|“||I have no soul. But I made you a promise on my mother's doorstep, and she was sacred to me. I was a child then. I am not now. I cannot. I will not. I owe him a debt from many years ago.||”|
Born to Guadalupe Santiago and an unknown man, Raphael Santiago, the eldest child in the family, had several younger brothers and lived his early life in Mexico, before the family moved to New York. He rarely saw his father, who had hit him once in Zacatecas, an incident that was never repeated.
In 1953, when rumors of a vampire in their neighborhood became supported by strange disappearances of their children, Raphael and a group of older boys formed a vampire-hunting gang, intent on proving that they were no longer children and were capable of protecting their neighborhood from the vampire. They managed to track it down to its lair, the residence of several other local vampires, the Hotel Dumort. Guadalupe, who was, albeit worried, doubtful that the children would do anything rash, gave Raphael a gold cross to protect him from the monster she believes to be damned.
One evening, they raided the hotel in an attempt to catch and kill the vampire. At the age of fifteen, some time before he turned sixteen, Raphael was Turned by the vampire, named Louis Karnstein, who hoped that he would help him with his friends. However, the newly-Turned Raphael killed Louis, instead. In a frenzy upon being "reborn", he then went on to feed on his remaining old friends, draining them of blood, which ultimately killed them.
Shortly after, Raphael was found by Magnus Bane, who was hired by his mother to save him. Beyond saving from vampirism, Raphael hoped to kill himself after draining his friends of blood. Magnus stopped him and brought him back to his apartment. There, with Magnus' encouragement and guidance, he slowly found the resolve to recover. Wearing the cross his mother gave him, Raphael tortured himself by walking on hallowed ground in an attempt to regain some semblance of his humanity. Eventually, he reached a satisfactory state of normalcy and returned to his family.
Rise to power
Soon, Raphael joined the New York vampire clan, then under Camille Belcourt's leadership. He quickly rose through the ranks and became her second-in-command. When the clan became addicted to feeding off mundanes on cocaine, Raphael tried to talk them out of it. Camille, wanting her inner circle to participate, tried to get Raphael addicted to it as well. After a disagreement with Camille, he left and returned shortly after, when Camille and Magnus broke vials of her clan's grave soil, including his, to call on them. Raphael snuck into a basement window of the Hotel Dumort and rejoined his recovering clan, hiding while he tended to the sick.
When Camille again succumbed to feeding on and killing humans in 2006, Raphael found out about it and threatened to report her to the Clave and tell them of her Accord-breaking acts if she did not stop or leave—though he was merely bluffing, Camille begrudgingly agreed and fled. Being second-in-command, as well as a trusted and respected member within the clan, Raphael became acting leader, telling others that Camille had only gone on an indefinite trip.
Raphael Santiago first met the Shadowhunters Clary Fray and Jace Herondale when they went to Hotel Dumort to rescue Simon Lewis, who was accidentally turned into a rat and brought back to the hotel by one of his vampires. Raphael met them outside and pretended to be a normal mortal teenager who wanted to avenge his brother's death. Jace, however, noticed a burn of a cross on his throat and a bite scar on his neck and secretly suspected that he was a vampire. However, they still allowed Raphael to lead the way into the hotel.
Soon afterwards in the lobby, Raphael mysteriously disappeared with a scream, which was a signal calling the other vampires to him. Jace's suspicions were correct when he saw that Raphael left no footprints in the dust. Jace threw one of his seraph blades at him but just missed his heart. Jace took him hostage and Clary tried to trade him for Simon.
The other vampires did not want to give Clary the rat unless Jace swore on the Angel, something he was unwilling to do since it binds him. Before a bargain could be completed however, a pack of werewolves, led by Luke Garroway, broke into the hotel to save Clary. Raphael refused to give her back, declaring that she was their property because she was on their territory. During the battle, Raphael was bitten by Simon to save Jace, thus ingesting some of his blood, turning Simon into a fledgling, and later a vampire, making Raphael his sire.
Raphael carried Simon's half-dead body to the front of the New York Institute. He told Clary and Jace that Simon had gone back to the Hotel Dumort to ask if he was becoming a vampire, and was bitten when he had entered vampire territory, though he does not specify who bit him. He is, however, somehow Simon's sire as it was his blood that Simon had ingested in City of Bones. When Simon died, he helped them bury him so that he could rise from the dead. He then saved Clary from the new-born Simon who tried to attack her for fresh blood.
The Mortal War
Raphael Santiago offered the help of the Children of the Night to the Clave in exchange for Simon's life. The Clave refused, but Simon went on his own free will to guarantee the help of the vampires in the final battle, by allowing Clary to draw the Mark of Cain on his forehead. After the Mortal War, Raphael was present at the victory party in Alicante.
Raphael appeared briefly, when Simon called him to ask for a place to stay after his mother kicked him out of the house after she discovered that he is a vampire. Raphael told Simon that he could not stay at the Hotel Dumort because he still won't accept his vampirism; as he was about to leave, Simon dropped a hint about Camille Belcourt and how he wasn't going to tell Raphael about her; however, Raphael sarcastically says "I suppose you are also going to throw away the birthday present you got me" and leaves.
After that, several days later, Maryse Lightwood and Lucian Graymark called Raphael to a meeting discussing matters of Camille Belcourt. The latter accused Raphael of drinking human blood and killing them, thus "breaking the Covenant Law". Raphael, however, denies it and apparently he was telling the truth as he turned the tables on Camille, claiming that it was Camille who broke the Law. Raphael had approached her about the matter and told her to leave the city, which she did for a year, then returned with two human subjugates, Walker and Archer. The meeting ends with Lucian requesting Raphael's help in catching Camille, but to do so Raphael has to work alongside with Simon Lewis, whom he does not like.
Raphael calls Simon and requests that the latter protect him from Camille. Simon, however, refuses. Raphael informs Simon that there is a darkness coming, and, should Simon survive it, Raphael will be at the front of a line of people waiting to kill him.
In a gathering of the Council representatives held by the faeries, he along with Luke, Jocelyn and Magnus gets kidnapped by the Endarkened under the orders of Sebastian Morgenstern with the help of the faeries who were secretly allied with him. They were imprisoned in Edom, where Sebastian asked Raphael to get the Night Children associated with the Endarkened against Shadowhunters to which he agrees. To show his alliance, he was asked to kill Magnus. Having never forgotten that Magnus saved his life over fifty years before, and that he swore to pay him back someday, he refused to kill Magnus, angering Sebastian and causing him to immediately stab Raphael in the heart.
As a way to honor his memory after his death, the vampires of the New York clan decided to contribute to the well-being of the East Harlem, which was not only the home of the Hotel Dumort but is also close to the neighborhood where Raphael grew up. This was a fruitful endeavor because the residents soon took note of "the presence of nocturnal good Samaritans" who picked up trash, shoveled snow, and ensured their safety at night.
Personality and traits
|“||You're starting to talk about yourself in the third person. That's not a sign of impending megalomania or anything.||”|
Raphael was sly and also rather conceited, arrogant, and condescending. He basically enjoyed having power and intimidating others, and was generally discriminating towards anyone who wasn't a vampire. Despite this, he was a man of his word who had a sense of honor, gratitude, and respect, in regards to other people and their actions. He refused to kill Magnus because of the debt he owed the warlock and ultimately paid with his life; albeit, up until being ordered to kill Magnus, he was willing to side with Sebastian, hinting that his unwillingness to join him wasn't out of "the greater good" but of a blood debt. He also seemed to be prone to envy, as he hated Simon for his ability to walk in the sunlight.
A Mexican immigrant, the majority of his speech was Spanish—at least, when he's fooling mundanes. His speech patterns tended to slur depending on whom he is speaking to, but he always managed to retain a formal, almost archaic, lilt.
Stuck with the appearance of his fifteen-year-old self, Raphael looked young and was often described as having the face of an angel, though sometimes, his wisdom showed the weight of his years. He had dark black, curly hair, very thin eyebrows, and honey-colored skin. He was slightly built and was about six inches shorter than Jace. Raphael also had a small scar on his chest from where his mother's crucifix used to hang and burn on his chest.
Skills and abilities
- Demon energy: Being a vampire, Raphael was capable of imbuing demon energy into inanimate objects to make them work; though forbidden by the Accords, Raphael and other vampires had motorcycles ran by demon energy.
- Fascination: Also known as encanto, Raphael had the vampire ability to mesmerize or hypnotize mundanes.
- Superhuman physiology: Demon energy provides vampires with superhuman strength, and speed, ironic of their thin and pale appearance. This energy also provide them with heightened senses, like the ability to see in complete darkness, smell blood from a few yards away, and hear whispers from some distance away with perfect clarity.
- Shape-shifting: Apparently, as a vampire, Raphael had the ability to shape-shift and turn into a rat, bat, or dust, among others.
- Immortality: As a vampire, Raphael was immortal. However, this did not make him invincible, and made him prone to death by sunlight and fire, among others.
- Cassandra Clare considered Raphael asexual and aromantic. While this is not yet explicitly stated in any of the books, Clare plans to canonize Raphael's sexuality in The Eldest Curses.
- An unnamed Vampire Lieutenant was included in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones film in place of Raphael, who was to be introduced in the sequel before it got cancelled.
- ↑ Official Clave Files in the City of Bones 10th Anniversary Edition
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Saving Raphael Santiago
- ↑ The Fall of the Hotel Dumort
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 City of Bones
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 City of Fallen Angels
- ↑ City of Ashes
- ↑ City of Glass
- ↑ City of Lost Souls
- ↑ City of Heavenly Fire
- ↑ A History of Notable Shadowhunters & Denizens of the Downworld
- ↑ "... but fortunately we haven't seen the last of him..." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- ↑ "Raphael was asexual." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- ↑ "I should have also said aromantic. But it's what I think—it's not explicit on the page." Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- ↑ "I thought of Raphael as asexual. (It's not mentioned in the books, so just my headcanon.)" Cassandra Clare on Twitter
- ↑ Cassie interview with Jenna Clare on YouTube book vlog
- ↑ "Raphael won't be in this movie but they hope to introduce him in City of Ashes..." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- ↑ "He's in the screenplay." Cassandra Clare on Twitter