What Exactly Is Parabatai?
Parabatai is a pair of Shadowhunters who are bound together by oath to fight as lifelong partners. Not all Shadowhunters are required to have parabatai; it is actually less common to have them. Fun fact: all parabatai must be bonded before either has turned nineteen years old.
Parabatai are not merely warriors who fight together; the oaths that newly-made parabatai take include vows to lay down one's life for the other, to travel where the other travels and indeed to be buried in the same place.
A Shadowhunter may only choose one parabatai in their lifetime and they cannot perform the ritual more than once. Most Shadowhunters never have any parabatai at all so being fortunate enough to find someone worthy of becoming ones' parabatai is considered a blessing.
The parabatai runes placed upon them enable them to draw on each other's strength in battle. They maintain a strong connection between one another and Shadowhunters who have lost their parabatai often believe that they could feel the life leave their partner.
The Fine Print
Parabatai are forbidden from forming romantic bonds. As upheld by the Clave and written into the Shadowhunter's Codex, these bonded pairs must maintain the dignity of their warrior bond and must not allow it to transform into earthly love.
It is believed that the possibility of falling out of love would risk the bond that the parabatai are required to maintain forever and is considered something beyond human emotion.
So, a parabatai is basically the person who will (by law) always have your back! Who would you love to have as your parabatai? Let us know in the comments box below!