Alec Lightwood/Magnus Bane

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Pairing: Alexander "Alec" Lightwood/Magnus Bane
Alternative name(s): Malec
Gender category: Slash
Fandom: The Mortal Instruments/Shadowhunters
Canonical?: Yes
Prevalence: Fandom OTP
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Alec Lightwood/Magnus Bane is a popular canon ship from the book series The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare as well as the show Shadowhunters, which is based on the aforementioned book series. While homophobia is not unheard of in the Shadowhunter universe, it is not the key struggle that this relationship must overcome, making it a departure from many same-sex relationships in the YA genre.


This is the dominant pairing within The Mortal Instruments and Shadowhunters fandoms. [1]

Season 1 episode 12, when Alec chose Magnus and refused to marry for political gain, was entitled Malec. Creators were very aware of the popularity of this pairing within the Mortal instruments fandom, with showrunner Ed Decter sharing a picture of the actors on twitter and referencing Malec, before the show has premiered. [2]

Fanon and Tropes

In canon, Magnus and Alec come from opposite sides of the Shadow World; Magnus is a Downworlder and Alec a Shadowhunter (Nephillim). Thus in the novels Alec is initially mistrustful of Magnus, and in the show, Alec's friends and family initially disapprove of Magnus because he is a Downworlder. This is reflected in AU fics where the two often come from different worlds and are antagonistic towards one another at the start of their relationship.

  • There are also a large number of works set in the canon universe, due to the canonical nature of this pairing
    • Fics set in the canon alternative universe of the episode The World Inverted
    • Lots of fluff and domestic fics, focusing on the quieter moments in their relationship
    • Future fics and kid fics often feature their adopted sons for the novels.

Example Fanworks


Avarice by Spun, "Magnus had said warlocks were avaricious, possessive beings. Well, Alec wasn't a warlock, but he'd be damned if he let anyone touch the best thing that had ever happened to him." The one where warlocks are being murdered, Magnus is a target, and Alec really isn't supposed to be getting involved (but does anyway). (along with many other works by this author)

Tumblr Resources

Other Resources


  1. ^ As of 8/1/18 Malec works account for 10391 works out of 14619 works in the Shadowhunters fandom on Ao3. Similarly in the Mortal Instruments fandom, there are 5157 Malec works out of a total of 7219 works.
  2. ^ "Ed Decter tweet".