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SPOILER WARNING: Plot details follow. Caution is advised!

If this was peace and victory, maybe war and fighting was better after all.

Emma Carstairs' thoughts, City of Heavenly Fire

The Cold Peace is the term used to refer to the harsh fallout of the treaty signed between the Shadowhunters and the faeries of the Seelie Court after the Dark War.[1][2][3]


In December 2007, the Seelie Queen decided to side with Sebastian Morgenstern, the enemy of the Nephilim, for the Dark War—a war Sebastian and the faeries ultimately lost. For their role in the war, the Clave defined a set of sanctions against the Fair Folk that would apparently keep their relationship as amicable as possible.

Though they lost their seats on the Council, Kaelie Whitewillow was allowed to represent the Seelie Court and attempted to plead for leniency with the Clave to avoid a war. While the demands were difficult for them to fully accept, and even the warlock representative Magnus Bane objected to the terms of the treaty, Kaelie was left with little choice.


The Clave's sanctions against the Fair Folk were as follows:

  • the fey would pay reparations for the loss of Nephilim and Downworlder life as a result of their attacks on the Institutes and the Praetor Lupus;
  • faeries would no longer be allowed to have armed fey warriors or armies, and any of the fey who were seen bearing weapons without Clave approval would lawfully be killed;
  • faeries would no longer be directly protected by the Clave under the Accords.

The tension between the Fair Folk and the Shadowhunters became so severe that even their own half-fey Shadowhunters were caught in the cross-fire, resulting in Mark Blackthorn being abandoned to the Wild Hunt, and his sister Helen Blackthorn being exiled to Wrangel Island.[1]


Magnus Bane: "I hear things, rumblings in Downworld, the rumor of coming strife. The Fair Folk are a proud people, the proudest; they will not take the shaming from the Clave without retaliation."
Catarina Loss: "They are proud but patient. They may wait a long time, generations, for vengeance. You cannot fear it coming now, when the shadow may not descend for years yet."
―Magnus fearing the faeries' retaliation, City of Heavenly Fire

Later, the warlocks Catarina Loss and Magnus discussed how they had heard rumors in Downworld that the Fair Folk would someday seek revenge on the Nephilim for their sanctions.[1]

Despite the lack of Unseelie involvement and representation during this time, they were treated with the same hostility and the terms applied to them by default without their approval. The King of the Unseelie Court had since silently declared war on them, dedicating his time to developing ways to end their race.[4]

The relative peace went on for at around five years, though faeries remained oppressed where most Shadowhunters were concerned. Resentment between both races continued to grow, though many still hoped for true peace.[5] Unbeknownst to them, the King had opened the world to the blight and, in 2012, was able to begin spreading it to some parts of Idris with the help of the Cohort.

The alliance of Downworlders—including the fey—and several Shadowhunters against the former Unseelie King and the Cohort led to the end of the Cold Peace.

Even with the Cold Peace dissolved, it would have lasting consequences as the relationship between Shadowhunters and faeries was seemingly, irreversibly damaged. As the new Consul, Alec Lightwood began working with the Downworlder-Shadowhunter Alliance—specifically Mark Blackthorn and Cristina Rosales as ambassadors to Faerie—to reconnect and rebuild the Clave-in-Exile's relationship with the fey.[4]