmentation: Valentine unknowingly added angel's blood to her before she was born.
Bratty Teenage Daughter: Clary is often almost insanely self-absorbed. Even though she is unconcerned about things like popularity, she can be rather spectacularly heedless of other people's feelings, tends to jump into dangerous situations without thinking about it and will do whatever she wants even if it literally results in endangering the entire world. Luke calls her out on it one time, when she tries to blindly Portal to Idris and she is shocked because he has never chastised her before.
Brother-Sister Incest: Jace and Clary, when it is revealed that they were both Valentine and Jocelyn's children.
Subverted when it turns out that they aren't even related.
Played straight with Sebastian Verlac/Jonathan.
Simon: "So, Jace isn't your brother, but you HAVE kissed your brother."
Calling the Old Man Out: For the entire duration of Jocelyn's kidnapping and subsequent coma, Clary is completely devoted to bringing her back. When Jocelyn finally is cured and returned, the very first thing Clary does is tear into her for depriving Clary of her Sight and not preparing her for the Shadowhunters' world.
Cartwright Curse: The trope doesn't apply to her, although when she meets Sebastian/ Jonathan for the first time she describes him as looking like a character from her manga who was this.
Casting Gag: In the film, all of the Shadowhunters have British accents. Clary who is the daughter of one is played by Lily Collins who is also the daughter a Brit.
Chekhov's Skill: Her ability to draw - this helps her create Runes of her own.
Fiery Redhead: Clary is easily upset and often lashes out at people.
Fish out of Water: Clary is not a hardened Shadowhunter or a Downworlder like the rest of the cast, at least at first. She jumps right on the mundie racism bandwagon rather disturbingly fast, though.
I Am Not Pretty: She considers herself an unattractive copy of her beautiful mother.
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.
Literal-Minded: Jace once told Clary "If there were such a thing as terminal literalism, you would have died at birth."
Long-Lost Relative:Valentine, her father, and Jonathan Christopher, her full brother who was posing as Sebastian Verlac.
Love Makes You Evil: Not so much evil as monumentally irresponsible. Jace has been Brainwashed by Sebastian, who is about to bring his Evil Plan to fruition. Jace manages to escape Sebastian's control temporarily, and wants to flee with the MacGuffin back to the Shadowhunters in order to prevent The End of the World as We Know It. However, afraid that the Shadowhunters will kill Jace to stop Sebastian, Clary keeps him from getting away, assuring that he ends up back under Sebastian's mind control and ultimately allowing Sebastian to advance his plan to the next stage.
Clary sage is a plant historically used to help clear the eyes, so Clary is a name suitable for a heroine who sees the Shadow world, which most people are blind to. The meaning behind her name is mentioned by Jace upon learning it in City of Bones.
Subverted, in that her father wanted to name her Seraphina, which derives from "seraphim", a class of angels. Her mother named her Clarissa instead.
Morality Pet: For Jace - The reason he didn't go with Valentine through the Portal in City of Bones was because he was thinking of Clary.
Slap-Slap-Kiss: With Jace in the first book. She even literally slaps him at one point.
Slashed Throat: Comes very close to this in City of Fallen Angels, courtesy of Jace (to be fair, he was under Lilith's Mind Rape at the time).
Strong Family Resemblance: Like Maryse and Isabelle Lightwood, Jocelyn Fray greatly resembles her daughter, only with sharper features.
Tangled Family Tree: She is raised by her mother Jocelyn, and thinks of her mother's devoted, if platonic, boyfriend Luke who is really a Shadowhunter named Lucian Graymark that was turned into a werewolf as her stepfather. He later gets a Relationship Upgrade with Jocelyn. She believes her biological father was a soldier killed in action, but he is really the Big Bad Valentine Morgenstern.
Tomboy and Girly Girl: Clary isn't exactly a tomboy, but fits the role in her relationship with Isabelle.
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.
Death Seeker: Can get like this often, much to the frustration of Alec and Isabelle, and later almost everyone else. Sometimes it is just reckless overconfidence, other times it is because of his traumatically confusing family history.
Distinguishing Mark: The star-shaped mark on his shoulder which is a birthmark of the Herondale family.
Distressed Dude: A recurring plot in almost every book is him being held in some form of captivity. This despite the fact that he is one of the most skilled Shadowhunters of his generation. Most of it is that he is a bit of a Death Seeker, and a large amount of effort on the part of his family and friends goes into getting him out of whatever trouble he has gotten into. In City of Bones his best friend Alec had initially never slain a demon, primarily because his main focus was on keeping Jace alive instead.
Fearless Fool: In City of Ashes, he gets a Fearless rune put on him by Clary. After a few minutes of fighting The Legions of Hell, he notes that the rune might be a little bit of too much of a good thing. In particular, he notes how blasé he was becoming in regards to injuries.
Flat Earth Atheist: He considers himself an agnostic even though he belongs to an order founded by angel and has met and killed many a demon himself. He claims it's because he's never personally met an angel or knows anyone who has but he does know that holy water, sacred ground and blessed weapons work because he uses them on a regular basis!
Happily Adopted: By the Lightwoods. Granted, Maryse and Robert are not the most emotionally engaged of parents, but they do care for him greatly. His adoptive siblings all love him dearly. Clary lampshades this when he is angsting about his lack of a last name and she points out that he's always been Jace Lightwood.
Hollywood Atheist: He believes that there is a God, just not that God cares, after seeing his father murdered in front of him.
Harmfulto Minors: His childhood, basically, the least of which involved his father murdering his pet falcon.
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.
I Have Many Names: He doesn't really have a surname. He was Jace Wayland, Jace Morgenstern, Jace Herondale and Jace Lightwood.
Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: While he unquestionably cares for some people, he also considers hurting them emotionally an acceptable outlet for his own Mangst. Also, can remain prejudiced easily even if the basis of his prejudice towards the target changes. For example, he seamlessly switches from calling Simon "mundane" to "vampire" as if he simply cannot remember the personal names of anyone who is not a Shadowhunter.
Jump Physics: He has the ability to jump supernaturally high, thanks to the angel's blood.
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."
Power Trio: With Alec and Isabelle, at least in the beginning. It gets more complicated when their team swells with the addition of Clary, Simon, Magnus, Maia, Jordan, etc...
Strong Family Resemblance: Amatis tells Jace that he looks exactly like Stephen Herondale did save for his mother (Celine)'s eyes.
Tangled Family Tree: He is supposedly the son of Michael Wayland. But then it turns out that Michael was murdered and the man who supposedly fathered him was really Valentine Morgenstern, leading to a Brother-Sister Incest problem with Clary. It later turns out that his actual biological father was Valentine's right-hand man Stephen Herondale. Needless to say, Jace goes through a great many surname changes, although he often uses Lightwood after his adoptive parents and siblings. Worth noting that Stephen had previously been married to Luke's sister
You Killed My Father: Subverted. He initially believes that Valentine killed his father, until a declaration of Luke, I Am Your Father. Double subverted when it's revealed that Jace is not Valentine's son and that he really did kill Jace's father.
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.
Boy Next Door: Caring, attentive, and has been at Clary's side for years.
* Deadpan Snarker: One of the snarkiest in the books. And that's saying something.
Distinguishing Mark: The ability to walk in sunlight, nicknaming him "Daylighter" and the Mark of Cain, though he later loses the latter.
Hollywood Nerd: He is a shy, awkward, D&D-loving nerd who can't get her to notice that he's in love with her (and is eventually rejected in favor of the dashing hero Jace.) In the film he is played by the gorgeousRobert Sheehan.
I Have Your Wife: In the fourth book, he gets a letter telling him to go to an address or his girlfriend's throat will be slit. Not having a girlfriend at the time, he freaks out until the next day when he realizes that Clary, Isabelle, and Maia are all fine. Until he sees a picture of little Maureen Brown with a Slashed Throat stuffed in a trash can.
In-Series Nickname: He is often called Daylighter by Downworlders, for that unique, annoying detail about being a vampire that can walk around in sunlight. Thanks, Jace's angel blood.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Asmodeus takes all of his memories of Clary and the Shadow World from him as part of the deal to return everybody from Edom to Earth. This is both because he relishes human memories and he knows it will hurt all of Simon's friends, especially Isabelle, to be forgotten by him. Magnus is able to restore some fragments of Simon's memories, but for the most part he has to start over from scratch.
Love Martyr: Simon is devoted to Clary, He hangs in there even after it is absolutely clear that Clary wants to be with Jace and he himself begins to date other (supernatural) girls.
Megane: Although he doesn't need his glasses after he gets Turned.
Insult of Endearment: Following Jace's lead, the Shadowhunters tend to consistently refer to Simon as "the mundane", despite him proving himself useful (and at one point saving their lives). Later on it gets switched to "vampire", although Isabelle in particular becomes less prone to use the latter.
Malicious Misnaming: Magnus calls Simon a variety of names starting with S, and very rarely calls him by his name.
Non-Action Guy: In City of Bones, he is the only main character that is 100% a mundane and is depicted as totally normal and needs rescuing from a hotel crammed with vampires. However, this is ended when he kills a Greater Demon, and then is turned into a vampire in City of Ashes.
Power Tattoo: In City of Glass, he receives the Mark of Cain, which dates way back to the book of Genesis. Clary puts it on him to save his life. It actually comes in handy several times during City of Fallen Angels, as anybody who tries to lay hands on him gets punishment laid down on them sevenfold. In City of Lost Souls, 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.
Romantic Runner-Up: Clary chooses Jace instead of him, although he doesn't seem too affected by it in the long run.
She Is Not My Girlfriend: Towards Maureen, whom he is genuinely not interested in despite her liking him to an absurd degree. It comes back to bite him in the ass later on.
Token Minority: He's Jewish. This is especially hard for him once he becomes a vampire.
Too Dumb to Live: Breaking into a hotel of murderous vampires that have expressed that they wouldn't mind having an excuse to turn you into hamburger meat isn't such a good idea. Especially if you go alone. And do it at night. Sure the vampire blood was summoning him back to Raphael, and he would have given in and sought them out sooner or later, but if he had only asked Luke, he would have known to wait a few more days, and the blood would have gone out of his system, as well as the compulsion it had on him to return to Raphael.
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.
Who Wantsto Live Forever: And he won't. Asmodeus considers his Daylighter form of vampiric immortality to be such a rare and valuable source of energy that he is willing to trade safe passage from Edom to Earth in exchange for it. He even "generously" turns Simon back into a human, rather than simply taking his life entirely.
Isabelle "Izzy" Lightwood
Isabelle "Izzy" Lightwood
Played by: 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.
Foil: The seasoned, snobbish, girly Nephilim to Clary's naive idealist tomboy.
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 almost 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.
Jerkass Façade: She's actually quite lonely underneath her snobbish exterior.
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.
Archer Archetype: While Alec is also formidable in hand-to-hand combat, he really stands out most when using a bow. He is even able to knock the knife out of the hand of an Endarkened that was holding it to Consul Jia Penhallow's throat, without hurting Jia.
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.
Full Name Ultimatum: A partial one. Magnus is the only person to call him by his full name, Alexander (other than his parents). After Alec asks him not to, he only addresses him as "Alexander" when he's particularly annoyed.
Gayngst: He struggles with his sexuality, thanks to the homophobic Shadowhunter society.
Mayfly-December Romance: With Magnus, a fact of which he becomes increasingly conscious, especially when Camille uses it to manipulate him.
No Sense of Humor: Possibly because he tries too hard to be the mature one of the group.
Oblivious to Love: He is a rather... odd example. Despite the fact that he and Magnus were dating, he is caught completely by surprise by Magnus's Anguished Declaration of Love in City of Glass. In his defense, he was still hung up on Jace, and his relationship with Magnus was just supposed to be a casual thing. He gets over both Jace and his obliviousness by the end of City of Glass, though.
Properly Paranoid: After finding out a bit of Magnus's romantic past, he is shocked by how many people and the kinds of people (namely the various species and genders) his boyfriend has been with. Needless to say, he becomes a bit paranoid about it. Later that day, they are at a party with a group of their friends and Magnus mentions to a werewolf boy they had just met that he once knew the werewolf that founded the organization the boy was part of. Alec, who had been quietly sulking until this point coldly asks, "Did you sleep with him, too?". This comes off sounded like an overreaction and paranoia about someone casually mentioned as an icebreaker. That is, until you read Clockwork Prince, where it is revealed that Magnus was indeed involved with him at some point. The author stated that she did this to show that Alec had a right to be paranoid about Magnus's romantic past.
Shipping Torpedo: He isn't a fan of Jace/Clary at first, since he has feelings for Jace himself. But once he falls in love with Magnus, he calms down about it.
Sibling Yin-Yang: With Isabelle. Unlike her, Clary notes that he is shyer, easier to guilt, and tries everything he can to downplay the good looks he shares with his sister.
Single-Target Sexuality: Towards Jace, or so he thinks anyway. Once he begins dating Magnus Bane he starts coming to terms with the fact that he really is gay. Jace puts the final nail in the coffin by confronting Alec, telling him that he was only infatuated with Jace because it was a "safe", guaranteed unrequited love that he could use as an excuse to avoid other relationships. He proves the point by demanding that Alec kiss him, which Alec cannot bring himself to do.
Straight Gay: He doesn't have plenty of stereotypically gay traits.
Tall, Dark and Handsome: He shares his mother's good looks and Clary describes him having long limbs like a dancer.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He seems to actually care about Jace. That doesn't stop him from killing Jace. He is sad afterwards and tried to keep Jace from forcing him to, though. He also seems to care for Clary, Jocelyn, Sebastian/Jonathan and 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, whom he cut out of her dead mother's womb). It's complicated.
Driven by Envy: Despite the fact that the Shadowhunters are effectively the dominant power in the supernatural world, Valentine greatly resents the Downworlders for their unique abilities, such as the vampires' ability to change shape or the magic wielded by the faeries and the warlocks.
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...
Hypocrite: Expresses hatred and disdain for the mixed-breed Downworlders, and contends that the Shadowhunters must keep the world safe from demons. But he deliberately taints his own son with demon blood, making him into a strange human/angel/demon hybrid, and even tried using demon blood to change himself with unclear results. He also readily summons and uses large numbers of demons to fight for him, as well as dealing with the powerful Greater Demon Lilith. Raziel calls him out on it.
Karmic Death: In City of Ashes he arranges the death of teenage warlock whose blood he needs by tricking the kid into summoning a demon that will be able to bypass the magic circle used to contain it. In City of Glass, Valentine has setup his own magic circle to summon the Angel Raziel to force it to remove the powers of the Shadowhunters that refuse to serve him. His daughter Clary, whom he has effectively bound and gagged nearby, manages to alter the circle, allowing Raziel to smite him in punishment for his evil deeds, but only after giving him "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
Meaningful Name: "Morgenstern" means "morning star" - signifying, of course, Lucifer.
Names To Run Away From: His last name means "Fallen star", referring to the fallen angel, Lucifer. You'd think that an organization as biblically based as the Shadowhunters would have been a little concerned when the guy who's last name essentially meant "Lucifer" began to gain so much power...
Never Found the Body: In City of Ashes, 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.
Shut Up, Hannibal!: In City Of Glass, he avoids this by using a magic rune to keep Clary quiet so he can monologue without interruption. She eventually gives a rebuttal by writing in the dirt.
Straw Hypocrite: Was this in his younger days when he formed the Circle. Although the stated goal that he used to woo his followers was to reform the Clave (by taking it over), his real objective was simply to set himself up as their ruler. But he ditched his followers the moment the odds turned against them. Once he reappeared years after the Uprising and his failed coup attempt, he was a good deal more open about his true objectives.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Unfortunately, his plan to reform the Clave to protect against demonic threats involves raising a massive demon army and slaughtering them all.
Convenient Coma: In City of Bones, she 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 City of Glass.
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.
It Was a Gift: The tarot cards she gave Dorothea which contained the Mortal Cup.
The Runaway: Once she'd had enough of Valentine's shenanigans, she ditched him.
That Thing Is Not My Child!: Valentine injected her with demon blood whilst she was pregnant, causing her to give birth to a demonic child who she was convinced was monstrous and evil. She turns out to be right, since Jonathan grows up to be a sadistic psychopathic murderer.
Asskicking Equals Authority: On more than one occasion when Luke has needed to acquire some allies in a hurry his solution has been to find the nearest werewolf pack, kill the Alpha and take over as leader.
Parental Substitute: Helped raise Clary along with Jocelyn. By City of Heavenly Fire, they're referred to as father and daughter more often than not by themselves and others. In a way, he was sort of a father figure to Simon, too, as the latter's father died when he was younger.
Playing Gertrude / Hollywood Old: In the film, Luke (who is at least in his late thirties in the book) is played by the then-29-year-old Aidan Turner.
The Runaway: After his baleful transformation into a werewolf, he becomes this.
Bi the Way: Later books, as well as The Infernal Devices and The Bane Chronicles reveal that he dated and slept which various people of both genders. Also describes himself as 'freewheling bisexual'.
Blue-Collar Warlock: He lives in a warehouse loft, throws wild house parties, generally behaves like a New York hipster and otherwise seems entrenched in modern urban culture despite his great age. Also does spellcasting for a fee as his primary source of income.
The Dandy: No matter what era he is seen in, he's always flamboyant and fashionable.
Really 700 Years Old: While his exact age is never given we know that he looks around nineteen and has to be older than two hundred and younger than seven hundred. Historically speaking (and given that Camille wasn't lying about his anchestory) he can't be much older than three hundred years old. In The Mortal Instruments books he is implied to be lying about his age (telling Alec that he's eight hundred years old) while The Bane Chronicles flat out state that he lies about it whenever it suits him. He eventually admits to being around four hundred.
Superpower Lottery: Basically anytime somebody needs something that is not explicitly covered by another character's power set, all eyes turn to Magnus. As a very old, powerful and knowledgeable warlock, if he doesn't know the specific spell needed, he usually knows where to get it.
Twofer Token Minority: He is biracial (part Asian) and a self-proclaimed "freewheeling bisexual." And a warlock to boot.
Robert, Maryse (née Trueblood), and Max Lightwood
Alec and Isabelle's immediate family, consisting of their parents Maryse and Robert, and their youngest brother Max. The Lightwoods run the New York Institute, where Clave meets are frequently held.
Tropes associated with the Lightwood family:
Action Mom: Maryse is as competent a Nephilim as her husband.
Happy Marriage Charade: They only pretend to be Happily Married, when in reality their marriage has nearly fallen apart at least thrice: once when the Circle disbanded and Robert blamed their wrecked lives on Maryse, twice when Robert was caught cheating (but Maryse told nobody save her daughter), and thrice when their youngest son dies. The general distrust between them lead to their daughter; Isabelle's "all-men-are-untrustable" attitude.
Infant Immortality: Subverted. In City of Glass, all the teenage protagonists survive the final battle.... but Max; the cute, manga-reading youngest Lightwood who wasn't allowed to fight is brutally murdered.
Sacrificial Lion: Max, who is killed off in the third book to establish Sebastian's evilness and emphasize the personal threat to the main characters.
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.
Sebastian Verlac / Jonathan Christopher Morgenstern
Aline's cousin, who is handsome, smooth-talking, cultured, and easily sweeps Clary off her feet. He's around town to represent the Paris Institute at the emergency council meeting. Due to this character's status as a Walking Spoiler, please see below for tropes present after The Reveal.
Foil: To Jace: He was experimented on with demon's blood while Jace was experimented on with angel's blood. Valentine raised him to be cold, cruel, and sadistic, while Jace is more compassionate and kind.
In the third book, it's revealed that the real Sebastian Verlac has been dead for some time, and that his identity had been taken over by the real Jonathan Christopher Morgenstern, Valentine and Jocelyn's son and Clary's older brother who was experimented on with demon's blood. Cold, sadistic, and ruthless, he's his father's agent through and through.
Abomination Accusation Attack: In City of Glass, he openly denounces Alec Lightwood for his homosexuality, which the latter feels very insecure about because it is strongly frowned upon in Shadowhunter society. This is more than a little hypocritical on his part however, seeing as how he himself has Brother-Sister Incest desire for Clary.
Affably Evil: Smooth-talking, charismatic (when he wants to be), and very evil.
Alas, Poor Villain: In City of Heavenly Fire, Sebastian goes down quickly, but Jonathan, the good within him, arises, tells Clary how to destroy the Infernal Cup, talks about what might have been, and then dies.
Ancestral Weapon: In City of Heavenly Fire, he has one of two swords his father commissioned that was specifically meant to be an Ancestral weapon. Clary gets the other.
Black Eyes of Evil: Thanks to the demon blood, he had these at birth. Jocelyn was so repulsed by him she refused to care for him.
Brother-Sister Incest: Clary, with whom he flirts heavily even after revealing they're related. He even attempts to rape her in City of Lost Souls.
Death Equals Redemption: The Heavenly Fire burns the evil out of him. But what little good there was in him is not enough to keep him alive, unlike Jace who was similarly burned in it. He does use his command of the Endarkened to keep them from hurting his former captives, and tells Jace how to destroy the Infernal Cup before he dies.
The Dragon: To his father. Seems to be one to Lilith now, too.
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 City of Fallen Angels, 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. This allowed Lilith to fully resurrect him.
Tangled Family Tree: Valentine did in fact have an actual son with Jocelyn, Jonathan, whom he raised in secret. Jonathan disguises himself as Sebastian Verlac, a cousin of the prominent Penhallow family. Later he magically coerces Jace into regarding him as a brother. Jonathan also has a Brother-Sister Incest vibe with Clary.
Foil: To Isabelle; she's conservative and shy where Isabelle is outspoken and outgoing.
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.
A high-ranking Shadowhunter and the Clave's Inquisitor, sent to keep tabs on Jace after the revelation of his heritage.
Tropes associated with the Inquisitor:
Cool Old Lady: Her age does not stop her from being an extremely competent Shadowhunter.
Break the Haughty: She gets a glorious one. After being nothing but condescending to Jace merely because he's the son of the Big Bad, she finds out that her plan to trade Jace to Valentine for the two Mortal Instruments that he has isn't going to work, because despite what she thought, Valentine doesn't care about Jace, only the instruments. This causes her to have a Freak Out and a bsod until Maryse snaps her out of it.
Defrosting Ice Queen: Starts out frosty and unapproachable, but suffers several humbling failures and by the end of the book she performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save Jace after learning that he was her grandson.
Gray Eyes: The second (strong-willed, unapproachable) type.
Heroic Sacrifice: Pulls one to let Jace escape on the ship, knowing that he was Stephen Herondale's son.
Mama Bear: Despite her hatred for children, she acknowledges this trope, coming to the conclusion that Valentine would do anything for his son like she would.
Happily Married: He and Amatis were genuinely happy together, until Valentine manipulated him into divorcing her. The letters he sent her showed he never quite got over her, though, and while he loved Celine his love for Amatis was something very different.
Living Emotional Crutch: Implied to be this to his second wife Celine, to the point of her nearly committing suicide upon hearing of his death.
Posthumous Character: Her suicide takes place long before the story proper, but her relationships with current characters make her important.
The very first Shadowhunter, who formed a pact with Raziel to be able to slay demons. After being given the Mortal Instruments, Jonathan turned his sister Abigail and best friend David into Nephilim as well. The three of them would go on to form the Clave.
Evil Counterpart: The Jonathan Shadowhunter of the parallel Earth now known as Edom was this. Described as being a "divider", he apparently had some similarities to Valentine, and when the demons invaded his world in force, most of the Downworlders sided with them against that world's Shadowhunters, leading to the demons being victorious and the whole world being laid waste.
Our Founder: They've been calling themselves Shadowhunters ever since.
Shrouded in Myth: Lived during the Middle Ages and the details of his life have been heavily mythologized in the thousand years since. This is one of the reasons nobody knew what the Mortal Mirror was, because the specifics of how he summoned Raziel (with the help of a warlock) had been buried beneath idealized legends.
The Silent Brothers
Male Shadowhunters who devote their lives to medication and archiving of Nephilim. They reside in the Silent City and keep watch over the Nephilim dead. They were founded by David, former parabatai of Jonathan Shadowhunter. The most frequently seen Silent Brothers are Jeremiah and Zachariah.
Character Overlap: Brother Zachariah is Jem Carstairs, who appears the way he does due to being unable to complete the entrance rituals because of the yin fen in his body.
Retired Badass: Most of them are retired Shadowhunters. Abigail Shadowhunter, in particular, founded them because she was frustrated at becoming this, and still wanted to help in the fight against demons.
Guarding The Portal: What she's really doing is guarding a Five-Dimensional-Door in her apartment.
The Hermit: Doesn't like leaving her apartment, and only interacts with Jocelyn.
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.
Tropes associated with Maia:
Action Girl: She's a werewolf, which makes her terrifying in a fight.
Asskicking Equals Authority: Takes down an usurper of the New York Clan in an absolutely vicious Curb-Stomp Battle which leads to her becoming temporary head and later permanent head of the New York Clan after Luke's retirement.
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.
Current leader of the New York vampire clan (although he asserts that he's merely leading in Camille's stead.)
Tropes associated with Raphael:
As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Being Mexican, he tends to interject phrases in Spanish when he speaks. In City of Ashes, he tells Clary that Simon "no es muerto," which is incorrect; it should be "no está muerto." It seems like a classic Google Translate error rather than it being intentional.
Older Than They Look: He is stated to look around fourteen years old. But then again, he's a vampire.
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.)
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.
Bigger Bad: Too busy overseeing the destruction of entire worlds to get involved in day-to-day evildoing. Until his son Magnus summons him, at which point he briefly appears in humanoid form and acts as a Deus ex Machina before returning to his more cosmic interests.