Shadowhunters: Book vs TV Show

Book: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
Tv Show: Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments released 2016

Since I found out about one of my favourite book series being turned into a tv show I have been excited. The movie which was released in 2013 under the name “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones”, did not live up to expectations, so much so I couldn’t even finish it. So I prayed they would get it right this time.

I was also unsure when I would actually get to see it, considering it takes some time for shows to appear in the UK especially when it is the first season. I nearly screamed on Wednesday when I got an email from Netflix telling me the first episode is available (lucky I didn’t, considering the fact that I was at a uni seminar).

The TV Show:

As a single entity this tv show has promise, it was fast paced and introduced the characters well. I don’t think it really explained Shadowhunters as well as they could have, but it is supposed to be shown from the character Clary’s eyes and she has yet to fully grasp the concept yet either.

Book Characters vs TV Characters:

The main protagonist is Clary Frey, and the tv show has kept her pretty much the same. Her appearance (which I know isn’t the most important thing) is within the limit of the book, she actually has ginger hair this time. In the pilot there hasn’t been enough time to really show her character, but it did show me enough that I was happy they hadn’t mutilated the character. This doesn’t hold true for all.

Let’s do a round up of the Characters introduced so far:

Characters I was happy how they are portrayed: Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Alec, Magnus Bane, Jocelyn Fray, Valentine

Characters I am not happy with: The Circle members, Dot

Characters they changed, but I understand why: Luke

Lets just talk about Luke for a second, he is the character who has had the most changed, in the book he is a simple book keeper with a secret and in the tv show he is a detective. A detective!! I am really hoping they don’t turn this into a crime drama, I already watch enough of those. I am sure the change was made for a reason, I just hope they haven’t changed the character that much, I liked the kind hearted pack leader.

The Set:

Not to happy with the sets, if I am to be honest. The flat the Clary live in with her mum I imagined more homely and compact, instead it is larger and open spaced. The inside of the Institute is more futuristic, with sharp edges, a lot of white and technology. I can understand why they would up date it to be inline with today and to make the Shadowhunters appear more superior. But the Institute is supposed to reflect the mindset of the Shadowhunters, being stuck in the past and unwilling to change with times. It is for this reason I wish they had kept the 18th Century interior.

There is still hope, since the Library has not been shown yet and I really hope it is included.

One thing they did do correctly in term of set decoration is the Institutes camouflage, an abandoned Church.


The TV show seems promising but from the pilot alone I am unsure how true they will be to the books. Though I am sure it will be a thrilling ride. When books are adapted into books I am reminded of the Vampire Diaries which I watched nearly 3 seasons of before trying the books and was shocked at the vast differences, and I actually prefer the tv show to the books.

Talk Soon,
Lauren x

p.s. I previsouly wrote a post on the Mortal Instruments and some of my favourite quotes: Never Trust A Duck

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