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“How like Downworlders... expecting the Clave to clean your mess up for you.”

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SPOILER WARNING: Plot details for Chain of Iron follow. Caution is advised!

You cannot make all choices for me, Gideon. Sometimes I have to make my own. As Shadowhunters we are meant to be selfless. To die for mundanes, for the Angel, and most of all for each other. Those are our principles. Charlotte lives by them; Father never did. I realized that I had been mistaken before in putting my loyalty to my bloodline above principle, above everything.

–Gabriel, Clockwork Princess

Gabriel Lightwood is a Shadowhunter currently working with the London Enclave. He is the second child of Benedict and Barbara Lightwood, the brother of Gideon and Tatiana, and the husband of Cecily Herondale.


Early life

Gabriel Lightwood was born to Barbara and Benedict Lightwood in 1860, after Gideon and before Tatiana. Gabriel was around three years old when their mother died. Raised by their father, he and Gideon grew up believing all Shadowhunters were like Benedict, who flouted convention and the Law, and they both acted like it. The siblings were spoiled and sheltered from the reality by their father. Gabriel, unlike Gideon, had full faith in their father and took after him, growing prideful and selfish and displaying the typical Lightwood attitude of snobbishness, raised to believe that all Shadowhunters were stuck up and pompous.

When Gabriel was fourteen, during a Christmas party held at the London Institute, Will Herondale, a mundane-raised Shadowhunter Gabriel made fun of and considered weak and with whom his sister Tatiana was hopelessly infatuated, embarrassed Tatiana by reading her diary in front of the entire Enclave. Furious, Gabriel charged at Will, who ended up breaking Gabriel's arm. The two boys have strongly disliked each other ever since.

Enclave member

When Gabriel came of age, he began attending Enclave meetings with his father, the first of which was a meeting at the Institute. In the middle of the meeting, he was instructed to escort Will Herondale, Jem Carstairs and Tessa Gray out, none of whom were of age or allowed to attend, when they were found listening in on the meeting. Still obviously bitter and hurting about their past grievances, he insulted Will and the two argued, only to be stopped by Will's parabatai, Jem.

Gabriel was one of the Shadowhunters that helped defeat de Quincey and his clan of vampires at his party.[2]

Institute training

As part of his father's gambit to gain control of the London Institute, Gabriel and his brother Gideon were sent to train Tessa, Sophie, and Jessamine in the arts of self-defense, something about which Gabriel was less than pleased. Since Jessamine feigned sickness to get out of training often, Gideon assigned himself to Sophie, and Gabriel was left to train Tessa. As Tessa noted, he touched her quite freely, partly to annoy Will.

Some of the lessons Gabriel gave Tessa actually did help her in combat, as seen during the battle against Nate Gray and the automatons.

Later, it was revealed that Benedict Lightwood fabricated a story about Barbara Lightwood's death to his sons, and made them believe that dallying with demons and bending the rules at night, while hunting and killing demons at day, was the normal way of Shadowhunter life. After Benedict was exposed as Mortmain's spy, Gideon deserted him for the Institute and Sophie. Gabriel, however, chooses to stay with his father.[3]

Battle against Mortmain

Two months later, he ran to the London Institue with news that his father, due to demon pox, had turned into a giant demonic worm. Will, Jem, Gideon, Henry, Tessa, and Cecily accompanied him back to the Lightwoods' mansion in Chiswick where they ultimately slayed the demon worm, with Gabriel making the killing strike. The Lightwood home was subsequently taken away during the Clave's investigation into Benedict's involvement with Axel Mortmain, and Gabriel chose to live in the London Institute to stay with his brother after speaking with Charlotte.

Because of the murder of his 'father', Consul Wayland approached both Gabriel and Gideon and blackmailed them into spying on Charlotte. They agreed, but once they had returned to the Institute, Gideon decided that they will spy, but instead send incorrect information to the Consul because they were here guests and Charlotte did not deserve the treatment she was receiving from him. After some time, the Consul approached both boys again and claimed he did not need their help any longer, only to later approach Gabriel when he was alone to order him once again to continue to spy on Charlotte, with additional instructions to make up a negative story in the case that he didn't find the evidence they needed. He almost betrayed Charlotte, but decided not to at the last moment, due to how much he had grown to respect Charlotte and enjoy his life at the Institute's residents. When the Shadowhunters went to Wales to find Tessa, he joined them in battle, because he had slowly begun to fall in love with Cecily, whom he later married.[4]

Later life

Eventually, Gabriel and Cecily had three children, namely: Anna, Christopher, and Alexander. Gabriel also came to get along with Will and worked with him efficiently.[5] While the Lightwoods became a laughing stock after the actions of their father became known to the public, Gideon and Gabriel worked hard to regain their family's honor, which they accomplished in time.[6]

Gabriel became particularly fond of Will and Tessa's son, James.[7] In 1901, Gabriel and Cecily both embraced their eldest child Anna's desire to dress in what was typically men's clothing at the time, and that Anna was interested in dating women; the couple showed their support by gifting Anna with a new tailored suit.[8]

In 1903, Gabriel's niece Barbara had been gravely wounded by Khora demons in broad daylight. He and Cecily rushed to the Institute to be there for her and the family and help with the other wounded there. Over the following days, Gabriel was there for his brother every day, supporting him and sharing in his pain until Barbara died from the poison. After her death, his brother went to Idris to be with his other daughter and Gabriel and Cecily took in Thomas till their return.

After his son was attacked and poisoned, Cecily was distraught at the thought of Anna going out on her own but relented so that she may get stronger wards put up. Later that day, Gabriel went with the others to Highgate Cemetery upon word from Thomas and Alastair Carstairs. He rushed over to his nephew James who appeared quite injured and asked after Thomas who was in the Silent City, distributing the antidote Christopher had made—who was later thankfully cured and able to return home.

At the meeting to discuss the Mandikhor's defeat, Tatiana got up and began accusing James of working to orchestrate the attacks and of burning down Blackthorn Manor. Gabriel got up to defend his nephew saying the allegations made no sense to which she claimed he never believed in her. She was subsequently arrested for the dark magic items found in the rubble of her home and, following her sentencing to the Adamant Citadel, Gabriel was among those who escorted her back to her home to gather her things.[9] After this, he and his wife offered her daughter Grace to stay with them; however, she declined.

In December, he attended James and Cordelia's wedding along with Cecily and his children. They gifted them patterned china as a wedding present. He also introduced Filomena di Angelo to the newly wedded couple. During the reception party, he and Will distracted the guests after Elias's outburst. Two few weeks later, he went to Rosamund Wentworth and Thoby Baybrook's engagement party with Cecily.

The next day, they took temporary charge of the London Institute while Will and Tessa went to Paris to resolve a Clave issue. After Filomena's death, he set up a group—including himself and Christopher—who scoured the neighborhood for evidence. A few days later, when Thomas was accused of being a serial killer, Gabriel and Cecily locked the Institute's doors to prevent a mob from entering and harming him. When James, Cordelia and their friends reached the Institute, Gabriel ushered them inside and filled them in on what had happened to Thomas.

Moments after Thomas's innocence had been proven, Leviathan attacked the Institute, trying to enter the world. Gabriel actively fought Leviathan until one of the demon's tentacles wrapped around him and he lost his sword. Christopher tried to save him and it took a group's effort to free him. Still, Gabriel was greatly injured from the incident. After the battle, he was taken to the infirmary, accompanied by Cecily and Alexander, and remained for the night.[10]

In 1937, Gabriel, Cecily, and their sons visited Will on his deathbed.[4]

Personality and traits

Gabriel is confident, arrogant, and short-tempered. He has also proven himself a loyal ally: he stood by his father steadfastly until he himself was able to prove his misdeeds—a mistake he eventually tried to make up for—and, despite their history, chose not to betray Charlotte Branwell in exchange for his future when given the option.

Physical description

Gabriel, at eighteen, is a handsome boy with sharp and angular features, a watchful expression with large, bright green eyes and brown hair that is usually tousled. He is also tall and slender, emphasizing his height even more.


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It appeared that Gabriel had feelings for Cecily at first sight. He was surprised when he first noticed her at the London Institute, and seemed taken aback by her beauty. Although he did seem to find her pretty, his crush on her seemed to affect in earnest when Cecily jumped onto the demon worm and distracted it so that Gabriel could launch the arrow into the demon's eye and kill it. He knew Cecily hadn't had much training, and he described it as one of the bravest things he had ever seen.

After watching her fight the demon, he seemed to want to get to know her, and was the first to help her when she jumped off the giant worm and injured her wrist. He continued to try to talk to her by paying her visits while she trained by herself, and offered to teach her twice. The second time he went to see her in the training room, Will came in and warned Gabriel to stay away from his sister, believing that Gabriel just wanted revenge after Will had embarrassed his sister, Tatiana, many years before.

Gabriel and Cecily shared their first bonding moment when Charlotte sent them to get ingredients for Magnus in their efforts to help Jem's illness, which is when Cecily began to think of Gabriel as less of a pest, and began to enjoy his presence more. She realized that they were very similar, as both of them had done things they were not proud of, had allowed their parents' actions speak for them instead of their own, and relied on their older brothers for support. Near the end of Clockwork Princess, Gabriel and Cecily shared their first kiss after the battle against Mortmain and officially became a couple. Gabriel later accompanied Will, Cecily, and Tessa to travel through the Portal and visit Cecily and Will's parents, even though it was against the Law. Cecily and Gabriel married after the events of The Infernal Devices and had three children together.

Gabriel was a fierce enemy of Will Herondale. Gabriel also had a sister, whose virtue was apparently "compromised" by Will, which caused the animosity between them.

What Gabriel never admitted was that the real reason that he hated Will was because when Will embarrassed his sister, Tatiana, Gabriel had tried to punish him afterwards and ended up with a broken arm out of it. This humiliated him completely, especially because he had been calling Will "nearly a mundane" behind his back, due to his lack of training.

In Clockwork Princess, their relationship continued to be one full of hate for many reasons. Gabriel began to irritate Will after he moved into the London Institute after the death of his father, and started to try and help Cecily with her training. Will, believing that Gabriel was only spending time with his sister because of the Tatiana incident, warns Gabriel to stay away from Cecily, and annoyed Gabriel by calling him "Gabriel Lightworm." As the book continued, Gabriel and Will started to see things from each other's point of view and became allies instead of adversaries.

By the end of the book they even considered each other friends of a sort, although they still made snide comments to each other on occasion. As Gabriel and Cecily start to become more romantically involved, Will and Gabriel become more civilized toward each other and Will agrees to let Gabriel come and meet the Herondale parents so that they will have met Gabriel already if Cecily chooses to marry him later on in life. Although Will accepts Cecily and Gabriel as a couple, he still makes a joke at their wedding after praising the groom and then saying that he thought his sister was marrying Gideon and that he takes all that he said back.

According to Jem, Gabriel's older brother, Gideon Lightwood, makes Gabriel look sweeter than gingerbread and hates Will even more than Gabriel. Although Gabriel and Gideon's relationship became strained after Gideon abandoned their father and moved to the London Institute it is shown that the brothers do still care about each other and they begin to bond more in Clockwork Princess.

Gabriel looks up to Gideon and is always hoping for Gideon to know what to do in tough situations and make them better, even when they are out of his control. They respect each others opinions and Gideon does admit to loving Gabriel and wanting to protect him from all of the bad things their father has done, even though he left his family and showed loyalty to Charlotte instead.



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  • According to a found family tree:[11]
    • Gabriel is the ancestor of Robert Lightwood and his children;
    • Gabriel died some time in 1940 at the age of 79 or 80.
  • Gabriel was around three years old when his mother died,[1][11] inconsistent with a statement in Clockwork Prince where Gideon said Gabriel had been five years old at the time.