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James Herondale

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James Herondale
CJ Flowers, James
Biographical Information
Full name: James Herondale
Born: 1886
Age: 17 (as of 1903)
Status: Alive
Also known as: Jamie
Goatface Herondale
Demon Eyes
Species: Shadowhunter
Residence: London Institute
Parabatai: Matthew Fairchild
Family: Will Herondale (father)
Tessa Gray (mother)
Lucie Herondale (sister)
Ella Herondale † (aunt)
Cecily Herondale (aunt)
Herondale family
(According to a family tree):
Cordelia Carstairs (wife)
Owen Herondale (son)
Physical Description
Gender: Male
Hair color: Black
Eye color: Gold

James Herondale is the first child and only son of Tessa Gray and Will Herondale, and the older brother of Lucie Herondale.


Early life

James was born in 1886. His conception came as a surprise to his parents who were both unsure if Tessa could conceive children or not. Jem Carstairs gave the news to Tessa, and it was quickly decided that the child would be named James, after Jem, Tessa's former fiancé and Will's parabatai.[1]

When James was a child and was about to have the runes that will protect him placed on him at the Silent City, Will demanded that only Brother Zachariah could do it.[2]

James was raised in the London Institute. With few children around, he grew to be a shy boy who, like his parents, developed a love for reading and spent most of his time doing so. At one point, he met and befriended Grace Blackthorn, who lived at the Lightwood manor with her adoptive mother, Tatiana. When he was thirteen years old, his parents decided to send him to Idris to attend the Shadowhunter Academy, and the prospect of finally making friends made him both nervous and excited.[3]


At the Academy, James discovered his ability to turn into a shadow—an ability born out of his mother's demonic lineage. This earned him the nickname "Demon Eyes" among the students in the Academy and became regularly bullied, particularly because he was feared as part-demon. Despite this, James decided to stay, not wanting to make his mother feel bad for his fate. Eventually, he became good friends with Matthew Fairchild, Thomas and their cousin Christopher Lightwood.

At one point, during a training exercise in the forest near the Academy, a group of three students, led by his tormentor Alastair Carstairs, decided to play a prank on James. They intended to let loose a Vetis demon upon James in an attempt to scare him away and out of the Academy. The plan backfired when the demon escaped and the boy holding the Pyxis was killed. Blamed for the accident, James was promptly expelled from the Academy. Matthew staged an explosion in the Academy to get himself expelled and begged James's father to take him to London with them, declaring that he and James were to be parabatai and thus should not be separated, a suggestion the pair took to heart and decided that they would make true.[3]


By 1903, James had already fallen in love with Grace. Raised and showered in love, James was not prepared for the pain that heartbreak dealt him, causing him to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies, very much unlike his typically responsible behavior.

One evening, James had gotten drunk and was making dangerous bets with Ragnor Fell, the High Warlock of London. The same evening, he encountered and was promptly followed by Magnus Bane, his father's warlock friend, who, before seeing his gold eyes, mistook him for Will. Magnus brought him back to the London Institute. Concerned, in addition to wanting to see Jem, Will had Brother Zachariah called to look at James. Magnus privately tried to ask James what his problem was; James refused, insisting that he was beyond saving, but Magnus later figured out the reason during a conversation with Grace herself during a trip to Tatiana's manor.[4]

Later life

Years later, in 1937, James was present at his father's deathbed, where he spoke about Will's fear of ducks and his battle to keep them out of the pond at the family home in Yorkshire.[2]


James is a quiet and studious boy who prefers reading or having fun with friends rather than partying. He is also kind, loving, and good-hearted, as well as responsible, able to keep himself and his parabatai Matthew out of trouble. Upon getting his heart broken by Grace, however, James became suicidal and troublesome, making it a habit to disgrace himself in public and put his life in danger, thinking himself unsaveable. He refused to listen to the advice of others and became difficult to reason with.[4]

Physical description

James greatly resembles Will, save for his radiant golden eyes. He is said to be beautiful and lovely, his pale white skin luminous and clear, his long, curling black hair normally disheveled.

Skills and abilities

  • Nephilim Physiology: Being Nephilim, James is expected to possess a variety of enhanced physical and mental abilities granted to him by the angel blood of Raziel in his veins and also by the angelic Marks of the Gray Book. This includes enhanced strength, agility, stamina, and coordination, which would improve over time and practice.
  • Runic magic: Due to the angel blood in their veins, all Shadowhunters are all able to apply runes of the Gray Book on their skin without any real danger. These Marks, in turn, give varied effects that serve to benefit the wearer.
  • Demonic magic: James has special "talents", such as the ability to turn into a shadow, due to inheriting some demon blood from his mother.




See more here


  • James Herondale was named after Jem Carstairs, Will's parabatai and Tessa's former fiancé.
  • James is a poet.[6]
  • James, Matthew, Christopher, and Thomas are always together as a group.[7]
  • James is one of the two Herondale boys known to have gold eyes, the other being his descendant Jace Herondale. While James has gold eyes because of his demonic heritage, Jace was born with excess angel blood; presumably because of this difference, the gold of their eyes are of different degrees—while James's eyes were bright gold, Jace's was pale, almost yellow.
  • Unlike their father, Will, and descendant, Jace, both James and Lucie are not afraid of ducks.[8] In fact, James tries to annoy his father by liking ducks.[4][9]
  • James "has nicknames for everyone."[10]
  • James will set something on fire.[11]
  • In Chain of Gold, we are set to find out the weird, yet reasonable, reason why James and Cordelia eventually get married.[12][13][14][15]
  • According to a found family tree, James and Cordelia would have a son named Owen. Also according to the family tree, James died in 1963, at the age of 76 or 77.
  • In 2008, after being kept by his mother for years, James's family ring was passed onto his descendant Jace.[16]


  1. Wessa comic by Cassandra Jean and Cassandra Clare
  2. 2.0 2.1 Clockwork Princess
  3. 3.0 3.1 Nothing but Shadows
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Midnight Heir
  5. Sibling relationship, Cassandra Clare on Twitter
  6. Art and Shadowhunters, Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  7. Group, Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  8. Ducks, Cassandra Clare on Twitter
  9. Duck fan, Cassandra Clare on Twitter
  10. Nicknames, Cassandra Clare on Twitter
  11. Something "fun" about James, Cassandra Clare on Twitter
  12. In the first book of Last Hours, Cassandra Clare on Twitter
  13. Reason, Cassandra Clare on Twitter
  14. Good reason, Cassandra Clare on Twitter
  15. "You'll find out why he married her," Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
  16. City of Heavenly Fire

Start a Discussion Discussions about James Herondale

  • Jace

    32 messages
    • You know how Valentine gave ithuriel blood to Jace and clary, does that makes them related to ithuriel? 
    • As much as all Shadowhunters are related to Raziel. So no. Sebastian is not related to Lilith either.
  • James Herondale's eye color

    22 messages
    • They are the only Herondales with golden eyes and the name begins with J. 
    • The herondales have golden eyes because Tessa's farther was a fallen angel (a high up demon) so thus James henondale inherited golden eyes and ...

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