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Clarissa "Clary" Fairchild, also known as Clary Fray, is a Shadowhunter who was raised among mundanes, unaware of her true heritage. Clary's simple and content life was disrupted when her mother was kidnapped, forcing her into action. Led on a journey of self-discovery in the dangerous and magical Shadow World, the secrets of her past were revealed as she begins to embrace her newfound powers.

Biography

Early life

TMI101 Memories01

A young Clary's memories about to be taken by Magnus.

Clary is the second child of Jocelyn Fairchild and Valentine Morgenstern, two Shadowhunters, and the leaders of the Circle. She was born some time after her brother, Jonathan Christopher whom most everyone believed perished in a fire with her father.[1]

Before she was born, her mother went into hiding and fled to New York, leaving behind her life as a Shadowhunter. While playing at a park when she was young, Clary was almost attacked by a demon but was saved by her mother. After the incident, Jocelyn rushed her to Magnus Bane, a warlock, and had him wipe the memories of the Shadow World from her mind.[2] For years, Jocelyn led Clary to believe that her father was a man named Jonathan Clark.[3]

Jocelyn's abduction

In 2016, Clary started her 18th birthday with an interview at the Brooklyn Academy of Art. Clary was accepted into the advanced program she'd applied for, and she credited the graphic novel illustrations she didn't submit as the pieces that caught the panel's attention.

Later that evening, Clary encountered a group of Shadowhunters and Magnus Bane, whom she briefly and confusedly remembered, at the Pandemonium. Spooked by the battle she witnessed at the club, she rushed home and told Jocelyn, who finally began to tell her that she was a Shadowhunter. Just then, members of the Circle arrived, forcing both Jocelyn and Dot into action. Jocelyn clasped a necklace around Clary's neck and sent her through a Portal that took her to the NYPD 89th Precinct, to Luke,[2] a close friend of Jocelyn's and a father figure to Clary.[1]

While at the station however, Clary overheard a conversation between Luke and two people about how he cared nothing for Clary or her mother, to Clary's immense surprise. She rushed back home to find Jocelyn missing, and a demon in the guise of Dot attacked her, managing to severely injure Clary and infect her with demon venom. Jace, one of the Shadowhunters from the club, arrived just in time to save her. Overwhelmed by the venom, Clary collapsed, and Jace carried her back to the New York Institute to recuperate.

Upon waking, she met Isabelle and Alec Lightwood, the latter of whom immediately expressed his distrust of her. Jace informed her of the basics: that they, including her, were all Shadowhunters, humans who were part-angel,[4] whose mission was to protect the human race from demons, and that other beings from stories exist.[2] In addition to finding out that she was Nephilim, the Institute's trainer and former Circle member Hodge Starkweather told her that her mother was once also part of the Circle—the organization, led by Valentine Morgenstern, that abducted her.

When they realized that the people who took Jocelyn were after a powerful tool known as the Mortal Cup, they worked alongside Clary to get ahold of it before Valentine or the Downworlders could find it. While the people helping her were primarily concerned with securing the Cup, Clary remained focused on her search for Jocelyn.

Blocked memories

In an attempt to unlock her seemingly blocked memories, the Shadowhunters brought her to the City of Bones, where the Silent Brothers used the Soul-Sword on her. While not all her memories were accessed, she remembered enough to find out that she was Valentine's daughter. Outside the City of Bones, Simon was kidnapped by vampires in an attempt to get information on the Cup.[5] Clary forced the others to save Simon, and they infiltrated the vampires' base, the Hotel Dumort. With the help of Raphael, a vampire who did not agree with Camille's decisions, they were able to escape with Simon.[4]

Realizing that her memories were crucial to their search for the Cup, as indicated by the demon that had attacked her at their home, Clary told them of a memory, which came to her at the Silent City, from her youth where she saw a man named Magnus taking her memories, Simon told them that her abductor Camille had told her about Magnus Bane when he mentioned Clary's missing memories.

The group lured Magnus out of hiding with a party, and while the warlock initially refused to help them, he eventually agreed when the group helped him fight off Circle members that attacked their safe haven. To her surprise, Magnus also told her that Dot, whom she had grown to see as a sister,[5] was tortured and killed by Valentine in her efforts to protect her. Magnus then told them that he fed Clary's memories to a memory demon, Valak, for safekeeping. They decided to summon the demon, but when Jace's life was put at risk, Clary decided to sacrifice her memories and banished the demon to save him.[6]

Even without her memories, Clary was eventually able to retrieve the Cup for the Clave.[7] While Valentine posed as Michael Wayland, Clary caught onto his deception and gave him the fake Cup, after which Valentine falsely told them that she and Jace were siblings—that they was Jonathan, and he was his son with Jocelyn. They were also able to rescue Jocelyn from Valentine,[8] though she was still asleep under the potion she took, so she began hunting for the Book of the White for the spell that could wake her. They then lost the Cup when Hodge betrayed them and gave the Cup to Valentine.[9][9] After they found the book and were able to revive Jocelyn, they lost Jace, who felt he had no choice but to join Valentine.[10]

True Shadowhunter

After a brief happy reunion with her awakened mother, Clary soon became preoccupied with their troubles. She broke the news to Jocelyn that Jonathan was alive and was taken by Valentine, not knowing that Jocelyn felt that Jonathan was innately evil and would later try to kill him. Along with this, she was closely monitored by the Institute's new head, Victor Aldertree.[11]

Alec blamed Clary for their dilemmas, making the latter start to falter in her sense of belonging—unable to truly fit in among the Shadowhunters while also unable to return to her former ordinary life. In an effort to get her bearings, she went to the Brooklyn Academy of Art to paint. Though Jocelyn and Luke, concerned for her safety, rushed over, she was kidnapped by Dot and taken to Valentine's ship. Clary was caged and mind-controlled by Dot to trick Jace into submitting to Valentine. Clary was able to get through to Dot, who then later helped her and Jace escape the ship by taking down the wards with her magic.[12]

Though she and Jace were separated, he soon contacted her and Isabelle. The group formed plans to meet at Magnus's loft to save the unconscious Alec, who needed contact with his parabatai to survive. Jace was arrested after this,[13] and he was imprisoned in the City of Bones. Clary tried to talk to Jace, but was only pushed away. Meanwhile, the Clave decided to reassign Jocelyn to Idris, and Jocelyn asked Clary to come with her. Though she briefly considered it, she turned her offer down, wanting to learn to be a Shadowhunter at the Institute and unable to leave her friends.[14]

Blood connections

Once, new type of demon infiltrated their ranks at the Institute and began possessing Shadowhunters to kill others. While possessing Alec, the demon killed Jocelyn, devastating Clary. A vengeful Clary set out to hunt for the demon and soon found it possessing Isabelle. After it attacked Alec, Clary stabbed Isabelle, forcing the demon out of Isabelle's body, after which Clary vanquished it.[14] Clary mourned her mother; her judgment clouded during the early stage of her grieving, Clary went to the warlock Iris Rouse in hopes of bringing her mother back from the dead.

She realized too late—after already committing to a blood oath—that resurrection through dark magic comes with a dark price, particularly for her mother's sanity. Iris set out to have her impregnated by a demon. Clary was able to fight back, discovering a new ability along the way: she received a vision of a rune that was not in the Gray Book that ultimately helped her vanquish the demon.[15]

Some time after, Clary began hearing a deafening scream only she could hear. Through Sister Cleophas—a former Iron Sister and Luke's sister—she learned that the sound was cries of help from an angel, one trapped by Valentine that was calling out to her. She and Jace went to release him, and the angel, Ithuriel, gave them both a vision of the sword's destruction before he left and returned to Heaven.[16] Magnus later informed them that Clary likely held a blood connection with Ithuriel, and that her "new" runes were sent by the angel.

Following a confession from Simon, the longtime best friends began dating.

Meanwhile, Clary's standing blood oath with Iris bound her.[17] The blood oath cursed Clary with impending death unless she managed to rescued her goddaughter Madzie from Valentine, who was using the young warlock's magic for his bidding. Jace, Luke, and Simon raced against time to save Madzie before Clary could die. Jace managed to reunite them in part due to Valentine's plans, allowing Clary to recover, but Simon was kidnapped by the manipulated child.[18]

Valentine used Simon as bait to get Clary to the Institute, where he had planted the Soul-Sword to be activated. Against the others' wishes, Clary went, desperate to save her best friend. Jace and the others were able to keep her away, but Jace, under the belief that he had demon blood and could destroy the sword, held and activated the Sword, just as Valentine had planned. Valentine managed to use it to kill all Downworlders within the Institute at the time, save for Simon who'd ingested enough angel blood from Jace to be immune to the sword's effect. Outside, before Valentine could wield it to destroy all Downworlders, Clary received another vision of a rune and drew it on the surface of the sword, unwittingly deactivating it, but the Sword went missing shortly afterwards.[19]

Heart's desire

Valentine was captured and held in the Institute. During an attempt at an interrogation, Clary found out that she and Jace were in fact not siblings, a fact Jace discovered prior but kept from her, seeing how happy she apparently was with Simon.[20] Discovering that the only family—aside from Valentine—that she thought she had was in fact not took a heavy toll on her. The chain of sudden devastating events and revelations drove her to block her emotions to levelheaded, and this made her momentarily lose her ability to use her new runes. With the help of newcomer Sebastian, Clary embraced her pain and anger and regained access to the runes.[21]

Clary attested that discovering that they weren't siblings would not have changed her relationship with Simon.[20] The couple continued dating and seemed happy together. However, during a visit to the Seelie Court, the Queen made Clary have "the kiss [she] most [desired]" in exchange for their lives. Kissing Simon had no effect, but kissing Jace freed them.[22] The devastated Simon later broke up with her.[23]

Clary and Jace's interaction after the Court became awkward, with the pair avoiding each other. Working together became unavoidable when Valentine escaped the Clave. When Clary found out that Jace was convinced that Valentine could be in Idris, she received a vision of another rune, and ended up creating a Portal upon drawing it. The Portal took them to Idris, where Clary almost drowned in Lake Lyn and became delusional from its waters. Though they did not get there in time to find Valentine, they found a notebook, from which they discovered that Clary's brother Jonathan did not die as a child and was raised by Valentine.[24]

They later discovered that the man they came to know as Sebastian and had welcomed into the Institute was in fact her brother, Jonathan. Also haunted with recurring dreams of the lake, she realized that the lake was the third Mortal Instrument: the Mortal Mirror.[25] Though they tried to keep the fact from Valentine, he eventually found out. He set out to return to Idris,[26] to summon the Angel Raziel and compel a wish out of him.[27]

The pair reached the Lake just before Valentine could summon the angel, only to be caught by surprise to find Valentine lying in wait, killing Jace instantly with a stab to his heart. Valentine then summoned Raziel, expressing his wish: the destruction of all Downworlders, demons, and disloyal Shadowhunters. Before Valentine could offer up his blood for the wish, Clary attacked Valentine and killed him. Caught up in the moment and her immediate grief, Clary immediately asked the angel for Jace—Jace back from the dead. The angel was quick to grant her wish, and Jace was brought back to life, but not without unforeseen consequences.[28]

Personality and traits

Clary is headstrong, stubborn, and fiery. She is also intelligent and creative. She loves and cares deeply about her mother and her friends and is loyal to them above all others.

Having not been raised with the typical Shadowhunter prejudice and rules, she is often at odds with the more traditional Shadowhunters in the Institute, like Alec and Lydia, over issues regarding mundanes and Downworlders, strict adherence to rules and protocol, and their generally self-centered culture. Unlike most Shadowhunters, who defend innocents out of a sense of duty, Clary does so without hesitation because she wants to.

Physical appearance

Clary is a beautiful young girl with bright red hair and a slim build. Hodge remarked that she looks a lot like her mother, Jocelyn. Her clothing style is generally simple and conservative, and she dislikes wearing the revealing outfits that Isabelle had her wear on occasion. Since meeting the Shadowhunters, Clary now has a number of runes burned into various parts of her body.

Skills and abilities

  • Nephilim physiology: Being Nephilim, Clary naturally possesses a variety of enhanced physical and mental abilities granted to her by the angel blood of Raziel in her veins and also by the angelic Marks of the Gray Book. This includes enhanced strength, speed, agility, stamina, and coordination, which would improve over time and practice.
  • The Sight: As a Shadowhunter, Clary is able to easily see through most magical illusions and layers of glamour over reality. However, due to her general ignorance to the Shadow World because of her years worth of missing memories, she still needs some prompting to see through glamour.
  • Use of heavenly weapons: As a Nephilim, Clary is also able to handle heavenly weapons, such as seraph blades, with effect that would normally not work for other species.
  • Runic magic: Due to the angel blood in their veins, all Shadowhunters are all able to apply runes on their skin without any real danger. These Marks, in turn, give varied effects that serve to benefit the wearer.
  • Angelic blood empowerment: While all Shadowhunters have some angel blood in them, Clary has more; particularly, she has pure angel blood, and a blood connection with the angel Ithuriel.
    • Accessing new runes: Because of this, Clary is able to "create" new runes—those not in the Gray Book—sent to her as visions or images by Ithuriel. These runes include the Sunlight rune,[15] the Portal rune,[29] and one that deactivated the Soul-Sword and took down wards put up by Valentine with Magnus's magic.[19][21]
    • Unique Shadowhunter ability: Clary and Jocelyn have the shared ability to press physical objects into paper, transforming them into drawings or paintings, and are conversely the only ones able to "reach into" the pictures to extract the hidden object. According to Luke, this may have been her unusual angelic powers, which some Shadowhunters have, and may have been passed down from her mother.
    • Blood connection: Because of their angel blood, Jace and Clary share a connection, both with each other and with their source of their blood, Ithuriel. In addition, Clary's blood relation to Jonathan Morgenstern, and in turn her connection to Jace, gives them the ability to track Jonathan, who was otherwise untraceable for a time, by using the combined strength of their runes and blood.
  • Art: Clary is a particularly skilled and talented artist.
  • Skilled fighter: Clary has become quite skilled in swordsmanship and hand to hand combat, which she is still currently trying to improve further under the tutelage of those at the Institute.

Possessions

Previous:

  • Portal shard: Clary received a Portal shard tied to a chain from Jocelyn before they were separated for the first time. It spontaneously triggered visions of the people Clary focused on, working like a Portal for viewing the current state or location of the person. It was also detectable and once used by Valentine to communicate with her.

Appearances

Season One appearances: 13/13
The Mortal Cup:
Appears
The Descent Into Hell Isn't Easy:
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Dead Man's Party:
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Raising Hell:
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Moo Shu to Go:
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Of Men and Angels:
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Major Arcana:
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Bad Blood:
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Rise Up:
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This World Inverted:
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Blood Calls To Blood:
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Malec:
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Morning Star:
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Season Two appearances: 20/20
This Guilty Blood:
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A Door Into the Dark:
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Parabatai Lost:
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Day of Wrath:
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Dust and Shadows:
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Iron Sisters:
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How Are Thou Fallen:
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Love is a Devil:
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Bound By Blood:
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By the Light of Dawn:
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Mea Maxima Culpa:
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You Are Not Your Own:
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Those of Demon Blood:
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The Fair Folk:
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A Problem of Memory:
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Day of Atonement:
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A Dark Reflection:
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Awake, Arise, or...:
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Hail and Farewell:
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Beside Still Water:
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Gallery

See more here

Trivia

  • Differences from the novel:
    • Clary is two years older than her book counterpart.
    • At the beginning of the TV series, Clary was applying for the art school Brooklyn Academy of Art; at the beginning of the books, was a high school student attending Tisch art classes.
  • Similarities, aside from physical appearance and character relationships:
    • Clary is an artist.
    • Clary has a connection with the angel Ithuriel, being Valentine's unintentional experiment after being given doses of angel blood while still in Jocelyn's womb.

References