As I was writing about Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood of the Shadowhunters series, I was actually thinking about their relationship a lot as well. So it’s only fitting, having discussed these characters separately, to also discuss their relationship, especially since it is such an important part of both Magnus and Alec’s character development. As such, it’s interesting to look at their relationship through the lens of their age difference, as Magnus is hundreds of years old and Alec is barely out of his teenage years, as far as we can tell. If not handled well, this kind of age difference can (and often does) lead to an unfair and creepy power imbalance in the relationship, which most works of fiction conveniently ignore. However, Malec, as they’re known, is a pairing portrayed in such a way that both Magnus and Alec are on more or less equal footing despite their different experiences.
Spoilers for the Shadowhunters series below. Trigger warnings for mentions of pedophilia and statutory rape.
Shadowhunters may not be the best show out there, both in terms of writing and acting, but it does get a few things right in terms of diversity and representation. I talked about my love for Magnus Bane as a bisexual character before, and I just recently finished catching up with the second season, which had a lot of great moments between Magnus and Alec, his boyfriend. So, I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at Alec Lightwood and how he is presented in the show as a gay man.
Some spoilers for the Shadowhunters TV show below.
Over the past several weeks I have become hopelessly obsessed with Magnus Bane. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this fabulous bisexual character, Magnus Bane is a warlock in The Shadowhunter Chronicles books by Cassandra Clare and the ShadowhuntersTV show. I liked him even before I started reading the books a while back, but it is his wonderful TV portrayal and finally reading The Bane Chronicles that has elevated Magnus to one of my favorite bisexual characters ever. Not only is he the leader of a warlock community, he is a good and caring person, always ready to help others and to fall in love despite the many heartbreaks he’s had before. He is glittery and flamboyant and unapologetically bisexual, but he’s not hypersexual and he doesn’t use his sexuality as a tool to get what he wants. This may not seem like much, but such a combination of character traits is pretty darn unusual in a bisexual character.
Some spoilers for the Shadowhunters TV show, as well as The Shadowhunter Chronicles books, below.