Anna Lightwood is the eldest child of Cecily Herondale and Gabriel Lightwood, and the older sibling of Christopher and Alexander.


Anna was raised primarily in London, along with James Herondale and her siblings and cousins. As a child, Anna was very high-spirited and excitable. She would sometimes try to leave the London Institute to go for walks on her own in London, but her Auntie Jessamine, a ghost, always shooed her back inside. She also had a habit of taking her father's clothes and hats. When the Whitechapel demon came in 1888, Anna was left in an empty bedroom but was later found by the adults.[3]

During the time when she would have been sent to the Shadowhunter Academy, she was said to be very vocal about not wanting to go, even saying that she would run away and become a mundane bullfighter if she was forced to.[4]


Anna has a good relationship with her friends and family, who in turn admire that she is strong, sophisticated, confident, and self-assured.[5][6][7] She and the other children of the London Enclave form a very close group. She's very protective of "the boys": Matthew, James, Christopher, and Thomas. Anna is well-respected and very popular among the London group, and her approval is sought after because "if Anna doesn't like you, no one will!"[7] She is also quite witty.[8]

She rejects the binary gender identity.[1] Anna dates women and,[9][10] because she does not like to commit,[11] has even had several girlfriends.[12]

Magnus Bane described Anna as "brash, laughing, cheroot-smoking". He also mentioned that Anna had inherited the ruby necklace from her mother, Cecily. Magnus joked that Anna was one of the Lightwoods whom he actually liked.[13][14]




  • Anna can speak Welsh.[15]
  • She is very capable of making people feel special and comfortable. She would organize tea parties under tables, tree-climbing, and hide-and-go-seek adventures for her younger cousins.[8]
  • Her fashion choices are highly-anticipated by people around her, particularly among her cousins.[8]
  • Anna is partly based on artist Romaine Brooks.[7][16]

  • Anna's first love was a woman whose name starts with A,[17] hinted to be Ariadne Bridgestock,[18][19] who went on to break her heart.[17] They will meet in 1901.[20][21]
  • She has a flat on Percy Street.[22][7]
  • She smokes cigars.[23]
  • Anna keeps people's secrets.[22][24]
  • While Anna Lightwood is genderqueer,[1] the series is set in a time period where the term, and the modern considerations such as gender-neutral pronouns, were still non-existent.[25]
  • According to a found family tree, Anna died in 1941 at the age of 56 or 57.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Trans* and genderqueer Shadowhunters" — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  2. Every Exquisite Thing
  3. The Whitechapel Fiend
  4. Nothing but Shadows
  5. TLH characters and their portraitsCassandra Clare on Tumblr
  6. "Anna has a good relationship with her family and friends. They admire her strength." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Anna&co" — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 A History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of the Downworld
  9. "Anna dates girls." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
  10. "Anna is a lesbian, yes." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
  11. "Anna doesn't like to commit..." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
  12. "She has several", Cassandra Clare on Twitter
  13. What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything
  14. Born to Endless Night
  15. "Cecily and Will's kids speak Welsh." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
  16. "Anna is in part based on the artist Romaine Brooks", Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Anna's first great love had a name starting with A. A broke her heart." Shadowhunter Books on Twitter
  18. "Can you tell us the name of Anna's first girlfriend?" "Ariadne. She is, in fact, the Inquisitor's daughter." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  19. "Just a quick question, isn't Ariadne the name of Charles' fiancé?" "… so it is…." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  20. Every Exquisite Thing
  21. books. schedule. books! — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Anna Lightwood, who keeps her own flat on Percy Street and everyone else's secrets." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  23. "Anna smokes cigars!" Cassandra Clare on Twitter
  24. "She keeps other people's secrets. Tell her something, and she'll never repeat it!" Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  25. "Anna uses female pronouns. It's 1903, there was no term genderqueer," Cassandra Clare on Twitter