|“||People? What people?||”|
Zara Dearborn is a Centurion and an avid member and supporter of the Cohort. To gain the favor of the Council, Zara often took credit for her companions' deeds, hoping to earn an undeserved honorable reputation among Clave members and to further push the Cohort's agenda.
Zara was born to Horace Dearborn and his wife. At some point in her life, her mother died, and she has since been raised by her father to follow in his footsteps. She was raised with a general disdain for Downworlders, and when the Cold Peace came, she and her father supported it. At one point, she attended the Scholomance and became a Centurion.
Her father became the unofficial leader of the Cohort, and he suggested to the Clave that all Downworlders be registered. Zara helped her father promote the Registry, the Cohort, and fear of Downworlders.
The Dearborns became the center of many of the Cohort's movements. Whenever a comrade in the Scholomance or another Shadowhunter performed a deed that they could take credit for, they would set things up to discredit whoever truly did it while she claimed the deed, and her fellow Cohort members would back up her claims. One example was when Marisol Garza saved a group of mundanes from a Druj demon in 2011; they knocked Marisol out and Zara immediately took credit for the act, with her friends countering Marisol's later claims by saying she'd imagined her side of things.
To gain more power, they also plotted to get a hold of a powerful faerie charm. The Cohort demanded its surrender from the Rosales family, for which Zara became engaged to Diego Rosales in 2012, under the belief that she would need to be a Rosales to make it work.
In 2012, Zara was among the team of Centurions sent to the Los Angeles Institute to look for Malcolm Fade and the Black Volume of the Dead. She made a point of flouting her engagement with Diego in front of his ex-girlfriend, Cristina Rosales. During her stay at the Institute, Zara instated herself as the de facto leader of the Centurions and withheld information from the Blackthorns about the details of their searches and techniques.
Her father also hoped to take control of an Institute, because as head of an Institute, he could be in a position to officially propose the Registry to be passed as a Law. Zara used her time at the Institute to sneak into Diana Wrayburn's office—when she did, she was seen by Ty and caught her in the act of going through her papers—and gather information about Arthur Blackthorn, whom his father knew from the Shadowhunter Academy and suspected was a a lunatic, and thus provided weak leadership for the Institute. Realizing that the man was senile and that the Institute was ripe for taking, she exchanged letters with her father about him. Knowing that the Council was going to meet soon, he intended to submit her letter as evidence that he was unfit to run an Institute and would announce his own candidacy.
Shortly after, Malcolm showed himself to them and had an army of sea demons attack them at the Institute. With the Blackthorns gone, having sought refuge at the London Institute, when Malcolm disappeared and the sea demons' disturbance stopped after that night—due to Arthur's sacrifice and Annabel's murder of Malcolm—Zara was able to easily take credit of Malcolm's death and let the Centurions take credit for driving away the sea demons. This earned her the respect and admiration of many Shadowhunters, to the point where she was being put forth as the great new Shadowhunter of her generation—the next Jace Herondale, to the chagrin of the people who know the truth about her.
When Annabel herself was called to a Council meeting, where Julian made her testify that she had in fact killed Malcolm, Zara shrieked that she was lying and proceeded to throw barbed comments about her being unfit to testify, contributing to Annabel going temporarily mad.
Zara is pale and round-cheeked. She has hazel eyes and thick brown hair that is usually pulled back in a bun.
Zara is an arrogant and boastful girl who takes credit for others' achievements. She is able to appear charming, but this is only a facade that hides a twisted personality. She thinks very highly of herself and her family and disdains Downworlders, not even thinking of them as people. This disdain extends to Shadowhunters who affiliate with them and share Downworlder blood.
- Lord of Shadows (first appearance)
- For some reason, Arthur Blackthorn, in his usual state of delirium, confused Zara for Amatis Herondale.
- Cassandra Clare chose the name because she liked it as a variant for the name 'Sarah'.