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Jonathan Morgenstern

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Jaceclean “How like Downworlders... expecting the Clave to clean your mess up for you.”

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Jonathan Morgenstern
Photo JonathanCM 01
Biographical Information
Full name: Jonathan Christopher Morgenstern
Age: 18
Status: Alive
Alias: Sebastian Verlac
Sebastian Morgenstern
Andrew Blackthorn
Species: Dark Shadowhunter
Allegiance: The Circle
Family: Valentine Morgenstern † (father)
Jocelyn Fairchild (mother)
Clary Fray (sister)
Physical Description
Gender: Male
Hair color: Pale blond
Eye color: Black
Green (original)
There are no other relatives. You and I, we are the last. The last of the Morgensterns. You are my only chance for someone whose blood runs in my veins too. Someone like me.

–Sebastian to Clary, City of Lost Souls

Jonathan Morgenstern, also known as Sebastian, is the son of Valentine Morgenstern and Jocelyn Fray, and the older brother of Clary Fray. Jonathan is sometimes still referred to as Sebastian Verlac, whom he posed as during his stay in Alicante.

Biography Edit

Early life Edit

Jonathan was the firstborn child of Valentine and Jocelyn Morgenstern. While still in his mother's womb, Valentine gave Jocelyn doses of Lilith's blood as part of his experiments. When he was born with black eyes, Jocelyn was repulsed by him, despite her efforts to love him. Lilith, on the other hand, saw Jonathan as her own son, so she watched him constantly and aided Valentine for him.

As a result of the experiment and his cruel upbringing under Valentine, Jonathan became a cold, heartless and bloodthirsty psychopath; even faster, stronger and more lethal than his adoptive brother, Jace Lightwood. He was trained by his father to be charismatic and charming, but is shown to be actually vindictive, arrogant underneath the act; cruel and having no heart or sympathy towards any type of being. Valentine even lashed Jonathan in the back with a demon metal-tipped whip to remind him of the "perils of obedience."

When he was young, Jonathan once inquired to Valentine about his mother. To dissuade him from asking any further, Valentine told him that his mother is never coming back and left because he was a monster. Valentine furthered his psychological deception by telling him that no one except him will ever love a monster like him.[1] This, and most likely multiple other interactions where Valentine poisoned his mind with lies, combined with his own views on his demonic alteration, shaped Jonathan's outlook on life and people.

Being raised by his father in secret, even from Jace, Jonathan was well aware of his father's other plans with Jace, knowing that he had also been experimented on, though he does not think much of Jace and sees him as his father's fake son and a competitor for the approval and attention of their shared father.

The Mortal InstrumentsEdit

City of GlassEdit

During the Lightwoods' stay in Idris, Jonathan posed as Sebastian Verlac, a cousin of the Penhallows, a rich French Nephilim family.

Jonathan was initially interested in Clary, as he believed her to be the only member of his family who had not left him voluntarily and as she could be an essential asset in the war. Pretending to care about Clary, he rode with her to the warlock Ragnor Fell's house to get the White Book, which contained a potion that would wake her mother from her magical, self-induced coma. He also took Clary to visit the Fairchild manor where Valentine and Jonathan supposedly burned in a fire. Whilst there, Sebastian kisses Clary, despite knowing that she was his biological sister, hoping to get her to warm up to him and join forces with Valentine.

His main purpose of entering Idris, though, was to deactivate the wards around Alicante with his demon blood, thus letting Valentine's demon hordes into the city.

Since Sebastian had only been using Clary to get her to join him, and Clary was only using Sebastian to get over Jace when believing him to be her brother, their relationship went nowhere. After Clary discovers Sebastian's true nature, she became repulsed by him and grew to hate him.

Jonathan was also responsible for the death of Hodge Starkweather, and despite showing a fondness for Isabelle Lightwood, he brutally killed Max Lightwood and tried to kill her as well. He failed though, as he only knocked her out with a hammer.

After killing Hodge he revealed himself to be a spy for Valentine to Jace, Clary, Alec and Simon who fought him but where easily overpowered by him. Simon bit him but Jonathan pulled him off and kicked him and fled when threatened by Jace.

Later, Isabelle cut off his hand with her whip and Jace stabbed him in the back with a seraph blade, breaking the demon boy's spine and simultaneously penetrating his heart, killing him, as taught to both of them by Valentine. His body falls into the river and is later recovered by Lilith.

City of Fallen AngelsEdit

Despite being killed at the end of City of Glass, he is partially revived by Lilith at the end of City of Fallen Angels. Lilith tricks Jace, Clary and Simon into resurrecting him with the aid of Simon's daylighter powers and the fact that Jace had also been resurrected and balancing that. He is heavily connected to Jace due to a dark parabatai rune that had been placed on them both. If one of them dies or is injured, the other will also suffer identically. This is also an effective form of mind-control and Jonathan is dominantly marked in the runed pair and can thus influence Jace's thoughts and ideals. Using this connection, he forces an unwilling Jace to complete his ritual so he can be revived once again. After the ritual is complete, he leaves with Jace. Their disappearance is later discovered by Clary, who then informed the Lightwoods and the Clave.

City of Lost SoulsEdit

In the beginning of the book, many teams of Shadowhunters are sent by the Clave to find Jonathan and Jace. But after two weeks without having found anything, the Clave decides to reduce the teams. It is stated that the search for Jace wouldn't have lasted so long if it wasn't for Jonathan, who is one of the biggest threats to the Clave.

Clary eventually joins him and Jace, who is still possessed by Jonathan, when they come back to have her join them, with the goal of rescuing Jace. Despite Clary learning a bit more about her paternal side of the family, and Jonathan seeming to contain a more lonely side, Clary learns that he is really trying to create a new Cup to raise a new race of demonic Nephilim, which is named the Infernal Cup. Sebastian continues to heavily flirt with her despite the two being siblings. Jonathan also finds it difficult to accept that Clary and Jace will never truly join him and insists that despite his intention to destroy the world he will only grant safe passage to both Clary and Jace, as there are other worlds to go to. He even attempted to rape Clary when he believes she had slept with Jace (though she manages to successfully fight him off by stabbing him in the shoulder), insisting that they belong to each other as they share the same blood, leaving Clary even more repulsed and disgusted.

He later takes her to Seventh Sacred Site. There he summons Lilith and creates the Dark Shadowhunters. He turns Amatis into a dark Shadowhunter and tries to turn Clary into one. Clary kicks him then slams her head into Jace's making Jace lose his grip. Clary pulls away and runs off into a battle that has started between Clary's friends come to stop Jonathan. They are using the sword "Glorious" which will burn away all the evil in someone and kill them if the evil is to great. Clary finds Simon who has "Glorious" which will sever the bond between Jonathan and Jace, and takes the sword and tries to find Jonathan and use the sword to kill him, severing the bind, without killing Jace. Instead Jace gets in her way and asks for the sword, which Clary stabs him with to sever the bond. Jace falls to the ground and is presumed dead though Clary won't accept it, and finds his pulse to prove he is alive. Jace lives and is not allowed to leave the Institute. Clary goes to see him, and finds that the holy fire that was in the sword Clary stabbed him with was still inside Jace.

Jonathan then sent a set of severed angel wings to the New York Institute with the message "Erchomai", Greek for "I am coming".

Personality Edit

CJ Jonathan Morgenstern 03

Jonathan could be viewed as a tragic figure since his malicious nature is only the result of the demon blood which Valentine poisoned him with while he was still in his mother's womb, and his tough upbringing. Even when he was an infant, his mother was repulsed by him, and even believed that there would be no hope for him, ever, and if she had stayed and tried to look after him, taught him how to be loving and caring he would probably have been less of a "monster" per se.

Jonathan could also be viewed as the exact opposite of Jace. He is cold-hearted, cruel and sadistic, and shows extreme ruthlessness to obtain what he wants. He does, however, show some kind of emotion towards Valentine despite the brutality of his upbringing. His actions in City of Lost Souls are significantly motivated out of a desire to not be left utterly alone as a pariah.

As Sebastian Verlac, he pretends to be good, calm, charming, helpful, even funny at times, but all these were the results of years of training he had with his father in order for him to be an effective spy when the time was right. He basically made you feel for him, then ended up tearing your heart apart in the end.

Valentine had taught him to feign human emotion. Jocelyn stated that Jonathan does not have the ability to feel, and everything he shows to other people is just a feint. This can be negated however, as Jonathan seems to show some emotion and concern towards Valentine, Jace, and Clary. In released interactions between father and son, Jonathan seems to be a bit restrained during his childhood years, yet desperate for a complete family. Within Jonathan's room in COLS he seems to also be keeping the small metal box with his initials that Jocelyn had kept his baby hair in. Clary had stated that beneath that endless void of evil, is an extremely lonely person who desires company and love, but has no idea that these things should be earned and not forced upon the person. Jonathan can also be looked at from the point of view as one who has resigned himself to being the monster his parents consigned and convinced him was all he could be.

Valentine was a narcissist by nature whereas Jonathan is a pure sociopath. Valentine's vendetta was against demons and Downworlders; he had hoped to eradicate them because he believed they were impure and soulless, yet it was also revealed that he was envious of the Downworlders' capabilities that Shadowhunters do not possess. However, he still wanted to keep humans safe.

This contradicts with Jonathan, however, since he rather views demons as his allies, even calling Lilith his mother as his real mother was repulsed by his demonic blood and hated him even as a newborn and infant. Instead of wanting to keep humans safe, he instead sees them as pawns and mere playthings because of his neglect. He does not care for anyone's well-being, although he says that he will extend safety for only Jace and Clary alone. Clary concludes that this is because Jonathan views her and Jace as the last pieces of the puzzle, the last prizes in his conquest. 

Physical description Edit

Codex JonathanM

Jonathan takes after his father in appearance, looking very much like a young Valentine. He is tall, muscular but with a slightly slender frame, has white hair and black eyes. He has a pale, restless, face with high cheekbones. Jonathan also inherited Jocelyn's slender, graceful hands, and her long eyelashes. His bare back was striped with ragged scars, due to demon metal whipping growing up.

While posing as Sebastian Verlac, he dyed his hair black to mimic him which, according to Clary, did not suit him as much as his real hair. Clary has also noted that the fact Jonathan naturally has platinum hair gives his pale skin some color.

Relationships Edit

Family Edit

So, technically, even though Jace isn't actually related to you, you have kissed your brother.

Simon Lewis, City of Glass

Clary is Jonathan's sister. While he shows affection and love for Clary, she hates him in return. When they first met, Jonathan, disguised as Sebastian Verlac, kissed her and she had let him, not knowing that he was her brother. Throughout City of Lost Souls, he tries to show her his softer side and starts to grow a relationship with her. This fails, however, when his plans for the Infernal Cup is revealed. The siblings also got into a fist fight after Jonathan once again tried to kiss her. He admits to Clary that he thinks they belong together because they share the same blood.

Jonathan did not think much of his own mother, although he did seem to hold a grudge against her for not being with him as he grew up under his father's tutelage. He often saw her as the woman who left him and disliked him. Despite the fact he makes his dislike for his mother well known, he did keep his mother's metal box with his initials and baby things in his dimensional apartment room for some reason.

Jonathan was raised by Valentine in a secluded cottage, restrained by a rune circle prison similar to the one used on Ithuriel. During his upbringing, Valentine taught Jonathan to avoid the "perils of obedience" by leaving a set of whip marks on his back caused by demon metal. Because of the presence of demon blood in his system, Valentine saw no need to show Jonathan mercy, thus raising him with more ferociously than Jace and with less constraint, keeping him almost completely in the loop of his plans. Valentine, though, sees Jonathan as superior to Jace, particularly when it comes to combat as Jonathan is evidently more ruthless, while Jace tends to care too much. Despite his brutal upbringing, Jonathan still seemed to show a certain affection and concern for his father (if only because Valentine was the only person Jonathan ever had).

I am Valentine's son. Jonathan Christopher Morgenstern. You never had any right to that name. You're a ghost. And a pretender.

–Sebastian to Jace, City of Glass

Unlike Jace, Jonathan had always known that Valentine was raising another boy. Jonathan saw Jace as Valentine's "changeling", weaker in comparison to him. He used to think Jace was useless and not worthy of the Morgenstern name. In addition, Jonathan also seemed to show a certain amount of animosity towards Jace over jealousy over Valentine's preference for Jace.

Yet after Jonathan's resurrection, he seems to have had or developed a certain amount of emotional attachment towards Jace, even showing some hidden emotion when Jace stated that despite the rune which controlled him, he would "always" hate him. Jonathan's scream after the demonic parabatai bond was severed is also mentioned by Clary to have had elements of loss to it.

It is unknown if Jonathan had any direct contact with Lilith before his resurrection, but she claims to have visited and watched him from afar during his upbringing. Since Lilith holds that Jocelyn rejected Jonathan, and that she donated some of her blood to be transferred to him before birth, she considers herself to be Jonathan's true mother. This is a position that Jonathan seems to share yet not with the same importance that Lilith seems to regard it as.

References Edit

  1. A young Jonathan, a canon scene drawn by Cassandra Jean, with the dialog written by Cassandra Clare.

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