|“||Because I am a Shadowhunter.||”|
Mark Blackthorn, also known among some fey as Miach, is a Shadowhunter residing at the Los Angeles Institute and is one of the many Blackthorn children. He was a former Hunter who rode with the Wild Hunt. He and his older sister, Helen, have the same faerie mother and are half-faerie.
Born to a Seelie Court faerie Lady Nerissa and Andrew Blackthorn in 1991, Mark and his older sister, Helen, were raised at the Los Angeles Institute with their father, and, like ordinary Shadowhunter children, were Marked when they were ten years old, during which Mark experienced some pain—a bit more than most Shadowhunters. Mark has five younger half-siblings: Julian, Livia, Tiberius, Drusilla and Octavian.
Despite being their half-brother, Mark had a generally good relationship with his younger siblings. Mark was even one of the few people who managed to get through to Ty during his bad moods.
As children, the siblings, including family friend Emma Carstairs, spent many rainy days making pillow forts. At ten years old, Mark was considered the proverbial "pillow fort expert", and the others would build the forts under his supervision.
Mark was around sixteen in 2007 when Sebastian Morgenstern and his army of Dark Shadowhunters attacked the Institute. Mark was on secondary supervision and was at the training room with the children and their tutor, Katerina. When the commotion began, Mark and Katerina left to investigate the situation. There, they joined the ongoing fight between the Conclave members and the Endarkened. Katerina and Mark's father, Andrew, were Turned into Endarkened while Mark, who was originally meant to be Turned into Endarkened as well, was ultimately taken to the Fair Folk when Jonathan realized Mark was half-fey.
When the faeries were deciding on Mark's fate, Gwyn ap Nudd claimed him, and, after some time suffering through Meliorn whipping and torturing him, Mark was led to believe that his family was dead, so he ate and drank the faerie food he was offered so Meliorn would stop hurting him. Mark accepted that he no longer had a family to return to and officially became a Hunter of the Wild Hunt, causing one of his eyes to turn gold. Being in the Faerie, time flowed differently, and, though Mark had not been missing from his home longer than a week, he felt as though he had been with the Hunt for a seemingly long time. Regardless, thoughts of his family never left him.
During one of his visits to the Seelie Court with Gwyn and the other Hunters, he overheard some fellow hunters talking about how Gwyn had witnessed Clary Fray, Jace Herondale, Alec and Isabelle Lightwood, and Simon Lewis arriving to talk to the Seelie Queen. He snuck away from the Hunters to the tunnel that led to Edom so he could meet them and ask about his family. Though Clary and Jace informed him that his siblings were alive, Mark felt devastated, knowing that he can no longer leave the Hunt to be with them. Nonetheless, Mark asked to go with them so he could reunite with his family, but Jace stopped him and reminded Mark that he had already sworn fealty to the Hunt and may face death if he tried to leave. Instead, Jace convinced Mark to simply warn the Shadowhunters of the faeries' conspiracy. Initially scared, Mark agreed. Before he left, Jace gave him his witchlight to help him metaphorically continue to see the light, even in the darkness.
Soon enough, Mark sent a message to the home of the Consul, which was coincidentally where his siblings were staying. He put the message in an acorn, in typical faerie fashion, stuck it to a fire poker, and shot it through their window. A pleased Ty found the message and gave it to Jules and Emma, who passed it onto the Consul, Jia Penhallow. Jules was able to confirm that the message was from Mark because he signed it with a blood stamp of their family ring. Jules and Emma insisted that the Consul try and get Mark back for them.
After the Dark War, because of their faerie blood, some Clave members, particularly Lazlo Balogh and Mrs. Sedgewick, questioned Mark and Helen's loyalties to the Nephilim and proposed that they discuss their fate. The majority of the Clave members, most of whom were furious and unforgiving about the fey's betrayal, voted to abandon the efforts to secure Mark's return, despite his family's objections. Similarly, his half-fey sister, Helen, was exiled to Wrangel Island under the guise of being sent to study the wards.
For years after he was taken from them, Mark's room at the Institute was left untouched. Finally, on his eighteenth birthday on 2009, Julian cleaned out the room, putting all of Mark's belongings in boxes in storage. Though the room was vacant, it remained empty and untouched for years after.
Around this time in the human world—and much longer for Mark in fey time—Ascendant Simon was taken to the Faerie. When he found out that Simon was to be Nephilim, he helped Simon escape imprisonment from Hefeydd, asking him about his family before he left. Mark did not care that he was caught helping Simon and Isabelle escape.
In August 2012, Mark was returned to the Blackthorns as a bargaining chip. Iarlath and Kieran took him to the Los Angeles Institute and offered to return Mark to the Blackthorns if they helped investigate the recent murders of the faeries—a transaction that must be kept from the Clave as it went against the Cold Peace. The deal was if the one responsible for the faerie deaths was brought to them for justice, Mark would be allowed to choose if he would return to the Hunt or to his family.
Unbeknownst to them, Mark was returned knowing his presence would ensure that the deal would not reach the Clave, and thus the children would be unable to call them for help and the Guardian's plans would proceed unobstructed.
While Mark initially had some trouble adjusting to Shadowhunter life with his family and yearned for the freedom of the Hunt, Mark soon began to ease into it and bonded with the Institute guest Cristina Rosales, who helped him to deal with the situation. He and Kieran had the occasional secret rendezvous, but during one scheduled visit, Kieran found him and Cristina and suspected their bond as being more than friendly.
Taking a casually dropped story he told Cristina about faeries, Kieran reported him to Iarlath, telling him that Mark had spilled faerie secrets to a Shadowhunter. Iarlath decided his punishment to be twenty whippings, something Kieran, who only hoped to have Mark returned to the Hunt, did not anticipate. Not wanting Mark to break, Julian and later Emma took the whippings for him. This incident made Mark see Kieran in a different light, blaming him for Jules and Emma's pain and began to treat him with contempt, essentially "breaking up" with him. After this, Mark told Jules that he had made up his mind: that he will stay with his family and not return to the Hunt.
They learned that Malcolm Fade was the murderer—of Emma's parents, and the one behind the recent supernatural murders they were investigating—a bit too late as he had already kidnapped their brother, Tavvy, for the ritual. Kieran insisted on helping them and informed them that Iarlath was in league with Malcolm. Wanting to be fully prepared, Mark asked Jules to Mark his skin with a rune—something he constantly went against during their first few trips. Together, they all went to the convergence site to confront Malcolm and battled his minions to rescue Tavvy.
After they defeated Malcolm, the destruction of the convergence site alerted the Clave of his necromantic activity. The Inquisitor, Robert Lightwood, came to the Institute, and Mark's presence was excused when Julian, and even Diego, lied about the circumstances surrounding their investigation and his return. When Ty told him that him staying meant he could finally replace Jules and take over his responsibilities, Mark felt overwhelmed and refused. Mark felt that he'd hurt Ty through his words and tried to find solace in Cristina, but was stopped short when he saw her kissing Diego. These made Mark suddenly regret his decision to stay.
Later, Emma asked Mark to pretend to be in a relationship with her for Julian's sake. He agreed but questioned if they have to lie and fake it. They kissed, but Mark stopped when Emma began crying. He trusted Emma's reason—that it was because of Julian's concern about her on-and-off relationship with Cameron Ashdown, though he told Emma to at least inform Cristina.
To keep up their pretense that they were dating in front of his family Mark and Emma spent a lot of time together, especially some nights when he would sleep in her rooms, though he would sleep on the floor and let Emma take the bed. They spent those nights talking about various things, but Mark avoided discussing Cristina.
Shortly after, Gwyn came to him and told him that Kieran was set for execution at the Unseelie Court. Though Mark at first refused to save him, he was unable to resist; he snuck out of the Institute one evening and took the moon's road to Faerie. He was followed by Emma, Jules, and Cristina, with help from the latter's medallion. In the Unseelie Lands, they noticed parts of the land affected by a mysterious blight.
While resting one evening, he and Cristina were led away from their camp and found themselves at a revel. He and Cristina indulged in the festivities; they drank—regular juice, which Mark made sure of—and danced. Unbeknownst to them, a faerie at the revel placed a binding curse upon them when their wrists were tied with a ribbon.
Later while resting at the revel kissed and the pair kissed, then learned that Cristina kissed him under the belief that she was under the influence of a faerie drink, angering and hurting Mark. Cristina tried to apologize and told him that she liked him, but Mark told her about his reservations about being with a human who was capable of lying. During the back-and-forth, Cristina accidentally told Mark that his and Emma's fake relationship was because Julian was in love with Emma, baffling Mark.
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Mark is tall, thin, has broad shoulders, and bore the signature blue-green eyes of the Blackthorns. However, since Mark became part of the Wild Hunt; his right eye has since turned gold. Like Helen, he also has pointed ears and pale white-gold hair that curls in ringlets. As they both share their mother's faerie blood, both have a rather delicate bone structure.
Mark has scars on his back from being whipped and beaten during his time in the Wild Hunt.
While Mark was gone for five mortal years, time moved differently in Faerie and so Mark aged differently. Mark appears only around three years younger than he really is, looking around the same age as Julian.
Mark is quite serious and somber, having been alive for much longer than his age would suggest, and having been through a lot of trauma for someone his age. Also, because of the time he has spent away from humans and among faeries, Mark no longer easily catches onto sarcasm or humor.
When he was younger, Mark was impatient and easily annoyed; like a typical teenager, he believed himself more mature and above his younger siblings. Nonetheless, he loved and cared for them deeply.
Mark also enjoys reading.
Skills and abilities
- Nephilim physiology: Being Nephilim, Mark 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 the 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.
- Use of heavenly weapons: As a Shadowhunter, Mark is also able to perform tasks unique to their species, such as the ability to use and call on the power of angels for their seraph blades, as well as to handle any heavenly weapons or objects with effect, which would normally not work for other species. In particular, these are tools made of adamas and forged by Iron Sisters.
- The Sight: As a Shadowhunter and half-faerie, Mark is naturally and easily able to see through most magical illusions and layers of glamour over reality.
- Enhanced hearing: Because of his faerie blood, Mark has a better sense of hearing than others, though not as much as that of a pure faerie, but his would compare when aided by Shadowhunter runes.
- Immunity to fey weaknesses: Though he is part-faerie, things that affect and weaken other fey do not harm him, such as his faerie name, rowan wood, and pure iron, though the latter two may bother him.
- Accelerated healing: Mark and all Hunters are protected by magic that significantly hastens their healing process, though this does not enable them to recover as fast as a Shadowhunter's iratze would, and wounds do not fully heal and may leave more scars than when an iratze is used.
- Sensing: Due to his years of training among faeries, Mark is able to sense certain elements, such as ley lines and convergences.
- Marksmanship: Mark is a master at archery and is a spectacular marksman, owed to his years of experience as a Hunter.
- Stealth: The Wild Hunt and living with faeries has trained Mark to be incredibly graceful, enabling him to make little to no sound when moving. With this ability, Mark often frightens people and catches them off guard as they don't hear his approach.
- Faerie steed: Mark's brown Faerie steed while with the Hunt; its magical substance and nature allowed it to change its form from a horse to anything that would fit any world—such as a motorcycle, that could still fly, in the mundane world. It was destroyed by a Mantid demon.
- Bows and arrows: As a member of the Wild Hunt, Mark primarily used bows and arrows.
- Elf-bolt: Given one by Kieran, Mark was skilled and able to master the use of the deadly, poisonous faerie weapon. It became his favorite weapon. Mark used to wear its tip on a chain around his neck, though he eventually returned it to Kieran.
Kieran and Mark met in the Wild Hunt. Both found solace in each other as both were ostracized in the Hunt. When riding together, Kieran made their trips fun, showing Mark wonders that only the Fair Folk knew of. Eventually they fell in love and Kieran gave Mark his first kiss, as well as an elfbolt as a gift. Kieran was the only member of the Hunt that Mark could confide in and say that he was still a Shadowhunter.
When Mark was returned to the Blackthorns, Kieran kept an eye on him. When Kieran, under the belief that he would be saving Mark from a lie Iarlath told him, accidentally got his brother Julian and his friend Emma in trouble, Mark furiously broke off their relationship. However, this did not stop Kieran from helping the Blackthorns in their time of need after.
When Kieran was to be executed at the Unseelie Court, Mark saved him, and when they realized that Kieran had no recollection of his betrayal or their break up but needed him to cooperate with them, Mark played a part to continue a semblance of their relationship. His distance from Kieran did not go unnoticed by him, and Kieran was bitter about being used once his memories were returned to him. With Cristina's help, Kieran listened to Mark then told him that after paying his debt to Mark's family, they would be done.
When Mark first returned to the Institute, Cristina was the only person he felt comfortable being around as she was the only one who, having no prior connection with him before, would have no expectations of him. Cristina helped him feel more comfortable at the Institute and around his family, even cutting his hair to make him look more like a Shadowhunter.
When Cristina's ex-boyfriend Diego appeared, Mark showed some signs of jealousy. When he needed to talk with Cristina believing she would be the only one able to understand his feelings, he walked in on her and Diego kissing and left, feeling devastated, thinking he had gotten the wrong idea about them.
Mark's feelings for her, and vice versa, further developed romantically, more so when they became free to act on their feelings upon his breakup with Kieran and that of Cristina and Diego's, further established by their time and ordeals together.
Julian is Mark's younger brother. As children, Mark and Jules acted like most siblings did: they fought and bickered and found each other annoying, but they cared for one another. When they were separated, Mark became thoroughly concerned about Julian's and their other siblings' well-being. Upon reuniting with them after a long time, Mark felt that he no longer knew Jules, who had changed so much since they last saw each other, and they occasionally clashed about certain decisions. Nonetheless, Mark was proud of him for being able to hold their family together by himself.
Ty is Mark's younger brother. They got along well and had fun together. For a while, Mark did not realize the gravity of Ty's expectation in him, but when he did, Mark felt pressured and overwhelmed.
- The Last Stand of the New York Institute (mentioned only)
- City of Lost Souls (first alluded to)
- City of Heavenly Fire (first appearance)
- Pale Kings and Princes (mentioned only)
- Bitter of Tongue
- The Fiery Trial (mentioned only)
- A History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of the Downworld
- Lady Midnight
- Lord of Shadows
- See more here
His full name is Mark Antony Blackthorn, following the Blackthorn tradition, wherein their names are of Greek and Latin origin. He was named after the Roman Mark Antony, the lover of Cleopatra and a loyal friend to Julius Caesar, whom his brother Julian is named after.
- Like his sister and most other faeries, Mark is bisexual.
- Mark used to love coffee before his stay with the Wild Hunt; now, he is repulsed by it.
- Mark's true age, including the time he spent in Faerie with Helen and Nerissa and with the time he spent with the Wild Hunt, is unknown. Their starting age since joining the human world was a guesstimate by Andrew, who made up their designated birthdays for celebration purposes.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 City of Heavenly Fire
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 A History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of the Downworld
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Lady Midnight
- ↑ Bitter of Tongue
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Lord of Shadows
- ↑ Blackthorn names — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- ↑ "Just faeries." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- ↑ "So what we know of their ages is a guesstimate," Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- ↑ "The Blackthorns and friends" — Cassandra Clare on Tumblr