‘Shadowhunters’ Confirms Raphael Is Asexual, Stays In Canon With Book Series


Raphael Santiago and Isabelle Lightwood’s relationship took an unexpected, but celebrated, turn during the Season 2A finale of Freeform’s ‘Shadowhunters’ when Raphael revealed to Izzy that he identifies as asexual.

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Raphael’s character trajectory has been one of the most interesting this season by far. Played by David Castro, the leader of New York’s vampire clan found himself involved in a codependent relationship with Isabelle Lightwood, provoked by her addiction to yin fen. In turn, her blood intensified his attraction to the Shadowhunter, and when Alec realized in last week’s episode that both Isabelle and Raphael had become addicted, he questioned Raphael’s true feelings for his sister.

Both known for being thick-skinned and dominant within their respective groups, Raph and Izzy found themselves in a more emotionally vulnerable place over the past few episodes as they continued to crave each other. Many fans were surprised by the new ship (Rizzy), and some were on board to see that ship sail through the end of the season, but it appears as though we will have to wait until Season 2B premieres later this year before learning of the couple’s unique fate.

In the Season 2A finale, “By The Light Of Dawn,” Isabelle was still with Raphael at his apartment and he told her that “her happiness and well-being” were the only things he cared about, implying that he was not interested in being intimate. With Alec’s comments still on her mind, Isabelle asked Raphael if his attraction was just because of the Shadowhunter blood in his system, but his answer surprised her. “It’s true,” he said to Isabelle. “I haven’t felt this way about anyone in a long, long time.”

However, when Isabelle asked him to kiss her rather than bite her, he pulled away from her, saying, “I’m not like that. I’m just not interested in sex.” Isabelle first thought that being turned into a vampire made him lose interest in intimacy, but Raphael corrects her, saying that it’s always been part of his identity. Their conversation was then cut short by Alec’s urgent plea messages for back-up sent to Izzy’s cell phone.

Though Raphael’s asexuality is not mentioned in the books, Cassandra Clare, the author of The Mortal Instruments, has made it clear to fans that his asexuality is canon. You can see a tweet from Clare below, which was posted back in 2014:

Fans were quick to react to Raphael’s comment, which was overwhelmingly celebrated across social media. Some posts were even retweeted by the official Shadowhunters Twitter page. Check out a few of the tweets from fans below:

Next: Harry Shum Jr. And Matthew Daddario Preach Dating Advice To Malec

Shadowhunters returns with Season 2, Episode 11 on Monday June 5 at 8/7 on Freeform and on the Freeform App. What do you hope to see for Raphael and Izzy in the second half of the season? Let us know in the comments below!