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Madame Dorothea

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Neither Clave nor Covenant have ever done anything for me. I owe them nothing.

–Madame Dorothea, City of Bones

Madame Dorothea
Dorothea, GN
Biographical Information
Status: Deceased
Possession by Abbadon
Species: Mundane
Occupation: Charlatan
Residence: Park Slope, New York
Family: Unnamed witch (adoptive mother)
Physical Description
Gender: Female

Madame Dorothea was a mundane and the neighbor of Jocelyn and Clary Fray in Park Slope. Her half of the brownstone was utilized as a Sanctuary, and she served as its caretaker and of the Portal after the death of the witch that adopted her.


Her mother was a Control who adopted her to ensure that there would be someone to look after the Sanctuary and the Portal in her apartment after she died.

The other half of the brownstone was owned by Jocelyn Fray who purchased the site in order to have quick access to the Door. Jocelyn painted a set of tarot cards for her, with the Mortal Cup hidden inside the Ace of Cups card, and in return, Dorothea would give her Downworld gossip concerning Valentine. This eventually paid off, as it was her who warned Jocelyn of Valentine's sightings in New York in 2007.

Dorothea opened a psychic's shop called "Madame Dorothea, Seeress and Prophetess" in her half of the brownstone and used it as a sanctuary for Downworlders, whom the Clave called criminals, to be used at a price. Despite customers being infrequent, she rarely came out of her apartment. Presumably, she does have some mundane customers as she has a large collection of fortune telling spell books and other artifacts, but these things are only for show.

Clary once saw Magnus Bane, in the form of a cat, coming out of Madame Dorethea's apartment. She was perplexed, as she didn't think Dorethea had a cat.

Jace and Clary returned to Clary's house for some of her belongings, where they were attacked by Forsaken, which Jace ultimately killed. Madame Dorothea heard the racket and advised them not to go back upstairs as there were more Forsaken waiting there. She then invited them up to her apartment and served them cucumber sandwiches and tea. Dorothea quickly admitted to being a fake—a "hedge-witch"—though she claimed that her adoptive mother was a true witch—a warlock. She explained that she was adopted because her mother needed someone to look after the Sanctuary after her but, being a warlock, could not bear her own children. She attempted to read Clary's future and was the first to suggest there may be a block in Clary's memories. Clary then used the Portal to go to Luke's, against Jace's protests, forcing Jace to follow her through it.

She was later possessed by the Greater Demon Abbadon, who also wanted the Mortal Cup for Valentine, sometime after her visit from Jace and Clary. Abbadon then hid himself in the Portal so as to remain undetected by the Shadowhunters' Sensors. When Clary came to her apartment to retrieve the Cup from the tarot card, Dorothea opened the door of the Portal, only to be consumed and killed by Abbadon. Abbadon then proceeded to attack Jace, Clary, Isabelle and Alec Lightwood, just before Simon Lewis arrived and saved them by shooting out the skylight with an arrow, allowing light into the room and incapacitating the demon.[1]

Physical description

She is said to look elderly, and she has badger-striped hair tied in a messy bun pinned to the top of her head. She dresses in masses of vibrant colored silk and wears gold chains on her wrists and throat, and chandelier earrings. She always wears faded carpet slippers and occasionally a turban in a neon color.



At one point, Jocelyn painted a stack of tarot cards for Madame Dorothea.[1][2]

Trump cards (Major Arcana):

Suit cards (Minor Arcana):

Behind the scenes

Photo Dorothea 01
  • In the film adaptation, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, she was portrayed by CCH Pounder. Cassandra Clare announced her casting via Tumblr.[3]
  • Dorothea's character was minimally changed, but was also not fully explored within and beyond the film. Differences from the novel include:
    • Dorothea in the film was made out to be an actual witch—something that Jace immediately realized.
    • Much like other scenes in the film, her scene with Clary and Jace were also compressed. In the film, almost immediately after letting them into her apartment, she let Clary pick a card from her deck, simply "read" her and tried to look into her mind, saw that there was a block in her mind, and let them leave.
    • Dorothea's possession by a demon was triggered after Clary pulled the Cup out of the tarot card and because Jace played a Bach tune that bothered demons.
    • Her possession was only stated later on by Clary and was not as evident as in the book, where Abbadon actually introduced itself; in the film, her appearance was mostly maintained, with only some monstrous prosthetic additions.
    • In the book, Simon indirectly killed her in the possessed demon form by exposing it to the sun with a bow and arrow to her skylight; in the film, Simon encountered her in her human form and only hit her with a shovel, it was Jace who ultimately killed her with a seraph blade.


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