The Shadowhunters' Wiki
The Shadowhunters' Wiki
SPOILER WARNING: Plot details for Chain of Iron follow. Caution is advised!

Elias Carstairs was the younger brother of Jonah Carstairs and the uncle of Jem Carstairs. He's also the father of Alastair and Cordelia Carstairs.


After the death of Jem's parents by the demon Yanluo, he invited Jem to live with him in Idris, an offer Jem refused as he had found his parabatai in the London Institute.[1] He then proceeded to track down Yanluo with Ke Yiwen and slayed him with Cortana.[2]

Years later, Elias dropped by the Christmas Ball held at the London Institute with the intention of giving Will the Carstairs family sword, Cortana. Will refused the gift, thinking of Jem. Tessa then told him to consider passing it on to his future children, should he have them someday.[1]

He eventually married a woman named Sona and had two children with her: Alastair and Cordelia. The family made their home in Cirenworth though they traveled constantly.

At some point Elias turned to drinking. When Sona realized the extent of his problem, she distanced them from her own family.[3] His constant hangovers were explained to his daughter and others as him being ill. In reality he was simply always drunk. This led to his son constantly being relied upon to fetch him when he was passed out in a gutter and to take care of him.

In 1903, Elias was requested by the Consul to be a part of a mission in Idris. Due to his expertise in rare demons, they had hoped he could help them deal with a nest of Kravyād demons. However because of his drunkenness, he led the expedition into vampire territory, a battle broke out that caused many to be hurt. The vampires believed the Shadowhunters had allied with werewolves to attack them leading to a possible falling out of the Accords. Elias was arrested and put under house arrest until a trial could be held.

He was eventually released some time later following Cordelia taking down a Mandikhor demon and being hailed a hero; as well as the news of his wife being pregnant. After the announcement of his scheduled release, he seemingly received a letter from Cordelia, imploring him to go for treatment at the Basilias to cure his alcoholism before returning home.[2]

Elias stayed in the Basilias for four months. After being released, rather than go straight home to his family, he apparently went to France. He supposedly spent the next week picking out the perfect wedding present for his daughter—a special scabbard for Cortana.

He arrived back home the morning of Cordelia's wedding. Elias seemingly wasted no time in relapsing as his daughter had thought she smelled liquor on him when he returned home. However, she was not positive till he had an episode at the reception; raving about how he was spited in not being chosen to be Cordelia's suggenes. Luckily, Alastair and James snuck him out and into the games room before too many people noticed.

Over the next few weeks, Elias did not attend any social gatherings or visit his daughter's new home, claiming he did not want to leave Sona while she was on bedrest. He eventually did pay a call to them, while drunk, in order to ask James for money. He spun a tale about how his investments in Cirenworth had made him fall into debt and he needed five thousand pounds to get him on his feet again. James refused him, saying it was far too much money, but Elias was insistent that his parents could afford it and threatened to tell the Inquisitor that he did not approve of Lucie Herondale being his daughter's parabatai, given her lineage, stopping their upcoming ceremony, if he did not. James became enraged at the thought of him hurting Cordelia in such a way and Elias became just as angry saying that he had "let him" marry Cordelia and he should be generous and repay him for that. James told him to get out of his house, and he left, not without telling Cordelia that her husband was selfish.

Elias went to a pub nearby and got even furtherly intoxicated. He left the bar close to dawn and was stumbling down the street when he was grabbed by the serial killer that had been murdering Shadowhunters in the last week. Elias briefly thought he recognized his attacker as Rupert Blackthorn—though he was long dead—before he was stabbed in the chest. After he died, his Voyance rune was stolen from him. The sight of it missing being pointed out by Cordelia is what prompted the Silent Brothers to notice that the others whom had been killed were also missing runes.[3]

Physical description

Elias had a stocky build and a scar that ran along his jaw. He had blue eyes, slightly fair hair, and tanned skin.



  • Elias was an expert in rare demons.[2]
  • The amount of money Elias asked James for, £5,000, is the equivalent of over £600,000—or roughly $850,000—in modern currency.[4]
    • Luckily, his debt will die with him and not be passed on to his next of kin.[5]
  • He apparently has a distaste for the Herondale family[3] and Silent Brothers—even his own nephew, Brother Zachariah.[2]
  • He is a direct ancestor of Emma Carstairs.[6]
  • An error in a found family tree claims he died in 1894 at the age of 53 or 54.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Clockwork Princess
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Chain of Gold
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Chain of Iron
  4. "Notes on the Text" — Chain of Iron afterword
  5. "His debts will die with him." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Found" family tree, a Clockwork Princess extra