I started the series with a lesbian couple and now I’m continuing with gay lovers. It’s like I’m on a roll alas great relationships and stories are great regardless of the gender of the character.
I’m taking a closer look at Shadowhunters’ beloved couple Malec aka Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood. The supporting characters whose relationship stole the spotlight in the series. I’m quite sure there are a lot of fans who would love a spin-off with these two.
Before I get into the inner workings of their relationship lets talk characters. You can’t analyze a couple without knowing anything about the people who make it.
Alec Lightwood is the oldest of three siblings. Born into a respected shadowhunter family. He strives to meet the expectations that his family name represents. His one of the best shadowhunters in New York. Skilled in many fighting styles although he prefers a bow. He comes off as cold, calculated and distant.
Alec holds the rules of the Shadow world and the hierarchy of the Institute in high regard. Often relying on them too much.
Even though he comes of distant he cares for those closest to him. His almost always their protector and the voice of reason. With that being said he would sacrifice himself or take risks if it meant the well being of his loved ones.
Trough out the run of the show Alec develops his voice and stops relying on the rules of the Institute so much. Often taking risks and making unpopular decisions. Especially as he advances through the ranks and becomes the head of the New York Institute.
Magnus Bane is the opposite. A 400-year-old warlock who lives his life to the fullest with no regrets. It seems as if his motto is “carpe diem”.
He was once the high warlock of Brooklyn. Magnus was responsible for the well being of all witches and warlocks. He took is responsibilities seriously. Although his alliances shifted once Clary joined the shadowhunters and he started to fall for Alec. That cost him his title. He also proved to the audience that even without it he’ll do anything to protect his loved ones.
Magnus saw and experienced a lot in his long life. He had lots of different relationships. Although one could think he’s afraid of commitment.
Losing his standing as the high warlock wasn’t the only struggle Bane had to face. He at some point lost his magic. He had to find his way in that new, strange reality. It was especially hard since he so heavily relied on his powers in everyday life and to help others.
The story between Alce and Magnus really started as Clary came into their lives. She was the catalyst for their meeting. Although I suspect they knew of each other before.
The chemistry between them starts pretty quickly. Magnus waists no time in asking the young shadowhunter out. They celebrate a successful mission with drinks. From then on their relationship evolves almost instantly.
Although their relationship is fast-paced it isn’t always smooth sailing. Navigating the waters of a new relationship is always tricky. It’s even harder if you combine it with the Shadow world.
There were quite a few fights between Alec and Magnus. Some were caused by differences of opinions, some by the fact that they represented different factions.
Other struggles were caused by Alec’s sense of duty, and his longing to fulfill his parents’ wishes (that almost wedding was a doozy). The lack of parental approval put a strain on the relationship.
As did Magnus’ struggles with the loss of his powers. It even caused a break up between the couple.
Thankfully there were also moments filled with hope, happiness, contentment. The quiet domesticated scenes showing a regular couple.
Furthermore, you can’t forget the big wedding that united factions. The couple got their happy ending or rather their happy beginning.
All the gushing aside their relationship isn’t without its flaws. Their storyline isn’t either.
Something you can observe as soon as their relationship problems start is that they all stem from their personal issues.
If Alec wasn’t so hell-bent on following the rules of the Institute he would have made more decisions with his heart.
Furthermore, Alec should have been more assertive about his relationship with Magnus. As soon as his mother voiced her displeasure he dropped Magnus like a hot potato. It made the shadowhunter seem week and undecided. One could argue that it was the beginning of the relationship but… Alec didn’t let it progress on its own. Rather he let his mother make the decision for him, going so far as to propose to a woman his mother liked and almost marrying her.
With that being said Magnus isn’t without flaws either. Especially after he lost his powers. Instead of leaning on Alec and letting him help, Magnus distanced himself and tried to resolve his problems alone. That only complicated further complicated their issues
What also irked me is that both Magnus and Alec often acted as if one was superior to the other, being because one was older or a shadowhunter. As if their relationship was some kind of competition.
Putting the flaws of the characters aside there was also one plotline that was not utilized enough.
Specifically, the disapproving mother plot with Maryse. In my opinion, the complication that she posed to the couple’s relationship was resolved too fast. She changed her mind after two conversations and one good deed of Magnus. At once she “saw the good in him” and everything was alright as if her prejudices didn’t exist. It was a little too fairytale-like for my taste.
I’m interested in what would have happened if they let this plotline last longer. Alas, we’ll never know.
Why I ship them
There are a few reasons why I enjoyed this couple.
First, because their relationship was so straight forward. Something along the lines “I like you, I like you too” “Let’s become a couple. No nonsense, no unnecessary problem – almost wedding aside.
I enjoyed the fast pace of the relationship. Especially since almost all other shows always give us this slow burn and the whole will they or won’t they spiel. Here everything happened quite fast. That allowed the producers to show the inner workings of the relationship. I find these more interesting than the never-ending “how do we get to the relationship?”.
Lastly, I absolutely adore how Malec’s relationship was shown without any restrictions. The openness with which the characters showed each other affection was an accurate picture of what happens in any loving relationship.
This relationship is proof that any relationship can catch the viewers’ attention, provided that it is well written and executed. Furthermore, should it be the case it can become the turning point and driving force of a show.