|“||I don't know who I am. I look at myself in the mirror and I see Stephen Herondale, but I act like a Lightwood and talk like my father—like Valentine. So I see who I am in your eyes, and I try to be that person, because you have faith in that person and I think faith might be enough to make me what you want.||”|
Jonathan Christopher "Jace" Herondale is considered the best Shadowhunter of his generation and a hero of the Mortal and Dark wars. He is currently the co-head of the New York Institute, alongside his fiancée, Clary Fairchild.
Jace was born to Stephen and Céline Herondale. While he was still in Céline's womb, Valentine Morgenstern constantly gave Céline doses of Ithuriel's blood to mix with her food, and she took it, not knowing what it really was. Ithuriel's blood made its way into unborn baby Jace's system, thus he was born differently from other Shadowhunters.
Eventually, Valentine had his parents killed. Desperate for the baby he had been giving angel blood to, Valentine had Hodge Starkweather help him take the child from Céline's dead body shortly after—it is said that the only reason that Jace survived was because of the increased amount of angel blood in his body. After faking his and his real son's death, Valentine took off with both Jonathan and Jace and raised them separately, hoping that one or both of them would grow to become very powerful warriors—one with angel blood and the other with demon. While Valentine took the identity of Michael Wayland, Jace was raised as Jonathan Wayland, both of whom were, in fact, the father-and-son Valentine killed to fake their deaths.
Jace was raised by Valentine believing that they were the Waylands, and they lived in the Waylands' estate. Jace's upbringing was both loving and harsh; Valentine trained him as a warrior, strictly and with the occasional beating, but also treated him with some level of kindness. Valentine also insisted that Jace learn to play an instrument, and he taught him the piano. Jace was also taught other languages by Valentine. Despite the extremely disciplined upbringing, they shared some father-son moments and lessons that Jace cherished. Growing up, Jace always looked forward to his birthday because it was when Valentine always let Jace do or have what he wanted: horses, weapons, books, and even a bath in spaghetti on his fifth birthday.
Valentine instilled thoughts such as "to love is to destroy and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed" into his mind. In an attempt to teach him this, Valentine gave him a wild falcon to train when he was six, intending it to be a killing companion. After some struggle and a long time, Jace tamed the bird that had initially seemed impossible to train and loved it. Jace excitedly showed it to his father, but Valentine broke its neck, saying that he was supposed to train it to become obedient, not to love it.
When he was ten, Valentine realized that Jace was too soft for his plans but needed to move forward with his plans. For this, Valentine yet again staged his death as Michael Wayland, with a hiding Jace there to witness his father "killed" right in front of him, convincing Jace and everyone else of "Michael's" death. As he had anticipated when he took Michael's identity, Jace was adopted by the Lightwoods, where Valentine knew Jace would be well cared for, as well as in a good position for possible reconnaissance at a later time.
Jace was brought to New York City on a passenger ship full of werewolves smuggling Yin fen into the city. Robert Lightwood had snuck aboard along with Brother Zachariah and a couple vampires to stop them. When battle broke out, Jace came out and joined in the fight, using the Silent Brother's staff. Afterwards, Jace and Brother Zachariah discussed parabatai and how they make you better. Jace had initially thought they were a weakness because of his father, but having heard they could make you a better warrior, Jace began to hope he would find one in New York.
Jace became good friends with the Lightwood children, Alec and Isabelle Lightwood. The eldest, Alec, eventually became his parabatai. The youngest, Max, grew to look up to Jace. The family matriarch Maryse also gave him his nickname Jace, after he told them that his full name was Jonathan Christopher, which he had seen in Valentine's journal, not knowing that it wasn't referring to him.
Jace would spend the next seven years forming a solid bond with the Lightwoods and was treated much like a true son by Maryse and Robert. In particular, he, Alec, and Isabelle made a formidable Shadowhunting team. One fateful night in August 2007, the trio went scouting at the Pandemonium Club. They had lured a demon into a closet and were about to kill it when they were interrupted by a girl, Clary Fray, that Alec had assumed was a mundane girl. They slipped away shortly after, but Jace remained intrigued and told Hodge about her. When Hodge asked to see the girl, Jace volunteered to go.
Jace followed her to Java Jones the next evening, and when she confronted him, he told her about Shadowhunters and told her that he doubted that she was ordinary. Clary then received a call from her mother, and when Clary returned home that night, her mother had already been taken. Clary was then poisoned by a Ravener demon, forcing Jace to test his theory by giving her a rune—an iratze.
Coinciding with the disappearance of Clary's mother, Jocelyn, were the rumors that Valentine Morgenstern, whom Jace was unaware was also Clary's father, had returned from the dead. The Conclave then decided to take Clary in and help her look for her mother, hoping it would lead them to the truth about Valentine. While Izzy and Alec were both skeptical about helping the stranger, Hodge was insistent about helping an old friend, and Jace found himself strangely compelled to help their guest, though he denied this.
During their adventures, Jace met Madame Dorothea, who they later killed while possessed by the Greater Demon Abbadon, werewolf and former Shadowhunter Luke Garroway, High Warlock of Brooklyn, Magnus Bane, the New York vampire clan and its acting head Raphael Santiago, and, to Jace's dismay, Clary's mundane best friend Simon Lewis.
Jace had been interested in Clary since the moment they met, though he acted as though he was annoyed by her thus causing her to find him arrogant. However, one evening, when he found out that Clary's birthday was upon them, Jace invited Clary to join him in the Institute's greenhouse. They bonded over stories that Jace told about his childhood and soon shared a passionate kiss. They left and Jace walked Clary to her room, only to find Simon waiting inside. When Simon assumed that they were there for another reason, Clary tried to explain herself. Jace was offended, as he saw it as Clary dismissing their feelings and shrugged her off when she tried to apologize.
Despite this, Jace still continued to help Clary. At one point, when Alec was gravely injured during their encounter with the demon Abbadon, Jace went to a dark place and began to blame himself.
Eventually, when Clary was finally able to retrieve the Mortal Cup, Hodge's betrayed them. Knocking Jace out and leaving a helpless Clary to watch, trapped in an invisible casing, Hodge contacted Valentine Morgenstern with Jace's ring. In exchange for his release from his curse, Hodge gave Valentine the Cup and Jace.
During their time together at Renwick's, Jace realized that Valentine was the man who had raised him, pretending to be Michael Wayland. Suddenly keen on reuniting with his father, Jace momentarily decided to side with Valentine. Upon Clary's arrival, Valentine revealed to Jace that they were siblings, which he refused to believe. Luke soon followed after Clary and began to tell Jace about Valentine and Jocelyn's past, facts which Clary later reinforced. During the confrontation, Jace began to doubt his decision as he learned more about his "father". While Valentine fought Luke, he saw the kind of man he was. With Clary's urging, Jace finally turned against him.
Truly believing Valentine's lies, Jace was led to believe that he was the brother of the girl he had fallen in love with. Heartbroken, Jace reverted to his old ways of keeping his distance from those he cared about.
Jace was thrown out from the Institute after Maryse found out the truth about Valentine being his father. Jace then went to the Hunter's Moon bar where Luke's werewolf pack were and started a fight with them by intentionally aggravating them with his indifference to the curious death of one the pack's younger members. Luke managed to stop the fight and called Clary to come help calm him down. Jace told them that he had been thrown out of the Institute and didn't know why.
Luke, Clary, and Jace decided to go to the Institute to question Maryse Lightwood. She told them that the Inquisitor was coming to talk to him about him being Valentine's son and that she was trying to protect Jace. Nonetheless, Jace decided to stay and face the Inquisitor, believing that by avoiding her things would become worse.
Later on, due to his disrespectful behavior towards the Inquisitor, Imogen Herondale, he was forced to spend a night in jail in the Silent City. While in the cell, Jace suddenly heard the screams of the Silent Brothers which were caused by Agramon—the Greater Demon of Fear who was now under Valentine's command. After the slaughter of the Silent Brothers, Valentine visited Jace and told him that he had killed them to get the Mortal Sword.
Meanwhile, Clary, Isabelle, and Alec decided to go and rescue Jace after receiving a distress call from the Silent City. The Inquisitor believed that Jace helped Valentine kill the Silent Brothers in order to get the Mortal Sword and that it was only taken to prevent his testimony. After a lot of debate, they finally agreed to let Jace stay in Magnus Bane's apartment, under the condition that a magical restraint was placed on him.
Later on, due to the unexplained and mysterious deaths of different Downworlders, Jace and the others visited the Faerie Realm. While there, Clary was tricked into eating faerie food, meaning that she wouldn't be able to leave along with the others. However, the Seelie Queen told her that if she got the kiss that she most desired, she would be able to leave. When Simon's kiss failed to free Clary, Jace kissed her and successfully broke the spell, which angered Simon, thus making him leave the group at Central Park.
After their return to the Institute, Clary and Jace fought about their feelings for each other. Jace said he didn't see why they couldn't still be together and wanted to keep the relationship a secret, while Clary said that the idea repulsed her and that their feelings for each other were wrong.
They were soon interrupted by Raphael Santiago's appearance at the Institute with Simon's corpse in his hands. He informed them about Simon having shown up at the Hotel Dumort and being subsequently drained of blood, and that he would either be Turned into a vampire or have to be fully killed. Clary decided to bury Simon in a Jewish cemetery for his resurrection as a vampire.
Upon learning about Valentine's plan to turn the Mortal Sword into a demon instrument, Jace visited his father, who was currently hiding on a boat. When he returned from his visit, the Inquisitor, having used a tracker on him, kept him prisoner in a Malachi Configuration. She then proceeded to tell him about her plan to threaten Valentine in order to get the Mortal Instruments by using Jace's life. Jace tried to tell her that it would not work but she didn't believe him. Later with some help from Alec, he managed to escape.
Before facing off Valentine and trying to save both Maia Roberts and Simon, who were both captured for the ritual on his boat, Jace asked Clary to draw the Fearless rune on him. While on-board the ship, Jace found Simon dead and fed him his blood in order to save him. The rest of the Shadowhunters soon arrived and a chaotic battle began on the boat. During the battle, Jace was confronted by Imogen, who apologized and looked really astonished when Jace told her once more that he did not know Valentine was his father. Imogen then noticed his star-shaped scar and tried to tell him something but Jace, angered by the Inquisitor's behavior, left to join the battle. He was then attacked by a demon that could have killed him had the Inquisitor not interfered, saving him. Having realized that he was her grandson, Imogen told Jace his father would be proud, leaving Jace more confused than before—thinking that Imogen was insulting him and referring to Valentine—before dying in his arms.
Soon afterward the battle ended with the ship being completely destroyed by Clary's Opening rune. Later, Jace told Clary that he would, from now on, act like her brother and nothing more.
The Mortal War
After being called to Alicante, Jace was making preparations in order to leave with the rest of his family to Idris, alongside Clary. However, Jace, believing that Idris was too dangerous for Clary and at the same time wanting to stop thinking about her, decided to trick Clary with the help of Simon. Simon reluctantly agreed but when the Lightwoods were ready to leave through a Portal, they were attacked by a group of Forsaken. And amidst the chaos created, Jace was forced to take Simon with him, something which was illegal since permission was required for Downworlders to enter Idris.
While in Idris, Jace spent a lot of time with Aline Penhallow and her cousin Sebastian Verlac. But his peace was soon interrupted when Clary appeared. Jace, afraid of his feelings for her, distanced himself and even yelled at her. Thus, allowing Sebastian to come closer to Clary. Nevertheless, upon the discovery of the fact that the Book of the White was hidden inside the library in the Wayland manor, Clary asked Jace to help her. Jace agreed and they went together.
There they discovered the Angel Ithuriel trapped in the basement. Clary having the ability to create runes, freed the Angel, but not before she and Jace were shown some memories of Valentine's experimentation on both of his children. Jace, believing that he had demon blood in his veins, was inconsolable.
Meanwhile, in Idris, Sebastian had broken the wards thus allowing Valentine's army of demons to enter and destroy everything. A great battle began, and after breaking Simon out of Clave prison, Jace was informed about Sebastian's betrayal and murder of his little brother, Max. Burning with anger and self-hatred because of all the events, Jace decided to track down both Sebastian and Valentine but not before deciding to spend his possible last night with Clary, finally declaring his love for her and sleeping beside her.
After following the tracking spell Jace found a cave outside Idris where Valentine and Sebastian discussed their plan to summon Raziel and destroy all Downworlders and the Shadowhunters who would not bend their knee. Valentine then left for Lake Lyn, and Sebastian, having already sensed Jace's presence, started to tease him. After a while they both fought each other, ending with Sebastian on top of him revealing his true identity as Jonathan Christopher Morgenstern and informing Jace that he was the son of Stephen Herondale. Just as he was about to deliver the death blow, Isabelle found them and saved Jace by cutting off Jonathan's hand. With Jonathan distracted by beating up Izzy, Jace pushed himself up and found an opening to kill him.
Later on, he found Valentine, who was ready to summon the Raziel and had silenced Clary with a rune. Valentine looked shocked when Jace told him that he killed Jonathan but, other than that, he didn't show any other emotion and before Jace could finish him off, Valentine stabbed him. Clary, upon witnessing all this, changed the ritual runes causing to her being the master of the summoning of Raziel, not Valentine. Raziel, knowing Valentine's motives and what he had done to Ithuriel, killed him. When asked for her wish, Clary requested that he resurrect Jace, which he did.
Despite everything, Jace still mourned Valentine's death. A few days after the battle, there was a big celebration in the city over their victory against Valentine's forces in what eventually became known as the Mortal War. Jace and Clary reformed their relationship, free to be together after all.
Haunted by Lilith
Six weeks after the events of the Mortal War, Jace was now training Clary and the two enjoyed their relationship. However, he began to have some nightmares which always ended with him murdering Clary. Jace, fearing that he was losing control, decided to distance himself from Clary.
To avoid Clary, but still do right by her, he spent most of his time protecting Simon—who had become a bit of a target. After a while, and after Clary had taken the risk of going after a cult alone, Jace could no longer bury his emotions and told Clary about his nightmares.
Hoping to find a way to stop these nightmares, they visited the Silent Brothers, who informed them that with Jace's death and resurrection, the magic from the protection ritual placed on all newborn Shadowhunters had faded; leaving him extremely vulnerable to demon possession and influence. They kept Jace in the Silent City in order to perform it again.
However, during the night, Jace dreamed of his lost brother, Max. Max gave him a knife, telling him to cut himself in order to be released from the demon's possession, then used the blood to mark him with Lilith's mark. Jace woke up completely under her influence, with the rune still on his chest. He left the Silent City and went to Jocelyn's engagement party. There he kidnapped Clary: knocking her out with a rune and carrying her to the top of an unfinished building where Lilith was preparing a resurrection ritual for Jonathan.
Eventually, Clary, Simon, and Jace—having Lilith's influence disrupted by Clary cutting the rune—defeated Lilith. Standing alone on the roof guarding Jonathan's body, Jace noticed, to his surprise, the rune over his chest had healed. Jonathan, through Lilith's rune, had now gained power over Jace and compelled him to complete the ritual. Though Jace was screaming internally to stop, he could not gain control of his body. Sebastian—as he would choose to be known—awakened and he and Jace disappeared before the others returned.
Bound to Sebastian
Jace's state and whereabouts were unknown for weeks after he disappeared with Sebastian, worrying his family and friends. Moreover, the Clave's priorities shifted from locating Sebastian and Jace to repairing the wards on Wrangel Island (as they had recently been smashed through) and updating the Law and Council to now that Downworlders were getting representatives, as well as electing a new Consul and Inquisitor.
Meanwhile, Jace and Sebastian were traveling all over the world preparing for Sebastian's plan. Jace, unable to stay away from Clary, visited her and asked her to follow them. Clary was considering the offer but their meeting was cut short when Jocelyn saw Sebastian in her kitchen and screamed. Their little adventure ended with Sebastian throwing a silver dagger to Luke and leaving with Jace. Jace's allegiance to Sebastian was confirmed.
Jace came back for Clary early that morning and found her on the front porch of Luke's house waiting for him. Clary joined them and Sebastian and Jace kept working on their plans without explaining them to her. Clary tried to understand the connection between her brother and boyfriend but she couldn't find a way to help Jace, not without raising suspicions.
Jace, still under Lilith's spell, participated in all of Sebastian's plans and at the same time dated Clary. He was the happiest Clary had ever seen him. However, after an unfortunate turn of events, his bond with Sebastian was temporarily severed and he was able to say the truth to Clary about the Infernal Cup and Sebastian's real intentions, after which he unsuccessfully tried to flee to the Clave in order to turn in the Cup and himself. After his attempted escape, his Twinning rune that bound him to Sebastian healed and he was back under his control.
Once at the Seventh Sacred Site, Sebastian, with Jace and Clary by his side, was preparing to create his own army of Endarkened, when Jace's family and the New York werewolf pack came in, along with Simon holding the Glorious. Simon passed this to Clary explaining that the blade would burn out all the evil in whoever it struck, and thus should destroy the bond. Unable to reach Sebastian, Clary used the Glorious and stabbed Jace, believing that it wouldn't kill him as his heart was more good than evil. Jace was set alight, severing the connection between the two and leading the others to believe that he was dead. Sebastian enraged fled with his army.
However, after a few moments, Clary noticed his heart was still beating and he was taken to the Institute to be cured by Brother Zachariah. When Clary was finally allowed to visit Jace, he told her that stabbing him with Glorious had filled him with Heavenly fire, which could burn anything he touched. Jordan Kyle soon started teaching Jace to meditate in hopes that it would help him be able to control the heavenly fire.
The Dark War
Concerned about Alec and Magnus's break up, and asked by Izzy, Jace visited Magnus and talk to him. Jace bluntly pointed out that he was obviously unhappy since his apartment was a mess and he had take-out containers everywhere, clearly gorging himself on take-out food. However, that did not help.
Due to the several attacks on different Institutes by Sebastian's Endarkened army, they were all ordered to pack up and gather in Idris for an emergency meeting of the Clave. At that meeting, Jace first met the Blackthorn children and Emma Carstairs. By the end of the meeting, the Clave decided to use the heavenly fire within Jace to defeat Sebastian, although they did not know how to get the fire out of him.
Jace and Clary took a nighttime walk around the city. The two ultimately ended up in an alley, where, despite Jace's hesitation, Clary succeeded in kissing him. Their kissing escalated so quickly that Jace lost control over the heavenly fire, which caused him to burn handprints into the brick wall he was leaning against. He felt so panicked and fearful that he would hurt Clary that he quickly pulled away.
The next day, Jace took Clary to buy her a new sword. Diana Wrayburn, the owner of the shop, then gave Clary a Morgenstern family shortsword called Heosphoros, for free. While Clary blessed her sword in Accords Hall fountain, they saw the demon towers light up in the color of battle. Despite not being allowed, the two went through a Portal and joined the battle at Adamant Citadel. Jace fought Sebastian, who then stabbed Jace. Surprised and hurt by the heavenly fire that leaked out of the wound, Sebastian and his army fled the battle. Brother Zachariah attempted to heal Jace but was engulfed in flames. Clary marked Jace with an Agony healing rune powerful enough to heal him.
Sebastian soon kidnapped the Downworld representatives, along with Jocelyn, and held them hostage, demanding the Clave hand over Jace and Clary for their return. While waiting for the Clave's decision, Emma told Jace and the others that Sebastian and his army had hinted at staying in another dimension called Edom when they had attacked her Institute. After Alec did some research, Jace, Clary, Simon, Alec, and Isabelle escaped to rescue them by going through faerie tunnels to get there. Once in the other dimension, Clary was able to use a rune she imagined to transfer the heavenly fire from Jace into Heosphoros. He and Clary came up with a plan that they kept from the others which worked out well and allowed Clary to get close enough to stab Sebastian with it, killing him and his army along with him.
To get home they had to make a deal with Magnus's father, the Prince of Hell Asmodeus. This resulted in a sacrifice from Simon, giving up his immortality and being a vampire along with his memories of the Shadow World and the others, including Clary. Clary and Izzy were visibly upset for a long time after, and though Jace tried not to show it, he also greatly missed Simon.
After the war, Jace decided to take the name of Herondale; deciding that just because he had complicated feelings for his father, didn't mean the legendary line should end with him. At Jocelyn and Luke's wedding in May 2008, he was given a Herondale family ring from Tessa Gray, which helped him feel more complete.
During the reception, Simon appeared, having been able to retrieve some of his memories from Magnus. Though Jace was happy for a chance to have Simon back, he continued to mess with him by telling him fake stories of his life.
Later that year, Jace was invited to the Shadowhunter Academy—where they had sent Simon in hopes of helping him regain all his memories through Ascension—to teach a lesson as a guest tutor. There, he confessed to Simon he had been doing research into his family history to try to understand what it meant to be a Herondale. He struggled to piece together his identity and felt like he was expected to be a hero; the burden of the past—both the negative and the positive—became a lot for him to bear. Simon pointed him in the direction of their guest lecturer, Tessa, who revealed herself to be his ancestor. They met and conversed about the Herondales and Jace felt better knowing there was someone who shared his blood and understood it all. She even took him and Clary on a tour of the Herondale manor.
Jace had since become more serious about his passion for music. He'd begun to play more challenging pieces and composing, even collaborating once with fellow musician, Simon, on "Come Back, Meow", a song dedicated to Chairman Meow.
Sometime in 2010, Maryse approached Jace saying that she planned to retire soon and would like him to take over. She found that dealing with Downworlder relations in light of the Cold Peace was becoming a lot to handle and would be better suited for someone younger and more connected, like Jace. He told Maryse he needed time to think about it as he was skeptical as to how he could lead and work diplomatically. He viewed himself as more of a foot soldier, someone who would be first into battle, rather than behind a desk.
By September, he was still debating the idea within himself when he was called to join his parabatai on a mission to Shanghai to retrieve the Book of the White from Shinyun Jung and Ragnor Fell, as well as to figure out what the glowing wound on Magnus's chest from a Svefnthorn meant and how to save him. Jace kept quiet about the decision weighing heavily on his chest for the first few days of the trip, never asking for Alec's input or help. Eventually, one sleepless night at the Ke House, Jace told Alec of Maryse's request. Alec inquired if he was going to take the job and Jace explained his reservations. Alec attempted to put those issues to rest and be supportive, saying he'd do great as a leader and that he wouldn't stop patrolling. Jace countered that none of them had to do it and the Clave could send an adult to take over; to which Alec reminded him that they were the adults now.
The next day, they traveled to the Shanghai Shadow Market for research and found themselves traveling to the demon realm of Diyu to face down Sammael. While there they encountered Ox-Head and Horse-Face, and Jace took the lead immediately, coming up with the best fighting tactic for the group to battle them. Later that night, after talking about how they would go after Sammael the next day, the group did their best to encourage him as a good leader. Jace tried to brush it off but he proved it again in the morning, when Jace, Clary, Simon, Izzy, and their new friend Ke Yi Tian were sentenced to the Hell of the Pit of Fire. The group had to jump from floating platforms to avoid falling into lava while being attacked by demons. Jace, despite being injured himself, was able to work out a strategy that utilized their strengths while keeping them all alive until Magnus, Alec, and Ragnor returned from Avici—where they were taken by Sammael. When they came back, Alec expressed his pride in Jace's plan and it was then that he realized he was actually good at planning.
The group then Portaled to Shanghai and immediately to New York from there. After cleaning up in their room, Jace and Clary talked about Maryse's offer. They came to a decision and Jace announced to Maryse that he would accept her offer, provided that Clary could run it alongside him, to which Maryse agreed.
Not long after, he and Clary took over as head of the New York Institute, making them one of the youngest Shadowhunters to ever hold the position. Additionally, they joined Alec's alliance with Maia and Lily. They spent most of their time trying to work around the Cold Peace and keep relations good between the Downworlders of New York and the Shadowhunters.
In the midst of Isabelle and Simon's engagement party in 2012, Jace proposed to Clary. Her answer was interrupted by Magnus and Robert as the pair were pulled off to the Los Angeles Institute for a mission. When they returned Clary rejected his proposal, asking for more time. Confused and hurt, Jace allotted her space, though he couldn't help wondering what he had done wrong despite her assurances that it was something wrong with her.
A few weeks later, Jace returned to the L.A. Institute with Clary to pass on what was discussed in a recent Council meeting. While there, Jace met and spoke with Kit Herondale and convinced him to put off running away until he had experienced a Shadowhunter's life. Following a meeting with the residents of the Institute, Jace and Clary pulled Mark aside to question him about Faerie, and revealed that they were being sent on a mission there to investigate an unknown weapon left by Sebastian.
While in the Seelie Court they learned the weapon was Sebastian's son—he had fathered a child with the Seelie Queen—whom the Unseelie King had kidnapped and placed a number of spells upon. The King planned to place more that would allow Ash Morgenstern to spread a Blight that rendered seraphic magic—runes, Seraph blades, Witchlights, etc.—useless. Before they could get close to him, Clary and Jace were captured by the Riders of Mannan and imprisoned in the Unseelie Tower.
Soon Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn joined them in the cells, and upon the arrival of Cristina Rosales and Adaon, they were able to escape. They ventured up to the throne room in order to save Mark and Kieran who had also been captured. A fight soon broke out and Jace and Clary were able to return to the mortal world with Cristina and the Eternidad.
Julian and Emma arrived back at the LA Institute only moments after the rest had but it was clear they had gone somewhere else as they were in bad shape. Jace and Clary decided to stay around the Institute to help out. When they came to, they shared the story of Thule and all they had learned there, including how to treat the blight and cure the warlocks. They immediately made plans for Jace and Clary to go and retrieve some water from Lake Lyn to cure Magnus. However, by morning, they had received a letter from the Cohort that stalled their departure: Jace and Clary were pronounced dead and the Shadowhunters were officially at war with the fey.
Other arrangements were made to retrieve and distribute the water and the inhabitants of the LA Institute began making plans for what to do next. Julian ended up calling a war council which initially angered Jace as he had specifically told Julian it was a bad idea, but Jace came around. At the meeting, Jace and Clary revealed themselves to be alive which sent a shock wave through the room. That evening, he and Clary camped out with the rest of their friends in Brocelind Forest, in preparation for the upcoming parley.
As Julian's plan played out, Jace and Clary remained at camp as bait. Members of the Cohort led by Manuel Villalobos attacked the camp in an attempt to murder them before it could be revealed that Horace Dearborn had lied about their deaths. However they had planned for this and those there were tied up and march to the Imperishable Fields as proof. They tried to convince Horace to end the farce and go back to Alicante to face the Council but he refused and a battle ensued. Jace fought alongside his parabatai and friends but opted to try knocking people out with the flat of his blade or having Clary use runes rather than killing them. When Julian and Emma rose up as giants, Jace tried to stand in their way and stop them, but they merely flicked him away. After a few iratzes, Jace planned to go after them again, this time with a weapon but was stopped by the Blackthorn family approaching and talking them down; which he and his friends soon joined them in doing so.
A few days after the battle, they attended the Council meeting for the Cohort's sentencing and to elect a new Consul. When the floor was opened up to nominations, Jace immediately jumped up to put Alec forward. As Alec was announced as the winner of the election, Jace threw himself at Alec with joy. Though that quickly faded upon the Cohort's display. Via the threat of suicide, they demanded all those who did not support them leave Idris and be in exile. Jace followed Alec in his decision to leave.
In the weeks following their exile, Jace and Clary became part of and hosted a crisis team in New York — which was working on rebuilding, figuring out who had stayed in Alicante and who hadn't, planning the elections that needed to be held, etc. During this time, with their engagement in question now that Clary had explained why she initially said no, Jace began to make plans to re-propose to her and decided to do so after Magnus and Alec's wedding. At the wedding Jace stood as Suggenes for Alec and at the party afterwards he played the piano for people to dance to.
Some time after he had stopped, Clary Portaled them to the greenhouse at the New York Institute where she had set up a picnic for them beforehand. There she gave him a blade with herons etched across it and on the back the words "Will you marry me" in Latin. Jace was surprised but then pulled out a pair of rings and proposed to her as well. This time, Clary said yes. Overcome with happiness, the pair began discussing their future and Jace announced that he would like to have a big family with 6-8 kids.
Personality and traits
|“||Herondales. I had almost forgotten. No other family does so much for love, or feels so much guilt for it. Don't carry the weight of the world on you, Jace. It's too heavy for even a Herondale to bear.||”|
Jace had always been independent and somehow self-possessed, having been taught not to betray himself to emotions as a child.
Jace has a sharp, defensive wit, an acidic temperament which was later only tamed by Clary, and a very sarcastic attitude when he chooses in order to hide his insecurities. Giving the impression of holding most people in disdain, Jace is seen as extremely arrogant, self-centered, and overconfident, believing himself to be "the best Shadowhunter to ever live" and above others. True enough, Jace is superior in battle, something Jace has been training for since he was young and had grown to love over the years. He even exhibits sadistic tendencies, which he got on account of being raised by Valentine.
Despite this, Jace, in fact, has a strong moral core. He is dutiful and just, willing to make the right decisions, and sacrifices if it comes down to it. Though he can be, at times, vindictive, he is cruel only to protect those he loves.
His conceited exterior hides a profound inner hatred which intensifies after he mistakenly believed he was demonic, blaming the demon blood for his conflicting thoughts and his, then presumed, incestuous feelings towards Clary. Even after this was disproved and contradicted by the fact that he actually is part angel, even more so than regular people of his kind, Jace continued to carry the weight of the lies he had lived for so long. An example of this is Jace's love for the man who raised him and whom he believed to be his father, Valentine; despite the abuse and the deceit, Valentine was at times kind and affectionate towards him, and Jace found himself missing his father figure.
Like Valentine and the Lightwoods, Jace also shared the snobbish attitude toward mundanes and Downworlders, though he lacked their extremist tendencies. Beneath Jace's flippant exterior lies a soul in constant torment, filled with a deep-seated rage that he keeps in check most of the time and channels into fighting and slaying demons and also, sometimes, his sarcastic and nasty remarks. Jace relaxes and calms his nerves by getting into fights, with Clary even noting that fighting to Jace is "what sex is to normal people."
Aware of his own beauty, Jace was also once quite chivalrous, and quite flirty, towards women before he met Clary. His charisma, good looks, and charm have made him quite the ladies' man. However, taught that "to love is to destroy, and to be loved is to be destroyed." at an early age, Jace kept everyone, except the Lightwoods, at arm's length, never forming emotional attachments for more than a brief amount of time, if at all. His personality drastically changed after he met Clary, with Isabelle even stating that Jace was apathetic about everyone else beforehand, not caring about anyone other than the Lightwoods until he met Clary, whose presence shook Jace, who was revealed to be a very passionate individual, loving Clary on a very deep and passionate level when he fell in love with her and does everything in his power to protect her from harm, the extent of his love for Clary even surprising those close to him.
Jace is very well-known for his good looks. He has curly blond hair, that he sometimes grows a little longer, long eyelashes, and amber eyes that look gold in the light due to his angel blood. He has a lean, slim muscular build, broad shoulders, and stands over 5'11". One of Jace's upper incisors has a slight chip.
He is said to look like his biological father, Stephen, except around the eyes where he looks like his mother, Céline.
Like all other Shadowhunters, he is covered in runes, both the newly-applied or permanent black ones, and the faded silver runes that are to be reapplied. He has a star-shaped birthmark, a mark that has been passed on down through the generations of Herondales, starting from Will Herondale, on his left shoulder.
Skills and abilities
- Nephilim physiology: Being Nephilim, Jace possesses a variety of enhanced physical and mental abilities granted to him by the angel blood of Raziel in his veins and also by the angelic Marks of the Gray Book. This includes enhanced strength, speed, agility, stamina, and coordination, which continue to improve over time and practice.
- The Sight: As a Shadowhunter, Jace is naturally and easily able to see through most magical illusions and layers of glamour over reality.
- Runic magic: Due to the angel blood in their veins, all Shadowhunters are able to apply runes on their skin without any real danger. These Marks, in turn, give varied effects that serve to benefit the wearer.
- Use of heavenly weapons: As a Shadowhunter, Jace is also able to perform tasks unique to their species, such as the ability to use and call on the power of angels for their seraph blades, as well as to handle any heavenly weapons or objects with effect, which would normally not work for other species. In particular, these are tools made of adamas and forged by Iron Sisters.
- Angelic blood empowerment: While all Shadowhunters have the angel Raziel's blood in them, the fact that he has even more, directly extracted from Ithuriel as a result of Valentine's experiments while he was still in his mother's womb, contributes to his superiority in certain fields and other enhanced aspects beyond the normal Shadowhunter parameters.
- Parabatai bond: Due to his parabatai bond with Alec Lightwood, Jace is able to call on more strength in battle. The runes drawn on him by Alec also give a considerably stronger effect.
- Expert hand-to-hand combatant: Jace is highly skilled in armed and unarmed combat.
- Expert swordsman: Jace is highly skilled and proficient in swordsmanship.
- Morgenstern family ring: Being brought up under Valentine's care, Jace owned a Morgenstern ring as a child but believed for years that it was a Wayland family ring. Upon finding out that it was in fact a Morgenstern ring, he began wearing it on his neck but has since given the ring, along with the chain, to Clary Fray.
- Herondale family ring: When Jace finally took the family name, his ancestor Tessa gave him a family ring that once belonged to her son, James Herondale. He later passed this on to Kit Herondale as he plans to have a ring that will incorporate the Lightwood symbol, an etching of a blaze of fire, on the inside.
- Daggers and swords: Aside from seraph blades, Jace has also used daggers and swords in battle.
- Other basic Shadowhunter gear, including: a Sensor, steles, seraph blades, and witchlight.
- Engagement sword: A sword given to him by Clary as part of her proposal to him. The blade has a pattern of flying herons and a crosspiece in the shape of wings. On the reverse side it is etched with the words "Visne me in matrimonium ducere?" (Latin for "Will you marry me?")
- Engagement ring: A ring that matches the ring he gave Clary. The rings are made from adamas and have the inscription: L'amor che move il sole e l'altre stelle (Italian for "the love that moves the sun and the other stars").
|“||Jace didn't just pull the pigtails of people he had crushes on. He pulled the pigtails of everyone in the world he liked. This was something Simon still had not figured out over the years.||”|
|“||I love you, and I will love you until I die, and if there is life after that, I'll love you then.||”|
Clary is the love of Jace's life. Their love went through plenty of complications and ordeals.
While both showed dislike for each other initially, they began to care for one another and inevitably fell in love during their adventures together. Even after they were misleadingly told that they were siblings, and while they fought hard to resist temptation, their feelings for each other were undeniable and they shared passionate moments on more than one occasion. Despite this longing, both tried to form a familial bond before Jace, horrified by the thought of being in love with his sister, tried to avoid her, ultimately failing when he once offered to have a secret, incestuous relationship with her, blaming this lapse of judgment on the fact that he may have Lilith's demon blood running through his veins.
Eventually, they found out that they were not siblings. After both found out, however, Jace was killed while protecting Clary from Valentine. Clary then asked the angel Raziel, who was obliged to grant her one wish, to bring him back to life. Realizing that they were now free from the lie that separated them, they started an official relationship.
Shortly after they got together, things immediately began to get complicated. Because of his vulnerability to demonic influence after being resurrected, Jace began to dream about killing Clary; fearing that he may actually harm her, he distanced himself from her, especially when he did hurt her until Jace realized how much Clary was willing to risk for him.
After he fell under Lilith's influence, Jace was controlled by Sebastian, but still held feelings toward Clary. Though, as stated by Clary, he was in love with a memory of her, not her as of that moment. He was then forced to leave her, but came back a total of two times to try to convince her to come with him and Sebastian. She ultimately agreed, and they tried to have a relationship, but as Jace was controlled, he wasn't quite the same as he was beforehand.
According to Isabelle, Jace had often hooked up with girls but never developed even the slightest emotional attachment for anyone else before Clary. Isabelle was apparently even quite surprised at how quickly he became genuinely attracted to Clary and that she and the others at the Institute saw how Jace began to drastically change as he began to grow closer to her.
Jace's freedom came with a price when he remained engulfed in heavenly fire for weeks, keeping them apart as Jace feared hurting her, though there were moments when they couldn't help their emotions and had some intimate moments. After Jace's fire was contained in Heosphoros while in Edom, the couple finally consummated their relationship.
At Luke and Jocelyn's wedding, months after the Dark War, the couple finally find their peace together. A couple of years later they both become the new heads of the New York Institute and run the Institute together. Later in 2012, at Simon and Isabelle's engagement party, Jace proposed to Clary who didn't have a chance to answer yet.After the Cohort was defeated a few weeks later Clary explained to Jace why she had refused him, having believed she was going to die. After Magnus and Alec's wedding Clary found Jace and Portaled them both to the New York Institute greenhouse, where they proposed to each other and became engaged.
Alec Lightwood is Jace's best friend, adoptive brother, and parabatai—his fighting partner. Alec once believed that he was in love with Jace. However, Jace soon reveals that he knew about the way Alec felt about him and that he didn't love him. He just used him as an excuse not to get in a relationship with Magnus. Alec soon gets with Magnus, although he remains loyal and protective over Jace.
Isabelle is said to have tried to get with Jace in the past, but he was apparently uninterested. Jace and Isabelle are like brother and sister and he considers her family. He makes fun of her often but is also affectionate of her. He and Alec often make fun of her terrible cooking. When Jace first came to New York with them, though, it took a while for Isabelle to accept him, but they eventually bonded over their passion for fighting.
Max idolized and looked up to Jace, and Jace was clearly very fond of him. He even gave Max his only toy—a wooden toy soldier—from his childhood before he moved in with the Lightwoods. Max's death in the Mortal War devastated him and made him swear to avenge him.
Maryse loves and cares for Jace as much as she cares for her biological children, even though this was not evident to Jace in his youth. She goes as far as to lie and try to trick the Clave in order to protect him, knowing that losing him would be as hard as losing one of her children.The relationship between Robert and Jace is mostly similar to Robert's relationship with the rest of his children—caring and loving, albeit slightly distant. He sees and treats Jace like he is his own child, even more so because he believed that Jace was the son of his late parabatai.
Because Jace never met or even knew about his real father until his teenage years, Jace did not think much of Stephen. When he found out, it took him a while to warm up to the idea of having Stephen Herondale as a father. Jace was given Stephen's possessions, including a letter, addressed to him, to have some connection to him. He was also upset for a while over the fact that his birth father did not love his birth mother as he should have.
Imogen initially scorned Jace, seeing his sarcasm and arrogance as a reminder of his then-believed father Valentine. She refused to believe anything Jace said, until she learned that Valentine truly did not care for Jace and would sacrifice him for the Mortal Instruments, making Imogen regret her decisions. Moments before her death, she noticed his star-shaped mark—the Herondale men's birthmark, immediately making her realize that he was her grandson. Her last words to Jace were "Your father would have been proud," referring to her son, Stephen.
Jace and Simon Lewis are good friends, bonded by their adventures together and their mutual love for Clary. When they first met, however, they disliked each other, mainly because they both envied or were jealous of the other's relationship with Clary. Eventually, they both got over it and began to warm up to one another. They mostly teased and annoyed each other, calling the other names every now and then, but they consider each other good friends.
Valentine was Jace's foster father, initially leading Jace to believe that he was his real father. He had mixed emotions about him, though he ultimately decided to fight against him. He developed a deep hatred towards Valentine and is ashamed of the false fact that he is his father.Nonetheless, Jace inherited a lot of Valentine's traits, which he is even more ashamed of and afraid of. Though he was raised with cruelty and discipline, he was also treated with some level of kindness. After Valentine's death, Jace was among the few people who mourned for and missed him, mainly because he was the father he grew up to know.
Jace's relationship with Sebastian was strained from the beginning. Jace didn't trust him and showed no willingness to bond with him. Sebastian's short relationship with Clary, followed with the revelation of his true motives made him Jace's new nemesis. Sebastian envied Jace even before the two of them had met because of the way Valentine raised Jace, with more love and care than him.After Sebastian's resurrection, Jace's bond with Sebastian forces him to become the subordinate of the two, thus making him believe whatever Sebastian believed. The only thing that remained unchanged was his love for Clary. The two, during the time of their bonding, behaved like best friends and Jace was willing to do anything for Sebastian from helping carry out his evil plan to murdering an innocent. However, when their bond was severed, their relationship was back to that of enemies with Jace wanting to kill him.
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While he technically has no official birth name, he is known as Jace Herondale. Jace is the nickname given to him by Maryse, derived from his first assumed name, Jonathan Christopher. There are also several surnames that had at one point been applicable to Jace, namely: Wayland, Morgenstern, Lightwood, and, finally, Herondale.
Jace is a diminutive of Jason, the origin of which is said to be Greek, where it was derived from the name Ιασων (Iason), which in turn came from ιασθαι (iasthai), meaning "a healing" or "to heal". The name Jason also appears to have Hebrew roots, where it means "the Lord is Salvation".
- Jace is left-handed and can play the piano.
- He can speak Romanian, Latin, Italian, French, and apparently some more languages.
- He loves Chinese food,, particularly mu shu pork, and mangoes.
- He hates cucumber, as well as bergamot and Earl Grey tea. He also dislikes sugar in his coffee. Jace also hates liars and has stated that he never used to lie, something Isabelle and Alec confirmed. However, he lied several times to keep the people he loves, especially Clary, safe.
- Jace once ran down Madison Avenue completely naked except for a pair of antlers on his head after eating faerie scones from a faerie run coffee shop: Moon in a Cup.
- Jace is extremely well-read and can quote literary passages to fit any occasion, usually in romantic instances between him and Clary.
- Jace, like his male ancestors, Edmund and Will Herondale, hates ducks for some unknown reason, among the many traits they share.
- Jace keeps Lightwood as a middle name. Additionally, his Herondale family ring, as shown in The Dark Artifices, incorporated a Lightwood symbol etched on the inside.
- Jace was originally named Will, but Cassie opted for Jace to be something that could be short for Jonathan; she also eventually gave the name to her The Infernal Devices character Will Herondale, who also happens to be Jace's ancestor and potential namesake, had Céline and Stephen named him.
- The servants Jace mentions having when he was growing up in the Wayland Manor were actually ghosts.
- Brother Enoch gave Jace his first Mark.
- Technically Jace is descended from Belial a Prince of Hell, due to being a direct descendant of Tessa Gray.
- In 2010, Jace's soul attended the wedding of Tessa Gray and Jem Carstairs, on Blackfriars Bridge, in his dreams. The event soon faded from his memory.
- Jace's ability to see ghosts may be explained in The Wicked Powers. According to Cassie, he may not be able to as a result of his angel blood canceling it out.
- "Happy birthday Jace Herondale! 🎉 🎉 🎈 today is your true birthday", Cassandra Clare on Instagram
- "HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACE! 1/18/", Cassandra Clare on Instagram
- Valentine, Stephen, Celine — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- City of Bones
- City of Lost Souls
- City of Glass
- Son of the Dawn
- City of Ashes
- Letter from Jace to Clary
- City of Fallen Angels
- City of Heavenly Fire
- Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy
- The Whitechapel Fiend
- An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of Downworld
- The Lost Book of the White
- A Long Conversation, a Lady Midnight extra
- Lady Midnight
- A Love That Never Tires, a Queen of Air and Darkness extra
- Lord of Shadows
- Queen of Air and Darkness
- Herondale and Lightwood — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- His family ring — Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- Behind the Name: Jace
- Behind the Name: Jason
- Jace name meaning
- Nameberry: Meaning of Jace
- Not for Humans, a City of Bones extra
- The Lost Herondale
- Cassandra Clare FAQ: Names
- "Jace Herondale Lightwood Wayland Morgenstern" — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- Cassandra Clare during a Q&A for CoHF
- Chain of Gold
- In Dreams Begin, aThe Lost Book of the White extra
- TMI Source's 10 year anniversary chat with Cassandra Clare