|“||I'm not a man. I have no male pride for you to trick me with, and I am not interested in single combat. That is entirely a weakness of your sex, not mine. I am a woman. I will use any weapon and all weapons to get what I want.||”|
–Lilith, City of Fallen Angels
Lilith was originally created out of the Earth as a wife for Adam; however, she would not obey him or God, and so she was cast out of the Garden of Eden and was replaced by Eve. According to Jewish folklore, from which most of her folklore is sourced, Lilith was punished for her disobedience by being made unable to bear children, or at least, she was only capable of gestating infants who then died upon their birth. Lilith is further associated with the harming and weakening of human babies.
Sammael and Lilith later traversed the Earth, siring demons in the lands they visited, and promoting the creation of warlocks, witches, and faeries. Eventually, she and her lover created one demon too many, and Heaven, recognizing the danger that the growing demon horde posed to a still young humanity, declared war on all of demonkind and drove them from the Earth and into the Void—Lilith specifically was sent to the realm of Edom. To ensure that demons could not simply return things to the status quo antebellum upon the withdrawal of Heaven's forces from the Earth, the angels altered the Earth in such a way as to make it hostile to a demon's very presence on it, and strengthened the barriers between the Earth and the Void. Should even a powerful demon such as Sammael or Lilith manage to force a return to the Earth, they could only remain for hours at most before they withered away and their essence was pulled back into the Void.
This state of things wasn't to last, however, as Sammael and Lilith devised a means by which to counter the effects of Heaven's alteration of the Earth and it's increased barriers between the Void and the Earth. In a ritual around the year 1000 AD, Sammael and Lilith drastically weakened the Veil between the dimensions, greatly strengthening all of demonkind's immunity to the Earth's environment. Once more would Lilith and Sammael's brood be able to walk the Earth in great numbers.
However, their victory was short-lived, as Sammael was soon hunted down and slain by a furious Michael. A hundred years or so later, Raziel created the race of Nephilim, beginning with Jonathan Shadowhunter, to combat the darkness seeping out from the Void.
London, Victorian era
Lilith was in a sexual relationship with Benedict Lightwood, contributing to his contraction of demon pox. She was seen with Benedict at his own party in the Lightwood mansion, where Tessa Gray described her as a demon woman with snakes for eyes.
London, Edwardian era
In 1903, Belial stole the realm of Edom from Lilith and cast her out of the place. Due to an oath she swore to never harm a Prince of Hell, she couldn't directly harm him. Knowing that Cortana had recently wounded him, and it only took three wounds to kill him completely, she decided to go after its bearer, Cordelia Carstairs, and get her to fight him.
She first appeared to her as a faerie in the Hell Ruelle and tried to coerce her into meeting Wayland the Smith. When this did not work, she went to a Shadowhunter party as Lilian Highsmith and placed a spell on the blade so that it would burn Cordelia when she touched it and subtly made mention of having tried to seek Wayland before. Eventually, Cordelia sought out Wayland to fix Cortana and Lilith appeared to her in his form. She removed the spell she placed on the sword and made Cordelia swear an oath of fealty to her and, as her paladin, to take down the murderer plaguing the Shadowhunters of London.
Later, Lilith took the appearance of Magnus Bane and helped James Herondale and his friends understand the contraption they had found that belonged to the murder. She then made plans for that night to help James use his demonic abilities to access Edom in his mind and spy on Belial. However first, she sent a group of Hauras demons and a Naga to attack the group in an effort to show Cordelia her powers as a paladin. At James and Cordelia's home, she and James were able to cross into another dimension in his mind. Unfortunately Belial had put up a gate to prevent intruders and they never made it past him. In fact, Belial had thrown Lilith as Magnus Bane out before James and had a conversation with him after. When Lilith came to, she proclaimed the situation was worse than she feared and told them not to do anything.
The next morning, while Cordelia was fighting with Belial, Lilith interrupted, scolding her for taking too long and being unable to finish the job. She revealed who she was and who she had impersonated to get them to this point and that Cordelia fought for her. She offered Belial a bargain: if he returned Edom to her, she would remove her power from Cordelia so that he could kill her. When Belial did not agree, she ordered Cordelia to kill him. Shocked and betrayed, Cordelia attempted to refuse but Lilith's power within her was enough to force her on. She managed to fight off Lilith's will when Lucie Herondale blocked Belial—for it was Jesse Blackthorn's body he inhabited—but the only thing that released her control was when James shot Lilith. As she vanished, she sent a message in Cordelia's mind that she was still her paladin and thus hers to command.
Partnership with Valentine
Some time in the 1990s, Lilith was summoned by the young and ambitious Shadowhunter, Valentine Morgenstern. Lilith agreed to give Valentine her blood for his experiments, and Lilith took an interest in the unborn child Valentine had been giving her blood to via his biological mother, knowing he will be a powerful being—according to her, even more powerful than all the Greater Demons, and more mighty than the Asmodei. Lilith has since kept tabs on Sebastian, whom she sees as her own son and herself as his true mother.
New York, 2007
At Alicante, Clary Fairchild and Jace Herondale have a shared vision from the Angel Ithuriel of Lilith giving Valentine her blood and telling her the adverse effects her blood would have on his and Jocelyn's son.
During the battle of Brocelind Plain, Lilith went through the portal Valentine opened into Idris out of curiosity. She witnessed Valentine's death, as well as the revival of Jace. Worried about "her son", Lilith rushed over to his body and took him with her, knowing that she could find a way to bring him back as Jace's revival could pave the way for Sebastian's revival, to restore the balance between Light and Dark.
Jace, having been reborn, lacked the protective charms that Shadowhunters are typically given at birth which would ward off evil influences of the mind. Taking advantage of this oversight, Lilith began sending Jace dreams that troubled him greatly, such as dreams of him killing his girlfriend, Clary. Before the Silent Brothers could rectify the situation with the protective ritual, Lilith gave Jace the dream that would change everything—she showed him his late adoptive brother, Max Lightwood, who told Jace that he was sent from Heaven to help him. Lilith, through the vision of Max, instructed Jace to cut himself with a knife to bleed him of the evil, and then used his blood to Mark him with a rune that unwittingly bound him to Sebastian's will.
Around the same time, Lilith sends men to bring her the Daylighter, Simon Lewis, but all of the men but one were killed as a result of trying to harm Simon while he bore the Mark of Cain, although the surviving man had no idea how this occurred. The last man standing returned to Lilith and informed her of the holy fire and God's wrath that had killed his accomplices. Knowing that she might have to take Simon herself, she went to him under the guise of band promoter Satrina Kendall, who approached Simon Lewis and gave him her business card, claiming to be interested in their band. It was then that she saw what had been protecting him from her men—the Mark of Cain on his forehead, a mark she was familiar with, as a result of knowing Cain personally back in his time.
Fearing retribution from the Mark, Lilith, realizing that she could not force him to do what she wanted on her own, abducted Maureen Brown, the mundane whom he had accidentally fed on after going too long without blood. She had Camille Belcourt kill her to turn her into a vampire, and ordered her to escort Simon to her lair. There, she revealed that it was she who ordered Camille to murder the four Shadowhunters and that she was also behind the dead demon babies, whom her followers had been killing for her.
Lilith then demanded that Simon revive Sebastian by feeding him his blood. Since the other Shadowhunters tracked Simon to her lair, Lilith confronted them in battle and proved too powerful. Simon saw that Lilith was about to whip Clary and reflexively jumped between them to protect Clary. As the whip struck him, the Mark of Cain then took effect and destroyed Lilith's earthly form by "sevenfold," and her essence was scattered between worlds.
She was ultimately successful though, as Sebastian was ultimately revived because the rune on Jace that bound him to Sebastian, which had already healed itself after being damaged by Clary, reconnected him to Sebastian's will and compelled him to give Sebastian his blood; the mixture of their blood completed the bond between them in a twinning spell, a somewhat demonic version of the parabatai bond.
Lilith was eventually summoned back to Earth by Sebastian, thus helping her reform faster, though not completely. She was still too weak and was only able to manage to provide her blood for the Infernal Cup, in order for Sebastian to create an army of Dark Shadowhunters. She allowed Sebastian to take refuge in her realm, Edom. When Sebastian died and the army was destroyed in the Dark War, she wept for her blood 'children', and her howls were heard throughout Edom.
Lilith is described as beautiful, except that she has black snakes protruding from her otherwise hollow eye sockets. She has long, shining black hair. Her shape is slim and lovely, and her skin pale white.
- The Church of Talto houses a cult that worships Lilith and murders infants for her.
- Asmodeus referred to her as their princess.
- Her main enemies are the angels Sanvi, Sansanvi, and Semangelaf who were specifically sent to punish her for her creation of demons and warlocks.
- Her realm, Edom, is considered "a wasteland of night creatures and screech owls" which is presumable why owls are considered a symbol for her.
- When changing her appearance into other people, she apparently will be adorned, in one way or another—be it earrings, a necklace, or ring—with a specific blue stone.
- The color of her magic is bronze.
- City of Fallen Angels
- The Shadowhunter's Codex
- Clockwork Prince
- "Was lilith the demon with benedict Lightwood in the mask party?" "yep, good catch" Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- "It was indeed Lilith." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- "Why yes, that is Lilith!" Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- Chain of Iron
- City of Lost Souls
- City of Heavenly Fire
- Princes of Hell Booklet — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr