Parabatai are a pair of Nephilim warriors who fight together and are closer than siblings. It is from the Greek term for a soldier paired with a chariot driver.
They are two Shadowhunters paired together, regardless of their gender.
Shadowhunters are forbidden from falling in love with their parabatai. Most Shadowhunters don't know the reason but is stems from a dark Clave secret.
Parabatai share each other's powers and can feel a strong connection between them. They also share a part of their strength with each other.
Parabatai can be separated by several circumstances: if one dies, if one becomes a Silent Brother, if one becomes a Downworlder, and if one leaves his life as a Shadowhunter to be with a mundane. It is stated when this happens, they will feel the connection break.
In City of Lost Souls, it is revealed there is the demonic equivalent of the parabatai bond. However, one member will be superior to the other and he will be able to impress upon the other member his thoughts and feelings. When one is injured, the other is as well, and when one dies, they both die.
The Parabatai OathEdit
The words of the Parabatai Oath must be said in a ceremony, where each draw the Parabatai rune on their partner.
Whither thou goest, I will go;
Where thou diest, will I die
And there will I be buried:
The Angel do so to me, and more also,
If aught but death part thee and me.
- Jonathan Shadowhunter and David
- Jem Carstairs and William Herondale (split by the Silent Brotherhood and Will's death)
- James Herondale and Matthew Fairchild
- Cordelia Carstairs and Lucie Herondale
- Michael Wayland and Robert Lightwood (split by exile and Michael's death)
- Valentine Morgenstern and Luke Garroway (split by Downworld transformation)
- Jace Lightwood and Alec Lightwood
- Julian Blackthorn and Emma Carstairs