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SPOILER WARNING: Plot details follow. Caution is advised!
Everyone, this is Cristina. She's saved my life about sixteen times this summer, so be nice to her.

Emma introducing Cristina, Lady Midnight

Cristina Mendoza Rosales is a Shadowhunter from Mexico who came to the Los Angeles Institute and became fast friends with the Institute ward Emma Carstairs.

History

Early life

Cristina underwent most of her training at the Mexico City Institute, which was run by her uncle, Tomas. 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 became 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.[1]

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.[2]

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 Tomas was convinced that Idris would not be safe. He proved to be right, as Tomas met his end 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 for the city that night.

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.[1]

LA Institute

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.[1]

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.[1]

Malcolm's return

Cristina wanted to feel content with her renewed relationship with Diego but in fact 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, among them 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 between them.

Later on, 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.

When Gwyn later arrived to escort the Shadowhunters to London with the Hunt, Cristina was overjoyed to have the opportunity to fly a faerie steed.

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 when her arm began to bleed. 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.[3]


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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.

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.

Physical description

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.

Possessions

  • Balisong: Cristina favors throwing knives, such as the balisong.[2]
  • 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.[1]

Relationships

Romance

Cristina and Diego Rosales are childhood friends and were together briefly before Cristina, fearing betrayal, left.

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.

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.

Cristina quickly got along with Emma Carstairs. They gradually grew close and formed a very close, sibling-like relationship, supporting each other and having each other's backs. They confided in each other, though they were not without their respective secrets.

Cristina formed a bond with the Blackthorns during the few weeks they've spent together.

Appearances

Gallery

Etymology

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".[4] 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".[5][6][7]

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.

Trivia

  • Cristina is addicted to coffee.[1]
  • 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'.[1]
  • She speaks seven languages on top of her native Spanish, including English, Greek, and Latin; she can also read three demon languages.[1]
  • Her favorite weapon is the balisong.[2]

  • Cristina was originally named Carmen.[8] While her father's surname was being finalized, the names Velez and Garcia were also considered and shared.[9][10] 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,[11] specifically through Cristina's father side ("Mendoza").

References