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All The Species In The 'Shadowhunters' Universe, Ranked!

Written by AnnMary Mailyan. Published: December 02 2023
(Photo: Freeform)


If you are a fan of modern fantasy genre, you are definitely familiar with the amazing author Cassandra Clare and her numerous works. She has created a huge world, which fans often call the Shadowhunters Universe, that includes a number of book series in different timelines but somehow all intertwined with each other. The coolest thing about the Shadowhunters Chronicles is its versatility: the main characters are usually nephilims (or Shadowhunters); however, throughout the series, we also get acquainted with many other fantastic species, learning a lot about all types of magical and mythological creatures. 


Here are all the supernatural beings ranked from most to least powerful!


1. True Nephilims

True Nephilims are Shadowhunters who are able to transform into giant humanoid beings of heavenly fire. In this form, the Shadowhunters are the most powerful species, as they can destroy all their enemies (and even friends and family, if they stand in their way). During the transformation, they still preserve their human memories and feelings but tend to ignore them, focusing on their goal. There were lots of myths about True Nephilims; however, all of them were killed by the heavenly fire. The only examples we see are Emma Carstair and Julian Blackthorn in The Dark Artifices series, who managed to survive the transformation. 




2. Demons

Demons are the most powerful race among the Downworlders. They can come in different species and forms and have lots of abilities: they can travel through worlds, become shape-shifters, and change their forms and even speak in human languages. Their most powerful ability is possessing another being’s body, though only Greater Demons are able to do that. Some of the most popular demons are Lilith (Mother of all demons), Lucifer, Azazel, Asmodeus, Leviathan, and many more. 




3. Angels

For a long time, Angels remained a true mystery, even for the Shadowhunters, who were created from Angel Raziel. Some didn’t even believe in the existence of these celestial beings, as they never interacted with the nephilims. The first angel we physically meet is Raziel, who was summoned first by Valentine and later by Simon Lewis in The Mortal Instruments series. Another famous and important angel was Ithuriel, who was bound to Tessa Gray in order to save her life in The Infernal Devices, and gifted Clary and Jace with his abilities (though unwillingly, since he was trapped by Valentine) in The Mortal Instruments




4. Warlocks

Children of Lilith and offsprings of demons, this Downworld race is also among the most dangerous ones. They are immortal and can cast magic, which varies from warlock to warlock. Besides the already existed spells, some of Lilith’s children can create new forms of magic. Warlocks look like humans except for the “demon mark”, which is a specific part of their bodies that looks strange and unique, something that will distinguish them from normal people. Two most famous warlocks in the Shadowhunters World were Tessa Gray (The Infernal Devices), who was half-warlock, half-angel (the first and only one of this kind), and the fan-favorite sarcastic Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments



5. Shadowhunters

Even though Shadowhunters are humans, the angel blood makes them very powerful. They fight demons and other evil creatures in order to keep the world and people safe. They have their own government (the Clave), politics, numerous rules, and laws. Besides having the special abilities, Nephilims train hard in order to be able to fight even without their weapons or “magic”. Since the Chronicles are mostly about Shadowhunters, there are many of them to talk about. However, the most famous ones still remain the OGs: Clary, Jace, Alec, and Isabelle from The Mortal Instruments, partly because of the two adaptations of the first book series -- the “Shadowhunters” TV show and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie.



6. Faeries

Faeries are one of the most gracious and mysterious races in the series, and certainly the most cunning one. Their culture is the biggest one after the Shadowhunters’, as they have their own world and courts that separate faeries into different types. The Faeries are the oldest species in the Chronicles, and there are lots of legends about their origin: some think that they are fallen angels, others that they’re special types of demons. The first Faerie we get acquainted with in The Mortal Instruments is the beautiful Queen of Seelie Court.



7. Vampires

Vampires are often called Children of the Night. They were initially normal humans but were infected with demon blood, so they look humanlike, just pale and sallow. Among their abilities are superhuman strength, speed, and grace. They can also hypnotize and control their victims before attacking. In The Mortal Instruments, Simon turns into a vampire, though later in the series he gets "cured" from this curse. One of the most influential vampires of the 1800s was Alexei de Quincey, who appeared in the first part of The Infernal Devices




8. Werewolves 

Just like vampires, werewolves (or Children of the Moon) were humans infected with demon disease. They can change into wolves not only during the full moon but at their free will. During their transformation, they preserve their human memories but can’t speak. Like vampires, they are very strong and fast and have the ability to heal very quickly from different wounds or illnesses. The Mortal Instruments has the two most famous werewolves -- Luke Garroway and Maia Roberts, the leader of the New York werewolf pack. 



9. Mundanes

AKA simple mortal humans, who are referred to Mundanes in the Shadowhunter Universe. They usually don’t feel the presence of Nephilims and any other Downworlders; only the ones who were born with The Sight are able to see them. Mundanes, however, can turn into vampires or werewolves, and even into Shadowhunters after drinking from the Mortal Cup. For instance, throughout the series, Simon first turned into a vampire, then later into a Shadowhunter.