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CJ 09 September Tessa
“It felt so real, so utterly real—”

This article depicts a subject within the The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones film universe, and as such, it either does not play a role within or differs largely from the established continuity and canon of the books of The Shadowhunter Chronicles.

Let's see what the cards have to say.

–Madame Dorothea, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Madame Dorothea was a witch and the neighbor of Jocelyn and Clary Fray.


Dorothea ran a psychic's shop in her apartment. At one point, Dorothea became neighbors with the Frays, though she was mostly distant and avoided contact with them. Jocelyn was a painter, and she made a set of tarot cards for Dorothea as a gift, secretly hiding the actual Mortal Cup within the Ace of Cups card.

When Valentine's men came to the brownstone to get Jocelyn and the Cup, Dorothea remained in her apartment, minding her own business as usual. When Clary later came to her asking about her mother, along with the Shadowhunter Jace who immediately recognized her as a witch, Dorothea feigned ignorance, but when Clary continued to pester her for information, Dorothea let her in for a "reading". Clary picked out the Cup tarot card from her deck, which Jace was appalled about. Dorothea then told Clary that Jocelyn had been a Shadowhunter, and tried to "read" Clary. She was unable to do it fully because the latter had a block on her mind, put their by someone powerful, whom she guessed Jocelyn hired to protect Clary's memories. She let them leave after, and she hurriedly shut her door in fear of what was lurking above them.

Dorothea was later possessed by a demon who also wanted the Mortal Cup. When Clary and the other Shadowhunters came for the card with the Cup, "she" let Jace and Clary in once again but let Jace surrender his weapons outside, not knowing that they had backup upstairs. Jace was immediately suspicious and soon began playing a Bach tune on the piano, and his suspicions were further confirmed when she reacted erratically to the music. Just when the demon couldn't take anymore of the music, Clary pulled the Cup out of the card, and the demon revealed itself. She tried to take the Cup and was fought by the Shadowhunters and she severely injured Alec Lightwood. She got ahold of the Cup and tried to escape with it, but Clary's mundane friend Simon Lewis arrived and held her down, giving Jace the opportunity to kill her.[1]


Found below are some of the tarot cards that Jocelyn painted for her:[2]

Trump cards (Major Arcana):

Suit cards (Minor Arcana):

Behind the scenes

  • Madame Dorothea was portrayed by CCH Pounder in the film adaptation, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Cassandra Clare announced her casting via Tumblr.[3]
  • Dorothea's character was minimally changed, but was also not fully explored within and beyond the film. Differences from the novel include:
    • Dorothea in the film was made out to be an actual witch—something that Jace immediately realized.
    • Much like other scenes in the film, her scenes with Clary and Jace were also compressed.
    • Dorothea's possession by a demon was revealed after Clary pulled the Cup out of the tarot card and because Jace played a Bach tune that bothered demons.
    • In the book, the demon Abbadon actually introduced itself and took its own, true form after possessing Dorothea, while in the film, her possession was only stated later on by Clary and was not as evident as in the book, and her appearance was mostly maintained, with only some monstrous prosthetic additions.
    • In the book, Simon indirectly killed her in the possessed demon form by exposing it to the sun with a bow and arrow to her skylight; in the film, Simon encountered her in her human form and only hit her with a shovel, it was Jace who ultimately killed her with a seraph blade.


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