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Valentine Morgenstern is the main antagonist of the first half of The Mortal Instruments series (Book 1-3).
Valentine Morgenstern was born to Seraphina Morgenstern and an unknown man. His childhood remains a mystery but considering the way he raised his two children, we can assume that Valentine's father was abusive and would frequently beat his own son, however Valentine still had a close relationship with him. Moreover it seems that Valentine's family was wealthy.When he came of age he went to the Shadowhunter Academy in Alicante where he excelled. His good looks, charisma and charm made him popular among both staff and pupils.There with his manipulative and charismatic personality befriended a large group of unpopular students who then formed the Circle , a society which goal was the reformation of both the Laws and the society of the shadowhunter world but this changed after the death of Valentine's father. The central ideal of The Circle changed from reformation of the Shadowhunter's world to the destruction of all Downwolders with the belief that humans were the planet's master race and that Shadowhunters should rule over Downworlders. Valentine's extremist beliefs intensified to the point that he came to believe that Downworlders were demons in human form who should be exterminated altogether.
Meanwhile he married Jocelyn Fairchild, and together, they moved to the Fairchild Manor. There Valentine started to experiment on both Downworlders and demons, without telling anyone, even his wife. Through this experimention Valentine found out that by drinking a demon's blood his powers were enhanced for a short period of time.This revelation led him to summon the greater demon Lilith and ask her to give him her blood to use on his unborn child, thus making him the strongest Nephilim warrior. However, Lilith warned Valentine that by doing this the child would lose all the humanity in them.
During Jocelyn's pregnancy, Valentine did give the baby Lilith's blood without Jocelyn's knowledge, but that caused Jocelyn to have nightmares and she began to suspect Valentine. Worried, Jocelyn told Lucian about this, her best-friend and Valentine's parabatai and second in command. Lucian, after listening to Jocelyn's fears that something was wrong with Valentine, questioned Valentine. Valentine, now understanding that Lucian knew too much, took him on a werewolf hunt and leaving Lucian to be bitten.
After the first full moon, Lucian visited Jocelyn and Valentine. Valentine, seeing that Lucian was a werewolf, led him to the nearest forest and asked him to kill himself. Lucian refused and left. Valentine then went back to his house and told Jocelyn that Lucian killed himself because he was ashamed of his lycanthropy. Jocelyn fell into depression and only ate for the sake of her child.
The months passed and Jocelyn gave birth to a small boy, Jonathan Christopher. However, when she held him for the first time she understood that something was wrong with her baby.That feeling was soon replaced by horror when Jocelyn saw her boy's eyes for the first time—two fathomless orbs. Valentine, wanting to make Jocelyn feel better, mixed angel blood with her food. That gave her the strength she needed and soon she secretly started to search for Lucian, believing that her husband lied to her.
During this time, the Circle's plans took a terrifying turn, with Valentine wanting to destroy all Downwolders to pass a strong message to the Clave. The plan was simple: he, with his followers, would trap the Downwolders in the Accords Hall at the time the Accords would be signed, and kill them all. Unfortunately, Jocelyn with Lucian's help, who she found with Ragnor Fell's assistance, helped the Downwolders.The result was the death of most of the Circle members and the Downwolders, and this event was written in the Nephilim history as the Uprising.
After that Valentine, realising his wife's treachery, burned the Fairchild Manor and faked his and his son's death by placing the bones of Michael Wayland and his son Johnathan in the fire. He then moved to the Wayland Manor where he raised Stephen Herondale's son, Jace Lightwood—another experiment of his—whom he had removed from Celine Herondale's dead body. This time, however, the little boy had angel blood in him. As for his real son, he raised him in a small cottage instead beacause he was growing too fast.
Ten calm years passed, until Valentine received a message saying that somebody knew his true indentity, and faked his death again. Stephen's son, Jace, was then sent to the New York Institute under the care of the Lightwoods, who thought that Jace was Michael's son, and Jace believed he was, too. Then Valentine moved to the cottage, where he trained his demonic son both in the art of killing and deceiving, hoping to make him a spy for his future plans of destroying the Clave.
He eventually dies after being killed by the angel Raziel under the the wish of Clary who changed the runes on the circle Valentine made into her name so the angel was under her command.
Appearances in other media
Valentine Morgenstern is portrayed by Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the 2013 film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Alan Van Sprang in the 2016 TV series Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments.