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Julian Blackthorn

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Julian Blackthorn
CJ Flowers, Jules
Biographical Information
Full name:

Julian Atticus Blackthorn

Born: 1995
Age: 17 (as of August 2012)
Status: Alive



Los Angeles Institute

Parabatai: Emma Carstairs
Physical Description
Gender: Male
Hair color: Dark brown
Eye color: Blue-green

Julian "Jules" Blackthorn is a Shadowhunter who has lived his entire life at the Los Angeles Institute. He lives there alongside his siblings and Emma Carstairs, his best friend and parabatai.


Early life

Julian was the first child born to Andrew and Eleanor Blackthorn. Some time after he was born, Andrew's children with the faerie Nerissa—Julian's elder half-siblings Mark and Helen—were sent to the Institute to live with them.[1][2]

Julian soon met Emma Carstairs, whose family lived in Los Angeles and were good friends with the Blackthorns. He and Emma quickly developed a very close relationship.

His mother died when he was around ten, just after his youngest sibling, Tavvy, was born. During his mother's funeral, while her body was burned in the canyons, Jules was comforted by Emma, who held his hand while he cried.[1] Jules started painting around this time.[3]

In October 2007, when Julian was twelve, he and some of his siblings went to the New York Institute to accompany his older sister, Helen, who was attending a Council meeting at the Institute. Julian, Ty, and Livvy played with the wax in the nave of the Institute, frustrating Helen who opted to go home after realizing their mischief.

Before they left, Jules met Clary Fairchild, and Isabelle and Alec Lightwood. He wondered and asked if they were siblings; when he found out that Clary had no siblings, he asked her if that was why she looked so sad.[4]

Dark War

Only weeks after their trip to New York, Julian, Mark, Ty, Livvy, and his friend Emma were at the Los Angeles Institute training with their tutor Katerina when Sebastian came and attacked the Institute. When Mark and Katerina left to investigate, Jules opted to contact the Clave through the office and left with his siblings. Eventually, they found out that Sebastian and his Endarkened army had attacked the Institute, and the group of young Shadowhunters escaped.

Being the oldest among them, Jules was the one asked to hold the Mortal Sword for the Clave's interrogation. During the battle in the Accords Hall, Julian had to kill his father before the latter could take his brother, Tiberius.

In the aftermath of the war, his older sister Helen was exiled to Wrangel Island, and his older brother Mark was left at the mercy of the Wild Hunt. Helen entrusted him, as well as their uncle Arthur, with the care of their younger siblings. Unable to bear the thought of being separated from each other, especially after everything they've been through together, Emma and Jules decided to become parabatai so the Consul would have no choice but to let Emma stay in Los Angeles with the Blackthorns.[1]


After the war, every year on the anniversary of the Cold Peace, Julian began to send petitions to the Clave to allow his half-sister, Helen, to return home from her post on Wrangel Island, and it was denied every time.

Julian saw the continued decline in his uncle Arthur's mental health as a danger to his family. He suspected that if the Clave found out that his uncle was no longer fit to run the Institute and act as their guardian, the family would be split up to live and be trained in different places. To hide this, Julian began to take on the responsibility of running the Institute while Arthur hid away in his attic. As an added measure, he had the High Warlock of Los Angeles concoct medication to allow Arthur lucid moments whenever he felt that his presence would be needed.

Along with this is the added responsibility of taking care of his younger siblings. Many of them suffered great trauma due to the war, and Jules made sure to take extraordinary measures to help them cope. As previously requested by Helen, Julian also gave special attention to Ty and managed to figure out ways to help him, even making toys specifically made to help him calm down or focus, and constantly assured him that there was nothing wrong with him. He also grew familiar with the habits and likes of his younger siblings, which he often catered to, and together, they developed patterns and routines they all grew accustomed to and expected Julian to uphold. He essentially took on the parent role for his siblings.

Cold Peace

In 2012, the children indulged their old great-aunt Marjorie by staying with her at her home in England for the summer. Knowing that Cristina Rosales was coming and that Emma would not be alone, Jules hoped to use the summer away to get over his forbidden feelings for his parabatai. While there, Julian began to work on a set of tarot cards depicting his family.

Upon returning to Los Angeles—a day early due to Malcolm's quirks—he realized that he had failed but still tried to distance himself from Emma emotionally.

More surprises came in the form of a visit from Unseelie and Wild Hunt faeries requesting help to investigate recent deaths of their kind in exchange for the return of his brother, Mark.[5]

Though Julian had trouble adjusting to Mark's new behavior he grew closer with his brother during the investigation and worked hard to solve the murders, holding a belief that if Mark stayed it would take pressure off him to look after his siblings. He was disappointed to find out that Mark would be no help in taking care of his family, but glad to have his brother back.

Julian's feelings for Emma grew stronger as the investigation progressed, leading to them sleeping together on the beach after Julian saved Emma from drowning. He hid their resulting relationship from his family due to the Law against parabatai falling in love.

Throughout Lady Midnight Julian struggled with his feelings of self-hatred—which were a result of his killing his father and his treatment of Arthur in his attempts to keep his family together—and overwhelming stress due to looking after his family, as well as his feelings for Emma. These feelings were only made worse after Julian lied to Robert Lightwood about Anselm Nightshade breaking the Law, resulting in his arrest, to protect his family.


Julian is stubborn, confident, and does not open up to a lot of people, though he can also be very considerate and thoughtful. Jules is also a very loving person—when he loves someone, he will love them forever; the same applies to people he hate. Though he is typically gentle, patient, and sweet, he has his limits and is shown to be capable of yelling even at authority when furious, and ruthlessness when the situation calls for it.

As a child, Jules was extremely troublesome, though he often took the blame for his and Emma's mischief.[1] Having lost both of his parents and his elder siblings at the tender age of twelve, Jules has since looked after his four younger siblings. Though he has an uncle to help him, Jules feels responsible for them. Painting, however, momentarily helps him take his mind off his responsibilities.[6]

Physical description

Julian has dark brown messy hair and the startling Blackthorn blue-green eyes. He is described as tall and slender, lanky, with high cheekbones. As an artist, he is usually seen untidy or splattered with paint, and his nails are bitten. His hair is the color of dark chocolate and wildly wavy and he is said to be the kind of person to wear all black and pull his sleeves over his hands.

Skills and abilities

  • Nephilim physiology: Being Nephilim, Julian possesses a variety of enhanced physical and mental abilities granted to him by the blood of Raziel in his veins and also by the angelic Marks of the Gray Book. He 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.
  • Combatant: Julian is fairly good at fighting and being a Shadowhunter.
  • Marksmanship: Julian has mastered the use of his crossbow and aims with complete accuracy.
  • Art: Julian is a particularly gifted and talented artist. He has difficulty breaking habits developed as an artist, such as holding his stele as if he is holding a paintbrush.


  • Crossbow: Julian's favorite weapon is the crossbow,[1][5] though he also favors seraph blades and throwing knives as his primary weapons.[7]
  • Sea glass bracelet: Julian has a lucky bracelet that is decorated with shells and sea glass given to him by Emma, who in turn received them from her distant relative, Jem Carstairs.[5]



Emma and Julian are parabatai and have been best friends for years. As parabatai, they have grown close and developed great feelings of both philia (friendship) and agape (family) love throughout their childhoods.

Over time, however, they developed feelings for one another, which, since they are parabatai, is forbidden. Despite their attempts to fight it, the pair eventually gave into their feelings and slept with each other.

When Emma discovered what love between parabatai may do, Emma falsely told him that she did not have feelings for him to protect him and those around them, going as far as pretending to be with Mark to convince Jules.


Mark is Julian's older brother. Emma states that Julian and Mark have always had a tough relationship: they love and care for each other and would do anything for each other, but Mark does get on Julian's nerves very easily, which causes arguments and other problems to arise between the two of them.



See more here


As all the Blackthorns have Latin or Greek mythology based names, he was given the name Julian as a variant of Julius Caesar.[8]


CJ Jules 01

  • Jules developed a habit of biting his nails due to stress.[7][9][5]
  • Julian's siblings respect the fact that he needs alone time to paint. Their mother was a painter and a photographer and her creative influence shaped the family. In this vein, Julian encourages his siblings to pursue their own interests, helping them in any way he can.[10]
  • Julian's room is painted a blue almost exactly like that of the sky and ocean outside the Institute, and the wall is covered in murals. On the wall that faces the desert, there is a mural of a castle draped by a tall wall of thorns, and a prince riding towards it, with his head down and sword broken. Half-finished sketches are scattered all over his desk.[5]

  • Jules is a grammar nerd.[11]
  • In the early drafts of Lady Midnight, Julian smoked clove cigarettes due to stress.[12][13][14][15] It was ultimately cut from the book,[16][17] as Cassie felt that Jules wouldn't do it as it may endanger the kids around him, particularly through the possibility of them finding out and emulating the bad habit.[18]
    • The clove scent he wears in Lady Midnight is a reference to this.[5][18]


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