His parent, presumed to be his mother, abandoned him on the steps of the Shadowhunter Academy early in 2010. Found by the students, Simon Lewis decided to call Magnus for help. He and Alec agreed to take care of the matter, not wanting to leave the child at the mercy of the Clave.
While caring for him in their suite at the Academy, Alec grew attached to the child. Soon, his family arrived under the belief that they would keep the child and raise him as their own. Maryse and Isabelle were quick to suggest the name "Max Lightwood", after the child of their family who passed over two years prior, which Alec liked and had considered as well, while Robert recommended Michael, after his dear friend.
As a baby warlock, Max was not in total control of his powers and would accidentally used his magic often. At the age of one, he seemingly had an affinity with anti-gravity spells—using them to float in the air or to crawl up walls and ceilings. Magnus would typically cast his own spells to undo Max's magic but eventually they let him do so till he got bored, trusting that he wouldn't get hurt. His grandmother, Maryse, initially struggled with these actions when she was entrusted to babysit while Magnus and Alec were in Shanghai for a few days, trying to get him off the high ceilings of the New York Institute with a spear. Upon their return, Maryse had an injured arm and Kadir Safar had two black eyes; which they claim were unrelated to Max.
Two years later, Max still happily lived with his adoptive parents and extended family, who welcomed him and treated him with love. In 2012, his parents adopted an orphaned Shadowhunter child named Rafael, and the boy became Max's elder, adoptive brother. Max immediately loved Rafe and was excited to train with him. It was decided by their parents that Max could train as a Shadowhunter, using his magic to make up for Shadowhunter attributes.
Later that same year, the family went to the London Institute to help the Blackthorns. While there, the siblings became friends with the youngest, Tavvy, who later traveled back to Idris with their family.
They soon attended Livvy and Robert's funerals, where Rafe and Max tried to console Tavvy for the loss of his sister. When the bodies were set on fire, the siblings held each other's hands as they stood with their family.
Once Magnus started being even sicker due to the illness affecting all warlocks, Max and Rafe were sent back to New York to be looked after by Simon and Isabelle, where Alec checked on them daily to make sure Max wasn't getting sick as well. Fortunately, he was not very affected by the illness and seemed to be okay.
While the rest of their family were fighting in the battle that broke out against The Cohort and Oban's Unseelie army a few days later, the siblings, Tavvy and Dru were watched over in Alicante by Maryse.
In October that year, around three weeks after Alec's appointment as Consul, their family, friends and loved ones gathered at the beach by the Los Angeles Institute at what was made out to Magnus to simply be a party. However, it was actually the set for Alec's proposal, which Magnus accepted, and the wedding ceremony was held there that night.
Some months later, at the cherry blossom festival with his family, Max encountered Janus hiding behind a tree watching his family. Mistaking him for his uncle, Max asked if he was playing hide-and-seek and then hugged him, assuring him he wouldn't tell where he was hiding. Max then ran off to rejoin his family before he could notice the knife Janus was holding.
- Born to Endless Night (first appearance)
- Angels Twice Descending
- The Lost Book of the White
- The Land I Lost
- A Long Conversation
- Lady Midnight
- Lord of Shadows
- Queen of Air and Darkness
- Forever Fallen
- Max enjoys books and playing with common household objects. He wants to be a pirate.
- He calls Alec "dad" and Magnus "papa" or "bapak". When he was 3, he started calling Magnus Ultra Magnus, a name he seems to have gotten to have been gotten from one of his toys.
- He has a "sailor suit of shame" that he must wear when he misbehaves.
- Max's first word was "newt" at 9 months old.
- Max's favorite book as a child was The Very Small Mouse Who Went a Very Long Way by Courtney Gray Wiese.
- Max was originally meant to sometimes turn into a bat, due to being too young to control his magic. However, this was cut from The Lost Book of the White by the final print. It is unclear at this time whether he still does or not.
- In 2010, Max's soul attended the dream wedding of Tessa Gray and Jem Carstairs on Blackfriars Bridge. Alec had taken Max to the botanical gardens to tire him out earlier in the day to ensure he'd stay asleep for the entirety of the dream. The event soon faded from his memory.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Born to Endless Night
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 The Land I Lost
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of Downworld
- ↑ Angels Twice Descending
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 The Lost Book of the White
- ↑ Lady Midnight
- ↑ Lord of Shadows
- ↑ Queen of Air and Darkness
- ↑ Forever Fallen
- ↑ Cassandra Clare's May 2019 "All the Book News" Newsletter
- ↑ "It’s just something that happens because he’s too young to control his magic." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- ↑ "Alas, bat Max fell to the editing sword." CC on Tumblr
- ↑ In Dreams Begin, a The Lost Book of the White extra