Christopher "Kit" Herondale, formerly known as Kit Rook, is a Shadowhunter who was raised as a mundane. Previously unaware of his heritage, Kit is descended from the notorious Tobias Herondale and his lost line and is currently the only known living descendant of the First Heir of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts.
Kit was raised by his father, a man who went by the name Johnny Rook. Unbeknownst to Kit, he came from a long line of Shadowhunters, descended from a secret Herondale line that has since been interbred with faerie blood of the First Heir.
Like most Nephilim, he was born with the Sight. When he was young and still going to a mundane school, he saw a pack of werewolves fighting and screamed until the police arrived and saw nothing. From then on, Johnny rarely allowed him out of the house, except to occasionally help out at their booth at the L.A. Shadow Market. Since then, Kit taught himself out of old books and spent his free time playing video games in the basement.
Johnny explained to Kit that they could see the Shadow World because they had the "Gift"—his term for the Sight. For good measure, he instilled in Kit a fear of Shadowhunters by telling him that they kidnapped any person with the Sight under the age of nineteen due to their shortage of warriors since the Dark War.
Growing up, whenever Johnny had to entertain clients in their home, Kit was forced to hide in the basement. Johnny did teach Kit tricks and skills related to their line of work: Kit grew up picking pockets, performing sleights of hand, tricks, and picking locks. Though Johnny did what he could to protect and raise Kit, they weren't too close or affectionate.
Kit was at the Shadow Market one day in August 2012, in conversation with his friend Wren, when he first noticed Jem Carstairs and Tessa Gray, posing as casual customers but were in fact looking into the Rooks, though he paid them little notice. Just then, the Shadowhunters Emma Carstairs and Cameron Ashdown arrived to seek information from his father, making several people, including Wren, uneasy. Some fled the Market altogether. Kit curiously eavesdropped on the conversation, and Emma noticed him, to his father's dismay. Kit then got scared, remembering his father's exaggerated warnings about Shadowhunters recruiting young, Sighted mundanes.
Later, Emma and her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, came to their house to question Johnny. While Kit hid in the basement as always, Julian's brother, Ty, saw him. Thinking that Emma and Julian were in danger, Ty attacked Kit and held a knife to his throat, demanding answers. Kit was struck by Ty's beauty and Ty soon realized that he was Johnny's son. Julian, Emma, and Johnny came in shortly after, surprised by Ty's presence. Fearing for Kit's safety, Johnny hastily gave Emma more information and established that he would never help them again.
When Emma killed Malcolm, the wards surrounding the Rook house were destroyed. Mantid demons attacked the house and killed Johnny in the process. Terrified, Kit called Emma for help, and she, along with Jem and Tessa—two people personally invested in the Herondales and who had been searching for his line for years—soon arrived to rescue him. Kit was then taken to the Los Angeles Institute; on the way, they revealed to him his Shadowhunter lineage. Kit was disbelieving throughout until he was able to confirm it when he was able to open the doors of the Institute—a feat only possible if Shadowhunter blood ran through the person's veins. In shock about everything that just happened, Kit demanded to be left alone in his room, while Ty sat outside the door of his room. For a while even after this, Ty continued sleeping in front of Kit's room.
Kit eventually left the room, with thoughts of stealing valuables from the Institute and running away, but never actually went through with any of his attempts. At one point, the famous Jace Herondale came to the Institute, wanting to meet the newly-discovered Herondale, and convinced Kit to try being a Shadowhunter for a week before deciding he didn't want it. Before Jace and his girlfriend Clary left, they spent some time in the Institute training room. Clary then gave Kit a Herondale ring.
Under their tutor Diana's orders, Julian and Kit went to the Shadow Market to find a warlock who could make medicine for Arthur Blackthorn. Initially excited to return somewhere he was comfortable, he was upset to learn that he was no longer welcome there, sent away by the Market's landlord Barnabas Hale. In frustration and anger at Malcolm, Kit punched a Followers of the Guardian sign at the Market, causing his knuckles to bleed. Though he refused Julian's offer to give him a healing rune—his first rune ever—he accepted Ty's offer to Mark him.
Over the next few days, Kit found himself tagging along with and growing close to the twins Ty and Livvy, who casually included him in everything they did, making them somewhat of a team. With their help, and due to his natural inclination for Shadowhunter work, Kit gradually became more comfortable with the idea of becoming a Shadowhunter. At one point, Livvy asked him to kiss her, just to finally be able to experience it; Livvy later clarified, and Kit silently agreed, that the kiss meant nothing and they were no more than friends.
During their own investigations while the older Shadowhunters were working on their own missions, Kit, Ty, and Livvy discovered that Zara Dearborn, one of the visiting Centurions, was plotting to help her father take over the Institute from the Blackthorns. He joined them in attempting to alert Arthur to this fact, only to be told by Arthur himself that Julian had been running the Institute all along.
Kit also experienced his first real battle, after the first one at his old house with Johnny, when the Institute was attacked by Malcolm. Kit Portaled to London with the Blackthorns to stay in the Institute there. Kit continued bonding with Ty and Livvy, and even received a Voyance rune from Ty, which allowed him to see the ghost of Jessamine Lovelace, who told them where Malcolm used to live.
Kit later visited Blackthorn Hall with Ty and Livvy and found an aletheia crystal. He suggested traveling to the local Shadow Market for help, though their trip ended in disaster when the trio was attacked by the denizens of the Market and had to be saved by Magnus Bane after Livvy got hurt.
After the binding between Cristina Rosales and Mark Blackthorn was discovered, Kit went to fetch ingredients with Ty and Livvy, unaware that the Seven Riders had been sent after them. They were attacked by three of the Riders, but Gwyn ap Nudd and Diana Wrayburn intervened. Kit fought the Riders at the London Institute when they attacked it. During the scuffle, Kit was recognized by Eochaid, claiming to know his face. Unbeknownst to him, this is because of being descended from the First Heir.
At the Council meeting for Annabel Blackthorn and Kieran's testimonies, Kit and the others witnessed Annabel's madness—as a reaction to the Cohort's words—and when she used the Mortal Sword to kill the Inquisitor and Livvy.
While Kit mourned Livvy's sudden death, he remained by Ty's side, hoping to be there in the trying time, so Kit was surprised to see Ty not reacting to Livvy's death in the way they expected. Kit soon learned that this was because he did not accept Livvy's death and planned to bring her back with necromancy through a spell from the Black Volume of the Dead. Though he was reluctant, Kit supported him, not wanting to lose Ty.
The warlock Shade, who was sent by Hypatia Vex to help Ty in her stead, sensed Kit's reluctance and hoped that Kit would be able to talk Ty out of the dark magic. At one point, when Kit wandered by the beach where Shade stayed, Shade hinted at Kit to look into his mother's heritage. Kit was relieved when Shade refused to actually help Ty perform the ritual but was horrified when Ty revealed that he had a backup plan and retrieved a catalyst on his own.
The night before the battle against the Cohort, Ty performed the ritual by Lake Lyn. Just before the ritual, Kit tried to stop him, tried to get him to come to terms with Livvy's death, but failed. During this, Kit told Ty that he loved him, but Ty ignored the words in his desperation for Livvy's return. Ty proceeded with the ritual despite Kit's attempts to stop him but, because the catalyst he'd retrieved was corrupted, the spell only partially succeeded and Livvy was only brought back in the form of a ghost, whom Kit also saw.
The next day, Ty and Kit were magically tied to a tree by Magnus to keep them from joining the battle. Kit tried to ignore Ty, angry that he'd gone through with it, who in turn also felt betrayed that Kit had lied to him about supporting him. Livvy's ghost then appeared and set them free, telling them to get to Emma and the Blackthorns on the battlefield.
Once there, Emma found Kit and tried to keep him away from the battle, following Tessa's request. They were found by the Riders of Mannan, who revealed that Kit was part-faerie and was even a descendant of the First Heir. They also told Kit that they'd killed his mother, infuriating Kit and triggering his powers. Kit unleashed his anger and his magic, making the fleeing Riders' steeds disappear out of thin air. Kit lost consciousness after the act.
Kit was kept in the Silent City for days after the battle, to help him recover and to protect him while Tessa and Jem asked around to make sure that no one witnessed Kit's outburst of magic. Tessa then came to him soon after and asked him to come to live with her and Jem and the child they were expecting. Kit did not hesitate and agreed, not wanting to face Ty after their last encounter, and feeling that he had no true place among the Blackthorns outside of the bond he'd formed with Ty and Livvy.
On the day of Alec and Magnus's wedding, Kit, Tessa, and Jem watched them from afar for a short while, with Kit wanting to see Ty one last time and remember him this way. The three went unnoticed, and they soon Portaled to Devon without saying goodbye to the others.
At some point after Kit had moved into Cirenworth Hall with Tessa and Jem, they noticed some signs that he may have been thinking of running away as he had often tried at the Institute. That evening they gathered up all their prized possessions and other valuables and put them in his room. When Kit went into his room and discovered them, he was stunned into silence; and when Jem and Tessa came into the room to check on him, he expressed his confusion by asking if this meant they thought he'd steal them. They explained the gesture was to show him that there was nothing in the house more precious to them than him, and that the choice to stay was entirely up to him. Kit stayed.
In March 2013, while Tessa was in labor, Kit was in their kitchen when Livvy's ghost showed up. Startled, Kit spilled his drink all over himself. Livvy told him she was here to speak with Magnus and Kit sent her to the conservatory. After an incident, Magnus sent her back to wait with Kit while he helped Tessa with her delivery. Kit and Livvy made conversation until Kit was finally able to bring himself to ask how Ty was doing. She told him that he was doing well but missed him; then she realized something was wrong with her connection to Ty and asked Kit to tell Magnus to come find her at the Scholomance when he was done and left.
After Magnus received Kit's message, he began trying to find a way to alleviate some of the weight of Ty and Livvy's necromantic bond. When Kit discovered what he was doing, Kit offered Magnus to use the heron necklace that had belonged to his mother, which Livvy had noticed and liked. Magnus then worked some new enchantments and adjustments into the pendant's charm and passed it on to Ty as a gift to be used to summon him if needed as well as to help lessen some of the effects of the twins' bond.
Several months later, Kit seemed fully adjusted to life among the Carstairs: he helped take care of Mina when she woke up crying in the middle of the night, he accompanied Jem on his trip to the New York Shadow Market to collect medicine for her, and he had developed a casual back-and-forth with Tessa and Jem. He had even begun training in the yard in a space Tessa had cleared for him.
One evening, Tessa, having changed into Kit's mother in the past, offered him some stories of his childhood and his mother's life, as well as the song his mother used to sing to him that he remembered only bits of.
|“||If you're asking whether I'm working out my emotional pain through a punishing physical regimen, my answer is obviously a manly yes.||”|
–Kit to Jem, Forever Fallen
One afternoon, when Jem watched Kit as he practiced and commented afterward, Kit asked Jem to train him, and Jem agreed. Kit then confided in Jem that he felt that he has yet to meet someone who truly loved him for he who was and that he felt himself inadequate. Jem told him that it wasn't his fault but of those incapable of loving him, and that it should not hold him back from feeling love or to be himself. Kit broke down crying, grateful for Jem and Tessa, and Jem assured him that he loved him.
Kit eventually began attending the mundane school in their village and had friends who were aware and some unaware of the Shadow World, including children of members of a local pack of werewolves he'd become friendly with. Kit also began dating a daughter of one of the werewolf couples whom he also suspected of being a werewolf but was hesitant to ask. He also kept in touch with Livvy, who would occasionally visit, and Dru, though he still refused to talk about Ty.
Personality and traits
Like many Herondales before him, Kit is sharp-witted and tends to be sarcastic, especially when he gets uncomfortable or anxious. He can also be quite confident, particularly in circumstances where he is comfortable, such as at Shadow Markets.
Kit also gets some traits that he learned from his dad. He is persuasive, able to convince others to get his way. He was also taught by his father to be observant, picking out details easily, to study people so that he can figure out whether they can be tricked, what they are about, and what makes the person tick.
Kit is unconsciously eager to please. He attempts to live up to his father's ideals and later of the Shadowhunters around him, of his friends and new family.
Due to his upbringing, Kit also has some traits of kleptomania, not immediately able to stop himself from considering which items at the LA and London Institute would be worth stealing during the days when he still intended to run away. He is also quite restless, not liking the feeling of being trapped.
Initially, he resented his Shadowhunter bloodline and tried to push it away, but he eventually came to accept it and became proud of his lineage.
Kit has blond hair and blue eyes, traits typical among Herondales. He strongly resembles his distant relative Jace, with their blond, curling hair and face structure, specifically their similarly angular cheekbones. He also resembled his ancestor Auraline and his mother Rosemary, enough that he was recognized by the Riders of Mannan.
Skills and abilities
- Nephilim physiology: Being Nephilim, Kit 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, Kit naturally possessed the Sight and is able to see through most magical illusions and layers of glamour over reality. His Sight was further strengthened by his years among the Downworld it the Shadow Market, allowing him to penetrate glamour and enchantments even Shadowhunters cannot immediately see. When he received his Voyance rune, Kit's innate Herondale ability to see ghosts was awakened.
- 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, Kit 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.
- Natural fighting skills: Despite receiving little formal training, Kit possesses good instincts and reflexes due to his true Shadowhunter nature and is able to handle himself in a battle.
- Faerie magic: Due to his lineage, Kit has access to faerie magic, the full extent of which is still unknown. A prophecy about his ancestor suggests that it would be great once he achieves his full power.
|“||You think you can't survive without Livvy, but you can. We will go through it together. I love you, Ty, I love you.||”|
The first time Kit met Ty, he was immediately struck by Ty's beauty. When Kit came to stay at the Institute, Ty slept in front of the door to Kit's room. He and Livvy quickly integrated Kit into their small circle, making him feel at home at the Institute and among Shadowhunters. Ty became his closest friend in the Institute, even giving Kit his first runes, and Ty considered him to be 'the Watson to his Sherlock'.
While spending time with Ty, Kit developed feelings for him. He was unwilling to refuse the boy's wishes of bringing Livvy back to life even when he disapproved, but when he saw that Ty was about to actually practice dark magic, Kit tried to stop him, confessing that he loved him in an effort to show Ty that he wasn't alone, though in the end, Ty did not acknowledge this and went forward with his plan.Heartbroken and angry at Ty, Kit decided to leave the Institute afterwards, accepting Tessa's offer to be part of their family. Even months after this decision though, it becomes clear that Kit still cares a lot about Ty, even giving him his mother's necklace through Magnus.
Livia and Ty's efforts helped Kit quickly adjust to his new life. Though an out-of-nowhere request from Livia had the pair share her first kiss, they agreed to only be friends. Livvy asked Kit to be honest with Ty and to not string him along if he was still planning on leaving.
Dru was thirteen years old when they met, and the girl had been eager to prove her worth to everyone around her. Dru came to be thankful for Kit when he offered to teach her how to pick locks. But Dru later felt betrayed when she learned that Kit lied to her about what he and Ty had been up to following Livvy's death, and Dru felt that it may be for the best that Kit was no longer returning to live with them in LA.
- Herondale ring: Kit owns a Herondale ring, given to him by Clary (and Jace, who last owned the ring), which first belonged to James Herondale. Though James wasn't one of Kit's ancestors, James, like Kit, was close to the Blackthorns in his life.
- Herondale dagger: Kit is now in possession of a silver dagger, given to him by Jace (and which used to belong to Stephen Herondale), marked with herons in flight on the handle.
- A witchlight given to him by Ty.
- The Red Scrolls of Magic (mentioned only)
- The Land I Lost (alluded to)
- Lady Midnight (first appearance)
- Through Blood, Through Fire
- Lord of Shadows
- Queen of Air and Darkness
- The Lost World
- Forever Fallen
- Secrets of Blackthorn Hall
- The Wicked Powers (will appear)
- See more here
- When the senile Arthur Blackthorn saw him, he mistook Kit for Stephen, a Herondale he went to the Shadowhunter Academy with.
- Kit's existence as the other living Herondale aside from Jace and Tessa has long been teased by Cassandra Clare. He is referred to as the Lost Herondale.
- Kit is set to eventually talk to Catarina Loss about Ephraim Loss—her adoptive son and his ancestor—someday, possibly in his new home with Jem and Tessa in Devon.
- Kit's favorite flavor of ice cream is rocky road.
- Kit has a fiendish sweet tooth and enjoys candied moonflowers. According to Jem, he especially likes "pain au chocolat".
- Lady Midnight
- The Wicked Ones
- The Land I Lost
- Red Scrolls of Magic
- Queen of Air and Darkness
- Lord of Shadows
- "Will we find out how the Riders of Mannan recognise Kit? Is it linked with his mother?" "Yes, you will find out why they recognized him!" Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- Forever Fallen
- The Lost World
- Secrets of Blackthorn Hall
- Some of the teases from Cassie over the years: 
- "Queen questions — Kit and Catarina" — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- Shadowhunter Army August 2019 newsletter