|“||I don't like crowds of people in general. When they're all talking at the same time, and making noise. Crowds are the worst ... All the lights and the shouting and the people. It's like broken glass in my head.||”|
Tiberius was born to Andrew and Eleanor Blackthorn in 1997, the fifth of seven children, having been born a few minutes after his twin sister, Livia. Their mother died when he was around seven years old, just after his youngest sibling, Tavvy, was born.
Shortly after, the Blackthorns fell victim to one of Sebastian's plots. Sebastian attacked the Institute, Turning those they could into Endarkened to add to his army. Ty and the other children were able to escape to Idris through a Portal opened by the Clave for them, though their father was Turned and their half-brother Mark was captured. Shortly after they arrived, the children were interrogated with the Mortal Sword, which is a very painful process.
During the battle during which the Endarkened and Seelie faeries on Sebastian's side attacked Idris, the children were escorted by Brother Zachariah and Helen to the Accords Hall where they hid for the rest of the battle. Eventually, the Wild Hunt was able to get through the defenses and paved the way for the Endarkened to enter the Hall. Among the Endarkened was their father who then approached Ty; Ty was very trusting and did not attempt to move away. He could have hurt him so, in a panic, Jules killed their father. Ty witnessed the act firsthand and angrily hit Julian before Livvy stopped him, telling him that Jules had to do it.
After the war, it was decided that Helen would be exiled to Wrangel Island and Mark left to the Hunt. This left the children with no legal guardian, and Mrs. Sedgewick suggested that the children could be sent to the Shadowhunter Academy or to separate Institutes, until Jia Penhallow introduced Arthur Blackthorn, the children's uncle, as their guardian and the new head of the Los Angeles Institute. When Helen bid her goodbyes to Julian, she asked him to pay special attention to Ty.
When Arthur introduced himself upon his arrival at the Institute, Ty did not look him in the eye. Livvy explained that Ty did not mean to be rude, Arthur has since dismissed Ty as weird and different.
At one point, Ty decided that he wanted to go to the Scholomance and become a Centurion, much to the dismay of his twin sister Livvy, who wanted to be his parabatai, and Julian, who feared what the Clave and the cruel Scholomance might do to him.
In the summer of 2012, Ty and his siblings visited their great-aunt Marjorie in England. He hid in the barn throughout the visit to avoid having to do chores and train. Shortly after they returned to Los Angeles, a party of faeries arrived and offered to return their brother Mark in exchange for help finding the culprit behind the recent murders.
Eager to get his brother back and prove his worth, he and Livvy actively helped in the investigation. Wanting to help out in the field, Ty once hid in the car Emma and Julian took to the home of Johnny Rook; when he noticed movement in the basement, he snuck into Rook's house and attacked the person lurking in the basement, whom they later discovered was Rook's son, Kit. Ty held a knife to Kit's throat until Johnny forced them to leave. Julian became furious at Ty for endangering himself, though Ty didn't understand the reason for Julian's anger.
Ty later accompanied his family to rescue Tavvy from the Guardian, who had been their family friend Malcolm Fade all along. When the death of Malcolm resulted in the death of Johnny Rook and thus Kit becoming orphaned, Kit was brought to the Institute where it was proven that he was a Shadowhunter. Ty sat and waited outside Kit's room while the latter came to terms with everything he just experienced and learned.
Looking for Annabel
Over the next few weeks, Ty sometimes slept outside Kit's room. Ty and Livvy eavesdropped on the meeting of their elders with Clary Fairchild and Jace Herondale. The twins later joined Kit and Jace's training session. After the latter's trip to the Shadow Market, Ty gave Kit his first rune, an iratze.
- This section is a work in progress; not advisable for reference purposes.
Ty caught Kit trying to escape the Institute and managed to convince him to stay by telling him his plan to investigate the Centurions. This led Ty, Livvy, and Kit to track Zara Dearborn. They discovered her and Manuel's plot to take the Institute from Arthur Blackthorn. When they went to alert Arthur, Diana was forced to reveal that Julian was running the Institute the entire time.
When the Los Angeles Institute was attacked by Malcolm Fade and his demons, Arthur saved Ty and Livvy by pushing them inside the Institute. This threat to their lives caused the Blackthorns and Kit to relocate to the London Institute.
Ty, Kit, and Livvy later went to Blackthorn Hall and discovered an aletheia crystal. This led them to look for a warlock who could help them with the crystal at the London Shadow Market. Ty, Kit, and Livvy discovered the true nature of what happened to Annabel Blackthorn with the help of the warlock Shade. Their visit to the London Shadow Market ended terribly as Ty, Kit, and Livvy were forced to fight off angry Downworlders. They were narrowly saved by Magnus Bane, but Livvy was severely injured, leading Ty to become distraught. After they returned to the London Institute, Ty was comforted by Kit. After hearing from Magnus that having a parabatai would have more quickly helped Livia, Ty decided and later told Livia that he wanted to be her parabatai once things had settled down. He also decided that being a Centurion no longer seemed interesting, after having met some disagreeable ones.
Ty figured out that the raven that Annabel and Malcolm used to send messages was a stone one. Using this knowledge, Ty and Kit went through an unregulated portal in the London Institute to the Cornwall Institute. Ty left a message to Annabel inside the stone raven.
When the Seven Riders attacked the London Institute, Ty joined the others in fighting them. The odds were not looking good until Annabel Blackthorn arrived. The threat of Annabel and Magnus's power combined caused the Seven Riders to retreat. Annabel revealed she came to the London Institute due to Ty's note.
Ty went to the Council meeting, where he reunited with his older sister, Helen Blackthorn and her wife, Aline Penhallow. When Annabel was interrogated with the Mortal Sword, she went mad, killing both Robert Lightwood and Livia Blackthorn. Ty collapsed in shock.
Ty refused to accept Livvy's death as final. As soon as he woke up, he checked for the photos of the pages of the Black Volume of the Dead on his phone, determined to use a spell in it to bring Livvy back to life. He entrusted Kit with this knowledge, wanting the support of Kit in his endeavor, not realizing that Kit was secretly against the idea.
Kit contacted Hypatia Vex for help, but the warlock sent Shade. Shade refused to be involved with the actual ritual, instead supporting and guiding them as they gathered the materials needed. Once Ty had gathered everything, however, Shade revealed that he didn't actually expect Ty to go through with it and dropped the act, telling Ty that he would prevent other warlocks from helping him with the dark magic. Having anticipated this, Ty retrieved the last piece he needed prior to meeting with him: a catalyst or energy source.
The night before the battle against the Cohort, Ty performed the ritual by the Lake Lyn. Just before the ritual, Kit tried to stop him, tried to get him to come to terms with Livvy's death, but failed. Ty proceeded with the ritual despite Kit's attempts to stop him but, because the catalyst he'd retrieved was corrupted, the spell only partially succeeded and Livvy was only brought back in the form of a ghost. Livvy despaired at being torn back suddenly into the world of the living and the consequences Ty might someday have to pay. She disappeared for a while, leaving Ty distraught.
Ty and Kit were magically tied to a tree by Magnus Bane to keep them from joining the battle. Ty was confused at Kit's anger towards him for the ritual, and Ty felt that Kit's support of him had been false all along; he felt betrayed that Kit lied to him like many others always did. Livvy's ghost then appeared and set them free, telling them to get to Emma and the Blackthorns on the battlefield. Once there, Ty perched himself up a high tree to strike at enemies on the field from above. When Dru activated her Familias rune, however, Ty and the rest of the Blackthorns were drawn to her. Together, they approached the now gigantic Julian and Emma, who had transformed into true Nephilim, and talked them down.
After the battle, Ty did not see Kit again; the Blackthorns were only told that Kit was going away to live with Jem Carstairs and Tessa Gray. Ty asked Magnus why Kit didn't say goodbye or where he really was but instead of getting a straight answer, he was confronted by Magnus about the spell. He told Ty that Livvy's ghost had become tied to Ty, and though her appearances would be sporadic, Ty continued to see her. Dru overheard their conversation, and Ty took Dru into his confidence, gradually bonding with her over their shared secret. Dru even asked him if he could someday teach her to see Livvy's ghost.
Two months after he resurrected Livvy, Ty left Los Angeles to study at the Scholomance – a self-imposed penance for his attempt at necromancy on his twin sister. Once there, Ty adapted well, (surprisingly so, from Livvy's point of view), to his new surroundings, accomplishing all the tasks instructed by the teachers. Nevertheless, he remained withdrawn from the other students and still hadn't made any friends four months after his arrival; instead spending his spare time studying Livvy's new ghostly state and capacities.
Later on, he helped Livvy rescue a wounded carpathian lynx cub from the snow, which Ty decided to keep and named Irene. When Livvy left the Scholomance to test her ghostly abilities, Ty fell unconscious from the strain of being too far away from her. While he slept, Magnus visited the Scholomance and spoke to Livvy, giving her a silver chain that would help protect Ty from some of the negative effects of his failed necromantic spell.
Personality and traits
Ty is very smart and would never do anything without reason or without thinking it through. Ty tends to keep to himself, and his inclination to do something may depend on his mood at times. He has his own way of expressing his thoughts; he sees the world and the certain mannerisms of people differently, and while this is known among mundanes as autism, it is not accepted in Shadowhunter society and Ty is seen by some as odd or strange. He is also extremely stubborn.
Ty does not easily detect sarcasm and has a hard time understanding idioms or figures of speech unless explained to him. Because he doesn't like not knowing things, but also prefers learning things on his own, he did his research on expressions, though hearing new ones still confuse him. Ty also normally does not like making eye contact—though he would if needed, recognizing that some people like it—overwhelmed by the intensity, as observed by Julian. He doesn't like fussing, especially when directed at him or for something he did, but he appreciates subtle ways of expressing affection.
Ty has several coping mechanisms for his anxiety, some established with Julian's help. These include fiddling with toys made by Julian when he was younger that allow for repetitive movements to help him calm down and focus. He also uses headphones, with which he would sometimes listen to music, including but not limited to symphonies or classical music, a known anxiety reducer, to block out noise and to distract him from painful thoughts and feelings. Though usually averse to being randomly touched by others, if stressed—if he seeks it or is comfortable with the touch of someone—the feeling and pressure of being held by them would ground and calm him.
Ty is very observant and is able to analyze situations and think of solutions, in a way others typically immediately won't. He wants to be a detective and is an avid fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and other crime stories in general. Ty likes computers—the way they organize patterns so that he can analyze them—and works on programming computers with Livvy. He also loves animals. Though he likes many species, he particularly likes those with wings, such as butterflies, moths, and is especially fond of bees. Ty takes pride in being able to draw insects realistically. He spends a lot of his time outside to bother animals like lizards and squirrels. When he was young, he even hid animals in his room—such as bees and once a rattle-snake—claiming to be studying them and being their friends, which he often got in trouble for, and was also practically inseparable from the stuffed bee Jules had gotten him.
Ty isn't much for fighting, specifically because he has no interest in it, but when the need arises, and when he feels like it, Ty would pick up a weapon.
Ty's room is neat and organized. His books were sorted according to color, with his favorite colors near his bed and the ones he didn't like hidden from view in nooks and spaces. Though not arranged in a typical way, Ty knows every book's location by heart. His most loved books, the Sherlock Holmes stories, sit on his bedside table along with a collection of small toys that Julian made him.
Tiberius has dark black hair, long eyelashes, and gray eyes that are almost silver, as opposed to the family's trademark brown hair and blue-green eyes. He is also quite skinny. Though he doesn't have the features of his immediate family, he bears physical resemblances with earlier generations of Blackthorns—slender individuals with delicate features and black hair. His features have been described as more elfin than Helen's or Mark's.
Skills and abilities
- Nephilim physiology: Being Nephilim, Ty possesses a variety of enhanced physical and mental abilities granted to him by the angel blood of Raziel in his veins and also by the angelic Marks of the Gray Book. This includes enhanced strength, speed, agility, stamina, and coordination, which continue to improve over time and practice.
- The Sight: As a Shadowhunter, Ty is naturally and easily able to see through most magical illusions and layers of glamour over reality.
- Runic magic: Due to the angel 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.
- Use of heavenly weapons: As a Shadowhunter, Ty is also able to perform tasks unique to their species, such as the ability to use and call on the power of angels for their seraph blades, as well as to handle any heavenly weapons or objects with effect, which would normally not work for other species. In particular, these are tools made of adamas and forged by Iron Sisters.
- Marksmanship: Ty is actually quite skilled at throwing knives, which is his primary favored weapon, along with the quarterstaff.
- Animal empathy: Ty is good with animals, even wild ones. He collects them outside and would bring some into his room in the Institute. The animals let him touch them and quickly become trusting.
- Livvy's locket: Ty took Livia's necklace off her body at her funeral in order to have something with her blood on it for a resurrection ritual; and has since worn it daily. The necklace is a gold chain with a slim disk of metal on it. On the front, is the family symbol, a wreath of thorns, and on the back is a pair of sabers that Julian had etched on it.
- Heron necklace: Ty is now in possession of the heron necklace that was passed down through generations of the lost Herondale line. Magnus Bane changed the enchantment on the necklace to now be used to summon him if he or Livvy's ghost needs to; as well as to take some of the weight of their necromantic bond to make it less dangerous for him.
- Other basic Shadowhunter gear, including: a Sensor, steles, seraph blades, and witchlight.
|“||I want you with me in any way you can be. You were there with me before I was born, Livvy. Without you, I just—there's nothing if you aren't there.||”|
–Ty raising Livvy from the dead, Queen of Air and Darkness
Ty cares for Julian, who practically raised him, very much. Though he rarely shows Julian much affection, he is visibly upset when Jules' life seems at risk. Julian goes out of his way to make Ty as comfortable as possible, showing that they have a special bond. Growing up, Jules concocted ways to accommodate the way Ty's mind works and never made him feel less or any different from others.
|“||He doesn't need to act normal.||”|
|“||Ty was near Kit, as he almost always was, like a magnet clicking into place.||”|
Ty was one of the first among the Blackthorns to try for Kit. He slept in front of Kit's door, and with his sister Livvy, they tried to integrate him into their group and Institute affairs. Eventually, Ty told Kit that he wanted Kit to be the Watson to his Sherlock.
Kit, being familiar with autism, was easily able to understand Ty and help him during his times of stress. Both became quite close and comfortable with one another. Their friendship was a big factor in Kit's decision to remain with them and become a Shadowhunter.Later, Kit agreed to help Ty bring his sister back to life. However in the end, Kit tried to stop Ty and even confessed his affection to him. Confused and feeling betrayed, Ty kept going on with his plan. After the battle, Kit left the institute without saying goodbye and went to live with Jem and Tessa. Kit has not contacted him since.
- City of Lost Souls (first mention)
- City of Heavenly Fire (first appearance)
- Bitter of Tongue
- The Fiery Trial
- A Long Conversation (mentioned only)
- Lady Midnight
- Lord of Shadows
- Queen of Air and Darkness
- The Lost World
- Forever Fallen (mentioned only)
- Secrets of Blackthorn Hall
- The Wicked Powers (will appear)
- See more here
Following the family tradition of Greek and Latin names, his namesake is that of the Roman politician Tiberius Claudius Nero who was married to Livia Drusilla, whom Andrew named two of his sisters after, a deliberate instance which Andrew found funny. This Tiberius also had a named after him who went on to become a Roman emperor.
- Ty doesn't like the colors orange and purple.
- While Ty's features do not exactly resemble his siblings', he does look like their Blackthorn ancestors, such as Jesse and Rupert.
- Ty isn't interested in superheroes.
- Though he does not remember, his soul attended Tessa Gray and Jem Carstairs's dream wedding along with his siblings and Emma. He even briefly got to see his lost brother, Mark.
- City of Lost Souls
- "He's brilliant and odd, and a few minutes younger than Livvy," Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- "Livvy by like, a minute." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- "Livvy's like a minute older." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- "Livvy by a few minutes!" Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- City of Heavenly Fire
- Lady Midnight
- Bitter of Tongue
- Lord of Shadows
- Queen of Air and Darkness
- The Lost World
- "I think he does favor it, especially since classical music is an anxiety-reducer..." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of Downworld
- "Knives." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- Blackthorn names inquiry — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- Tiberius Claudius Nero (praetor 42 BC)
- "He looks like a specific other Blackthorn." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- Lady Midnight snippet — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- In Dreams Begin, a The Lost Book of the White extra
- "My stepbrother is also [autistic]. Ty is based in part on him." Cassandra Clare on Twitter