|Portrayed by Jemima West|
|Full name:||Isabelle Sophia Lightwood|
|Age:||16 (as of 2007)|
|Also known as:|| Izzy|
|Residence:||New York Institute|
|Family:|| Robert Lightwood (father)|
Maryse Lightwood (mother)
Alec Lightwood (brother)
Max Lightwood † (brother)
Jace Herondale (adoptive brother)
|Eye color:||Dark brown|
|“||I watch my brothers give their hearts away and I think, Don't you know better? Hearts are breakable. And I think even when you heal, you're never what you were before.||”|
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 liked 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 was 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.
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 to 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, had returned from the dead. Unbeknownst to them, Clary Fray, a Shadowhunter who was raised as 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 met Isabelle again when she woke up in the Institute after being attacked by a Ravener demon. Isabelle told Alec that mundanes die easily and that she first thought that she was a pixie but realized she wasn't pretty enough to be one, and that Jace hadn't visited her yet for three days since he brought her here, not knowing that Clary was coming to her senses. They also talked about the Silent Brothers, with Isabelle saying that she was creeped out by them because they mutilate themselves. When Clary began to move awake, she stayed with Clary as Alec went off to tell Hodge Starkweather, their tutor. She gave Clary Hodge's blended herbal tea and lent her some of her old clothes that were too long for Clary. She was also slightly amazed about how she was able to kill a Ravener demon, still assuming that she was a mundane. She also told her a bit about Jace.
When Jace and Clary brought Simon Lewis into the Institute with them, their cat, Church, escorted them to Isabelle who rebuked Jace for bringing another mundane, knowing that Hodge would do the same. Simon decided to use Isabelle to make Clary jealous, pretending that he was attracted to Isabelle. They walked in on her making soup with weird ingredients and, when Jace insulted her cooking, she was infuriated for a split second before he took it back. She seemed eager to give everyone the soup she had just cooked and Simon volunteered to try and left Jace amused. On their way to the library, Jace told Simon that Isabelle would break his heart as soon as she got sick of him. She later came back telling them that dinner was ready but Hodge and Jace tried to tell Isabelle that they were both very full. She then told them that she chucked the soup she was making in the bin and ordered chinese, they were both excited and happy and stormed out of the room. Once they finished dinner, Isabelle then woke Clary up from her sleep and said that she needed to go to Magnus Banes party to retrieve her memory. Isabelle lent her clothes and did her hair for her, while Clary finally told Isabelle that she knew Alec is a homosexual. Isabelle told her not to tell anyone or he would get kicked out.
She was present at Magnus's party, and when they tried to save Simon from the vampires, and when they broke out to war. Isabelle was also present when Clary remembered where her mother hid the Mortal Cup and went along with the group to Clary's apartment to retrieve it.
When Alec got hurt from a demon attack Isabelle stayed behind at the Institute while Jace, Luke, and Clary went to meet Valentine.
City of Ashes
Clary received a text message from Isabelle, saying how the Inquisitor was coming to talk to Jace. When Clary arrived at the Institute, Isabelle and Alec explained to her that the Inquisitor threw Jace in jail as he angered her. Clary went with Isabelle and Alec to save Jace after the Silent City was attacked and they found that all of the Silent Brothers had been killed.
Izzy also went to the Faerie Court along with Clary, Jace, and Simon. She was also present when Clary, Jace, and Raphael buried 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, went to help fight Valentine. After the fight Izzy and Alec were put on another fleet ship than Clary and Jace.
In City of Glass, Isabelle was meant to be leaving for Alicante with the rest of the Lightwoods, Jace and Clary. However, the Institute was attacked by a group of Forsaken and so they were forced to leave through the portal early. Taking Simon with them and leaving Clary behind. While in Alicante, Isabelle and the group met Aline Penhallow and Sebastian Verlac.
Later on, Alec, Isabelle, Aline, Sebastian and Max were attacked by demons that took Aline. Isabelle went to find out what was going on as Alec hid Max. Alec found her and then went out to fight as she, Sebastian and Max hid inside the house. Isabelle went upstairs to get weapons, leaving Max with Sebastian, so that they could protect themselves if they were attacked. When she came back downstairs she discovered Max was gone just before Sebastian hit her over the head with a hammer, she almost died. Max was killed by Sebastian. 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 the attack Clary and Simon went to visit the Lightwoods, who were grieving the death of Max, and discovered that Isabelle has been locked in her room all day and hasn't been talking to anyone. 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. Simon went upstairs to visit her and they fell asleep together, not sexually. She said his presence made her feel better. Although she still blamed herself, she had forced herself that she must avenge his death by killing Sebastian. She did end up beating him up, badly.
The next day, Clary discovered Isabelle and Simon making breakfast together. At this time, Clary asked Simon to leave the room in order to talk to Isabelle alone. When Simon left Clary talked to Isabelle about Jace and why he left. Isabelle told 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 talked to her mom and found out that Jace wasn't her brother and that Sebastian (or Jonathan) was the true son of Valentine, Clary found Isabelle and Alec and told them the goods new first, after telling Simon. Isabelle then found Magnus Bane before the battle began so that she could learn the tracking spell in order to find Jace.
Once Isabelle sneaked through the Portal she found Jace fighting a losing battle against Sebastian. Isabelle helped fight off Sebastian while also avenging Max. With Isabelle's help Jace was able to kill off Sebastian though very weak.
At the end of the book Isabelle was at the celebration party along with everyone else. Jace and Clary were happily together. Maia and Izzy were now both interested in Simon. They all watched the fireworks show, happy that the war was over.
Learning to love
The book starts with Isabelle meeting Simon at Taki's, Simon revealed that they had been dating and that he couldn't believe a guy like him would attract a girl like her. Camille Belcourt sent her men to retrieve Simon so that she could make him an offer. Isabelle was uncomfortable with this and told him not to go, he reminded her of the Mark of Cain and didn't take up her offer to come with him.
Isabelle found out later in the book that he has been dating both her and Maia, and both broke up with him..
When Simon received a note saying that his girlfriend had been captured he called Isabelle to check that she was alright, she told him to leave her alone. He was just glad that she was okay.
Isabelle saved Clary when she was attacked by a demon while she tried to find out more about the clan that had been giving demon blood to babies.
In the beginning of City of Lost Souls, Isabelle was very anxious about the whereabouts of Jace, since it had been 2 weeks from his abduction by Sebastian. When Alec returned from the Clave meeting and announced the Clave's decision to de-prioritize the search for them, Isabelle was devastated, which led to them 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 knew a way of severing the bond between Jace and Sebastian. Their plan however failed, since Azazel having already taken one happy memory from every member of the team, insisted on being freed on the world in order to stop Sebastian. The team disagreed and so Magnus dismissed the demon.
With their first plan failed, Isabelle with Jocelyn sought help from the Iron Sisters, the weapon forgers of the Shadowhunters, who informed them that the only way to separate Sebastian from Jace without killing Jace was to use a heavenly sword.
Meanwhile, Isabelle's relationship with Simon was restored with Simon spending some nights with Isabelle telling her stories, even the Star Wars. So when Simon decided to be the one who summoned Raziel since he had the Mark of Cain and thus more chances of surviving, Isabelle was very worried. Fortunately Simon succeeded and acquired the sword, but the Mark of Cain was removed by Raziel. Isabelle relieved told him that he was no longer cursed.
At the end of the book, Isabelle fought alongside the rest of the Nephilim against Sebastian and his dark army. She survived the battle without any serious injury and returned to the Institute where she and Alec took care of Jace, who was unconscious due to the fact that he was stabbed by Clary in order to separate him and Sebastian. After Jace regained consciousness, the siblings shared a very touching moment together.
The Dark War
Isabelle and the others provided the moral support for Jace, who trained with Jordan Kyle to control the heavenly fire by maditating. After the occurring attacks on Institutes by the Endarkened army, Maryse Lightwood told everyone to pack their things and leave for Alicante. When the were about to go through a Portal, Simon and Isabelle talked about her trip to Idris. When Simon admitted he wished he were going with her, she assured him that he was safer in New York and away from Sebastian. The conversation changed to Isabelle and the possibility that Simon could get hurt in a relationship with her, which Simon said was worth the risk, touching her deeply. She gave him her ruby necklace to wear while she was gone, in order to protect himself until she returned. He started to tell her he loved her, but she cut him off, not wanting him to say it under these circumstances.
Once in Idris, Isabelle was visibly upset by their parents lack of interest in each other. Alec made the mistake of replying, "A lot of people split up when they have a child who dies," which enraged Isabelle so much that she stormed off out the house.
Back at the Gard, Isabelle attempted to follow the others to the battle for Adamant Citadel, but was stopped by her father. Furious with him, she shouted that Max's death was his fault, and told him, and Alec and Maryse, that she knew about how he had an affair before Max was born, and accused him of being happy about Max's death, as it freed him of responsibilities. She then fled, only to find, just arrived from New York, Simon. Still hurting from her argument up at the Gard, Isabelle was relieved to see him and embraced him. To explain about how he had come to be here, Simon and Isabelle retreated to her house.
Isabelle rooted through Alec's clothes to try and find something for Simon to wear. She filled him in on what had been going on in Alicante since they came here, and what was happening now, but did not mention any personal feelings. Isabelle, trying to forget about her arguments with her family, deflected his questions and attempted to seduce him. The two of them, jokingly role-playing as costume-drama-like characters, ended up together in Alec's bed, before Alec himself arrived in the room. He was horrified to find the two of them together, and from him Simon found out about Jace and Clary having gone through the Portal. He and Isabelle argue and she took back her pendant. After that, they went to Basilias.
After they found out that Downworld leaders, along with Jocelyn, were captured, Sebastian demanded Clary and Jace in return for peace. While they were given two days, Clary, Jace, Simon, Alec and Isabelle escaped through the faerie tunnels to the other dimension, Edom.
When Isabelle was mortally wounded in the fighting, they returned to the caves and Simon was able to save her by using his own blood, which as a Daylighter had restorative powers. When Isabelle had woken up, the two of them found themselves alone together, and they both shared what they saw after crossing over to the demon realm. Isabelle was initially disgusted to hear of Simon's vision, though aware that each vision was in some way wrong, and quickly forgave him. The two finally "DTR"ed and admitted their love for each other. Alec again walked in on them kissing, and despite his earlier comments was once again horrified by what he was seeing.
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.
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.
- 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 Gray Book. She also has power to perform tasks unique to their species, such as the ability to use and call on the power of angels for their seraph blades. This includes enhanced strength, agility, stamina, and coordination, which only improves over time and practice.
- Runic Magic: Due to the angel blood in their veins, all Shadowhunters are able to apply runes on their skin without any real danger. These Marks, in turn, give varied effects that serve to benefit the wearer.
- Lightwood family necklace: Isabelle inherited the family necklace. The ruby pendant of the necklace also serves as Izzy's Sensor, which pulses bright red in the presence of demons
- 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.
- Stele: Isabelle has utilized a stele, mostly for healing purposes for herself and her family and friends.
- 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.
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.
|“||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 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.
Alec is Isabelle's brother who is almost two years older than her. Both are very protective of each other.
Robert and Maryse Lightwood are Isabelle's parents.
Jace is Isabelle's adoptive brother.
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.
- Isabelle's name means "My God is a vow" in Hebrew.
- Isabelle was named after Cassie's grandmother.
- 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.
- Main article: Isabelle Lightwood/Gallery