When Annabel was a child in Cornwall her family took in a young warlock named Malcolm Fade. Despite the general disdain for Downworlders in the early 1800s Annabel was kind to Malcolm and eventually fell in love with him when they were older. Due to the strict laws prohibiting relationships between Nephilim and Downworlders prior to the Accords, Annabel and Malcolm planned to run away together. Malcolm, who by that time had met the Unseelie King, convinced Annabel they needed the Black Volume of the Dead, which they then stole from the Cornwall Institute.
They were caught by Annabel's family and imprisoned, though Malcolm was soon released by the Unseelie King while Annabel remained in the Silent City. The Inquisitor at the time, a Centurion, took Annabel to the Scholomance and tortured her for Malcolm's whereabouts, cutting off her ring finger. Annabel was sent back to her family to say goodbye before being sent to the Adamant Citadel, but her family, horrified and ashamed of what Annabel did, buried her alive in a tomb by the sea and convinced the Inquisitor to maintain the rumor that she had become an Iron Sister.
It would only be years later when Malcolm found out what truly happened to her. Heartbroken by Annabel's murder, Malcolm became obsessed with raising her from the dead. He found her tomb and moved her body to the convergence, still keeping it near the ocean because he knew that she had loved the water in her life. Fade soon sought the assistance of the Unseelie King who provided the warlock with instructions to resurrect Annabel. The instructions were in the form of a poem, and has since been printed in Nephilim texts, and spoken among faeries as a doggerel, as follows:
- "First the flame and then the flood:
- In the end, it's Blackthorn blood.
- Seek thou to forget what's past
- First thirteen and then the last.
- Search not the book of angels gray,
- Red or white will lead you far astray.
- To regain what you have lost,
- Find the black book at any cost."
Decades after her death, Malcolm finally learned how to bring her back to life. He began trying to accomplish a necromantic ritual, one that required sacrifices. In 2007, after being dead for nearly two centuries, Annabel was partially awakened when Malcolm killed Emma Carstairs' parents as part of a resurrection spell, having long since discovered what truly happened to Annabel. The Carstairs' deaths only awakened Annabel's mind and she spent the next five years in agony, unable to speak but fully aware of her surroundings.
In August 2012, Malcolm attempted to complete the ritual by kidnapping Octavian Blackthorn but was interrupted by the Los Angeles Shadowhunters, and Malcolm was stabbed in the chest by Emma Carstairs. Fade's body was then thrust into the Pacific Ocean with the Black Volume of the Dead through an underground opening to the sea.
Because of this, sea water and Malcolm's blood began to leak into Annabel's coffin. She was awakened—the extent of which is unknown, given that Malcolm was not able to complete the necessary ritual and was thus not what woke her—and was able to open her eyes
Malcolm later successfully completed the resurrection after reanimating himself and killing Arthur Blackthorn, and Annabel awoke completely. Already bitter towards Malcolm for betraying her in life Annabel was furious with him for disturbing her in death after she had endured so much. The sight of Arthur's body further upset her and Annabel killed Malcolm by stabbing him to death. Annabel then took the Black Volume and disappeared.
She appeared to Julian Blackthorn after he left messages with piskies for her. Annabel asked him to leave her and the Volume alone and was disappointed when he refused. She ran away when Emma Carstairs appeared, but later came to the Blackthorns' aid after Tiberius Blackthorn left her a letter in the place she and Malcolm used to use. Annabel agreed to testify that she had killed Malcolm as long as she was left alone afterwards, and also agreed to give Julian the Volume if it went well. Already distrustful of the Clave Annabel had to have Magnus Bane on hand to ensure she would be protected. When Magnus fell ill and was unable to be present Annabel became upset, even more so when the Mortal Sword was used on her. A combination of stress and madness from her recent resurrection drove Annabel temporarily mad, and she proceeded to kill the Inquisitor Robert Lightwood and Livia Blackthorn, before being spirited away by the Unseelie King through dark magic.
- A History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of the Downworld
- Lady Midnight (corpse)
- Lord of Shadows (first appearance)
- She is missing a finger, specifically her ring finger.
- She is the titular character of the installment Lady Midnight.