Aline was born an only child to Patrick and Jia Penhallow. With her parents being good friends with the Lightwoods, Aline became friends with the Lightwood children Alec and Isabelle when they were young, but they stopped seeing each other when she was around nine. She lived with her parents at the Beijing Institute for a few years before they moved to Alicante.
When Aline was thirteen, she and Jace—a boy taken in by the Lightwoods—explored the Brocelind Forest in Idris on horseback and got lost. While Aline had been terrified, Jace seemed fearless to her and, though it took hours, managed to get them out of the forest.
In September 2007, the Penhallows agreed to house the Lightwoods and Sebastian Verlac, her cousin, who were visiting Alicante for the signing of the Tenth Accords. When the younger Lightwoods arrived with the hurt vampire Simon Lewis, Aline, like most Shadowhunters who were ignorant about Downworlders, was curious about them, and her questions and statements came off as rude and judgmental.
At that point, Aline had already began to question her own sexuality. In an attempt to figure it out, she flirted with Jace and later kissed him to see if "any guy was [her] type." While she was making out with Jace, they were interrupted by Clary, whom everyone believed then to be Jace's sister. The flirting no longer progressed past that. During a conversation with Sebastian and Isabelle, Aline noted that Jace seemed too overprotective of Clary.
On the evening of the Morgensterns' attack on Alicante, when the demon towers were miraculously deactivated and demons swarmed the city, most of the adult members of the Clave were meeting at the Gard and were thus not there to protect them. Several demons broke into Aline's house and one pulled her out into the streets. While outside, Aline was knocked to the ground by a demon which then attempted to rape her. Isabelle Lightwood arrived just in time and stopped the demon. Aline went after the fleeing demon and killed it before running off.
The same evening, Isabelle and Alec's little brother, Max, was killed by Sebastian. Aline contacted Sebastian's aunt Élodie, and the woman immediately sent back some of Sebastian's things and pictures in disbelief, making her realize that the Sebastian that had been staying with them was an imposter. Aline then shared this revelation with Clary, hoping she would tell the Lightwoods, who had distanced themselves from her family after the incident, and that they would forgive her family. In addition to this conversation, she cleared the air with Clary about her intentions when she kissed Jace.
In preparation for the impending battle with Valentine Morgenstern's demons, the Penhallows' home was used as a refuge for at least twelve children, and Aline and a few other teenagers looked after them.
After the battle and war was won, and the subsequent defeat and death of Valentine and Sebastian, Aline prepared for the victory party with Isabelle and Clary, during which Clary was finally able to be open with them about her feelings for Jace. At the party, she conversed with the werewolf Maia Roberts.
After the war, her mother was appointed as the new Consul.
Aline eventually realized that she was a lesbian. Inspired by Alec's brave act of kissing Magnus in front of Clave members and his family, she eventually came out to her parents. She met and began dating Helen Blackthorn shortly afterwards. She also began to form a bond with Helen's six siblings, who liked her and saw her as a calming presence for Helen.
She assumed that her parents were trying to ignore their relationship, and while her father was indeed disappointed, Jia was more concerned with the fact that Helen was part-faerie and feared that she would break her heart.
Aline and Helen's relationship quickly turned serious, to the point where they eventually exchanged family rings.
She and Helen attended the Council meeting in New York in November later that year, convened to discuss what should be done with Jace, who had gone missing with Sebastian—Jonathan Morgenstern, the imposter who'd stayed with them before the war who has since adopted the name as his own.
While meeting with Maryse at the New York Institute one day, Isabelle and Alec arrived and told them that they'd been conducting their own unsanctioned search for Jace. She understood and promised not to report them to her mother. In gratitude for Isabelle saving her months before in Alicante, and in retaliation for Sebastian killing her real cousin, she even offered to help them. She and Helen joined in the battle against Sebastian and his army at the Burren. She continued to cover for them by telling her mother that there had been no time to notify the Clave and that they needed to act as soon as they got the intel on Sebastian.
Aline had been in Idris with Helen when the Blackthorns were attacked at the Los Angeles Institute. After Helen's younger siblings, except for Mark, and Emma Carstairs escaped through Portal, they were brought to the Penhallow's home and allowed to stay their throughout their stay in Idris.
Aline was later among the people who witnessed a drunken Simon professing his love for Isabelle before being interrupted by Robert Lightwood. She was also at the Council meeting when the Endarkened Matthias Gonzales threatened her mother's life and passed on messages from Sebastian. Helen held her back, preventing her from hastily rushing to them; she was forced to watch as the Endarkened held a knife against Jia's throat and began to cut; fortunately, Alec managed to knock Matthias's weapon away, and Aline rushed over to hold her mother.
Before the war's culminating battle, Aline stayed in the Gard with her family. After the city walls were destroyed and their enemies entered the city, Aline went down and participated in the fight against Sebastian's Endarkened army and faerie allies. She fought in the Angel Square, protecting her mother and the Accords Hall where the children and the elderly were hiding. Helen tried to get to her but was unable to in the crowd. After the Hall's defenses were breached, Aline and Helen rushed in to get to the children as soon as they were able—when the Endarkened army was destroyed.
At the Council meeting after the Dark War, majority of the Clave voted to "assign"—basically exile—Helen to Wrangel Island to study the wards; Jia was forced to recuse herself from the decision and was unable to refuse it. Aline promised to follow Helen later that year.
Aline stayed true to her word and eventually followed Helen to Wrangel Island. Eventually, Helen proposed to her, and she accepted. Though Aline's mother was recused from any decision-making related to Helen because of her apparent bias, Helen struck a deal with the Clave—she would agree to go to the Shadowhunter Academy to tell the students the story of her parents and be paraded around as an example of the Clave's distrust of faeries, in exchange for a temporary pardon from her exile for a day and a night so they could get married in Idris with their family and friends present.
On December 1, 2009, Aline and Helen got married in Idris. Jia stood as Aline's suggenes for the wedding. Aline and Helen spent their wedding party being surrounded by and talking with Helen's younger siblings.
For the following years, she and Helen spoke to Helen's siblings and Emma every week. Julian would always tell them that everything with them was fine, not wanting her and Helen to worry about them.
Making the most out of the situation, Aline picked up ice sculpting as a new hobby, excelling at the detail-oriented work and using a variety of weapons for carving. Her best known piece is her rendering of Jonathan Shadowhunter, carved entirely with a seraph blades, but her favorite subject is her wife, Helen.
Aline is half-Asian. She has curved cheekbones, dark brown, round, almond-shaped eyes, a delicate, pointed chin, straight, black hair, and a small stature.
She is said to greatly resemble her mother, Jia. People perceive her beauty differently—Isabelle and Clary both thought she was pretty, and Simon, who thought she wasn't exactly pretty, described her as striking.
Helen Blackthorn is Aline's wife and first girlfriend. Aline came out and began dating Helen some time after the Mortal War, despite the Clave's general disapproval. Months into their relationship, Aline and Helen had already exchanged family rings, which was considered a serious gesture among Shadowhunters. When Helen got exiled to Wrangel Island, Aline joined her shortly after and stayed their with her. The couple were wed around two years later.
Jia Penhallow is Aline's mother. Both love each other dearly and look out for each other. When Aline came out to her and started dating Helen, Jia was accepting, but was worried about Aline getting her heart broken. Jia felt bad for having to send Helen away to Wrangel Island because she knew how much this would affect her daughter.
Patrick Penhallow is Aline's father.
When Aline came out to him, Patrick was disappointed, for the selfish reason that she could no longer continue his line of the Penhallows.
Aline is very close to Helen's siblings, as well as their close family friend, Emma Carstairs, and cares deeply about them. Meanwhile, the children love Aline and appreciate her love for their sister. They saw her as a calming presence who keeps Helen from fretting. In Julian's tarot cards, Aline was depicted as "the devoted".
Aline is childhood and family friends of the Lightwoods, specifically Alec, Isabelle, and even the adopted Jace. Though they do not see each other often, they are considerably good friends and support one another.
Clary Fairchild is one of Aline's friends. They met shortly before the war, and though they got off on the wrong foot, they eventually developed a good understanding of one another and became allies and friends.
- City of Glass (first appearance)
- City of Lost Souls
- City of Heavenly Fire
- Pale Kings and Princes (mentioned only)
- Bitter of Tongue
- The Fiery Trial (mentioned only)
- Angels Twice Descending (mentioned only)
- A History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of the Downworld
- Lady Midnight (mentioned only)
- Lord of Shadows
- The Queen of Air and Darkness (may appear)
- Her favorite weapons are blades.
- ↑ "They keep their maiden/family names and take each other's last names as middle ones." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 City of Glass
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 City of Lost Souls
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 City of Heavenly Fire
- ↑ Pale Kings and Princes
- ↑ Bitter of Tongue
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Lady Midnight
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 A History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of the Downworld
- ↑ "... they're also intimately entwined with the story of the Blackthorns in TDA", — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr