Pride Month Character Spotlight: Magnus Bane
Welcome to the third article in our Pride series for the month of June! Each day we will be highlighting a different LGBTQ+ character who we think is a great example of representation, dynamic characterization, and overall badassery. Check out the rest of the series here.
Magnus Bane is a warlock on the TV show Shadowhunters. He is bisexual and in a relationship with Alec Lightwood, his boyfriend and head of the New York Institute. He is also the former High Warlock of Brooklyn. He is no longer the High Warlock of Brooklyn, but he does consulting work, and he still sees it as a responsibility to protect the city of New York and help the warlocks.
Magnus is more than his bisexuality. Yes, he has quite extravagant tastes, wears very expensive clothing and jewelry, loves throwing parties, and has been with many people over his long life – but he is so much more than that. He is a hero, despite being part demon. Being a warlock means he is part demon, and he did not exactly have a good parent role model to help him out. Asmodeous, a demon, is his father, and tried to get Magnus to use his powers for dark and evil. However, Magnus didn’t want to end up that way, so he ran away.
He is a very powerful warlock, that has offered his services to many and has used his powers for good. During his time as the High Warlock of Brooklyn, it was his job to protect the warlocks and advocate on their behalf as well as being a leader in the Downworld community. Since meeting Alec, he has become more involved with the Shadowhunters and has helped them on several occasions. He has helped them defeat the evil Valentine, close portals, destroy demons, and used his powers to clean the mystical ley lines, magical currents that run through the city, when Lilith corrupted them. He is constantly helping Alec, Clary, and the rest of the Shadowhunters and offers his powers and skills when they need him. He has a lot of knowledge he uses his power and knowledge to help so many.
One of the best parts of this past season was watching Alec and Magnus go on a mission together to solve the mystery of the corrupted ley lines. It was great to see two boyfriends working together. Magnus showed just how much he cares, and, knowing the current High Warlock doesn’t care about any of his responsibilities, Magnus wants to solve the problem because he knows it’s imperative they fix the corruption. Throughout the episode, they worked to correct the problem and in the end, it was Magnus and Alec together who cleaned the ley lines.
It’s great that the show not only focuses on Magnus as a warlock – his powers, and his role helping other and using those powers – but also on his past and his relationships. His main past relationship that was focused on was his one with Camille. Seeing Magnus had a girlfriend, was important because often times media can make it seem like if you’re bisexual and want to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community, you must be dating someone of your same gender. Seeing Magnus be in love with a woman was an important step for the show to take in showing that being bisexual is not about who you are in a relationship with, and does not change based on the gender of your significant other. Now that Magnus is dating Alec, Shadowhunters has a same-gender couple which only increases the representation in mainstream media. They work together, They are heroes, and they have both their own storylines as individual characters and a compelling storyline as a couple.
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