TV

The Fandom War: Shadowhunters vs. The Mortal Instruments

Freeform

The finale of the Season 2 of Freeform’s Shadowhunters, the demon-killing hunters, is finally here. Fans have been waiting for the epic finale, so be prepared for your pulse to accelerate and for your heart to be shattered, because Katherine McNamara has confirmed there is a character death that will shock viewers.

The show has become quite popular and has established a particularly wide fan base, growing from the dedicated fans of the original book series The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. The books follow Clary Fray, a fifteen/sixteen-year-old girl whose world turns upside down when her mother is kidnapped and she finds out that she is not just an ordinary girl, but rather a shadowhunter. Shadowhunters are human-angel hybrids that have special abilities and training to hunt and kill demons to protect the mundanes, normal people as they call them. The series follows Clary as she searches for her mother, and then for a cure for the magical coma, she is induced in. Clary falls in love as she opens her eyes to a magical world with fairies, vampires, werewolves, and

Shadowhunters are human-angel hybrids who use their special abilities to hunt and kill demons to protect the general public (or “mundanes” as the series calls them). Clary’s main focus is the search for her mother, and once she finds her, for a cure to the coma she is stuck in. Clary falls in love in the magical world of fairies, vampires, and warlocks, and eventually, finds her evil father and rekindles with her lost brother who was believed to be dead.

Shadowhunters is not the first attempt to bring The Mortal Instruments to screens after the 2013 movie The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones starring Lily Collins as Clary Fray. Unfortunately, the movie flopped and no sequels were ever made, leaving many fans heartbroken. It was then not until 2016 that Shadowhuters began on Freeform, and rightfully so, fans were excited to see the new adaptation of the book series. We all had many high expectations – perhaps too many.

Shadowhunters took a different turn in their approach to the series, changing characters and plot lines (obviously causing quite the rift between fans). The overall fandom split into two, maybe even three, depending on how you look at it. There are fans of Shadowhunters exclusively, fans ofThe Mortal Instruments who are loyal to the book and detest the TV show’s changes, and of course, those who truly appreciate both.

In 2016, when the fandom war truly began, Cassandra Clare encouraged fans to remain united. She posted a series of tweets to assure fans she had nothing against the show and that she actually shares a great relationship with the producer and cast. She encouraged fans not to fight about the differences since it happens with most adaptations, adding the hashtag #shadowhunterfandomunited. However, Clare has admitted that it isn’t easy to see her story be warped on screens and seeing fans be so disappointed.

In an interview in January of this year, she was asked how she felt about the story’s changes replying, “You still care, more than anyone else in the world, about this story and characters. And you still answer to your fans. It’s always hard when people ask me, ‘How could you let such and such happen or be changed’ in the movies or show, and the answer ‘it’s just not up to me in any way’ is a hard one to give.”.

The war is still going on, with many fans criticizing those from other groups on social media. However, the show must go on. Clare is still writing a sequel trilogy of The Mortal Instruments; the new series is titled The Dark Artifices, having just released the second book, Lord of Shadows, this past May. Shadowhunters has also been renewed for Season 3.

The fandom should set their rivalries aside because Clare deserves respect from both fandoms: without her, there would have never been a book series or TV show. Shadowhunters cannot be compared to The Mortal Instruments, and while it is understandable that book fans were disappointed by the changes to the storyline they loved, it happens to most fandoms.

Tune in for the Shadowhunters Season Finale on Freeform Monday, August 14 at 8pm/7c and pre-order the 10th Anniversary edition of City of Bones here.

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