Victor Aldertree is a former Clave representative and a high-ranking official with maximum clearance to almost all Clave affairs.
Aldertree apparently used to be a field medic, before he eventually climbed up the ranks and became a diplomat.
At one point, Aldertree fell in love with a werewolf named Eva. After a year together, Aldertree went to Alicante for a summit, during which a Shax demon infiltrated Eva's home; people around her were massacred, but Eva was able to hide in the basement; but was driven mad by grief and shock. Unable to control herself, she Turned and attacked Victor when he arrived. Victor felt that he was left with no choice and killed her with his blade. Aldertree since came to see Downworlders and their nature differently and felt that Shadowhunters should never be with them.
At one point after this incident, Aldertree initiated Project Heavenly Fire, making it an "off-the-books", secret Clave program. Unbeknownst to even Consul Penhallow, however, the project involved subjecting unwilling Downworlders to torturous experimentation with heavenly fire, his ultimate goal being developing a serum that would turn Downworlders into mundanes.
Supposedly prompted by Maryse Lightwood, the Clave sent Aldertree as a replacement for then interim head of the Institute, Lydia Branwell, in light of Valentine Morgenstern's recent acts of war, his retrieval of the Mortal Cup, and the apparent defection of Jace Wayland, who was recently revealed to be Valentine's son. In an attempt to solve their problems, Aldertree initiated an investigation of all the Shadowhunters who had gone on missions with Jace and put the Institute on lockdown, much to Clary's dismay. At the end of it all, particularly after Clary's interrogation, Aldertree deduced that Jace was a traitor and launched a hunt and kill order for Jace.
Knowing that Jace's adoptive siblings had plans to meet with Jace, he struck a deal with Isabelle Lightwood that would guarantee his protection from the werewolves who'd been hunting him in exchange for surrendering Jace to the Clave. Isabelle agreed, and Jace was arrested after a brief reunion with the others.
Shortly after, Victor summoned the head of the local vampire clan Raphael Santiago for an investigation relating to the unrest among vampires in the city. Because of the absence of the alleged responsible party, the former head of the clan, Camille Belcourt, Aldertree decided to interrogate him further. Though Raphael truly did not know her whereabouts and was trying to find her, Aldertree was doubtful; he tricked Raphael and bound him to a chair, and began to torture him with a ray of concentrated UV rays—a new innovation from their research and development department. Because torturing Downworlders was against the Accords, Aldertree clarified that it was technically just motivation to get Raphael to give Camille up. He stopped only when Raphael's face had become heavily mutilated.
Aldertree interrogated Jace at the Silent City, during which he made Jace admit that he had feelings for Clary, his then believed sister, that he partly believed in Valentine's cause, and that he cannot fully pledge his loyalty to the Clave. At the end of it, Aldertree decided to recommend to the Clave to sentence Jace to life. Before he could leave, Valentine infiltrated the City to steal the Soul-Sword and he was held at knife point as leverage against Jace. Jace decided to save Aldertree, allowing Valentine to escape with the Sword. Aldertree returned to the Institute with Jace, after which Jace was exonerated by the Clave.
After Isabelle was injured, Aldertree gave her a dose of yin fen, telling the desperate Isabelle that it would be the only way her infection would heal fast enough for him to clear her for the mission to the Adamant Citadel. Aldertree continued to give Isabelle yin fen and hung its availability over her head, secretly aware that she had become addicted to it, planning to control her through her addiction. Aldertree was impressed when Isabelle was seemingly able to quickly wean herself off of the drug and asked her out, but Isabelle declined.
Meanwhile, Aldertree remained distrustful of Jace, believing that Jace had intentionally let Valentine leave with the sword, despite the latter having saved his life in the process. For this, Aldertree benched Jace and put him on ichor duty. Jace confronted him shortly after and left the Institute.
When Alec found out about him giving Isabelle yin fen, he became furious—immensely protective of his sister—and used this information as leverage to regain control of the Institute. When Valentine infiltrated the Institute, Aldertree was able to hide away safely and worked with Alec to get past Valentine's men and to the rooftop in an attempt to shut off the Institute's angelic power core to hinder Valentine's plan to use it, as a substitute to lightning, to activate the Soul-Sword. They were unable to unlock the hatch to get to the power core because of the absence of a key—which was in his office and was at that time where Valentine was—and failed to override the mechanism to unlock it. When outnumbered by Valentine's men, Isabelle arrived and fought the adversaries all off before Alec and Aldertree could even join the fight.
Sometime after losing his position as head of the New York Institute, Aldertree was appointed as HSD, or as Head of Scientific Development. By this point, Aldertree had been working on Project Heavenly Fire for years.
One way his project chose their test subjects was taking prisoners from the Gard. One of the sentries who moved prisoners from the Gard, Thomas Greenlaw, planned to meet with Isabelle Lightwood to tell her about the Downworlders' recent claims of being tortured at the Gard. Greenlaw was killed to keep the project hidden, but, with a data chip Isabelle found in Greenlaw's stomach, Isabelle got ahold of a list of prisoners that had been redirected from the Gard to the project.
With renewed motivation, Isabelle restarted her investigation into it with Aline Penhallow, the Consul's daughter, and found that the requests for transfers were coming from Aldertree. Isabelle called him, and Aldertree immediately arranged to have dinner with her at the Clave's private dining room. Aldertree apologized to her about getting her addicted on yin fen, and Isabelle feigned acceptance. Later, one of his scientists on the project, Helen Blackthorn, alerted him about a Downworlder in contact with someone. When he saw that it was Simon Lewis, he immediately suspected Isabelle but she had already left.
Unbeknownst to Aldertree, Helen, after speaking with Isabelle, had already turned her back on him and the project. Helen helped Simon and Raphael in destroying the rest of the heavenly fire serums aside from a few Isabelle could use to help Clary.
When Isabelle returned, Aldertree tried to convince her to join his cause, still convinced that he was doing Downworlders a favor. Aline, who learned about his plans to dump the serum into the water supply, first testing it in New York, to cleanse the world of Downworlders, alerted her mother; Aline later returned with reinforcements and had Aldertree put under arrest. For his crimes against the Accords, Aldertree was prosecuted, and locked up in the Gard.
|Season Two appearances: 8/20|
|This Guilty Blood:|
|A Door Into the Dark:|
|Day of Wrath:|
|Dust and Shadows:|
|How Are Thou Fallen:|
|Love is a Devil:|
|Bound By Blood:|
|By the Light of Dawn:|
|Mea Maxima Culpa:|
|You Are Not Your Own:|
|Those of Demon Blood:|
|The Fair Folk:|
|A Problem of Memory:|
|Day of Atonement:|
|A Dark Reflection:|
|Awake, Arise, or...:|
|Hail and Farewell:|
|Beside Still Water:|
|Season Three (3B) appearances: 1/22|
|A Kiss From a Rose:|
|To the Night Children:|
|Stay With Me:|
|The Beast Within:|
|Aku Cinta Kamu:|
|City of Glass:|
|All Good Things...:|
- He shares his name with two characters, both Inquisitors, from the books: Inquisitor Aldertree from City of Glass and Victor Whitelaw from The Infernal Devices.
- Aldertree is multilingual, able to speak English, French, and Latin.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 3x17: Heavenly Fire
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2x05: Dust and Shadows
- ↑ 2x10: By the Light of Dawn
- ↑ 2x01: This Guilty Blood
- ↑ 2x03: Parabatai Lost
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 2x04: Day of Wrath
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 2x06: Iron Sisters
- ↑ Writer Pete Binswanger on S2E9 — Shadowhunters on Freeform
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 2x09: Bound By Blood
- ↑ 2x10: By the Light of Dawn
- ↑ 2x11: Mea Maxima Culpa
- ↑ 3x13: Beati Bellicosi
- ↑ 3x15: To the Night Children
- ↑ 3x21: Alliance