- Matthew: "And Thomas is the one with a good heart."
- Thomas: "Lord, I sound dull."
- ―Matthew telling Thomas his role, Chain of Gold
|“||You know large crowds of people make me nervous! You know I can never think of anything to say to them!||”|
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.
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. There were times when he also followed Alastair Carstairs around. Thomas encouraged James Herondale, the son of his mother's best friend to pal around with them more; though James said he wanted his and Christopher's company, he disliked Matthew and declined. Eventually, however, James and Matthew got over their issues, and the four boys became friends and have been inseparable since—even after James, Matthew, and Christopher all got expelled. 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 for a while. At one point, they began renting out a club room at the Devil Tavern for their exclusive use, where they were eventually dubbed the Merry Thieves by the barmaid Polly.
When he turned 18, his father, Gideon, sent him to Spain for his travel year because he felt that the country improves people, and partly because he thought that Thomas would flourish when allowed to be temporarily independent of the overprotective attention of his family and friends. To the surprise of his friends, Thomas indeed changed during the trip. He suddenly grew to be the tallest of their group, and became muscular and stronger. He also picked up a new weapon, the bolas. He indeed flourished as Gideon had hoped, and gained a lot more confidence.
When the head of the Madrid Institute suggested that Thomas take two weeks off, he heeded Matthew's advice and went to Paris. There, after a couple of days of touring the city in loneliness, Thomas ran into Alastair Carstairs. The pair spent two days together and enjoyed each other's company, just before Alastair left Paris.
Before he returned to London from Madrid, Thomas got a tattoo of a compass rose on his arm.
In 1903, tragedy struck his family when his sister Barbara was infected and killed by demon poison. While his mother and father went to Idris to be with his other sister, Thomas stayed behind in London to help find the cause and a cure for the others who were afflicted.
In the following days, Thomas stayed with Christopher and helped him develop an antidote. While they worked in the lab, his friends were able to track down the demon that was to blame; a Mandikhor that was hiding out on Tower Bridge. After stealing a Pyxis, Thomas and his friends tried to fight and capture it. Unfortunately the demon was too strong and broke out of the box. After a battle with its seemingly endless amount of Khora demons, the Mandikhor fled but was not defeated.
While on patrol the next afternoon, he learned Christopher had been attacked and poisoned by the same demons. James told him where he could find the final ingredient for the elixir—which Christopher had been on his way to get—and, after some encouragement, went to retrieve it with Lucie. However when he went back to Grosvenor Place to mix it, Charles Fairchild would not let him in. Thankfully Alastair was there and convinced him to allow Thomas to use Henry's lab and even stayed behind to help. Once it was ready, the pair went to the Silent City to distribute it.
In the aftermath, though Thomas completed it, Christopher received all the credit for the cure and was praised a hero; something the others found unfair to Thomas. At the engagement party for James and Cordelia, Thomas tried to play peacemaker between Matthew and Alastair, wishing that they could move on from the past and all become friends. Matthew would not hear of it and announced the rumors Alastair had spread about him being Gideon's bastard, among other nasty slights toward Thomas's mother. Thomas—whose family had been hurt gravely by these stories—threatened Alastair if he ever spoke or came near him again.
|“||Thomas is much like Gideon. The type who must have something to do when tragedy strikes.||”|
In his youth, 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 kind and emphatic, often seeing the best even in people who hide them. Thomas is a terrible liar but can also be quite sarcastic.
Thomas is apparently very stubborn; once he's made a decision, no one can talk him out of it.
Thomas is regarded as extremely tall and muscular with broad shoulders. He has brown hair and hazel eyes and a tattoo of a compass rose on the inside of his left forearm.
When he was young, Thomas looked considerably sickly and short, and even growing up, he had a slight physique.
Skills and abilities
- Nephilim physiology: Being Nephilim, Thomas possesses a myriad of enhanced physical and mental abilities granted to him by the blood of Raziel in his veins and also by the angelic Marks of the Gray Book. This includes enhanced strength, agility, stamina, coordination, and many others which improve over time and practice.
- Runic magic: Due to the angel Raziel's blood in their veins, all Shadowhunters are able to apply runes on their skin without any real danger. These Marks, in turn, give varied effects that serve to benefit the wearer.
- The Sight: As a Shadowhunter, Thomas is able to easily see through most magical illusions and layers of glamour over reality.
- Use of heavenly weapons: As a Nephilim, Thomas is also able to handle heavenly weapons with effect, since this would normally not work for other species. In particular, these are weapons made of adamas and forged by Iron Sisters, such as seraph blades.
|“||You were always my secret.||”|
–Thomas to Alastair, Chain of Iron
Thomas and Alastair first met when they attended the Shadowhunter Academy. Thomas kind of hero-worshipped him and would follow him around the Academy. Despite what he did to his friends, Thomas still saw the good in him and would try to defend or explain his actions to them. Years later, they met again in Paris. The pair spent several days together seeing the sights and going out to meals. When they parted ways, it left Thomas very confused about his feelings.
During the investigation of the Mandikhor demon attack, Thomas and Alastair worked together and grew even closer. However, during James and Cordelia's engagement party, Matthew told everyone about the rumors Alastair had spread involving his mother and Thomas's father. Feeling betrayed, Thomas threatened to throw Alastair into the Thames if he ever spoke to him again.
Thomas tried to hate Alastair in the following months and spoke of him as though he did. When Alastair approached him at James and Cordelia's wedding reception, Thomas threatened to make true on his word of throwing him in the Thames before Cordelia stopped him. Weeks later, when Elias Carstairs died, Tom went to Cornwall Gardens to express his condolences to the Carstairs family and it was Alastair who opened the door. Upon seeing the grief on his face, that he recognized as his own grief over Barbara, Tom's feelings of rage dissipated and his romantic feelings rekindled.A few days later, Thomas stood accused of being the murderer plaguing the Shadowhunters of London. Alastair revealed that he had been following Thomas during his lone patrols to ensure his safety and could vouch for his innocence. The two were confined in the Sanctuary overnight, where they talked about their true feelings for one another and kissed for the first time. The next afternoon, after the battle with Leviathan, Alastair told Tom that they could not forget all he had done and they could not start a relationship as his friends would never accept his relationship with Alastair.
- Christopher Lightwood — Thomas is extremely close with his cousin; considering him like a brother. Thomas often assists Christopher in the lab and firmly believing in his capabilities.
- Matthew Fairchild — Thomas bonded with Matthew right away. They share a strong friendship were always seen together at the Academy. Matthew at that time often had a tendency to look out for him and as such constantly warned him away from Alastair.
- James Herondale — James is one of Thomas's best friends and they spend a great deal of time together. He was extremely happy when he finally agreed to join their group.
Thomas has a good relationship with his older sisters. Both Barbara and Eugenia were very affectionate and protective, though Thomas found it to be smothering. When Barbara died, Thomas took it very hard. Though he wanted to go to Idris to be with Eugenia and his parents, he decided to stay behind in London to avenge Barbara's death.
Thomas is cordial with James's little sister and treat one another like cousins. They are known to have had some eating contests together. However, Thomas is rather shy around her at times; refraining from showing her his tattoo when he returned home.
- Nothing but Shadows (first appearance)
- Cast Long Shadows
- Every Exquisite Thing
- Chain of Gold
- Chain of Iron
- The Land I Lost (mentioned only)
- Lord of Shadows (alluded to)
- Secrets of Blackthorn Hall (mentioned only)
- See more here
- He was named after the late carriage driver of the London Institute, Thomas Tanner, who was a good friend of his mother, Sophie.
- Thomas has excellent memory.
- Thomas is good with languages. He speaks Spanish with his father, Welsh with his cousins, and Persian with Lucie.
- Thomas's favorite weapons are broadswords and his bolas.
- His favorite treat is the trifle.
- His favorite animal is an owl.
- His favorite book is Rubaíyat́ of Omar Khayyaḿ.
- According to a "found" family tree, Thomas died in 1915, at the age of 29 or 30.
- Thomas hates celery.
- Thomas's character card — Simon & Schuster on Instagram
- Nothing but Shadows
- An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of Downworld
- Cast Long Shadows
- Chain of Gold
- TLH questions — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- Q&A more CLS! — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- "Thomas is hella stubborn," Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- The Land I Lost
- Every Exquisite Thing
- January 2020 Shadowhunter Army newsletter
- Found family tree, a Clockwork Princess extra
- Chain of Iron
- Q&A TLH — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- More about Thomas — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr