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.
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.
At some point, when Anna was alone at her home, she borrowed some of her brother Christopher's clothes and tried them on in front of the mirror in her room, admiring the way the clothes made her look and dancing around with an imaginary lady, before she was interrupted by the sound of her mother calling for her. She quickly changed back into her own clothes, hiding her brother's clothes in the bottom of her closet, and hurried downstairs to meet with her. Cecily told her about running into Inquisitor Bridgestock, who has just arrived with his family from Idris, and his invitation for Anna's family to dine with them that night. Anna was not excited about having dinner with the Inquisitor but agreed to keep an eye on her brother and make sure he doesn't set anything, or anyone, on fire during the meal once her mother said attending that dinner was necessary.
Later that evening, she and her family took their carriage there, with Anna spending the ride looking at the girls on the street and having a short conversation with Christopher about their destination. Arriving at the Bridgestocks' house, they were shown in by a servant and greeted by the Inquisitor and his wife, who took only little notice of Anna.
During dinner, Anna sat at the far end of the table with Christopher, eating quietly and staring at a painting on the wall in front of her in boredom while her parents talked with the Bridgestocks. Soon after that, she met Ariadne Bridgestock, the Bridgestocks' adoptive daughter who apologized for her lateness as she joined them at the table, and was immediately enthralled by her beauty. After dinner, Ariadne invited Anna to see their library. There, the pair agreed to be training partners, with Ariadne complimenting Anna on the shade of her blue eyes rather than showing her books.
The next afternoon, Anna went to a meeting with her cousins, James, Lucie, Thomas and Matthew along with her brother. Matthew told her of a downworlder club in Soho, which the two of them visited that night, finding Leopolda Stain and Woolsey Scott surrounded by mundanes.
A week later, Ariadne paid Anna an early morning call and brought her to the Bridgestock's house to train. During the training, Ariadne fell off a beam and Anna caught her. They also agreed to go to the club Matthew and Anna went to a week ago, with Anna meeting Ariadne at midnight and bringing her to the club. At the club, they were forbidden to enter, making them curious as to what was inside. They climbed through the attic window and found the mundanes summoning a demon with the guidance of Leopolda Stain. Anna leaped in trying to interfere with the summoning, but the ritual was already done. The group had summoned Ravener demons, who leaped out and started killing mundanes. As Anna and Ariadne were fighting the demons, Brother Zachariah arrived and helped them. Anna was stung in the arm by leaping in front of Ariadne and shielding her from the last demon. Ariadne then brought Anna to her house to treat her wound. There, the pair kissed.
The next day, Anna woke at noon after leaving the Bridgestock's house at dawn and went to visit Ariadne. She then found out that Ariadne was betrothed to Charles Fairchild, who was going to run the Paris Institute. Heartbroken, Anna rejected Ariadne's offer to be lovers for a year, until she was expected to go with to Paris to be with Charles. She returned home and was confronted by her mother, telling her that she accepts her daughter for who she is and gifted her with a new suit. Anna then cut her hair and accepted another gift given to her by Cecily, the ruby pendant that was a gift from her brother, Will. 
Anna has a good relationship with her friends and family, who in turn admire that she is strong, sophisticated, confident, and self-assured. 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!" She is also quite witty.
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.
- The Whitechapel Fiend (first appearance)
- Nothing but Shadows (mentioned only)
- Cast Long Shadows (mentioned only)
- Every Exquisite Thing
- Chain of Gold (will appear)
- What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (first mention)
- The Red Scrolls of Magic (mentioned only)
- Born to Endless Night (mentioned only)
- Anna can speak Welsh.
- 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.
- Her fashion choices are highly-anticipated by people around her, particularly among her cousins.
- Anna is partly based on artist Romaine Brooks.
- Anna's first love was a woman whose name starts with A, hinted to be Ariadne Bridgestock, who went on to break her heart. They will meet in 1901.
- She has a flat on Percy Street.
- She smokes cigars.
- Anna keeps people's secrets.
- While Anna Lightwood is genderqueer, the series is set in a time period where the term, and the modern considerations such as gender-neutral pronouns, were still non-existent.
- According to a found family tree, Anna died in 1941 at the age of 56 or 57.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Trans* and genderqueer Shadowhunters" — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- ↑ Every Exquisite Thing
- ↑ The Whitechapel Fiend
- ↑ Nothing but Shadows
- ↑ Every Exquisite Thing
- ↑ TLH characters and their portraits — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- ↑ "Anna has a good relationship with her family and friends. They admire her strength." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 "Anna&co" — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 A History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of the Downworld
- ↑ "Anna dates girls." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- ↑ "Anna is a lesbian, yes." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- ↑ "Anna doesn't like to commit..." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- ↑ "She has several", Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- ↑ What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything
- ↑ Born to Endless Night
- ↑ "Cecily and Will's kids speak Welsh." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- ↑ "Anna is in part based on the artist Romaine Brooks", Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 "Anna's first great love had a name starting with A. A broke her heart." Shadowhunter Books on Twitter
- ↑ "Can you tell us the name of Anna's first girlfriend?" "Ariadne. She is, in fact, the Inquisitor's daughter." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- ↑ "Just a quick question, isn't Ariadne the name of Charles' fiancé?" "… so it is…." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- ↑ Every Exquisite Thing
- ↑ books. schedule. books! — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 "Anna Lightwood, who keeps her own flat on Percy Street and everyone else's secrets." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- ↑ "Anna smokes cigars!" Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- ↑ "She keeps other people's secrets. Tell her something, and she'll never repeat it!" Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- ↑ "Anna uses female pronouns. It's 1903, there was no term genderqueer," Cassandra Clare on Twitter