|“||He had always hoped, even when he refused to admit it.||”|
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.
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.
Ragnor began living, albeit temporarily, in a glamoured small stone house in Idris just outside Alicante, 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, 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.
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. 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.
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.
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. The two kept in constant contact ever since, wanting to maintain good relations between their kinds.
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.
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.
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 eventually found help him with the help of Sebastian Verlac.
Ragnor had contacted Magnus to meet him at his home in Idris, not knowing about Clary arriving to ask for the Book of the White with Sebastian. He told Magnus that Sammael was after him as he was an expert in dimensional magic and he wanted Ragnor to find him a realm. Ragnor decided to fake his death, and destroyed his home, knowing it would be blamed on Valentine Morgenstern. Magnus tried to dissuade him from going into hiding, but Ragnor was adamant. He told Magnus where to find the Book of the White, and wrote it on his wall in fiery letters. He promised to be in touch, and promptly disappeared. When Clary and Sebastian came 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.
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.
Captured and thorned
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.
Some time after getting captured, Shinyun used Ragnor as bait to get the attention of Sammael. This worked and she quickly became his servant and feched the Svefnthorn for him. Under his directions, she stabbed Ragnor with it twice. He was then told he would die without a third wound but that once he received it, he would be under Sammael's thrall. Ragnor fought it first but eventually agreed to take it rather than die. Because he was subject to Sammael's will, Ragnor found Sammael a realm to gain power. The thorn's influence soon began warping Ragnor's features—his horns grew more twisted and elongated, and reached his chin, while his hands grew more claw like—as it slowly turned him into a demon.
In September 2010, he broke into Magnus and Alec's apartment with Shinyun and stole the Book of the White. While there, Ragnor held Max hostage to get Magnus to cooperate. Shinyun then used this opprotunity to stab Magnus with the Svefnthorn though it had not been part of the plan.
After stealing the Book, they fled back to Shanghai, where they had slowly been gathering spell ingredients and information for months. Ragnor spent a particular amount of time in Diyu with the Book to try to find a spell that could weaken the wards of Earth enough to let Sammael through. Eventually, they chose to open a permanent Portal to Diyu in the Shanghai Shadow Market, from which demons of the realm flooded out. Magnus and his friends fought the demons off until more Shadowhunters arrived. He then brought them all through the Portal so that he could close it from the inside.
In Diyu, Ragnor was forced to step in when Magnus and his friends began battling Ox-Head and Horse-Face. He got into a fight with Shinyun over his interference and attempt to help them escape. He was sent back to his apartment in Diyu by Sammael, where he continued to work on spells from the book. Magnus paid him a visit that night and brought with him, the swords, Black and White Impermanence. He used the gods in the swords to free Ragnor from the effects of the Svefnthorn and Sammael's power. Ragnor told him he was stupid for wasting the blades on him but was thankful nonetheless. During their walk back to the others, Magnus filled Ragnor in on all he had missed with the Dark War—most specifically how he came to adopt Max and of Raphael Santiago's death.
Upon their arrival at the group's base, they found Sammael destroying the church and terrorizing the Shadowhunters. Sammael then transported Shinyun, Alec, Magnus, and Ragnor to Avici, where he locked Ragnor in a cage. Ragnor did not put up a fight, as he thought he deserved it in punishment for all he did when under the influence of Sammael. During the altercation that followed, Alec took a thorning and used the power from it to free the ball of magic inside Magnus from the Svefnthorn. Shinyun took this for herself and transformed into a Greater Demon. She then left the world and began destroying it, which Sammael took as his cue to leave. Magnus freed Ragnor and they rushed back to their friends to save them from their torture. Ragnor created a Portal to get them back to Shanghai.
As the group prepared to split ways and return to New York, Magnus asked Ragnor about his plans. Ragnor explained that he had decided to stay "dead" so he could find a way to atone for all he had done under Sammael's control, especially as he did not think the Clave would be merciful nor Downworld. He went into hiding with a previous alias of his, 'Shade', as he was "a shade of his former self," to find who Ragnor would be when he came back to life.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- See more here
- Ragnor, Magnus, and Catarina had a deal that eighteen was the cutoff age when it comes to lovers.
- Ragnor's house in Idris has a working telephone.
- Magnus named a monkey he acquired in Paris after him.
- According to Magnus, Ragnor made up the rumors surrounding the Bermuda Triangle.
- He apparently looks to be around thirty years old.
- Ragnor is older than Magnus.
- 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.
- Ragnor being alive was decided around the time The Bane Chronicles was being written. 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, a shirt which later made an appearance in Queen of Air and Darkness, worn by Ragnor himself in the scene of his "grand return".
- What Really Happened in Peru
- What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything
- Clockwork Prince
- City of Glass
- Nothing but Shadows
- Born to Endless Night
- Cast Long Shadows
- Every Exquisite Thing
- Chain of Gold
- Saving Raphael Santiago
- The Lost Book of the White
- The Red Scrolls of Magic
- Lord of Shadows
- Queen of Air and Darkness
- The Lost World
- City of Lost Souls
- An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of Downworld
- City of Heavenly Fire
- The Runaway Queen
- "Ragnor maybe thirty," Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- "Ragnor has always kept his age close to the chest but he’s older than Magnus!" Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- "It's been the plan for a while now..." Cassandra Clare interview | The Fandom
- Cassandra Clare: The City of Heavenly Fire (Full Event) - 92Y Plus on YouTube
- "It was all planned out, thus the shirt, but it was a surprise to my husband that the shirt itself made an appearance in Queen." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr