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Why Maryse Lightwood’s Character Development on ‘Shadowhunters’ Is Important

This past week on Shadowhunters, we were shown what everyone in the LGBT+ community wishes would happen. In the episode, “What Lies Beneath”, a lot was going on, but one of the main plots was that Maryse Lightwood (Nicola Correira-Damude) was coming home for an impromptu “family dinner”, as Isabelle Lightwood (Emeraude Toubia) so kindly stated. Both the Lightwood children explained to Magnus Bane (Harry Shum Jr) that she would be coming by on edge because of her recent divorce.

A little bit of backstory about Maryse for those who do not watch the show. She is the former Head of the New York Institute, former Circle member (an evil organization created by Valentine Morgenstern to destroy the Downworlders), and mother of three children. If you ask any Shadowhunters fans how they have felt about her in the past, you will probably get a whole list of how terrible she is.

In the freshman and sophomore seasons of the show, she is shown to be a cold-hearted mother whose only thought is that they must follow the laws of the Clave no matter what. She taught her children that emotions cloud judgment and that in their world they are not allowed to get what they want, they have to do what is best for the Clave. She believed that Izzy could not handle the same responsibilities that Alec could, so she made him marry a woman, despite knowing it was not something he wanted. After Alec’s coming out, she still was not prone to the idea of her son being with Magnus and she did nothing to try and hide it.

SHADOWHUNTERS – “Morning Star”

Last Tuesday’s episode proved that people can change for the better. Afraid of what she would judge him for this time, he was super stressed, which created some more lighthearted moments in the episode. He told Magnus everything that should not be mentioned, including the divorce, Alec turning down an office position with the Clave, or as Magnus said, the fact that he is dating a dastardly Warlock (he is anything but dastardly in our hearts). What is thought to be a disaster dinner, actually turns out to be a very pleasant evening. No, not just because Magnus saved them from food poisoning. They laughed together and were comfortable around each other, and it was so good to see Maryse in good spirits. Despite the fact she came bearing bad news, the end of the evening made up for it.

SHADOWHUNTERS – “What Lies Beneath”

Maryse apologizes to Magnus for everything she has said to him and any prejudices she held against him. That a mother’s biggest wish is for their children to be happy and to have someone who loves them. Seeing her go from someone who would not change her mind and blindly followed orders to being accepting of her son’s choices and being kind, Nicola could not have done a better job at making LGBT Shadowhunters fans feel more loved and more joy than that moment.

Photos Courtesy of Disney ABC Press and SpoilerTV.

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