Matthew Fairchild is the second son of Henry and Charlotte Branwell, and the younger brother of Charles. He is also the parabatai of James Herondale.


Early life

Matthew has a close relationship with his father. Being the curious inventor Henry was, he had a tendency of endangering himself with his experiments. Matthew took it upon himself to look after him.[6][1]


Matthew unwillingly attended the Shadowhunter Academy in 1899, where he became considerably popular among the students. Wanting instead to return home to look after his eccentric father, Matthew took every opportunity to discredit himself to get expelled—an unlikely idea given his mother's position as Consul. At the Academy, he was friends mostly with Christopher and Thomas Lightwood and had an initially complicated relationship with James. One morning, he and James finally had a conversation about their situation and realized that they were being rude to each other for no reason. The pair since became very close friends, despite the revelation that James had magic.

After setting up an explosion with Christopher that would surely get him expelled, Matthew left with Will and James to the London Institute, something the Herondales agreed to after Matthew surprisingly proclaimed his desire to become James' parabatai.[6]


Matthew is said to be very sensitive,[7] though also always delightful,[8] open-hearted, sociable, and funny. He is also rather indolent, is flamboyant, and is a party boy, though he listens to his parabatai, James, who manages to make him attend to his studies and keeps him out of trouble.[9][10] He is also a fan of Oscar Wilde and the aesthetic movement.[11]



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  • Matthew favors rapiers as his weapon.[1]
  • Matthew will have a pet dog in The Last Hours.[12][13]
    • Currently, it is set to have been a birthday present from James, who found the puppy in the streets. Matthew named the dog after his favorite writer, and the dog "loves Matthew so much that he is almost absurdly obedient."[13]
  • He doesn't like having his named shortened, to nicknames like "Matt" or "Matty".[14][15]
  • Matthew was originally named Colin,[16] and Matthew may have also been planned to be another character's name.[17]