|“||You can't understand. You've never been a parent. You never love anything like you love your children.||”|
Maryse Lightwood is a Shadowhunter and the former head of the New York Institute, who was exiled from Idris as punishment for her involvement with the Circle in the early 1990's. She is the ex-wife of Inquisitor Robert Lightwood and the mother of Alec, Isabelle, and Max, as well as the adoptive mother of Jace.
Maryse Trueblood was born in Idris to the Trueblood family in 1968. She was raised in Idris alongside her older brother, Max. At some point during her life, her brother left the Clave, choosing to leave his Shadowhunter life and live as a mundane to marry one; this decision made Maryse an outcast among her peers.
As a child, Maryse was unusually short. Because of this, she became more determined to train with a large variety of weapons but found herself unable to use the broadsword. She had a massive growth spurt in her early teens, after which she was able to finally use broadswords, and it became her favorite weapon.
When Maryse was old enough, she was sent to the Shadowhunter Academy. Sometime while she was there, she met and befriended Valentine Morgenstern. He recruited her to his group of misfits, which later became known as the Circle. Around this time, she met Robert Lightwood, whom she began dating and eventually married, after they left the Academy. The couple continued their work in the Circle and were even known for being nearly as bad as Valentine himself when it came to discriminating against Downworlders.
She and her husband attended the wedding of Valentine Morgenstern and Jocelyn Fairchild. A short while after, Maryse became pregnant with her first son, Alec.
In 1989, Maryse joined the rest of the Circle on a trip to New York as part of their revolution campaign. During the encounter, the Circle massacred the Whitelaw inhabitants of the Institute, all of whom were defending the local Downworlders.
When Jocelyn, Luke, and others left the group, Maryse and Robert were among those who remained loyal to Valentine. Valentine's charm kept her—and most of the other members—clinging to his words, especially since Valentine had claimed to trust her the most out of the whole Circle—something he had told almost every other Circle member.
In the early 1990s, the Circle staged an Uprising during the signing of the Ninth Accords. The members armed themselves with demonic weapons and marched into the Accords Hall, intending to disrupt the signing to send their message against Downworlders. Jocelyn and Luke arrived with reinforcements to fight back, however, and the Circle became outmatched, though many had already been killed. Thinking of her son who needed her, Maryse surrendered.
Afterwards, the remaining Circle members—those who failed to escape and survived—were tried with the Mortal Sword. Because of the fact that they had a son, and due in part to their connections with influential Shadowhunter families, she and Robert were given lenient sentences: the Lightwoods, including their innocent infant son, Alec, were exiled to New York, where they were to run the Institute as 'punishment', though it was a job that they grew to love over time. Meanwhile, their fellow Circle member Hodge Starkweather was banished along with them; unlike them, however, Hodge was literally confined to the Institute grounds.
Robert and Maryse' relationship, already built on a weak foundation, became even more strained as Robert, who was never as interested in the Circle as Maryse, partially blamed her for their banishment. Had she not become pregnant with their second child, a daughter they named Isabelle, Robert would have apparently left her then. Around eight years after they had first been exiled, Robert had an affair with Annamarie Highsmith and planned to leave Maryse for her. However, Maryse became pregnant with their second son, so Robert stayed. Maryse then named the boy Max, after her brother, despite their estrangement.
A year after Max's birth, Maryse was sent a ward in the form of Jonathan Wayland; the boy was then believed to be the son of their old friend Michael Wayland, who was thought to have been murdered recently. Charged with his upbringing, Maryse grew to love Jonathan, caring for him as her own and giving him the nickname "Jace", which he grew to prefer over his real name.
Return to New York
For the signing of the Tenth Accords, Maryse and Robert went to Alicante, bringing along their youngest son Max, as representatives to participate at the signing. When they returned, her children had already met Jocelyn and Valentine's daughter, Clary Fairchild, and it had been discovered that Valentine was alive and that Jace was his son. Because of this newfound knowledge, Maryse tried to distance herself from Jace. She even suggested that it would be best if Jace left the Institute—though the reason for this was because she secretly wanted to save him from the wrath of Inquisitor Imogen Herondale.
However, Maryse only listened on when the Inquisitor offered to trade Jace to Valentine in exchange for the Mortal Instruments.
Maryse tried to distance herself from Jace, evidently because she had been betrayed by Valentine before and had no intention of allowing his son to do the same. Maryse was among the Shadowhunters who rescued Jace and the others from Valentine's boat.
When Jace decided to leave the Institute, Maryse convinced him otherwise by singing the song she used to sing to Isabelle and Alec, and Jace secretly, when they were younger. Jace admitted that she was the only mother he ever had.
The Lightwoods prepared to leave for Idris to attend a major Council meeting. When Clary argued with Jace about going to Idris with them, Maryse spoke out against Jace and reprimanded his beliefs about Valentine's next actions.
A couple of months after the events of the Mortal War, dead Shadowhunters started to appear. To find who was behind it, Maryse brought Clary and Luke to the morgue, where Clary used a recently-discovered necromancy rune to reanimate a murdered Shadowhunter for questioning. Horrified by the negative effects of the rune on the dead Shadowhunter, Luke chastised Maryse, but she argued that he had no right to tell her how to run her Institute.
When Sebastian returned to life, he used the Mark that Lilith had put on Jace to manipulate him, and disappeared with him. Maryse managed to track Jace, who had been marked by a special Rune that was commonly used by Valentine to track members of the Clave. She was shown to be relieved that he was alive.
In order to rescue Jace and stop Sebastian, Maryse fought in the battle against the Dark Shadowhunters at the Seventh Sacred Site. She killed Jeremy Pontmercy, who was confronting Jocelyn, which showed the fraught relationship between the two women. Soon afterwards, Maryse called in Brother Enoch and Brother Zachariah to show them a message from Sebastian Morgenstern: a pair of sawn-off angel wings, dripping in golden ichor, with a note that read "Erchomai", Greek for "I am coming", and signed with his full name.
Maryse called her children, Clary, Jocelyn, Luke and the rest of the New York Conclave to the Institute for a meeting. Maryse told them about Sebastian's recent attacks on Institutes for the past two weeks and about the latest attack on the Los Angeles Institute. Maryse explained that the Blackthorn children and Emma Carstairs, with the exception of the eldest brother Mark, went missing and that Helen was with Aline in Idris. Maryse told her children to pack up their things as all the Institutes were being evacuated and all Shadowhunters had to return to Idris to discuss Sebastian and his Endarkened army.
They went to Idris through a Portal which was opened by the warlock Catarina Loss, substituting Magnus. Maryse and her children had their house in Alicante due to Robert being the new Inquisitor. Maryse and Robert and their children and the other Shadowhunters attended the Council meeting, mourning the Shadowhunters who were Turned or were killed when Jia and Robert interrogated Julian Blackthorn and Emma about the events that happened at the Los Angeles Institute. The Clave also interrogated Julian's siblings; Tiberius, Livia and Drusilla with the exception of Octavian.
Maryse and Alec witnessed when Isabelle confronted Robert about the knowledge of his affair with Annamarie Highsmith. Maryse and Robert ran over to Alec, worried about him, as he collapsed onto his knees due to Jace being hurt during the battle at the Adamant Citadel. Maryse attended the funeral for the Shadowhunters who died during the Citadel battle, among other Nephilim.
Maryse, Robert and their children, Clary, Simon Lewis, Kadir, Aline, the Blackthorns, Emma and the other Shadowhunters attended the Council meeting as Jia told them about the Downworld representatives' and Jocelyn's kidnapping by Sebastian. Matthias Gonzales, the former Head of the Buenos Aires Institute and Endarkened, threatened Jia's life and told the Clave to surrender both Clary and Jace up to Sebastian. Alec, Maryse' son, saved Jia's life from Matthias. Maryse participated, along with Robert, Jia, Aline, Helen and Brothers Enoch and Zachariah, in the discussion of whether or not to deliver Clary and Jace up to Sebastian.
Maryse and Robert were furious and frantic when Alec, Jace and Isabelle fled Alicante with Clary and Simon, unaware they went to the demon realm, Edom, to rescue the Downworld representatives and Jocelyn, which they told to Jia and Patrick. The four of them, along with Kadir, Diana Wrayburn, Tomas Rosales, Brothers Enoch and Zachariah and other adult Shadowhunters had a meeting about the Fair Folk's betrayal and asked for aid from the warlocks of the Spiral Labyrinth against Sebastian and the Fair Folk.
Maryse, Robert and the other adult Shadowhunters participated in the battle against Sebastian's Endarkened ,and the faerie warriors. Maryse and Robert were happy and grateful when Alec, Jace, and Isabelle returned unharmed from the demon realms.
At the Council meeting after the Dark War, the Clave had the Fair Folk sign a set of sanctions for their betrayal which they begrudgingly accepted. Helen and Mark Blackthorn, because of their faerie blood, also got caught up into the Clave's punishment of the Fair Folk. Helen got banished to Wrangel Island to study the wards which devastated her and her girlfriend, Aline, while her brother Mark was refused rescue and left with the Wild Hunt indefinitely, despite his family's objections.
Maryse and her children returned to the New York Institute while her husband, Robert, stayed in Alicante.
Maryse, Robert and their children along with their Shadowhunter and Downworlder friends attended Jocelyn and Luke's wedding at Luke's Farm. Maryse and Robert ended their marriage. However, they still cared about and loved one another. Maryse was seen talking to Jocelyn during the wedding reception.
Maryse is a passionate and proud Shadowhunter. She cares deeply for her children.
Though she was once a member of the Circle that targeted Downworlders, she has since grown to care for the lives and rights of Downworlders and views them as valuable allies.
Maryse has blue eyes and black hair. She strongly resembles her daughter, Isabelle, while Alec is said to have inherited her eyes and structure.
Skills and abilities
- Nephilim physiology: Being Nephilim, Maryse possesses a variety of enhanced physical and mental abilities granted to her by the blood of Raziel in her veins and also by the angelic Marks of the Gray Book. She also has the 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 also 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.
- Leadership: Maryse was once the head of the New York Conclave and was considerably good at her job, able to effectively lead and command the respect and obedience of those she leads.
Maryse and Robert got married immediately after they left the Academy. Maryse was completely in love with Robert, though he had his doubts about their future. However, the marriage continued. They almost ended it when Maryse was pregnant with Isabelle, but Robert decided to stay for their children. When Maryse was pregnant with Max, she discovered that Robert was having an affair with Annamarie Highsmith, and only revealed this to her daughter, Isabelle, while emphasizing to never trust others.
Robert stayed in Idris after the death of their son, Max, and even applied for the Inquisitor position, which he received. After the Dark War, Maryse and Robert separated, though they still care and love each other.
Alec is the oldest of Maryse' children. He has inherited her structure and eyes. Maryse was astonished to find out he was gay but eventually accepted it, even though the relation Alec was having was with a warlock.
Isabelle is the second and closest child Maryse has. Maryse told Isabelle about Robert's affair, and taught her not to trust men and to be a strong and independent woman. Isabelle looks exactly like her mother, except for her eyes and the fact that her cooking is not as good as Maryse's.
Max was named after Maryse's brother. Not much is known about their relationship, though it is correct to assume that Maryse loves him with all her heart, just like she loves all her children. She was devastated after his death.
Jace entered Maryse's life when he was ten years old, and with the knowledge of him being Jonathan Wayland, the son of Michael Wayland. It was Maryse who came up with Jace's nickname. After Valentine returned and everybody thought Jace was his son, Maryse didn't want to be betrayed by someone she loved, just like Valentine had done to her. She tried to push Jace away, but couldn't entirely do so as she dearly loved him as her own son. When Jace confronted Valentine, Maryse saw that Jace wasn't like him, and decided to keep treating Jace like she used to. She stopped him from leaving the Institute by telling him that the lullaby she used to sing to her children, was also secretly sung to him. This made Jace change his mind and remain at the Institute.