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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.

Magnus Bane
Portrayed by Harry Shum Jr.
TMI1Promo Magnus08
Biographical Information
Age: Unknown
Status: Alive
Affiliation
Kind:

Warlock

Title:

High Warlock of Brooklyn

Residence:
Relationships
Known relatives:
  • Unnamed mother †
  • Unnamed step-father †
Significant other(s):
Physical Description
Gender: Male
Hair color: Dark brown
Eye color:

Yellow (without glamour)
Dark brown (glamoured)

Distinct feature/s:

Cat eyes

GALLERY
For almost a century, I've closed myself off to feeling anything for anyone. Man or woman. You've unlocked something in me.

–Magnus to Alec, Of Men and Angels

Magnus Bane is the High Warlock of Brooklyn. With eccentric style, he is wise, fierce, cunning and keeps his cards close to his chest. Though he looks like he's in his 20s, he's hundreds of years old–which makes him wiser and wary of others.[1][2]

Magnus ran Pandemonium, a night club in New York meant to be safe for Downworlders, until Valentine's return caused him to decide to close it.

Biography

History

When Magnus was nine years old, his mother realized that his cat eyes were a sign that he was part demon. She could not handle the fact that she bore the son of a demon, so she committed suicide by using a keris. Magnus found his mother's lifeless body in her bed moments before his step-father did. His step-father called him an abomination and blamed him for his mother's death. Magnus then killed him by burning him with his magic. Centuries later, Magnus found the exact weapon his mother took her life with in Agra, India, in one of Camille Belcourt's many homes, while helping Simon Lewis locate her.[3]

At one point, Magnus became involved with the musician Imasu Morales, who played the charango. The relationship lasted—much to Magnus's friend Ragnor Fell's surprise—but the couple eventually broke up. Magnus made no effort to fix the relationship, feeling that Imasu wanted more than he could give.[4]

TMI112 OldPhoto01

An old photograph of Ragnor, Camille, and Magnus.

In 1857, Magnus sold his London house and purchased a ruby necklace to give to his then lover, Camille Belcourt.[5] Though he loved Camille very much, because of her cynical views of love and her emotionally manipulative tactics, she eventually broke his heart.[4] When Magnus found out that she had been having an affair with a mundane Russian, they parted ways.[6]

Decades later, Magnus had become the High Warlock of Brooklyn. Being well-known in the city, former Shadowhunter Jocelyn Fairchild went to him and begged him to take her daughter, Clary's, memories of the Shadow World. He warned against it, saying Jocelyn would essentially be deceiving her, but she insisted, and he obliged.[7] Magnus went on to feed these memories to the Greater Demon Valak, in case Valentine came in search of the Cup.[5]

Fleeing Valentine

One evening, Magnus was at his club when he spotted two Circle members inside. After a brief confrontation, he kicked them out. Clary later ran into him. Magnus recognized her, and Clary recalled a bit of him after catching a glimpse of his face as well. Additionally, Magnus realized that the Circle may come after Jocelyn again, so he called Dot to warn them.[7]

When word of Valentine's return, and the fact that he was looking for the warlock that gave Jocelyn her sleeping potion, reached Magnus, he opened a Portal in his club and escaped with several other warlocks. Dot tried to stop him and convince him to help Clary; instead, Magnus offered to take her with him before disappearing into the Portal.[8]

Helping Clary

After being haunted by dreams of her memory of Magnus taking her memories, Clary finally told her friends about him, prompted by Simon's revelation that Camille suspected that it was Magnus who took them. The Shadowhunters of the New York Institute set up a meeting with him, promising the necklace he'd given to Camille in exchange. Magnus, despite being in hiding with his people and in spite of and his adviser, Elias's pleas against it, agreed to go. The necklace had great sentimental value to Magnus, although the Shadowhunters believed it was greed that would make Magnus want it returned in his possession. They met at a rave at Hardtail, where Magnus told them that he cannot return her memories, as he had fed them to a memory demon. When a Circle assassin arrived, Magnus immediately fled through Portal, but not before being saved and entranced by Alec Lightwood. Clary also accidentally grabbed a button from his coat, which Jace and Alec used to track him.

TMI104promo Clagnus01

Upon his arrival at his previously heavily-warded lair, Circle members had already infiltrated the place and killed many of the warlocks seeking refuge there. Magnus was prepared to attack a Circle member still in his loft when Alec arrived and shot an arrow at the man, that Magnus finished off with his magic. The two are first introduced, Magnus visibly charmed, before Alec runs off to help the others. Follow this, Magnus moved the lair to a safer location and finally agreed to help Clary try to get her memories back. They summoned Valak, who then demanded a memory of their most beloved from each of them, but the bond was broken when Alec let go. Realizing that Alec was scared about Jace's reaction to finding out that he is Alec's most important loved one, Magnus tried to console him[5].

Not long after, Magnus called Alec to ask him out on a date right then and now. Alec at first agreed, but then said now was not a good time. Magnus mistakenly believed he was playing hard to get, when in fact, Clary had run off when she'd been left under his supervision.

When they discovered that it was Ragnor who made Jocelyn's potion for her, Magnus—to distract him from Alec's upcoming wedding with Lydia Branwell—accompanied Jace and Clary to Ragnor's house in London. Shortly after arriving, however, a Shax demon attacked and killed Ragnor. Devastated, Magnus took Ragnor's things back to his apartment to continue investigating separately. While going through Ragnor's things, Magnus was haunted by his ghost. Ragnor lectured him about love, and, realizing that he wanted to fight for Alec, Magnus rushed to the Institute. Alec noticed him the moment he arrived, and Alec promptly left Lydia at the altar to kiss Magnus.

Later, the group was able to find a bookmark that was once in the Book of the White. With it, Magnus was able to track it to Camille, who was then imprisoned in a coffin at the Hotel Dumort.[4] When the Shadowhunters helped Camille escape, she demanded to be taken to Magnus's so he could make a Writ of Transmutation for her. While there, Camille taunted him about their past and his current love, kissing him just as Alec and his sister arrived to catch them. When the Book was finally found in Camille's apartment, Magnus was able to perform the spell and successfully woke Jocelyn.[6]

Helping the Group

Hours after they've returned to the Institute, Magnus uses Jace's jacket to try to track him. However, he is unable to find him due to another warlock cloaking Valentine's ship. Alec grows frustrated at not being able to find his parabatai and lashes out at everyone. When Magnus goes to comfort him, Alec wants him to help him track Jace through his parabatai rune, but Magnus refuses, knowing that it nearly killed Alec the last time he did so. Alec storms off.

After his interview with Victor Aldertree, a Clave representative sent to bring order back to the New York Institute, Magnus begins to walk out to go home but is stopped by Alec, who expects Magnus to continue to help them. Magnus reminds Alec that he did not stop his own wedding for Magnus, but for himself. Magnus leaves the Institute, refusing to be treated so horribly by Alec, and goes back to his apartment. Alec goes to apologize to Magnus the next day, who lets him know that he should not push him away when they face conflict. The two prepare to track Jace using the parabatai rune, however Alec senses him just as they are about to begin.[9]

Because of his previous relationship with Camille, Simon asks Magnus for help in finding her after Raphael Santiago threatens him. Magnus portals them to one of her many homes across the globe in Agra, India. While there, Magnus finds a vase that belonged to him and takes it upon himself to search for items that Camille never returned to him. Among those items, he finds a keris, the weapon his mother used to kill herself when she learned of his true origins. Before they leave, he also finds the fire-breathing snake he gave to Camille as a gift. When they are back in his apartment, Magnus offers to continue to help Simon as much as he can in navigating throughout the Downworld, not wanting Simon to go through the same thing as him in learning everything alone.

When Alec falls into a comatose state trying to track Jace with an adamas piece, Magnus uses all the magic he can to try to wake him up, as well as keep him stable. However, the magic he needs to be able to bring him back could not be accessed within the walls of the Institute. Under Aldertree's orders, he and Isabelle are not allowed to take Alec elsewhere to heal him. They devise a plan, and take an unconscious Raj, who threatened to force Magnus out since he could not help Alec, and disguise him as Alec using the shape-shifting rune. He portals them back to his apartment, where he tries to wake Alec with a kiss, but it does not work. However, when Jace arrives, he is able to wake him.[10]

For defying his orders, Aldertree informed Magnus that he would be punished, which he tells Alec. Alec thanks him for being there to keep him stable and shyly asks Magnus out on a date. Just as they are planning on leaving, Raj calls Alec to a demon briefing, and they take a raincheck.

Not knowing where else to go after being tortured by Aldertree, Raphael goes to Magnus, who helped him out when he first turned into a vampire. Simon walks in just as he's healing Raphael. Before the two of them could attack one another, Magnus stops them. Through Raphael, they learn that the box Simon retrieved from Camille's home in India contained her grave dirt, which could be used to summon her. The three of them prepare to set a trap for her. Magnus sends Raphael and Simon to Catarina Loss, a warlock friend, for a few more ingredients, however it is a lie so that he can be alone with Camille. Once he has her trapped, she tries to convince him to free her, since she's the only one who would be there for him forever. He ignores her and sends her through a portal to Idris.[11]

After Jocelyn's death, Clary comes to Magnus in hopes that he could bring her back from the dead. He refuses to do so because it is dark magic. He also comforts Alec, who is ridden with guilt about killing Jocelyn while possessed by a demon.[12]

Relationship with Alec

Magnus and Alec previously tried to go on a date before the demon attack on the Institute. In order to get Alec's attention, Magnus sent him a fire message claiming to have an emergency. He was able to convince Alec to take a day for their date and they go to the Hunter's Moon. While their night starts off bright, it quickly takes a turn when they begin to talk about previous relationships--Magnus' abundance of past lovers and Alec's inexperience with relationships. Although all hope in their budding relationship seems lost by the time they go back to Magnus' loft, Alec does not give up on them, and they begin a real relationship.[13]

TMI206promo Malec07

They are shown to be more comfortable in their relationship when they portal back from a date in Tokyo and Prague. Alec gives Magnus an omamori charm, meant to protect the wearer and bring them luck. He leans in to kiss Alec, however the moment is ruined when they hear Jace, who recently moved in with Magnus, with a female guest. They are interrupted once again later on when Alec is called to the Institute on an emergency. Magnus later reveals to Maia Roberts, a bartender at the Hunter's Moon, that it had been a long time since someone had given him a gift and he believes Alec is someone special.

Despite his long list of lovers and past relationships, Magnus feels vulnerable in his relationship with Alec. While Alec wants to take the next step in their relationship, Magnus fears that if they move too quickly, he would lose him. Alec reassured him that he did not have to worry about that, and the two moved to Magnus' bedroom, where they have sex for the first time.[14]

As a way to show his mother that their relationship wasn't going to go away, Alec asks Magnus to host a party in honor of his brother Max receiving his first rune. During the party, a warlock, revealed to be Iris Rouse, cast a spell that affected Alec, Jace, and Clary that played on some of their insecurities. On his roof, Alec was going to commit suicide by falling off, but Magnus arrives in time to save him. He is able to stop the spell and figure out that a red-haired cat he let in was the warlock in disguise. When he traps Iris, he sends her to the Clave.[15]

The Soul-Sword

Clary's blood oath to find Madzie activates in the form of an old French spell, la chair brûlée, or "the burnt flesh." She goes to Magnus for help, but he is unable to help, as blood oaths are binding and must be completed.

He also met with representatives of the different Downworlder factions to discuss Valentine's plans with the Soul-Sword. Since Clary has the ability to activate the Soul-Sword to destroy Downworlders, the Seelie Queen sent her knight Meliorn with the message to execute Clary. Raphael, representing the vampires, is in agreement with Meliorn, while Luke and Magnus do not agree. During the meeting, Magnus finds out Raphael has been seeing Isabelle, which leads him to remember when Isabelle claimed to be on a mission to crack the Downworlder drug trade. He suspects she went to Raphael to get her fix and calls Alec. He follows Alec to the Hotel Dumort where he finds Alec punching Raphael. Using his magic, he pulls Alec away, who is angry that Magnus didn't tell him before, then leaves with his sister in tow.[16]

To keep Valentine from getting to Clary, Luke and Jace take her to Magnus' where she would be safe. However when Valentine shows her through a video call that he has slit Simon's throat, she insists they go to save him. Magnus portals them close to the Institute where he is then held by some of the vampires from Raphael's clan. Raphael is about to kill Clary when he is stopped by Luke and Jace. They are able to convince him and the seelies to unite against Valentine before he can activate the sword. They all split up, and Magnus and Clary begin to search the Institute for where Simon is.

While searching for him, Clary and Magnus find Madzie. Magnus goes to the young warlock and offers to help her and convince her that she is being used. She trusts in him and he takes her to Catarina. He makes it back to the Institute after the slaughter of Downworlders has happened and finds Alec, who was worried he was dead. The two confess their love for one another and kiss.[17]

Body Switch Trauma

Alec went to Magnus in hopes that he would help them capture a Greater Demon that escaped. While examining the dirt that was left on the Greater Demon's victims, Magnus discovered that it was Azazel. Magnus sets up a pentagram outside of the Institute to summon him, however Azazel is incredibly strong and breaks free from the pentagram. While Magnus and the others are on the ground in pain over a screeching sound, Azazel takes Magnus' soul and places it inside Valentine's body, and vice versa.[18]

Now in Valentine's body, Magnus was tortured by the Inquisitor and the Clave as they tried to pry Valentine into telling them where the Mortal Cup was. The Agony rune made him relive painful memories he spent centuries trying to forget. Everyone, including Alec, believed Valentine was trying to trick them by claiming he was actually Magnus Bane. Even though her request to the Clave to execute Valentine was denied, Imogen ignores the order and prepares to kill him. At the last minute, the real Valentine appears as a holographic message with Jace as his hostage. Imogen allows Magnus to go to his apartment to meet Valentine and switch them back. When they are back in their own bodies, Valentine tries to escape through a portal, however Clary manages to break through the wards placed and leads him back to the Institute through the portal. Magnus and Alec are left alone together, with Alec wanting to know how he can fix things between them.[19]

A new threat to the Institute appears as the bodies of Shadowhunters are found dead with their runes carved out, with the evidence leading the Shadowhunters to believe they could be facing a Downworlder uprising. To locate and prove Downworlders innocent, the Clave enforces the New York Institute to gather DNA samples from Downworlders. Magnus, still traumatized by Alec not believing him during the body switch, reluctantly agrees to a test, and it drives a wedge between him and Alec. As he drinks away his pain, Dot arrives with dragonfly wings to help him. The two friends drink and reminisce old times. The combination of drinking and dancing leads them to share a moment, but Magnus stops Dot before she can kiss him, stating that his heart belongs to Alec. Later on, Alec comes back to Magnus and apologizes for not following his gut.[20]

As the High Warlock of Brooklyn, Magnus attends a cabinet meeting in the Institute among other Downworlder representatives in hopes to improve the Shadowhunter/Downworlder relations in New York. The representatives present are Alec, now the Head of the Institute, Luke Garroway, Alpha of the New York Pack, Raphael Santiago, leader of the New York Vampire Clan, and Meliorn, a Knight of the Seelie Court.[21]

Due to the trauma the Agony rune caused, Magnus is unable to sleep at night without seeing and dreaming of his worst memory. Each time Alec attempts to get Magnus to talk to him, Magnus claims he is fine and finds ways out of the conversation. Finally, Alec refuses to leave until Magnus talks to him, and he learns more about his past. He never wanted Alec to know the ugly truth about his past, but Alec reassures him that there is nothing ugly about him.[22]

Personality

Magnus is cunning, intelligent, wary, and wise due to experience he's lived through over hundreds of years. He is also distrusting of Shadowhunters because of the Downworlders' history with them. Even so, he helped Jocelyn Fray when her daughter gained the Sight, though he does not help many people without payment. He also chooses to help Clary Fray retrieve her memories since she risked her life to save Zoe, a young warlock child.

He is also caring and compassionate, especially towards his people. When Valentine began hunting warlocks to find the one who gave Jocelyn the sleeping potion, he gathered as many warlocks as he could and concealed them in his loft. He has also helped many new Downworlders navigate through the Downworld, the most notable being Raphael Santiago, a promise he made to himself after having to learn everything on his own. He considers all the Downworlders he's helped as his children, something that means a lot to him since warlocks cannot bear children of their own.

Magnus is openly bisexual, having been with many men and women, both mundane and Downworlder. Three of his known lovers were mundane Imasu Morales, warlock Dorothea Rollins, and vampire Camille Belcourt. After Camille abused him, he closed himself off to feeling love for anyone else. That changed when he met Alec Lightwood, who unlocked his heart, and the two eventually became boyfriends.

Skills and abilities

  • Immortality: As a warlock, Magnus is immortal. Physically, Magnus does not age and has maintained the appearance of a young man for centuries.
  • Magic: Magnus has access to magical powers that often manifest themselves as blue or orange flames or smoky sparks at his fingertips. Magnus is capable of casting spells and performing summoning rituals, as well as healing and memory magic.

Appearances

Season One appearances: 12/13
The Mortal Cup:
Appears
The Descent Into Hell Isn't Easy:
Appears
Dead Man's Party:
Mentioned only
Raising Hell:
Appears
Moo Shu to Go:
Appears
Of Men and Angels:
Appears
Major Arcana:
Appears
Bad Blood:
Appears
Rise Up:
Appears
This World Inverted:
Appears
Blood Calls To Blood:
Appears
Malec:
Appears
Morning Star:
Appears
Season Two appearances: 19/20
This Guilty Blood:
Appears
A Door Into the Dark:
Appears
Parabatai Lost:
Appears
Day of Wrath:
Appears
Dust and Shadows:
Appears
Iron Sisters:
Appears
How Are Thou Fallen:
Appears
Love is a Devil:
Appears
Bound By Blood:
Appears
By the Light of Dawn:
Appears
Mea Maxima Culpa:
Appears
You Are Not Your Own:
Appears
Those of Demon Blood:
Appears
The Fair Folk:
Appears
A Problem of Memory:
Appears
Day of Atonement:
Mentioned only
A Dark Reflection:
Appears
Awake, Arise, or...:
Appears
Hail and Farewell:
Appears
Beside Still Water:
Appears

Gallery

Trivia

  • Magnus is portrayed by Harry Shum Jr. in Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments.
  • Magnus and Henry Branwell created the portal together.[23]
  • Magnus has had at least 17,000 lovers in his life.[24]
  • Magnus and Dot went to many Queen concerts together.[25]
  • Character differences from his book counterpart, Magnus Bane:
    • In the books, Magnus is estimated as being around 400 years old. On the show, though no number has been stated, according to the showrunner Todd Slavkin, he is much older.[26]
    • In the books, one of Magnus's warlock marks is the absence of a navel. On the show, he does have one.[27]

References

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