SPOILER WARNING: Plot details follow. Caution is advised!
I am Valentine's weapon. You think he's just gonna let me go? He knows that you... You're my weakness.

–Jace to Clary, Day of Wrath

Jace Herondale, previously and widely known as Jace Wayland, is a lethal and expert Shadowhunter—a skilled soldier in their war against demons.


Early life

Jace was born to Stephen and Céline Herondale. Somehow, Valentine Morgenstern was able to give him doses of angel blood and cut him out of his mother's womb when she died, partly as revenge against the Clave.[1]

Jace was raised by Valentine but was led to believe that he was the son of Michael Wayland—whom Valentine posed as in his childhood by using the shape-shifting rune—and that his mother died when he was a baby. When he was ten, Valentine faked his death,[2] leading the young Jace to believe he was killed by Valentine and partly because of the Circle's Uprising. Jace was then taken in by the Lightwoods and has since been raised at the New York Institute with other Shadowhunters. He and the Lightwood children have since come to treat each other as siblings,[3] and he was treated like a son by their parents, especially Maryse.[4] He became particularly close to Alec Lightwood, who was the first friend he made and eventually became his parabatai.[5]

Still believing that his father, Michael, was killed, Jace made it his life mission to seek revenge on the people responsible.

Helping Clary

One evening, Jace decided to track one of the shape-shifting demons that has been killing mundanes, and draining them of blood. Alec wanted to get approval for their mission from the Clave, but Jace insisted that it wasn't necessary. With Alec and Isabelle, he followed the demon to the Pandemonium Club.

Outside, Jace encountered a girl who saw him, despite the glamour that would make him invisible to mundanes. His interest was piqued, even more so when the girl continued to follow them into the club. With Isabelle as a distraction for the other demons, Jace confronted the blood-peddling demon; it refused to tell him about his employer, and a fight broke out. Jace kept the girl away from harm's way, and after he, Alec, and Izzy defeated the demons, the girl ran off. Since a seraph blade lit up upon her touch, he became confident that she was a Shadowhunter like them.

Jace followed her and tracked her to her house, where she was being attacked by a shapeshifting Ravener demon demanding the Mortal Cup. He saved her and, noticing that she had been stung and potentially poisoned, took her back to the Institute. Almost certain that she was a Shadowhunter like them, he Marked her with an iratze just knowing that she would be able to bear it. Alec disapproved of his decision to take her in, but Jace insisted. While trying to explain things to her, he was truly surprised to hear that Clary was clueless about the Shadow World, but seemed intertwined with it nonetheless.

Jace then escorted Clary out of the Institute when a member of the Circle arrived and called her "Clary Fairchild" with intent to take her. Jace killed him in his father's name and accompanied Clary and her mundane friend Simon into the Institute, with the promise that he will help her find her mother.[6] Jace decided to introduce her to their trainer and ex-Circle member, Hodge Starkweather, to enlighten them about the circumstances.

In an attempt to unlock her seemingly blocked memories, Jace suggested that Clary be taken to the City of Bones. Though the others were initially reluctant, Clary agreed. Jace accompanied her in, and Clary learned that she was Valentine's daughter.[3] She also saw that a man named Magnus took her memories as a child. 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. Magnus told them that he fed Clary's memories to a memory demon, Valak, whom they subsequently summoned. When Alec surrendered a memory of "the one [he] loved most," Alec panicked when it showed a memory of Jace. Because of the broken summoning seal, the demon attacked and grabbed Jace. With his life at risk, Clary decided to sacrifice her memories and banished the demon to save him.[7]

With Luke's help, they were eventually able to retrieve the Cup for the Clave. During the course of their search, Jace and Clary also grew closer and developed feelings for one another, culminating in a kiss in the middle of the Institute after Clary thought she'd killed Jace.[8]

During one incident, Jace, Clary, and Isabelle helped the Seelie Meliorn escape from the hands of the Shadowhunters who were taking him to the City of Bones for interrogation. Indebted to them, Meliorn helped them find Valentine with Clary's Portal shard. He opened a door to another dimension that would lead them to Valentine. Though Meliorn had Jace stay behind at first, when a Ravener demon was able to fight its way past them and into the dimension, Meliorn allowed him to follow Clary. There, Jace was severely injured and poisoned by the demon, but they found the Portal leading to Valentine's hideout just in time. Once there, they found Jace's father, Michael Wayland, imprisoned.[9] They freed him, and together they Portaled to the Jade Wolf to ask the Downworlders for help to heal Jace.

In their search for Valentine and Jocelyn, Michael told them that Valentine was hiding out at Renwick's. There, the deception was revealed when, after being handed a fake Cup by Clary, Valentine revealed his shape-shifting rune and told Jace that he had been his father, merely disguised as Michael Wayland, all along. He told Jace and Clary that they were both his children and thus were siblings.[2]

When Hodge betrayed them by giving the Cup to Valentine, Jace and the others hunted him down. Jace met with Valentine but was unable to bring himself to kill him. When Valentine later returned and threatened the lives of Clary, Jace, and Isabelle if he didn't join him, Jace agreed, feeling as if he had no choice but to do as he asked.[10]

Wanted man

Jace tried to escape from Valentine shortly after joining him and was severely punished for it. Despite Valentine's numerous attempts to get him to believe in his cause, Jace remained disillusioned. Valentine then led Jace to believe that he had demon blood.[11] When Clary was brought onboard Valentine's ship, Jace was briefly convinced after a spellbound Clary told him that he was the key to saving the world from Downworlders, but the pair escaped with the help of Clary's warlock friend, Dot.[12]

Despite their escape, they were separated and washed up at distant shores, with Jace ending up near Gretel Monroe, a werewolf Valentine killed. Seen by a mundane, Jace became the primary suspect in her death and was hunted by Gretel's pack for justice. When Jace contacted Isabelle, he found out that Alec was rendered unconscious in his latest attempt to track him and needed his presence—as his parabatai—to survive. With the help of the others, Jace was able to escape the wrath of the werewolves—particularly that of the persistent Maia Roberts—and got to Alec in time to save him, but he was arrested after this.[5]

Truth sword

He was imprisoned in the City of Bones and was interrogated by Victor Aldertree—the Institute's new head who initiated the hunt for him—with the Soul-Sword. Because Jace told him—compelled by the sword to tell the truth—that he would be unable to pledge unconditional loyalty to the Clave, and that he believed in some of Valentine's goals, for his testimony, Aldertree told him that he would recommend to the Clave a life imprisonment sentence for him. Later, Valentine infiltrated the City of Bones and killed the Silent Brothers to get the Sword. Jace was unable to go after Valentine as he prioritized saving Aldertree, and the pair returned to the Institute after.[13]

For this, Jace was exonerated of his crimes. Nonetheless, his fellow Shadowhunters at the Institute began to look at him with contempt, believing Valentine's claim that he had demon blood.[14] Jace was benched by Aldertree and assigned to ichor duty—a menial task typically given to newbie grunts. Knowing that this was because of Aldertree's personal opinions of him and would not change any time soon, Jace left and sought Magnus's apartment as a place to stay.[15]

Unable to move on from Clary, Jace began to return to old habits and met up with an old flame, Kaelie, among his many other Seelie lovers. When Luke told him that Clary needed their help, however, Jace rushed off to help them. In an attempt to save the trapped angel Ithuriel, they went to Valentine's hideout, led there by Luke's sister Cleophas. Jace and Clary went straight to the rooftop, where Clary correctly suspected the angel was being held to anticipate the coming lightning. Jace fought off the guards, and Clary was able to free him with a rune. Ithuriel then held his and Clary's hands and gave them a vision of how to destroy the sword.[16] Few believed him and Clary when they reported seeing the angel and his vision.

At a party celebrating Max's Rune Ceremony, Maia made amends with Jace. Jace, in a conversation with Max, was hurt to hear him say that he wasn't his brother, influenced by Maryse's opinion of him. Because the warlock Iris Rouse played tricks on their minds, Jace hallucinated that Maryse attacked him, verbally and physically, when in fact Maryse was trying to apologize. Magnus successfully countered the spell and they quickly realized what was going on. After Max received his first rune, Jace reconciled with Maryse and was angered upon hearing that Robert was cheating on her.

The group eventually realized that Clary had pure angel blood and would be able to activate the Soul-Sword. Additionally, because of a blood oath that tied Clary to Iris, she became to find Madzie.[17]

Clary soon began to experience the side effects of not fulfilling the blood oath, and Jace took her to Magnus for help. Other Downworlders also found out that Clary could activate the Soul-Sword, making her a target, so the group began their hunt for Madzie while also protecting Clary from the Downworlders.

Jace was able to track Madzie and found her with Valentine—though Jace had his suspicions that it was a trap because he was able to track them too easily but was too desperate to get Madzie to Clary and save her to care. Though Clary was cured once she was held by Madzie, she was Portaled away, and Jace, Luke, and Simon once again tracked them to Valentine's hideout. Though they were able to rescue Clary, Simon was taken.[18]

With Dot's prompting and Magnus's interpretation of the vision Ithuriel gave them, they deduced that Jace was the demonic Morgenstern that could destroy the Sword with his touch, but that it would also destroy him in the process. With this in mind, Jace plotted to touch and destroy the Sword, which Clary was adamantly against, thinking it would kill him. Nonetheless, Jace and Luke traveled to the Institute, which Valentine had just infiltrated to activate the Sword with the Institute's angelic power core once Clary arrived, and left Clary with Magnus. Other Downworlders arrived to rush the Institute and Valentine once he'd destroyed the Sword.

Jace shapeshifted into Clary, entered the Institute and was delivered to Valentine. Jace saw the state Simon was in and let him drink his blood, after which his shape-shifting rune failed and revealed his disguise. He and Simon were able to fight their way out and made their way to the center, where the Sword was being held. He did not anticipate Clary's arrival and found her being pulled by Valentine to the Sword. With Simon's help, Valentine and the Circle members guarding the Sword were incapacitated, allowing Jace to get to the Sword. Because of the pure angel blood he did not realize he had, Jace unwittingly activated the Sword and witnessed the aftermath after Valentine used it to kill the Downworlder army he and Luke had gathered, horrified.

Outside, Jace stopped Valentine before he could kill Luke and confronted him for the truth before attempting to kill him. Valentine told him that he led him to believe that he had demon's blood knowing that Jace could also activate the Sword for him, but that thinking he could destroy it instead of activate it would make him willing to touch it. With the "truth sword" still in Valentine's hands, Jace also learned he wasn't his son, and was thus not Clary's brother. Jace was able to take Valentine down but stopped short of killing him because Clary reminded him that they needed the Cup, and Valentine may be the only one who knew where it was. Clary and Jace later realized that the sword was gone.

Jace intended to tell Clary that they weren't siblings, but hesitated after seeing Clary happy with Simon.[19] This secret did not last as Valentine, who was imprisoned and interrogated in the Institute, himself revealed the truth to Clary.[20]


In an accidental escape of Valentine set up by the Greater Demon Azazel, who switched Valentine with Magnus, Jace was taken captive by Valentine and used as leverage against the Inquisitor, Imogen Herondale. Valentine offered up Jace in exchange for his body. To convince her, Valentine revealed to them that Jace was her grandson, surprising both Jace and Imogen. After Clary, Sebastian, and Alec rescued him, the recent revelation brought him and his grandmother together for the first time. Imogen gave Jace a Herondale family ring,[21] and named him the new head of the Institute.

Jace's first day as head of the Institute came with the difficult times the Shadowhunter-Downworlder relations was going through because of the recent activation of the Soul-Sword. Jace was tasked with heading up the tagging of Downworlders with trackers, creating further tension. The decision was overturned when Kaelie—a Seelie Jace used to sleep with—was revealed to be the killer of various Shadowhunters, setting up other Downworld species to start a war. Jace soon passed on the title of head of the Institute to Alec, whom he always thought was more deserving of the position and tried to recommend to Imogen from the beginning.

After all the tension with the werewolves, Jace went for drinks at the Hunter's Moon. In the spur of the moment, Jace ended up sleeping with Maia, whom he clashed most intensely with regarding the tracking chips. While Jace was hung up on Clary, Maia had also developed feelings for Clary's boyfriend, Simon, and the pair saw their time together as a fun distraction.[22]

Loved, destroyed

The Queen of the Seelie Court requested the presence of Jace and Clary to discuss Kaelie's actions. The trip was in fact a trick, part of her attempt to earn Simon's, who insisted on accompanying Clary and whom the Queen expected, trust and alliance. The Queen trapped Jace and Simon and had Clary get "the kiss she most desired": a kiss with Jace,[23] prompting Simon to break up with her and further confusing and making things more awkward between Jace and Clary.

Jace and Clary avoiding each other did not last, particularly when Valentine escaped.[24] Jace suspected that Valentine was in Idris, in a cabin in the Brocelind Forest where Valentine used to take him. Because the Clave did not heed his advice, Jace continued his investigations separately until Clary found out.

With Clary's rune powers, she created a Portal rune and they Portaled to Idris together. Upon arriving, Clary accidentally ingested water from the Lake Lyn, driving her temporarily out of her mind until Jace and Isabelle were able to corner her and Jace was able to activate her iratze with his own rune powers. Though they found the cabin empty—recently vacated—they found journals where Valentine kept records of his observations of two Jonathans, making them realize that Clary's brother Jonathan was alive.[25] This trip, in part, helped Clary realize that the third Mortal Instrument, the missing Mortal Mirror, was in fact the lake.

Jace's adoptive little brother Max managed to trace back Jonathan's things to the Englishman they came to know and trust as Sebastian. After locking down the Institute, they were able to expose his fraud.[26] Jonathan held particular contempt for Jace, whom he saw as competition for Valentine's affections. In pursuit of Valentine and Jonathan in an effort to stop them from uniting the Mortal Instruments, Jonathan confronted him in a fight. With Isabelle's help, Jace killed Jonathan and threw him into a river.[27]

Jace and Clary pursued Valentine to Idris. When they reached Lake Lyn, Jace was caught by surprise by Valentine, who stabbed him in the chest. Jace died, devastating Clary. Before Valentine could finalize his deal with the summoned Angel Raziel, Clary attacked and killed him and took from him the wish he had compelled from Raziel. With the wish, Clary asked for Jace back. This resurrected him, but Jace soon felt the consequences of being brought back to life, with intense pain.[28]


Seen as narcissistic, gorgeous, determined and an expert Shadowhunter, Jace is a natural-born leader and is Alec's second-in-command whenever on assignments with him and Isabelle. Jace is headstrong and often prefers to act first and ask permission later. Tough, resourceful, and confident, Jace takes slaying demons in his stride, often admiring himself while he does so.[29]

He is incredibly loyal to his allies and will stop at nothing to help and save them when necessary. Jace is prepared to risk his life and standing with the Clave to protect others, easily doing so to prevent harm to others. As the adoptive son of Maryse and Robert, he has a fierce love for his adoptive family, especially his adoptive siblings Alec and Isabelle, whom he can be quite protective of.

Like most of his kind, Jace was raised to view love and feelings as a distraction from their sacred mission, though he was not completely averse to it either, specifically after Clary's presence and influence.

Jace is usually sarcastic and humorous. He is also incredibly stubborn, as seen with his recurring arguments with Alec. He can be impatient and easily annoyed when things are not moving forward, or when his skill is called into question. Beneath the humor lies a darker side, one where Jace has always felt like an outsider and was further driven to believe he was tainted after Valentine's lie. He is prone to excessive drinking and indulging in sex to distract himself from more negative emotions, preferring those outlets to talking about his feelings with someone.

Skills and abilities

  • Nephilim physiology: Being Nephilim, Jace 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, Jace 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, Jace 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.
  • Parabatai bond: Due to his parabatai bond with Alec Lightwood, Jace is able to call on more strength in battle and is able to use certain runes or magic exclusive to parabatai. The runes drawn on him by, or shared with, Alec also give a considerably stronger effect. This also allows them to parabatai track.
TMI212 Jace01

Jace activating a rune on his arm.

  • Angelic blood empowerment: Like Clary, Jace has pure angel blood, due to an experiment performed on him as an unborn child, and this apparently gave him enhanced strength, speed, and others superior to those of normal Shadowhunters'.
    • Rune activation: Jace is able to activate runes on his and others' bodies without having to use his stele. When he does this, his eyes turn gold.
    • Blood connection: Because of their angel blood, Jace and Clary share a connection, both with each other and with the source of their blood, Ithuriel.[16] In addition, Clary's blood relation to Jonathan Morgenstern gives Jace an indirect connection to him as well.[27]
  • Expert hand-to-hand combatant: Jace is highly skilled in armed and unarmed combat.
  • Expert swordsman: Jace is highly skilled and proficient in swordsmanship.
  • Skilled pianist: Jace is highly proficient in playing the piano, from being under the tutelage of Valentine Morgenstern during his childhood.




TMI106promo Clace03

Jace and Clary first met outside the Pandemonium Club, on the night that Clary's life changed. They began with a constant exchange of teasing or sarcastic remarks, but eventually began to care for one another, especially as Jace volunteered to guide Clary through her newly-discovered life as a Shadowhunter. Jace challenged authority, and his relationship with his family and colleagues, more than usual in his attempts to help and look after Clary, and despite his initial "to love is to destroy" outlook, he began to fall for her.

After a mission together, when Clary thought that she had killed Jace, Clary kissed him, and the pair began seeing each other.[8] However, the false discovery that they were siblings put a halt in their budding romance. Clary immediately shot down her feelings for Jace,[1] and while she seemingly moved on with Simon, Jace struggled visibly and blamed his lapse of judgement—his love for Clary as more than a sister—on the demon blood he was led to believe he had. When Jace found out from Valentine that they were in fact not siblings, Jace was eager to tell Clary but decided against it when he thought that Clary was happier with Simon.[19]



Jace grew up thinking that Valentine was his Michael Wayland, his father, and that it was Valentine that killed him. He developed a desire for vengeance, against Valentine and his men.

When Valentine revealed himself to be the man who raised him, having disguised himself as Michael and faking his own death, Jace's hatred for Valentine grew conflicted and intense, mixed with a feeling of longing for the man he believed to be his father.

Despite their history, Jace acknowledged that Valentine had been using and manipulating him, and recognized that Valentine corrupted him with his teachings and attempts of making him into his soldier. When manipulated into joining Valentine if he wanted to keep his friends and family alive, Jace was subjected to exercises and tests of his powers and abilities, as well as torture, both emotional and physical. Valentine pushed Jace as much as he could, claiming he was his most prized experiment, and that Jace was a weapon designed to eradicate Downworlders.


Season One appearances: 13/13
The Mortal Cup:
The Descent Into Hell Isn't Easy:
Dead Man's Party:
Raising Hell:
Moo Shu to Go:
Of Men and Angels:
Major Arcana:
Bad Blood:
Rise Up:
This World Inverted:
Blood Calls To Blood:
Morning Star:
Season Two appearances: 20/20
This Guilty Blood:
A Door Into the Dark:
Parabatai Lost:
Day of Wrath:
Dust and Shadows:
Iron Sisters:
How Are Thou Fallen:
Love is a Devil:
Bound By Blood:
By the Light of Dawn:
Mea Maxima Culpa:
You Are Not Your Own:
Those of Demon Blood:
The Fair Folk:
A Problem of Memory:
Day of Atonement:
A Dark Reflection:
Awake, Arise, or...:
Hail and Farewell:
Beside Still Water:
Season Three appearances: 1/20
On Infernal Ground:
The Powers That Be:
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What Lies Beneath:
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Thy Soul Instructed:
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Stronger Than Heaven:
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A Window Into an...:
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Salt in the Wound:
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A Walk Into Darkness:
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Familia Onte Omnia:
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Lost Souls:
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Original Sin:
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Beati Bellicosi:
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A Kiss From a Rose:
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A Heart of Darkness:
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To the Night Children:
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Stay With Me:
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Episode 3018 TBA:
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Episode 3019 TBA:
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Episode 3020 TBA:
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  • Jace is only 16 at the beginning of the book series, while he, along with the others, is aged up by a few years and is in his early 20s at the beginning of the TV series.[30]
  • Jace was born with gold eyes because of his angel blood in the books; on the show, Jace's eyes turn gold when he uses the rune abilities he possesses due to his angel blood.