If you haven’t yet read Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices books, you might be wondering why Magnus Bane, a minor character in City of Bones (in theaters Wednesday), has a massive online following and was the runner up in our 25 Best Supernatural Characters of 2012 list (above all those vampires!). We thought we’d give you a little primer on the gorgeous warlock, played by Taiwanese-Canadian model Godfrey Gao. Here are some reasons why we love him, anyway:
1. Those eyes. The offspring of a human and a demon, Magnus would typically have some kind of icky demon mark, like green skin. But he lucked out and instead has cat pupils, which are pretty sexy in a goth way.
2. He’s a party animal. We meet him in City of Bones as he’s throwing a wild party in his Brooklyn apartment. When he appears in the Mortal Instruments Victorian London prequel series, The Infernal Devices, he’s shacking up with a prominent (female) vampire and knows his way around that social scene too. And in the Bane Chronicles, the short ebook stories written by Clare and a handful of other YA authors, his wild antics get him banned from entire countries. “[Director] Harold [Zwart] told me this guy is a rock star, he doesn’t care about anything else. He’s experienced life to the fullest,” Gao told VH1′s Kate Spencer.
3. Deep down, he’s a romantic. He likes to pretend to his young Shadowhunter friends that he’s entirely motivated by money or self-interest, but it often turns out that there’s a boy (or girl) with dark hair and blue eyes in the picture. In the present day, that boy is Alec Lightwood (Kevin Zegers). Unfortunately, being an immortal warlock has a downside: “Magnus Bane has been in life for so long,” Gao explained. “Everyone he falls in love with passes away in front of him.” With his fluid sexual preference and multiracial ancestry, Magnus is an ideal character for fandom crushes. Clare, who made her name as a fanfic writer, clearly knows her audience.
4. And, OK, it’s not just that he appeals to everyone, it’s that he is actually a legit hero, often using his magic to come through for the Shadowhunters in a very selfless way, or doing what he can to help them help themselves.
5. OMG, Godfrey Gao.
And to think, one of the early scripts for City of Bones left Magnus out entirely!