|“||To be a Shadowhunter is all I ever wanted.||”|
Sophia "Sophie" Lightwood (née Collins) is a former mundane who possessed the Sight and used to be a servant at the London Institute. After years of serving them, Sophie underwent Ascension and became a Shadowhunter herself. She is the wife of Gideon Lightwood, with whom she has three children: Barbara, Eugenia, and Thomas.
Sophie was born into a poor family and has had the Sight since she was young. She was drawn to places where the Shadow and mundane worlds intermingled such as carnivals, solstice celebrations, and Westminster Abbey. Sophie stopped doing this when she needed to start working for a living.
Because of her beauty, she was promoted to a parlor maid by her employers in St. Johns Wood, London. Teddy, the son of her employer, took an interest in her and tried to seduce her on several occasions, but she turned him away repeatedly. In a fit of rage, Teddy cut Sophie's face with a knife, wanting to leave a scar that will permanently disfigure her face, telling her that if he couldn't have her, he'd make sure no one ever wanted her again. When she went to Teddy's mother, Teddy claimed that it was Sophie who tried to seduce him and that he'd taken up the knife to fight her and protect his virtue. The family then threw her out onto the street.
Sophie was then found by Charlotte Branwell, whom Sophie saw, despite Charlotte's glamour. Charlotte then took her to the Silent Brothers, and while they were able to heal the infection in her wound, it was too late to remove the scar. Sophie then began working at the London Institute as the ladies' maid, particularly Jessamine Lovelace's.
At the Institute, Sophie experienced considerable freedom and was treated well, especially compared to her past employment. She became good friends with the other servants of the Institute, Agatha and Thomas, who developed feelings for her. The other residents of the Institute were also very nice to her, save for Jessamine and Will, both of whom were rude to most everyone except the third ward in the Institute, Jem Carstairs, whom Sophie grew to love. Sophie also became particularly attached and grateful to Charlotte, who always treated her with kindness.
Over time, Sophie became comfortable, to some extent, with the residents of the Institute. She acted as Charlotte's "angel", who reminded her when she began to become too blunt. Knowing that Will would also be mean to her, a condition of Sophie's employment included the allowance to speak to him any way she liked, and she did so as curtly and frankly as she saw fit. She was allowed to speak freely and was generally treated better than typical servants in the time.
When the believed Downworlder Tessa Gray was brought to the Institute, Sophie attended to her and quickly became good friends with her. Her fondness and protectiveness of Charlotte immediately became evident to Tessa, and vice versa. Sophie helped Tessa with certain tasks, much to the other girl's discomfort, not used to being pampered. Nonetheless, Sophie continued to serve her, and even helped her adjust and become familiar with the Institute and its residents; particularly, she warned her about Will.
After an incident between the Shadowhunters of the local Enclave and the vampires of Alexei de Quincey's clan, Sophie was supposed to help Will purge his body of vampire blood. Unwilling to listen and drink the holy water that would cure him, Will even went as far as to throw Sophie a bucket of the water, much to her frustration. A livid Sophie left and had just given up when she ran into Tessa, who offered to take the holy water and get Will to drink it for her. While apprehensive for Tessa, she let her, no longer wanting to deal with Will herself.
Suspicious of what transpired between them the night before, Sophie continued to warn Tessa about Will. She tried to give her advice about love and, instead, ended up indirectly speaking about her feelings for Jem, which Tessa mistook as her feelings for Thomas. Sophie, still oblivious to Thomas' feelings for her, denied any possibility of a romance budding between them. Despite this, Tessa continued to wonder about them.
When Jem and Tessa returned to the Institute one evening with a pair of automatons right behind them, Sophie cared for Tessa and worried greatly for Jem, who fell ill after the attack, albeit refusing to see him out of shame. It was then that her feelings for Jem became known to Tessa.
On the night of the Nephilim's siege of de Quincey's hideout, Jem and Will left to look for the Dark Sisters at a tip given by the mundane informant Axel Mortmain. Thus, Sophie was left in the Institute with Tessa and the other servants, with only Jessamine as the remaining Shadowhunter. Practically defenseless, automatons arrived and infiltrated the Institute, using blood they'd retrieved from Jem from the previous attack to gain access. Agatha was swiftly killed, devastating Sophie who had to be pried off of her. Thomas ordered Sophie and Tessa to hide in the Sanctuary, and they were later joined by Jessamine, leaving Thomas behind, infuriating Sophie.
Mortmain was able to trick Jessamine into opening the door by having an automaton mimic Will's voice, though Sophie tried to warn her against opening the door, having caught onto the trickery. Mortmain told them to leave the room, but she and Jessamine refused to leave without Tessa. Mortmain ordered his automatons to kill him, and though Sophie tried to run, she stood no chance, so Tessa told Mortmain that she would stay willingly as long as he didn't hurt Sophie and Jessamine. Mortmain agreed and ordered the automatons to bring them downstairs, where they were guarded by Nate and soon found and rescued by Jem.
Sophie and Tessa hadn't been allowed to go to the funeral rites for Agatha and Thomas, but Sophie preferred to not see them burned and their ashes scattered, wanting to remember them as they were.
Due to the deaths of Agatha and Thomas, replacements were sent to them: Cyril—Thomas's brother—and Bridget as Agatha's replacement. It was decided during a Council meeting that Sophie and Tessa would be trained by the Lightwood brothers. The elder of the two, Gideon Lightwood, personally saw to her training.
She began to fall for Gideon as her feelings for Jem began to fade, even feeling happy for them when he and Tessa announced their engagement. While her feelings for Gideon were obviously reciprocated, she was quite conflicted because she believed that their relationship was doomed due to their very different social status. However, she did agree to meet him in London for a picnic.
Later, Sophie brought Gideon's lunch to his room, he asked her why she had been avoiding him. Before he could continue to talk to her, Henry burst in to tell Gideon that his brother, Gabriel was here and asking for him. Gideon also asked Sophie to bring him lots of scones around this time because she was still a servant and therefore he would be able to talk to and see her. Gideon later asked her to marry him and Sophie agreed.
A few months after the battle at Cadair Idris, Sophie finally Ascended and became a Shadowhunter, taking on the inactive Shadowhunter name Ashdown. Eventually, she married Gideon and had three children with him, namely Barbara, Eugenia, and Thomas Lightwood.
After Thomas's friends had been expelled from the Shadowhunter Academy in 1899, Thomas opted not to return the following year and Sophie and Gideon decided to move their family back to London to be closer to the others. She then took over in tutoring the boys with Henry Branwell.
In 1903, their daughter Barbara was attacked and poisoned by a Khora demon. A few days later she succumbed to the poison and died, much to the sorrow of Sophie, Gideon and the rest of their family and friends. They then went to Idris to be with their other daughter as she had collapsed upon the news of Barbara's death and was not well enough to travel to London. After the quarantine of London ended, they returned home with Eugenia to attend an Enclave meeting and later James Herondale and Cordelia Carstairs's engagement party.
She attended James and Cordelia's wedding in December. A few weeks later, she, her husband, and Eugenia went to comfort the Pounceby family after Basil Pounceby's death.
When Thomas stood accused as the serial killer behind the murders in London, she and Gideon rushed to the London Institute, making it just before a crowd arrived. Sophie informed James and the others about Inquisitor Bridgestock having demanded he be locked up in the Sanctuary and that though he had let others know of the arrest, causing a mob, he had begrudgingly agreed to keep the identity of the suspect secret. She then allowed James, Matthew and Christopher to sneak in and visit with Thomas briefly before the Inquisitor returned with the Consul.
After Thomas's innocence was proven, the Institute was attacked by Leviathan. She participated in the battle with her husband and children and afterward, she assembled with the other Enclave members for a meeting. While James narrated the story of how Jesse Blackthorn's body was behind the murders, Sophie feared that Tatiana had been successful in raising her son before James explained how a demon had been using the preserved body of the boy.
Sophie is a kind, often shy girl who can also be outspoken at times. She has a kind heart, and can often see through a person's façade to what is underneath. She is also self-conscious due to her scar. Because of her last employer she often feels uncomfortable in the presence of men.
Sophie is described as slender, with dark hair and eyes that are a "luminous dark hazel". She is very pretty, but her beauty is marred by the thick, silvery ridged scar which slashes from the left corner of her mouth to her temple, pulling her face sideways and distorting her features. When meeting her people are often shocked about her scar, something Sophie does not like.
Gideon Lightwood is a Shadowhunter who was first introduced in Clockwork Prince. He is the eldest of the Lightwood children and has spent the past few months leading up to Clockwork Prince studying at the Madrid Institute before his father called him back to London. He is forced by his father into helping train Tessa and Sophie. During the training sessions, he primarily trains Sophie while Gabriel trains Tessa. He begins developing feelings for Sophie during their training sessions and they begin stepping out in secret, Sophie meeting with him on her days off. Her feelings for Jem begin to disappear because of her developing feeling for Gideon and is even happy when Tessa and Jem announce their engagement. Gideon is in love with her, he even tells her his family secrets and casts away his family ring, and at the end of Clockwork Prince, she seems to confirm that she reciprocates his feelings. Sophie has a difficult time around Gideon when he lives at the Institute, embarrassed that he saw her working as a servant. The two of them had an argument when she found out that he was asking her to bring him scones so he could see her, but hiding all the scones under the bed instead of eating them. They next argued when Sophie found Gideon and Gabriel looking through Charlotte's letters to trick the Consul. She told them that she was more loyal to Charlotte than she was to them, but was convinced not to tell when she read the letters and started laughing. Sophie was stunned when Gideon declared his intention to marry her, but reminded him that he did not propose to her as a proposal is asking her. He then properly proposed and she said yes. Sophie Ascended to become a Shadowhunter and married Gideon. The two of them had three children together and both of them passed away in the twentieth century.
Sophie was good friends with Thomas, a fellow Sighted mundane and servant at the Institute. Thomas was always kind to Sophie and had feelings for her, which was obvious to everyone except Sophie, who assumed that Thomas was merely always pleasant and cheerful and nice to everyone. Despite finding out from Tessa, Sophie never returned his feelings, though she remained good friends with Thomas and was visibly distraught when he died defending her and the others. Sophie later gave birth to a son and named him after Thomas.
James "Jem" Carstairs is a Shadowhunter at the London Institute, and an employer of Sophie. He is kind to her, as he is to everyone, but does not seem to have any romantic feelings towards her. However, Sophie is in love with Jem, despite knowing that he doesn't love her back. She never tells anyone directly, but her feelings are sometimes made obvious, such as her calling him by his first name. It is very obvious to Tessa that Sophie likes Jem but Sophie would not tell him, because he liked Tessa.
Charlotte, head of the Institute, is a kind employer, and a good friend to Sophie ever since she rescued her from the streets of London. She is described by Charlotte as her "good angel", admonishing Charlotte when she is too blunt. Sophie often speaks favorably of Charlotte.
Sophie and Will had a strained relationship during her first years of employment at the Institute. Will treated everyone uncouthly, Sophie was not exempt from this. Sophie was among the people who never tolerated his behavior, and thus Sophie found herself despising Will, particularly since he also reminded her of her last employer, Teddy, who gave her the scar, thinking Will was also beautiful, proud, and cruel like Teddy. This changed when Sophie found out about Will's supposed curse. It was in her nature to be understanding, and she felt sorry for him. The two have since considered each other friends, or at least amicable comrades.
Tessa and Sophie generally get along. Tessa treats Sophie well, even back when she was a servant, and so Sophie found it hard to resent the kind girl whom Jem loved and instead supported them. The two became fast friends and grew to care for each other dearly. So much so that Sophie was Tessa's suggenes at her wedding to Will Herondale.
- Clockwork Angel (first appearance)
- Clockwork Prince
- Clockwork Princess
- Nothing but Shadows (mentioned only)
- Cast Long Shadows (mentioned only)
- Every Exquisite Thing (mentioned only)
- Chain of Gold
- Chain of Iron
- See more here
- After Tatiana's arrest, Sophie and Gideon offered Grace a place at their house. They repeated the gesture nearly every subsequent time they met.
- Sophie was 19 at the beginning of the series, and she has stated that she was almost 20. When her birth year was revealed in a found family tree, it was confirmed that she indeed would have turned 20 in 1878.
- According to the found family tree, Sophie died some time in 1939 at the age of 80 or 81.
- Shadowhunter names, Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- 10th Anniversary Edition of Clockwork Angel
- An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of Downworld
- Clockwork Angel
- Clockwork Prince
- Clockwork Princess
- Chain of Gold
- Chain of Iron
- Found family tree, a Clockwork Princess extra
- Fairy Tale of London, a Chain of Gold extra