Shadowhunters Information

Shadowhunters (also known as Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments) is an American fantasy television series based on The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, and developed for television by Ed Decter. It is the second adaptation of the novel series, after the 2013 film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which like Shadowhunters was produced by Constantin Film.

The show received a straight-to-series order on March 30, 2015, and premiered on January 12, 2016 on Freeform. In March 2016, it was announced that the series had been renewed for a second season of 20 episodes, which premiered on January 2, 2017.


Clary Fray has just enrolled at Brooklyn Academy of Arts. On her eighteenth birthday, she learns that she is a Shadowhunter, a human born with angelic blood who protect humans from demons. That night, Clary's mother, Jocelyn, is abducted by a group of rogue Shadowhunters called the Circle. Their leader is Jocelyn's ex-husband, Valentine Morgenstern.

With her mother missing, Clary turns to Luke, a person she trusted, only to seemingly be betrayed. Clary joins up with a band of Shadowhunters to save her mother and discovers powers she never knew she possessed. Clary is thrown into the world of demon hunting with the mysterious, narcissistic, and attractive Shadowhunter Jace, and also her loyal and geeky friend Simon. Now living among fairies, warlocks, vampires, and werewolves, Clary begins a journey of self-discovery as she learns more about her past and what her future may hold.


Cast and characters

See List of The Mortal Instruments characters for more information


  • Katherine McNamara as Clary Fray
  • Dominic Sherwood as Jace Wayland
  • Alberto Rosende as Simon Lewis
  • Matthew Daddario as Alec Lightwood
  • Emeraude Toubia as Isabelle Lightwood
  • Isaiah Mustafa as Luke Garroway
  • Harry Shum Jr. as Magnus Bane


  • Alan van Sprang as Valentine Morgenstern
  • Maxim Roy as Jocelyn Fray
  • Jon Cor as Hodge Starkweather
  • David Castro as Raphael Santiago
  • Jade Hassoun as Meliorn
  • Kaitlyn Leeb as Camille Belcourt
  • Nicola Correia-Damude as Maryse Lightwood
  • Paulino Nunes as Robert Lightwood
  • Jack Fulton as Max Lightwood
  • Christina Cox as Elaine Lewis
  • Holly Deveaux as Rebecca Lewis
  • Stephanie Bennett as Lydia Branwell
  • Vanessa Matsui as Dot/Dorothea
  • Mimi Kuzyk as Imogen Herondale
  • Joel Labelle as Alaric
  • Jordan Hudyma as Blackwell
  • Shailene Garnett as Maureen Brown
  • Lisa Marcos as Susanna Vargas
  • Stephen R. Hart as Brother Jeremiah
  • Curtis Morgan as Pangborn
  • Nykeem Provo as Young Luke
  • Nick Sagar as Victor Aldertree
  • Alisha Wainwright as Maia Roberts
  • Will Tudor as Sebastian



In 2010, Screen Gems announced that they were going into production on the film adaptation of City of Bones, the first book in The Mortal Instruments series, with hopes of starting a successful film franchise. Production on a film adaptation of the second book, City of Ashes, was due to start in September 2013, but was delayed to 2014, and eventually cancelled, after the first film failed to recoup its budget.

On October 12, 2014, at Mipcom, Constantin confirmed that The Mortal Instruments will return as a television series with Ed Decter as showrunner. Constantin Film and TV head Martin Moszkowicz told The Hollywood Reporter that, "It actually makes sense to do [the novels] as a TV series. There was so much from the book that we had to leave out of the Mortal Instruments film. In the series we'll be able to go deeper and explore this world in greater detail and depth." The producers hope to adapt the entire book series if the TV adaptation proves successful. In February 2015, book series author Cassandra Clare announced via Twitter that the television series would be called Shadowhunters rather than The Mortal Instruments. In March 2015, ABC Family picked up Shadowhunters straight-to-series. The series was renewed for a second season in March 2016, consisting of 20 episodes, which premiered on January 2, 2017.

In August 2016, soon before filming on the second season was to begin, showrunner Ed Decter exited the series over "creative differences". Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer, who were former showrunners on Smallville, were announced as Decter's replacements in August 2016.


On Twitter, Cassandra Clare announced that she would not be part of casting decisions, and would not be expecting any of the original film cast to return. On April 20, 2015, ABC revealed Dominic Sherwood as the first member of the Shadowhunters cast. On May 2, 2015, it was announced that Emeraude Toubia would be taking the role of Isabelle Lightwood and Alberto Rosende would be joining the cast as Simon Lewis. On May 6, it was reported that Katherine McNamara landed the lead role of Clary Fray. Two days later, on May 8, Matthew Daddario and Isaiah Mustafa were cast as Alec Lightwood and Luke Garroway, respectively. Harry Shum, Jr. and Alan van Sprang later joined the cast on May 15, as Magnus Bane and Valentine Morgenstern. On May 18, it was announced that Maxim Roy would be playing Jocelyn Fray.

On May 28, Jon Cor was announced to play Hodge Starkweather, a Shadowhunter and former member of the Circle. David Castro was reported to be portraying vampire Raphael Santiago on June 4. Shortly after, on June 9, Lisa Marcos announced she would be joining the cast as Captain Vargas, a new character created for the series by Ed Decter. On June 12, producer McG's official Twitter account stated that Kaitlyn Leeb had been cast to play the vampire, Camille Belcourt. On June 16, Jade Hassoun was reported to be portraying the faerie, Meliorn. On August 8, Stephanie Bennett was cast as the new character Lydia Branwell, a rule-following Shadowhunter.

On September 2, 2016, Alisha Wainwright was announced to play Maia Roberts in the second season.


The series began filming in Toronto, Canada on May 25, 2015. The fictional New York Police Department's 89 Precinct was filmed in the Science Wing at the University of Toronto Scarborough.


The series' musical score is composed by Ben Decter. The opening theme song is "This Is The Hunt" performed by Ruelle, which was written for Shadowhunters by Maggie Eckford and Jeff Bowman. Other Ruelle songs have featured in the series.


The series premiered on January 12, 2016 in the U.S. on Freeform. The second episode, "The Descent into Hell Is Easy", was released online that same day, following the premiere of the first episode. In December 2015, Netflix acquired global rights to Shadowhunters, excluding the U.S., making the series available as an original series a day after the U.S. premiere, with the first episode launching globally on January 13, and subsequent episodes released on a weekly basis.


Critical response

The debut season of Shadowhunters received mixed responses from critics. Metacritic gave it a 45 out of 100 rating, based on 9 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Rotten Tomatoes gave the series a 46% rating, based on 12 reviews, with an average rating of 5.6/10. The site's consensus states, "Shadowhunters boasts visual thrills and a potential-rich premise, but they're not enough to overcome the show's self-serious silliness and dull, convoluted plots."

According to James Poniewozik of The New York Times, the series "has its assets, especially its popular source material. But it might become more fun if it learns to enjoy being the empowerment fantasy it really is."


Year Award Category Recipient Result
2016 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Breakout Show Shadowhunters
Choice TV: Breakout Star Katherine McNamara
Matthew Daddario
MTV Fandom Awards Best New Fandom of the Year Shadowhunters
Ship of the Year Malec
BMI Film & TV Awards BMI TV Music Award Ben Decter
Joey Awards Young Actress Age 9 or Younger in a TV Series Drama or Comedy Guest Starring or Principal Role Sofia Wells
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite Cable Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show Shadowhunters

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