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    In general 


  • Demon Slaying: Keeping the world safe by killing demons is the main purpose of the shadowhunters.
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    Jonathan Shadowhunter 
The very first Shadowhunter, who formed a pact with Raziel to be able to slay demons. After being given the Mortal Instruments, Jonathan turned his sister Abigail and best friend David into Nephilim as well. The three of them would go on to form the Clave.


  • All There in the Manual: Information regarding him is found in The Shadowhunter's Codex.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Jonathan Shadowhunter of the parallel Earth now known as Edom was this. Described as being a "divider", he apparently had some similarities to Valentine, and when the demons invaded his world in force, most of the Downworlders sided with them against that world's Shadowhunters, leading to the demons being victorious and the whole world being laid waste.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With David the Silent, inspired by their Biblical namesakes who were also examples of this trope. They were the very first parabatai.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Lived during the Middle Ages and the details of his life have been heavily mythologized in the thousand years since. This is one of the reasons nobody knew what the Mortal Mirror was, because the specifics of how he summoned Raziel (with the help of a warlock) had been buried beneath idealized legends.

The Blackthorn family

    Helen Blacktorn 

The first child of Andrew Blackthorn and Seelie faerie lady Nerissa. She is the older sister to Mark and the older half sister to Julian, Livvy, Ty, Dru and Tavvy. She grew up in the Los Angeles institute with her father, stepmother and siblings. After the Seelie court sided against the Shadowhunters in the Dark War, Helen got banished to Wrangel Island for her faerie blood even though she had fought against the other faeries in the war.


  • Action Girl: She has demonstrated prowess in both battles she's participated in.
  • Battle Couple: She and Aline become this.
  • Fantastic Racism: Is on the receiving end of this, when she is exiled permanently to Wrangel Island due to her faerie heritage.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: After the cold peace started, the shadowhunters distrusted her, because of her faerie blood and the faeries distrusted her for her shadowhunter blood. Her brother Mark has the same problem.
  • Plant Hair: When she is first introduced as a background character in City of Glass, her hair is described as being "made of flowers".

    Mark Blackthorn 
For informtion on Mark click here.

    Julian "Jules" Blackthorn 
For informtion on Julian click here.
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    Livia "Livvy" Blackthorn 
The fourth child of Andrew Blackthorn (and the second with his wife Eleanor) and Ty's twin sister who lived at the Los Angeles institute with her siblings. She died at age fifteen when Annabel went insane and stabbed her in the chest. Her twin brother Ty refused to accept that she was gone and tried to bring her back from the dead, but something went wrong and she returned as a ghost instead.


  • Back from the Dead: After Livia got murdered by Annabel, her brother Ty decided to try to bring her back to life with dark magic, but the spell he used didn't work properly due to a corrupted catalyst. This resulted in Livia comming back as a ghost.
  • Big Brother Worship: For her older brother Julian. She really looks up to him and she wants to run an institute when she is older, because she wants to be like him.
    Livvy to Julian: "I realised something. I want to be like you, Jules. Not this second, not right now, someday. I want to take care of people, other Shadowhunters, people who need me. I want to run an Institute."
  • Sibling Team: With her twin brother Ty. They always do everything together and they work really well with each other.

    Tiberius "Ty" Blackthorn 

The fifth child of Andrew Blackthorn (and the third with his wife Eleanor) and Livvy's twin brother who lives at the Los Angeles institute with his siblings. Ty is highly intelligent, but he some trouble with understanding social interactions.


  • Literal-Minded: Ty is highly intelligent, but he often doesn't understand slang or figures of speech until they're explained to him, and he doesn't see the purpose of certain societal conventions such as looking at people in the eyes when you speak to them. He will do it if he feels it's necessary, however, because he understands that these conventions are important to people.
  • Sibling Team: With his twin sister Livvy. They always do everything together and they work really well with each other.

The Branwell family

    Henry Branwell 

Absent-minded and brilliant, Henry spends his waking hours in the crypt of the Institute, inventing fabulous machines and weapons out of cogs cams and gears. Unfortunately just as many of Henry's inventions don't work as the ones that do, and Henry is as likely to set himself on fire as he is to invent something new and amazing. When Tessa finds herself followed by a silent band of assassins who turn out to be automata—human beings made from clockwork parts—it is Henry who must decipher how they work in order to find the demonic mechanical genius at the heart of the most evil plan London's supernatural world has ever seen.


  • Absent-Minded Professor: While not really being a professor in the first place. But he's a brilliant inventor who just happens to forget things.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: His defining character trait.
  • Genius Ditz: Big time - Henry is as absentminded as they come, but when it comes to mechanical stuff, he's your guy.

    Charlotte Branwell (née Fairchild) 

Twenty-three-year-old Charlotte runs the entire Institute with a capable hand. Kind and loving, she does her best to care for the orphaned Shadowhunters who live under her roof while hiding her loneliness from the absent-minded husband she loves. It seems as if there's nothing Charlotte can't manage—until Tessa's search for her missing brother begins to uncover a web of corruption and deceit in London's Downworld that threatens to tear London's Conclave of Shadowhunters apart.


  • Deadly Disc: Uses two on the battle after Blackfriar Bridge.
  • In the Blood: It's mentioned in passing that her father was the previous caretaker of the Institute.
  • Like a Son to Me: It's almost as if Will, Jem, and Jessamine were her own children, except, according to her, for the part where they were required to love her.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: Played With, Charlotte initially changed her last name to Branwell after she married Henry, but after she became the consul, she decided to change it back to her maiden name Fairchild.
  • Parental Substitute: Raised Will, Jem, and Jessie since they came to the institute. Will says that she would have been called a governess had she not been so intelligent and if she didn't have the ability to chop one into pieces.
  • Pregnant Badass: As of the end of The Clockwork Prince.
  • Team Mom: Her main function is basically making sure everybody doesn't kill everybody.
  • Younger Than They Look: Charlotte's small size is countered by the air of competence she exudes, and Tessa says she had assumed her to be much older than twenty-three.

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The Carstairs family

    James "Jem" Carstairs 
For information on Jem click here.

    Emma Carstairs 
For information on Emma click here.

The Dearborn family

    Horace Dearborn 
Horace is the leader of the Cohort, an organisation that wants to restrict Downworlder rights. He is Zara's father.


  • Fantastic Racism: He is racist against Downworlders even by Shadowhunter standards. He wants to restrict the rights of all Downworlders and force them to get registered.
  • The Leader: He is the leader of the Cohort.

    Zara Dearborn 
Zara is the daughter of Horace Dearborn, the leader of the Cohort. She is a fanatical member of the Cohort herself and supports her father in his anti-Downworlder agenda.


  • Fantastic Racism: Zara is racist against Downworlders even by Shadowhunter standards. She views Downworlders as inferiour beings and supports her father proposal to force all Downworlders to get registered.
  • Missing Mom: Her mother died when she was very young.
  • Stealing the Credit: She often took the credit for the achievements of other Centurions to make herself look better. If other Centurions protested, she just discredited them and had her friends back up her claims.

The Fairchild family

    Charles Fairchild 
Charles Buford Fairchild is the firstborn child of Henry Branwell and Charlotte Fairchild and Matthew's brother. Charles is a serious young men with the ambition to become consul like his mother.


  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Buford. His father wanted it to be his first name, but his mother objected. They compromised by making Buford his middle name.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Charles is serious, rule-bound and closer with his mother, while Matthew is fun loving, a rule breaker and closer with his father.

    Matthew Fairchild 
Matthew Fairchild is the second child of Henry Branwell and Charlotte Fairchild and Charles' brother. He is parabatai with James Herondale.


    Jocelyn Fairchild/Fray 

Jocelyn Fray(née Fairchild)

Played by: Lena Headey (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), Maxim Roy (Shadowhunters)

Clary's overprotective mother.


  • Convenient Coma: In City of Bones, she induces a coma on herself to avoid anyone squeezing information out of her about the whereabouts of the Mortal Cup. The only person who knew how to revive her aside from the warlock that cast the spell was an old acquaintance, who gets killed early on in City of Glass.
  • Hidden Badass: Under the Overprotective Mom stance, Jocelyn was a powerful, talented Shadowhunter who plotted to overthrow her husband during the Uprising. Not to mention she ran away from Valentine to prevent his turning Clary into a "monster" like he did Jonathan.
  • Hooked Up Afterwards: With Luke. They planned to get married in City of Fallen Angels but the marriage was postponed indefinitely, with Jace's possession by Lilith and subsequent disappearence.
  • Interspecies Romance: With werewolf, Luke Garroway.
  • It Was a Gift: The tarot cards she gave Dorothea which contained the Mortal Cup.
  • Mystical Pregnancy: Valentine experimented on her while she was pregnant both times, giving her daughter Clary angel's blood and her son Jonathan Christopher demon's blood, resulting in supernatural powers.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After the Circle uprising, Jocelyn fled Idris with no intention of ever returning.
  • That Thing Is Not My Child!: Valentine injected her with demon blood whilst she was pregnant, causing her to give birth to a demonic child who she was convinced was monstrous and evil. She turns out to be right, since Jonathan grows up to be a sadistic psychopathic murderer.

    Clary Fairchild/Fray 
For information on Clary click here.

The Herondale family

    Edmund Herondale 

Edmund Herondale was a shadowhunter who lived at the London institute. He fell in love with a mundane woman, Linette Owens and decided to marry her even though it meant giving up his life as a shadowhunter. Together they had three children: Ella, Will and Cecily Herondale.


    Ella Herondale 

The firstborn child of Edmund Herondale and Linette Owens and the older sister of Will and Cecily. Ella tragically died at age fourteen from demon poisoning.


  • Big Sister Instinct: When her younger brother was about to be attacked by a demon, Ella didn't hesitate to step in front of him and attack the demon with a seraph blade even though she didn't know how to use one.
  • Posthumous Character: She died a several years before the start of The Infernal Devices.

    William "Will" Herondale 
For information on Will click here.

    James "Jamie" Herondale 

The firstborn child of Will Herondale and Tessa Gray. He is parabatai with Matthew Fairchild.


    Imogen Herondale (née Whitelaw) 

Played by: Mimi Kuzyk (Shadowhunters)

A high-ranking Shadowhunter who became the Clave's Inquisitor some time after The Uprising. She has a burning hatred for everyone with connections to The Circle, because she blames them for her son Stephen's death.


  • Break the Haughty: She gets a glorious one. After being nothing but condescending to Jace merely because he's the son of the Big Bad, she finds out that her plan to trade Jace to Valentine for the two Mortal Instruments that he has isn't going to work, because despite what she thought, Valentine doesn't care about Jace, only the instruments. This causes her to have a Freak Out! and a bsod until Maryse snaps her out of it.
  • Cool Old Lady: Her age does not stop her from being an extremely competent Shadowhunter.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Starts out frosty and unapproachable, but suffers several humbling failures and by the end of City of Ashes she performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save Jace after learning that he was her grandson.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Pulls one to let Jace escape on the ship, knowing that he was Stephen Herondale's son.
  • Mama Bear: Despite her hatred for children, she acknowledges this trope, coming to the conclusion that Valentine would do anything for his son like she would.
  • Smug Snake: A racist Evil Chancellor and Manipulative Bitch with a pathological hatred of children. She thinks she's playing everyone throughout City of Ashes but her grand plan fails spectacularly and Valentine Morgenstern viciously humiliates her until she breaks down. Unusually for this trope, she is revealed to have a sympathetic side and ultimately redeems herself by sacrificing her life to save Jace.

     Stephen Herondale 
Imogen Herondale's much-beloved son, deceased by the beginning of The Mortal Instruments.


  • Everyone Went to School Together: He attended the Shadowhunter Academy along with Robert, Maryse, Jocelyn, Valentine, Luke, Amatis, Michael etc.
  • Happily Married: He and Amatis were genuinely happy together, until Valentine manipulated him into divorcing her. The letters he sent her showed he never quite got over her, though, and while he loved Celine his love for Amatis was something very different.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Implied to be this to his second wife Celine, to the point of her nearly committing suicide upon hearing of his death.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: City of Glass reveals that he is Jace's actual father.
  • Number Two: To Valentine when he was still alive, after Valentine cast out Luke for becoming a werewolf.
  • Posthumous Character: Despite being dead for years at the beginning of the series, we learn a lot about him through recollections and his relationships with other characters.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Jace really resembles him, except for his eyes.

    Amatis Herondale (née Graymark) 

An ex-Shadowhunter residing in Idris. She is Luke's sister and Stephen Herondale's first wife.


  • Black Eyes of Evil: When under the influence of the Infernal Cup.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: In City of Lost Souls, after Sebastian captures her and forces her to drink from the Infernal Cup, turning her into a Dark Shadowhunter.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: She attended the Shadowhunter Academy along with Robert, Maryse, Jocelyn, Valentine, Luke, Stephen, Michael etc.
  • The Dragon: To Sebastian/Jonathan Morgenstern while under the influence of the Infernal Cup.
  • Happily Married: To Stephen Herondale, for a few years, until the forced divorce.
  • Long-Lost Relative: To Luke, more or less, although it's more of the fact that they're estranged siblings and Luke's afraid that she'd blame him for her divorce.
  • Minor Flaw, Major Breakup: Valentine convinced Stephen to divorce her because of her "undesirable family connections" — her brother was a werewolf — and convinced him to marry Celine instead.

    Céline Herondale (née Montclaire) 
Stephen Herondale's second wife, a beautiful woman from an abusive family.


  • Abusive Parents: Her parents were very abusive in training her. They let her fight against werewolfs and demons all on her own from a very young age and they punished her by beating her or locking her in the basement if she made mistakes. They also refused to give her Iratzes to heal. This caused her to run away to Paris several times, but she always got send back to her parents again.
  • Driven to Suicide: She killed herself when she heard about her husband Stephen's death, despite being pregnant at the time. Valentine cut her son Jace out from her body and raised him as his own.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Had blond hair, and according to Jocelyn was sweet, lovely, and made everyone want to protect her.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: She went along with Valentine's whims and landed Stephen as a husband because of the trauma caused by her abusive family that made her desperate for love and affection.
  • Imperiled in Pregnancy: She committed suicide while pregnant.
  • Posthumous Character: Her suicide takes place long before the story proper, but her relationships with current characters make her important.

    Jace Herondale 
For information on Jace click here.

The Lightwood family

    Benedict Lightwood 
One of the older members of London's Enclave and Gideon's and Gabriel's father. Benedict questions Charlotte's ability to run the Institute.


  • Baleful Polymorph: In The Clockwork Princess, he is gradually driven mad and finally turned into a gigantic serpent-like demon as a result of the demon pox.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Demon pox is the Shadowhunter version of HIV or syphilis.
  • Heel–Face Turn: He withdraws his challenge to Charlotte's leadership, so she won't reveal to the Clave that he has demon pox.
  • Interspecies Romance: With an unknown number of Demonesses
  • Jerkass: He knowingly infected his wife with demon pox.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: One of his claims against Charlotte's leadership is that women are incapable of running the Institute.
  • Tragic Monster: Well, YMMV on this, but his sons were forced to kill him after he turned into a giant serpent.

    Gideon Lightwood 
Benedict and Barbara's first child. Gabriel and Tatiana's older brother. He used to be a Jerkass who was very loyal to his father, but his time Spain seems to have changed him.


  • Gratuitous Spanish: Justified given that he did spend time in Spain, so he probably picked up some of the language.
  • Informed Flaw: Is supposedly an even bigger Jerkass than his little brother, although he's shown himself to be nicer than Gabriel. Considering that was Will speaking, it's no wondernote .
  • Interspecies Romance: With Sophie who is a mundane. At least until she ascends and becomes a shadowhunter herself.
  • Jerkass: Will claims that he is even worse than his brother Gabriel. It's possible that he used to be this, but in The Clockwork Prince, it appears he got better while he was in Spain.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With his brother Gabriel. Gideon is calm, nice and distrustful of his father. Gabriel is Hot-Blooded, a bit of a jerk and fiercely loyal to his father.
  • Starcrossed Lovers: Him and Sophie. Gideon is a Shadowhunter and Sophie is a mundane. If they married, Gideon would have to abandon his life as a Shadowhunter, meaning he could never see his family again. It eventually works out, when Sophie ascends and becomes a Shadowhunter herself. They get married and have three childeren.
  • The Stoic: He is a lot calmer than his brother Gabriel.

    Sophie Lightwood (née Collins) 
Sophie is one of the mundane servants working for the shadowhunters at the Institute in London. She later becomes a shadowhunter herself and marries Gideon.


  • If I Can't Have You...: The reason for her scar - the son of her previous employer wanted her and when she refused his advances, took a knife to her face so that nobody could have her beauty.
  • Interspecies Romance: With Gideon.
  • I See Them, Too: She has a touch of the Sight, which is how Charlotte let her work for them.
  • Oblivious to Love: Likewise, she had no idea that Thomas was sweet on her.
  • Scars Are Forever: She has a huge one running down the left side of her face that distorts her beauty. She seems to be more or less okay with it, though, saying that whoever would love her now wouldn't love her just for her looks.
  • Sliding Scale of Beauty: She is an Imperfect beauty example. She used to be beautiful and still is, but has a scar stretching across her face.
  • Starcrossed Lovers: With Gideon. He is a Shadowhunter and Sophie is a mundane. If they married, Gideon would have to abandon his life as a Shadowhunter, meaning he could never see his family again. It eventually works out, when Sophie ascends and becomes a Shadowhunter herself. They get married and have three childeren.
  • When She Smiles: According to Tessa, Sophie has a downright amazing smile that makes her beautiful despite her scar.

    Gabriel Lightwood 
Benedict and Barbara's second child. Gideon's younger brother and Tatiana's older brother. He has a bit of a rivalry with Will Herondale.


  • Big Brother Instinct: Will says the reason Gabriel hates him so much is because he compromised the latter's sister's virtue. But then again, it's Will, so we don't know if that's true or not. As of the second book, it's apparently because Will rejected his little sister's advances (in his defense, she was a lovesick twelve-year-old) and broke Gabriel's arm in public.
  • Heel–Face Turn: He stops supporting his father after his father is turned into a demon by the demon pox.
  • Hot-Blooded: In direct contrast to his brother, Gideon, who is The Stoic.
  • Jerkass: Quite blatantly.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's surprisingly patient with Tessa while training her. Of course his Jerkass side comes out when he's frustrated and he is prone to taking out his anger on other people. He becomes much nicer in The Clockwork Princess when his father is turned into a demon as a result of demon pox and he is forced to stay at the Institite.
  • The Rival: Presumably to Will. They gradually learn to respect each other in The Clockwork Princess. Will doesn't have much of a choice, his younger sister ends up marrying Gabriel.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With his brother Gideon. Gideon is calm, nice and distrustful of his father. Gabriel is Hot-Blooded, a bit of a jerk and fiercely loyal to his father.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: From what we've seen, he is this to Will.
  • Thicker Than Water: Gabriel puts strong emphasis on staying loyal to family. At the end of The Clockwork Prince, Gabriel chooses to stay with his father while his older brother Gideon deserts him for the Institute. In The Clockwork Princess, he finally understands that he was wrong to trust his father so much.

    Cecily Lightwood (née Herondale) 
The third child of Edmund and Linette. Cecily grew up with her older sibling Ella and Will, but one day Ella died and Will ran away and decided to stay with the Shadowhunters from the London institute. Years later Cecily heard from her brother again and decided to go to the London institute and convince him to come home, but while she was there she discovered that she may like the Shadowhunter life more than she expected.


  • Action Girl: She is a very good fighter like most Herondale's. She even assists in killing the demon Benedict Lightwood turned into and that was before she had any training.
  • Affectionate Nickname: She is called "Cecy" by Will and later Gabriel Lightwood.
  • Blood Knight: A milder example of this. Gabriel Lightwood notes that Cecily seems to enjoy fighting.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Just like her brother.
  • Hot-Blooded: Will describes her as being stubborn

    Robert Lightwood 

Alec's and Isabelle's and Max' father, who leads the New York institute along with his wife Maryse. He became the new Inquisitor after the Mortal War.


  • Battle Couple: With his wife Maryse, as veteran married Shadowhunters, although they're not given a lot of screentime as such.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: He was a member of the Circle alongside Clary's and Jace's parents
  • Happy Marriage Charade: Only pretends to be Happily Married, when in reality his marriage has nearly fallen apart at least thrice: once when the Circle disbanded and Robert blamed their wrecked lives on Maryse, twice when Robert was caught cheating (but Maryse told nobody save her daughter), and thrice when their youngest son dies. The general distrust between them lead to their daughter; Isabelle's "all-men-are-untrustable" attitude.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He was this with Michael Wayland, his best friend and parabatai. Except it turned out that Michael was not really heterosexual. When he admitted to Robert that he was in love with him, Robert told him it was disgusting and that he should never talk about it again. Their friendship never really recovered from it.
  • I Want Grandkids: Maryse and Robert in the Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy story "Born To Endless Night", despite agreeing on very little else. To the extent that even with their history of Fantastic Racism, they are positively ecstatic when Alec and Magnus adopt an abandoned warlock baby. The head of the New York Institute and the Inquisitor of the Clave — both former members of Valentine's Circle! That they approve of the adoption the instant they find out about it, and proceed to drown Alec and Magnus in parenting advice, while imposing time limits on which of them gets to hold the baby for how long, makes it clear that they consider a warlock grandchild better than no grandchild.
  • Killed Off for Real: He died at the end of Lord of Shadows when Annabel went insane and stabbed him through the chest.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: His youngest son Max died before him.
  • Your Cheating Heart: City of Fallen Angels reveals that all wasn't fine and dandy for the Lightwoods after the Circle broke up. Robert blamed their wrecked lives on Maryse, and it seems they were on the verge of separation/divorce but decided to stay together for the sake of Alec and their unborn daughter. Unfortunately, a few years later, Maryse found out about his having an affair with somebody, and confided in Isabelle about it. Still, they stayed together, even if Robert was spending more and more time away.

    Maryse Lightwood (née Trueblood) 

Alec's and Isabelle's and Max' mother, who leads the New York institute along with her husband Robert.


  • Action Mom: Maryse is as competent a Nephilim as her husband.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Was a member of the Circle alongside Clary's and Jace's parents.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: Only pretends to be Happily Married, when in reality her marriage has nearly fallen apart at least thrice: once when the Circle disbanded and Robert blamed their wrecked lives on Maryse, twice when Robert was caught cheating (but Maryse told nobody save her daughter), and thrice when their youngest son dies. The general distrust between them lead to their daughter; Isabelle's "all-men-are-untrustable" attitude.
  • I Want Grandkids: Maryse and Robert in the Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy story "Born To Endless Night", despite agreeing on very little else. To the extent that even with their history of Fantastic Racism, they are positively ecstatic when Alec and Magnus adopt an abandoned warlock baby. The head of the New York Institute and the Inquisitor of the Clave — both former members of Valentine's Circle! That they approve of the adoption the instant they find out about it, and proceed to drown Alec and Magnus in parenting advice, while imposing time limits on which of them gets to hold the baby for how long, makes it clear that they consider a warlock grandchild better than no grandchild.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Her youngest son Max died before her.
  • Supreme Chef: Maryse is very good in the kitchen.

    Alexander "Alec" Lightwood 
For information on Alec click here.

    Isabelle "Izzy" Lightwood 
For information on Isabelle click here.

    Max Lightwood 

The younger brother of Alec and Isabelle.


  • Big Brother Worship: Really looks up to his adopted older brother Jace.
  • Infant Immortality: Subverted. In City of Glass, all the teenage protagonists survive the final battle.... but Max; the cute, manga-reading youngest Lightwood who wasn't allowed to fight is brutally murdered.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Max, who is killed off in the third book to establish Sebastian's evilness and emphasize the personal threat to the main characters.

The Lovelace family

    Jessamine Lovelace 

Jessamine's parents, like Will's were Shadowhunters who left the Clave. Their deaths in a fire orphaned her, leaving her to be brought up in the Institute by Charlotte and Henry. Jessamine hates everything about being a Shadowhunter, from the training to the danger to the existence of demons, which she sees as "smelly and disgusting." Armed with a razor-edged parasol and an equally sharp tongue, Jessamine can be dangerous if she wants to be—to herself as much as to the supernatural creatures she's sometimes forced to encounter.


  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: In Clockwork Prince.
  • Dumb Blonde: Subverted. While flouncy and just a tad spoiled, Jessamine is a perfectly capable Shadowhunter in her own right.
  • English Rose: Tessa Gray is a New Yorker who travels to Victorian London, and she describes Jessamine as one. She strives to be a Proper Lady and has many lady-like attributes (like her Parasol of Prettiness), but ultimately she fails to be a straight example because she's something of a Spoiled Brat.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: She betrays the Institute for Nate.
  • The Fashionista: Jessamine is very concerned about how she looks, and it's she who takes Tessa out to buy new dresses.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Implied to be her motivations for her actions in The Clockwork Prince.
  • Improbable Weapon User: She uses a parasol Henry made for her. The fabric is edged with electrum, though.
  • Interspecies Romance: She develops feelings for Tessa's brother, Nate, though this may just be out of her desire to be a Mundane.
  • The Load: Played with. She actively tries to be this due to her hatred of being a Shadowhunter, but she also demonstrates that she's a very capable fighter.
  • Love Freak / In Love with Love: She wants someone to take her away from the Institute.
  • Love Martyr: For Nate - she continues to feed him information despite Tessa's repeated insistence that he loves no one but himself.
  • The Mole: She was secretely spying for Nate and Mortmain.
  • Parasol of Prettiness: Aw, look at Jessamine's parasol! It's so pretty and pink and it even has flowers on it...
  • Proper Lady: Strives to be this. She fails because of her attitude.
  • Razor Floss: Edges her parasol, turning it into an effective weapon.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Although she's no Actual Pacifist. She just really, really hates the Shadowhunter world.
  • Secret Relationship: With Nate in Clockwork Prince.

The Morgenstern family

    Valentine Morgenstern 

Valentine Morgenstern

Played by: Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), Alan van Sprang (Shadowhunters)

The Big Bad of the first three books, a powerful and charismatic Shadowhunter who aims to destroy all Downworlders.


  • Big Bad: Of the first three books.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: His eyes are described as black. He's also the genocidal Big Bad.
  • Cradling Your Kill: In City of Glass, he holds his adopted son Jace (who he's just stabbed through the heart) while he dies, whispering, "My son. My boy."
  • Dead Person Impersonation: He killed Michael Wayland and his infant son (using that baby to make Jocelyn believe her son Jonathan was dead) and took over Michael Wayland's identity while raising Jace (who was Stephen Herondale's son, whom he cut out of her dead mother's womb). It's complicated.
  • Dissonant Serenity: He is always calm, even sarcastic, even when ripping out people's hearts.
  • Driven by Envy: Despite the fact that the Shadowhunters are effectively the dominant power in the supernatural world, Valentine greatly resents the Downworlders for their unique abilities, such as the vampires' ability to change shape or the magic wielded by the faeries and the warlocks.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He seems to actually care about Jace. That doesn't stop him from killing Jace. He is sad afterwards and tried to keep Jace from forcing him to, though. He also seems to care for Clary, Jocelyn, Sebastian/Jonathan and Luke in his own twisted way.
  • Fantastic Racism: Even by Shadowhunter standards, and that's saying something. He hates Downworlders enough to ally with demons to eradicate them.
  • Faking the Dead: While posing as Michael Wayland he faked his own death to strengthen Jace.
  • Guinea Pig Family: Experimented on his own children in the womb to create better Shadowhunters. He infused Jonathan/Sebastian with demon blood, which made him horrifically strong but had the unfortunate side-effects of making him soulless and Jocelyn depressed. To make her feel better he gave her angel blood, not knowing she was pregnant with Clary at the time...
  • Hypocrite: Expresses hatred and disdain for the mixed-breed Downworlders, and contends that the Shadowhunters must keep the world safe from demons. But he deliberately taints his own son with demon blood, making him into a strange human/angel/demon hybrid, and even tried using demon blood to change himself with unclear results. He also readily summons and uses large numbers of demons to fight for him, as well as dealing with the powerful Greater Demon Lilith. Raziel calls him out on it.
  • Karmic Death: In City of Ashes he arranges the death of teenage warlock whose blood he needs by tricking the kid into summoning a demon that will be able to bypass the magic circle used to contain it. In City of Glass, Valentine has setup his own magic circle to summon the Angel Raziel to force it to remove the powers of the Shadowhunters that refuse to serve him. His daughter Clary, whom he has effectively bound and gagged nearby, manages to alter the circle, allowing Raziel to smite him in punishment for his evil deeds, but only after giving him "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Killed Off for Real: In City of Glass. Thank you, Raziel.
  • Long-Lost Relative: He is Clary's biological father.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: He is Clary and Jace's father. Though City of Glass reveals that Jace's father was actually Stephen Herondale. Valentine adopted him after his mother died, and raised him under the guise of Michael Wayland.
  • Light Is Not Good: White-blond, handsome, talented...and very evil.
  • Meaningful Name: "Morgenstern" means "morning star" - signifying, of course, Lucifer.
  • Names to Run Away From: His last name means "Fallen star", referring to the fallen angel, Lucifer. You'd think that an organization as biblically based as the Shadowhunters would have been a little concerned when the guy who's last name essentially meant "Lucifer" began to gain so much power...
  • Never Found the Body: In City of Ashes, after his ship is destroyed - which naturally means that he's still up and kicking. That is, until he gets stabbed by the angel Raziel in City of Glass, is cremated and has a funeral. He is dead for good. Unlike his other son.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: In City Of Glass, he avoids this by using a magic rune to keep Clary quiet so he can monologue without interruption. She eventually gives a rebuttal by writing in the dirt.
  • Straw Hypocrite: Was this in his younger days when he formed the Circle. Although the stated goal that he used to woo his followers was to reform the Clave (by taking it over), his real objective was simply to set himself up as their ruler. But he ditched his followers the moment the odds turned against them. Once he reappeared years after the Uprising and his failed coup attempt, he was a good deal more open about his true objectives.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Unfortunately, his plan to reform the Clave to protect against demonic threats involves raising a massive demon army and slaughtering them all.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: White-blond and, oh, aims to wipe out all Downworlders.

    Jonathan Christopher/Sebastian Morgenstern 

Valentine and Jocelyn's son and Clary's older brother who was experimented on with demon's blood. Cold, sadistic, and ruthless, he's his father's agent through and through.


  • Abomination Accusation Attack: In City of Glass, he openly denounces Alec Lightwood for his homosexuality, which the latter feels very insecure about because it is strongly frowned upon in Shadowhunter society. This is more than a little hypocritical on his part however, seeing as how he himself has Brother–Sister Incest desire for Clary.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: In City of Heavenly Fire, Sebastian goes down quickly, but Jonathan, the good within him, arises, tells Clary how to destroy the Infernal Cup, talks about what might have been, and then dies.
  • Almost Dead Guy: When sustaining Death Equals Redemption, he gets to talk about the real him that never got a chance because of Valentine and the demon blood.
  • Ancestral Weapon: In City of Heavenly Fire, he has one of two swords his father commissioned that was specifically meant to be an Ancestral weapon. Clary gets the other.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Thanks to the demon blood, he had these at birth. Jocelyn was so repulsed by him she refused to care for him.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: In City Of Lost Souls, he is shown to actually want Clary, backing her up against a wall and forcefully kissing her, while going on about how they can be evil and rule the world together.
  • Cunning Linguist: Like Jace, he's fluent in several languages.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: The real Sebastian's actually been Dead All Along, with Jonathan Christopher having taken over his identity after he murdered the former.
  • Death Equals Redemption: The Heavenly Fire burns the evil out of him. But what little good there was in him is not enough to keep him alive, unlike Jace who was similarly burned in it. He does use his command of the Endarkened to keep them from hurting his former captives, and tells Jace how to destroy the Infernal Cup before he dies.
  • The Dragon: To his father. Seems to be one to Lilith now, too.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In Clary's dream in City of Ashes, she sees Jace standing with white wings (a reference to his angel blood) and, behind her, a dark-haired boy with blood-tipped wings - Sebastian.
  • Foil: To Jace: He was experimented on with demon's blood while Jace was experimented on with angel's blood. Valentine raised him to be cold, cruel, and sadistic, while Jace is more compassionate and kind.
  • Long-Lost Relative: He is Clary's actual brother.
  • The Mole: He was the reason Valentine knew what Jace's group was about to do. He killed the real Sebastian Verlac and posed as the Penhallows' cousin in order to get information.
  • Nice Guy: Averted, this only applies to the real Sebastian, who by now is a Posthumous Character.
  • Not Quite Dead: In City of Fallen Angels, it turns out that he isn't exactly dead because of Clary's wish at the end of City of Glass to bring Jace back to life, which screwed up the balance of life and death. This allowed Lilith to fully resurrect him.
  • Polyglot: Like Jace, he's also fluent in a variety of languages.
  • Superpower Lottery: Sebastian basically has all the capabilities of a Shadowhunter dialed Up to Eleven. Rather than being slightly stronger, faster, more agile and more durable than mundanes like regular Nephilim, he has actual Super Strength, Super Speed, Super Reflexes and Healing Factor, plus Jump Physics, Flash Step, Super Senses and the ability to use various forms of Geometric Magic (including demonic runes). Even vampire Simon is surprised by how strong and fast Sebastian is. He can deliver a Curb-Stomp Battle on Jace, who is otherwise one of the best Shadowhunter warriors around!
  • Tangled Family Tree: Valentine did in fact have an actual son with Jocelyn, Jonathan, whom he raised in secret. Jonathan disguises himself as Sebastian Verlac, a cousin of the prominent Penhallow family. Later he magically coerces Jace into regarding him as a brother. Jonathan also has a Brother–Sister Incest vibe with Clary.
  • Tap on the Head: Kills Max and knocks Isabelle unconscious this way.
  • Walking Spoiler: Anything about him from the later part of City of Glass spoils several plot points like: Jace and Clary aren't really siblings, the real Sebastian Verlac has been Dead All Along, and Valentine fed Jocelyn demon blood while she was pregnant.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: White-haired and just as evil as his dad.

The Penhallow family

    Jia Penhallow (née Ke) 

Aline's mother who became the new consul after the Mortal War.


  • Good Parents: She is a really good mother to Aline. She is supportive when Aline reveals that she is lesbian. She even agreed to be Aline's suggenes when she married the half-faerie Helen Blackthorn which was very controversial.

    Aline Penhallow 

A family friend of the Lightwoods.


  • Asian Airhead: She isn't the smartest stele, although this comes off more as naivety.
  • Attempted Rape: Nearly raped by a demon. Fortunately Isabelle saves her.
  • Battle Couple: Becomes this with Helen, especially when they fight side by side together in the battle of the Burren.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Is half Chinese/half Caucasian.
  • Foil: To Isabelle; she's conservative and shy where Isabelle is outspoken and outgoing.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Heavily implied in City of Glass. Although she is seen kissing Jace, she tells Clary later it was merely a test to see if any guy was "her type". Confirmed in City of Lost Souls, where she appears with her girlfriend, Helen Blackthorn, and it's revealed she came out the closet, inspired by seeing Alec do so.
  • Motor Mouth: She talks a lot, and according to Clary is one of those people who says whatever comes to mind.
  • Nice Girl: Apart from her rude questions to Simon, which are probably due more to naivety and Fantastic Racism than genuine malice, she's fairly polite and even explains to Clary why she kissed Jace.
  • Romantic False Lead: For the Jace/Clary pairing.
  • The Proud Elite: Her behavior towards Simon is neither actively malicious nor self-consciously snobbish. But the way that she talks to, and about (in his presence), him bears a distinct resemblance to a member of an old-fashioned aristocracy meeting her very first peasant.
  • Screaming Woman: Despite being a Shadowhunter, from a prestigious Shadowhunter family, her reaction to Alicante being besieged by demons is to basically panic, adding her to the roster of people in need of rescuing as opposed to helping with the defense.
  • You Are Worth Hell: She follow Helen into exile on Wrangel Island.

The Rosales family

    Cristina Mendoza Rosales 
For information on Cristina click here.

The Starkweather family

    Adele Starkweather (believed to be Elizabeth Gray (née Moore)) 

The granddaughter of Aloysius Starkweather. She got switched at birth with Elizabeth Moore (click here to see information on her) so she grew up as a mundane, never knowing about the Shadowhunter world. She eventually married Richard Gray. She later had a child named Tessa with an eidolon demon that shapeshifted into Richard.


  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: Her 'son' Nate is actually her nephew. Her sister Harriet 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 Elizabeth and Richard who were already married pretended the child was theirs.
    • Complicated even more by the fact that she was actually a Shadowhunter named Adele Starkweather who got Switched at Birth with the real Elizabeth and is thus not actually related to Harriet or Nate.
  • Post Humous Character: She and her husband died in a carriage accident almost fifteen before the start of The Infernal Devices.
  • Switched at Birth: She got switched with Elizabeth Moore, a mundane child.

    Hodge Starkweather 

Played by: Jared Harris (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), Jon Cor (Shadowhunters)

The tutor at the New York Institute, who taught Alec, Jace, and Isabelle everything they needed to know about Shadowhunting.


  • Age Lift: In both adaptations. Word of God states that Hodge is around 36, but Harris was in his early fifties. On the opposite end, Cor is only 30; this is especially notable since his students, Jace and the Lightwoods, are now older in the series.
  • Expy: Of the The Draco Trilogy version of Peter Pettigrew.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: It is shown that he cares about Isabelle, Max, Alec, and Jace. Doesn't stop him from betraying them to Valentine, although he does send a message to Magnus Bane who is able to heal Alec from the demon bite.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Was school friends with Clary's, Jace's, and the Lightwood siblings' parents.
  • The Mole: Valentine's spy.
  • Mr. Exposition: In the first book.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Had the beginnings of a Heel–Face Turn by revealing what the mirror was, but Sebastian/Jonathan Morgenstern kills him first.

The Verlac family

     Sebastian Verlac 
Aline Penhallows cousin who lived with his aunt Elodie at the insitute in Paris. He gets murdered by Jonathan Morgenstern, who steals his identity.


  • Dead All Along: It turns out that the Sebastian we meet in City of Glass is actually Jonathan Morgenstern, who killed the real Sebastian to steal his identity.
  • Nephewism: He was raised by his aunt Elodie after the death of his parents.
  • Parental Abandonment: His parents were killed by demons shortly after arriving in France.

The Wayland family

    Josiah Wayland 

Josiah Wayland is the Consul at the time of The Infernal Devices.


  • Blackmail: He tried to blackmail Gideon and Gabriel Lightwood into spying on Charlotte, threatening to reveal that their father was responsible for their mother's death, which would lead to their banishment and the erasure of the Lightwood family name from the Shadowhunter records.
  • Off with His Head!: He got decapitated by automatons.

    Michael Wayland 

Robert Lightwood's parabatai.


  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He was this with Robert, his best friend and parabatai. Except it turned out that Michael was not really heterosexual. When he admitted to Robert that he was in love with him, Robert told him it was disgusting and that he should never talk about it again. Their friendship never really recovered from it.
  • Incompatible Orientation: He was in love with his staight best friend Robert.
  • Only Friend: He became this to Robert after the latter became an outcast when his first mark nearly killed him.

The Wrayburn family

    Diana Wrayburn 

The tutor of the Blackthorns at the Los Angeles institute.


  • Interspecies Romance: With Gwyn ap Nudd who is a faerie.
  • Transgender: Diana was once called David, but transitioned from male to female several years ago while recovering from a demon attack in Bangkok. Catarina Loss encouraged her to use mundane medicine instead of magic for the transition (magic can be reversed, after all), and Diana took the advice. She refuses to lead the Institute because taking such a position requires her to hold the Mortal Sword and answer the question: "What is your birth name?" She is not too keen on being publicly outed to the whole Clave.

The Iron Sisters

    In general 

Female Shadowhunters who craft the steles and weapons used by Nephilim. They were founded by Abigail, older sister of Jonathan Shadowhunter.


  • The Blacksmith: A whole order of them. They're the only ones who can handle adamas, the heavenly metal from which Nephilim weapons are forged.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To the Silent Brothers.
  • Impartial Purpose-Driven Faction: They don't take parts in the disputes of the Clave and Downworlders, instead residing in Idris and forging weapons.
  • Retired Badass: Most of them are retired Shadowhunters. Abigail Shadowhunter, in particular, founded them because she was frustrated at becoming this, and still wanted to help in the fight against demons.
  • Technicolor Eyes: Becoming an Iron Sister means getting orange eyes.
  • Woman in White: They wear long white gowns that blend in with the mists of their home, so when summoned they look like they appear out of nowhere.

The Silent Brothers

    In general 
Male Shadowhunters who devote their lives to medication and archiving of Nephilim. They reside in the Silent City and keep watch over the Nephilim dead. They were founded by David, former parabatai of Jonathan Shadowhunter. The most frequently seen Silent Brothers are Jeremiah and Zachariah.


  • Mouth Stitched Shut: They have their mouths sewn shut. They give up their speech for telepathy.
  • The Speechless: They cannot speak due to Runes that mutilate their appearance, instead communicating through Telepathy.
  • Theme Naming: Silent Brothers give up their birth names upon joining, instead taking on the name of a man from The Bible.

     Brother Zacharias 


  • Character Overlap: Brother Zachariah is Jem Carstairs, who appears the way he does due to being unable to complete the entrance rituals because of the yin fen in his body.
  • Pretty Boy: The only one of the Shadowhunters who still has hair, eyes, and an unstitched mouth.
  • Walking Spoiler: It is hard to talk about him whitout revealing that he is Jem Castairs.
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