Movie Monday: The big, bad incest issue and how it might work to the film’s advantage

The incest storyline between Jace and Clary might actually help the "Mortal Instruments" film franchise.

Perhaps one of the more pressing topics in regards to the movie adaptation of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is the incest issue that presents itself at film’s end.

Now, as avid readers and fans of Cassandra Clare’s bestselling series, we know that Jace and Clary and in fact not brother and sister but the casual movie goer who will venture into watch this film does not know that.

So the question becomes, will the incest issue drive people away or will it draw them in for the next installment?

Let’s face it, when we first read the ending of City of Bones we were all quite shocked (I tend to throw books across the room when I get angry so let’s hope I never read a cliffhanger on my Nook. My poor Nook doesn’t deserve that.)

Back to the point, after getting over the initial shock of the situation we were all fighting for Jace and Clary to end up together, praying that there had been a terrible mix-up, which it turns out there was.

One has to wonder what the non-book audience’s reaction will be to the ending?

I know we, the book fans, will all be secretly laughing inside at their reaction because it is such an unexpected, heart-wrenching cliffhanger (something Cassie does best) and we knew it was coming (what I would give to have seen my reaction after reading that cliffhanger).

I’m sure the reaction will be split somewhat, but I think more people might be drawn into the story because of it.

The incest issue might actually work to the film’s advantage. As human beings we are all curious as to the happenings of others around us, same as with movies. An audience might be more prone to return for a sequel when the first film is posed with some controversy.

Sexual tension is a big part of most couples that grace the small and big screens, as an audience gets to see the two characters and their relationship unfold before them. You never want to get a couple together too soon and if there is no conflict then the couple is, quite frankly, boring.

The sexual tension between Jace and Clary in City of Ashes is a defining storyline in the book. They are struggling with feelings they know they shouldn’t be feeling and yet they cannot help but feel them. We see their relationship on the rocks, then see them make progress all while struggling to come to terms with the truth.

Forbidden love has become a recurrent and long-lasting theme in Young Adult films and Jace and Clary have the ultimate forbidden love. We are always rooting for that couple to pull through no matter what the struggles entail and the end result is always satisfying.

Also, this storyline isn’t a normal occurrence in Hollywood. The only film that comes to mind off the bat is Luke and Leia from Star Wars. And that certainly didn’t hurt that film franchise.

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12 thoughts on “Movie Monday: The big, bad incest issue and how it might work to the film’s advantage

  1. Pingback: How will ‘The Mortal Instruments’ film deal with the surprising relationship in the book? | Hypable

  2. I know when I read the description for CoA, I got the impression that anything between Jace and Clary would be gone because they now thought they were related, and all we would see is sibling banter. This actually made me not want to keep reading the series (but I did). So it’s possible people who haven’t read the series will feel the same way after seeing CoB. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, I dunno lol =P

  3. I loved the whole stroy, and it’s true the incest part played a really important part in the story line. Taking that aways is like taking a ruining a big chuck of a beautiful cake. I think people will still watch it because of the hope of a happy ending. I kept reading the books because I wanted to discover the moments that lead to the happy ending; I think people will feel the same and they will be drawn to the other movies.

  4. at the end of CoB i was thrilled XD… and i didnt believe one second that they really were siblings. the important thing was: clary and jace didnt know that. :)

    so i guess they might hint at something in the movie that only the audience will get…??

  5. Pingback: Il tema dell'incesto può aiutare il film CoB | Shadowhunters Italia

  6. They definitely need to put the spectators mind at ease at the end. Perhaps at the end have Clary and Jace THINK they are – but somehow reveal that theyre not. I know my parents wont be too thrilled with the idea.

  7. Hmmm. I’m one of the people who stopped reading because I was so sickened by the idea. I also felt that once they thought they were brother and sister they went to a level I wouldn’t have in a million YEARS. Yuck! I threw the book across the room because I was grossed out and haven’t thought anything about it until now… they are making it a movie? I made it to this post by typing “city of bones incest” into google just to make sure I didn’t make all of it up. I won’t be watching the movie. Ewwww. The ONLY story that ISN’T better than Twilight.

  8. If you had paid attention to the movie Hodge and Valentine say its a lie upfront taking away the mystery. You know it’s not really incest. Hodge says, “you know, you could lie to them and tell them they are brother and sister.”

  9. I just watched the movie, and I HAVEN’T read the books. All of us watching it were simply grossed out, and we don’t get it? The terrible screenplay throughout the movie does not properly explain the incest aspect. At the end, we were completely confused. So there’s a chance that they’re brother and sister, but it’s ok because they said they ‘don’t believe it’?? No. No. No way.
    Also, that whole scene in the magical garden was so horribly cheesy that I wanted to puke. That scene was so bad that it was comical.

  10. Some of you follow story line badly. First, let’s address the “incest” issue, as if there is one. There is NO incest going on here. When they first meet and then have their first kiss, they have NO idea that they are or might be siblings. Thus, there isn’t any decision made to engage in incest. It’s simply a story plot line to make the story interesting with a twist.

    Once they are told that they are siblings they then do NOT engage in any additional physical contact as they both know that that would be wrong. So, where exactly is it “…ok because they said they don’t belive it??” Only the guy says he doesn’t believe it because it doesn’t “feel” right. Again, story plot twist, and heavy foreshadowing. It you didn’t get that from even the movie, then you are not paying attention.

    Additionally, it’s so clearly obvious that they are NOT brother and sister. It’s so painfully obvious that the villain character is telling lies in order to get what he wants. And Hodge tells us that this sibling thing is a lie, so where in the world is incest being promoted or viewed as ok in this movie? The idea that incest may be happening is hinted at simply because the villain tells a lie. Since we know that the two hero’s do have non sibling feelings of love for each other, the idea of incest is an interesting plot twist, it’s an “evil” that would keep the lovers away from each other. It’s something that stands in the way of their love, as they know that it would be wrong to fulfill their feelings if indeed there are siblings. People will continue to see the next installment of movies just so they can find out what the truth really is, even though most already know they are not siblings. People simply want to see lovers overcome the obstacles to their love.

    Using the vehicle of potential siblings is what some people are having trouble with, as it would be troubling if they ignored that they are siblings and still engaged in a non sibling love relationship.
    The movie in NO way even hints that incest is or would somehow be acceptable. That idea is nowhere in the movie, and I have not read the books, and don’t see it in the movie either.
    The “controversy” is something being created by people who have nothing better to do than to create fantasy issues as if they were real just so they can then promote their superior moral aptitude.
    Well, sorry to burst your self important bubble, but there is no controversy in this movie.

  11. funny thing is, after all this talk about this invest plot line potentially ruining viewing figures, it turns out the film bombed purely because the story was such garbage lol. The sequel keeps getting delayed so here’s hoping it just gets cancelled for good.

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