SPOILER WARNING: Plot details follow. Caution is advised!
I came here to bring true love back from the dead.

–Malcolm, Lady Midnight

Malcolm Fade was a very powerful warlock and the High Warlock of Los Angeles.


Early life

Born in England, Malcolm at one point became friends with fellow warlocks Magnus Bane and Catarina Loss and fell in love with his childhood friend—the Shadowhunter Annabel Blackthorn. Because their relationship predated the Accords and was therefore forbidden, Annabel's family took her away. For so long, Malcolm believed that she had been sent to the Adamant Citadel to become an Iron Sister.

It was a long time before he discovered the truth from a faerie: that her family had in fact buried her alive out of shame. Heartbroken, Malcolm became obsessed with finding ways to raise her from the dead, his attitude seen simply as strange by those around him. He also later learned that the poem "Annabel Lee" had been about them. Malcolm also developed a deep hatred for his warlock friends—Magnus, Catarina, even Tessa Gray—whom he believed lied to him about Annabel.

Malcolm went to the Unseelie King for advice. When the King needed a favor from him, he obliged and asked for information that could help him in exchange. The King gave him a rhyme, which he'd believed would be the spell that would raise her. He deciphered it eventually, only to find out that it was more instructions that told him that the spell he needed was in the Black Volume of the Dead. During this time, he also became acquainted with the King's right hand man Iarlath, who later made a deal with him.

Dark War

Translating the rhyme and finding the book took Malcolm almost a century. Some time mid-2007, Malcolm moved to Los Angeles, where he knew the book was being kept.[1] He soon became the area's High Warlock.[2]

Malcolm used this time to open an entrance to a convergence site in L.A. to use as his base. He wrote the words of the poem Annabel Lee within the convergence cave's walls and prepared the instruments he would need for the resurrection.

Months later, in December 2007, after Sebastian Morgenstern's attack on the Institute, Malcolm took the rare opportunity of the Institute being vacant to steal the black book—the Black Volume of the Dead—from its library. There, he scanned through the Volume and saw the spell he needed; he discovered that it required the sacrifice of Shadowhunter life. Just then, John and Cordelia Carstairs arrived. Though it had not been a part of his plan, he ended up killing them to test the spell. The ritual failed, and he then dumped their bodies in the ocean, knowing that the preoccupied Shadowhunters would assume it was Sebastian's doing.[1]

Malcolm was one of the first few people to find out that Magnus and the rest of the Downworlder Council representatives were captured by Sebastian. He went to New York to inform Catarina. Together, the two warlocks met with the local werewolf pack to pass on the news, as well as to ally themselves with them and try to help unite the Downworlders against Sebastian. He returned some time later on behalf of Catarina, who was having a demon problem at Beth Israel Hospital where she works.[2]

While in L.A., Malcolm began to take jobs in the movie industry. He would be hired for magic, or to ensure a film's success. Malcolm was often too invested in the storylines and pushed for happy endings or romance in the film; as a result, he did not have many repeat clients.[3] Malcolm did this as one of his ways to "bring true love back from the dead."[1]


Malcolm spent the next years after his first failed sacrifice to further study and perfect the spell. He moved Annabel's body from her tomb in Cornwall to the convergence—specifically, in the ocean near the site which had portholes that led to the ocean. One of the things he eventually learned was that the word 'mandrake' in the spell stood for main de gloire—the Hands of Glory. Realizing that he would need the hands of murderers, he gathered a group of Followers that would kill for him, in exchange for the false sense of success that he would give them.

To fully accomplish his plans without the interference of the Clave, he distracted Emma Carstairs—whom he knew was determined to find her parents' killer—and her friends with false leads and had Iarlath return their brother Mark to the Blackthorns in exchange for apparently helping the faeries, knowing that this was against the Cold Peace. However, his leads, in addition to the children's craftiness, inadvertently still helped them trace everything back to him.

Eventually, Malcolm realized that he was running out of time, and so he kidnapped the youngest Blackthorn, Tavvy, and attempted to kill him and use his Blackthorn blood to complete the necromantic ritual. However, he was interrupted and confronted by the Blackthorns and their allies at the convergence site. He was later stabbed by Emma before he could complete the ritual and was sucked through the ocean door in the cave. His blood reached Annabel, awakening her.[1]

Using a previously cast spell from the Black Volume of the Dead, Malcolm was able to resurrect himself, though he ended up with a rotted body from sea water and being eaten by sea creatures. Having summoned a small army of sea demons Malcolm attacked the Los Angeles Institute, killing the Centurion Jon Cartwright. Malcolm once again demanded Blackthorn blood by the next day and left for the convergence, leaving the inhabitants of the Institute to face the demons.

Arthur Blackthorn, who Malcolm had been providing medicine for, later followed him to the convergence and offered his life for his family's safety. Malcolm, weary, accepted and killed Arthur, spilling his blood across the semi-awake Annabel Blackthorn. Malcolm was overjoyed when Annabel woke up, but unbeknownst to him she had been half-alive for five years and in agony due to him killing Emma Carstairs' parents. Seeing Arthur's body on the floor upset Annabel even more, and she stabbed Malcolm to death with the knife he'd used to kill Arthur.[4]

Physical description

Malcolm was a tall man with an angular face, white hair, and purple eyes. He was strangely attractive. He had the appearance of a twenty-seven-year-old man.

Skills and abilities

  • Immortality: As a warlock, Malcolm was granted immortality. Physically, Malcolm does not age and has maintained the appearance of a twenty-seven-year-old for over two centuries.
  • Magic: Malcolm has access to magical powers. Malcolm is capable of casting spells and performing summoning rituals.
  • Necromancy: Malcolm is able to perform necromancy.




Malcolm is a given name of Scottish origin that means "devotee of Saint Columba".


  • Malcolm is set to appear in The Last Hours.[5] His backstory is set to connect the series with The Dark Artifices.[6]
  • For some reason, Malcolm claims to have been born in 1850—most likely an intentional lie.[1]
  • Malcolm planted atropa belladonna—deadly nightshade, a poisonous plant native to Cornwall— at his base, the convergence point in California.[1]