Follow TV Tropes


Literature / The Mortal Instruments

Go To
A 2007-2014 Urban Fantasy series by Cassandra Clare, and the books that spawned the The Shadowhunter Chronicles.

The series follows the teenage Clary Fray after she witnesses three teenagers apparently commit murder in a nightclub — but no one else can see them. Not long later, she goes home to discover that her apartment's been trashed and her mother's gone missing. Soon she and her Childhood Friend, Simon, are dragged into the world of Shadowhunters. The three teenagers, Jace, Alec, and Isabelle, explain their world to her: mythical creatures such as vampires and werewolves do exist, known to them as Downworlders, and that Shadowhunters are a special "breed" of people that act like supernatural policemen, making sure that Mundanes are safe and never find out about the demons that are invading their dimension.

But things aren't over for Clary just yet. There's a war on the horizon - the Shadowhunters against massive demon forces conjured by the man who took her mother, Valentine. Clary's personal life is not without its own drama - her relationship with Simon is slowly getting more and more complicated, and what is she to do about the beautiful and elusive Jace, who seems very attracted to her?

Originally conceived as a trilogy, dangling plot threads were meant to be tied up in a graphic novel. The author found that dissatisfactory, however, and added another three books to the series, and began working on several other series set in the shared universe.

The books in this series are:

  1. City of Bones (2007)
  2. City of Ashes (2008)
  3. City of Glass (2009)
  4. City of Fallen Angels (2011)
  5. City of Lost Souls (2012)
  6. City of Heavenly Fire (2014)

A film version called The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was released August 2013, with Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower having been cast as Clary and Jace; the sequel was scheduled to start filming in 2014, but has since been cancelled.

There is also a television series entitled Shadowhunters. The first episode was aired in January, 2016 and the last in May 2019.

This series has a character sheet. Please put all character-related tropes there.

The book series provides examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless:
    • Every single higher-up is at a Clave meeting. All of them. While Jace's group of inexperienced youths are pursuing the Mortal Instruments, the maniacal Valentine, and attempting to stop The End of the World as We Know It. Anyone who isn't is either insane with power, revenge, or a spy.
    • Subverted with Magnus Bane. Physically he looks to be about nineteen, slightly older than the protagonists. But he is actually centuries old and thus technically more of an "adult" than even the oldest Shadowhunters. He is also incredibly useful.
    • Also averted with Luke. Despite his dark past, he is consistently a reliable person to lean on.
  • The Ageless: Warlocks are this. They do not age after reaching adulthood, but are not significantly more resistant to physical injury than humans. This is also implied to be the case with the Fair Folk. Vampires are a little closer to Immortality, as they possess Healing Factor, although they can still be killed, most obviously by sunlight.
  • All Myths Are True: Lampshaded explicitly several times.
  • Alternate Universe: Edom is actually a parallel Earth, that even had its own Alicante and Shadowhunters, but which was laid waste to by the demons and is now part of the territory held by Asmodeus and Lilith, and basically rented out to Sebastian.
  • Ancestral Weapon:
    • Clary is given her mother's stele in City of Ashes. Subverted since she loses it.
    • In City of Heavenly Fire, Clary gets Heosphoros ("dawn-bearer"), one of two swords her father commissioned that was specifically meant to be an Ancestral weapon. Sebastian/Jonathan already has the other, Phaesphoros ("light-bearer").
    • There is also Cortana, the Carstairs ancestral sword. Emma inherited it from her father.
  • Angel Unaware:
    • Clary unintentionally, as Valentine didn't know Jocelyn was pregnant when he experimented on her with angel's blood.
    • Jace intentionally as the angel's blood that Valentine used to experiment on him with gave him certain characteristics (such as the ability to jump supernaturally high).
  • Anguished Declaration of Love:
    • Clary gets one from Simon and another from Jace.
    • Jocelyn gets one from Luke in City of Glass.
    • Magnus's is more of an Irritated Declaration Of Love, when Alec demands to know why he hasn't called him back, resulting in this exchange:
      Magnus: You're an idiot.
      Alec: Is that why you didn't call me? Because I'm an idiot?
      Magnus: No. I didn't call you because I'm tired of you only wanting me around when you need something. I'm tired of watching you be in love with someone else- someone, incidentally, who will never love you back. Not the way I do.
      Alec: You love me?
      Magnus: You stupid Nephilim. Why else am I here? Why else would I have spent the past few weeks patching up all your moronic friends everytime they got hurt? And getting you out of every ridiculous situation you found yourself in? Not to mention helping you win a battle against Valentine. And all completely free of charge!
      Alec: I hadn't looked at it that way.
      Magnus: Of course not. You never looked at it in any way. I'm seven hundred years old, Alexander. I know when something isn't going to work. You won't even admit I exist to your parents.
    • Magnus also gives one to Alec one book earlier though the love part is only implied.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Alec tends towards this reaction when Jace does something self-destructive... or rather, more self-destructive than usual.
  • Animal Eyes: Magnus Bane has greenish-yellow eyes with vertically-slit pupils, like a cat. He inherited it from his father, Asmodeus, who has catlike eyes in his human form.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The runes, though there is some stuff that they can't do. Magic in general really.
  • Arc Words:
    • City of Bones has "all the stories are true".
    • In City of Heavenly Fire, Clary dreams of a rune several times and describes it as "a shape like two wings joined by a single bar". This turns out to be the rune capable of absorbing the heavenly fire. By transferring the fire from Jace into Heosphoros, Clary manages to kill Sebastian with it.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership:
    • On more than one occasion when Luke has needed to acquire some allies in a hurry his solution has been to find the nearest werewolf pack, kill the Alpha and take over as leader.
    • In City of Heavenly Fire, Maia takes down an usurper of the New York Clan in an absolutely vicious Curb-Stomp Battle which leads to her becoming temporary head and later permanent head of the New York Clan after Luke's retirement.
  • Awkward Kiss: Clary has one of these with Sebastian in City of Glass, saying it felt just "wrong". Turns out that's because he's her real (demonic) brother.
  • The Beautiful Elite: All the Nephilim are somehow good-looking (with the possible exception of Hodge and The REAL Sebastian Verlac). Vampires are explicitly stated to be this; vampire transformation will grant even the ugliest person in the world a certain allure that enchants people.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Lampshaded in City of Ashes when Alec, Jace, and Isabelle return from fighting a demon in a subway tunnel and Alec questions why Izzy never gets any dirt on her. Her response? "I'm pure at heart. It repels the dirt."
  • Big Applesauce: The first two books, as well as the fourth. The third book is set in Idris, but the trope is still in play, as the representatives of the faeries, vampires, warlocks and werewolves that come to Idris (which is located between France and Germany) are all from New York City.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Jace tends to be very protective of his adopted siblings.
    • Alec takes his job as the oldest Lightwood sibling very seriously. And he's also the only one of them to be at least eighteen, making him legally an 'adult'.
    • Simon's sister Rebecca becomes increasingly concerned about Simon's cutting communications with her over the course of City of Lost Souls, and eventually manages to meet with him. When she briefly believes that their mother has brainwashed or harmed him in some way, the way she reacts indicated it would not have gone well for their mom if that had been the case. And when he reveals his vampirism to her, she accepts it almost immediately after getting over the shock, and assures him she'll love him no matter what.
  • Big Damn Kiss:
    • Alec finally outs himself in City of Glass by kissing Magnus in front of, well, everybody.
    • Jace and Clary's first kiss in City of Bones, and their kiss in the faerie court in City of Ashes, also count.
  • Big Fancy House: Notable Shadowhunter families have manor houses in Idris. During the Uprising, the Fairchild Manor was burned down and the Lightwoods lost theirs, though they managed to refurbish a new one in Alicante. Jace was raised in the Wayland Manor by Valentine, which ended up destroyed in City of Glass.
  • Bio-Augmentation: Valentine's experiments with angel and demon blood is a plot point in the series:
    • Valentine unknowingly added angel's blood to Clary before she was born. He also added angel's blood to Jace before he was born, through the naivete of his birth mother Celine Herondale.
    • The first experiment Valentine did was feeding Jocelyn demon (specifically, Lilith's) blood while she was pregnant with Jonathan. The result is a black-eyed, Nigh-Invulnerable child immune to most demonic weapons.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • In the first half, Valentine is defeated, Jace and Clary can pursue a relationship, Alec came out without any immediate backlash, and the Downworlders have gained representatives on the Council. On the other hand, Max was murdered, Simon is bearing the Mark of Cain, Sebastian's body has vanished, and the Seelie Queen is holding a grudge against Clary.
    • In the second half, Sebastian and his Endarkened are defeated with minimal casualties to the main cast, and everyone's relationships are either going well or getting back on track. Unfortunately, the Clave has passed legislature against faeries that is sure to backfire, Mark is abandoned to the Wild Hunt, Helen is sent away, and Julian was forced to kill his father in front of his younger siblings.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: The impetus of the series is Valentine Morgenstern's belief that all Downworlders should be exterminated, despite Shadowhunter laws that protect him. Pretty evil right? Then you learn that despite these supposed protections, prejudice against Downworlders is pretty heavily ingrained into Shadowhunter culture. The issue is lampshaded several times throughout the series, but it comes to a head at the end of City of Heavenly Fire when the Clave begins passing legislature inhibiting the freedom of faeries, despite Magnus' warnings that it will only cause future problems. If that wasn't enough, they also begin discriminating against Shadowhunters with faerie blood, abandoning one who was kidnapped by faeries and risked his life to leak vital intelligence. The author herself says that was intended to make the readers realize that the Clave isn't just flawed and in need of a few tweaks, but crippled by its own prejudice.
  • Black Eyes of Evil:
    • Valentine Morgenstern's eyes are described as black. He's also the genocidal Big Bad.
    • Thanks to the demon blood, Sebastian/Jonathan had these at birth. Jocelyn was so repulsed by him she refused to care for him. When the heavenly fire purifies him, his eyes turn into green.
    • The Endarkened Shadowhunters all have these, as Lilith's blood runs in their veins.
  • Blue-Collar Warlock: This is apparently not unusual for warlocks in general. They typically cast spells for a living.
    • Magnus Bane 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.
    • Catarina Loss is shown to work in a hospital as a nurse.
  • Born of Heaven and Hell:
    • Faeries are the offspring of angels and demons, and as one character puts it, they have the cruelty of demons and the beauty of angels.
    • There's also Tessa Gray, who is half-Shadowhunter half-demon.
    • Jonathan Morgenstern is a shadowhunter, who is also largely demonic through Valentine's experiments. Lilith even claimed that she sees him as her own child, for she has given her blood to Valentine to make Jonathan the one he has become.
  • 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 weakness, 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.
    • Amatis Herondale in City of Lost Souls, after Sebastian captures her and forces her to drink from the Infernal Cup, turning her into a Dark Shadowhunter. Also happens to the other Endarkened Shadowhunters, including the Blackthorns' father, Andrew.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter:
    • Clary Fray is often pretty self-absorbed. Even though she is unconcerned about things like popularity, she can be rather 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. By the second half of the series, she has begun shedding this trait; in the climax of City of Lost Souls, she chooses to sacrifice her own personal happiness (and to atone for what she did; she did technically start the whole mess) in favor of saving the world when she stabs Jace with Glorious, despite it being potentially fatal.
    • Isabelle Lightwood has some shades of this, constantly complaining and lashing out at her parents. It turns out it's mostly a ploy to distract their parents from Alec's homosexuality.
  • Brother–Sister Incest:
    • In City of Bones a fortune teller tells Jace that he will "Love the wrong person". He falls in love with Clary, who is revealed to be his sister, until it isn't. Though the prophecy turns to be Right for the Wrong Reasons, as his relationship with Clary ends up being a bit destructive, although they eventually come out fine by the end of it.
    • Played straight with Jonathan/Sebastian, Clary's real brother, who unashamedly loves Clary romantically. In City of Glass, he kisses her while knowing that she is his sister (she on the other hand doesn't know at the time) and in City of Lost Souls offers to make her his queen of the new world he wants to create. Clary doesn't return his feelings.
  • But Not Too Foreign: A lot of these in non-white characters.
    • Magnus' mother is Indo, a mixed race ethnic group descended from Dutch and Indonesians intermarrying with each other in the Dutch East Indies. His father is a Greater Demon, so Magnus solely inherited her look.
    • Maia Roberts is half-white, half-black.
    • Aline Penhallow. Her father's white, her mother's Chinese.
  • Call-Back: The later books feature several to the prequel series, The Infernal Devices, which is set in Victorian London and contains a few of the characters' ancestors.
  • 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.
  • Came Back Wrong:
    • The method to create new vampires involves this. The subjects are brought to near-death as the vampire infection begins to penetrate their bodies. Once complete, they will have to be buried in a cemetery, after which they will rise up as vampires.
    • In City of Fallen Angels, it is revealed that when Jace was resurrected by Raziel after Valentine killed him in City of Glass, all protection spells he received as a kid were wiped clean since by being resurrected, he is treated as if he was reborn into a second life. This gives Lilith a chance to mark him as her subject.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Faeries always tell the truth, though they may exploit loopholes, refrain from disclosing anything not explicitly asked, or twist the facts. Half-faeries on the other hand don't abide by this rule, which is why the Seelie Queen tasked the half-faerie Meliorn as the faerie representative to the Clave. The Clave expect him to always tell the truth, so they trust him when he said that the Fair Folk are not allying themselves with Sebastian.
  • Captured Super-Entity: City of Glass, has Jace and Clary finding an angel in Valentine's basement.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • Maia Robert's parents never believed her when she told them her brother was abusive.
    • In City Of Glass, Jace's outright dislike and suspicion of Sebastian raises a lot of eyebrows despite the fact that he was right all along.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Clary has a "Still Not King" pin. Who wrote The Very Secret Diaries that inspired that pin in this 'verse?
  • Celestial Paragons and Archangels: Raziel, who created the Shadowhunters. Also, Michael, Gabriel and many others are mentioned but do not appear. Raziel explicitly states that God exists, but what degree of direct interest He takes in earthly affairs is ambiguous.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In City of Bones, Madame Dorothea's tarot cards: the Ace of Cups was the Mortal Cup.
    • Also, the lake that Clary and Luke fall into during City of Glass turns out to be the Mortal Glass.
    • The Hebrew words that Valentine mutters after Clary rips apart his yacht in City of Ashes comes up again in the climax of City of Glass, when she writes them to transfer Raziel's allegiance to her.
    • The strange rune that Clary keeps seeing in her dreams in City of Heavenly Fire is capable of absorbing heavenly fire into something inscribed by it. When she writes it on Heosphoros, she manages to transfer the heavenly fire within Jace into the sword.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Madeleine Bellefleur, the female Shadowhunter Clary notes several times in City of Ashes, is revealed to be Jocelyn's old friend and the only person who knows how to wake her.
    • The mundane promoter for Simon's band in City of Fallen Angels is actually Lilith.
  • Code of Honour: The Shadowhunters' Law, which provides a moral framework for what they do, but which is often very restrictive. Both the heroes and villains have a distinct tendency to try to circumvent it, even while accepting it in principle.
  • Comically Missingthe Point: More than once during the Anguished Declaration of Love as seen above, where Alec Lightwood seems more concerned with the fact that Magnus didn't return his calls and lied about his age than the fact the city is under attack and Magnus is explaining all the pain Alec's closeted-ness and his love is causing him. Leading us to this little gem where they BOTH end up missing the point of their conversation:
    "You told me you were three hundred! You're seven hundred years old?"
    "Well, eight hundred, but I don't look it."
  • Coming-Out Story:
    • In City of Glass, Alec Lightwood comes out rather awesomely by kissing Magnus in the middle of the entire Clave, including his parents.
    • Parodied, when Luke gets Simon a pamphlet called 'How To Come Out to Your Parents' when he becomes a vampire and tells him to adapt it to suit the situation. Neither Simon nor Clary is amused.
    • In City of Lost Souls, it's revealed that Aline was inspired by Alec's coming out and chose to come out herself, dating Helen afterwards. It's said that Jia and Patrick silently accepted it.
  • Costume Porn: The series loves its lavish description of anything and everything a character wears. It only gets lavish as time goes on.
  • Covered in Scars: Shadowhunters are covered in scars from years of being marked with runes.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: All over the place. Isabelle 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. Alec winds up in a gay relationship with a warlock. Jocelyn isn't wild about her daughter dating the boy that Valentine raised, though she eventually comes to accept it.
  • Dead Person Impersonation:
    • Valentine 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.
    • The real Sebastian Verlac's actually been Dead All Along, with Jonathan Christopher having taken over his identity after he murdered the former.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Sebastian (or Jonathan), as a result of the heavenly fire burning out the demon blood within him.
  • Death of a Child: 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.
  • Death Seeker: Jace is explicitly described as being this. Isabelle flat-out says that Jace is "in love with the idea of dying" and she and her brother Alec put considerable effort into saving him from his own recklessness.
  • Death World: Edom. There are no living beings, the sea is drained, and the sun is gone, replaced by hanging gray skies due to the accumulation of ashes around the world. The only inhabitants are demons who scavenge for food.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen:
    • Like her brother, Isabelle Lightwood is not very fond of Clary at first. Later, though, she begins to open up to her. By the second half, Isabelle is Clary's closest girl friend (not that she has much).
    • Imogen Herondale 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.
  • Demon Lords And Arch Devils: Lucifer, Azazel, Samael, Asmodeus, Lilith and many others. At least some are fallen angels. Azazel and Asmodeus in particular are two of the nine most powerful, known as the Princes of Hell, and subordinate only to Lucifer.
  • Demonic Vampires: It is said the first vampires were created by the demon Hecate who transformed Vlad III and his court into vampires as a reward for sacrificing people to her in a public ceremony.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: In City of Ashes, Alec has a key to Magnus's apartment, but given his inexperience and secretive nature, it's left open as to just what happens between them. But by City of Lost Souls, it's made clear that they do.
  • Distinguishing Mark:
    • Jace has a star-shaped mark on his shoulder which is a birthmark of Herondale family. Clary also has one even though she isn't a Herondale, which is a Foreshadowing to her status as an angel-powered child.
    • Simon gains the ability to walk in sunlight, nicknaming him "Daylighter" and the Mark of Cain, though he later loses the latter.
  • Distant Finale: The epilogue of City of Heavenly Fire takes place five months after the Dark War.
  • Doorstopper: There's no book in the series that is less than 400 pages. Shout out to City of Heavenly Fire for being a nice 725 pages.
  • The Dreaded: Agramon in City of Ashes is made of this trope. Of course, he is the Greater Demon of Fear within the setting and kills people by appearing to them as their greatest terror.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • The first three books barely make note of the parabatai bond. Strange, considering how important it is in the prequel series. The second half of the series compensates by emphasizing the bond several times.
    • The Forsaken are only significant in City of Bones. After that, they are barely mentioned at all.
    • In City of Bones it is explicitly stated that vampires can change shape. Notably, the local vampires mistake Simon for one of their clan when he gets turned into a rat and they think he's just drunk. This never comes up again. Likewise, their flying motorcycles get phased out of the series as it progresses.
  • Emotional Maturity Is Physical Maturity: True up to a point with warlocks. Most of them stop visibly aging when they reach adulthood, and they do not become elderly people in young bodies usually. Magnus in particular somewhat consciously tries to act the age he looks. But he also states that older warlocks do start to become emotionally detached. Fairies and vampires are more variable though. For example, Raphael Santiago looks about 14 or 15, but acts like a Grumpy Old Man, which he is. Aside from Fantastic Racism, most people tend to interact as peers despite real age differences. Arrogant Clave members think nothing of acting older and wiser than Downworlders that are many times their age. A romantic relationship between Alec (18) and Magnus (400+), is not seem as problematic except for the Mayfly–December Romance issue and Alec's later jealousy over the sheer number of past lovers Magnus has had.
  • Evil Counterpart Race: The "Endarkened" Shadowhunters that Sebastian Morgenstern creates using the Infernal Cup and Lilith's blood. They are stronger and faster than regular Shadowhunters, but cannot use their Runes or angelically aligned weapons. They are given demonic equivalents.
  • Extra-Strength Masquerade: The Shadow World is generally invisible to Mundanes. Many Downworlders strut around fairly openly, relying on humanity's natural Weirdness Censor to cause people to not see them for what they really are. The Shadowhunters, being almost human, put a modest amount of magical effort into rendering themselves unnoticeable in everyday society. Also, their country apparently doesn't exist.
  • The Fair Folk: Fairies are rarely trustworthy. Although they cannot lie, they are masters of evasion. They also have a definite sadistic streak and will ally with good or evil depending on where they think their interests are best served.
    Simon: They can't be worse than vampires, and you did all right with them.
    Jace: All right? By which I take it you mean we survived?
    Simon: Well...
    Jace: Faeries are the offspring of angels and demons, with the beauty of angels and the viciousness of demons. A vampire might attack you, if you entered its domain, but a faerie could make you dance until you died with your legs ground down into stumps, trick you into going for a midnight swim and drag you screaming underwater until your lungs burst, fill your eyes with faerie dust until you gouged them out at the roots—
    Clary: Jace! Shut up. Jesus. That's enough.
    Jace: Look, it's easy to outsmart a werewolf or vampire. They're no smarter than anyone else. But faeries live for hundreds of years and they're as cunning as snakes. They can't lie, but they love to engage in creative truth-telling. They'll find out whatever it is you want most in the world and give it to you — with a sting in the tail of the gift that will make you regret you ever wanted it in the first place. They're not about helping people. More harm disguised as help.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Warlocks, werewolves, vampires, faeries, demons, angels, and Nephilim are the main fantasy creatures; however, many others are mentioned in passing. In fact, in City of Bones Jace tells Clary that "all the stories are true." Except for mummies. No one believes in mummiesnote .
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Shadowhunters are notorious for their sense of superiority. At best, they consider mundanes to be helpless and useless; at worst, they consider Downworlders to be dangerous criminals that need to be kept in check. The elitism of the Shadowhunters is often Lampshaded by outsiders, notably Clary and Simon, as well as Downworlders.

      Taken up to eleven in City of Heavenly Fire when Helen and Mark Blackthorn are considered tainted by their half-faerie status despite the former having fought for the Shadowhunters and the latter having actually leaked vital intelligence to the Shadowhunters. It's even sold by the Shadowhunters as saving the family from the future pain of being betrayed despite both clearly caring for their family.

      The Shadowhunter Codex reveals that throughout history, there have been several attempts to wipeout Downworlders and that torturing them and robbing them was quite legal for some time. Things began to change with the Accords, but the racism lingers in Shadowhunter culture.
    Clary: So progressive, we couldn't murder Downworlders in the street anymore.
    Jace: Big change, though—from "Downworlders are basically demons" to "Downworlders are basically humans."
    • Many Downworlders in turn have a low opinion on Shadowhunters, considering them self-righteous jerkasses. Magnus seems to be the only warlock who has no visible prejudice against Shadowhunters.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: Clary is annoyed when Jace does this at her, because it is an ability she has always envied. She gets even more annoyed when Magnus Bane turns out to be able to do it too.
  • Fire and Ice Love Triangle: Simon and Jace from the first half of the series. Jace is arrogant, cold, and distant while Simon is dorky, caring, and an Unlucky Childhood Friend.
  • Fish out of Water: Clary Fray and Simon Lewis from are not hardened Shadowhunters or Downworlders like the rest of the cast, at least at first. Clary jumps right on the mundie racism bandwagon rather disturbingly fast, though and Simon's does get turned into the latter.
  • Foil:
    • Isabelle Lightwood is the seasoned, girly Nephilim to Clary Fray's naïve idealist tomboy.
    • Sebastian/Jonathan Morgenstern 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.
    • Stephen Herondale ends up serving as one to his son, Jace. Stephen was handsome, skilled, and incredibly charming (though notably without Jace's talent for pissing people off). In City of Ashes, Luke explicitly contrasts him with Jace, pointing out that Stephen abandoned his wife and joined Valentine when he had everything going for him, something that Jace refused to do even at his lowest point.
      • Doubles as a bit of Fridge Brilliance when he's revealed to be Jace's biological father in City of Glass.
    • Aline Penhallow to Isabelle Lightwood; she's conservative and shy where Isabelle is outspoken and outgoing.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In City of Bones, Simon makes a joke about Jewish Vampires. That's exactly what he ends up becoming in City of Ashes.
    • Witchlight stones will only illuminate in the hands of those who have angelic blood, and are thus typically only used by Shadowhunters. However, when Alec drops his, Magnus picks it up and it proceeds to glow, albeit in changing colors rather than pure white. Magnus's father, Asmodeus, is not one of the demons spawned by Lilith, he is a Fallen Angel, one of the ones that originally rebelled against God.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: The Alliance Rune. After City of Glass it's never used again, even when Shadowhunters and Downworlders are going into battle right next to each other.
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: The series devolves into this in the later books, due to the introduction of numerous point of view characters with each their own subplot, and most of them showing up in every chapter. Something as simple as driving out of town to get a healing salve takes up a fourth of a book even though no obstacle presents itself.
  • Functional Magic: Primarily Inherent Gift, as one of the defining attributes of being "human" is the inability to use magic and thus free access to magic is generally limited to Downworlders and Shadowhunters. Warlocks (who are half-demon) are the primary practitioners of magic, although the Shadowhunters have their Runes and the Fairies possess strange powers.
  • Fur Against Fang:
    • The vampires and werewolves do not get on well. Rumor has it that the two demon species which originally infected humans, giving rise to the vampires and werewolves, were rivaling species who hated one another.
    • In City of Ashes, werewolf Maia Roberts dislikes Simon at first. Very much. Until they both end up being captured by Valentine. Then in City of Fallen Angels, they start dating, though not for long.
  • Geometric Magic: This is the primary form of magic employed by the Shadowhunters, who use Angelic Runes to perform a variety of functions, including giving themselves superhuman physical abilities. Clary's special aptitude with Runes is essential to the plot.
  • God: Does actually exist. This is all we know on the subject.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: A background plot element throughout the first three books is that Simons band can't come up with a name. Eventually they settle on The Mortal Instruments. They actually become pretty successful after that.
  • Gratuitous Greek:
    • Interestingly averted despite the regular use of Gratuitous Latin and the fact that Shadowhunters are usually educated in both Classical languages. While it is mentioned that some texts, such as the Book of the White, are written in Greek, nobody seems to drop any Greek phrases to anybody that would not be expected to already know the language anyway, even though they often do so with Latin.
    • The message that Sebastian gives to the New York Institute at the end of City of Lost Souls is erkhomai, which is Ancient Greek for "I'm coming."
    • The Morgenstern's ancestral swords are named Phaesphoros and Heosphoros, Ancient Greek for "light-bearer" and "dawn-bearer" respectively. Also, Phaesphoros means exactly the same as "Lucifer".
  • Gratuitous Latin: In widespread usage here. Partly justified in that Idris is located in Western Europe and has been around since the Middle Ages, when Latin was still the common language of the educated class in that region. Sometimes abused by Shadowhunters as part of their smug routine. Ominous Latin Chanting is also popular.
  • Guinea Pig Family: Valentine 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...
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Humans and faeries can mate and give birth to hybrids. The children are for the most part human, but they have some kind of faerie trait, such as an oddly colored hair or pointed ears. Also, they can lie. Helen and Mark Blackthorn are both this, as is Meliorn.
  • Harmful to Minors:
    • Although Shadowhunters, like most of modern society, do not consider children to be adults until they are eighteen (which is the youngest age at which they can even attend Clave meetings), it is apparently acceptable for children much younger than that to participate in Demon Slaying without adult supervision. At the start of City of Bones, Alec is the oldest of the protagonists being only one that is eighteen years old. The movie seems to try to avert this by making all the characters a few years older than they are in the books.
    • Jace's childhood, basically, the least of which involved his father murdering his pet falcon.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • Jace Wayland and 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 bond of partnership even stronger than that of brothers.
    • Jonathan Shadowhunter with David the Silent, inspired by their Biblical namesakes who were also examples of this trope. They were the very first parabatai.
  • Hidden Elf Village:
    • Idris, a small country in Western Europe that was built out of a Holy Ground designated by Raziel for Shadowhunters to settle. The borders are enchanted so mundanes cannot enter simply by stumbling upon it (they will simply be transported to the other side if they try). The capital city, Alicante, is protected by massive demon towers that prevent demons from entering it from the outside. In addition to Shadowhunters, Downworlders also live in Idris, though very few live in Alicante, with the majority settling in Brocelind Forest on the outskirts. Though it is considered their homeland, Idris only hosts a part of the Shadowhunter population, most of whom live among Mundanes. The entire Shadowhunter population, however, may be called if there is an emergency, such as when the Endarkened attack the Institutes.
    • The Insitutes are a smaller case of this. They are little enclaves of Idris spread throughout the world and serve as official residences of the Conclave heads well as safe havens for Shadowhunters who need protection, basically serving like embassies. Mundanes can only enter if they are accompanied by Shadowhunters. Since the Institutes are built atop holy ground, vampires cannot enter them, requiring Sanctuaries to be built atop non-holy ground adjoining the main buildings.
    • The Adamant Citadel, the home of the Iron Sisters, is off-limits even to normal Shadowhunters. Only female Shadowhunters may activate the bridge to enter the building and, unless they are fellow Sisters, they have to stop at the waiting room.
  • Holy Water: Holy water is used to fight against vampires, since it burns them like acid.
  • Hooked Up Afterwards: Luke Garroway and Jocelyn Fray at the end of City of Glass. They planned to get married in City of Fallen Angels but the marriage was postponed indefinitely, with Jace's possession by Lilith and subsequent disappearance. The wedding eventually happens at the end of City of Heavenly Fire.
  • Human-Demon Hybrid: Warlocks are the progeny of couplings between humans and demons. They are themselves generally infertile.
  • Hunter of Monsters: The Shadowhunters protect humanity from supernatural creatures. Subverted somewhat in that the Shadowhunters are themselves supernatural in nature.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Valentine Morgenstern from , 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.
    • The vampire Raphael Santiago badgers Simon relentlessly about the need to accept that he is dead to humanity and must sever all ties to his former life. However it's said that he puts on a cross and visits his family every Sunday.
  • 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 have been such 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. When she willingly stabs him with Glorious in City of Lost Souls, this is a major Character Development, because she is able to put aside her feelings in favor of the world.
    • Jace 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.
  • Idiosyncratic Cover Art: All the books have busts of the main characters over a city horizon. And shining covers, as does The Shadowhunter's Codex.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All of the books in the series are called "City of X". Both City of Bones and City of Ashes refer to the Silent City, while the titular City of Glass is Alicante.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Subverted, when Jace prepares himself for this speech from Simon, his girlfriend Clary's protective best friend. Of course, Clary is a demon-slaying Shadowhunter.
    Jace:Is this the part where you tell me if I ever do anything to hurt her, you'll kill me?
    Simon:No. If you hurt Clary, she's quite capable of killing you herself. Possibly with a variety of weapons.
  • I Have Your Wife: In City of Fallen Angels, Lilith tells Simon that she has his girlfriend. Due to the fact that he had just broken up with Maia and Isabelle he does nothing, and assumes that it's an empty threat, until he discovers Maureen has been killed due to her crush on him.
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty: This is the case with warlocks. As half-human/half-demons, they age more or less normally until they reach adult, and then their aging just stops.
  • Impersonation-Exclusive Character: It turns out that Sebastian is actually Jonathan, who killed and replaced the real Sebastian. The readers never learn much about the real Sebastian.
  • Impartial Purpose-Driven Faction: The Silent Brothers and The Iron Sisters. They don't take part in the disputes of the Clave and Downworlders, instead the former devoting their time to writing all of it down, with the latter residing in Idris and forging weapons.
  • Informed Attribute: The parabatai bond. Although it supposedly makes two Nephilim "closer than brothers", Alec and Jace usually seem to have little or no ability to read each other. Alec often fails to get when Jace is being sarcastic (despite the fact that Jace is almost always sarcastic). Jace had no idea that Alec was just pretending to side with the Inquisitor in order to keep her from suspecting that he intended to help Jace. Despite the alleged combat advantages of the bond, they do not really seem any more effective when fighting together than they do with others, such as Isabelle. Cassandra appears to have noticed this problem come the second half of the series, as well as with The Infernal Devices prequel series, where parabatai bond is an important plot point.
  • Interspecies Romance: Played straight with Magnus and Alec. No pun intended. Every witch and warlock is the offspring of a human and a demon (though Word of God says that most of these cases are rape, not romance), in City of Ashes Isabelle is dating a faerie knight. The fey themselves are the offspring of demons and angels. Jocelyn and Luke and Isabelle and Simon, as of City of Lost Souls, are in the same vein as Tonks and Lupin from Harry Potter, with their lycanthropy and vampirism respectively being more like diseases than a genetic trait, though there are born werewolves in-universe. Helen and Mark Blackthorn are half-fey as well.
  • Invisible to Normals: Shadowhunters, demons, and Downworlders are all invisible to normal people, or 'mundanes', until they've been bitten by a werewolf, forced to focus, or otherwise pulled in.
  • Jesus Taboo: Judeo-Christian theology is frequently referenced as background. God, Archangel Michael, Archangel Gabriel and other Celestial Paragons and Archangels are explicitly stated as being real characters. The same goes for Satan, Lilith and various Demon Lords and Archdevils. Jesus, however, is mentioned only once, and in jest.
  • Join or Die: In City of Heavenly Fire, Jonathan/Sebastian does this while turning the Endarkened Ones using the Infernal Cup. If they're too young or old to be turned he just kills them.
  • Killed Offscreen:
    • During the demonic attack on Alicante in City of Glass, Sebastian kills Max while Isabelle isn't looking.
    • Near the end of City of Lost Souls, Maureen tells Alec that she has killed Camille Belcourt and therefore assumed the leadership of the New York vampire clan.
  • Klingon Promotion: Werewolves have formalized this as a way for potential leaders to ascend. In City of Bones, it's casually stated that Luke killed the head of New York werewolf pack so he could gain manpower to storm Valentine's hideout. In City of Heavenly Fire, Maia kills Rufus, a potential challenger to Luke's position, and Luke later formally gives the position to her.
  • 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.
    • In City of Heavenly Fire, Asmodeus takes all of Simon's 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.
    • Magnus Bane can induce it, such as his work on Clary. However, he can't undo it.
  • Last Episode, New Character:
    • During the party held in Alicante near the end of City of Glass, Clary notes that Magnus is talking to a brown-haired woman who briefly glances at her. This woman is Tessa Gray, the main character of the then-upcoming The Infernal Devices.
    • City of Heavenly Fire has many new characters added that will play important roles in The Dark Artifices. The most notable, of course, is Emma Carstairs (who has about a dozen chapters dedicated to her), but there's also the Blackthorn siblings (Mark, Julian, Livia, Tiberius, Drusilla, and Octavian), Diana Wrayburn, and Malcolm Fade.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The cover of City of Lost Souls spoils the romantic plot arc of the first three books of the series, revealing that Clary and Jace are not brother and sister and, indeed, are in a romantic relationship.
  • Lawful Stupid: The Clave, to the point where their leadership is basically a Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering. Actual Shadowhunters frequently find themselves in To Be Lawful or Good situations simply because the Clave is hopelessly bogged down trying to figure out the most lawful way of dealing with just about anything.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The Adamant Citadel is built on top of a volcano, since the Iron Sisters need the heat to forge angelic weapons.
  • Letter Motif: In City of Bones, "JC" is a significant pair of initials. It's for Clary's false father Jonathan Clark, her not really dead brother Jonathan Christopher, the latter name of which serves as the basis for Jace's name which pushed up the drama when he and Clary thought they were siblings.
  • Lie Back and Think of England: Jace tells Clary to close her eyes before they kiss in front the fairy court in City of Ashes.
  • Like Brother and Sister:
  • Literal-Minded:
    • Jace once told Clary; "If there were such a thing as terminal literalism, you would have died at birth."
    • Alec has a tendency to misinterpret sarcasm.
  • Long-Lost Relative:
    • Valentine Morgenstern is Clary’s biological father.

      Clary's brother is still alive. And, in one way or another, she has kissed him: she falls in love with Jace before the two are falsely revealed to be siblings, and she kisses Sebastian before he reveals himself to be her actual brother.
    • Amatis Herondale 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.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: City of Heavenly Fire has a demon that traps its victims by showing them an idyllic dream world centered around their heart's desire. Since demons cannot understand human nature, every dream has a flaw that allows the subject to shatter the illusion.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Clary falls for Jace. Long time best friend Simon has always loved Clary, but Clary doesn't find out until later. Alec has a crush on Jace, who doesn't find out at all. Simon has a crush on Isabelle, Alec's sister. She loathes him when they first meet but he grows on her. By the end of City of Bones, Jace has fallen for Clary as well. Later, Maia is introduced. She likes Simon, and he likes her back. But we can't let anything in this story be simple. Sorry Simon.. By now, Magnus Bane has been introduced. Guess who ends up with him? In City of Glass, yet another player is introduced, Sebastian. Clary has a short fling with him. Only it turns out that Jace and Clary aren't actually related. But in Sebastian aka Jonathan's case, it's for real. And he knew it. Then there's Jocelyn's love history, which is simpler (Lucian / Valentine), or other side love interests like Isabelle's fling with Meliorn or Maia's ex Jordan. As of City of Heavenly Fire, Clary/Jace is on, Alec/Magnus is on, Simon/Isabelle is off but probably not for much longer, Jocelyn/Lucian is on, and Maia/Jordan is off (because he's dead), though Maia has found another love in Bat.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father:
    • Jonathan Clark, the man Jocelyn told Clary was her father, was just a mere acquaintance. Clary’s real father is Valentine Morgenstern.
    • Michael Wayland was never Jace's father. Valentine Morgenstern is, he raised Jace while under the guise of Michael Wayland. Though City of Glass reveals that Jace's 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.
  • MacGuffin: The titular Mortal Instruments: A cup, a sword, and a mirror. Each of the first three books are dedicated to exploring them, in the same order.
  • Magical Society: The Shadowhunters most definitely, complete with their own magically-concealed country located on the border of France and Germany. The Fair Folk likewise count for much the same reasons. Vampires and werewolves are a less organized variation, being organized into local clans and packs respectively, and they live within mundane cities. The warlocks are an aversion, being mostly free agents bound primarily by individual relationships.
  • Magitek: The flying motorcycles the vampires ride, which are powered by "demon energies". Also, those who look closely will notice that Magnus Bane's television is not actually plugged in. The Shadowhunters have Magitek home conveniences in Idris.
  • Magic Versus Science: The extensive wards that conceal and protect Idris also appear to interfere with technology. Hence the Shadowhunters do not use things like automobiles to get around within the country, even though those that live elsewhere are quite familiar with them. Witchlight is used to provide things like illumination that would normally be powered by electricity in other countries. Elaborate mechanical devices, possibly related to phonographs, are used to play music. There is no cellular coverage or internet access naturally, and the only working phone in the country was enchanted by a warlock. It is also noted that Runes interfere with the proper ignition of gunpowder, which is why Shadowhunters do not make use of firearms.
  • Mama Bear:
    • Imogen Herondale stakes her entire plan on this in City of Ashes, believing that Valentine would do anything to protect Jace the way that she would have done anything for her son, Stephen. She hates Jace because she resents the fact that Valentine's son survived while her own son was killed in the Uprising. During the battle onboard Valentine's ship, she is the first to put together that Jace is Stephen's biological son, not Valentine's. She dies to protect her only grandson, taking the secret with her.
    • Special mention goes to Jocelyn, who betrayed her husband, faked her death, and left her entire world behind at nineteen to keep her husband from doing to her daughter what he did to her son.
    • Lilith considers Jonathan her "son" due to him being tainted by her blood, and takes measures to protect him throughout the second trilogy.
    • A twisted version of this appears with Elaine Lewis when she attacks the vampire that she ''believes'' killed Simon, driving him off with a prayer for protection. Too bad that the vampire ''is'' her son, making the moment into a major case of tearjerker.
  • Mark of the Supernatural: Warlocks have a distinguishing mark that's unique to each one. Magnus Bane has cat eyes, Catarina Loss has blue skin and white hair, and Ragnor Fell has ram horns, green skin and an extra joint in each finger.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Alec Lightwood is eighteen and dating Magnus Bane is around 400 years old. The fact the Magnus is an immortal warlock while Alec is human becomes a plot point in the second half of the series.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Clary Fray. 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.
    • Valentine Morgenstern. "Morgenstern" means "morning star" - signifying, of course, Lucifer. He also crafted two weapons whose names allude to the literal meaning of "Lucifer" in Latin ("light-bearer"): Phaesphoros and Heosphoros mean "light-bearer" and "dawn-bearer" in Ancient Greek, respectively.
    • Luke Garroway sounds like loup-garou, French for werewolf.
  • Medieval Stasis: Idris. There are no motor vehicles (horse are ridden), no telephones (except for a single one in the Gard, magically installed by Ragnor), and no electricity (witchlights are used for illumination). For long-distance communication, people will have to use fire messages or letters, since Mundane signals do not function properly.
  • Moment Killer: Every time Jace and Clary seem to be about to exchange a moment that could turn into a Relationship Upgrade it is inevitably interrupted.
  • Muggle and Magical Love Triangle: Clary Fray has her childhood friend Simon Lewis, a normal boy (until halfway through City of Ashes) who is in love with her and she herself has a crush on demon-slaying Shadowhunter, Jace Wayland.
  • Muggles: Mundanes. Anyone who has no knowledge of Downworlders or Shadowhunters is a mundane or a "mundie". Clary is included in this because even though she is a Shaddowhunter, she knows nothing about their world.
  • Mundane Utility: Jace to Magnus: "Nearly unlimited supernatural power, and all you do is use it to watch reruns. What a waste."
  • Naginatas Are Feminine: In City of Ashes Isabelle walks in with her trademark whip and a naginata. When Alec asks if the naginata is for him, she tells him to get his own weapon, promptly giving it to their mother.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: The series uses this. Examples include, in City of Bones, Alec said something that rhymes with 'ducking glass mole' and in City of Ashes, has Jace suggested that the whole cast of Gilligan's Island could do something anatomically unlikely to themselves. At one point a character's lines are simply described as "something unprintable".
  • Nay-Theist:
    • Jace Wayland believes that there is a God, just not that God cares, after seeing his father murdered in front of him.
    • The Clave as a whole is extremely irreligious considering that they are a group of enhanced humans whose gifts were very explicitly granted to them by an archangel. While they show a notable interest in angelology, and can name more angels than most people who are not professional theologians, they tend to steer clear of discussions about God. The Nephilim have no churches, synagogues, mosques, etc. in Idris, and when seeking consecrated ground for their Institutes they are prone to using sites that were formerly mundane locations of worship. They also rely heavily on holy water, but do not produce it themselves, instead getting it from various mundane religions.
  • Nephilim: The series, while keeping the angelic origin, has the Nephilim as essentially enhanced humans descended from angels who slay demons and look beautiful doing it.
  • Nice Guy:
    • In City of Glass, Clary describes Sebastian Verlac as someone she thinks is easy to have fun with. Only applies to the real Sebastian, who by now is a Posthumous Character.
    • Apart from her rude questions to Simon, which are probably due to naivety and Fantastic Racism then genuine malice, Aline Penhallow is fairly polite and even explains to Clary why she kissed Jace.
  • Not Listening to Me, Are You?: In the opening scene of City of Bones, Clary and Simon are at a club, when Clary spots a mysterious, handsome young man. As she stares at him, Simon tries to get her attention with a series of increasingly outrageous comments, culminating with him telling her that he was sleeping with her mother and considering taking up crossdressing.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: The Clave tend to spend more time arguing amongst themselves than they do ridding the world of demons.
  • Number Two:
    • Raphael Santiago to Camille Belcourt. Until he starts claiming leadership and the two go to war.
    • Stephen Herondale to Valentine Morgenstern, when he was still alive, after Valentine cast out Luke for becoming a werewolf.
  • Official Couple: Jace and Clary.
  • One Cast Member per Cover: The 2015 covers depict a different main character on each of the six books: Jace on City of Bones Clary on City of Ashes, Simon on City of Glass, Isabelle of City of Fallen Angels, Alec on City of Lost Souls and Sebastian on City of Heavenly Fire. The spines of the books also depict different characters and each of them forms part of a larger illustration.
  • Only Sane Man: Simon Lewis. Recognized that loving Clary was a dead end, and had enough self-respect to let her go and move on to Isabelle and Maia.
    • Prior to the start of the series, the more levelheaded Alec served as this to his risk-taking siblings, Isabelle and Jace.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: After Magnus has been kidnapped in City of Heavenly Fire, the normally levelheaded Alec grows increasingly violent and ruthless, to the point that Jace of all people has a heart-to-heart with him about it.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: There are werewolves of the variety where they are forced to change at the full moon, but can change shape at will at other times; they mostly retain their human minds, although at the full moon their minds become less human. They can be hurt by silver, while the condition is semi-contagious, with about half of all bites transmitting lycanthropy.
  • Patricide: Magnus killed his stepfather as a young child, though admittedly said stepfather was trying to drown him.
    • During the battle at the Accords Hall in City of Heavenly Fire, Julian Blackthorn is forced to kill the Endarkened version of his father.
  • The Place: The first three books refer to a place in-universe. The last three, on the other hand, are metaphorical.
    • Both City of Bones and City of Ashes refer to Silent City, an underground catacomb and the home of the Silent Brothers. The former is an epithet, while the latter indicates its situation after Valentine sent a demon who massacred the Brothers.
    • City of Glass refers to Alicante, the capital city of the Shadowhunter home country of Idris. It received the epithet "City of Glass" because of the massive demon towers that surround it.
  • Platonic Co-Parenting: Jocelyn's best friend Luke helped her raise Clary. They eventually get a Relationship Upgrade.
  • Pocket Dimension:
    • That Idris, hidden or not, should be taking up measurable space between France and Germany but remains undetected is attributed to Raziel metaphorically blowing it like a bubble.
    • Faerie is implied to be this. Not merely a place underground, but a small world adjacent to the real one. The majority of which outsiders never get to see (or at least never leave if they do).
    • Silent City and the Spiral Labyrinth are also supposed to be this. Hence the Silent Brothers can come and go through various entrances around the world. The warlocks' great library is hidden even from the Clave, although they can apparently deliver supplies to Idris via Portal upon request.
    • Valentine's extradimensional apartment, which is mostly used by Sebastian. Because it exists at a slightly different dimensional "angle" relative to Earth it is nigh-impossible to locate it, as well as anyone or anything inside, magically from the normal world.
  • Posthumous Character:
    • Despite being dead for years at the beginning of the series, we learn a lot about Stephen Herondale through recollections and his relationships with other characters.
    • Céline Herondale's suicide takes place long before the story proper, but her relationships with current characters make her important.
  • Power Tattoo:
    • The Shadowhunters have the ability to carve (usually temporary, occasionally permanent) tattoos on themselves, giving them a variety of abilities, such as Super-Strength, Super-Speed, etc. However, not all of these are good. Valentine's endgame plan is to have the entire Clave enslaved and under his control by having all Shadowhunters accept a permanent Obedience Rune.
    • In City of Glass, Simon 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.
  • Power Trio: Jace, Alec and Isabelle start out the series as this. However, the group dynamic changes when Clary and Simon come along, and still further when Jace and Clary become an Official Couple, as do Alec and Magnus Bane resulting in a more complex set of relationships.
  • The Proud Elite:
    • A female example: Isabelle Lightwood, who has Raven Hair, Ivory Skin, is extremely cold and proud, and actively partakes in Shadowhunters' Fantastic Racism. She defrosts rather quickly, though.
    • Raphael Santiago is in some cases an even better example than Isabelle, but it's played with as while he's certainly proud and he does see himself and vampires as elite, the magical world (re:the Clave) does not see them as so. Though it's later established that Raphael just Hates Everyone Equally.
    • Speaking of the Clave, they seem to be having some feudal fantasy wherein they perceive themselves to be a kind of warrior-nobility charged with protecting the mundane peasantry. Modernity has, if anything, had an inverse effect on social change here. While as recently as the 19th Century the Clave would employ the Mortal Cup to grant Ascension to select mundanes, by the time Jocelyn made off with the Cup it was no longer being used anyway. Likewise, while past generations of Shadowhunters could sometimes get away with marrying mundanes (their children would always be Nephilim regardless), the Clave started aggressively cracking down on these kinds of relationships. As a result their population was dangerously shrinking by the turn of the Millennium.
    • Aline Penhallow. 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.
  • Purple Prose: Clare's writing is on the borderline of this. She seems to be completely aware of this, and often uses it for comic effect or to skirt around curse words. Prime example:
    "Jace suggested that the cast of Gilligan's Island could go do something anatomically unlikely with themselves."
  • The Reveal:
    • City of Bones:
      • Clary is a Shadowhunter.
      • Jocelyn was married to Valentine.
      • Alec is gay.
      • The Mortal Cup was hidden in a playing card in Dorothy's apartment.
      • Alec is in love with Jace.
      • Hodge was a traitor to the Clave.
      • Luke is a werewolf.
      • Valentine is Clary's father.
      • Valentine is Jace's father, making Clary and Jace siblings.
    • City of Ashes:
      • Alec and Magnus are in a relationship.
      • The Inquisitor had hid a tracking device in Jace's shard of the mirror.
    • City of Glass:
      • Sebastian Verlac was someone else in disguise.
      • Sam was actually Hodge.
      • The Mortal Glass was actually Lake Lyn.
      • Clary and Jace are part angel.
      • invokedA bunch of reveals come all at once: Jace isn't Clary's brother, Sebastian/Jonathan is, Jace is part of the Herondale family, Valentine is Sebastian/Jonathan's father, not Jace's, and Jonathan was disguising as Sebastian.
      • Simon can walk in daylight because he drank angel blood.
      • One of the high-ranking clave members was a traitor to Valentine.
    • City of Fallen Angels:
      • Kyle is actually Jordan, and he's a werewolf.
      • Camille was working for Lilith the entire time. And Lilith herself turns out to be the woman who approaches Simon after one of his gigs.
      • Sebastian isn't dead. He was brought to death's door after Jace stabbed him, but because of Clary's request for Raziel to resurrect Jace, Sebastian was tied to life with him, so if one lives the other lives too.
  • Runic Magic: This is the primary form of magic employed by the Shadowhunters, who use Angelic Runes to perform a variety of functions, including giving themselves superhuman physical abilities.
  • Secret Other Family: Jace was unaware of Sebastian's existence, which led him to believe that he was Valentine's real son. Also Clary's father and brother.
  • Semi-Divine: The titular Shadowhunters are effectively a human sub-species gifted with angelic blood and paranormal abilities for the purpose of Demon Slaying.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign:
    • City of Glass and City of Heavenly Fire, the third and sixth books of the series, respectively, are mostly set in the Shadowhunter home country of Idris, located somewhere between Germany, France, and Switzerland.
    • Half of City of Lost Souls is set in Europe, as Clary joins Jace and Sebastian on their quest to create the Infernal Cup.
  • Sequel Hook: In addition to highlighting the fighting on the ground during during the Dark War, Emma's POV in City of Heavenly Fire sets up some of the main plot points in The Dark Artifices.
  • Shared Universe: As well as the other series in the Shadowhunter Chronicles, this seems to be set in the same universe as the Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black. Val and Luis from Valiant are the homeless kids Clary sees in the first book and Simon listens to Stepping Razor, Ellen's band from Tithe.
  • Ship Tease: In City of Glass, Sebastian Verlac has some sexual tension with Clary and Isabelle, which goes nowhere.
  • Short Teens, Tall Adults: It is called out repeatedly that the main characters whose biological parents are still running around look very much like their parents, only shorter.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Herondales are a Shadowhunter family with a birthmark of a star. Jace's is on the back of his shoulder. In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, the Joestar family have a star-shaped birthmark.
    • Val and Luis from Holly Black's Valiant are seen at one point.
    • A badge on Clary's bag says 'Still Not King', a reference to Clare's famous The Lord of the Rings fanfic The Very Secret Diaries.
    • Best of all, two extra characters have a debate on which fictional gay wizard would win in a fair fight, Dumbledore, or Magnus.
    • A reference to Hellsing is made when Clary thinks about how a church looks like "one of her favorite anime scenes involving a vampire priest".
    • Max is frequently seen reading Naruto.
    • In City of Glass, Max is also seen reading Angel Sanctuary, a manga about a reincarnated angel who is in a romantic relationship with his sister. It has a case of Does This Remind You of Anything as well as bringing to question why a nine year old with fairly strict parents would be reading it. But then again, his parents have quite a lot of marital issues. So his reading choices likely passed largely unnoticed. Besides, they probably thought that that something called Angel Sanctuary would be clean and proper.
    • Happens often with animanga, given that Simon is characterized as a typical Geek. At one point Clary asks him if he wants to spend the evening with her watching Trigun.
    • Simon is described in the fourth book as wearing Jeph Jacques's "Clearly I Have Made Some Bad Decisions" shirt, and Cassandra Clare also mentions his in-universe series "Magical Love Gentlemen".
    • Church (the Persian cat from the New York Institute) shares his name with another famous cat.
  • Sibling Team: Team Good consists of two blood siblings (Alec and Isabelle) and one adopted one (Jace). It's noted that they have been working together as a team since before the events of the series.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Isabelle and Alec Lightwood. Isabelle is not averse to showing off her beauty, is generally nicer, and like Jace, always rushing headfirst into demon-slaying. 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. 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.
  • Skewed Priorities: When Simon gets turned into a rat in City of Bones, Alec's says this is bad... because it's illegal to turn mundanes into rats. Then Jace points out that it technically wasn't their fault, before Clary screams at them to shut up and save Simon.
  • Slashed Throat:
    • In City of Ashes, Valentine does this to collect Simon's blood. he gets better.
    • Clary 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).
    • Maureen Brown is found in a dumpster with her throat slit.
  • Sliding Scale of Vampire Friendliness: The vampires in the series go back and forth on this. On one hand, when Simon is turned, he gets the bloodlust and can't go out in daylight, and can't even say a single bible verse, or the name of God. But his attitude stays pretty much the same. Nearly all of the other vampires, on the other hand, are assholes.
  • Smart People Know Latin: Shadowhunters are quite into this, especially when trying to assert intellectual superiority over mundanes.
    Simon: "Basia coquum". Or whatever their motto is.
    Alec: It's "Descensus Averno facilis est." "The descent into hell is easy." You just said "Kiss the cook".
    Simon: Dammit, I knew Jace was screwing with me.
  • Spell Book: The Gray Book is dedicated to the Angelic Runes used by Shadowhunters, and the Book of the White with spells affecting life and death among other things. Shadowhunters and Warlocks are prone to collecting spell books, the former to keep them under lock and key, the latter in order to use them.
  • Starbucks Skin Scale: Found in the series, where for example the biracial character Maia is introduced as having "honeyed" skin. Author Cassandra Clare discussed her choices in describing skin tones in a blog post, where she admitted that she risked coming off as ethnocentric due to not giving similar descriptions to Caucasian characters.
  • The Starscream: According to Camille, Raphael Santiago was the reason she left - he killed mundanes and blamed them on her, causing her to flee. When she did so, he seized her position and told the rest of the New York vampire clan that she was struck with wanderlust and a desire to travel (something that was not unheard of in vampires.) However, it's later revealed that Camille really was the one who killed the mundanes. Raphael threatened to report her to the Clave, which was the reason why she had to run away.
  • Straight Gay: Alec Lightwood, doesn't have any stereotypical gay traits, although several people manage to figure it out anyway. Generally the only way gays could be without being expelled from the Clave. Interestingly, homosexuality is not in fact prohibited by the Law. Shadowhunters just tend to look down on it, possibly as a reflection of their slightly archaic culture.
  • Strong Family Resemblance:
    • Multiple characters say that Clary looks just like a younger version of her mother Jocelyn.
    • Her brother, Sebastian/Jonathan, looks a great deal like their father Valentine, but also has a few of their mother's features.
    • Jace bears a strong resemblance to his biological father, Stephen Herondale.
    • Isabelle looks just like her mother Maryse, to the point where Jocelyn initially mistakes her for Maryse the first time she meets her.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: The Spiral Labyrinth is a hidden library and research facility where warlocks with a scholarly bent study and experiment with both existing spells as well as developing new ones. They also accept commissions (such as from the Clave) to develop specific magic as needed. The Silent Brothers do similar work in the Silent City, but are more narrowly-focused since they must work within the bounds of the runic knowledge granted to the Nephilim by the Angel Raziel.
  • Summoning Artifact: The titular Mortal Instruments can be used once every thousand years to summon the Angel Raziel and request a favor from him. In theory the summoner could compel him to grant the request, but this is very unwise thing to try given that he is a powerful archangel.
  • Summoning Ritual: The Mortal Instruments are required to summon the angel Raziel, a ritual that can only be done once every millennium. Once they have all three, Raziel will come to them and will grant any single wish the summoner wants. Or rather, he won't smite them the moment he appears and might consider granting that single wish. Well...
  • Super-Empowering:
    • Ascension, drinking the blood of Raziel from the Mortal Cup can transform mundane humans into Nephilim. Though not everyone survives the process, and it apparently is riskier the older the mundane is.
    • Being bitten by a vampire or werewolf. Their respective conditions are actually demonic diseases with the bite as a vector. Nothing less than an Archangel or a Prince of Hell can turn somebody who has been changed back into a mundane as far as is known.
  • Supernatural Elite: The Shadowhunters tend to see themselves as this and act accordingly. The Downworlders are not especially happy about it, but lack the necessary unity to do much about it.
  • Surprise Incest: Subverted. Clary 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 that Jace was adopted. Played straight with Sebastian/Jonathan, Clary's actual brother, who kisses her despite knowing full well that she's his sister.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: City of Bones has this gem, when the main characters are going to a party faeries might be attending.
    Jace: Don't order any of the faerie food. It tends to make humans a little crazy. One minute you're munching a faerie plum, the next minute you're running naked down Madison Avenue with antlers on your head. Not that this has ever happened to me.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: Much of the action in the first three novels involves locating and recovering the titular Mortal Instruments, one of which is literally a sword, "Maellartach". Some other items, like the Book of the White, are also the subject of quests. Then in City of Lost Souls it is again literally a sword, in this case "Glorious", the sword of the Archangel Michael.
  • Tangled Family Tree: All over the place.
    • Clary 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.
    • Jace 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 and by the end of the seires, decides on taking the Herondale name, partly to stop it from going extinct. Worth noting that Stephen had previously been married to Luke's sister
    • 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.
  • Thinking Up Portals: Warlocks can do this, although the spell is fairly advanced. The Clave often hires them to provide portals as necessary. Clary can also do it, thanks to a rune revealed to her by the angel Ithuriel. However, it is not one of the runes from the Gray Book, and other Shadowhunters do not seem to be able to learn it, or at least are unwilling to try.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill Muggles: Shadowhunters and Downworlders are forbidden by the Law to hurt mundanes.
  • To Be Lawful or Good:
    • A common quandary for Shadowhunters. The Clave is often rather clueless, even about the actions and motives of its own members. As a result the heroes must often struggle with deciding whether to follow the Law, or do what is necessary and/or right.
    • This is the default stance of the Clave, although some members take it all the way to evil or just plain Lawful Stupid. Maryse Lightwood also counts, as she allows the Inquisitor to behave rather barbarically towards Jace, her adopted son, until the Inquisitor openly violates the Law and she can justify defying her.
  • Token Minority: Simon is Jewish (this is especially hard for him once he becomes a vampire), Maia is biracial, and Magnus had a mortal Dutch-Indonesian mother.
  • Training the Gift of Magic: Warlocks and Shadowhunters are an example of this. Warlocks are the hybrid offspring of demons and possess an innate ability to wield magic. But they can only do so in the most crude ways without training in magical languages, writing and spells. Likewise, the Shadowhunters have angelic blood that gives them the potential to scribe magical runes from the language of Heaven. However, this is akin to learning calligraphy, as the runes are often very complex. They also have to be drawn with focused intent using an implement called a stele (analogous to a wand) in order to work. Most Shadowhunters only know a fraction of runes originally given to them by the Angel Raziel.
  • Trilogy Creep: First, there was the original trilogy (City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass). Then, it was announced that Clare was writing The Infernal Devices, a steampunk prequel trilogy set in Victorian London (The Clockwork Angel, The Clockwork Prince, and The Clockwork Princess). Then, a fourth book centered around the Simon character of the first trilogy was revealed to be in the works (City of Fallen Angels). Then Clare decided to add two more books to The Mortal Instruments story (City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire) while also stating that this new trilogy of MI books would no longer focus solely on Simon but rather on the entire cast. This YA fantasy book series literally tripled in size. Almost humorously, after writing City of Glass Clare stated in an interview that she liked half-open endings, and deliberately left hers that way, and that she had no intention of continuing it.

    It has far more than tripled now. In addition to The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices, The Dark Artifices wrapped up its publication in 2018, The Eldest Curses and The Last Hours are ongoing, and there has been talks for a new trilogy to end all (Shadowhunter) trilogies, The Wicked Powers. Note that all of these are separate series within the same universe, and each trilogy (not including the double-trilogy of The Mortal Instruments) is written so that it can be read on its own.
  • True Companions: At the beginning of the series, Alec, Isabelle, and Jace are this. Over the course of the series, the group expands to include Clary, Simon, and Magnus. By City of Heavenly Fire, all six would go (quite literally) to hell and back for one another and, with the former three each falling in love with one of the latter, form a sort of family.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Jace Wayland, Clary Fray and Simon Lewis.
  • Two-Part Trilogy: City of Fallen Angels was originally supposed to be a one-shot Graphic Novel follow-up to the original trilogy focusing on Simon Lewis, until Cassandra Clare decided to make it the start of a second trilogy. This is why it puts an unusually heavy emphasis on Simon's story that gradually gets winded down by the next two books.
  • Unequal Pairing: The main source of tension in Alec and Magnus' relationship. Alec is a Shadowhunter in his late-teens who is rather reserved, insecure about his homosexuality and has never been in a relationship. Magnus is a 400+ year old warlock with immense magical powers, is not getting any older physically-speaking, has had innumerable relationships over the centuries and is very secretive about himself even though he knows virtually everything about Alec. Initially, Magnus pretty much dictates all of the terms of their relationship and it causes a lot of problems. They get over it, and the relationship starts to become better balanced as it progresses.
  • Urban Fantasy: Shadowhunters, warlocks, werewolves, vampires and fairies, all in modern day New York City.
  • Vampire-Werewolf Love Triangle: The series has an unusual variation on this. There's a werewolf-vampire-human love triangle—but the vampire is at the center of it.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Discussed and Averted, as Jace makes clear to Simon:
    Jace: There's no such thing as vampire mojo.
  • The 'Verse: Part of The Shadowhunter Chronicles consisting of this series, prequel series The Infernal Devices, sequel series The Dark Artifices, The Last Hours (sequel to The Infernal Devices), The Wicked Powers (sequel to The Dark Artifices), The Eldest Curses (spin-off focusing on Alec and Magnus), The Shadowhunter Codex (guide book), The Bane Chronicles (short story collection), Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (short story collection) and Ghosts Of The Shadowmarket (short story collection), all taking place in the Shadowhunter world.
  • Viral Transformation: Common from exposure to angelic or demonic influences and/or bodily fluids.
    • The Shadowhunters received their special abilities from drinking the blood of the angel Raziel given to them in the Mortal Cup. New Shadowhunters can also be created this way, although the process is risky. Jonathan Morgenstern arranged the creation of the Infernal Cup, tainted by the blood of Lilith, which can turn humans and Shadowhunters into Endarkened Shadowhunters.
    • Consumption of angel or demon blood generally, even in dried form, can result in changes to a person or their offspring. Valentine, Jocelyn, Clary, Jace and especially Jonathan were all altered to some extent in this way due to Valentine's experimentation with the blood.
    • Vampires and werewolves are the descendants of two different species of demons. They can transmit their condition to humans, and even Shadowhunters, via bite.
  • Webcomic Time: Despite being published over a period of seven years, the six books are mostly set in 2007, the year City of Bones was released. The epilogue of City of Heavenly Fire does skip to May 2008.
  • Wedding Finale: City of Heavenly Fire closes with Jocelyn and Luke's wedding in Upstate New York.
  • Weirdness Censor: Mundanes cannot see the Shadow World or most individuals belonging to it as they really are. The Shadowhunters, being mostly human, would normally be visible to them, but a simple bit of magic renders them unnoticeable as well. Locations, including an entire country are hidden from human perception this way.
  • Welcomed to the Masquerade: It's brooding, experienced love interest Jace that first demonstrates Clary's Shadowhunter capabilities. Later, Hodge Starkweather expounds on them.
  • White Hair, Black Heart:
    • Valentine Morgenstern is white-blond and, oh, aims to wipe out all Downworlders.
    • Sebastian/Jonathan Morgenstern is white-haired and just as evil as his dad.
  • The Wild Hunt: The Wild Hunt appears in City of Heavenly Fire with Mark Blackthorn being forced to join them. They are at least partially comprised of faeries, are led by Gwyn ap Nudd, and collect the dead.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Jace and Clary, to ridiculous levels. Nothing much ever seems to happen until they figure out they aren't related.
  • Word Salad Lyrics:
    • The lyrics to any song by Lawn Chair Crisis/Sea Vegetable Conspiracy/Sexist Pigs/Rock Solid Panda/Salacious Mold/Millennium Lint/Dangerous Stain/Dichotomous Lemur are like this.
    • Not to mention Eric's poetry readings:
    Come, my faux juggernaut, my nefarious loins! Slather every protuberance with arid zeal! Turgid is my torment! Agony swells within!
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: This is the standard promotion method for vampire clans and werewolve packs.
    • It's mentioned a few times that when Luke has to gather a squad to assist him, he just has to come to a nearby werewolf pack, kill its leader, then assume leadership.
    • In City of Lost Souls, Maureen Brown becomes leader of the New York vampire clan after killing Camille Belcourt. And when Lily assists Maia in killing Maureen, the former becomes the new leader.
    • In City of Heavenly Fire, Maia takes control of the New York werewolf pack by killing Rufus Hastings.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: In City of Ashes, when Clary destroys Valentine's ship with a single mark, an awed Valentine says "Mene mene tekel upharsin", in reference to the Biblical quote above. It's given an Ironic Echo later in City of Glass, when Clary engineers the failure of all his plans as well as his own death. He's sealed her mouth, so she writes "MENE MENE TEKEL UPHARSIN" in the sand at his feet.

Alternative Title(s): Mortal Instruments, City Of Glass, City Of Heavenly Fire, City Of Ashes, City Of Fallen Angels, City Of Lost Souls, City Of Bones 2007