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Movie Monday: Translating the infamous greenhouse scene to film

Photo: palnk on Deviant Art

Every Monday here at The Mortal Instruments Source is Movie Monday, where we talk about one of the many topics involving the movie adaptation of “City of Bones.”

Photo: palnk on Deviant Art

When The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones hits the big screen one scene that fans will be dying to see–in all of its perfection–is the infamous greenhouse scene.

It’s the scene where Clary and Jace share their first kiss and their attraction becomes undeniable.

Marlene King, who is rewriting the script, said that it was her favorite scene to write.

“Oh, god. It’s very romantic and really fun,” King said in an interview with Hollywood Crush. “So that’s been a lot of fun. And just sort of helping bring those characters to life on the screen has really been a joy. It’s a fantastic world.”

It’s also the scene that Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower read for in their screen test. You know the screen test that Cassandra Clare was brought to tears after seeing.

The chemistry is there.

“It was quite funny, in the greenhouse scene, there’s a line where he says something to Clary about, ‘You should have thought about that before you kissed me,’ and she says, ‘I kissed you?’ Meaning I started it? And he says, ‘Yeah, it wasn’t that memorable for me either,’ and walks off doing the Jace walk-off, which he did great,” Clare said in an interview with Hollywood Crush. “Then he’d say something off-screen to make Lily laugh! And she would try not to laugh, and it was unbelievably cute. Like, he’d walk off and say, [affecting a British accent], ‘Yeah, you were rubbish anyway.’”

Just because, let’s re-live a few moments from that scene:

Somewhere, a bell was tolling. “Midnight,” said Jace, setting the knife down. He got to his feet, holding his hand out to pull her up beside him. His fingers were slightly sticky with apple juice. “Now, watch.”

His gaze was fixed on the green shrub they’d been sitting beside, with its dozens of shiny closed buds. She started to ask him what sh was supposed to be looking at, but he held up a hand to forestall her. His eyes were shining. “Wait, he said.

The leaves on the shrub hung still and motionless. Suddenly one of the tightly closed buds began to quiver and tremble. It swelled to twice its size and burst open. It was like watching a speeded-up film of a flower blooming: the delicate green sepals opening outward, releasing the clustered petals inside. They were dusted with pale gold pollen as light as talcum.

“Oh!” said Clary, and looked up to find Jace watching her. “Do they bloom every night?”

“Only at midnight,” he said. “Happy birthday, Clarissa Fray.”

The moon, directly overhead now, lit everything nearly to daylight brightness. In between one step and another she saw a white spark struck off something on the floor: It was the knife Jace had been using to cut apples, lying on its side. She jerked hastily back to avoid stepping on it, and her shoulder bumped his–he put a hand out to steady her, just as she turned to apologize, and then she was somehow in the circle of his arm and he was kissing her.

It was at first as if he hadn’t wanted to kiss her: His mouth was hard on hers, unyielding; then he put both arms around her and pulled her against him. His lips softened. She could feel the rapid beat of his heart, taste the sweetness of apples still on his mouth. She wound her hands into his hair, as she’d wanted to do since the first time she’d seen him. His hair curled around her fingers, silky and fine. Her heart was hammering, and there was a rushing sound in her ears, like beating wings–

What moment are you most looking forward to seeing in the greenhouse scene–apart from the kiss?

About Alyssa Barbieri (2800 Articles)
Alyssa is the Managing Editor for Bears Wire. You can reach her at or follow her on Twitter @AlyssaBarbieri

2 Comments on Movie Monday: Translating the infamous greenhouse scene to film

  1. This is one of my favorite scenes from the City of Bones!

  2. Thanks for posting this. Really great information on greenhouse gardening.

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