CJ 09 September Tessa
“It felt so real, so utterly real—”

This article depicts a subject within the Shadowhunters television series, and as such, it either does not play a role within or differs largely from the established continuity and canon of the books of The Shadowhunter Chronicles.

Lydia Branwell
Portrayed by Stephanie Bennett
TMI108promo Lydia02
Biographical Information
Status: Alive



Diplomat / envoy


The Clave

Known relatives:
Significant other(s):
Physical Description
Gender: Female
Hair color: Blond
Eye color:


Height: 5'3"
And then John was killed. Everything was ripped away; my love, my dream job... Piece of advice: in this line of work, the only thing worth falling in love with is the work itself.

–Lydia to Alec, Bad Blood

Lydia Branwell is a young Shadowhunter and a prominent member of the Clave.


Early life

At one point, Lydia's parents tried to set her up with an arranged marriage, which she refused. She chose to marry the man she loved, John Monteverde, with whom she planned to run the Lisbon Institute with.[1]

Once, their Institute got intel about demons hiding out at a club in the favela. They were told that a warlock was helping them, and so they brought the warlock in. Her team wanted to do "whatever it took" to make him talk, but Lydia refused to let them torture the warlock. Not getting the information from the warlock proved fatal as the team went in blind and were faced with hundreds of demons. John was killed in the raid, devastating Lydia and leaving her with survivor's guilt. She has since partially blamed herself for his death, believing that going soft on the warlock played a part.[2]

New York

In 2016, following news of the return of Valentine Morgenstern, Lydia was sent by the Clave as an envoy to the New York Institute to assess the running of the Institute, and later to take temporary control of it from the Lightwoods after the recent acts and decisions of Clary Fairchild, Jace Wayland, and Alec and Isabelle Lightwood.

During a conversation with Luke Garroway, Lydia accidentally informed Alec that his parents were both former members of the Circle. Despite her desire to run an Institute, she wasn't happy that it had to be taken from the Lightwoods under those circumstances. Later, Alec offered to marry her for both their benefits—restoring his family's honor and the opportunity to run the Institute together. She agreed, thinking it was a good plan.[1]

Lydia took no pleasure in taking control of the Institute, especially since most of the resident did not trust or respect her, especially when it came to the tough calls she had to make. When she arrested Isabelle's former flame Meliorn to interrogate him, she became furious. Alec tried to dissuade her from sending him to the Silent Brothers, but she remained strong with her decision, refusing to make the same mistake she felt she did—being too compassionate and unwilling to take drastic measures—that led to her fiancé's death.[2]

On the day of their wedding, Magnus Bane arrived in the midst of the ceremony. Lydia saw the look he and Alec exchanged and she let him go, having grown to care about Alec and wanting happiness for him. Lydia then decided to return to Idris and dive into her work. When she went to retrieve the Mortal Cup, she was attacked by Hodge Starkweather, discovered to be a spy for Valentine, who then took the Cup.[3]

Shortly after Jace was taken by Valentine, Maryse went to the Clave behind Lydia, prompting the Clave to send Victor Aldertree to the Institute as her replacement.[4]

When a demon infiltrated the Institute, the demon possessed Raj, whom Lydia did not get along with at the time, and attacked her. She was injured in the battle, but she was saved by Alec.[5] She was sent back to Idris afterwards to be healed by the doctors there.[6]


Lydia is an abrasive, driven, no-nonsense Shadowhunter who fights for what she believes in. Though harsh at times, she is capable of vulnerability, which she only reveals to select people, and being considerate and understanding, willing to make sacrifices for the well-being of others.


Season One appearances: 5/13
The Mortal Cup:
The Descent Into Hell Isn't Easy:
Dead Man's Party:
Raising Hell:
Moo Shu to Go:
Of Men and Angels:
Major Arcana:
Bad Blood:
Rise Up:
This World Inverted:
Blood Calls To Blood:
Morning Star:
Season Two (2A) appearances: 3/20
This Guilty Blood:
A Door Into the Dark:
Parabatai Lost:
Day of Wrath:
Dust and Shadows:
Mentioned only
Iron Sisters:
Mentioned only
How Are Thou Fallen:
Love is a Devil:
Bound By Blood:
By the Light of Dawn:


  • While Lydia is evidently proud of her ancestor Henry Branwell, the last Branwell to run an Institute whose contribution to the creation of the Portal is well-known, Lydia made it a point to clarify that she was only distantly related to Clary (through the Fairchild-Branwell bloodline), Valentine's daughter.[1]

  • Lydia is a new, original character made for the show and does not appear in any of the books. She is portrayed by Stephanie Bennett in a guest starring role.


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