|“||I have always been an unquiet soul. In my father's Court, and then in the Hunt, I raged and stormed inside my heart. I knew when I met Mark that I had found the person who gave my soul peace. I did not think I would find that in anyone else again, but I have.||”|
Kieran was born to the Unseelie King and a water faerie around 1992. Because of the faerie's agelessness and the different flow of time in Faerie, Kieran has lived much longer.
Though Kieran is an Unseelie Prince, he is one of the youngest and the least regarded by the King of among fifty. In the Court, however, Kieran was popular and loved. One of his half-brothers, Erec, and the King apparently saw this adoration as a threat, and, for this, his own father traded him to the Hunt at a young age.
As a Hunter, Kieran was given a fierce, black faerie steed by Gwyn. He was mocked by other Hunters for his status as a former prince, and he made no effort to make friends with them. Nonetheless, Kieran was intrigued by Mark Blackthorn, a fellow-shunned member for being half-Shadowhunter. One day, after other members of the Hunt tortured him, Kieran went to his aid and treated him. The two became friends, growing closer and eventually falling in love.
In August 2012, Mark was returned to his family at the Los Angeles Institute as a bargaining chip, to get them to discreetly investigate a series of murders that had taken several faerie victims. Mark was given the option to remain with his family if they fulfilled their end of the deal, much to Kieran's dismay. During this time, Kieran paid him several secret visits and even lent him his steed once.
During one of these visits, Kieran witnessed Mark and Cristina Rosales talking in the kitchen of the Institute and overheard Mark casually sharing Hunt secrets about their leader, Gwyn ap Nudd, during a somewhat intimate moment together. Kieran was led to believe by Iarlath that Mark would face his doom with the Shadowhunters; fearing this, he told Gwyn that Mark had divulged fey secrets to Cristina, thinking it would lead only to Mark's return to the Hunt. Unexpectedly, however, Iarlath decided that Mark would instead be severely punished with whipping. Mark's brother Julian, and later the boy's parabatai Emma, volunteered in his place. Mark became angry at Kieran for inadvertently causing his brother pain and broke up with him.
Despite this, Kieran continued to apologize, showing his regret by helping Mark's family investigate the case. It was ultimately Kieran who discovered that Iarlath was involved with the Guardian, helping them deduce the latter's identity, and went to help them save their youngest sibling, Tavvy, where he and Mark fought side by side.
Kieran was tortured, particularly by his sadistic brother Erec, for weeks before his scheduled execution at the Unseelie Court. To learn more about the Shadowhunters he'd interacted with, the King took his memories from the weeks prior, so when Kieran was rescued by Mark, Julian, Emma, and Cristina, he had no memory of being partially responsible for Emma and Julian's whipping, nor of Mark breaking up with him. In an attempt to protect Mark, Kieran took an arrow meant for him.
After taking refuge and recuperating from his injuries, healed by Mark's aunt Nene, at the Seelie Court, the group met with the Queen, who told them of her desire to work with the Nephilim against the King, in exchange for the Black Volume of the Dead and the end of the Cold Peace. Keeping the former a secret amongst them, the Queen appointed Kieran as her envoy to the Clave to relay her message. To prove his willingness to participate in the plan, Kieran attempted to swear loyalty to Mark but was stopped by Julian, saying his commitment should be free of entanglements. Kieran decided to swear fealty to Cristina instead.
Kieran initially decided to swear to Cristina to spite Mark, but soon found himself admiring Cristina. Kieran contacted Adaon, whom the Queen suggested could make a favorable succeeding Unseelie King, to involve him in their plan and ask him about a faerie binding spell that had plagued Mark and Cristina. Their clandestine meeting was interrupted by Erec, who ordered Kieran to kill Cristina in exchange for his help to regain the King's favor. At the last minute, Kieran turned on Erec and killed him.
For killing his supposed favorite son, and for being an escaped captive, the King grew more furious at him and answered a Projection call meant for Adaon. During the confrontation, with Cristina and Mark in the room, the King returned to him his memories in an attempt to show him the Nephilim's own deception. Though Kieran was at first infuriated and hurt by the turn of events, he, with Cristina's help, came to terms with everything that had occurred between them and decided to continue working with them, but also broke up with Mark.
When the day of the Council meeting where Kieran was supposed to speak on behalf of the Queen came, Cristina prepared a plan with her ex-boyfriend Diego in case things went awry—which they did after Annabel went mad. Cristina asked Diego to hide Kieran at the Scholomance during the heat of the events that she expected would follow.
During his time at the Scholomance, Kieran was found by the Cohort and thrown into the water at the Hollow Place. Due to the magic of its waters, Kieran was able to experience all the pain he had caused others and found himself feeling a lot of regret, making him determined to make things right, starting with saving Julian and Emma.
After escaping the Scholomance on Windspear, Kieran headed for the Los Angeles Institute to warn Mark and Cristina. On his way there, he ended up saving their lives as he found them in a battle with Harpyia demons. At the Institute, he shared with them that he had heard the Cohort talking of Julian and Emma being on a suicide mission in Faerie. The trio quickly left and attempted to catch them at Bram's Crossroads but had missed them, and he and Mark were soon captured by Prince Oban and Manuel Villalobos.
Oban forced them to walk the path of punishment before entering the Unseelie Tower, a path lined with gentry fey who are advised to yell and throw things at the prisoners. To his surprise, the fey were quiet and motionless; instead of being stoned as expected, he heard whispers of all the kindness he had shown his subjects—kindness he had not realized he had given—and despite Oban's screams for them to attack, no one moved except a small child pressing a token of forgiveness into his palm.
When brought before the King, the King ordered Ash Morgenstern to kill him. Before he could, the Seelie Queen entered the room. Commotion soon broke out and in the chaos, Kieran was freed. When the King ordered one of the Riders to kill Adaon—who had armed all the prisoners—Kieran threw his elf bolt at his father, killing him. Kieran then escaped with the others using the Eternidad. Though they were unable to leave Emma and Jules, the pair eventually joined them at the Institute; though in poor state, the two had good news to share once they awakened.
The group began planning how to collect water from Lake Lyn and to distribute it in order to stop the blight and cure the warlock illness the blight was causing. Summoning his authority as a Hunter and a prince who killed the King, he called to Gwyn and requested his assistance.
Gwyn planted the idea that Kieran should be the Unseelie King now, not his brother Oban who had stolen claim to it. Kieran thought himself unworthy, still feeling regret and shame for his actions due what the water at the Scholomance had showed him, and was thus reluctant to accept that he was a good fit for the throne, but he agreed Faerie needed a new leader. He felt no one was truly looking out for his lands and wished he could find a way to get Adaon, who had been taken prisoner by the Seelie Queen, to ascend the throne. As time passed, and with Mark and Cristina's reassurances, Kieran realized that no one could do this but him. Though it meant he would have to give up all mortal consorts, he began planning how he could take the throne.
At the Cohort's parley, Kieran formally challenged Oban for the throne, resulting in a duel to the death. Oban and his redcaps fought Kieran and, seeing the unfairness of the battle not being one on one, Mark and Cristina joined in, as well. When Cristina killed Oban, they began calling that Kieran was now king. He began trying to lead the Unseelie fey taking part in the rest of the battle, including the Riders, but it became impossible in the melee, with some fey still confused about who to follow. After Julian and Emma rose up as True Nephilim Kieran opened a doorway to Unseelie and most fled there—even those who were not fey. He however, went and assisted the Blackthorns in getting through the crowd to talk them down; he even joined in the calls of needing them back.
|“||You've been a good King. Though you have only held the position these past weeks, Kieran, you have already done many fine things—released prisoners, enacted a fair redistribution of land, changed the laws for the better. Our people are loyal to you.||”|
During the aftermath of the Clave meeting that put most Shadowhunters in exile of Alicante, Kieran found himself in despair over missing Mark and Cristina. He was finally able to arrange a meeting with Adaon and there he begged him to take the throne instead. Adaon respectfully declined saying that the people needed and loved Kieran. Still, Adaon offered him his cottage as a place outside of the Lands where the three could be together.
Excited by the gift, Kieran then got on his Faerie steed to join in the celebrations in Los Angeles with Mark and Cristina. Upon his arrival, he revealed to them that he had acquired the cottage and the trio rejoiced, happy to able to continue their polyamorous relationship, and immediately made arrangements.
Kieran is said to be beautiful—inhumanly so—and fierce. He has high cheekbones, angular face, a full, slightly uneven mouth, and wide-spaced eyes, the left black and the right a deep silver. He is pale and his body is lithe and graceful. As a prince of Faerie, Kieran wears battered white gauntlets.
His thick hair changes color—specifically colors of the sea, due in part to his nixie heritage—depending on his mood, from dark black when he is in a bad mood to a pale blue when he's happy, even white when he is shocked or annoyed, though he can also change them at will.
Skills and abilities
- Enhanced senses: Kieran has sharp hearing, a common aspect among full-blooded faeries, and a heightened sense of smell.
- Accelerated healing: Like all Hunters, Kieran is protected by magic that significantly hastens their healing process.
- Equitation: Kieran is a skilled horse rider.
- Chromokinesis: Kieran can change the color of his hair at will or based on his emotions.
- Dream telepathy: Kieran has the ability to send others dreams. While it is usually done as a faerie gift, he can also do so to communicate with the person.
- Faerie steed: Kieran's steed as a Hunter is Windspear, a black and skeletal steed—a "mount of the dead".
- Cottage: A cottage previously owned by Kieran's brother Adaon which lies in the borderland of Faerie. Adaon gave him the cottage as it did not lie in Seelie or Unseelie Lands, which meant that he could use it to be with his mortal loves, Cristina and Mark.
|“||The stars will go out before I forget you, Mark Blackthorn.||”|
Kieran and Mark met in the Wild Hunt. Both found solace in each other as both were ostracized in the Hunt. When riding together, Kieran made their trips fun, showing Mark wonders that only the Fair Folk knew of. Eventually, they fell in love and Kieran gave Mark his first kiss. Though Kieran tried to encourage Mark to embrace his faerie nature, he neither mocked him and himself told Mark that he could admit and confide in him that he still felt like a Shadowhunter.
When the pair had a falling out after Mark was returned to his family and Kieran accidentally got his brother and friend in trouble, Kieran did not give up on him and instead decided to prove his love by continuing to help his family. Their relationship continued in some form when Kieran's memories of their breakup were taken by his father, but when he regained these memories, it was his turn to feel betrayed and used by Mark. After some convincing from Cristina, Kieran understood his motive and they cleared up the misunderstanding, but Kieran decided that after paying his debt to his family, they would be done with each other.Kieran soon realized though he could not be done with Mark and the pair continued their relationship with the addition of Cristina, whom both had grown to love as well. They realized Cristina was the piece their relationship had always been missing.
|“||I desire you and love you, Cristina, and so does Mark. Stay with us.||”|
– Kieran to Cristina,Queen of Air and Darkness
Kieran was at first threatened by Cristina and Mark's budding relationship. When Kieran needed to swear fealty to a Shadowhunter—that wasn't Mark, as insisted by Julian—for a mission from the Seelie Queen, he swore his fealty to Cristina instead. He did this spitefully at first, but he soon found himself respecting and admiring Cristina, seeing her as kind and trustworthy.
- Bitter of Tongue (first appearance)
- Lady Midnight
- Lord of Shadows
- Queen of Air and Darkness
- Forever Fallen (mentioned only)
- See more here
- In 2010, despite not being invited, he managed to join Mark in his dream and flew over Blackfriars Bridge at the wedding of Tessa Gray and Jem Carstairs. Because he is a practitioner of oneiromancy and did not receive the summons to this dream by Magnus Bane, it is unknown if he recalls the wedding or not like the others.
- Lord of Shadows
- An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of Downworld
- Lady Midnight
- "... but [Kieran] never made it back. He was captured before he did," Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- Queen of Air and Darkness
- "His mom was a water faerie." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- Ciaran Name Meaning & Origin | Baby Name Wizard
- "It’s the literal translation of Kieran..." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- In Dreams Begin, a The Lost Book of the White extra