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My husband is dead, my father is dead, my brothers are lost, my home was stolen, and the Nephilim had no power to save my son. I was everything I was ever asked to be, and as my reward my life was burned to ash. Do not speak to me of easing my pain. My pain is all I have left. Do not speak to me of being a Shadowhunter. I am not one of them. I refuse to be.

– Tatiana to Magnus, The Midnight Heir

Tatiana Blackthorn (née Lightwood) is the youngest child and only daughter of Barbara and Benedict Lightwood. She is the younger sister of Gabriel and Gideon Lightwood, the widow of Rupert Blackthorn and the mother of Jesse Blackthorn.


Early life

Tatiana Lightwood was born as the youngest child of Barbara and Benedict Lightwood in 1862. Since her mother died around a year after her birth, Tatiana was raised protectively by her father, who shielded her from his activities and taught her that she would grow up into an elegant woman who would support her Shadowhunter husband and do her duty by having more Shadowhunter children.[2] In addition, Tatiana was extremely bitter about not having met her mother and blamed her absence on her brothers.[3]

As a child, Tatiana developed a huge crush on the London Institute's new ward, Will Herondale. At a Christmas party at the Institute, when she was around eleven or twelve, Will found her diary, which contained poems of her love for him and her name, written as "Tatiana Herondale." Wanting to stop Tatiana from caring for him, he stole her diary and read it out loud in front of all the guests, embarrassing her deeply and infuriating her brothers, Gideon and Gabriel, the latter of whom was so angry that he tried to hurt Will and ended up getting his own arm broken in the struggle.

Sins of the Father

Tatiana eventually moved on from Will and married Rupert Blackthorn. Shortly after her honeymoon, during which the couple traveled the continent,[2] sixteen-year-old pregnant Tatiana and her husband returned to London to pay her father, Benedict, a visit. However, they were unaware that Benedict was now in the final stage of his contracted demon pox and had already turned into a demon—specifically a large, demonic worm. The couple was attacked, and, much to Tatiana's horror, Rupert was eaten and promptly killed by her now-demonic father. Tatiana was unable to do anything except scream in terror as the worm took Rupert away. The Shadowhunters of the London Institute arrived shortly after, and Tatiana explained to them the situation. When Tatiana found Rupert's mutilated body, particularly his foot, Tatiana was frozen in terror and was in such shock that she had to be dragged to the carriage and away from the battle by Tessa Gray.

While Tatiana was mourning the death of her husband and father, the Lightwood residences and possessions were confiscated from them by the Clave as part of their investigation. Tatiana, who had been taken in by her late husband Rupert's family, also feared the shame their family would suffer if the truth regarding her parents' deaths was made public. In an effort to cover it up and salvage their reputation, Tatiana lied and claimed that Benedict was murdered by her brothers, Gideon and Gabriel, as well as the others from the London Institute. She made an official complaint to the Council against them, though even Consul Wayland, who was not fond of Charlotte Branwell, the head of the London Institute, did not believe her claims.

Some time after, Tatiana attended the emergency Clave meeting called by Wayland, discussing Charlotte's position as the head of the London Enclave. Tatiana supported his claim, though her begrudging statements were questioned by Inquisitor Whitelaw. To refute her, Whitelaw revealed the true nature of Benedict's death and disease, telling her that, if not for the residents of the London Institute, the Lightwood family would have been stripped of their Marks, left to be mundanes, and had their family name taken off the records.[4] Before Tatiana could respond, the anxious Consul interrupted the Inquisitor. While several automatons disrupted the meeting and attacked the Shadowhunters, Tatiana was among those who survived.

Dark dealings

At one point, in an unknown order of events, Tatiana gave birth to her son, Jesse, moved to Idris, got back the Lightwood manor in Chiswick and Benedict's fortune, and adopted Grace Cartwright, raising her as her ward. Her son, Jesse, however, was born so weak and sickly and was not expected to live to adulthood. Tatiana grew increasingly reclusive, refusing to see even her own brothers, whom she came to hate.[5]

Growing up her son Jesse expressed his wish to be trained and runed as other Shadowhunters, to which Tatiana repeatedly denied. Finally in 1896, at the age of 17, he demanded that she allow him to have his first rune ceremony or he would run off to Alicante and get it done himself. So Tatiana relented and called the Silent Brothers. The ceremony went well at first however when he returned to his room, he collapsed. He woke up with a fever and screaming and Tatiana began making preparations in the event he died. At the end, as he was dying, Tatiana entered the room with the Blackthorn family locket to capture his last breath with. She then brought a warlock into the room to preserve his body and severe his soul from it so that Jesse's soul could wander between worlds and be present.

Over the years, Tatiana turned to dark magic; studying the craft closely, making deals with demons, and collecting items that may be used to resurrect Jesse or make her enemies pay. In the summer of 1900, she got Grace to convince James Herondale to steal a bracelet for her. The bracelet was enchanted to allow Grace's ability to work on him and to prepare him for the Prince of Hell Belial that she had made a bargain with.[6]

In 1903, she called for Magnus Bane and asked him to perform a ritual that involves the killing of five Shadowhunters. Magnus deduced she would use this to alchemize into magic for a spell and though she offered him an obscene amount of money, Magnus refused.[5] Later that year, Tatiana decided to move back to London with her daughter, hoping to exact her revenge and finally bring her son back to life. Belial commanded a Mandikhor to send its Khora demons after the London Shadowhunters. He had it kill Barbara Lightwood as a gift to Tatiana so that she could see her brother suffer. He then had Tatiana attacked by the demon to throw any suspicion away from her.

However when she woke up from her induced sleep, she was skeptical about his reasonings and loyalty. She then discovered that Jesse's last breath had been released from the locket. Enraged she became convinced it was James's fault and tried to come up with a way to get back at him, using Grace. At the Enclave meeting to discuss the previous Mandikhor attacks, Tatiana accused James of having colluded with demons to orchestrate the attacks and then burned down Blackthorn manor to destroy her proof. When Cordelia Carstairs provided James with an alibi, she then blamed his friends Matthew Fairchild, Thomas Lightwood, and Christopher Lightwood. The Consul then entered and mentioned the number of demonic magic and necromantic items they found in the ruins of her home, Tatiana fell to the floor screaming and crying that no one would help her as they arrested her.

She was granted leniency, the Clave believing the loss of her son having broken her mind, and was sentenced to live with the Iron Sisters. Before she left she was allowed to collect some of her things at her house and there she spoke with Belial. He explained that it had been his plan all along for her to be sent to the Adamant Citadel so that she could attack the Clave from within.[6]

Physical description

Tatiana is seemingly very tall and extremely skinny to the point of boniness. She has a thin face, a beaky smile, and poison-green eyes. Over the years, her grief and madness began to take its toll on her appearance; her hair and skin turned gray and her eyes dulled, making her look much older than she is.



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  • Tatiana was named after a Russian friend of her mother.
  • Tatiana has created an entire false narrative of her life that she tells her kids and others.[7]
  • According to a "found" family tree, Tatiana died in 1918 at the age of 55, or 56, and her son, Jesse, lived and went on to marry Will's daughter, Lucie.
    • An error on the same family tree states that Tatiana was born in 1857, making her the eldest Lightwood sibling, when she is in fact the youngest, a fact supported by statements by characters in the series. Apparently also according to Cassandra Clare, Tatiana is in fact a year younger than Will.[1]