Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters / The Shadowhunter Chronicles Main Characters

Go To

    open/close all folders 

Click here to return to the main page.

The Mortal Instruments

    Clary Fairchild 

Clarissa "Clary" Adele Fairchild-Morgenstern (formerly Fray)

Played by: Lily Collins and Hope Fleury (young) (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), Katherine McNamara and Sofia Wells (young) (Shadowhunters)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/claryfray.png
Click here to see Clary in the film adaptation. 
Click here to see Clary in the TV adaptation. 

Clary 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.


  • 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.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the books she has green eyes. In The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, she has brown eyes, also her red hair is darker than described appearing almost brownish.
  • Angel Unaware: Unintentional, as Valentine didn't know Jocelyn was pregnant when he experimented on her with angel's blood.
  • Author Avatar: It's probably not a coincidence that the heroine is named Clary while the author's name is Cassandra Clare, which would result in some interesting implications if Cassandra Clare has a brother. (It's worth noting, however, that Cassandra Clare is just a penname — the author's real name is Judith Rumelt.) Clare has stated when asked by a fan "What kind of a name is Clary?" that she was named after a friend, whose 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.
  • Betty and Veronica: In the first two books, she's caught in a love triangle between her sweet, dependable childhood friend Simon and Jace, a sexy, brooding demon hunter. She chooses Jace.
  • Bio-Augmentation: Valentine unknowingly added angel's blood to her before she was born.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: She is the redhead of the three main protagonists of the franchise (Clary, Tessa, and Emma).
  • 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:
    • In City of Bones, she falls in love with Jace, who turns out to be her brother.
    • Subverted. They end up not related. She ends up with Jace, though only after meeting and kissing a boy she finds out is her REAL brother. Oops.
    • In City Of Lost Souls Sebastian/Johnathan is shown to actually want her, backing her up against a wall and forcefully kissing her, while going on about how they can be evil and rule the world together.
  • Cain and Abel: She's the heroic counterpart to her estranged demonic brother, Jonathan.
  • 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.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Her ability to draw - this helps her create Runes of her own.
  • Die or Fly: A key part of her role as protagonist. Despite having been raised with no knowledge of her Nephilim ancestry she starts to exhibit an intuitive, and encyclopedic, knowledge of angelic runes once she gets caught up in the events of the Shadow World. She is even able to come up with powerful runes that other Shadowhunters have never seen before. It turns out that the captive angel Ithuriel had been putting them into her mind, and this aspect of her abilities starts to diminish after he is freed, such that she can no longer pull new runes out of her head at will.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Usually goes barefoot indoors.
  • 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.
  • 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. Though considering what happens it causes Jonathan to come back to life and create an anti-nephilium group, this might not be a bad thing.
    • 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.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Prior to City of Bones, Jocelyn brought Clary to Magnus Bane every two years to have her memories of the Shadowhunter world wiped.
  • Like Brother and Sister: She and Simon come off as this at first, until Simon gains the status of Unlucky Childhood Friend before moving rather briefly into Victorious Childhood Friend and then going back to Just Friends.
  • 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 Morgenstern is her biological father. He went into hiding before she was born.
    • Subverted with Jace. Valentine makes them think they're long-lost siblings, but then Jocelyn reveals that they're not actually related.
    • Played straight with Sebastian, her biological older brother. Their mother though he had died, so he was raised by Valentine while she was raised by Jocelyn.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: 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.
  • Love Martyr: Clary is devoted to Jace, despite the fact that he is a Death Seeker and/or a positive magnet for Mind Control.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Jonathan Clark, the man her mother told her was her father, was just a mere acquaintance. Her real father is Valentine Morgenstern.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • 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.
  • Official Couple: With Jace.
  • One True Love: Jace's. She has stated before that if he were to die, there would just not be anyone else for her.
  • 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.
  • Surprise Incest: Subverted. She and Jace are revealed to be siblings at the end of City of Bones. They spend all of City of Ashes and most of City of Glass angsting about their attraction, until it's revealed thatJace was adopted. Played straight with Sebastian/Jonathan, Clary's actual brother, who kisses her despite knowing full well that she's his sister.
  • 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.
Advertisement:

    Jace Herondale 

Jonathan Christopher "Jace" Herondale (formerly Wayland, Morgenstern, and then Lightwood)

Played by: Jamie Campbell Bower (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), Dominic Sherwood (Shadowhunters)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jacewayland.png
Click here to see Jace in the film adaptation. 
Click here to see Jace in the TV adaptation. 

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.


  • Abusive Parents: Valentine, who was posing as Michael Wayland, physically and emotionally abused him. He would regularly beat Jace and on one occasion killed Jace's pet falcon right in front of him.
  • Action Hero: Jace is very willing to get into fights.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: He has golden eyes in the book, but blue eyes in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
  • Angel Unaware: The angel's blood that Valentine used to experiment on him with gave him certain characteristics (such as the ability to jump supernaturally high).
  • Badass Bookworm: He is very knowledgeable of classical literature and very talented at killing demons.
  • Back from the Dead: He got killed by Valentine, but Clary brings him back.
  • Betty and Veronica: He competes with Simon for Clary's affection. Jace is more mysterious and thrilling, but he can also be a jerk. The fact that everyone briefly thought Jace was Clary's long-lost brother adds a Forbidden Fruit element to him too. Meanwhile, Simon is her casual, adorkable friend that's she known her whole life.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He tends to be very protective of his adopted siblings.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In City of Glass, he saves Clary from being killed by Valentine. Valentine then proceeds to kill Jace seconds after he gives his "World of Cardboard" Speech.
  • Bio-Augmentation: Valentine added angel's blood to him before he was born, through the naivete of his birth mother Celine Herondale.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: In City of Fallen Angels, after his rebirth, Jace is left vulnerable to demonic possession; his death erased the protective effects of a magic ritual all newborn Shadowhunters are given to protect them demonic possession. Lilith takes advantage of his new Achilles' heel, sending him nightmares and forcing him to do her bidding. Even after she's defeated, Jace is then forced into a corrupted form of the parabatai bond, wherein Sebastian imposes his will and beliefs onto Jace.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: In City of Bones, a fortune teller tells him that he will "Love the wrong person". He falls in love with Clary, who turns out to be his sister. Subverted when they end up not related. He is the son of Stephan Herondale, his supposed father's second second-in-command.
  • Byronic Hero: Handsome, brooding, charismatic, aloof, the list goes on. Also a Death Seeker and drenched in Mangst. Jace has a very strong personal presence, but he's not exactly a source of much positivity.
  • The Casanova: He is implied to have been involved with lots of girls, and he flirts with Kaelie in City of Bones. However, prior to Clary he was never in a long term relationship.
  • Cassandra Truth: In City of Glass, his outright dislike and suspicion of Sebastian raises a lot of eyebrows despite the fact that he was right all along.
  • Cat Smile: Clary often likens his smile to that of a cat, adding that it comes of as mischievous.
  • Cunning Linguist: He's fluent in several languages.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Blonde hair and golden eyes.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He saw his father, Michael Wayland, murdered in a pool of his own blood. That was staged, of course. And Michael Wayland was never his father.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The snarkiest in a World of Snark. Applies mostly in the books
  • 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.
  • Demon Slaying: He's a Nephilim, it's a requirement. Although, he is more intensely focused on it, then other people.
  • 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.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Usually goes barefoot indoors.
  • 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.
  • Harmful to Minors: His childhood, basically, the least of which involved his father murdering his pet falcon.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Alec Lightwood. Alec's sexuality and initial attraction to Jace notwithstanding, the two share a "parabatai" bond which is explicitly stated as being a permanent platonic bond of partnership even stronger than that of brothers.
  • 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 changed his surname quite a few times due to the confusion about who his father was. He first was Jace Wayland, Jace Morgenstern, Jace Herondale and Jace Lightwood. He eventually decides to stick with Herondale.
  • 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.
  • Like Brother and Sister: With Isabelle, with whom he has a purely platonic relationship.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Jace is very fast, very strong, and very enduring, thanks to Valentine's training.
  • Long-Lost Relative:
    • Subverted. For a time, Valentine tricks him and Clary into thinking they're lost long siblings. Its turns out that Jace was actually adopted.
    • Imogen Herondale realizes that Jace is her grandchild — whom she thought died in the womb — not long before she dies. Jace himself doesn't learn of their connection until the following book.
  • Love Martyr: Jace is obsessively devoted to Clary, even when he believes that they are siblings.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Michael Wayland was never his father. Valentine Morgenstern is, he raised Jace while under the guise of Michael Wayland. Though City of Glass reveals that his father was actually Stephen Herondale. Valentine adopted him after his mother died, but he kept him a secret from his real son, and vice versa.
  • Mangst: A fair-sized chunk of the conflicts in the series are in some way related to the fact that Jace tries to conceal emotional and physical problems even from Clary and Alec. He will go into dangerous situations alone to try to work out his issues, which rarely ends well. His Death Seeker tendencies are tied directly to this.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Much attention is given to how attractive Jace is, especially since the viewpoint character is in love with him.
  • Nay-Theist: He believes that there is a God, just not that God cares, after seeing his father murdered in front of him.
  • Neat Freak: Clary notes that his room is as neat as a pin. When he is rooming with Magnus Bane, the poor messy warlock is driven nuts by Jace fixing up his apartment.
  • Official Couple: With Clary.
  • 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."
  • One True Love: Clary's. She is the one person he cant live without. In a parallel universe, her death is the one that destroys him and ultimately makes him a villain.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Jace comes from the initials for Jonathan Christopher, which hardly anyone calls him. When his full name is revealed at the end of the first book, its significant because it makes Clary think he's her long-lost brother, who also had the initials J.C.
  • Secret Other Family: He was being raised alongside Jonathan Christopher/Sebastian without ever knowing it.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Alec's Sensitive Guy. Jace is aggressive, forward and often downright antagonistic even in the face of Shadowhunters of much higher rank than him. Alec is shy, reserved and is easily hurt emotionally.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Alec and Magnus, despite traditional Shadowhunter prejudices about both homosexuality and Downworlders.
  • Significant Monogram: Jonathan Christopher "Jace" Wayland. The "JC" variation.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Amatis tells Jace that he looks exactly like Stephen Herondale did save for his mother (Celine)'s eyes.
  • Surprise Incest: Subverted. He and Clary are revealed to be siblings at the end of City of Bones. They spend all of City of Ashes and most of City of Glass angsting about their attraction, until it's revealed that he was adopted.
  • 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. Although after City of Heavenly Fire, he adopts his father's last name, Herondale.
  • Wangst: invoked Hilariously used by Alec to shut Jace down when Jace was being critical of the way Alec was wrecked over his breakup with Magnus. Alec finally found his sass and retaliated:
    Jace: You're pining.
    Alec: Look who's talking. 'Oh, I love her. Oh, she's my sister. Oh, why, why, why—'
  • Will They or Won't They?: With Clary. Nothing much ever seems to happen until they figure out they aren't related.
  • 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, albeit not directly.

    Simon Lewis 

Simon Lovelace (né Lewis)

Played by: Robert Sheehan (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), Alberto Rosende (Shadowhunters)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/simonlewis.png
Click here to see Simon in the film adaptation. 
Click here to see Simon in the TV adaptation. 

Clary's best (and probably only) friend, Simon, along with her, inevitably discovers the world of the Shadowhunters - something he eventually becomes a part of.


  • Adrenaline Makeover: After getting turned into a vampire and everything, Isabelle notes he's gotten more attractive.
  • Animorphism: Simon is turned into a rat in City Of Bones.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • At first he competes with Jace to be with Clary. Jace is new and exciting, while Simon is an ordinary guy whom Clary has grown up with. He does date her briefly, but then they decide they're Better as Friends.
    • He himself is hit by this when he starts dating Maia and Isabelle, who he describes as a 'steady candle' and 'burning star' respectively. They both break up with him, but he gets back together with Isabelle.
  • 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.
  • Distinguishing Mark: The ability to walk in sunlight, nicknaming him "Daylighter" and the Mark of Cain, though he later loses the latter.
  • Fish out of Water: He is not a hardened Shadowhunter or a Downworlder like the rest of the cast. He does get turned into the latter.
  • Foreshadowing: In City of Bones, Simon makes a joke about Jewish Vampires. That's exactly what he ends up becoming in City of Ashes.
  • Geek: Big time. He has several geeky interests, including video games, and comics.
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: Clary gives him pamphlets about coming out to help him tell his religious mom he's a vampire.
  • Hollywood Nerd: He is a shy, awkward, D&D-loving nerd who can't get Clary 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 gorgeous Robert Sheehan.
  • 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 by becoming a Shadowhunter.
  • Like Brother and Sister: He and Clary come off as this at first, until he gains the status of Unlucky Childhood Friend before moving rather briefly into Victorious Childhood Friend and then going back to Just Friends. They become parabatai after he Ascends.
  • 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.
  • Muggle Best Friend: He's the only "regular" main character at first and only gets involved in the adventure because his friend Clary finds out that she's a Shadowhunter. Jace, Alec, and Izzy are initially skeptical about bringing him along since they don't think a "mundane" can keep up with them. Subverted later on when he gets turned into a vampire, thus making him a Downworlder like Luke and Magnus, and a Shadowhunter after he loses his memory and enrolls in the Shadowhunter Academy.
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: In more than one fashion.
    • 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. He ends becoming a Shadowhunter later.
  • Not Growing Up Sucks: He is dismayed at being sixteen forever, saying that it's one thing to be frozen at twenty-five but looking how he is he is never going to grow into his features. Or get a drink. And there's the fact that he's going to far outlive his friends.
  • Operation: Jealousy: He hangs around Isabelle to make Clary jealous when it seems like she's not interested in him, although this develops into something more genuine.
  • Only Friend: He's the only mundane Clary is ever seen interacting with.
  • Only Sane Man: Recognized that loving Clary was a dead end, and had enough self-respect to stop.
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia: He's stunned stupid after Isabelle kisses him.
  • 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.
  • The Protagonist: He is the main character of Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy.
  • 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.
  • Slashed Throat: In City of Ashes, Valentine does this to collect Simon's blood. He gets better, probably because Jace gives him his blood.
  • 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.

    Alec Lightwood 

Alexander "Alec" Gideon Lightwood-Bane

Played by: Kevin Zegers (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), Matthew Daddario (Shadowhunters)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/aleclightwood.png
Click here to see Alec in the film adaptation. 
Click here to see Alec in the TV adaptation. 

The eldest Lightwood sibling, who is shyer, snarkier, and generally less welcoming, but his cold, standoffish persona crumbles faster.


  • Adaptation Dye-Job: He went from having black hair in the books, to being brunet in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Alec confesses that he was one to Max, who was closer to adopted brother Jace, because Alec was mostly concerned with keeping Max out of trouble and safe rather than doing fun and exciting stuff with him.
  • Ambadassador: By the time of the Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy story "Born To Endless Night", Alec has become this to the Downworlders of New York City. He is the preferred go-to Shadowhunter for both Lily Chen (leader of the vampires) and Maia Roberts ( leader of the werewolves). Less combative than Jace and a lot less high-handed than Maryse, the Downworlders look to him for guidance in solving problems. But it is also understood that he will be no less decisive in dealing with problems that they let get out of control.
    Lily: I stopped Elliott in time. I knew you'd kill him, and then I knew you'd give me your disappointed look.
  • 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.
  • Armored Closet Gay: He desperately tried to hide the fact that the he was gay, because of the homophobia in the Shadowhunter society and because he was afraid his parents wouldn't accept it.
  • Battle Couple: He fights alongside his boyfriend Magnus Bane in the final battle.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He takes his job as the eldest Lightwood sibling very seriously and displays a protectiveness over his friends. He is the oldest of the teenage cast and turns eighteen after the first book, making him legally an 'adult' and increasing his sense of responsibility for the others.
  • Closet Gay: He hides the fact that he is gay, because of the homophobic attitudes most Shadowhunters have. His friends and siblings figure it out by themselves, but his parents remain oblivious, until he comes out by kissing Magnus in front of everyone.
  • Coming-Out Story: In City of Glass, he comes out rather awesomely by kissing Magnus in the middle of the entire Clave, including his parents.
  • Literal-Minded: He has a tendency to misinterpret sarcasm.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Alec becomes involved with Magnus Bane, who is around 400 years old, when he is only seventeen and enters a relationship with him at eighteen. The fact the Magnus is an immortal warlock while Alec is human becomes a plot point in City of Fallen Angels.
  • 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.
  • The Reliable One: Alec often seems to be less overtly swashbuckling than Jace or Isabelle. But Magnus observes that Alec instinctively responds to people needing him, and will go to great lengths to help them. As a result, by the time of the Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy story "Born To Endless Night" he has become a cohesive force between the Shadowhunters and Downworlders of New York City. To the extent that vampire leader Lily Chen considers him an exception to her personal rule about keeping Shadowhunters out of Downworlder business because she knows he will just help solve problems rather than chastising her about the Law.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive guy to Jace's manly man. Alec is shy, reserved and is easily hurt emotionally. Jace is aggressive, forward and often downright antagonistic even in the face of Shadowhunters of much higher rank than him.
  • Shipping Torpedo: He isn't a fan of Jace/Clary at first, because Jace keeps putting himself in danger for Clary and because Alec has feelings for Jace himself. This doesn't last past the first book (partially because Alec and Clary make amends, partially because Clary and Jace think they are siblings). By the time Clary and Jace actually begin dating Alec has grown to like Clary and fallen in love with Magnus, so he doesn't become this again.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Isabelle. Unlike her, Clary notes that Alec 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 any of the stereotypical traits of a gay man. For example he absolutely doesn't care about clothes or his appearance, he is not effeminate and he is a really great fighter.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: He shares his mother's dark hair and good looks and Clary describes him having long limbs like a dancer.
  • Transparent Closet: In City of Glass, everyone seems to know that Alec is gay before he tells them. Except his parents, judging by their reaction to him kissing Magnus in the Accords Hall.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Magnus is very drawn to Alec's blue eyes.

    Isabelle Lightwood 

Isabelle Sophia Lightwood

Played by: Jemima West (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), Emeraude Toubia (Shadowhunters)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/isabellelightwood.png
Click here to see Isabelle in the film adaptation. 
Click here to see Isabelle in the TV adaptation. 

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.


  • Aborted Arc: The question why Isabelle's eye colors do not match with her parents is ultimately never answered. The second half of The Mortal Instruments implies that Isabelle's true biological mother is not Maryse, but rather the woman Robert had an affair with after he was exiled from Idris to the United States, but this is never confirmed nor disproved and the issue is quietly dropped after Robert and Maryse choose to separate in City of Heavenly Fire.
  • Action Girl: She is a very talented at killing demons. She is especially great with a whip. She even briefly gets the drop on Sebastian.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: She went from having black hair in the books, to being brunette in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Also her eyes went from dark brown to blue.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Alec and Jace call her "Izzy" when they're being affectionate to her. Later on, Clary and Simon pick this up as well.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Described as a Statuesque Stunner with waist-length dark hair. She's also very proud and distant, as well as an accomplished Shadowhunter.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Do not mess with her siblings. Max's death hits her hard as she was in charge of him at the time.
  • Black Sheep: Isabelle shares her family's black hair, but not their blue eyes (she has brown). It plays a bit into her insecurities and issues with her father, who had an affair with another woman around the time she was born.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: She has some shades of this, constantly complaining and lashing out at her parents. It was implied that this was at least partially a ploy to distract their parents from Alec's homosexuality.
  • Combat Stilettos: Isabelle wears heels constantly and fights in them when she needs to. She has even been known to use them as weapons, slashing and impaling targets with her kicks.
  • The Confidant: She confides in her mother, Maryse about the problems in her parents' marriage.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: She dates anybody but other Shadowhunters, intentionally bringing home boys she knows her parents would disapprove of. Jace says it's to get attention, it works - in the wrong way.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Like her brother, she is not very fond of Clary at first. Later, though, she begins to open up to her.
  • 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. She grows out of this when she genuinely falls for Simon.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Usually goes barefoot indoors.
  • Foil: The seasoned, snobbish, girly Nephilim to Clary's naive idealist tomboy.
  • Hidden Depths: She's actually quite lonely underneath her snobbish exterior.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • She briefly dates Meliorn, a half-faerie knight, in City of Ashes.
    • She begins dating Simon, a vampire, in City of Fallen Angels. Later averted when Simon reverts back to a human and undergoes Ascension to become a Shadowhunter. As of Lady Midnight, they are engaged.
  • It's All My Fault: Believes Max's death to be her fault, as she was in charge of him at the time.
  • Lady of War: Isabelle is the daughter of an old, prestigious, Shadowhunter family. She herself is very talented at Demon Slaying and manages to fight quite effectively even while wearing dresses and high heels. Her preferred tactic is to Whip It Good using her weapon of choice, an enchanted whip made of electrum (an alloy of gold and silver). Also noted for Beauty Is Never Tarnished — she can join her brothers fighting monsters underground without getting dirty even as they are covered in filth. When asked how she manages it, she remarks:
    Isabelle: I'm pure at heart. It repels the dirt.
  • Lethal Chef: Although she enjoys cooking, Isabelle isn't good at it and everyone hates her food. Her mother didn't teach her how to cook because she was afraid Isabelle would be told to Stay in the Kitchen.
  • Like Brother and Sister: With Jace, with whom she has a purely platonic relationship.
  • 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.
  • Outnumbered Sibling: She grew up with two brothers and Jace.
  • The Proud Elite: She has Raven Hair, Ivory Skin, is extremely cold and proud, and actively partakes in Shadowhunters' Fantastic Racism. She defrosts rather quickly, though.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Isabelle is very beautiful, with pale, clear skin and long dark hair.
  • Razor Floss: Edges her whip. She uses it to take off Sebastian's hand in City of Glass.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: According to Jace, Isabelle is very comfortable with her own body.
  • 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.
  • Silly Rabbit, Romance Is for Kids!: Quite young to be this cynical, but then she is privy to the fact that her parents have a Happy Marriage Charade going on. She openly questions how her brothers can so readily fall in love. But then, they aren't in on the family secret. She leaves this mentality behind when she falls for Simon.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Isabelle is very tall and beautiful, attracting the attention of many boys. According to Jace, Isabelle hates being taller than most boys her age and would rather be dainty and petite.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Like Clary and her mother, Maryse Lightwood greatly resembles her daughter, except for her blue eyes.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: She acts cold to everyone who isn't related to her (and Jace). She warms up to Clary and Simon eventually, though, and they become two of her closest friends.
  • Tap on the Head: Sebastian renders her unconscious in City of Glass with a hammer after he finishes with Max.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly girl to Maia (and to a lesser extent Clary)'s tomboy.
  • Whip It Good: She uses a silver-gold whip when she fights demons, one which can somehow cut through flesh and bone. It's partially magical, however, which explains its unusual cutting capacity.

    Magnus Bane 

Magnus Bane

Played by: Godfrey Gao (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), Harry Shum Jr (Shadowhunters)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/magnusbane.jpg

The campy, effeminate High Warlock of Brooklyn. Magnus, like most warlocks, is highly mercenary, but he becomes more helpful and generally heroic due to his love for Alec.


  • The Ageless: Warlocks stop aging once they reach adulthood.
  • Agent Peacock: He features glitter eye shadow, rainbow leather pants, and awesome ass-kicking.
  • Animal Eyes: Magnus has greenish-yellow eyes with vertically-slit pupils, like a cat.
  • Badass Finger Snap: Lampshaded in City of Ashes, when he gives a warning finger-snap, and somebody feels the need to explain:
    Magnus: There's no need to clarify my finger snap. The implication was clear in the snap itself.
  • Belly Buttonless: Being a warlock (half human/half demon), he has no bellybutton.
  • 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.
  • Breakout Character: Magnus Bane was only meant to have a minor role City of Bones, but due to the amount of positive reception by the fans he received an expanded role as both a secondary character and Alec Lightwood’s love interest – appearing in every book in The Mortal Instruments and its sequel series, The Dark Artifices. Thanks to being an immortal, he recurs in the two prequel series, The Infernal Devices and The Last Hours, as well, and got a series of short stories that were told from his perspective, The Bane Chronicles. Finally, he is one of the only two main characters in The Eldest Curses. He is arguably the most important character in the franchise.
  • The Dandy: No matter what era he is seen in, he's always flamboyant and fashionable.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Tends to speak sarcastically.
  • Eccentric Millionaire: He's the High Warlock of Brooklyn, darlings.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: He is quite fond of his body glitter and his magic itself does sparkle.
  • Extreme Omnisexual: He's been with men, women, warlocks, vampires, humans, fey, and the occasional djinn, which does show that he does go for anything. Except mermaids. They smell like seaweed.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: As with all warlocks, Magnus is the child of a human/demon coupling.
  • Interspecies Romance: He's dated vampires, werewolves, faeries, mundanes and djinns. Now he's dating a Shadowhunter, Alec Lightwood.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: He can induce it, such as his work on Clary. However, he can't undo it.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: When shit hits the fan, you find how he ended up as the High Warlock of Brooklyn.
  • Magnus Means Mage: A fitting name for the High Warlock.
  • Mark of the Supernatural: He has cat eyes.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: He is around 400 years old and dating Alec Lightwood who is eighteen. The fact he is an immortal warlock while Alec is human becomes a plot point in City of Fallen Angels.
  • Meaningful Rename: Magnus renamed himself after he was taken in by the Silent Brothers. He still remembers his Indonesian name, but it's yet to be revealed.
  • The McCoy: Of the Magnus-Catarina-Ragnor trio. He is very proud of flouting the rules and frequently banters with Ragnor for this.
  • The Medic: Frequently called in to provide healing whenever somebody suffers an injury that the usual Shadowhunter healing Rune cannot fix.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Being a warlocks he is half-demon half-human.
  • Noodle Incident: How exactly did he get himself banned from Peru? note 
  • Only in It for the Money: Until he falls for Alec.
  • Patricide: He killed his mundane stepfather when he tried to kill him.
  • 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 ancestry) 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.
  • Squishy Wizard: Has immense magical powers, but is still susceptible to physical injury. Considering how many enemies have Super Strength, Super Speed and Super Reflexes this can be a weakness.
  • 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.
  • Token Minority: He's part Asian.
  • Twofer Token Minority: He is biracial (part Asian) and a self-proclaimed "freewheeling bisexual." And a warlock to boot.
Advertisement:

The Infernal Devices

    Tessa Gray 

Theresa "Tessa" Herondale-Carstairs (née Gray)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tessagray.jpg

Tessa has spent the first sixteen years of her life being overprotected by her aunt after the death of her parents in a carriage accident. She lives almost all her life in books, dreaming of having the kind of adventures the heroines she reads about do—until she is forced to travel from New York to London when her brother Nathaniel goes missing and only a pair of mysterious—and sinister—women called the Dark Sisters seem to know where he might have gone. The Shadowhunters of the London Institute may be Tessa's only hope of finding Nate, but their mysterious world of demons and Downworlders holds many dangers for her—especially when she realizes she might be more a part of it than she'd thought.


  • Altar the Speed: In Clockwork Princess, her wedding to Jem is moved up earlier so they can get married before Jem succumbs to his illness. It ultimately never transpires, since Jem becomes a Silent Brother afterward.
  • Arranged Marriage: Tessa was going to be forced to marry the Magister had she not been rescued by Will. She was obviously not very happy about it.
  • Babies Ever After:
    • The epilogue of Clockwork Princess states that Tessa eventually has a son with Will named after Jem. Extra materials further explain that they also have a daughter, Lucie.
    • Through Blood, Through Fire reveals that Tessa is expecting her daughter with Jem. She gives birth to baby Mina in Forever Fallen.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: She is the brunette of the three main protagonists of the franchise (Clary, Tessa, and Emma).
  • Brainy Brunette: She is a wide reader and quotes poetry quite often. She has the potential to lapse into Badass Bookworm territory.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Will's mention of Boadicea gives Tessa the strength to fool the Magister.
  • Chekhov's Gift: The clockwork angel. Also, Tessa's dislike of chocolate and the gift Nate gives Aunt Harriet...
  • Driven to Suicide: Subverted. She makes the Magister think she killed herself so that he wouldn't get his hands on her power, but in reality she Changed into a woman who'd died by a gunshot wound seconds before the wound would prove fatal.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Tessa first debuts near the end of City of Glass, during the party in Alicante to celebrate the victory over Valentine, though she is unidentified. She is the "brown-haired woman" Clary spots talking with Magnus.
  • Expy: Of The Draco Trilogy version of Hermione Granger .
  • Faking the Dead: In Clockwork Angel, she fakes her own suicide to prevent Mortmain from using her power.
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo:
    • Her 'brother' Nate is actually her cousin. Tessa's aunt, Harriet Moore, had sex with her fiancé before they got married. Then her fiancé died before the wedding and she found out she was pregnant. To avoid a scandal her married sister Elizabeth, Tessa's mother, pretended the child was hers.
    • Complicated even more by the fact that her mother Elizabeth was actually a Shadowhunter named Adele Starkweather not related to the Moore's who got Switched at Birth with the real Elizabeth. This means that Tessa is actually not related to Nate or Harriet at all.
  • Famous Ancestor: She is an ancestor of both the modern-day Herondale and Blackthorn families.
  • First Kiss: With Will in the attic.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: Played with by having Jem and Will be Tessa's angels, respectively. It doesn't hurt that they're both part angel.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: She's a warlock-nephilim hybrid. Her father is Belial, a Greater Demon and Prince of Hell who fooled Tessa's Shadowhunter mother into thinking he was human.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: She eventually moves on from Will's death, but only after decades of self-imposed isolation. She agrees to start a family again with Jem 125 years after she gave birth to Lucie.
  • Humanshifting: This is her unique power. Her whole schtick is that she can change her appearance into any humanoid, dead or alive, as long as she has touched an object that belonged to them. She's turned into both males and females.
  • Interspecies Romance: With both Will and Jem.
  • Love Triangle: Will—>Tessa<—Jem. She manages to get both, at different stages of her life.
  • Mark of the Supernatural: Despite being a warlock, she does not have a mark because her mother was a Shadowhunter. This is basically her distinguishing mark.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: With Will. Will is mortal Shadowhunter, while Tessa is an immortal warlock. She not only outlives him, but also a further four generations of Herondales.
  • Morality Pet: For Will.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Invoked in Clockwork Princess, when she realizes exactly why and how Mortmain wishes to use her.
  • Not Quite Back to Normal: She worries that her shapeshifting would lead to this eventually.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: None of her descendants inherit her immortality. She leaves Britain after Will's death for this reason; she does not want to see her children die. Jace is actually her descendant, so she has outlived five generations of Herondales.
  • Paradox Person: Her entire existence. Warlocks are physically impossible to be conceived of Shadowhunter mothers and yet she is. All warlocks have a mark and yet she doesn't. All warlocks are infertile and yet she is not.
  • Parental Abandonment: Her parents died when she was three.
  • Parental Substitute: In Queen of Air and Darkness, she takes Kit in after he decides to leave the Los Angeles Institute.
  • Really 700 Years Old: She still looks about 19 come the epilogue of City of Heavenly Fire, even though she is well over 130 years old by that point.
  • Shapeshifter: This starts off the whole story because of her ability to change into anyone, even possessing some of their memories and personality (she just has to touch one of their items to do it the first time).
  • Shapeshifter Default Form: Her normal body, of course.
  • Supernaturally Young Parent:
    • Since Tessa is a warlock, she is immortal and will look like she is in her early twenties forever. However, none of her descendants, including her children, James and Lucie, inherit her immortality. According to the family tree provided in Clockwork Princess, at the time of Will's death, she is actually physically younger than her grandson Owen (25 years old).
    • By the time of The Dark Artifices series, Jace, her great-great-great-grandson, is also physically older than her (22 years old).
  • Tangled Family Tree: Tessa's got one heck of a tangled genealogy:
    • Tessa is introduced as the daughter of Elizabeth and Richard Gray, the younger sister of Nate, and the niece of Harriet Moore. Yet at the end of Clockwork Angel, we learn that Richard's just an adoptive father; her actual father is an unnamed Greater Demon, making her a warlock with very strong potentials comparable to Magnus.
    • Then we learn in Clockwork Prince that Tessa and Nate are only cousins; Nate is the son of Harriet, who left him in the care of Elizabeth because she had him out-of-wedlock (being set in the 18th century, illegitimacy is seen in a negative light). This led him to poison her, thus providing for a bait for luring Tessa to London in the first place.
    • Then we learn in Clockwork Princess that Elizabeth was never Harriet's sister, Nate's aunt, or even a part of the Moore family for that matter. She's actually Adele Starkweather, the long-lost granddaughter of Aloysius, the Shadowhunter head of the York Institute who was switched by the faeries in exchange for the real Elizabeth Moore, a sickly mundane girl. This means that Tessa is the only known person born of a Greater Demon and a Nephilim, meaning that she inherited both angel and demon blood and thus a warlock who can have children.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The fact that Will and Tessa kiss is revealed in the book trailer for Clockwork Angel
  • Two Guys and a Girl: With Jem and Will.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: After she learns to control her powers.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Tessa always compares her adventures to what she's read and hopes for the best of all situations.

    Will Herondale 

William "Will" Owen Herondale

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/willherondale.jpg

Seventeen-year-old Will is the sort of young man nice Victorian girls were warned against. He drinks, gambles, and enjoys the company of ladies of questionable virtue—at least, as much as he enjoys anything. Will hates everyone and everything, with the possible exception of Jem, and even that's in some doubt. Charlotte despairs of keeping him alive past the age of nineteen. When he finds himself oddly drawn to Tessa, his friends begin to hope that the Downworlder girl will prove Will's unlikely salvation—but as Tessa grows closer to the bleak secret that makes his life a prison, danger threatens to destroy them both if she ever finds out the truth.


  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Will constantly says he's always out drinking and gambling, and that there are a dozen girls who've claimed that he'd compromised their virtue. Jem, however, thinks he's lying to make himself look bad.
  • Babies Ever After: The epilogue of Clockwork Princess states that Tessa eventually has a son with Will named after Jem. Extra materials further explain that they also have a daughter, Lucie.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: According to Jessamine, Will thinks he's Galahad. And it's true.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Or at least, he alludes to one quite often.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Oh, Will.
    Gabriel: You know, there was a time when I thought we could be friends.
    Will: There was a time when I thought I was a ferret, but that turned out to be the opium haze. Did you know it had that effect? 'Cause I didn't.
    • And there's this scene from The Clockwork Prince:
    “They’re not hideous,” said Tessa.
    Will blinked at her. “What?”
    “Gideon and Gabriel,” said Tessa. “They’re really quite good-looking, not hideous at all.”
    “I spoke,” said Will, in sepulchral tones, “of the pitch-black inner depths of their souls.”
    Tessa snorted. “And what color do you suppose the inner depths of your soul are, Will Herondale?”
    “Mauve,” said Will.
  • Emo Teen: According to fans. He even lampshades it himself at times.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: De Quincy and Magnus Bane both hint at this about him.
  • Expy: Of the Draco Trilogy version of Draco Malfoy .
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Jem. So much that even though both boys love Tessa, they are willing to let the other one have her and even if Jem died after marrying Tessa, Will would never pursue Tessa as he feels it would be a betrayal to his friend.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: It's to stop people from caring about him too much - because of his curse, they'll wind up dead eventually. After he finds out that there is no curse, he mellows down.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Pulvis et umbra sumus. For those who don't read Horace, that means "we are dust and shadows," pretty much said by Will to be what he believes in.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Pulls this for both Tessa and Jem when they announce their engagement.
  • I See Dead People: Confirmed in the first chapter of The Clockwork Prince to be one of the few Shadowhunters that can.
  • Interspecies Romance: With Tessa, a half Shadowhunter warlock.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: He alludes to a traumatic childhood quite often.
  • Jerkass: He very occasionally strays into Jerk with a Heart of Gold territory, but he really isn't. However, he does shift into Hidden Heart of Gold territory after the discovery that he literally kills everyone he loves. Until it turns out that he doesn't. He's still distant, though, but that's just his personality.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Big time. Will's good looks are given a lot of attention.
  • Odd Friendship: With Jem - Will is a rude asshole and Jem is a kindhearted nice guy. They even look absolutely different: Jem is all white and silver and Will is all dark colors.
  • Playing Drunk: Jem says it's to make himself look bad. It is revealed in The Clockwork Prince why.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: He has black hair and white skin.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: With his mother and his sister Cecily. They all have black hair and dark blue eyes.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: He is much friendlier in The Last Hours series. Seems like being married and becoming a father has made this bad boy turn on a new leaf.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: His dark blue eyes are one of his most striking features. Magnus' fixation on Alec's blue eyes are in fact rooted in his previous fixation on Will's. It's later revealed that this is not a coincidence, as one of Alec's ancestors is Cecily Herondale, Will's similarly dark blue-eyed younger sister.

    Jem Carstairs 

James "Jem" Carstairs / Ke Jian Ming / Brother Zachariah

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jemcarstairs.jpg

Brought up in the Institute in Shanghai, Jem's parents were killed by a demon who allowed Jem to live—but with a terrible price to be paid. Frail and silver-haired, Jem seems an unlikely demon-killer, but his skills and swift intelligence make him a formidable foe. He finds a kindred spirit in Tessa as both of them feel they are torn between two worlds, neither belonging completely to one or to the other. As Jem's affection for her grows, will Will have to hurt the only person in his life he's ever seemed to care about?


  • Altar the Speed: In Clockwork Princess, his wedding to Tessa is moved up earlier so they can get married before Jem succumbs to his illness. It ultimately never transpires, since Jem becomes a Silent Brother afterward.
  • Babies Ever After: Through Blood, Through Fire reveals that Tessa is expecting her daughter with Jem. She gives birth to baby Mina in Forever Fallen.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Due to his 'illness', he coughs up blood when weak.
  • But Not Too Black: According to Cassandra Clare, an early cover for one of the The Clockwork Prince him pulling his hat over his face. The cover was changed when Clare protested.
  • But Not Too Foreign: His father is English, while his mother is Chinese. Other than James Carstairs, he also has a Chinese name: Ke Jian Ming, though this is only mentioned once or twice.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: According to Jessamine. Not as much as Will, though.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: A demon who had a grudge against his mother tortured him in front of his parents, injecting him over and over with a drug that made him hallucinate vividly. See Soap Opera Disease.
  • Deadpan Snarker: His snarkiness comes mostly from saying something, then adding "Not really" with something humorous. He can play the trope completely straight, though.
  • Definitely Just a Cold: To Tessa when she asks about his health.
  • Disease Bleach: Turns out it's because of a demonic halluginogenic drug originally used to torture him as a child. Same goes for his eyes. His hair reverts back to black after he turns into a Silent Brother. And when he stops being a Brother, it's revealed that his eyes turn brown as well.
  • Elegant Classical Musician: He can play the violin, and quite well, too.
  • Emergency Transformation: Right before he succumbs to his illness, the Silent Brothers perform a ritual to make him their own, which prevents yin fen from claiming his life.
  • Expy: Of the Draco Trilogy version of Harry Potter.
  • Foil: To Will, they may be best friends, but they are completely different. Jem is a kindhearted nice guy and Will is a rude asshole. They even look absolutely different: Jem is all white and silver and Will is all dark colors.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: A partial version of this trope; Will is the only one to call him "James", although it is a mark of affection more than anything.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: To Tessa, after she accepts his proposal.
  • Ill Boy: He has to take a drug to battle a disease he got from being tortured as a child and coughs up blood if he goes too long without it.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: His illness that causes him to cough up blood. No cure has been found. That is until the epilogue of The Clockwork Princess, when he is turned into a Silent Brother to slow the progress of the disease. 129 years later, Jem is finally cured of his disease when he is burned by the heavenly fire of Glorious.
  • Interspecies Romance: With Tessa.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Subverted. He had a very traumatic experience but seems to function perfectly normally outside his "illness".
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: When he adopts Church.
  • Memento MacGuffin: His mother's family ring, which he uses to propose to Tessa.
  • Morality Pet: For Will.
  • Nice Guy: Jem is almost always kind and polite to everyone.
  • Oblivious to Love: Probably can't tell that Sophie's sweet on him.
  • Odd Friendship: With Will - Jem is a kindhearted nice guy and Will is a rude asshole. They even look absolutely different: Jem is all white and silver and Will is all dark colors.
  • Parental Substitute:
    • It's revealed that after he is relieved of his Silent Brother duties, he considers raising his 12-year-old distant cousin, Emma, whose parents both died during the Dark War, but his search for the Lost Herondale, combined with Emma's own decision to stay with the Blackthorns in Los Angeles, dashes the plan. Ultimately, he becomes more of a brother than a father to her.
    • In Queen of Air and Darkness, he and Tessa take in Kit and act like second parents to him.
  • Pretty Boy: The only one of the Silent Brothers who still has hair, eyes, and an unstitched mouth. As a result, he looks downright gorgeous by Silent Brother standards.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Silent Brothers are not immortal, but they age very slowly. As a result, Jem still looks around eighteen come the events of City of Heavenly Fire, even though he is really 147 years old. After he is burned by the heavenly fire, he becomes a mortal again, so by the events of The Dark Artifices set five years later, he looks like in his twenties.
  • Secretly Dying: As of The Clockwork Prince, he is still hiding his Soap Opera Disease from everyone except Will and Tessa.
  • Skunk Stripe: After he becomes a Silent Brother, Jem's hair mostly turns to its original black color, but some of its streaks remain white, a legacy of his years-long Disease Bleach.
  • Soap Opera Disease: It was caused by a demon drug that was used to torture him and his parents when he was younger. There is no known cure for it, and he has to keep taking a specific drug to keep on fighting - as Brother Enoch says, taking the drug means a slow death, but keeping him off the drug would mean a quick one.
  • Sword Cane: His Weapon of Choice is a jade-tipped one.
  • Technicolor Eyes: Jem's eyes, like his hair, are silver. Again, this is an influence of yin fen.
  • Token Minority: Being half-Asian, he is the only non-white member of the London Institute.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: His hair is described as silver. This is a side effect of the yin fen; before he took the drug, his hair was black. When he is turned into a Silent Brother, his hair goes back to black, albeit with a thin silver streak.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: He is addicted to a drug (yin fen) that is slowly killing him. However, to stop taking the drug will also kill him.

Advertisement:

The Dark Artifices

    Emma Carstairs 

Emma Cordelia Carstairs

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/emmacarstairs.jpg

When Emma was younger, she was living happily in Los Angeles with her parents. Then they died in the Dark War under suspicious circumstances. After that she started living at the Los Angeles institute with her best friend/future parabatai Julian Blackthorn and his family. Even though the Clave claimed her parents got murdered by Sebastian, she knows that there is more to it and she is determined to find out what really happened.


  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Her family blade, Cortana, seemingly has the ability to cut anything. In Lord of Shadows, it manages to shatter the Mortal Sword, which was given by Raziel himself. Though it's later revealed that this has less to do with its cutting power and more of the fact that Emma is empowered by her parabatai bond with Julian at the time.
  • Action Girl: One of the best shadowhunters of her generation. In-universe, she is noted to have the potential to become the next Jace Herondale, who is the best Shadowhunter of his generation.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: When she and Julian become the mythical Nephilim at the climax of Queen of Air and Darkness, they stand dozens of feet tall.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: She is the blonde of the three main protagonists of the franchise (Clary, Tessa, and Emma).
  • The Beard: At the end of Lady Midnight, Emma strikes a relationship with Mark to deter Julian from pursuing her. It fails and they decide to "break up" in Lord of Shadows.
  • Covered in Scars: Her body is scarred because she tends to be reckless about her own safety. She's left with even more scars after she takes a whipping from the Faeries in order to protect Mark and Julian.
  • Family of Choice: Since the Dark War, she considers the Blackthorns as a second family to her.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Cristina. She is usually the first person Emma goes to confide her problems, and vice versa.
  • Intimate Healing: Emma heals Julian from a fatal injury while they're cramped together in the back seat of a car. She even notes that she's straddling him. It's even this on an emotional level, as the only reason Julian's wound was able to be healed was because his and Emma's romantic feelings for each other enhanced the power of the healing runes.
  • Like Brother and Sister: With Mark. Other than Cristina, he is for most of the series the only person who knows about her feelings for Julian. They become especially close when they pretend to be lovers, but their relationship always stays platonic.
  • Morality Pet: To Julian.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: When she and Julian became parabatai, they swore to be this. However some time later they fell in love. At the end of the series their parabatai bond gets broken and they become a couple.
  • Promoted to Parent: She helps Julian take care of his younger siblings after the Dark War, being the only person who is his age.
  • Relationship Revolving Door: She and her ex-boyfriend Cameron Ashdown had this relationship. They broke up and got back together again every four months or so until Emma finally broke up with him for good.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: She falls in love with her parabatai Julian, which is strictly forbidden.

    Kit Herondale 

Christopher "Kit" Jonathan Herondale (formerly Rook)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kitherondale.jpg

The son of Johnny Rook and Rosemary who grew up as a mundane. He is the current title holder of the Lost Herondale.


  • Action Survivor: Throughout The Dark Artifices, he is mostly out of his depth and treated like a child; though he is a Shadowhunter, he was raised mundane through and through.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Gives one to Ty in the climax of Queen of Air and Darkness, to make him reconsider trying to bring back Livvy. The fact that Ty just brushes it off makes Kit heartbroken enough that he accepts Tessa's offer to live with her in Devon, as it would separate him from Ty.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Happily looks after baby Mina when given the chance.
  • Fish out of Water: Since he was raised as a mundane, Kit has difficulty adjusting to the life of a Shadowhunter. He attempts to escape the institute several times and mostly stays away from the others' discussions to spend time together with the autistic Ty, who doesn't like to be in a crowd. It takes him a long time to agree on receiving his first rune.
  • Happily Adopted: Kit is pretty happy with his adopted parents Tessa and Jem and their daughter Mina.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He slowly develops this dynamic with Ty throughout the events of The Dark Artifices. The third book, however, implies that the relationship might have been more than heterosexual, at least from Kit's side.
  • Living MacGuffin: Jem and Tessa in general treat Kit as a sort of a holy grail. The revelation that Kit has the potential to succeed and unite both faerie realms makes this justified.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: During the battle at the Imperishable Fields, he demonstrates the ability to disintegrate the horses of the Riders, but passes out afterwards.
  • The Reveal: Kit is not just a mundane with the sight. He is actually a Shadowhunter, descended from Tobias Herondale. He is also a descendant of the First Heir, the daughter of the Seelie Queen and the Unseelie King.
  • Spare to the Throne: As a descendant of the First Heir, Kit has a claim on both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts and can raise an army to help him take the thrones.
  • Those Two Guys: After his move to the Los Angeles Institute, he is almost always seen with Ty. Livvy sometimes accompanies them before she dies.
  • Uneven Hybrid: He is mostly a Nephilim, but also has some amount of faerie ancestry through his mother.

    Julian Blackthorn 

Julian Atticus Blackthorn

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/julianblackthorn.jpg

Julian is the third child of Andrew Blackthorn (and the first with his wife Eleanor). In the dark war his father died, his older sister got banished and his older brother got kidnapped by faeries. Since his mother had already died a few years earlier Julian and his younger sibling along with his best friend Emma (who lost all her family in the war) got placed under the care of his uncle Arthur.


  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • His younger siblings and Emma sometimes call him "Jules", his childhood nickname.
    • Played with: When Emma and Julian have sex, and later admit their feelings for each other, Emma calls him Julian. Then, upon learning about the curse, she tells him she loves Mark, not him, and goes back to calling him Jules. Julian starts hating it, and missing when she called him Julian.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Julian has been love with Emma since they were children, but Emma only starts to reciprocate his feelings after the two became parabatai. He was very reluctant to do the ceremony because it meant that the two can never be together romantically, but because Emma wanted it, he felt compelled to do it.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Does a couple of these to Emma. The second one, which happens in Lord of Shadows, is particularly melodramatic.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: When he and Emma become the mythical Nephilim at the climax of Queen of Air and Darkness, they stand dozens of feet tall.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Julian is normally a nice guy, until you threaten his loved ones. Then he will hunt you down to the ends of earth (literally in the case of Annabel). Kieran outright states that, while Julian appears nice, he is secretly sadistic inside.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He is extremely protective of his younger siblings and does all he can to keep them together. It's been said once or twice that he doesn't really see them as merely siblings, but rather his children.
  • Big Little Brother: To Mark. Even though Mark is four years older, because of his time in Faerie, he is physically a year younger than Julian.
  • The Chessmaster
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Downplayed. He feels instantly jealous whenever other men get close to Emma, but mainly keeps it to himself.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After years agonizing his choice to be parabatai with Emma, he gets a happy ending at the end of Queen of Air and Darkness when his parabatai bond is broken, enabling him to pursue a relationship with her.
  • Family Theme Naming: Due to his father's fascination for classical history and mythology, he and all of his siblings are named after Greek and Latin historical figures. Julian is named after Julius Caesar.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: After Mark's return from Faerie, he becomes the Foolish Sibling, while Julian becomes the Responsible Sibling, finding himself exasperated at Mark's irresponsible handling of the household.
  • Guile Hero: Uses his wits and intelligence to keep his family together, being outright manipulative at times. However, when he has his emotions taken away by a spell, he crosses into:
    • Manipulative Bastard: Without his emotions - and therefore, his love for Emma and his family - to keep him in check, he becomes this.
  • Intimate Healing: Emma heals Julian from a fatal injury while they're cramped together in the back seat of a car. She even notes that she's straddling him. It's even this on an emotional level, as the only reason Julian's wound was able to be healed was because his and Emma's romantic feelings for each other enhanced the power of the healing runes.
  • Killing Your Alternate Self: In Queen of Air and Darkness, he kills the Julian Blackthorn of Thule.
  • Patricide: His father, after he got turned into an Endarkened, tried to kill Ty. Julian then killed his father to save his younger brother.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: When he and Emma became parabatai, they swore to be this. However some time later they fell in love. At the end of the series their parabatai bond gets broken and they become a couple.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: When Emma has seemingly been stabbed to death, Julian holds her in his arms and begs this word for word.
  • Please Wake Up: After Livvy is killed, Julian repeatedly begs her to open her eyes.
  • Promotion to Parent: Julian for his younger siblings. He's not the oldest, but his older sister Helen was exiled by the Clave and his older brother Mark was kidnapped by the Wild Hunt; therefore when their father died in the war, Julian, at the tender age of twelve, had no other choice but to step up and take care of the rest of the Blackthorn brood.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Annabel kills Livvy, Julian makes it his goal to personally kill her. He succeeds.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Julian's never felt attraction to anyone except Emma.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: He falls in love with his parabatai Emma, which is strictly forbidden.
  • Wise Beyond His Years: He was forced to mature when he was still 12 years old, since not only he had to take care of his siblings, he also de facto replaced Arthur's role as head of the Los Angeles Institute.

    Cristina Rosales 

Cristina Mendoza Rosales

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cristinarosales.jpg

Cristina Mendoza Rosales is the daughter of Carmen Rosales. She grew up at the Mexico City Institute. She was very close with her distant relatives Diego and Jaime Rosales. Diego became her boyfriend and she and Jaime planned to become parabatai, but after she overheard a conversation between Jaime and Diego that implied they were manipulating her to gain political power, she left Mexico without telling them why. She then decided to go to the Los Angeles Institute where she became friends with Emma Carstairs and the Blackthorns.


  • Dance of Romance: With Kieran in Lord of Shadows. It's the point when both realize that, in addition to loving Mark, they have feelings for each other.
  • Foreign Culture Fetish: She is vested in everything related to faeries, as her family is close to them.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Sometimes adds Spanish words in her speech, usually when she's surprised or flustered. Strangely, she still speaks in English to Diego and Jaime, even when no one is around. Cristina handwaves this by stating that she is still perfecting her English and wants to speak it as much as possible.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: After her falling out with Jaime, Cristina quickly finds another best friend in Emma, who is usually the first person she confides her problems in.
  • Love Triangle: She likes Mark and he likes her, but Mark still has some feelings for Kieran too and Kieran is definitely still in love with Mark. And then Cristina ends up loving Kieran as well, and vice versa. Cue threesome.
  • Nice Girl: Cristina is always kind, compassionate and willing to help other people.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: She and Jaime used to be this. They were best friends and planned to become parabatai. However their friendship ended when Cristina overheard Jaime saying that he only wanted to become parabatai with Cristina because of political reasons and didn't actually care about her.
  • Three-Way Sex: A rare positive, straight example. Eventually, Cristina ends up loving Mark and Kieran equally, and they both love each other and Cristina equally as well.

    Mark Blackthorn 

Mark Antony Blackthorn / Miach

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/markblackthorn.jpg

The second child of Andrew Blackthorn and Seelie faerie lady Nerissa. He is the younger brother to Helen and the older half brother to Julian, Livvy, Ty, Dru and Tavvy. He grew up in the Los Angeles institute with his father, stepmother and siblings. When Sebastian attacked the institute during the Dark war, he turned Mark's father and teacher into endarkened. Since he couldn't do the same to Mark due to his alliance with the Seelie queen he decided to give Mark to the faeries where he got claimed by Gwyn ap Nudd and became a Hunter in the Wild Hunt.


  • Birds of a Feather: Since his experiences in Faerie muddled his mind somewhat, he finds himself being close with Ty personality-wise, the similarly "out-there" Blackthorn sibling.
  • Doorstop Baby: After his mother's death, his aunt Nene left him and Helen on the doorstop of the Los Angeles Institute to be cared for by their father.
  • Family Theme Naming: Due to his father's fascination for classical history and mythology, he and all of his siblings are named after Greek and Latin historical figures. Mark was named after Mark Anthony.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Foolish Sibling to Julian's Responsible Sibling. In Lady Midnight, the younger Blackthorns find him a fun older brother to play with, even though they end up destroying Julian's kitchen and earning them his sharp rebuke.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Because of the Seelie queen support for Sebastian in his war against the other Shadownhunters (which they lost) and the cold peace, the Shadowhunters and faeries developed a lot of hatred for each other. This resulted in most fearies hating Mark for his Shadowhunter side and most Shadowhunters hating him for his faerie side.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: He is half-Shadowhunter half-faerie. The faerie blood manifests in his blond hair and pointed ears.
  • Lethal Chef: The first time he tries to cook, he literally destroys the Los Angeles Institute's kitchen. While it's Played for Drama the first time (as Julian scolds him and the younger kids for messing around), every time Mark attempts to cook afterwards, it becomes something of a Running Gag that he ends up creating something...experimental. However, Emma admits that she likes his "doughnut-sandwiches" (taste-wise; they look horrible).
  • Literal-Minded: Mark is a little out of practice when it comes to interpreting figures of speech after spending a long time in the Land of Faerie.
  • Love Triangle: He likes Cristina and she likes him, but Mark still has some feelings for Kieran too and Kieran is definitely still in love with Mark. And then Cristina comes to love Kieran and vice versa, as well.
  • Older Than They Look: He didn't grow up in the five years he was in Faerie. As a result, despite being 21 years old, when he comes back to the human world, he has the body of a 16 year old, younger than Julian and Emma (both four years younger than him).
  • Three-Way Sex: Eventually, with Kieran and Cristina. All three love each other equally, in all directions, and become miserable when one of them (Kieran) has to leave.

The Last Hours

    Cordelia Carstairs 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cordeliacarstairs.jpg

The daughter of Elias Carstairs and Sona Turan, younger sister of Alastair, and cousin of James Carstairs. Cordelia was mainly raised in the Carstairs residence in Devon, but because Elias is sick, her family tended to move to different Institutes. She is best friends with Lucie Herondale, with whom she is planning to become parabatai, and secretly loves Lucie's brother, James. Cordelia wields Cortana, the Carstairs family heirloom.


  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: She wields Cortana, the Carstairs' famously unblockable blade, decades before Emma gets to wield it. At the climax of Chain of Gold, she manages to incapacitate Belial — in his own realm, no less — with it, even though Princes of Hell are supposed to be Nigh-Invulnerable.
  • Affectionate Nickname: James and Lucie tend to call her "Daisy", while her family's pet nickname for her is "Layla", from the main character of a Persian folktale.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: She is in love with James, who is in love with Grace (albeit not entirely of his own volition). The family tree seen in Clockwork Princess indicates that Cordelia would eventually marry James, though Cassandra Clare has stated that the tree is not entirely reliable. In Chain of Gold, there are hints that James is beginning to requite her feelings, but he is currently focused on Grace at the moment.
  • The Beard: At the end of Chain of Gold, James proposes to her to save her humiliation of fornication, which in turn is a lie to ensure James is freed from suspicion of having burned down the Blackthorn Manor.
  • Broken Pedestal: At Elias. She starts Chain of Gold being determined to free Elias from the Clave's imprisonment, only to learn that Elias is not entirely innocent himself and has been a drunkard for basically her whole life. His "illness" is less of an illness and more of the fact that Sona and Alastair wanted to hide that he was drunk all the time.
  • But Not Too Foreign: She is half-Persian through her mother and inherited her brownish skin tone.
  • Daddy's Girl: She is close to Elias and wonders why Sona and Alastair don't seem to be as interested as her to save him from the Clave's interrogation. When she finds out the truth, she is understandably horrified.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In Chain of Gold, she incapacitates Belial, a Prince of Hell, using Cortana, causing his realm to fall apart. It's later revealed that Belial managed to survive, but only because he is linked to his deal with Tatiana Blackthorn, meaning Cordelia would've killed him right there if the link did not exist.
  • Fiery Redhead: Worth noting that she inherited her red hair from her Persian mother, not her English father (who is blond). Anna questions how she can be a redhead, since she thought of Persians as being mostly dark-haired, only for Cordelia to retort that not all non-Europeans are dark-haired.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Sometimes peppers her speech with Persian, as she was raised in a bilingual household.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Lucie Herondale.
  • Hidden Depths: She sings and dances beautifully and can recite Layla and Majnun by heart.

    James Herondale 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jamesherondale.jpg

The son of Will Herondale and Tessa Gray, older brother of Lucie, and the parabatai of Matthew Fairchild. A troubled child with a love for books, he is reserved and rarely acts out his emotions. As a result of his demonic blood, James has the mysterious ability to enter a shadowed realm; when he does so, his form in the real world will grow hazy and, if strong enough, sometimes allows him to phase through things as a shadow. James has long been in love with Grace Blackthorn, but finds it hard to be with her in the face of her domineering mother. It becomes even more complicated when his sister's potential parabatai, Cordelia Carstairs, comes into the scene.


  • The Beard: At the end of Chain of Gold, he is engaged to marry Cordelia to save her reputation, as thanks for her saving his reputation. Cordelia actually loves James, but Cannot Spit It Out, so James promises to divorce her within a year.
  • Badass Bookworm: He is as knowledgeable about books as he is about Shadowhunting.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He cares for Lucie a lot.
  • Blessed with Suck: His phasing ability. It earned him a lot of mistrust from other Shadowhunters, who at the time strongly detest Downworlders.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Though Jem merely became a Silent Brother, Will and Tessa nevertheless honored him by naming their first child after him.
  • Fantastic Racism: When he was in the Shadowhunter Academy, he was ostracized after he demonstrated his demonic ability to enter the shadow realm. Eventually he was expelled when he was accused of being complicit in his bully's death.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With his parabatai, Matthew Fairchild. The two often find themselves able to share secrets only with each other.
  • Honorable Marriage Proposal: He proposes to marry Cordelia to save her reputation of apparently having made out with him, since this is the early 20th century and fornication is scorned (they actually did, but the circumstances were different).
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: When Grace tells him that she will no longer contact him, he gets drunk at a pub and shoots a chandelier with a gun. Later that year, when Grace announces that she is engaged to marry Charles, James ponders over the Thames while drinking from Matthew's flask.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Jamie".
  • Intangibility: When his powers manifest particularly strong, he can enter and exit the shadow realm to phase through objects.
  • The Leader: The unofficial leader of the Merry Thieves. Cordelia outright states the trope word-for-word.
  • More Than Mind Control: Since he was 13, James has been partly mind controlled by Grace, who used her family bracelet to make him fall in love with her. He is still able to act independently, but all of his attention is instantly focused on Grace whenever she appears.
  • Puppy Love: He was 13 when he fell in love with Grace. It is late revealed that his love was fabricated; while he does care for her, James only started loving Grace after she made him wear the Cartwright bracelet, which enabled her to use her charm on him.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: He has gold eyes that his peers have long feared to be a sign of his demonic ancestry.
  • Uneven Hybrid: Like Lucie, James is 3/4 Shadowhunter 1/4 demon.

    Lucie Herondale 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lucieherondale.jpg

The daughter of Will Herondale and Tessa Gray and younger sister of James. An aspiring writer, she is a potential parabatai of Cordelia Carstairs. Like most Herondales, Lucie is capable of seeing ghosts who do not want to be seen. However, it seems that Lucie can see things that even ordinary Herondales cannot, such as the tied soul of Jesse Blackthorn, and even more bizarre, she can command them to do anything she wishes, too.


  • Boy Meets Ghoul: Chain of Gold opens with Lucie meeting Jesse Blackthorn, by then deceased for a year, though she does not know at the time.
  • Compelling Voice: Other than seeing ghosts that ordinary Herondales can't see, she can compel them to do anything she wants.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Cordelia Carstairs, whom she longs to be her parabatai. The two have been friends since they were young.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Luce".
  • I See Dead People: Lucie has an enhanced version of the Herondale gift of ghost-seeing; not only she can see ghosts who do not want to be seen, she can see souls tied only to a certain people. The reason for this is unknown, though it seems to be the same gift that her distant relative Kit Herondale possesses.
  • Necromantic: Assuming that the family tree seen in the first edition of Clockwork Princess is accurate (which seems unlikely, given many points have been contradicted as of Chain of Gold), Lucie would end up marrying Jesse and became ancestor to the modern-day Blackthorn family, even though Jesse died before the two even met each other. By the looks of it, it seems that Jesse will somehow be resurrected at some point in The Last Hours series.
  • Oblivious to Love: When she was young, she did not realize that Matthew fancied her, as she already considered him, like the other Merry Thieves, a brother to her.
  • One of the Boys: She is close and tends to stick around with the Merry Thieves — her brother, Matthew, Christopher, and Thomas.
  • Uneven Hybrid: She is 3/4 Shadowhunter, 1/4 demon.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report