Annabel Blackthorn was a Shadowhunter famous for her scandalous and tragic relationship with the warlock Malcolm Fade. She became the center of Fade's plots for centuries as he worked to resurrect her. She is famously known as Lady Midnight in Shadowhunter fables.
When Annabel was a child in Cornwall, her family took in a young warlock named Malcolm Fade. Despite the general disdain for Downworlders in the early 1800s, Annabel was kind to Malcolm, which eventually led to them falling in love as they got older. Due to the strict laws prohibiting relationships between Nephilim and Downworlders prior to the Accords, Annabel and Malcolm planned to run away together. Malcolm, who by that time had met the Unseelie King, convinced Annabel they needed the Black Volume of the Dead, which they then stole from the Cornwall Institute.
They were caught by Annabel's family and imprisoned by the Clave, though Malcolm was quickly liberated by the Unseelie King while Annabel remained in the Silent City, led to believe that Malcolm had abandoned her. The Inquisitor at the time tortured Annabel for Malcolm's whereabouts, cutting off her ring finger in the process. Annabel was sent back to her family to say goodbye before being sent to the Adamant Citadel, but her family, horrified and ashamed of what Annabel did, buried her alive in a tomb by the sea and convinced the Inquisitor to maintain the rumor that she had become an Iron Sister.
It would only be years later when Malcolm found out what truly happened to her. Heartbroken by Annabel's murder, Malcolm became obsessed with raising her from the dead. He found her tomb and moved her body to the convergence, still keeping it near the ocean because he knew that she had loved the water in her life. Fade soon sought the assistance of the Unseelie King who provided the warlock with instructions to resurrect Annabel. The instructions were in the form of a poem which has since been printed in Nephilim texts and spoken among faeries as a doggerel, as follows:
- "First the flame and then the flood:
- In the end, it's Blackthorn blood.
- Seek thou to forget what's past
- First thirteen and then the last.
- Search not the book of angels gray,
- Red or white will lead you far astray.
- To regain what you have lost,
- Find the black book at any cost."
Decades after her death, Malcolm finally learned how to bring her back to life. He began trying to accomplish a necromantic ritual, one that required sacrifices. In 2007, after being dead for nearly two centuries, Annabel was partially awakened when Malcolm killed Emma Carstairs's parents as part of a resurrection spell, having long since discovered what truly happened to Annabel. The Carstairs' deaths only awakened Annabel's mind and she spent the next five years in agony, unable to speak but fully aware of her surroundings.
In August 2012, Malcolm attempted to complete the ritual by kidnapping Tavvy Blackthorn but was interrupted by the Los Angeles Shadowhunters, and Malcolm was stabbed in the chest by Emma Carstairs. Fade's body was then thrust into the Pacific Ocean with the Black Volume of the Dead through an underground opening to the sea. Because of this, sea water and Malcolm's blood leaked into Annabel's coffin. She was awakened further but still not completely, though she was able to open her eyes.
Malcolm later successfully completed the resurrection after reanimating himself and killing Arthur Blackthorn, waking Annabel completely. Already bitter towards Malcolm for betraying her in life, Annabel was furious with him for disturbing her in death after she had endured so much. The sight of Arthur's body further upset her and Annabel killed Malcolm by stabbing him to death. Annabel then took the Black Volume and went on the run.
She appeared to Julian Blackthorn after he left messages with piskies for her. Annabel asked him to leave her and the Volume alone and was disappointed when he refused. She ran away when Emma Carstairs appeared and was once again unheard of for a while.
Shortly after, she found a letter from Ty Blackthorn in the place at the Cornwall Institute she and Malcolm used to secretly exchange letters and went to meet the Blackthorns at the London Institute, where she threatened the attacking Riders of Mannan with power over their King. Annabel spoke to Julian, who convinced her to testify that she had killed Malcolm, promising that she would be celebrated and allowed to reclaim the Blackthorn manor, which she loved dearly, afterwards. She agreed, as long as she was allowed to live and be left alone in peace after, and also agreed to give Julian the Black Volume if it went well.
Already distrustful of the Clave, Annabel wanted to have Magnus Bane close by to ensure she would be protected. When Magnus fell ill and was unable to be present, Annabel became upset, even more so when the Mortal Sword was used on her. A combination of stress and the effects from her recent resurrection drove Annabel temporarily mad, and she proceeded to kill the Inquisitor Robert Lightwood and Livvy Blackthorn, before being spirited away by the Unseelie King.
At the Unseelie Court, Annabel was quick to fall victim to the magic enveloping Ash Morgenstern, drawn to him and having an intense desire to stay by the boy and protect him. While the Unseelie King tried to bargain with her for the Black Volume of the Dead, she dangled it before the King so she could stay around Ash.
When Ash's mother, the Seelie Queen, gave the King a copy of the book and Annabel no longer served a purpose, Annabel saw the danger Ash could be in if left with the King, and the Queen's, proclivity for chasing after power. In a desperate attempt to get away from them, Annabel fled to Thule with Ash and the Volume. Once there, she immediately took Ash to that world's Sebastian Morgenstern, the victorious counterpart of Ash's father, knowing that he would protect his "son".
Sebastian also kept Annabel around, allowing her to do something that pleased them both: torturing Shadowhunters. Annabel was also reunited with Thule's Malcolm, who had turned into a demon due to the poisonous blight of the land. Annabel kept Malcolm in a leash and dragged him around with her at times.
Her small victory did not last. Sebastian gradually began to weaken, and Annabel once again feared for Ash's life, suspecting that Sebastian would kill Ash to rejuvenate himself. Five years after their arrival in Thule, Julian and Emma arrived from their world, having followed them the day they escaped but having only arrived years after them. In another attempt to save Ash, Annabel made a deal with Julian and Emma: she would use magic from the Black Volume to open a Portal for the three of them to return to their world, while she intended to stay behind, knowing she was safer in Thule.
When Emma killed Sebastian, with Ash's help, Ash refused to leave with Julian and Emma, wanting to remain with Thule's Jace. Annabel refused to let the pair through without Ash and tried to drag him through the Portal. During the confrontation, Julian killed Annabel, leaving with her corpse a piece of his shirt soaked with Livvy's blood that he swore only to remove from his wrist once he'd avenged her.
Annabel was slight and of medium height. She had long, thick dark brown hair, the Blackthorn blue-green eyes, an oval face, full lips and pale skin. Her fingers were long, with misshapen joints and she had a missing ring finger from when she was tortured in the early 1800s.
- Every Exquisite Thing (alluded to)
- Chain of Gold (alluded to)
- Learn About Loss (mentioned only)
- The Red Scrolls of Magic (mentioned only)
- Lady Midnight (corpse)
- Lord of Shadows (first appearance)
- Queen of Air and Darkness
- The Lost World (mentioned only)