- For details about his other identity, go to Jem Carstairs' page.
|Also known as:||Uncle Jem|
|Occupation:||Former Silent Brother|
|“||There are memories that time does not erase, Clarissa. Ask your friend Magnus Bane, if you do not believe me. Forever does not make loss forgettable, only bearable.||”|
–Brother Zachariah to Clary, City of Lost Souls
Brother Zachariah was the name used by Jem Carstairs during his time among the Silent Brothers. He became a feared and respected figure in the Shadow World and was the most frequently called upon Silent Brother in London until the 1900s, and in New York in 2007 after the death of Brother Jeremiah.
Because of the circumstances leading to his transformation and subsequent joining of the Brotherhood, Brother Zachariah maintained more of his humanity than his fellow Brothers. As of 2008, he has been cured of his illness and has left the Brotherhood.
Joining the Brothers
- For his life before being a Silent Brother, please refer to Jem Carstairs' page.
At the brink of death, the Shadowhunters left the fate of Jem Carstairs in the hands of the Silent Brothers looking after him. While Jem did not welcome the idea when recommended to him some time before his health seriously deteriorated, Jem had been too weak to refuse by the time the Silent Brothers had arrived for him. With permission from Charlotte Branwell, the Brothers brought him to the Silent City, where they attempted to make him a fellow Silent Brother in hopes of counteracting the illness that was killing him, as a desperate attempt to save his life.
After Jem had survived the first few runes of transformation, he was put in a dormant state, which also put the illness he suffered as a result of his dependence on yin fen into a remission of sorts; this state continued the entire length of his service to the Silent Brothers. However, as a result of the powerful runes placed on him to join the Brotherhood, he lost a portion of his humanity; and with it, his parabatai bond with Will Herondale was severed. Once he was officially a Silent Brother, Jem took the name Brother Zachariah.
Only a few days after joining the Brotherhood, Jem, as Brother Zachariah, joined Brother Enoch and Brother Micah in answering the call for help Charlotte had sent out to the Clave. Though new Initiates were usually not allowed to leave during their first year of service, he was permitted by Brother Enoch to join, due the special circumstances.
In the battle against Mortmain's automatons, Brother Zachariah stood and fought by his former parabatai, Will's, side. When his hood fell back, everyone realized that Brother Zachariah was in fact Jem, which came as a huge surprise to all of those close to him, who had assumed that he was dead.
Due to the rules of the Brotherhood, the others were forbidden from further communicating with him, particularly as their old friend Jem, and not as the new Brother Zachariah. However, since he was unable to bid his farewell to those from his mortal life before he joined, Charlotte, the new Consul, insisted that the Silent Brothers allow Brother Zachariah to visit the London Institute for an hour so he could say his last goodbyes to his loved ones and give them all the opportunity for closure. While he did not initially want to let his dear friends and family—particularly Tessa, his former betrothed—see him as he now was, Charlotte ultimately demanded his presence.
Once there, he went to see Tessa and Will, both to whom he was able to say his final goodbyes. He let Tessa keep the jade pendant he had given her as a bridal gift, and agreed to secretly meet with her at the Blackfriars Bridge once a year, no matter what. He and Will also bid each other the form of farewell they had discussed, a counterpart to the typical Ave Atque Vale spoken when a Shadowhunter dies. Not wanting to part like the dead, Jem recited to Will a version of Jonathan and David's farewell, while Will bid his good-bye in Mandarin; both told the other to "Go in peace" in Mandarin, as well. That day, Jem also gave Will and Tessa, separately, his blessing for them to be together.
A Century of Silence
During his time as a Silent Brother, Jem underwent the whole process of rituals—at least, those that he could endure—that would make him a full Silent Brother. However, due to the residual yin fen still left behind in his body, he was unable to undertake all the runes of the Brotherhood. As a result, Jem remained unlike the majority of the Silent Brothers; his hair, eyes, and youth remained as they always had, his mouth not stitched and merely kept shut.
Over the years, Brother Zachariah had become the primary Silent Brother contacted by the London Enclave for emergencies after Will had become the head of the London Institute. While Will called for even the slightest problem as an excuse to see him, it was unlikely that Zachariah could respond to every request, as the summoning of a Silent Brother typically requires grave reasons. He did, however, rush to Will's side when he was bitten and almost killed by a Shax demon, tending his wound and staying with him until he recovered, risking both discovery and punishment.
Though Brother Zachariah and Will were unable to see each other as often as they liked, he still became a constant figure in his family's life; so much so, that even James, Tessa and Will's firstborn son, whom they had named after Jem, called him "Uncle," and had grown accustomed to witnessing the unconditional love between Brother Zachariah and his parents. Jem was also the Silent Brother who performed the protection ceremony on James, after Will had refused to allow anyone else to do it.
In 1937, Brother Zachariah came to Will's deathbed at the Institute around midnight, after everyone had left. Keeping Will and Tessa company, he played the violin for them, just as he had when they were young; the violin Jem had once owned was kept at the Institute and maintained by Will so that Brother Zachariah could play whenever he had the opportunity to visit. He played zhi yin, a form of storytelling through music, and described Will, Jem, and Tessa's lives together through the song. After he finished playing, he bid his farewell and held Will's hand as he died in Tessa's arms.
Brother Zachariah also maintained his promise to Tessa, and met her at the Blackfriars Bridge every year, even after Tessa had left London. After Will's death, Tessa had traveled to the road Will had taken on his way to Cadair Idris in 1878. As a request from Will, Tessa retrieved Jem's dagger that Will had buried in the road when he felt his parabatai connection to Jem break and had assumed he had died. Tessa showed it to him that year, and Jem, knowing he could not take it to the Silent City with him, but still hoping that he would one day be allowed to leave the Brotherhood, merely asked her to keep it for him.
The only year they did not see each other at Blackfriars Bridge was in 1941, when London had become too affected by World War II, causing Brother Zachariah to decide it was too dangerous to meet. Additionally, in 1993, Jem, as a favor to Tessa, performed the Shadowhunter children's ceremony that places the spells over young Shadowhunter children to protect them from demonic influence on Clary Fray, and promised that he would neither alert the Clave of her existence, nor of her mother's survival.
As of 2007, Brother Zachariah had become the most commonly called-upon Silent Brother when the New York Institute needed their help after Brother Jeremiah and several others were killed by Valentine and Agramon in the Silent City.
When several Shadowhunters were mysteriously murdered in a short period of time in New York City, the New York Conclave had expressed an interest in using a newly-discovered resurrection rune of Clary's to try and resurrect one of the dead Shadowhunters, in hopes they could tell them what happened and who killed them. Maryse Lightwood, the head of the New York Institute, introduced Brother Zachariah to Luke and Clary, who had agreed to place the rune on the deceased Shadowhunter. Brother Zachariah led them to the Ossuarium, where the dead are taken for examination, to let Clary try the rune.
Brother Zachariah was also at the Silent City when Clary and Jace, a descendant of Will, came to find out who has been controlling Jace's mind. When the Brothers found out that Jace had died and been resurrected by Raziel, Brother Zachariah examined his mind and claimed that he would have discovered who he was, a Herondale, if he had been there as he was growing up. He also announced that Jace required a new protection ritual to be performed on him to prevent further demonic influence, and argued that, due to the Silent Brothers' old ties with the Herondales, the Brothers have a duty to help Jace, not to kill him to try to create a balance in nature.
When Jace, under the influence of his bond to Sebastian Morgenstern, escaped the Silent City, the Clave began a search for them. However, when more pressing issues eventually arose, the Council moved to deprioritize the search. Brother Zachariah was among the minority who voted to keep the search for Jace, and for Jonathan, a top priority.
When Magnus Bane called Brother Zachariah to help investigate Lilith's runes, Brother Zachariah, seeing it as an opportunity to help save the Herondale bloodline, studied the runes and was able to deduce the nature of the ritual Lilith performed to revive Jonathan, using the Daylighter Simon's bite, and bind him to Jace. He went to Magnus' apartment in Brooklyn to share this with him, much to the surprise of Jocelyn, who was staying with Magnus.
When Maryse Lightwood realized that she was able to find traces of Jace's momentary appearances in different parts of the world, through an almost invisible tracking mark placed on him by Valentine, she called the Silent Brothers, hoping for Brother Enoch, to tell them. However, Brother Zachariah came and told him of his personal interest in the case, which intrigued Maryse. When Maryse told him of what she knew, she left the choice of whether to inform the Clave about what they knew to Brother Zachariah, as she didn't want to be the one to risk Jace's life by telling those who were hunting him. Sharing her sentiment, Brother Zachariah told her that they should not alert the Clave for the moment. However, he did concede that, should Jace appear at one place for longer than a few seconds at a time, she ought to alert the Clave.
When Jace was finally saved and released from his bond with Jonathan when Clary stabbed him with Glorious, Brother Zachariah was among the Silent Brothers who treated him, and who tried many different methods in an attempt to purge the heavenly fire from his body, none of which were successful. Jace did recover quickly, although the heavenly fire was still trapped in his body. Brother Zachariah stood guard by his door, forbidding any visitors while he recuperated. However, when Clary came, she convinced him to allow her inside, after Clary asked him if he had ever loved anyone before he joined the Brotherhood. Zachariah confessed that he had loved two people, and although he did not name them, he was clearly referring to Tessa and Will.
Some time later, he and Brother Enoch were once again called to the New York Institute by Maryse. She led them to the library, where they were shown a message, written in angel blood, Jonathan had left for them that warned them of his return, along with a pair of disembodied wings cut off from the back of an unknown angel.
He continued to look after Jace, who was still having difficulty maintaining control over the heavenly fire in his veins. Zachariah was among the Silent Brothers who went to Idris when all Shadowhunters were called to their home country during the evacuation in December.
At the siege of Sebastian and the Endarkened on the Adamant Citadel, Zachariah joined the other Shadowhunters dispatched to help the Iron Sisters protect the Citadel. In an attempt to heal Jace, who had been stabbed in the shoulder by Jonathan and was bleeding heavenly fire from his wound, Zachariah tried to touch him with a Marked hand. The fire was too powerful, however, and the fire began to consume Zachariah through the touch. The Iron Sisters, sensing the heavenly fire's presence, came to his aid, and he and Jace were both brought to the Basilias in Alicante.
Soon, Zachariah recovered. Because of the heavenly fire, the yin fen that once almost killed him was burned from his body, and since it was also presumably only his illness that called for and bound him to his incomplete Silent Brother state, he was also freed from all of the runes and spells that made him a Silent Brother, an outcome that, under any other circumstances, would be impossible. He then became an ordinary, mortal Shadowhunter again, keeping only the first two runes he received on his cheekbones. Despite the Silent Brothers' secrecy, Jace insisted on seeing Brother Zachariah to ensure that he was not gravely injured because of him. Once they were finally able to visit each other, Jace was shocked to see he was no longer a Silent Brother, and they began to discuss life, love and parabatais. Zachariah surprised the rest of the Shadowhunters in Idris with his newly-mortal status, but he ultimately kept the details of his condition and the events that caused it to himself.
His return to his humanity caused him to become overwhelmed by his emotions suddenly rushing back to him, so Zachariah decided to wait a little longer before returning to what was left of his old life, and promised to stay in Alicante and fulfill his obligations to thwarting Jonathan's plans, even though he was more than tempted to immediately go to Tessa and tell her everything; in the end, he wanted to keep her away from the danger of the war.
When the battle finally came to Alicante, Zachariah arrived just in time to help and protect the young Blackthorn children, as well as Emma Carstairs, while they were on their way to Accords Hall, where all of the children in Idris were being protected. Though he was concerned for his young kin, Zachariah, still not ready to reclaim his old name, could not tell her about their connection. Instead, he merely hinted at it when he called her by her full name and instructed her to stay with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn; a statement which shocked her, as no one else knew that they had talked about becoming parabatai.
Three days after the war, Zachariah immediately left for London. By January, on his annual meet-up with Tessa at the Blackfriars Bridge, he finally reunited with Tessa, and they rekindled their relationship after sharing a kiss, promising to see the world together.
In May 2008, they attended Jocelyn and Luke's wedding in New York. There, Zachariah also reunited with Church, whom he took, without permission from the Lightwoods, with him and Tessa on their journey to Los Angeles, where he and Tessa planned to keep an eye on their families' descendants—the Blackthorns, and the Carstairs.
- For further information about his life after this, go to Jem Carstairs' page.
Tessa Gray is the wife and the love of the life of Zachariah's mortal alter ego. However, as Brother Zachariah, Tessa was still a constant figure in his life, a reminder of his past life whom he continued to meet in order to honor their promise. Despite Jem's love for Tessa, being a Silent Brother contained his feelings, though it did not make them disappear. The moment Jem recovered, his emotions came rushing back and he found that he still loved Tessa after all those years.
Brother Zachariah deeply cares for the Herondale family, particularly because of his love for his late parabatai, Will Herondale. Even years after Will's death, Jem, as Zachariah, continued to look after the Herondales, repeatedly saying that he wanted to save the bloodline. When, after a period during which they believed that the Herondale line had become extinct, Jace was revealed to be a Herondale and Will's descendant, Zachariah began to be a present figure around the Institute where Jace resided in. He also petitioned throughout the Clave meetings to continue the search, at the same intensity as it had been going, for Jace after he went missing.
- For the appearances of his alter ego, please go to the separate page's own Appearances section.
- Clockwork Princess
- The Whitechapel Fiend (flashback)
- Nothing but Shadows
- The Midnight Heir
- City of Fallen Angels (first appearance)
- City of Lost Souls
- City of Heavenly Fire
Zachariah is a Biblical name that means "memory of the Lord" or "God has remembered." It was the name Jem chose for himself, as its meaning can be interpreted as "remember".