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Isabelle Lightwood

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Isabelle Lightwood
Portrayed by Jemima West
CJ Flowers, Isabelle
Biographical Information
Full name: Isabelle Sophia Lightwood
Born: 1991
Age: 16 (as of 2007)
Status: Alive
Nickname/s: Izzy
Iz
Affiliation
Species: Shadowhunter
Residence: New York Institute
Allegiance: The Clave
Relationships
Family: Robert Lightwood (father)
Maryse Lightwood (mother)
Alec Lightwood (brother)
Max Lightwood † (brother)
Jace Herondale (adoptive brother)
Magnus Bane (brother-in-law)
Lightwood family
Physical Description
Gender: Female
Hair color: Black
Eye color: Dark brown
GALLERY
And as you might have noticed, I don't trust anyone.

–Isabelle to Simon, City of Fallen Angels

Isabelle Lightwood is a Shadowhunter who is also a ward for the New York Institute, currently part of The Clave.

Biography

Early life

Isabelle was born to Maryse and Robert Lightwood in New York. She was born in 1991, two years after her brother Alec, and about seven years before their younger brother, Max.

She was about ten years old when Jace Wayland was adopted into their family. Hearing from her mother that Jace had witnessed the death of his own father, Isabelle, who likes the feeling of being wanted, had expected Jace to come to her like a scared child needing comfort. Instead, she was disappointed when Jace turned out to be independent, brave and seemingly self-possessed, among other traits that slightly reminded Isabelle of herself. Eventually, when Jace made it clear that he saw Isabelle as a possible training partner and equal, she grew to love him as a brother.

Some time before Max's birth, their father had an affair with a woman she didn't know, later finding out from her mother when she was thirteen and keeping it a secret from almost everyone, since then. Because of this, Isabelle became distrustful of men and found herself not believing in love.

Years later, Isabelle is in a tightly knit group of trainee Shadowhunters with her brothers, Alec and Jace. The trio had developed a working dynamic that they often incorporated during their hunt for demons. Over the years, Izzy also developed a somehow promiscuous attitude, dating anyone whom her parents would most likely disapprove of, such as the faerie Meliorn.

The return of Valentine

Early in 2007, Isabelle, Alec and Jace were staking out demons at the Pandemonium Club, a club often frequented by demons looking for victims. Isabelle acted as bait, seducing and luring an Eidolon demon who was oblivious to the fact that she was a Shadowhunter as her runes were covered with the long sleeves of her white gown, into following her into a supply room, while her brothers followed to kill the demon.

At this point, several of the demons they have cornered and encountered had been claiming that the cruel leader of the Circle, Valentine Morgenstern, has returned from the dead. Unbeknownst to them, Clary Fray, a Shadowhunter who was raised a mundane, had followed them into the supply room. Clary later showed herself and stopped Jace from killing the demon, who, albeit the distraction, was still killed later on. Isabelle, thinking Clary a clueless yet Sighted mundane, chastised her and tied her wrists with her whip, much to Jace's disapproval.

Clary later meets Isabelle again when she wakes up in the Institute after being attacked by a Ravener demon. She tells Alec that mundanes die easy and that she first thought that she was a pixie but realized she wasn't pretty enough to be one, and that Jace hasn't visited her yet for three days since he brought her here, not knowing that Clary was coming to her senses. They also talk about the Silent Brothers, with Isabelle saying that she is creeped out by them because they mutilate themselves. When Clary begins to move awake, she stays with Clary as Alec goes off to tell Hodge Starkweather, their tutor. She gives Clary Hodge's blended herbal tea and lends her some of her old clothes that are too long for Clary. She is also slightly amazed about how she was able to kill a Ravener demon, still assuming that she was a mundane. She also tells her a bit about Jace.

When Jace and Clary bring Simon Lewis into the Institute with them, their cat, Church, brings them to Isabelle who rebukes Jace for bringing another mundane, knowing that Hodge will do the same. Simon decides to use Isabelle to make Clary jealous, pretending that he is attracted to Isabelle. They walk in on her making soup with weird ingredients and, when Jace insults her cooking, she is infuriated for a split second before he takes it back. She seems eager to give everyone the soup she has just cooked and Simon volunteers to try and leaves Jace amused. On their way to the library, Jace tells Simon that Isabelle will break his heart as soon as she gets sick of him. She later comes back telling them that dinner was ready but Hodge and Jace try to tell Isabelle that they were both very full. She then tells them that she chucked the soup she was making in the bin and ordered chinese, they are both excited and happy and storm out of the room. Once they finish dinner, Isabelle then wakes up Clary from her sleep and says that she needs to go to Magnus Banes party to retrieve her memory. Isabelle lends her clothes and does her hair for her while Clary finally tells Isabelle that she knows Alec is a homosexual. Isabelle tells her not to tell anyone or he will get kicked out.

She is present at Magnus's party and when they try to save Simon from the vampires and when they break out to war. Isabelle is also present when Clary remembers where her mother hid the Mortal Cup and goes along with the group to Clary's apartment to retrieve it.

When Alec gets hurt from a demon attack Isabelle stayed behind at the Institute while Jace, Luke, and Clary go meet Valentine.

City of Ashes

Clary receives a text message from Isabelle, saying how the Inquisitor is coming to talk to Jace. When Clary arrives at the Institute, Isabelle and Alec explain to her that the Inquisitor threw Jace in jail as he angered her. Clary goes with Isabelle and Alec to save Jace after the Silent City was attacked and they find that all of the Silent Brothers have been killed.

Izzy also goes to the Faerie Court along with Clary, Jace, and Simon. She is also present when Clary, Jace, and Raphael bury Simon, necessary for him to become a vampire. 

While Jace was being trapped by the Inquisitor, Izzy protested that Jace wasn't Valentine's pet along with her brother Max. Alec however, lied and said that Jace was evil. Alec did this so the Inquisitor didn't suspect him of helping Jace, which he did. At the end of the book the whole Lightwood family, except for Max, goes to help fight Valentine. After the fight Izzy and Alec are put on another fleet ship than Clary and Jace.

Max's death

In Cty of Glass, Max was killed by Sebastian. At the moment, Sebastian knocked Isabelle out; she almost died. When Max died, he held on to a little wooden soldier Jace gave him when he was little. Isabelle kept on telling herself that she should have been there for him to hold on to, not a 'stupid little toy'. After his death, she locked herself in his room for six days, not eating, drinking, barely breathing.When Alec and Jace tried to comfort her, she refused to let them in. She continually blamed herself for what happened, saying that if she listened to him about him sighting someone (Sebastian) climbing the demon towers in order to get demons in. She just dismissed his idea as his wild imagination. But he was right.The only person who she let in was Simon, surprising both Jace and Alec. She let him in and slept with him, not sexually. She said his presence made her feel better. Although she still blames herself, she has forced herself that she must avenge his death by killing Sebastian. She did end up beating him up, badly.

City of Glass

Isabelle is meant to be leaving for Alicante with the rest of the Lightwoods, Jace and Clary. However, the Institute is attacked by a group of Forsaken and so they are forced to leave through the portal early. Taking Simon with them and leaving Clary behind. While in Alicante, Isabelle and the group meet Aline Penhallow and Sebastian Verlac.

Later on, Alec, Isabelle, Aline, Sebastian and Max are attacked by demons that take Aline. Isabelle goes to find out what's going on as Alec hides Max. Alec finds her and then goes out to fight as she, Sebastian and Max hide inside the house. Isabelle goes upstairs to get weapons, leaving Max with Sebastian, so that they can protect themselves if they are attacked. When she comes back downstairs she discovers Max is gone just before Sebastian hits her over the head with a hammer.

After the attack Clary and Simon go to visit the Lightwoods, who are grieving the death of Max, and discover that Isabelle has been locked in her room all day and hasn't been talking to anyone. She reluctantly lets Simon in when he goes upstairs to visit her and they fall asleep together.

The next day, Clary discovers Isabelle and Simon making breakfast together. At this time, Clary asks Simon to leave the room in order to talk to Isabelle alone. When Simon leaves Clary talks to Isabelle about Jace and why he left. Isabelle tells Clary that she never known what it was like to be a real Shadowhunter and that if Jace died it wouldn't be like Max's death.

After Clary talks to her mom and finds out that Jace isn't her brother and that Sebastian (or Jonathan) is the true son of Valentine, Clary finds Isabelle and Alec and tells them the goods new first, after telling Simon. Isabelle then finds Magnus Bane before the battle begins so that she can learn the tracking spell in order to find Jace.

Once Isabelle sneaks through the Portal she finds Jace fighting a losing battle against Sebastian. Isabelle helps fight off Sebastian while also avenging Max. With Isabelle's help Jace is able to kill off Sebastian though very weak.

At the end of the book Isabelle is at the celebration party along with everyone else. Jace and Clary are happily together. Maia and Izzy are now both interested in Simon. They all watch the fireworks show, happy that the war was over.

Learning to love

City of Fallen Angels

The book starts with Isabelle meeting Simon at Taki's, Simon reveals that they have been dating and that he couldn't believe a guy like him would attract a girl like her. Camille Belcourt sends her men to retrieve Simon so that she can make him an offer. Isabelle is uncomfortable with this and tells him not to go, he reminds her of the Mark of Cain and doesn't take up her offer to come with him.

Isabelle finds out later in the book that he has been dating both her and Maia.

When Simon receives a note saying that his girlfriend has been captured he calls Isabelle to check that she's alright, she tells him to leave her alone. He is just glad that she is okay.

Isabelle saves Clary when she attacked by a demon while she tries to find out more about the clan that has been giving demon blood to babies.

Isabelle explains what happened to the Clave at the end of the book.

City of Lost Souls

In the beginning of City of Lost Souls, Isabelle is very anxious about the whereabouts of Jace, since it has been 2 weeks from his abduction by Sebastian. When Alec returns from the Clave meeting and announces the Clave's decision to de-prioritize the search for them, Isabelle is devastated, which leads to their searching on their own.

After Clary "joined" Sebastian and Jace in order to find more about her brother's plan, Isabelle, Alec, Magnus and Simon summoned Azazel, a Greater Demon, hoping that he knows a way of severing the bond between Jace and Sebastian. Their plan however fails, since Azazel having already taken one happy memory from every member of the team, insist on being freed on the world in order to stop Sebastian. The team disagrees and so Magnus dismisses the demon.

With their first plan failed, Isabelle with Jocelyn seek help from the Iron Sisters, the weapon forgers of the Shadowhunters, who inform them that the only way to separate Sebastian from Jace without killing Jace is to use a heavenly sword.

Meanwhile, Isabelle's relationship with Simon is restored with Simon spending some nights with Isabelle telling her stories, even the Star Wars. So when Simon decides to be the one who summons Raziel since he has the Mark of Cain and thus more chances of surviving, Isabelle is very worried. Fortunately Simon succeeds and acquires the sword but the Mark of Cain is removed by Raziel, Isabelle relieved tells him that he is no longer cursed.

At the end of the book, Isabelle fights alongside the rest of the Nephilim against Sebastian and his dark army. She survives the battle without any serious injury and returns to the Institute where she and Alec take care of Jace, who is unconscious due to the fact that he was stabbed by Clary in order to separate him and Sebastian. After Jace regains consciousness, the siblings share a very touching moment together.

Personality

Isabelle at first shares the Lightwood family's snobbish attitude toward mundanes and Downworlders. However, after meeting Clary and Simon, her attitude towards mundanes begins to change as she befriends them and forms a romantic relationship with Simon. Her distressed reaction when Simon was temporarily transformed into a rat, indicated the superficial relationship she intended to have with Simon would not be easily achieved. Despite maintaining a haughty attitude towards Clary and mundanes, she is seen to be somewhat affected by Clary's words at certain points in the book, suggesting she is not as cold-hearted as she allows others to believe.

Isabelle has a great sense of style and is very fashion conscious. She is also somewhat promiscuous. After the death of her brother, Max, she lies down with Simon, but does not sleep with him. Isabelle is portrayed as vain and narcissistic, but slightly insecure. She is sensitive about her great height and wishes that she were smaller and more delicate like Clary. She is arguably the most mature of the Lightwood children and as such adopts something of a maternal role towards them, even her elder brother, Alec.

Despite her narcissistic attitude, Isabelle is very loyal to her family, particularly Alec. She is one of the few people in the world to be aware of his sexuality and the two are very close. Isabelle also possesses a fiery temper which numerous characters are victims of. In spite of her mature and refined nature, she has a habit of throwing temper tantrums and locking herself in her room when things go wrong, flinging objects at people when they intrude on her solitude. While Clary at first finds Isabelle's abrasive nature disquieting, she soon grows to like her when she comes to know her warm side.

Isabelle is a fiercely loyal friend but is volatile and prone to mood swings. Isabelle is described as very flirtatious. She dates many different boys, especially boys that her parents won't approve of. She later reveals that she does this to draw attention away from her brother Alec, who is gay, so that their parents won't become suspicious of him. This begins to show a much deeper and loving side of her that is often only revealed when around her family. She loves her brothers, being particularly close to Alec, and defends them passionately when threatened. Her brother, Max's, death hit her particularly hard, feeling that she failed him, because she ignored him when he said something was wrong. Her grief led her to skipping his funeral, as she felt that she didn't deserve to go.

Isabelle is later revealed to be cautious when it comes to love. This stems from her mother telling her to never trust men, because they will always hurt her. Though at the time she didn't understand the significance of it, she later revealed that she doesn't know how to truly love, though her passion for Simon certainly seems to be opening her up. She is baffled, looking at her brothers, to see them giving themselves to love. She doesn't understand how they can open themselves up to such sadness.

Isabelle also rather likes cooking, but is not very good at it. Her mother, Maryse, was always a good cook but she never taught Isabelle, fearing that she might be relegated to the kitchen forever, instead of being a great Shadowhunter she eventually grew to be.

Jace once described Isabelle as one of the best Shadowhunters he knew. She loves her life and the fight against demons. She greatly enjoys demon hunting. She is also often the 'bait' for demons that she, Jace, and Alec are hunting. She is a very free-spirited girl that enjoys partying, flirting, and clothes.

Isabelle is also very confident in her looks, this is in stark contrast with her brother Alec who isn't confident in his own skin. She frequently uses her looks to achieve her goals, wielding them in everyday life like she would her whip in a fight.

Physical description

Codex Isabelle

Isabelle is described as gorgeous despite the scars left on her skin from the Shadowhunter runes. She has long, ink-black hair and dark brown-gold flecked eyes that are usually mistaken for black. She shares the same slender eyebrows, pale, high-colored skin as her brother Alec. She is said to greatly resemble her mother, so much that Jocelyn Fray mistook her to be her mother when they first met. She is quite tall standing at 5'9", being taller than most boys, and very slim. Despite her looks, Isabelle greatly envied Clary, and other girls like her who were small and petite, in the past; though she is happy with her looks, she felt it a hassle to be taller than most boys.

Isabelle is known to be fashionable and usually wears a dress; Clary once even stated that she never saw Isabelle in anything other than dresses. However, when Clary awoke from her demon poisoning in City of Bones, Isabelle was wearing jeans and a tight blue tank top.

Abilities

Nephilim Physiology: Being Nephilim, Isabelle possesses a variety of enhanced physical and mental abilities granted to her by the blood of Raziel in her veins and also by the angelic Marks of the Grey Book, as well as the power to perform tasks unavailable to other species, such as using seraph blades. This includes enhanced strength, agility, stamina, and coordination, which only improves over time and practice.

  • Enhanced Strength
  • Enhanced Agility
  • Enhanced Stamina
  • Enhanced Coordination
  • Runic Magic: Due to the angel Raziel's blood in their veins. All Shadowhunters are all able to apply runes on their skin without any real danger. These Marks, in turn, give varied effects that serve to benefit the wearer.


Possessions

Paraphernalia

  • Stele: Isabelle has utilized a stele, mostly for healing purposes for herself and her family and friends.

Weapons

  • Electrum whip: Isabelle uses her trademark silvery-gold whip as preferred choice of weapon. The whip was a birthday present from her father when she turned twelve. She shows a high level of skill and proficiency wielding the whip.
  • Daggers: Isabelle has also been shown to include a pair of daggers in her arsenal—occasionally concealed as elaborate hairpins.
  • Seraph blades: Isabelle, like any Shadowhunter, often use the angel blades in battling demons.

Personal effects

  • Lightwood family necklace: Isabelle inherited the family necklace. The ruby pendant of the necklace also served as Izzy's Sensor which pulsed in the presence of demons.

Relationships

Love Interests

Tarot Blades Ace

Isabelle always had difficulty with commitment. Ever since her mother told her to never trust men she guarded herself from them with a string of lovers that were all troublemakers that would irritate her parents. It took Isabelle a long time to realize how she was affected by her mother's advice. When Simon first came to the Institute, he was immediately starstruck by Isabelle, thinking that he finally found someone that could help him get over Clary. Though at first she shows little interest in him in any way other than flirting, he accompanies Isabelle, her brothers, and Clary to Magnus Bane's party. The two dance together, and Isabelle, though intoxicated, worries about him when he was turned into a rat.

When Simon is attacked by vampires, Isabelle is deeply distressed by it and threatens to kill Raphael if he doesn't explain what happened to Simon. Isabelle and her family went on a trip to Idris when Forsaken attacked them. Simon was forced through the Portal and the two of them stayed in Idris together for a short period of time. During Simon's imprisonment in the Gard, Isabelle often brought him blood and signed the card with multiple XO's.

After the death of Isabelle's brother Max, Simon was the only one that she opened up to, insisting that Simon would sleep with her in order to feel better.

In City of Fallen Angels, they casually date until Isabelle finds out he is also dating Mais Roberts, and dumps him. However, she is unable to shake her deepening connection with him.

In City of Lost Souls, they spend nights together at Magnus', and Isabelle lets Simon drink her blood. She grows closer to him, though is reluctant to accept she may actually be in love with him.

In City of Heavenly Fire, they finally admit their feelings for each other. Isabelle is distraught when Simon's memories are taken away, and she and Magnus finally manage to get him back a few months later, to her relief and happiness.

Friends

I’ve only ever trusted a few people in my life. Really trusted. My mother, Alec, Jace, and Max. I lost one of them already. Clary’s the only reason I didn’t lose another.

–Isabelle on Clary, City of Lost Souls

Isabelle is not very open to Clary in the beginning since she finds it difficult to make friendships with girls her age. However after Clary finds out about Alec's sexuality and keeps it a secret Isabelle warms up to her just a little. Their relationship during City of Ashes and City of Glass isn't progressing very much since Isabelle believes that Clary is the reason Jace is so miserable. However after the events of these two books, Isabelle and Clary come closer with Isabelle even making jokes and witty comments about Clary's relationship with Jace.

Family

Alec is Isabelle's brother who is almost two years older than her. Both are very protective of each other.

Max is Isabelle's 9 year old brother. She fell into a brief depression when he was killed by Sebastian, thinking that he would still be alive if she just listened to him.

Enemies

Etymology

  • Isabelle's name means "My God is a vow" in Hebrew.
  • Isabelle was named after Cassie's grandmother.[1]

Trivia

  • Isabelle's middle name, Sophia, was presumably taken from Sophia Collins, who also happens to be the wife of Gideon Lightwood, after whom the middle name of Isabelle's brother Alec was also adapted from.

Gallery

Main article: Isabelle Lightwood/Gallery
Official illustrations
Movie portrayal

Appearances

References

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