- For details about his other identity, go to the respective page.
|“||There are memories that time does not erase, Clarissa. Ask your friend Magnus Bane, if you do not believe me. Forever does not make loss forgettable, only bearable.||”|
–Brother Zachariah to Clary, City of Lost Souls
Brother Zachariah was a Silent Brother, a feared and respected figure in the Shadow World. He was the most frequently called upon Silent Brother in London until the 1900s, and in New York in 2007 after the death of Brother Jeremiah.
Zachariah was the name used by Jem Carstairs during his time among the Silent Brothers. Because of the circumstances leading to his transformation and subsequent joining of the Brotherhood, Brother Zachariah maintained more of his humanity than his fellow Brothers. As of 2008, he has been cured of his illness and has left the Brotherhood.
Joining the Brothers
- For his life before being a Silent Brother, please refer to Jem Carstairs' page.
At the brink of death, the Shadowhunters left the fate of Jem Carstairs in the hands of the Silent Brothers looking after him. While Jem did not welcome the idea when recommended to him sometime before his health seriously deteriorated, Jem had been too weak to refuse by the time the Silent Brothers had arrived for him. With permission from Charlotte Branwell, the Brothers brought him to the Silent City, where they attempted to make him a fellow Silent Brother in hopes of counteracting the illness that was killing him, as a desperate attempt to save his life.
After Jem had survived the first few runes of transformation, he was put in a dormant state, which also put the illness he suffered as a result of his dependence on yin fen into a remission of sorts; this state continued the entire length of his service to the Silent Brothers. However, as a result of the powerful runes placed on him to join the Brotherhood, he lost a portion of his humanity; and with it, his parabatai bond with Will Herondale was severed. Once he was officially a Silent Brother, Jem took the name, Brother Zachariah.
Only a few days after joining the Brotherhood, Jem, as Brother Zachariah, joined Brother Enoch and Brother Micah in answering the call for help Charlotte had sent out to the Clave. Though new Initiates were usually not allowed to leave during their first year of service, he was permitted by Brother Enoch to join, due to the special circumstances.
In the battle against Mortmain's automatons, Brother Zachariah stood and fought by his former parabatai, Will's, side. When his hood fell back, everyone realized that Brother Zachariah was, in fact, Jem, which came as a huge surprise to all of those close to him, who had assumed that he was dead.
Due to the rules of the Brotherhood, the others were forbidden from further communicating with him, particularly as their old friend Jem, and not as the new Brother Zachariah. However, since he was unable to bid his farewell to those from his mortal life before he joined, Charlotte, the new Consul, insisted that the Silent Brothers allow Brother Zachariah to visit the London Institute for an hour so he could say his last goodbyes to his loved ones and give them all the opportunity for closure. While he did not initially want to let his dear friends and family—particularly Tessa, his former betrothed—see him as he now was, Charlotte ultimately demanded his presence.
Once there, he went to see Tessa and Will, both to whom he was able to say his final goodbyes. He let Tessa keep the jade pendant he had given her as a bridal gift, and agreed to secretly meet with her at the Blackfriars Bridge once a year, no matter what. He and Will also bid each other the form of farewell they had discussed, a counterpart to the typical Ave Atque Vale spoken when a Shadowhunter dies. Not wanting to part like the dead, Jem recited to Will a version of Jonathan and David's farewell, while Will bid his good-bye in Mandarin; both told the other to "Go in peace" in Mandarin, as well. That day, Jem also gave Will and Tessa, separately, his blessing for them to be together.
Century of silence
During his time as a Silent Brother, Jem underwent the whole process of rituals—at least, those that he could endure—that would make him a full Silent Brother. However, due to the residual yin fen still left behind in his body, he was unable to undertake all the runes of the Brotherhood. As a result, Jem remained unlike the majority of the Silent Brothers; his hair, eyes, and youth remained as they always had, his mouth not stitched and merely kept shut.
During the first decade of his service, he still had much of his humanity left and struggled with his transformation and adjustment, much like most Silent Brothers-in-training. The other Silent Brothers, being so isolated from human life, were reinvigorated and reminded of the preciousness of the life that they study and fight for.
Over the years, Brother Zachariah had become the primary Silent Brother contacted by the London Enclave for emergencies after Will had become the head of the London Institute. While Will called for even the slightest problem as an excuse to see him, it was unlikely that Zachariah could respond to every request, as the summoning of a Silent Brother typically requires grave reasons. He did, however, rush to Will's side when he was bitten and almost killed by a Shax demon, tending his wound and staying with him until he recovered, risking both discovery and punishment.
Though Brother Zachariah and Will were unable to see each other as often as they liked, he still became a constant figure in his family's life; so much so, that even James, Tessa and Will's firstborn son, whom they had named after Jem, called him "Uncle," and had grown accustomed to witnessing the unconditional love between Brother Zachariah and his parents. Jem was also the Silent Brother who performed the protection ceremony on James after Will had refused to allow anyone else to do it.
In 1937, Brother Zachariah came to Will's deathbed at the Institute around midnight, after everyone had left. Keeping Will and Tessa company, he played the violin for them, just as he had when they were young; the violin Jem had once owned was kept at the Institute and maintained by Will so that Brother Zachariah could play whenever he had the opportunity to visit. He played zhi yin, a form of storytelling through music, and described Will, Jem, and Tessa's lives together through the song. After he finished playing, he bid his farewell and held Will's hand as he died in Tessa's arms.
Brother Zachariah also maintained his promise to Tessa and met her at the Blackfriars Bridge every year, even after Tessa had left London. After Will's death, Tessa had traveled to the road Will had taken on his way to Cadair Idris in 1878. As a request from Will, Tessa retrieved Jem's dagger that Will had buried in the road when he felt his parabatai connection to Jem break and had assumed he had died. Tessa showed it to him that year, and Jem, knowing he could not take it to the Silent City with him, but still hoping that he would one day be allowed to leave the Brotherhood, merely asked her to keep it for him.
The only year they did not see each other at Blackfriars Bridge was in 1941, when London had become too affected by World War II, causing Brother Zachariah to decide it was too dangerous to meet. Additionally, in 1993, Jem, as a favor to Tessa, performed the Shadowhunter children's ceremony that places the spells over young Shadowhunter children to protect them from demonic influence on Clary Fray, and promised that he would neither alert the Clave of her existence nor of her mother's survival.
A Quest for Tessa
Around the turn of the 20th century, Tessa became concerned about her demonic ancestry and what it meant for her children. Her son had recently discovered his ability to turn into a shadow and had become an outcast; she feared for him and her daughter who had not yet shown any signs of her demonic heritage. At her meeting yearly meeting with Brother Zachariah that year, she expressed this to him and requested that he looked into who her birth father was.
This is when he first began visiting the Shadow Market. He made many inquiries and enlisted the help of the warlock Ragnor Fell. Fell warned him that the path he was on had proved fatal to more than one person already but Zachariah insisted he continued searching. That day he bumped into Matthew Fairchild. He seemed wary of Matthew's attitude but was polite and made conversation with him anyway and tried to steer him away from buying from a faerie merchant. However a few days later, when he was called to the Fairchild's residence in London to Charlotte's bedside, he realized he had failed. He was able to save Charlotte's life but the baby she was carrying did not survive. He confronted Matthew knowing that he had accidentally poisoned his mother and tried to convince him to tell the truth. Upon Matthew's denial, he agreed to keep his secret.
Several months later, Malcolm Fade caught him at the London Shadow Market and introduced him to Leopolda Stain. Zachariah knew that she had been a long time friend of Mortmain's and began keeping tabs on her in hopes she would be able to give him the information he needed. After an incident where Leopolda took advantage of some foolish mundanes and summoned some Ravener demons, he got Woolsey Scott and his pack to capture and detain her. He managed to get her to tell him that Tessa's father was a Prince of Hell and the greatest of Eidolon demons. Though when he requests a name she refused unless he gave her some blood; in which he denied and she attempted to leave but Woolsey and his wolves were waiting on the other side to kill her. Still he had enough information now to figure out who her father was.
Will and Tessa's children—along with the children of his other friends—took to calling Brother Zachariah as Uncle Jem; viewing him as a family member despite him not meant to have any ties as a Brother.
When James Herondale's ability was revealed, Zachariah was the one called to the Shadowhunter Academy. And later, when he was expelled, Jem was called again to help James. For a full year, he worked tirelessly with James helping him learn through countless tests to control his ability: both to do so at will and to prevent from slipping into it. Before they stopped training, Jem gave James a matchbook that could be used to summon him if he ever was pulled into the shadow realm against his will again.
James used this method to summon him a couple of years later on the night of the London Institute's ball to welcome the Carstairs family to London. Jem came the next day following the Mandikhor attack. After working on Barbara Lightwood's injuries, he spoke with James about the vision James had of the shadow realm which foreshadowed her attack. They agreed that after the poisoned were cured, they would continue their lessons again.
James sent for him again not long after. This time because he knew Jem has been looking into who Tessa's demon father was and a demon had hinted to James that his grandfather was a Prince of Hell. Though he thought it not important, he agreed he would continue to look into it more and try to find confirmation as he had not in the past. However, when he spoke with Magnus Bane on the subject later, he was advised not to.
Through all this, Zachariah continued to work on finding a cure for the afflicted, as more and more fell ill. He was near the infirmary working when James came by and the sick began chanting James's name. James explained he was there because he had received a note from Jem, to which Jem realized something evil was at work as he had sent no such thing. He told him to leave, fearing he was in danger. He was right. Thanks to Jem's lessons, James was able to face down Belial by reaching into his realm to fight back.
The Lost Herondale
In 1936, Zachariah and Sister Emilia were tasked with retrieving some adamas from the Mysterious Merchants' Bazaar of the Bizarre in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Once there, they found the adamas was in the possession of the Greater Demon Belial, whom Zachariah had previously met. Because they knew each other, Zachariah was able to convince Belial to hand over the adamas and send the Shadow Market that had appeared at the Bazaar away. Belial then decided he no longer wished to be in debt to Brother Zachariah and offered him a choice in order to make them even: either he would tell him how to cure himself of the yin fen that was still in his system or he would give him information about a line of Lost Herondales that were in trouble. Zachariah chose the latter and that is what set him on his search to find them.
Since he had missed his chance to speak to Roland the Astonishing at the carnival, for the months after Zachariah had begun trailing a number of fey contacts. One decided to meet him at the Market in London in 1940. The faerie was extremely hostile and told Zachariah to stop interfering; that this was faerie business and faerie business alone. He then attacked Brother Zachariah and wound up stabbing him with a short blade covered in a kind of poison. Dying, Zachariah was taken to St. Bart's Hospital where Tessa happened to be working with Catarina Loss. The girls took him home to treat him and managed to save his life though he should not have been able to survive.
Tessa begged him to explain how he had been injured and what he had been doing. Reluctantly, he agreed and told her how he had come to learn of a lost line of Herondales. Catarina was stunned by the news and was then prompted to tell them what she knew: how she had saved Tobias Herondale's son from a death sentence and taken him to America where she raised him; that he had lived a mundane life unaware of who he was; that he went on to have a family of his own and that family had families and so forth. In the end, she told him more of Roland, whom she had parted ways with when trying to warn him away from using magic.
In turn, Zachariah told her that she had not scared him away; that the reason she could not find him was because he had married a fugitive faerie woman and had to go into hiding to stay safe. Upon hearing the news, Catarina left the room and Tessa requested Jem not to do this alone. She asked him to not be as distant and to allow her to join him in looking for the Lost Herondale. He agreed and they continued the search.
Almost 50 years later, they finally got a solid lead: someone at the Paris Shadow Market was selling the Heron necklace Catarina had given Ephraim as a link to his heritage. Zachariah purchased the necklace from the shop owner's employee and then gave chase to the owner when he came back towards the stand. He was lead to an alley where Jack Crow and his wife Rosemary cornered him. Zachariah tried to explain that he was merely trying to find him to inform him of the danger posed to his bloodline and to protect him. Jack initially refused him but eventually, he relented and agreed to meet him on the Pont de Arts at dawn.
Brother Zachariah went to the bridge and instead of finding Jack, he found Rosemary. She told him that Jack had changed his name and appearance and fled, that he would never find him again. Yet Zachariah was not discouraged as he realized that the Lost Herondale was actually Rosemary. He gave her the Heron necklace, now enchanted by Magnus Bane for her to use to summon Zachariah in the event that those hunting her came after her. She accepted the gift and they parted ways. Jem went to Tessa feeling as though he failed, but Tessa assured him he had succeeded since they had found her and did what they could to protect her in the future.
Refinding His Humanity
In the year 2000, after over a century of serving the Brotherhood, Zachariah felt he had lost the struggle of holding on to his humanity and who he once was. He no longer felt feelings as much as he had in the beginning; emotions seemed to be a memory to him more than an experience. He wandered the New York Shadow Market trying to remember how they had felt like an escape once when he was encountered by Raphael Santiago and Lily Chen.
Raphael attempted to enlist his help in which Zachariah initially refused because Silent Brothers were forbidden to interfere in the affairs of the outside world. However when Raphael mentioned his issue involved yin fen, he changed his mind; though he still required they go to the Institute first.
At their meeting with Maryse and Robert Lightwood, they discovered the yin fen was being smuggled on the same ship that was transporting Jonathan Wayland to them. They made a plan to row a boat out from New Jersey and infiltrate the ship. Once onboard they would apprehend the werewolves and dispense with the yin fen. Unfortunately, there were more wolves than they had expected and a fight broke out. The other shadowhunter on deck, Catherine Ashdown, was killed and Raphael and Jonathan were injured.
After the battle, Jonathan and Brother Zachariah spoke of what it meant to be a warrior and have a parabatai. Zachariah began to find that this boy had awoken him with his laugh during the battle; it had achingly reminded him of Will. While he found there was no reason the boy should remind him of his lost parabatai, it did restore his faith and hope. He felt Will was close to him again and it allowed him to recapture that part of his humanity he had thought he lost.
As of 2007, Brother Zachariah had become the most commonly called-upon Silent Brother when the New York Institute needed their help after Brother Jeremiah and several others were killed by Valentine and Agramon in the Silent City.
When several Shadowhunters were mysteriously murdered in a short period of time in New York City, the New York Conclave had expressed an interest in using a newly-discovered resurrection rune of Clary's to try and resurrect one of the dead Shadowhunters, in hopes they could tell them what happened and who killed them. Maryse Lightwood, the head of the New York Institute, introduced Brother Zachariah to Luke and Clary, who had agreed to place the rune on the deceased Shadowhunter. Brother Zachariah led them to the Ossuarium, where the dead are taken for examination, to let Clary try the rune.
Brother Zachariah was also at the Silent City when Clary and Jace, a descendant of Will, came to find out who has been controlling Jace's mind. When the Brothers found out that Jace had died and been resurrected by Raziel, Brother Zachariah examined his mind and claimed that he would have discovered who he was, a Herondale, if he had been there as he was growing up. He also announced that Jace required a new protection ritual to be performed on him to prevent further demonic influence, and argued that, due to the Silent Brothers' old ties with the Herondales, the Brothers have a duty to help Jace, not to kill him to try to create a balance in nature.
When Jace, under the influence of his bond to Sebastian Morgenstern, escaped the Silent City, the Clave began a search for them. However, when more pressing issues eventually arose, the Council moved to deprioritize the search. Brother Zachariah was among the minority who voted to keep the search for Jace, and Jonathan, a top priority.
When Magnus Bane called Brother Zachariah to help investigate Lilith's runes, Brother Zachariah, seeing it as an opportunity to help save the Herondale bloodline, studied the runes and was able to deduce the nature of the ritual Lilith performed to revive Jonathan, using the Daylighter Simon's bite, and bind him to Jace. He went to Magnus' apartment in Brooklyn to share this with him, much to the surprise of Jocelyn, who was staying with Magnus.
When Maryse Lightwood realized that she was able to find traces of Jace's momentary appearances in different parts of the world, through an almost invisible tracking mark placed on him by Valentine, she called the Silent Brothers, hoping for Brother Enoch, to tell them. However, Brother Zachariah came and told him of his interest in the case, which intrigued Maryse. When Maryse told him of what she knew, she left the choice of whether to inform the Clave about what they knew to Brother Zachariah, as she didn't want to be the one to risk Jace's life by telling those who were hunting him. Sharing her sentiment, Brother Zachariah told her that they should not alert the Clave for the moment. However, he did concede that, should Jace appear at one place for longer than a few seconds at a time, she ought to alert the Clave.
When Jace was finally saved and released from his bond with Jonathan when Clary stabbed him with Glorious, Brother Zachariah was among the Silent Brothers who treated him, and who tried many different methods in an attempt to purge the heavenly fire from his body, none of which were successful. Jace did recover quickly, although the heavenly fire was still trapped in his body. Brother Zachariah stood guard by his door, forbidding any visitors while he recuperated. However, when Clary came, she convinced him to allow her inside, after Clary asked him if he had ever loved anyone before he joined the Brotherhood. Zachariah confessed that he had loved two people, and although he did not name them, he was clearly referring to Tessa and Will.
Sometime later, he and Brother Enoch were once again called to the New York Institute by Maryse. She led them to the library, where they were shown a message, written in angel blood, Jonathan had left for them that warned them of his return, along with a pair of disembodied wings cut off from the back of an unknown angel.
He continued to look after Jace, who was still having difficulty maintaining control over the heavenly fire in his veins. Zachariah was among the Silent Brothers who went to Idris when all Shadowhunters were called to their home country during the evacuation in December.
At the siege of Sebastian and the Endarkened on the Adamant Citadel, Zachariah joined the other Shadowhunters dispatched to help the Iron Sisters protect the Citadel. In an attempt to heal Jace, who had been stabbed in the shoulder by Jonathan and was bleeding heavenly fire from his wound, Zachariah tried to touch him with a Marked hand. The fire was too powerful, however, and the fire began to consume Zachariah through the touch. The Iron Sisters, sensing the heavenly fire's presence, came to his aid, and he and Jace were both brought to the Basilias in Alicante.
Soon, Zachariah recovered. Because of the heavenly fire, the yin fen that once almost killed him was burned from his body, and since it was also presumably only his illness that called for and bound him to his incomplete Silent Brother state, he was also freed from all of the runes and spells that made him a Silent Brother, an outcome that, under any other circumstances, would be impossible. He then became an ordinary, mortal Shadowhunter again, keeping only the first two runes he received on his cheekbones. Despite the Silent Brothers' secrecy, Jace insisted on seeing Brother Zachariah to ensure that he was not gravely injured because of him. Once they were finally able to visit each other, Jace was shocked to see he was no longer a Silent Brother, and they began to discuss life, love, and parabatais. Zachariah surprised the rest of the Shadowhunters in Idris with his newly-mortal status, but he ultimately kept the details of his condition and the events that caused it to himself.
His return to his humanity caused him to become overwhelmed by his emotions suddenly rushing back to him, so Zachariah decided to wait a little longer before returning to what was left of his old life, and promised to stay in Alicante and fulfill his obligations to thwarting Jonathan's plans, even though he was more than tempted to immediately go to Tessa and tell her everything; in the end, he wanted to keep her away from the danger of the war.
When the battle finally came to Alicante, Zachariah arrived just in time to help and protect the young Blackthorn children, as well as Emma Carstairs, while they were on their way to Accords Hall, where all of the children in Idris were being protected. Though he was concerned for his young kin, Zachariah, still not ready to reclaim his old name, could not tell her about their connection. Instead, he merely hinted at it when he called her by her full name and instructed her to stay with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn; a statement which shocked her, as no one else knew that they had talked about becoming parabatai.
Three days after the war, Zachariah immediately left for London. By January, on his annual meet-up with Tessa at the Blackfriars Bridge, he finally reunited with Tessa, and they rekindled their relationship after sharing a kiss, promising to see the world together.
- For further information about his life after this, go to Jem Carstairs' page.
Tessa Gray is the wife and the love of the life of Zachariah's mortal alter ego. Even as Brother Zachariah, Tessa was still a constant figure in his life, a reminder of his past life, whom he continued to meet in order to honor their promise. Despite Jem's love for Tessa, being a Silent Brother contained his feelings, though it did not make them disappear. The moment Jem recovered, his emotions came rushing back and he found that he still loved Tessa after all those years.
|“||There are only four points of warmth and brightness, in the whole world, that burn fiercely enough for me to feel something like the person I was. Your mother, your father, Lucie, and you.||”|
After becoming a Silent Brother, Zachariah tried to reach out to both his uncle and his cousins Cordelia Carstairs and Alastair Carstairs. Though Elias and Alastair made it clear they did not want him around as it was not appropriate, Cordelia was receptive. When Elias was being placed on trial, Cordelia asked for his assistance, which Zachariah attempted to help. Over the years, he kept an eye on his uncle's branch of the family tree. All the way up to Emma Carstairs in the 2000s. After he left the brotherhood, he traveled to Los Angeles to keep a closer eye on her.
- For the appearances of his alter ego, please go to the separate page's own Appearances section.
Zachariah is a Biblical name that means "memory of the Lord" or "God has remembered." It was the name Jem chose for himself, as its meaning can be interpreted as "remember" and he wished to always remember Will, Tessa, and who he once was.
- See more here
- On his first night in the Silent City, Jem inscribed 2 letters onto his staff, one in each of the places his hands would hold the weapon. They were his parabatai's initials so that he always felt he was fighting with him by his side, making him stronger.
- Brother Zachariah helped James Herondale learn how to control his ability to slip into a shadow, and how to prevent it.
- Despite being known as Brother Zachariah, everyone he knew from 1878 to 1903 called him by his former name: Jem.
- Brother Zachariah's staff was crafted by Sister Dayo.
- Clockwork Princess
- An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of Downworld
- The Midnight Heir
- The Last Stand of the New York Institute
- Every Exquisite Thing
- Cast Long Shadows
- Chain of Gold
- Nothing but Shadows
- Learn About Loss
- A Deeper Love
- The Wicked Ones
- Son of the Dawn
- City of Ashes
- City of Fallen Angels
- City of Lost Souls
- City of Heavenly Fire
- Shadowhunters Army November 2018 newsletter
- Silent Brother name — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- "Jem chose Zachariah, because it means remember." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- Shadowhunter Army Newsletter June 2019