Kitty is the slash ship between Ty Blackthorn and Kit Herondale from the Shadowhunters fandom.
Kit and Ty share a close friendship up until the end of Queen of Air and Darkness and are frequently seen together. They are the "Sherlock" and "Watson" of the Shadowhunter world, often embarking on quests together. In fact, they are almost never seen apart. Kit is one of the only Shadowhunters with knowledge of autism (due to his time in the mundane world). This means he can help Ty when no one else can, and results in them sharing a very close bond.
Due to Ty's point of view not being written in the books, it is unknown what his true feelings for Kit are, and whether they are purely platonic or romantic. Kit is shown to worry about Ty's well-being frequently, and often thinks of him as "beautiful" or "elegant". Other characters have thought of them as close, noting that they are good friends, or inseparable even. Dru even noted that Kit "meant so much to Ty".
Ty is also one of the reasons that Kit decided to become a Shadowhunter and remain at the Los Angeles Institute, until his move to Devon with Tessa and Jem.
Ty had snuck out of the house to follow Julian and Emma while they were questioning Johnny Rook and ended up breaking into the basement where Kit was. Thinking Kit might attack Julian and Emma, Ty attacked him first, holding a knife to his throat and demanding answers. Kit was struck by how beautiful Ty was, especially his eyes. Julian and Emma, upon hearing the noise, found the boys, and all three Shadowhunters were forced to flee.
Later, after his house was attacked by demons and his father was killed, Kit was brought to the Los Angeles Institute where it was revealed that he was a Shadowhunter, specifically a Herondale. Kit locked himself in his room at the Institute, not willing to accept his Shadowhunter lineage. Ty waited and slept outside Kit's room, saying he was protecting him, in case anything happened.
Lord of Shadows
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During Lord of Shadows, Kit and Ty grew remarkably closer and became good friends, starting from the moment that Ty found Kit in the kitchen sneaking cookies. Along with Livia, Ty's twin sister, they often spied on Centurions together and went on missions. Kit and Ty also shared many moments, perhaps most notably the following:
- At one point, when Livvy was hurt after a dangerous trip to the Shadow Market, Ty had a panic attack. He went to the roof of the London Institute with Kit following him. Kit asked him what he needed ("Tell me what you need"), and Ty asked him to hold him ("Put your arms around me. Hold on to me"). Not knowing what else to do, Kit did as Ty wanted. Neither of them pulled away for a long time.
- When discussing whether or not Ty would go to the Scholomance, Ty said, "Livvy would miss me -". Kit then interjected, saying, "Your whole family would miss you. And I would miss you." After hearing those words, Ty blushed.
- Ty was the one who gave Kit his first rune (healing), and later the Voyance rune commonly seen on Shadowhunters. Ty tried to give Kit the Voyance rune, but Kit refused. Upon seeing Ty's disappointment and humiliation, he relented.
- When the two went to the Cornwall Institute (without Livvy, as Ty did not want to put her in further danger) Ty leaves a piece of paper for Annabel. Kit remarked that Ty‘s idea was really smart, but Ty believes that it might not matter and further claims that he wouldn’t want anyone to know if that is true. Kit says that he would know and Ty, without exactly knowing why, says that he wouldn’t mind if it was him that knew. Kit wanted to ask him why badly, but Ty began muttering under his breath. When asked what he was saying, Ty replied that he likes to repeat certain words to himself to calm down. He asks Kit if it bothers him, and Kit quickly says no, and that he would like to know what words he liked. Ty hesitates but obliges - glass, twin, apple, whisper, shadow, lilt. Kit says that whisper would be one of his favorites too. He moves closer to Ty, resting his hand lightly on his shoulder and tells Ty his own favorite words - cloud, secret, highway, hurricane, mirror, castle, and thorns. Ty answers, with a dazzling smile: “ blackthorns”. This is the moment in which Kit knows that he will not be leaving the Blackthorns, as he was previously considering doing.
Throughout the book, Kit made continuous references to Ty's behavior, noting that most people didn't understand him, feeling protective of him, and describing his appearance in (as noted by fans of the ship) oddly poetic ways. This, along with the many reblogs of Kit/Ty posts on Tumblr made by Cassandra Clare, practically canonized the ship, and a Kit/Ty confession became something many fans of the series asked for in Queen of Air and Darkness.
Queen of Air and Darkness
Kit and Ty's relationship developed phenomenally in the final book of The Dark Artifices. At this point, Kit appeared to at least have a crush on Ty, and their relationship was further implied to be romantic due to the many posts about them on Cassandra Clare's official Tumblr, and the fact that neither of them were straight, said by Clare in an interview.
Kit was shown to be incredibly worried about Ty after Livvy's death and sat with him while the other slept, not leaving his side. When Ty proposed a plan to raise Livvy from the dead, Kit was uneasy to do so but agreed due to worrying that Ty would shatter completely if he didn't. Their story in QoAaD mainly followed these plans and Kit's growing feelings for Ty.
There were many hints in the book which further canonized Kit's feelings (such as his heart turning over whenever he looked at Ty, which was often, or saying things that he liked about him) as well as signs that Ty may have romantic feelings for Kit (i.e. relaxing when he saw him, tucking his hair out of the way and voluntarily hugging him at one point). Ty became slightly distant to all others (including his family) but trusted Kit without a second thought.
During the process of collecting the needed materials for the necromancy, Kit continually thought to himself that it was wrong and it needed to be stopped, as Livvy may come back with a warped personality and end up like Annabel. He did not say anything, however, for fear that Ty would hate him, and instead settled for hoping that they would fail to find the final ingredient (an object from another dimension). When they did not and began the process of actually resurrecting Livvy, Kit quickly realized that this was his last chance to stop Ty and begged him to stop. It was at this moment that he officially declared his feelings for him ("I love you, Ty. I love you."), as well as saying that they "will go through it together". Ty was shocked by his declaration, but nevertheless proceeded with the ritual - however, due to having a corrupted catalyst, Livvy was not fully brought back and returned instead as a ghost who seemed to barely remember Kit (referring to him as "Herondale" in a very aloof manner). Ty told Livvy that there was "nothing if you're not there" and broke down crying when she vanished. Kit, who usually would have attempted to comfort him, was so stunned and hurt that he meant "nothing" to Ty that he could not.
After the ritual, Kit became much more distant and seemingly depressed (as noted by other characters) but returned Livvy's locket (which they had used for the ritual) to Ty. As he took the necklace, Ty began to say something ("I thought that it would be -"). This could have led to a discussion about Kit's confession, but the two were interrupted by a crunching noise in the woods.
Prior to the big battle, Kit and Ty were chained to a tree by Magnus in order to prevent them from joining and fighting, as they were too young to fight. Kit revealed that he was angry at Ty, which prompted the other to say angrily that he thought Kit cared but he really didn't. This made the situation worse due to Kit being humiliated still from his confession. He told Ty that he only cared about himself and that he wished he'd never known him. Ty cried, though it is unknown whether this is from him being hurt by Kit's remark or because Livvy's resurrection was not successful. They were interrupted again, this time by Livvy's ghost, who freed both of them. Not long after, Kit was dragged off by Emma. This was the last time he and Ty were seen together in the series. After Kit made the Riders' steeds disappear due to magic from his faerie blood, he became under the impression he was dying and thought, "Tell Ty -" as his "last thoughts" before he passed out and was taken to the Silent City.
He then agreed to move to Devon with Tessa and Jem when Tessa asked, making an excuse that it was because he didn't want to put the Blackthorns in danger. Really, he was thinking it would not make any sense for him to stay after he'd spent all his time with Ty (due to him supposedly not meaning anything to Ty). He didn't know the rest of the Blackthorns save Dru very well and knew he would feel like an idiot seeing Ty every day. Ty, at one point, was shown to be wondering where Kit was and asking to say goodbye to him before Magnus explained to him the severity of what he'd done in resurrecting Livvy.
Before leaving, Kit saw Ty on the beach as a sort of final goodbye requested by him, deciding to remember him happy and smiling. Jem and Tessa seemed deeply sympathetic, and it was said that Tessa looked at Kit as if she knew more than what he'd told her. His feelings did not seem to have weakened, as "even now he wanted to go down to the beach and draw Ty away, to protect him from anything and everything that might upset him”.
Kit and Ty (along with Dru) are going to be the main protagonists of the trilogy "The Wicked Powers", the first book of which will be published sometime in 2022. According to Clare, as of now it will be the last of the Shadowhunter books, chronologically and likely in publication. The Wicked Powers will likely explore Kit's heritage, the consequences of the ritual the two of them performed, and their relationship.
They were also featured in the final two stories from the novella collection "Ghosts of the Shadow Market": "The Lost World" and "Forever Fallen".
Ghosts of the Shadow Market
During "The Lost World", Ty is enrolled at the Scholomance with Livvy accompanying him. She notices that though Ty writes letters to every one of their family, he never writes to Kit, and during a conversation with Kit, he never once mentions Ty. She is puzzled, because “You could tell how much he missed Ty. As much as Ty missed him.” This shows that even if there are romantic complications with the two, they still value each other greatly: simply as best friends if nothing else.
In "Forever Fallen", Kit lives in Devon, England, with Jem, Tessa, and their baby Wilhelmina ("Mina"). Kit seems to be happy, and the only mention of his love for Ty is when he sees a tall boy with black hair and headphones and freezes until he turns around and it is revealed that the boy is not Ty. Jem immediately becomes careful not to upset Kit, aware that he is still fragile in areas of life concerning Ty, even though he seems to be whole. He notes that “Herondales were always flames... They loved and suffered as if they would burn away with the sheer force of their own fire."
Shipping between the two began immediately after the release of Lady Midnight, despite there being very few interactions between them. They became the dominant pairing in the fandom. Fans were hoping for more interaction between the two in future novels.
On AO3 it is the most written ship for both characters. It is also the most written ship in The Dark Artifices tag. As of late December 2018, they have just over 200 works.
Fanfiction for the two that takes place in-canon is divided into three categories primarily:
- Post Lady Midnight - since Ty and Kit didn't know each other very well yet, the fanfiction from this area focused mostly on their developing relationship (usually short one-shots of them getting to know each other).
- Post Lord of Shadows - by this point, fic for the two became much darker. Due to Ty's reaction after witnessing Livvy's death, it focused mostly on Kit comforting Ty.
- Post Queen of Air and Darkness - due to the depressing ending the two characters got in QoAaD, fanfic for the two will, from now on, likely include reunions or post-canon fics. In these fanfictions, Kit is usually shown to be pining after Ty until they sort everything out, finding out that their feelings for each other are actually requited. Kit's pining causes some fans to jokingly say that he is a true Herondale due to the angsty aspect of relationships that Herondales often end up in (Jace thinking he and Clary were related, Will thinking he couldn't love anyone because he was cursed).
- It is confirmed that Ty is "definitely" taller than Kit, not only making Kit the first major Herondale to be bisexual but also the first major male Herondale to be shorter than his love interest.