You know large crowds of people make me nervous! You know I can never think of anything to say to them!

–Thomas to Matthew Fairchild, Nothing but Shadows

Thomas Lightwood is Gideon Lightwood and Sophie Collins's third child and only son. He has two elder sisters: Barbara and Eugenia.


Thomas was a sickly and shy boy when he was young. During this time, Thomas and his family resided in Idris, though they visited London for parties, family gatherings, and the Herondale family. By the time he was thirteen, he had gotten better, and so he was sent to the Shadowhunter Academy, albeit a year late because of his health problems, and he agreed because he wanted to get away from his sisters who often bossed him around.

At the Academy, Thomas mostly hung around his best friend Matthew Fairchild and his cousin Christopher. He encouraged James Herondale, the son of his mother's best friend, Tessa Gray, to pal around with them more and, though James said he wanted his and Christopher's company, he disliked Matthew and declined. Eventually, however, James and Matthew got over their issues,[2] and the four boys have been inseparable since.[3] Among the group, Thomas was the one who grounded his friends.


Thomas craved solitude and was unnerved by crowds.

Physical description

Thomas is tanned, bears a resemblance to his father, and has brown hair and brown, hazel eyes.[4][5] When he was young, Thomas looked considerably sickly and short.



  • He was named after the late carriage driver of the London Institute, Thomas Tanner, who was a good friend of Sophie.
  • The smothering amount of attention his family gave him when he was young prompted Thomas to take secret walks in a part of Idris's forest close to their home, beginning from the time he found a small passageway in their garden. He would use this time to compose songs and stories.[7]
  • Thomas' favorite weapon is the broadsword.[7]
  • According to a "found" family tree, Thomas died in 1915, at the age of 29 or 30.
  • At the beginning of TLH, he has just returned from Spain, where his father, Gideon, sent him because he thinks Spain improves people.