Anna Lightwood is the eldest child of Cecily Herondale and Gabriel Lightwood, and the older sibling of their two brothers, Christopher and Alexander.


Anna was raised primarily in London, along with James Herondale and her siblings and cousins. As a child, Anna was very high-spirited and excitable. She would sometimes try to leave the London Institute to go for walks on her own in London, but her Auntie Jessamine, a ghost, always shooed her back inside. She also had a habit of taking her father's clothes and hats. When the Whitechapel demon came in 1888, Anna was left in an empty bedroom but was later found by the adults.[2]

During the time when she would have been sent to the Shadowhunter Academy, she was said to be very vocal about not wanting to go, even saying that she would run away and become a mundane bullfighter if she was forced to.[3]


Anna has a good relationship with her friends and family, who in turn admire that she is strong, sophisticated, confident, and self-assured.[4][5][6] She and the other children of the London Enclave form a very close group. She's very protective of "the boys": Matthew, James, Christopher, and Thomas. Anna is well-respected and very popular among the London group, and her approval is sought after because "if Anna doesn't like you, no one will!"[6] She is also quite witty.[7]

She rejects the binary gender identity.[1] Anna dates women and,[8][9] because she does not like to commit,[10] has even had several girlfriends.[11]

Magnus Bane described Anna as "brash, laughing, cheroot-smoking". He also mentioned that Anna had inherited the ruby necklace from her mother, Cecily. Magnus joked that Anna was one of the Lightwoods whom he actually liked.[12][13]




  • Anna can speak Welsh.[14]
  • She is very capable of making people feel special and comfortable. She would organize tea parties under tables, tree-climbing, and hide-and-go-seek adventures for her younger cousins.[7]
  • She has a flat on Percy Street.[15][6]
  • Her fashion choices are highly-anticipated by people around her, particularly among her cousins.[7]
  • She smokes cigars.[16]
  • She is the only one out of Gabriel and Cecily's three children to inherit Gabriel's green eyes.[15]
  • Anna keeps people's secrets.[15][17]
  • Anna is partly based on artist Romaine Brooks.[6]
  • While Anna Lightwood is genderqueer,[1] the series is set in a time period where the term, and the modern considerations such as gender-neutral pronouns, were still non-existent.[18]
  • According to a found family tree, Anna died in 1941 at the age of 56 or 57.