|“||This is the nature of having of a soul, Kieran, and a heart. We all stumble around in the dark and we cause each other pain and we try to make up for it the best we can. We are all confused.||”|
Cristina underwent most of her training at the Mexico City Institute, which was run by her uncle, Tomás. Her father died when she was young, and she had a considerably close, yet sometimes resentful, relationship with her mother who seemed to have her whole life mapped out for her.
Cristina was particularly close with two fellow, but very distantly-related, Rosales: brothers Diego and Jaime. She became romantically involved with Diego—a relationship that her mother approved of because she deemed him "perfect"—and planned to be parabatai with Jaime.
Cristina loved to hang out in the Institute gardens. In her early teens, she would set up targets and practice throwing knives among the plants and shrubs—a habit she stopped after she and Jaime frightened several visiting Shadowhunters.
In December 2007, when the Clave called for the worldwide retreat of all Shadowhunters to Alicante in light of Sebastian Morgenstern's attacks, Cristina and her mother stayed in her mother's home in San Miguel de Allende to hide, as Tomás was convinced that Idris would not be safe. He proved to be right, as Tomás met his end there during the war.
In May of 2012, Cristina was again staying at a Rosales home in San Miguel de Allende, where Diego and Jaime were also staying. She overheard a conversation between the brothers where Jaime heavily implied that they were going to use their influence on Cristina, with Jaime as her future parabatai and Diego as her future husband, to regain the Rosales empire for his branch of the family. He remarked that at least Diego could divorce Cristina sometime in the future while Jaime would be stuck with her; when Diego did not respond, Cristina believed that both brothers were only interested in her for political reasons. She left the city that night without giving a reason to either of them.
Since she had just turned eighteen, Cristina decided to go to the Los Angeles Institute, under the guise of wanting to learn about a different Shadowhunter culture. Another, more private, reason that Cristina chose Los Angeles was because of the likes of Mark Blackthorn; Cristina hoped to broker a fairer truce than the Cold Peace.
It did not take long for things to be set up and, soon, Cristina was at the Institute in Los Angeles. She arrived shortly after the Blackthorn children left for England, and she became fast friends with the only other Shadowhunter in the Institute at that time, the somewhat well-known Emma Carstairs.
In August, Cristina accompanied Emma on a stakeout of the Sepulchre Bar, at the end of which they stumbled upon a body that was left in a similar state as Emma's parents when they died five years prior. Though Diana—their tutor—and the Silent Brothers kept them away from the body, Cristina secretly took photos for Emma. Upon returning to the Institute later that night, Emma showed Cristina her "Wall of Crazy"—everything she'd gathered about her parents' murder. The Blackthorns also returned from England, a day early, and she met them officially the next morning.
During their lesson with Diana, Cristina noticed a delegation of faeries arrive at the Institute and alerted the others. When the faeries left Mark Blackthorn, she saw the conflict arising between the Blackthorns and the confused Mark and took charge, ordering everyone to give Mark some space. She spoke to him herself shortly afterward and got him to calm down and understand his new surroundings—that he was truly back at the Institute with his siblings. Despite being a recent addition to the Institute, Cristina quickly gained the trust of the Blackthorns and was trusted with the knowledge of Mark's return and the details of their illegal investigation into the murders plaguing mundanes, faeries, and Emma's past.
During the course of the investigation, she and Mark bonded further and shared several tender moments. At one point, she unexpectedly received a called from Diego. She wasn't given much time to ponder if she should call him back before they crossed paths while going after a person of interest. She eventually told him the real reason why she left Mexico, after which she learned that Diego did not agree with Jaime's views and was going to tell her. After the group rescued Tavvy from Malcolm Fade, Cristina took care of a gravely injured Diego, after which the pair made up and shared a kiss that was witnessed by Mark, who intended to come to Cristina for advice and instead left, devastated that he had seemingly misinterpreted their connection.
Cristina wanted to feel content with her renewed relationship with Diego but had her doubts, feeling that things were no longer the same between them. This relationship was cut short by the arrival of the Centurions at the Institute, amongst whom was Diego's fiancée Zara Dearborn. Cristina was hurt and shocked and immediately broke up with him. When Mark traveled to Faerie to rescue Kieran, he left Cristina a letter telling her about his trip, trusting her to show it to the right people.
Cristina then journeyed to Faerie with Emma and Julian, picking up Mark along the way, and the four of them made their way through the Faerielands to the Unseelie Court. During this journey, Cristina shared a few tender moments with Mark, with the two of them even attending a faerie revel together. While at the revel, Cristina revealed to Mark the fascination she had had with him since she was thirteen, and how she had cried when her father told her of the decision to let him remain with the Wild Hunt.
After drinking a beverage offered her by a faerie, Cristina then kissed Mark, believing that the drink was enchanted to affect her mind; once revealed it was not, Mark was hurt that Cristina would only kiss him if she thought she was not in control of herself. The pair was then accosted by two faeries who tied a ribbon around their wrists which Mark removed, only to find out later that though the ribbon was removed, a binding spell had been placed upon them.
Later , after Kieran had been rescued and the group had escaped to the Seelie Court, Cristina helped heal Kieran's wounds and acted as Mark's confidante while he struggled to come to terms with the fact that Kieran did not remember betraying him, and that he couldn't stop thinking about her. When the Shadowhunters had an audience with the Seelie Queen and discussed overthrowing the Unseelie King, Cristina was surprised when Kieran—told by Julian to not to do it for Mark—swore an oath of fealty to her as part of the bargain.
Cristina later accompanied Julian and Emma to the London train station, as part of their journey to Cornwall to investigate Malcolm's house, but was forced to return to the Institute owing to her bleeding arm. The bleeding was identified as a result of a faerie binding spell—received during her and Mark's time in the faerie revel—activated by being away from Mark. Shortly after she returned, Magnus Bane had arrived with his family and, over the course of the next few days, helped them break it.
During these few days, Cristina found herself growing closer to and bonding with Kieran. She was surprised by that fact that she enjoyed spending time with him and felt an urge to comfort him when he was upset. Though she tried to dismiss these revelations as side-effects from the bond they shared as result of his oath of fealty, Cristina was concerned enough about his personal safety at the upcoming meeting that she sent a fire-message to Diego to set up a back-up plan.
When they became aware that the Riders of Mannan were after them, Cristina, and the others began rounding up the rest of the family. While Gwyn had been sent after the twins and Kit, and Magnus after Emma and Julian, Mark became concerned that they could not locate Dru in the Institute. As it turned out, Dru was waiting for Cristina because she had Jaime Rosales hiding in her room and he needed to speak with her. During her talk with Jaime, Cristina learned that Diego and Zara's engagement was a farce and that what she had overheard Jaime saying back home had been a misunderstanding. They rekindled their friendship and Cristina went back to join the others.
Not long after, the Riders appeared at the Institute and against better judgement they fought them in the courtyard. Cristina was engaged in a fierce battle with Etarlam till he drove her to her knees. If it were not for the arrival of Annabel Blackthorn, they would have been killed.
Soon they left for the Council meeting in Alicante that Kieran, and now Annabel, were meant to testify at. As the Cohort entered the hall, Cristina noted their hostile and signs and finalized the details of her plan with Diego. Diego honored her wishes and when chaos erupted and Annabel killed the Inquisitor and Livvy Blackthorn, he took Kieran with him back to the Scholomance to hide.
After the death of Livvy, Cristina felt at a loss on what she could do to help the Blackthorns. Realizing cleaning an already clean kitchen wasn't resourceful, she decided to spy on the emergency Council meeting that was being held to elect a new Inquisitor. There she was shocked to see her mom's friends supporting Horace Dearborn—the leader of the Cohort—in his attempt to seize power.
When it was decided that Emma, Julian, and Diana would stay behind in Alicante while the others returned to Los Angeles, Emma passed along a favor to Cristina requested of her by Jem Carstairs. Warlocks all over the world were falling ill and they believed it to be because the ley lines were poisoned when Malcolm preformed his necromancy. So after they arrived in LA, Cristina reached out to Catarina Loss on what to look for at the ley line confluence. There she and Mark were attacked by a horde of Harpyia demons. Thankfully Kieran spotted them on his way to the Institute and was able to scoop them up onto Windspear with him.
Back at the Institute, Kieran informed them that he had overheard the Cohort at the Scholomance talking about Emma and Julian being in Faerie on a suicide mission. After contacting Jaime for the Eternidad, the trio went after them and landed in Prince Oban's revel. There they realized they had missed Queen's procession that Emma and Julian were in and were soon surrounded by Oban and Manuel Villalobos's men. Though they captured Kieran and Mark, Cristina was able to escape by using the Eternidad to take her to Kieran's more friendly brother Adaon for help.
Though Adaon was apprehensive, he eventually agreed to help her. Together they broke into the prison at the Unseelie Tower and discovered Emma and Julian, along with Jace Herondale and Clary Fairchild, but no sign of Mark or Kieran. Once they released them, they headed for the throne room and there they found them: Kieran on his knees, chained to the floor and Mark handcuffed, surrounded by redcaps. There the Unseelie King spoke of the blight and how it was poisonous and Cristina realized that it was the true cause of the warlock illness. Soon battle broke out and Kieran killed the King. Cristina tried to get everyone to her so she could use the eternidad to escape, but Julian and Emma ended up in a Portal to Thule.
They instantly reappeared at the Institute with Julian and Emma appearing moments after them but clearly more time had passed for them as they were wearing strange clothes, injured, and unconscious. When they awoke, they told them of Thule and how there they had learned a cure for the blight. Cristina, having already contacted Catarina to tell her of suspicion that the blight was the cause, was tasked with reaching out to the Spiral Labyrinth again to inform them of the cure.
The following morning, Cristina confessed to Emma that she and Kieran had shared a kiss in Faerie. She continues to say that while she enjoyed it, she still cares for Mark but couldn't say if she would want to be with him alone. That night, Kieran announce to both her and Mark that he loved them both and wished to be with both of them. Caught off guard, Cristina replied saying that they would both leave her to be together in Faerie, to which they promised her they would never leave her. The three of them began embracing and kissing one another.
In this newfound relationship, Mark and Cristina did their best to support Kieran and ensure him that he would make a great King of Unseelie, as Gwyn had suggested. Together they made his challenging Oban for the throne part of Livia's Watch's plan at the Cohort's parley. However, when the time came, Cristina and Mark were horrified to realize that it would mean a duel to the death. They joined him in his battle against the redcaps and Oban. After she slew Oban, Cristina and Mark began calling to the rest of the melee that Kieran was now the King.
Cristina then returned to the larger battle and at one point was seen fighting against Vanessa Ashdown. Cristina tried not to harm her despite Vanessa attacking her with all her strength. She and Mark were the first to notice Julian and Emma surrounded by Heavenly fire and becoming True Nephilim. Though she frozen in place at first, she joined the Blackthorn siblings in confronting them; calling out to Emma as her best friend to talk them down.
A few days after the battle Kieran revealed that he had to return to Faerie for good. That as king he could not be away from the land for long and he could have no mortal consorts. She and Mark were devastated that they would no longer be able to see him but took comfort in at least having one another. Still, Cristina was determined to find a way the could all still be together and her and Mark reached out to Adaon for his cottage—as it existed on land that was neither fey nor mortal, they hoped it existed outside the laws. Adaon did not respond and waited some time to offer it to Kieran. Though once he did, Kieran flew to join them on the beach, where they were celebrating Magnus and Alec Lightwood's wedding.
Personality and traits
Cristina is a generally wise, kind, composed, and gentle person. She is principled and thoughtful, strong and unwavering in her loyalty and morals. She is sensitive and caring, and willing to help others.
Cristina is also somewhat religious, strong in her Shadowhunter faith and strongly believes in angels, which others of her kind do not believe in as there was little concrete evidence of their existence until recently, as well as in the Angel Raziel's presumed guidance over them as humans and Nephilim.
Cristina has brown skin, dark brown eyes, and long, black hair, which she frequently wears in a braid or a bun. Cristina is also described to be curvy.
- Balisong: Cristina favors throwing knives, such as the balisong.
- Medallion: A religious Shadowhunter medallion Cristina always wears. The words on it read: "Blessed be the Angel my strength, who teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight." The medallion is an heirloom, charmed by faeries their Rosales ancestors were close to.
- Family ring: Her family ring has the pattern of roses, the symbol of the Rosales family, her apellido materno on the outside, and a pattern of mountains on the inside, for Mendoza, her apellido paterno.
- Earrings: Cristina received a pair of earrings that look like chandeliers from Diego.
|“||Kieran called you a princess of the Nephilim, and rightly. You are one of the best examples of our people I have ever known—shining, righteous, and virtuous. You are all the good things I can think of, and all of the things I would like to be and know I never can. I do not want you to do anything that later you would regret. I do not want you to later realize how far down from your standards you reached, when you reached for me.||”|
–Mark to Cristina, Queen of Air and Darkness
When Mark came back from the Wild Hunt, Cristina was the only one he felt comfortable enough—for not having expectations of him—to talk to. They quickly became friends and began to develop strong feelings for one another, furthered by their constant deep conversations and Cristina's constant understanding of Mark's situation.When he and Kieran split, and she and Diego, they began a relationship. Things began to get more complicated when Kieran came back into their lives and Mark had to pretend they were still together. However, soon it was all out in the open and the trio realized they all had feelings of love for one another, none more than the other, and began a polyamorous relationship.
Kieran was at first threatened by Cristina and Mark's budding relationship. When Kieran needed to swear fealty to a Shadowhunter—that wasn't Mark, as insisted by Julian—for a mission from the Seelie Queen, he swore his fealty to Cristina instead. He did this spitefully at first, but he soon found himself respecting and admiring Cristina, seeing her as kind and trustworthy. Kieran calls Cristina "Princess" and "Lady of Roses", first because of how she was introduced to him by Mark and later as a sign of his respect and admiration for her. After spending some more time with him, Cristina found herself falling in love with Kieran, and Mark as well. The mutual love she shared with Mark and Kieran made the potentially complicated situation. Though eventually, Mark and Kieran both expressed they felt the same way as she did and they began a polyamorous relationship.
Cristina and Diego Rosales are childhood friends and dated for a while before Cristina, fearing betrayal, left. They briefly got back together after running into one another in Los Angeles. The pair permanently separated after learning of his engagement—however false—to Zara Dearborn. However, they remain close friends.
Cristina and Jaime are friends from childhood. They were close enough that they had discussed and made plans to become parabatai. However, Jaime, in a drunken state, suggested that he was only after the connection to Cristina's family and power. Jaime never tried to reach out to Cristina after she fled Mexico. Some time later, Jaime snuck into the London Institute after hearing Cristina was taking refuge there. When he finally spoke with Cristina, he tried to explain why he'd said what he had and make amends. He also requested she send him a fire-message if a fight against the Cohort came because he wanted to participate. He left right after they spoke, refusing to tell her where he was heading next as he had to stay secretly on the move to protect the Eternidad. Cristina reached out for his help not long after, asking for use of the Eternidad in order to rescue Julian Blackthorn and Emma Carstairs. He trusted her enough to allow her to take it. He later joined her in Livia's Watch to battle against the Cohort.
|“||Cristina, of all the people I know, you're the most generous, and you spend the most time thinking about what makes other people happy. I think you should do whatever makes you happy. You deserve it.||”|
Cristina formed a bond with the Blackthorns during the few weeks they've spent together.
- Lady Midnight (first appearance)
- Lord of Shadows
- Queen of Air and Darkness
- The Lost World (mentioned only)
- See more here
Her maternal surname Rosales was derived from the Latin word "rosa" and is the plural form of the Spanish word "rosal", both of which mean "rosebush". Her paternal surname Mendoza is of Basque and Spanish origin and was derived from a place in the province of Álava, the translation being the "cold mountain" from "mendi", which means mountain, and "hotz", meaning "cold".
According to Cassandra Clare, her name was taken from the first and last names of two different girls who attended a signing she did in Mexico City.
- Cristina is addicted to coffee.
- Cristina's mother taught her how to cut a person's hair when she was young, and she used to cut Diego's, Jaime's, and her little cousins'.
- She speaks seven languages on top of her native Spanish, including English, Greek, and Latin; she can also read three demon languages.
- Her favorite weapon is the balisong.
- Cristina was originally named Carmen. While her father's surname was being finalized, the names Velez and Garcia were also considered and shared. The name Velez would go on to be used for Beatriz Velez Mendoza, who also shares a surname with her.
- As of 2016, Cassandra Clare has stated that Cristina is distantly related to Beatriz, specifically through Cristina's father side ("Mendoza").
- Lady Midnight
- An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of Downworld
- Lord of Shadows
- Queen of Air and Darkness
- Rosales on Familycrestdb
- Surname Database: Mendoza
- Mendoza (name) on Wikipedia
- Archive of surname explanation — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- Mention of Carmen; other posts have been removed
- Velez tag — Cassandra Clare Tumblr
- "Cristina Garcia Rosales?" Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- "They are distantly related!" Cassandra Clare on Tumblr