Out of a momentary truce between the King and Queen of the two Courts of Faerie, a child was born. Since the child had no mother in the Unseelie Court, the Unseelie King engaged Mother Hawthorn's services. Hawthorn found it an honor. On the day of the birth, the child was given into her hands in the Unseelie Court and Mother Hawthorn instantly felt love for the young girl. As the King kept Auraline in his Lands, Mother Hawthorn was the one who raised her.
When a prophecy about the First Heir came about, one which all of Faerie would fall under shadow when they reached for their full power, she feared for her, aware of what the King would do to her. Auraline fled and took refuge in the mortal world. Mother Hawthorn kept watch for her herself and has found her a dozen times, though she never told the King where Auraline was, since she never forgave him for turning against the girl. Auraline eventually met and fell in love with Roland. Mother Hawthorn hated him, even more so when they ran away together.
In 1901, Mother Hawthorn was at the London Shadow Market when she met Matthew Fairchild. He casually told her about his mother being Consul, and she knew that the boy's parabatai was a Herondale. As a cruel trick, she sold him a vial of poison, claiming it to be a truth potion. The potion was fed to his pregnant mother; though she survived, she lost the child in her womb.
Hawthorn continued to watch over Auraline and witnessed her share what she could of her faerie power to keep Roland alive as long as possible. She watched Auraline choose to die with Roland and blamed Roland for everything. Because of him, Hawthorn developed a deep hatred of Nephilim, specifically the Herondales.
In 2000, Mother Hawthorn was at the New York Shadow Market. She offered to sell a love charm to Brother Zachariah, who recognized her from the time she sold Matthew poison. She tried to sell phoenix tears to him and her vampire companion Lily Chen before she realized that Raphael Santiago was with them and immediately ran off.
By 2012, Mother Hawthorn had moved on to the Buenos Aires Shadow Market, where she spent most of her time telling stories to the street children in the market. She spotted Lily Chen with two Shadowhunters—Alec Lightwood and the orphaned Rafael—and called out to Alec to offer help. Lily recognized her as the faerie she'd heard had a spite against Shadowhunters. Lily took Alec away and later told him to tell Jem Carstairs that the woman might be able to help in his search. When Jem and the others cornered her for information about the lost line of Herondales, she told them the story as she knew it, from Auraline's birth to her death.
A day later, Jem saw her again in the crowd outside the burning house of a rogue warlock. Jem went up to her and asked for dittany, an herb Tessa needed to heal the hurt Rafael. When she refused to give it to him, Jem told her about how she had inadvertently caused the death of an unborn child with the trick she played a century before. Jem convinced her that though it was too late to save Auraline and that child, it wasn't too late to save Rafael, and Hawthorn gave him the herb.
Mother Hawthorn can be cruel and deceptive, willing to play tricks on a young, innocent Shadowhunter out of spite. However, she had a soft spot for children; she loved and cared for them, and she valued their lives over any resentment, as shown when she showed regret at the thought of having caused the death of one due to a trick.
Mother Hawthorn is said to have a face like a "withered-apple", hair like "dandelion-fluff", and eyes "green as stems".
- The stall she uses to show her wares at the Shadow Markets can move on its own, walking on chicken feet.
- Cast Long Shadows
- Every Exquisite Thing (alluded to)
- Son of the Dawn (first appearance)
- The Land I Lost
- Queen of Air and Darkness