|“||I might be physically stronger, but you have the truest heart of anyone I've ever known, and the strongest faith in other people, and in that way you are better than I could ever hope to be.||”|
Alec is one of the few openly gay Shadowhunters. Since queer Shadowhunters are normally shunned by the Clave, Alec was skeptical about coming out. He eventually overcame his worries and revealed his relationship with warlock Magnus Bane to his family, friends, and fellow Shadowhunters—an act that inspired other closeted Shadowhunters to come out about their sexuality, as well.
Alexander Gideon Lightwood is the eldest child of Robert and Maryse Lightwood. Born in Idris in September 1989, Alec was exiled from his homeland, and banned from returning unless on official Shadowhunter business, due to his parents' involvement with the Circle. His parents were sent to run the New York Institute, where he would grow up. Two years after his birth, his sister, Isabelle, was born. His younger brother Max was born when he was nine.
Alec began struggling with his sexuality at a young age. He would hold an attraction for other men, his glances not going unnoticed by his sister. When he was eleven, Alec developed a small crush on the vampire Raphael Santiago when he first saw him at the Institute. Shortly after, Jace Wayland—his father's godson whose father had apparently just passed—was adopted into their family. Alec developed an almost instant attraction and later rapport with Jace and they soon became very close friends. Eventually, they became parabatai. Alec also developed feelings for Jace, though because of the Clave's stand on homosexuality, he remained closeted, with his sister, Isabelle, being the only person who secretly knew about it.
One night in August 2007, Alec was staking out the Pandemonium club for demons with Isabelle and Jace. While confronting one they caught, they were seen by what they initially believed to be a Sighted mundane, who later turned out to be a Shadowhunter, Clary Fray.
Alec instantly disliked Clary and her mundane friend Simon and was unwilling to trust them, even more so when Jace seemed so drawn and even attracted to Clary. Alec became rather jealous of Clary and the attention Jace gave her. He confronted her multiple times about being a problem for Jace and the whole group in general, to no effect. However, despite his reservations, Alec and Izzy both helped Jace and Clary in their investigation regarding the abduction of Clary's mother.
While following up on a lead, Alec and the others attended a party thrown by the High Warlock of Brooklyn, Magnus Bane, who openly flirted with Alec. Alec then accompanied Jace, Isabelle, Clary, and Simon to retrieve the Mortal Cup. In a fight against the Greater Demon Abbadon, Alec was gravely injured. With their tutor Hodge unable to treat him, he contacted Magnus Bane before he abandoned the children. Magnus was in turn able to heal him and stayed with him until just before he recovered. During the time when Alec was unconscious and recovering, Valentine Morgenstern finally revealed himself, and their mentor Hodge was discovered to be in league with Valentine. Through Valentine, Hodge was able to escape his curse and almost immediately left the Institute.
Upon hearing about what Magnus did for him afterwards, Alec went to see Magnus at his apartment to thank him. After verifying Magnus' attraction to him and working up the courage, Alec asked him out. Magnus then gave him his first kiss and agreed to go on a date with him. While their first date did not start out so well, they were able to work it out in the end. The new couple then continued to secretly see each other.
For weeks, the young Shadowhunters were left without adult supervision due to Hodge's departure. They went on demon-hunting trips without instruction and advice, something both Alec and Isabelle were both initially skeptical about, particularly because Jace was being unreliably reckless due to the recent shocks in his life. Eventually, their family returned from Alicante and immediately had to deal with the repercussions of them knowing who Jace really was: Valentine's son.
Hurt and confused about the revelation, their parents allowed the vindictive Inquisitor Herondale to investigate Jace as other members of the Clave suspected Jace of possibly being in league with Valentine. In the weeks that followed, Alec and the others tried to help clear Jace's name.
During the first few weeks of their new relationship, Alec constantly called on Magnus for help when his fellow Shadowhunter friends needed it, and Magnus helped them free of charge, which was uncommon for the High Warlock. Throughout this time, Alec tried to keep their relationship a secret, though this fact quickly became obvious to his friends. At one point, when they discussed Clary's unique ability to seemingly create runes, Alec volunteered to try out a rune she created and suggested by Jace, called "Fearless" and meant to fully take away fear of anything temporarily. The rune proved effective, and Alec almost fearlessly came out to his parents and told them about his relationship with Magnus. Magnus, however, snapped him out of his daze with magic, not wanting him to regret his uncontrolled decision later.
When the Inquisitor took Jace away, Alec pretended to agree with her decision—much to the chagrin of both Isabelle and Max—to gain her trust. The night before Jace's transfer to Idris, he was imprisoned by the Inquisitor in a Malachi Configuration and while it had been Jace's undiscovered skills that got him out of the cage, Alec helped him and made it clear whose side he was on.
While Jace went to Valentine's ship with Magnus and Luke, Alec and Izzy stayed behind to cover for him with the Inquisitor. Isabelle insisted on watching the exchange between the Inquisitor and Valentine, and was thus witness to Valentine turning down her offer to save Jace as well as the Inquisitor's surprised reaction to his decision. Maryse demanded that the Inquisitor set Jace free and, realizing that she had imprisoned an innocent child, she was about to agree until Alec told them that he had already escaped and was on the way to Valentine. Nonetheless, the group called for backup and prepared to storm his ship.
Once on the ship, Alec joined Jace in the battle against Valentine's demons. At one point, a demon flung threw Alec overboard. He was rescued by a weakened Magnus whom Alec decided to stay with, offering his strength for his endeavor.
The Mortal War
Some time after the battle on the boat, Alec and the rest of the Lightwoods went to Idris, staying with their family friends, the Penhallows, for the signing of the Ninth Accords. When Simon was inadvertently taken to Idris with them due to an attack from Forsaken, Alec took Simon to the Consul Malachi Dieudonne under the impression that he would be sent back to New York. Just as Jace had suspected, however, Simon was instead delivered to and imprisoned by Inquisitor Aldertree in the Gard, and Alec found out through Magnus. At one point during this, Jace confronted Alec about his relationship with Magnus and feelings for him, convincing him that he was not in love with Jace after all.
When Valentine's army of demons began infiltrating the city, Alec went looking for Aline Penhallow after her encounter with a demon. Instead, Alec found Magnus battling a horde of Iblis demons in Cistern Square and helped him, and the pair discussed their relationship, with Alec promising to introduce Magnus to his family if they survived. Later at the Accords Hall, Alec was infuriated to see the Penhallow cousin Sebastian Verlac there, after having left Isabelle and Max with him to go after Aline, thinking Sebastian left his siblings alone. Sebastian, however, told them that his parents had arrived and was with them. Believing him, Alec, Jace and Clary went on to rescue the imprisoned Simon.
At the Gard, they broke Simon out and encountered the prisoner next to his cell who introduced himself to Simon as Samuel Blackburn. They found out that it was actually Hodge, and he and Jace confronted him about his lies and betrayal. They also learned, though not immediately, that the Mortal Mirror was Lake Lyn itself, just before Sebastian arrived and killed Hodge. During the confrontation that followed, they realized that Sebastian was a spy for Valentine. They tried to engage him in battle, but Sebastian had the upper hand and vanished.
The group returned to the Accords Hall, where they found their family mourning Max's death in the hands of Sebastian—revealed to be an imposter posing as the real Sebastian. Maryse blamed the Penhallows for Max's murder in the hands of the imposter in their home, though Alec understood that it was not their fault and tried to get her to see reason. His family promptly moved out of the Penhallows' into a recently vacated house, and the family held a funeral for Max.
In preparation for the battle, Clary demonstrated her rune-creating ability, first with a rune that made her appear like the person most loved by whoever looks at her, and Alec saw Magnus. Alec later asked Magnus to wear Clary's Alliance rune with him, and in the midst of drawing the runes on each other, he kissed Magnus in front of his fellow Shadowhunters and Downworlders, including his family and friends, publicly acknowledging their relationship and unwittingly inspiring other closeted gay Shadowhunters to come out as well. With the rest of the adult Shadowhunters and their Downworlder allies, they went to Brocelind Plain and faced off against Valentine's demon army. The battle lasted only a few minutes and left the Shadowhunters victorious.
During the battle, Alec felt his parabatai connection with Jace break during the latter's brief death, but when he saw Jace alive and well after the battle, he convinced himself that he had imagined it. Afterwards, Alec and his family and friends attended the victory party at Angel Square. Alec formally introduced Magnus to his parents, Robert and Maryse, as his boyfriend, and everyone in Alicante watched the fireworks, savoring the peace after the Mortal War.
Camille and Lilith
The dynamics changed for Alec ever since he had come out. People made snide comments, such as Irina Cartwright casually telling him that no one will inherit his blue eyes, and Alec felt that some people stopped taking him seriously, particularly in Council meetings. Though his mother had at least accepted that he was gay, he felt that Robert hadn't and even asked him, to his horror, what he thought had "turned" him gay.
Alec and Magnus went on a seven-week vacation, touring the world and going to places like Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Vienna and somewhere in India, during which the couple kept sending Jace and Isabelle post cards and photos. During this time, when he called home, Alec felt bad about Robert never asking about Magnus.
Their trip was cut short when the Clave requested Magnus's return because the vampire Camille Belcourt was demanding his presence for her interrogation. Through Camille, Magnus's immortal ex-girlfriend from over a century before, Alec began having doubts and insecurities in terms of his short life compared to Magnus's immortality, his past relationships, and the many things he did not know about his life.
The couple's argument went on for days, with Magnus constantly refusing to answer Alec's inquiries about his past. Alec told Magnus that he felt trivial to him, that he would one day, after he dies or leaves, just become one of his many past lovers and Magnus would easily find another, which Magnus denied. Alec also asked Magnus why he wanted the Book of the White and wondered if there was a spell for immortality in it.
When Camille escaped the Conclave's custody, Alec and the others searched for her. They also found out that Simon had gone missing. During the search for Camille and Simon, they were led to the Church of Talto, a cult worshiping the Greater Demon Lilith and sacrificing infants to her in her attempts to recreate another half-demon child like Sebastian. They later found Simon and Lilith on the rooftop of the church, as well as the preserved corpse of Sebastian, whom Lilith planned to resurrect with some help from the unwilling Simon and Jace. However, in a battle against Lilith's followers, Alec was separated from the others.
After chasing a cultist, Alec found Camille. She admitted to him that she was under Lilith's orders to kill the former Circle members, and that it had been her cult that broke her out of the Institute's Sanctuary. She then exploited Alec's weakness to get him to release her, promising ways for him and Magnus to be together forever. Tempted, Alec freed her from her chains, but only to bring her back to the Institute. However, in Alec's moment of distraction, she managed to escape.
After Lilith was destroyed, Alec sent a fire message to the Clave asking for backup. They briefly left a seemingly shocked Jace on the roof alone with Sebastian's corpse. Magnus then arrived with the Conclave members and the pair reconciled, though Alec chose not to tell Magnus about his encounter with Camille.
The ritual Lilith performed worked, successfully resurrecting Sebastian and binding him to Jace, much to his friends and family's concern, especially after Sebastian and Jace went missing from the roof of the church. A search was initiated by the Clave, only to be put on pause weeks later to prioritize the fixing of the wards of Wrangel Island. Despite the some doubts from some members of the Clave, Alec was confident that Jace was still alive, though he knew something was wrong due to a strange feeling from their bond.
Through Aline, he and Isabelle found out about their father applying for the Inquisitor position; though it surprised and hurt the siblings, they took it in stride given what they had just gone through, and also because Robert had become mostly absent in their lives by then.
With the group getting more desperate to find out about Jace, Alec and the rest agreed to go along with Clary's plan to meet with the Seelie Queen and strike a deal with her if necessary. The group went down to Central Park to get into the Seelie Court through the bells in Clary's possession. The Queen agreed to help them, in exchange for a pair of rings found in the Institute. During the meeting, the Queen was offended when Alec and Simon made fun of her, she put a glamour on Alec that made him appear and feel like an old man—reflecting his recent fear of growing old while Magnus remained young. Clary apologized on their behalf and the Queen took the glamour off.
Arriving at Magnus's apartment afterwards, where a busy Magnus was still trying to figure out Lilith's spell. The next morning, Magnus woke him to remind him of his meeting at the Turtle Pond by Central Park with his sister and friends. Alec suddenly felt insecure, saying he seemed like the newest thing in his apartment. He asked him about the initials "W.S." on his snuffbox—one given to Magnus by an old friend—which he assumed referred to the Will from Magnus's past that Camille had previously mentioned. When Alec asked him about it, it began an argument where Magnus pointed out that immortality was becoming the third person in their relationship. Alec walked out of the argument and the apartment, only to be greeted by one of Camille's henchmen, sent by her to set a meeting with Alec.
Alec once again met with the others at Central Park, where Clary falsely told them that she failed to get the rings but that she did see Jace and Sebastian at the Institute library together. She told them that Jace did not seem like he was being held against his will and in fact seemed chummy with Sebastian, which they could not make sense of.
Alec then proceeded to his meeting with Camille at the abandoned City Hall subway station. Alec went with the intent of collecting Camille's dept, of her promise to tell him of a way he and Magnus can be together without the latter's immortality coming between them in exchange for him letting her go some weeks ago. When Camille refused to tell him and asked for something else in return, Alec attacked her and Camille fought back. She eventually admitted that there was no way to make him immortal without black magic or Turning him into a vampire, much to his chagrin, and that his only option was to make Magnus mortal.
Shortly after Jace and Sebastian resurfaced, this time in an attempt to take Clary, during which they fatally wounded Luke, Brother Zachariah informed the group of the truth: that Jace and Sebastian were bound together by a twinning ritual, in a sort of demonic counterpart of the parabatai connection, which involved feeling what the other felt and dying if the other did, and that no weapon in the world that could sever the connection.
Despite their earlier argument, Magnus comforted Alec in his time of despair, knowing that Jace was in constant danger without him realizing it and that there was still no foreseeable way to get him back.
The group decided that they would try to consult the Iron Sisters about a weapon that could sever the pair. While Isabelle and Jocelyn, being women and thus the only one welcome at the Adamant Citadel, met with the Sisters, Alec snuck away to meet up with Camille, interested to hear more about her suggestion. Camille told him of a spell that could rid a warlock of their immortality, and that she would do it for him in exchange for killing Raphael.
Though the Iron Sisters did not have a weapon for them, the trip wasn't entirely futile—they learned that though no weapon on Earth may do what they wanted, a weapon from Heaven or Hell might, so the group began considering summoning an angel or a Greater Demon. Because summoning angels was considerably more dangerous than summoning demons, they decided to summon Azazel. Jocelyn did not want her and Clary involved and was about to leave when Simon revealed to all of them that Clary had gone with Jace and Sebastian as part of her plan to find out their goal, and to communicate with them through the faerie rings she and Simon were wearing.
They then proceeded with the summoning ritual. When the chained Azazel was summoned, he demanded a happy memory from each of them in exchange for the plan. They realized that they had been tricked when, after the memories were surrendered, Azazel revealed that his plan involved being released into the world and simply taking Sebastian into Hell alive, with the claim that their connection would eventually burn away. Magnus refused Azazel's plan and banished him.
Though Alec had considered going up to the Hotel Dumort to do his end of his deal with Camille, he ultimately decided against it. He met with Camille to tell her this and instead ended up asking her about Magnus's past—his birthplace and parents, in particular. He returned home to Magnus afterwards.
Because of Azazel's power, the demon kept sending messages and coming back through the pentagram demanding an answer, though they had already refused his help. They witnessed Azazel getting hurt after attempting to harm Simon—who had gone into the pentagram to save Chairman Meow—because of his Mark of Cain. Simon realized that they could use him to summon an angel to get their weapon, though Alec and most of the others initially disagreed, knowing angels did not like being summoned. Left with little choice, they eventually agreed.
The group summoned Raziel at Luke's farm. As Simon's potential last words to Alec, Simon told him that he'd always liked him more than he did Jace. The summoning was successful however, as Raziel gave Simon the sword Glorious and even took away the cursed Mark of Cain.
Through Clary, they found out that Sebastian intended to create an army of Dark Shadowhunters using the Infernal Cup—a demonic version of the Mortal Cup—with Lilith's blood, whom he was about to resurrect. She told him that he and his men will assemble at the Seventh Sacred Site at the Burren. The group split up to get reinforcements and met up shortly after at the Institute to Portal to the Burren. Alec and Isabelle went back to the Institute to tell their mother for help; Helen and Aline had been there with her, and they offered their services as well, despite potential repercussion for not telling the Clave. They then regrouped with Magnus and the others, and together, they all Portaled to the Burren.
Upon arrival, some of Sebastian's followers had already been Turned. Alec positioned himself atop a stone dolmen for a good vantage point while he struck their enemies with his bow and arrow. Even when he saw that Magnus had been injured, Alec kept going so as not to interrupt their mission. It was only when Clary had finally gotten to Jace—and Sebastian and his army began to retreat—that Alec went over to Magnus and gave him his strength to allow Magnus to heal.
Alec was in the infirmary when Jace—who had been successfully separated from Sebastian and was recovering from the stab and the heavenly fire now running through his body—woke up. Later joined by Isabelle, the siblings shared a moment and reassured Jace that there were no problems between them.
Alec once again went to the station to meet with Camille and finally refuse her offer altogether. However, unbeknownst to him, Camille had set their next meeting as a trap, letting Magnus know about their past conversations. To his surprise, Magnus revealed to him that he had already been looking for a way to make him mortal, hence the reason he wanted the Book of the White, but was saddened that Alec was even considering taking it away from him. They shared one final kiss, and Magnus broke up with him, leaving behind a heartbroken and tearful Alec.
Furious at himself and Camille, he looked for her with the intention of killing her. Maureen Brown, however, had beaten him to it and had already killed and replaced Camille as the new leader of the New York vampire clan.
The Dark War
Alec remained in a state of shock for weeks after his breakup with Magnus. He, and even his friends and family, consistently tried to contact Magnus, though they were all ignored. Nonetheless, he went on with relentlessly trying, until one day in December, Jace snapped and broke his phone.
When the Clave called for a worldwide evacuation of all Shadowhunters to Idris due to Sebastian's attacks on Institute, Catarina Loss made a Portal for them to use. Just before they left, Magnus arrived to ask him what he wanted to tell him over the phone. In truth, Magnus was worried, and he told Alec that he'd been avoiding speaking to and seeing him because he knew he might not be able to resist him. True enough, Magnus frantically kissed him before immediately pulling away. Magnus explained that while he had forgiven him and still loved him, he knew that they were not going to work because of his immortality and his fear of watching Alec grow old and die. Alec snapped and told him off, telling him that he was partially to blame for never being truly open with him and for giving up on them too easily. Magnus bid him farewell with words of warning and left.
Once in Alicante, they received more news about Sebastian's threats and attacks outside Idris. When Sebastian and his army attacked the Adamant Citadel, he and Isabelle hoped to join the battle but were stopped by their parents. When the Consul had enough Shadowhunters at the Citadel and had the Portal closed, they at least wanted to stay in the Gard as reinforcements.
During the confrontation, Alec found out from an infuriated and emotional Isabelle that Robert had cheated on Maryse with another woman and planned to leave them if Max hadn't been born. In shock and disgusted, Alec chose to leave the conversation and instead went over to Jia to try and convince her to open another Portal to the Citadel. He then felt a surge of pain and immediately knew that it had to do with Jace and the heavenly fire. The apparent urgency of the situation convinced Jia to reopen the Portal and evacuate the Citadel. When he came to get Isabelle from their house—the Inquisitor's house—he accidentally walked in on Isabelle and Simon role-playing in his room.
Shortly after a member of the Council slipped about the Downworlder representatives—made up of Magnus, Raphael, Meliorn, and Luke, with Jocelyn tagging along—being missing, the Endarkened Matthias Gonzales arrived and Alec instantly recognized him. Matthias informed them that they'd been kidnapped by Sebastian and that he wanted Jace and Clary in exchange. He shot Matthias's hand when the latter attempted to stab Jia, and when Jace moved to go after Matthias, Alec threw himself at Jace to stop him from surrendering or getting hurt by the fire Matthias then started.
When the gang went to the Seelie Court in order to find the pathway to Hell, they learned of the faeries' betrayal and alliance with Sebastian. When Meliorn threatened to kill them and refused to tell them where their prisoners were, Alec shot him right in the chest with an arrow and killed him.
Upon entering Edom, a demon that fed on dreams created an illusion based on their dreams—a flawed one. In Alec's vision, he was being honored by the Clave as the hero of the Dark War, with Magnus—his fiancé in the hallucination—and his family, including Max, by his side. As he'd always wanted in real life, his father proclaimed how proud he was of Alec and approved of his relationship with Magnus. The seemingly perfect illusion began to break when Jace revealed that he had a crush on Alec, and Clary expressed interest in seeing them together. Alec's subconscious began to wake, and suddenly, dream-Magnus spoke up and snapped Alec out of it, soon after which he killed the demon.
After fighting their way through the demons guarding the realm's version of the Gard, they found and freed Magnus and Luke. Alec reunited with Magnus, who had gotten sick due to his father's influence on him and the realm. To be able to focus on looking after Magnus, he told the others to go ahead. They were reunited with the everyone else shortly after in the throne room. Alec shot Sebastian with an arrow, which failed to harm him.
To everyone's relief, Clary tricked Sebastian, stabbing him with Heosphoros, successfully killing him. Unfortunately for them, the borders to their world had already been sealed. As a last resort, Magnus summoned the ruler of the realm: his father, Asmodeus. Asmodeus demanded to take Magnus's immortality, which would kill him, in exchange for their safe return to their world. Alec refused to accept the condition, telling them that he would rather stay in Edom and die there with Magnus rather than go back to Idris without him, but Magnus refused. They shared what seemed to be their last kiss; before Magnus could sacrifice himself, Simon offered his own immortality, along with his memories of the Shadow World, in Magnus's place, to which Asmodeus agreed to.
After the war
During the post-war Council meeting, majority of the present Clave members voted to leave Mark with the Wild Hunt and send Helen to Wrangel Island—exile in the guise of an extended research trip—simply because they were both half-fey. Alec and the others voted against this but were outnumbered by those who voted in favor of the decision.
After the meeting, Alec was pondering the recent events on the roof of his father's house in Alicante when Magnus arrived to join him. Magnus apologized for breaking up with Alec and admitted that he was partly responsible, for not being more open about his past. Magnus then gave him a journal of a few of the important events in his life, as a taste of more stories of his life to come. The pair agreed to give their relationship another try and got back together.
After returning to New York, Alec substituted as head of the Institute for around a week, while Maryse was part of the group in Alicante that finalized the new treaty with the faeries. When Maryse returned, he immediately moved out and into Magnus's apartment, though he still spent most of his days at the Institute. Alec slowly become a neutral party in the werewolf and vampire dispute in New York. Though he loved his work as a Shadowhunter, he felt he had found his rightful place by working with Downworlders.
Meanwhile, Alec became even more estranged from his father. Months later at Jocelyn and Luke's wedding, held at the Three Arrows Farm, Robert said that he had been always proud of him. He shared that the reason he had made no effort to get to know Magnus, why he seemed to not care for Alec's blossoming relationship with Magnus, was because he ruined his own bond with his late parabatai Michael Wayland after learning that the latter had developed feelings for him. After this revelation, he tried to forgive his father for his shortcomings but still held deep reservations.
Alec was incredibly grateful to Simon for saving Isabelle and Magnus's lives in Edom when he couldn't. In addition, he and Magnus felt guilty for Simon's sacrifice, and he regretted having undervalued him in the past. Simon's disappearance from their lives greatly affected Isabelle and Clary, and even Jace, and Alec had no idea how to ease his friends' pains, and when Simon came back without his memories, Alec found himself uncomfortable with Simon, who was practically a stranger but had done so much for them and so did not know how to properly thank him, so he outright ignored him.
In early 2010, a navy-skinned baby was left at Shadowhunter Academy just as he and Magnus came to visit. In fear of what the Clave would do, Magnus volunteered to care for the child temporarily until he could figure out where to send it, and Alec immediatly agreed. After a long discussion, he and Magnus agreed to adopt the boy, naming him "Max". Magnus and Alec adopted a second child two years later when Alec encountered a young Shadowhunter—a survivor of the Dark War—on the streets of Buenos Aires. They named him after Magnus's vampire friend, Raphael Santiago, giving the boy the name Rafael, a variation of the late vampire's name.
Personality and traits
Alec is brave, caring, and compassionate. He is blunt and straightforward as he never grew accustomed to pretenses.
Alec was initially uncomfortable, self-conscious, and serious in most situations; in this sense, Alec was very much the opposite of his sister. He was rarely proud, believing himself without much accomplishments, though he'd always hoped to make his parents proud of him. When he turned eighteen, Alec took pride in being allowed to attend Council meetings with the other adult Nephilim.
Partly due to his upbringing and the beliefs he was taught in his youth, Alec was judgmental, arrogant and condescending at times, and initially held prejudice towards Downworlders, though this eventually changed when his life became so intertwined with many of them. He was also initially unwelcoming of strangers and people he deemed a threat to his family. Alec is also sarcastic, with a dry, biting sense of humor, particularly in remarks directed at people he doesn't feel particularly keen of. He would make no effort to hide his ill feelings towards them, showing it in small subtle ways like openly ignoring them or not heeding their opinions.
Alec was also once scared of admitting, even to himself, his own sexuality and feelings, even more so because he was concerned of his parents' and other people's opinions. For a long time, Alec chose to avoid potentially getting into any form of relationship by letting himself believe that he was hopelessly in love with Jace, whom he is not allowed to fall in love with, because it would have been easier than facing the consequences of embracing his sexuality.
He can also be quite insecure and jealous, when it came to his own achievements as well as Magnus's romantic history. His insecurities along with the pressure he'd placed on himself made him somewhat guarded, though he eventually, he overcame his own insecurities and became more confident in himself, with the help and assurance of those around him over the course of their adventures.
Alec leans towards more cautious and practical decisions, except perhaps when it comes to the well-being of those he loves. Alec is very protective of his family and tends to assume the most responsibility as the oldest of his siblings. For years, Alec served as the protector and healer in the group, focused more on the safety of his siblings and has thus never killed a demon until after he turned eighteen, frequently putting himself in danger to protect them as well. Though he is also committed to the accomplishment of their task and following Clave law, Alec would do anything to save them, even defy authority if it would help his friends. He also dislikes seeing his loved ones in pain and is just as hurt when he cannot do anything to ease their sorrow; he would even choose to suffer with them instead of even considering leaving them behind.
Alec is tall and fit, with a thin, wiry build. He has jet-black hair that ends at his jaw and stunning blue eyes. Alec has angular cheekbones. He was said to share a startling resemblance with his distant relative Will Herondale.
Skills and abilities
- Nephilim physiology: Being Nephilim, Alec possesses a variety of enhanced physical and mental abilities granted to him by the angel blood of Raziel in his veins and also by the angelic Marks of the Gray Book. This includes enhanced strength, speed, agility, stamina, and coordination, which continue to improve over time and practice.
- The Sight: As a Shadowhunter, Alec is naturally and easily able to see through most magical illusions and layers of glamour over reality.
- Runic magic: Due to the angel blood in their veins, all Shadowhunters are able to apply runes on their skin without any real danger. These Marks, in turn, give varied effects that serve to benefit the wearer.
- Use of heavenly weapons: As a Shadowhunter, Alec is also able to perform tasks unique to their species, such as the ability to use and call on the power of angels for their seraph blades, as well as to handle any heavenly weapons or objects with effect, which would normally not work for other species. In particular, these are tools made of adamas and forged by Iron Sisters.
- Parabatai bond: Due to his parabatai bond with Jace Herondale, Alec is able to call on more strength in battle. The runes drawn on him by Jace also give a considerably stronger effect.
- Archery: Alec is particularly good at archery.
- Basic Shadowhunter gear, including: a Sensor, steles, seraph blades, and witchlight.
- Bow and arrows: Alec uses the bow and arrow as his primary weapon of choice in battle.
- Feather-staff: Alec utilizes a feather-staff as a second choice for a weapon in battle.
- Daggers: Alec also occasionally uses daggers.
- Magnus's diary: a book containing parts of Magnus's past.
|“||I don't want to live forever. We might not have that much time. I'll get old and I'll die. But I promise I won't leave you until then. It's the only promise I can make.||”|
–Alec to Magnus, City of Heavenly Fire
Magnus was immediately attracted to Alec and openly flirted with him when they met; Alec, however, believed he was in love with Jace and was unsure about his feelings for Magnus. After Magnus saved his life for the first time, Alec came over to thank him personally. When Magnus found out that he had never been kissed, Magnus gave him his first kiss, and the pair agreed to go out on a date. They continued to secretly see each other, though his friends found out some weeks into the relationship.
Eventually, Alec realized that he loved Magnus, fully accepting that he did not really have feelings for Jace. During the Mortal War in Alicante, Alec publicly came out to his parents and the rest of the Shadowhunter community by kissing Magnus before the big battle. Alec remained with Magnus, despite his father's seeming disapproval, and even traveled with him for some weeks after the war.
Their relationship hit a rough patch when Alec began to feel threatened about Magnus's centuries of dating history, the parts of his life Alec was still mostly unaware of, and his immortality, mostly due to ideas instilled into his mind by Magnus's old flame, Camille. Alec worried about aging and one day dying, while Magnus would remain young and live forever. Alec tried to find a way to become immortal; when he found none, he considered making Magnus mortal—a thought which Magnus found as a betrayal, leading to their breakup.
During this time, Alec made several efforts to reconcile with Magnus, all of which Magnus rejected as he continued to keep his distance and avoid him altogether, save for the time Magnus kissed Alec before heading to Alicante. When Magnus was kidnapped by Sebastian, Alec went to Hell in a desperate attempt to rescue him. When they safely returned to their world, Alec apologized for his indiscretion, and even Magnus admitted to his faults and finally decided to tell Alec about his past, giving him a book that contained several important events throughout his life. The pair reconciled and are currently in a very committed relationship.
Alec and Isabelle are very close. They always look out for one another; Alec specifically feels largely responsible for her, being her older brother, and makes it a point to watch out for her safety over his during battles. Alec is also greatly affected when Isabelle in suffering, whether physically or emotionally.
Isabelle, on the other hand, is always concerned about Alec's emotional well-being, often worrying about his love life and what others say about him. Isabelle has known about his sexuality long before he came out; she respected his privacy by safeguarding his secret and never confronting him about it, and when it became public knowledge, Isabelle tried to protect him from other people's negativity.
|“||Exactly. Despite my staggering good looks, you actually don't like me that way.||”|
–Jace confronting Alec, City of Glass
For a while, Alec became infatuated with Jace, though he quickly got over this when he began to develop feelings for Magnus, and more so when Jace confronted him and made him realize that Alec used the fact that he couldn't act on his feelings as an excuse to avoid an actual relationship—and the potential pain of being in one—with someone he is actually allowed to love. The pair did not let this ruin their relationship and instead continued to strengthen their bond and love for each other.
Alec was also slightly insecure of Jace, believing that he was inferior when compared to Jace, and was a little jealous of the recognition Jace got from his father, his brother, and those around him, though he never blamed Jace for his insecurities or treated him negatively for it, and Jace did nothing but assure him that though he may be physically better, Alec was a much better person.
Max was Alec's younger brother. Alec cared for and loved his younger brother deeply. When Max was killed, the whole family mourned for his death and held a grudge against Sebastian for it. He dealt with his grief in his own way, mostly quietly, but like Isabelle, his deepest desires still involved his brother being alive, and looking up to him the way Max hero-worshipped Jace.
Alec named his first son after him.
Maryse is Alec's mother. Alec has a generally good relationship with his mother. Though she still had her opinions, she was more accepting of Alec's sexuality and relationship with Magnus—at least when compared to Robert—enough that she made an effort to tolerate Magnus, and eventually to understand the nature of their relationship.
Robert is Alec's father. As a child, Alec saw his father as the most terrifying man in his life, but at the same time looked up to him. Alec strived to make his father proud of him, not realizing that Robert already was, though he was never fully vocal about it.
Their relationship, and Alec's respect for his father, was tainted when Alec felt that Robert could not accept his sexuality, and when he found out that Robert had previously cheated on Maryse and almost left them for his mistress. After a heart-to-heart, Robert tried to apologize for his shortcomings. Robert was unsure about how to approach or react to the revelation that Alec was gay, because he felt guilty about the way he treated his own parabatai who'd fallen in love with him, and explained this to him. He told Alec that he had always been proud of him and that he was a much better man than him. Alec, with Magnus's urging, decided to make amends with him and try and work towards someday completely forgiving his father, and Robert has continued to make an effort to be a part of his life, getting to know Magnus and their adoptive children.
Alec initially strongly disliked Clary and wasn't subtle about it. He was not willing to help Clary and only did so because Jace insisted on it. This tension even resulted in Alec briefly being jealous of Clary, due to Jace's obvious attraction for her.
Alec eventually got over this, realizing over time that Clary was a good person in her own right. He began to open up to her and embraced the idea of being allies, and eventually friends. After years of friendship, the two have formed such a close bond that Alec now even goes to Clary for help and advice, and Alec was even supportive Jace's proposal to her.
Just as with Clary, Alec was also not immediately fond of Simon. Though they never really became much of friends, they were allies who grew tolerant of each other's presence, and more so when Simon became involved with his sister, Isabelle. Though they weren't close, Alec approved of their relationship, as he recognized that Simon can be good for his sister and made her happy. When Alec saw the extremes Simon would go to save the people they both care about—namely Isabelle and Magnus—and when he actually sacrificed himself for Magnus, Alec felt incredibly indebted to him.
Alec was initially critical of Downworlders, like most Nephilim. Eventually, Alec came to develop a sense of respect for Downworlders and began to perform the Nephilim's duties of helping Downworlders more wholeheartedly. He has since become a strong ally of Downworlders. Alec, along with Maia Roberts, Lily Chen, Magnus, and more recently, Clary and Jace, worked to bring order to New York's Downworld. Lily dismissed most Nephilim, with the exception of Alec and his friends.
Aline is a childhood friend of Alec, as their families have a long history together.
When Alec kissed Magnus in the Accords Hall before several Clave members, he inadvertently inspired Aline to come out to her parents and make a move when she met Helen, who became her girlfriend.
Alec became acquainted with the Blackthorns in 2007. He first met Helen Blackthorn, a fellow Clave member and Aline's first girlfriend. Both supported each other during votes that mattered to both; Helen voted to continue looking for his parabatai Jace, and he later voted against her exile to Wrangel Island, though the odds were against them in both cases.
- See more here
His first name, Alexander, means 'defending men' in Greek, while his middle name, Gideon, is of biblical origin and means 'a destroyer'.
- When once asked of his fears, the only thing he could think of that scared him were spiders. Apparently, he also has a fear of umbrellas.
- Before 2007, Alec has never killed a demon.
- Once, Alec threw Magnus a surprise birthday party where guests were almost exclusively cats.
- Alec shares his names with two of his ancestors: Alexander and Gideon Lightwood.
- ↑ CC's newsletter; City of Bones 10th anniversay special edition extra
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Born to Endless Night
- ↑ "Alec is six feet," Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- ↑ What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything
- ↑ Son of the Dawn
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 City of Bones
- ↑ Kissed
- ↑ The Course of True Love (And First Dates)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 City of Ashes
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 City of Lost Souls
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 City of Glass
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 City of Fallen Angels
- ↑ The Voicemail of Magnus Bane
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 City of Heavenly Fire
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 A Long Conversation, a Lady Midnight extra
- ↑ Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy
- ↑ The Mortal Instruments
- ↑ "he has a fear of umbrellas." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- ↑ A History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of the Downworld
- ↑ Shadowhunters @ NYCC 2016
- ↑ Cassandra Clare FAQ
- ↑ "Alec’s nickname was a reference to Alec from Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner."-Cassandra Clare on Tumblr