|“||You've no idea what it's like living with the Clave's curse... unable to set so much as a foot outside, afraid to even open a window. Try not to judge me too harshly, Clary.||”|
Hodge Starkweather was a member of the Circle—a group of Shadowhunter warriors led by Valentine Morgenstern. For his involvement Valentine and his plans, Hodge was exiled to New York. Hodge believed himself to cursed by a spell from the Clave that prevented him from ever leaving the Institute, while most people around him believed that his inability to step out was simply out of fear.
When Jace brought Valentine's daughter, Clary Fray, to the Institute, Hodge met her in the Institute's library after she recovered. He told her about Shadowhunters, demons, and the basics of the Shadow World; about Valentine's Circle and plot to steal the Mortal Cup; and that her mother, Jocelyn, who had been among the best Shadowhunters and also a former member of the Circle, took the Cup from Valentine. Hodge suspected that somewhere deep in Clary's blocked mind, she knew where Jocelyn hid the Cup. To help her access her memories, he arranged for Clary to be brought to the City of Bones, where the Silent Brothers would try to unlock her mind.
One evening, Hodge found Clary studying runes from a book in the library and witness Clary suddenly—accidentally—put her coffee cup into a page of her sketchbook and later take it out. Hodge had seen Jocelyn do the same thing and realized that they shared the rare ability to hide objects in two-dimensional surfaces as drawings, and that the block must have repressed her power. This incidence made Clary realize where the Cup was: in a tarot card Jocelyn painted for their neighbor, a witch named Madame Dorothea.
The group was able to retrieve the Cup, but Alec was severely injured in the battle. Hodge called for the High Warlock of Brooklyn, Magnus Bane, for help, and diverted his attention to getting the Cup. Once Clary took it out of the card, Hodge immediately began justifying his actions to Clary as he opened the Portal for Valentine to enter the Institute. Hodge gave Valentine the Cup and soon began demanding him to lift his curse, only to be told that his "curse" was all in his head, but Hodge remained unconvinced and at least asked Valentine to take away his fear, but Valentine remained unhelpful because Clary had Portaled away with the Cup. Hodge then realized that Clary would return to the Institute for Jace, and that Valentine would hurt Jace and Clary if he went on with his plan to lie and tell them they were siblings.
Though he tried to talk Valentine out of his plans of letting demons into the Institute, to no avail, he remained an obedient follower and opened the domed roof of the Institute, allowing demons to enter because of the summoning circle Valentine had made, and took out a part of the lever to prevent others from easily closing the dome. He quickly seemed to regret his choices and came to Simon and Isabelle's aid at the dome. He fought off Samuel Blackwell and killed him. He closed the roof and told the others to flee as he faced the remaining overwhelming amount of demons alone.
Hodge is an old man with graying hair.
Behind the scenes
- This version of Hodge only appeared in the film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. He was portrayed by Jared Harris.
- Like in the books, Hodge had a pet bird that lurked in the Institute, though it was not named.
- Differences from the novel:
- Hodge is considerably older in the film than he was in the books, where he was meant to be younger than both Valentine and Jocelyn.
- Hodge was only the children's tutor in the books. In the film, because of the absence of the Lightwoods' parents, or any representation of them, Hodge was also the head of the Institute.
- Hodge's curse was that he feared leaving the Institute; he and others believe there's a spell keeping him in, while Valentine, as Jace implied and as Clary guessed, says it is all in his head—that he was simply agoraphobic.
- The fact that Jace and Clary were not actually siblings was kept from the readers until the third book, City of Glass. In the film, Hodge reveals Valentine's intent to lie and lead Jace and Clary to believe they are siblings.