As depicted in the Codex
|Also Known As:|| Children of the Moon|
Werewolves, also known as Lycanthropes and the Children of the Moon, are a species of Downworlders who Change into powerful wolves. Like vampires, werewolves are humans infected with a demonic disease, which gives them the ability to transform into wolves and gain their inhuman strength and enhanced abilities.
Lycanthropy transforms a human into a werewolf, a demihuman whose demonic infection causes them to transform into a large and dangerous wolf under the light of the full moon, though they can also Change at will. Werewolves in their lupine form are not merely wolves; they possess unnatural strength and speed comparable to that of demons, and their claws and canines are strong enough to be able to slash through a chain-link fence or bite through a padlock. While they still bear a little resemblance to their human selves while Turned, their eyes become that of a wolf's, and even their eye color changes to either blue or a bright color ranging from yellow to orange or gold.
In addition to their supernatural strength, grace, and reflexes, werewolves have the same unnaturally accelerated healing abilities as most other Downworlders. They cannot regenerate a severed limb, but they can recover quickly from most mundane wounds.
In human form, they look fairly normal, albeit a little ragged, as many of their kind do not care much about their appearances and do not bother to clean themselves up. Werewolves also retain their superhuman speed and strength while in human form. Werewolves are also mortal; they age and die normally like ordinary humans, though they do grow slightly faster.
It is unknown what demon, or demon type, is responsible for the first appearance of werewolves; though, there is a conjectured Greater Demon of origin, who is usually referred to by the placeholder name "Wolf" in literature. Despite many supposed descriptions of Wolf in medieval writing, there exists no credible candidate for who he might be. He seems to have appeared, created werewolves, and then left Earth forever.
Lycanthropy is believed to have first appeared in the forests of Central Europe sometime in the thirteenth century. It is believed to have spread rapidly through Europe and then more slowly to the rest of the world. Persecuting and publicly burning werewolves was prevalent in the late fifteenth century and early in the sixteenth century.
New werewolves are created when an existing werewolf bites a human. Approximately half of the time, a werewolf bite will cause lycanthropy in its victim. In modern times, many safeguards against werewolf bites are in place, and much organizational work has been done by the Nephilim and by werewolves themselves to prevent unexpected attacks. As a result, rogue werewolf bites are a rare occurrence in the modern day.
Aside than being bitten, werewolves can also be born from two werewolf parents, or can be Turned through a spell.
The responsibility of the newly-made werewolf is to gain control of his or her transformation, otherwise known as the Change. With self-possession and proper training to control themselves, werewolves can easily adjust and live among mundanes peacefully without detection, more so than other Downworlders. After the first transformation, it takes a werewolf some time to be able to resist the effect of the moon in its different phases. Many lycanthropes, like Luke Garroway, train themselves to be impervious to the effects of the moon during most of its phases, but even well-trained ones like Luke is still forced into his wolf form during a full moon.
By the regulations of the Praetor Lupus, any werewolf who cannot consciously control his or her Change is deemed rogue, regardless of his or her intentions. This regulation is intended to motivate werewolves to learn to control their Change in order to avoid the consequences from the Praetor; an accidental attack is a disaster for both the Praetor and the werewolf community, and as such, they strongly enforce these rules to ensure the safety and security of unsuspecting mundanes and the werewolf community alike, as well as the secrecy of the latter.
The only ways to permanently wound or kill a werewolf are either with the angelic fire of a seraph blade or with pure silver. Silver is associated with the moon, and wounds made with silver weapons will not only cause permanent damage to the wounded, but it will also cause them great pain, as even their enhanced healing abilities are not effective when a wound is caused by silver. Any Institute will have a cache of silver weapons in place for just this reason, in the of rogue werewolves.
Werewolves, like vampires, must belong to a group; or, in their case, with a pack. The Praetor Lupus is in charge of ensuring that all new Downworlders find their place in their respective society, including finding packs for orphaned werewolves. Each pack is lead by an alpha wolf, and any werewolf that kills that leader will subsequently gain control of the pack.
As werewolves, they follow the long held tradition of being mortal enemies of vampires. Maia explains that the demons who passed on the disease to humans that gave birth to vampires and werewolves were mortal enemies, and, as a result, that prejudice was passed down through their respective races.
Known Werewolves Edit
- Wolfsbane is a plant known to have a negative effect against werewolves in various lores, but it is unknown what wolfsbane does to werewolves in the Shadowhunter Chronicles. The werewolf Jordan Kyle was known to have been growing them on his balcony; Simon noticed it and once commented on the fact that it had silvery leaves.
- Refined sugar is supposedly harmful to werewolves.
- Jordan once stated that some werewolves are born with lycanthropy through their werewolf parents. Meanwhile, the Shadowhunter's Codex stated that werewolf parents do not pass this lycanthropy to their children.