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SPOILER WARNING: Plot details follow. Caution is advised!
He had always hoped, even when he refused to admit it.

Magnus about Ragnor, Born to Endless Night

Ragnor Fell is the former High Warlock of London, an old friend of Magnus Bane, Catarina Loss, and Raphael Santiago, and a former lecturer at the Shadowhunter Academy.


Early life

Ragnor's family was rather fond of him, believing him to be a faerie child when he was young. Because of this fondness, they had accepted him even when it was revealed that he was a warlock—a child of a demon.

At some point, Ragnor became acquainted with Catarina and the relatively younger Magnus, with whom he had gone on "adventures" with in Peru—in 1791, 1885, and 1890, before Magnus was banned from the country.[1]


At one point, Ragnor became the High Warlock of London. Around 1872, Ragnor was employed by Charlotte Branwell to keep an eye on the Herondales upon the request of Will Herondale. Doing so, Ragnor found that the family lost their home in Wales years later when the patriarch of the family, Edmund, became indebted due to gambling. He lost track of them when the family moved.

Around six years later, Ragnor was called upon by Charlotte, asking him once again to monitor and investigate the Herondales, who were revealed to have moved to Mortmain's Ravenscar manor in York. Once there, Ragnor began asking around about the Herondales and their connection to Mortmain. Ragnor was also spotted by Cecily Herondale, who then asked if Will sent him. Ragnor, because of the Law, told her little. He soon reported to Charlotte that all seemed fine and that he would stay in York to be sure.[3]

Ragnor began living, albeit temporarily, in a glamoured small stone house in Idris just outside Alicante,[4] when he was no longer the High Warlock of London. He then agreed to teach at the Shadowhunter Academy in 1899. Initially doing it as a diversion from his magical studies,[5] it eventually became a regular job and he moved into a room at the Academy, despite his general disdain for Shadowhunters, as he hoped to reform them and their relationship with Downworlders through influence on his students.[6]

In 1901, he was asked by Brother Zachariah to do some research into who Tessa Gray's demon father was. Ragnor at one point came to him with the news that it was a dangerous task and had proved fatal to multiple people. Zachariah asked him to continue searching and Ragnor agreed.[7] They began meeting regularly at the London Shadow Market for updates and eventually Ragnor's inqueries lead Leopolda Stain—a friend of Mortmain's who knew of Tessa's creation—to them.[8]

By 1903, Ragnor noticed the scarcity of demons in London and believed it to be foreshadowing of something big to come. While back in London, Hypatia Vex sent him an urgent letter requesting he meet with Matthew Fairchild and the other young Shadowhunters of the London enclave. When he met with them at the London Institute, Ragnor swore them to secrecy from the Clave. Once they promised, he shared his concern over the lack of demons and the rumors he had heard of a warlock being behind it. He then told them his suspicion of Emmanuel Gast being that warlock as he was the only one powerful and corrupt enough he could think of to do so. Before he fled for Capri, he contacted Magnus Bane about the events.[9]

Later life

In 1953, Ragnor visited Magnus in New York. There, he met Raphael Santiago while the newly-Turned vampire was staying with Magnus. Initially mistaking them for a couple, Ragnor was disgusted at the thought of Magnus being with a sixteen-year-old boy. However, when Raphael revealed that he found the idea of being with Magnus revolting, the pair bonded over Magnus' oddity, much to the latter's annoyance.[10] The two kept in constant contact ever since, wanting to maintain good relations between their kinds.[2]

Ragnor Fell continued to remain good friends with the Fairchilds and was often called upon by the family of Jocelyn Fairchild for healing spells and the like. Some time in the 1990s, Ragnor found out that Lucian Graymark had become the leader of the Brocelind werewolf pack and contacted Jocelyn about it. She later reached out to him again, asking Ragnor to make a potion that would place her in a self-induced sleeping state. As a precaution, in case the day came when she would have to use the potion, Jocelyn told her friend Madeleine Bellefleur about Ragnor.[4]

Ragnor continued teaching at the Academy for decades until the Uprising, after which it was closed. Still, Ragnor stayed in his cottage in Idris and tried to teach the Shadowhunters who would listen.[6]

In 2007, Ragnor heard from Raphael that Magnus was dating the Nephilim Alec Lightwood. When Magnus called him for advice, Ragnor expressed his disapproval and refused to become involved.[2]


When Jocelyn finally used the coma-inducing potion, Madeleine told Jocelyn's daughter, Clary, who soon went to Idris in search of Ragnor. At that time, Ragnor was staying in his house in Idris. She asked around about him, not knowing where to find him, and, at one point, told Sebastian about Ragnor in hopes of making the search easier. Made aware of his involvement and possible antidote for Jocelyn and the Book of the White, Sebastian told Valentine about him, who then sent Sebastian and possibly other demons to his home. Sebastian demanded the Book of the White from him, which Ragnor did not have. Ragnor immediately contacted Magnus to meet him in his home.

Ragnor apparently left Magnus a message through fiery letters on his wall that would be read by a warlock that would come into the place after him, telling him that the antidote to wake Jocelyn can be found in the Book of the White. When Clary and Sebastian came the next day looking for him, Magnus pretended to be Ragnor in front of Sebastian and told Clary that Ragnor had been dead by the time he arrived.[4]

Shortly after faking his death, he was captured by the warlock Shinyun Jung. She locked him in a secret cell in her house and tortured and neglected him. She evidently told him her plans to take Magnus down to which Ragnor told her she would not succeed as Magnus was a formidable foe. When he proved to be right, she beat him and then told him he'd be sorry for it. She went on to say that she had a new plan he would help her with as no one was coming to save him because everyone thought he was dead.[11]

To honor his memory, Catarina decided to teach at the newly-opened Academy, hoping to continue the work he began of molding the minds of young Shadowhunters. After two years at the Academy, she decided that she has done enough and all she can, and she has come a long way with the help of Ascendant Simon Lewis because now, more Shadowhunters were willing to learn.[6]

After years of pretending to be dead, Ragnor spent several more disguised as a mysterious warlock named Shade.[12]


By September 2012, Ragnor, as Shade, was at the London Shadow Market. He lied to Hypatia Vex to corroborate Kit Herondale's story that he was on business from Barnabas Hale. He took Kit and the Blackthorn twins Ty and Livvy into his tent and activated the aletheia crystal they found at Blackthorn Hall. He conversed with them while he worked and revealed that he knew Kit was the lost Herondale.

When the Shadowhunters were called out by Barnabas and the angry denizens of the Shadow Market, Shade tried to defend them but was waved away by Barnabas. He disappeared in the ensuing battle.[13] When a mysterious illness began affecting warlocks all over the world, he was protected somewhat.

When Kit and Ty contacted Hypatia, asking to meet, after Livvy's death, Shade met them at Los Angeles in her stead, both sent by Hypatia and by Jem Carstairs, who asked him to look after Kit. Though Shade tried to warn and dissuade them from performing necromancy to bring Livvy back, he volunteered to guide them with it anyway, knowing that they would have gone to another, possibly worse warlock otherwise. At one point, Church visited him at the Staircase Beach cave where he was staying.

When Kit came to visit him alone one day, Ragnor found out that the Julian Blackthorn and Emma Carstairs had found a cure for the illness and told him to ensure that Catarina and Magnus be the first to get it. When he learned that Magnus was at the Institute, he asked Kit to tell Magnus about him. He then told Kit about his parents: that his mother had been the Herondale, advising him to look into her. Soon after, Ragnor had taken the Lake Lyn water, curing him.

When Ty and Kit returned with all the ingredients for the spell, Ragnor was surprised and revealed that he had no intention of actually helping them get their power source, having expected them to give up halfway, specifically hoping that Kit could talk Ty out of it. He spread word of the pair among other warlocks, supposedly threatening them with his wrath, to ensure that no one would aid them.

During the battle between Livia's Watch and the Cohort, Ragnor—wearing a shirt with the words "Ragnor Lives"—provided Magnus with his strength to darken the sky with their magic and allow vampires to join the battle. Later, when Kit used his own magic against the Riders of Mannan, Jem and Tessa spread the rumor that it had in fact been Ragnor.

Some weeks later, Alec told him of his plans to wed Magnus as a surprise to Magnus at a party in Los Angeles. Ragnor helped set everything up and even conjured food and refreshments for everyone. When it came time for the ceremony, he and Catarina fought over which of them would walk Magnus to the altar. Catarina won out which greatly upset Ragnor though he quickly got over it and set off marriage rune shaped fireworks.[12]

Ragnor soon decided to return to teaching and guiding young Shadowhunters. He joined with Jia Penhallow, her husband, and Catarina at the newly-reformed-Scholomance.[14]

Personality and traits

Ragnor was somewhat grouchy and serious. Despite his unfortunate coloring, Ragnor wore it proudly instead of using glamour to hide it; primarily because he enjoyed the attention women gave him because of his strange skin color. Though he was often considered cranky, Ragnor also had a sense of humor and was kind, and despite his apparent dark outlook on life in general, he can also be quite optimistic.

Physical description

Ragnor is a tall man. He has four warlock marks: green skin, white hair, pointed horns on his temples, and extra finger joints. His white hair is curly, his small horns curled inwards.[12]

Skills and abilities

  • Immortality: As a warlock, Ragnor was granted immortality. Physically, Ragnor stopped aging and maintained the appearance of a thirty-year-old for centuries.
  • Magic: Ragnor had access to magical powers, capable of casting spells and performing summoning rituals like most warlocks. According to Magnus, Ragnor was one of the few warlocks capable of performing dimensional magic.[15]


Ragnor and Catarina are very close; she is one of the few who were deeply affected by his supposed death. He is one of the few people who could convince her to take time off. The two often went hiking together, visiting hot springs and unusual geographic formations. They occasionally invited Magnus, but he didn't enjoy roughing it as much as they did.[16]

Ragnor and Raphael constantly exchanged letters, checking up on each other, and occasionally gossiped about Magnus, who also lived in New York. Through letters, Raphael also attempted to teach Ragnor Spanish, which was apparently going well. Raphael supported his endeavor with his students at the Academy, though he did not fully understand it. In one particular correspondence, Raphael included a coin etched with a wreath—a symbol of education in the ancient world—charmed with good luck by a faerie, along with a list of Spanish vocabulary words. Ragnor unintentionally left this in his room at the Academy, to be found decades later by their friends Magnus and Catarina.

Ragnor and Magnus are dear friends, though Ragnor often expressed his disapproval of Magnus's behavior. Nonetheless, he would go along with his younger friend's antics as long as he could complain throughout while they did it.

Ragnor first met Tessa Gray in London in 1878. Some time after it was discovered that Tessa was a sort of warlock, Ragnor became friends with her, and the friendship developed over the next century. When she returned to Idris, she was wearing white in part to mourn for him.[4][17]



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  • Ragnor, Magnus, and Catarina had a deal that eighteen was the cutoff age when it comes to lovers.[10]
  • Ragnor's house in Idris has a working telephone.[6]
  • Magnus named a monkey he acquired in Paris after him.[19]
  • According to Magnus, Ragnor made up the rumors surrounding the Bermuda Triangle.[13]
  • He apparently looks to be around thirty years old.[20]
  • Ragnor is older than Magnus.[21]
  • Following Christopher Lightwood blowing up part of the Shadowhunter Academy, Ragnor threatened to leave the school forever if he was not expelled. Ragnor still seemed to be afraid of him a few years later.[7]
  • Ragnor being alive was decided around the time The Bane Chronicles was being written.[22] It was teased as early as May 27, 2014, at the 92Y book launch event of City of Heavenly Fire where her husband, and panel moderator, Joshua Lewis arrived wearing a "Ragnor Lives" shirt,[23] a shirt which later made an appearance in Queen of Air and Darkness, worn by Ragnor himself in the scene of his "grand return".[24]
  • The mystery of when Ragnor returned, charading as Shade, will be shown in The Eldest Curses.[25][18] As hinted at in Queen of Air and Darkness where it was said that "Jace and Clary had good cause to know him well" despite not meeting in The Mortal Instruments,[12] Clary and Jace, as well as Magnus, Alec, Isabelle, and Simon, will discover that Ragnor is not dead and will rescue him.[26]


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