You know large crowds of people make me nervous! You know I can never think of anything to say to them!

–Thomas to Matthew Fairchild, Nothing but Shadows

Thomas Lightwood is Gideon Lightwood and Sophie Collins's third child and only son. He has two elder sisters: Barbara and Eugenia.


Early life

Thomas was a sickly and shy boy when he was young. During this time, Thomas and his family resided in Idris, though they visited London for parties, family gatherings, and the Herondale family.[2] Because of his health problems, his family and even close friends kept a very close eye on him and took great care of him.

The smothering amount of attention his family gave him when he was young prompted Thomas to take secret walks in a part of Idris's forest close to their home, beginning from the time he found a small passageway in their garden. He used this time to compose songs and stories.[3]

By the time he was thirteen, he had gotten better, and so he was sent to the Shadowhunter Academy, albeit a year late because of his health problems, and he agreed because he wanted to get away from his sisters who often bossed him around.


At the Academy, Thomas mostly hung around his best friend Matthew Fairchild and his cousin Christopher.[2] There were times when he also followed Alastair Carstairs around.[4] Thomas encouraged James Herondale, the son of his mother's best friend, Tessa Gray, to pal around with them more and, though James said he wanted his and Christopher's company, he disliked Matthew and declined. Eventually, however, James and Matthew got over their issues,[2] and the four boys became friends and have been inseparable since—even after James, Matthew, and Christopher all got expelled.[2][4] Thomas did not return to the Academy the following year, with his friends all expelled and Alastair having graduated.

Thomas continued his training at the London Institute with James, Matthew, and Christopher. When they were once referred to as "that notorious bunch of hooligan boys" by Lavinia Whitelaw, Matthew and James took to calling their group as Shadowhooligans. At one point, they began renting out a club room at the Devil Tavern for their exclusive use.[4]


Thomas craved solitude and was unnerved by crowds. Among their group of friends, Thomas was the one who grounded them in a way. Thomas is also very kind and emphatic, often seeing the best even in people who hide them.[2][4]

Physical description

Thomas is tanned, bears a resemblance to his father, and has brown hair and brown, hazel eyes.[5][6] When he was young, Thomas looked considerably sickly and short,[2] though he would eventually grow to become quite tall.[7]



  • He was named after the late carriage driver of the London Institute, Thomas Tanner, who was a good friend of his mother, Sophie.
  • Thomas' favorite weapon is the broadsword.[3]
  • Thomas is good with languages.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag.
  • According to a "found" family tree, Thomas died in 1915, at the age of 29 or 30.[8]

  • He is set to be 17 or 18 years old at the beginning of The Last Hours.
  • At the beginning of TLH, Thomas is set to have just returned from Spain, where his father, Gideon, sent him because he thinks Spain improves people,[9] and partly because he thought that Thomas would flourish when allowed to be temporarily independent of the overprotective attention of his family and friends.[10] In Spain, Thomas got a tattoo that all his friends tease him about,[9][10] as well as a new weapon he has a special fondness for: a bolas.[11] He indeed flourished as Gideon had hoped, and gained a lot more confidence,[10] surprising everyone upon his return.[11] In TLH, he will be negotiating the new ways he wants to be treated and seen.[10]
  • Thomas will have a love interest.[12]
  • Thomas is set to make up songs in his head but will be too shy to tell anybody, except for one yet-to-be revealed person.[13][11]
  • Thomas's history with Alastair Carstairs (first seen in Cast Long Shadows) will be revealed in TLH. "Thomas has seen another, more vulnerable side of Alastair that his friends haven't seen, and he feels bad for Alastair." Because of how Thomas seems to "hero-worship" Alastair, Alastair likes him (making him one of the very few people he does like) and has opened up to him a bit.[14]
  • Thomas will have a tattoo.[15]


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