Stephen Herondale was a Shadowhunter and Valentine's lieutenant in the Circle until his death. He is the son of Imogen and Marcus Herondale and was also at one point married to Luke's sister, Amatis. Through his second wife Céline, Stephen is the biological father of Jace Herondale.


Early life

Stephen was born to Marcus and Imogen Herondale. Since the Herondales ran the London Institute during that time, Stephen grew up and was trained in London. He eventually moved to Alicante, where he married Amatis Graymark. Because of their marriage, Stephen often saw Amatis' brother, Lucian.[1]

The Circle

Over the years, Stephen grew proud and frustrated and began seeing himself as better than Downworlders, the Clave, and his "suffocating" parents.[2] There is also some indication that Stephen was aware of his family's history and connection to Downworlders and greatly despised these rumors.[3]

After the supposed death of his brother-in-law and Valentine Morgenstern's right-hand man, Lucian, Valentine offered Stephen the vacant position as his second-in-command. Despite his mother's pleas, Stephen gladly accepted and went on to join the Circle. Stephen was devoted to the Circle's cause and to Valentine, so much so that he turned his back on his Law-abiding family and his wife, Amatis, whom Valentine saw as an unsuitable partner since Lucian was revealed to have been Turned into a werewolf. Valentine instead set Stephen up with then eighteen-year-old Céline Montclaire, whom he agreed to marry, despite the fact that he had little romantic interest in her. Though Stephen eventually grew to care for Céline in his own way, he never fully loved her like he loved Amatis, whom he kept in contact with even after they had divorced.

In 1989, Stephen was present during an altercation between the warlock Magnus Bane and the Whitelaw family and the Circle, the latter of whom were holding a werewolf pack hostage. A fight broke out between the groups, resulting in a large number of casualties, including the head of the New York Institute, Marian Whitelaw, as well as her husband and adopted daughter.[3]

Eventually, Stephen realized the error of his ways and quickly became disenchanted by Valentine's cause. He grew tired of the group's activities and soon began to doubt Valentine.[4] Knowing that Valentine could sense his doubt, he also suspected that Valentine would soon kill him.[2] Stephen then wrote his unborn son a letter and entrusted it to Amatis. In 1991, Stephen was killed during a raid on a vampire nest—an incident many correctly suspect as deliberately set by Valentine,[5] just as he set his former second-in-command, Luke, to be Turned or killed by a werewolf pack they raided.


After Stephen was killed, his father, Marcus, supposedly died of shock upon learning of his son's death. His mother, Imogen, accepted the position as Inquisitor in order to hunt down all of those responsible for Stephen's death, including punishing those who were former members of the Circle who surrendered to the Clave. Since Stephen's murder, his mother has held a grudge against Valentine, whom she believed was directly to blame for Stephen's death, if not for his actions while in the Circle, as well.

Stephen's wife, Céline, was eight months pregnant when news of Stephen's death reached her. This apparently pushed Céline to commit suicide. Stephen and Céline's unborn son was saved when Valentine, with the help of Hodge Starkweather, cut him from Céline's womb. Since Valentine had plans for the child even before he was born, Valentine then took the baby and raised him as his own, in hopes that the angel blood in his veins would produce a better, or equally powerful, soldier than his own son who had demon blood running through his veins.

In 2007, Amatis met Stephen's son, Jace, and gave him a box of Stephen's old things and letters to help him learn about his true family and identity.[6]


According to Luke Garroway, Stephen was everyone's golden boy. He was "good at everything" and "unfailingly nice without being boring," and though his charm and good looks incited some jealousy, he was said to be hard to hate.[1]

Physical description

According to Amatis, Jace looked exactly like Stephen, except around the eyes, as Stephen's were a deep, dark blue.[6] Magnus Bane also noted that Stephen resembled his ancestor, Edmund Herondale.[3] Stephen also had the star-shaped birthmark of the Herondale men.




  • His middle name may have been derived from some of his ancestors, such as the two Will Herondales (William and Will) of the 1800s.
  • Stephen loved Latin and poetry.[2]
  • Stephen's grandmother Arabella taught Stephen how to quilt at a young age. Because his mother was jealous of their closeness, she mocked his hobby and Stephen made it seem like he quit after his grandmother's death. He continued in secret however, and he would do it to unwind after a long day; the habit did not go unnoticed by his first wife, Amatis.[7]
  • Stephen's favorite weapon was the longsword.[7]