|“||You would, too, if you saw your father murdered when you were a child. If it weren't for him we'd be dead. He saves our lives more times than I care to admit.||”|
Jace Wayland is a skilled Shadowhunter currently residing in New York City. His life is turned upside down upon the arrival of Clary Fray and the sudden and unwelcome return of the man who raised him.
Jace was raised by Valentine Morgenstern, who raised him as his son. Jace was led to believe that his father was Michael Wayland and his own name was Jonathan Christopher Wayland. He was raised and trained like a warrior, brought up strictly and instilled with thoughts such as "to love is to destroy".
When he was nine, Valentine gave Jace a falcon to train, intending it to be a killing companion, not a pet. After taming it, Jace showed it to his father, but Valentine disapprovingly broke its neck, saying that he was supposed to train the falcon to become obedient but instead trained it to love him. In Valentine's words, Jace hadn't tamed the bird, he "broke it".
At one point, Jace witnessed the staged murder of his "father". Valentine somehow placed a block on his mind, befuddling his memories of him, to the point where Jace became unable to recognize him. Believed to still be Michael's son, Jace was sent to the New York Institute to live with the Lightwoods. He became good friends with Alec and Isabelle Lightwood.
One night, Jace, Isabelle and Alec were scouting the Pandemonium Club and had killed a demon when they were seen by who they thought was a mundane girl, Clary Fray and has since been intrigued by her, enough that he came to her the following day to tell her that he didn't believe she was a regular mundane.
Coinciding with the disappearance of Clary's mother, Jocelyn, was the return of idealistic Circle leader Valentine Morgenstern, whom Jace was unaware was also Clary's father. With Hodge's support, the Conclave agreed to take Clary in and help her look for her mother.
During their adventures, Jace met Madame Dorothea, whom they later killed while possessed by the Greater Demon Abbadon, werewolf and former Shadowhunter Luke Garroway, High Warlock of New York, Magnus Bane, the New York vampire clan and its lieutenant, and, to Jace's dismay, Clary's mundane best friend Simon Lewis.
Jace and Clary initially did not think much of one another, though they quickly learned to care for one another. One evening, when he found out that Clary's birthday was upon them, Jace invited Clary to join him in the Institute's greenhouse. He gave her a witchlight and they bonded over stories of his childhood. The pair then shared a passionate kiss. Jace walked Clary to her room and kissed her again, only to be interrupted by Simon, who had been waiting for her inside the room. When Clary told Simon that they had just been kissing, Jace left, offended and hurt.
Clary later came knocking at his door while he was Marking himself in his room. Clary had figured out where her mother hid the Mortal Cup: in one of Dorothea's tarot cards. Along with Alec and Isabelle, they return to the apartment to suss her out. Jace immediately suspects that something is wrong with Dorothea and began playing a tune on her piano, which brought out the demon possessing her. A battle broke out and Jace was knocked out shortly after. While they still managed to retrieve the card, Alec was gravely injured.
After Clary showed Hodge the Cup and took it out of the card for him, Valentine Portaled into the Institute. Jace saw him when he came to the library looking for Hodge. Valentine went on to falsely tell him that he was his son, removing the block on his mind that helped him regain the true memories of his childhood with him to support this. Jace was briefly in denial, though he was eventually convinced, though heartbroken, now believing that Clary was his sister.
When Clary later returned, Jace and Valentine revealed the recent revelation to her. When Valentine angrily hurt Clary for her disobedience, Jace engaged Valentine in a long battle. Just before Valentine could impale Jace onto the sword of Raziel's statue, Clary stopped him by threatening to throw the Cup—a fake one—into the Portal. Clary managed to trick Valentine and push him into the Portal, and Jace immediately broke Valentine's demonic pentagram. When Valentine partially returned through the Portal and attempted to take Clary with him, Jace handed Clary his stele and froze the Portal. They braced themselves from the implosion. After recovering from the shock of everything that just took place, Jace went on to take out all the weapons Valentine used to set up his pentagram.
Jace went to Clary's apartment, worried that she wouldn't return. He told her that they need her gifts, and that he simply needed her, despite it being hard to be around each other. Clary immediately followed him out in acceptance of his offer to return to the Institute. He went on to say that he does not believe that they're siblings and tried to comfort Clary, who was suddenly anxious about the changes around her. The pair got on his motorcycle and, putting her arms around his waist, ride off to the Institute.
Jace is around six-feet tall, lean and muscular. He has light, apparently natural, blond hair and blue eyes.
- This version of Jace only appeared in the film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. The character, though minimally changed, was not explored beyond the film. He was portrayed by Jamie Campbell Bower and by an unnamed child actor in flashbacks.
- A Spotify playlist was made for the character by Republic Records for promotion of the film.
- Some of the actors known to have auditioned or were considered for the role include Alexander Ludwig, Douglas Booth, Ed Speleers, Lucas Till, Leebo Freeman, Xavier Samuel, Benjamin Stone, Max Irons, and Alex Pettyfer (the last two being arguably the most popular fancasts for the role prior to the release of the adaptation).
- Differences from the novels:
- Jace had blue eyes in the film instead of gold eyes as in the book series, though it did flash gold once at the beginning of the movie.
- Like in the books, Jace and Clary are both led to believe that they are siblings; though in the film, Jace was much quicker to tell Clary that he didn't believe Valentine's claim.
- 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 revealed to the viewers that Valentine intended to lie and only lead Jace and Clary to believe they are siblings.