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TMI TV Tuesday: Importance of Staying Faithful to the Shadowhunter Culture

The Mortal Instruments

In a world full of technological advances there’s simplicity about the culture and history of Shadowhunters in Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments. It’s that culture that fans hope is translated faithfully onto the small screen adaptation that is set to begin production this year.

With the growing digital craze it would be easy to give the Shadowhunters a tune-up. To replace steles with fancy gadgets. To modernize them. But that would not only be stupid from a marketing standpoint but also dishonorable to the culture that millions of fans have fallen in love with and crave to see executed faithfully on the small screen.

The Shadowhunter world dates back hundreds of years and carries that tradition on throughout generations, as fans of Clare’s books have read. The world is vast and while it changes through the years – and its different series – one thing remains the same: the culture. An argument can be made that the culture comes off a bit dated, and that’s because it is. But that’s part of the appeal. There’s something so fascinating about a group of people that have had the same practices through hundreds of years. No technological advances could change it at its core.

While The Mortal Instruments does take place in 2006, there was still a significant technological influence at that time. It’s uncertain specifically when the television show will take place but it’s most likely to take place in present day. It’s just easier. But it shouldn’t matter whether the story takes place in 2006 or 2015. Things have remained mostly the same from 1878 to 2006 so what difference would nine years make?

Runes have become synonymous with the Shadowhunter fandom. Fans have gotten tattoos of their favorites or own jewelry to show them off. It’s a huge part of the Shadowhunters’ history. And from the very beginning steles have been used to create these runes. Whether it’s tools or weapons, the television show needs to honor Shadowhunter history.

With any adaptation to a different medium there is the certainty of change. The significance of the change is uncertain until a show or movie’s premiere, but here’s hoping that Constantin learned that the best thing they can do with this franchise is to remain true to its roots, which includes the Shadowhunter culture.

Consider this my plea to Constantin and showrunner Ed Decter. When remaining faithful to the source material please keep in mind that a large part of that is the history and culture of the Shadowhunters. Despite the pressures from television execs or so-called experts, please consider this advice from someone who knows what fans will like and not like. Honor the culture. Why fix what isn’t broken?

Angelic Power Rune

Head over to FANGIRLISH on Thursday to read their thoughts about Shadowhunters and The Mortal Instruments TV show, and check back here Tuesdays for TMI TV TUESDAYS.

What are your thoughts? How important is it for them to pay homage to the history of the Shadowhunters in the television show?

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

13 Comments on TMI TV Tuesday: Importance of Staying Faithful to the Shadowhunter Culture

  1. Patrice Westman // January 6, 2015 at 4:39 PM // Reply

    Wish they would let us know what company ( NBC, CBS, CW, ABC, NETFLIX, Stars, Amazon Or some other cable tv company. I need to get it if it’s Amazon, Netflix. Or some pay tv channel. Some warning would be nice

  2. I hope they do not the series with CoA but with CoB…..
    And I hope I’ll be able to watch it somehow online, because it will surely take ages until they do the german edition for tv….

  3. I entirely agree with Alyssa. The culture is the core of all the series. It is the wellspring from which all the characters come. Seeing the backlash firsthand from other fans of City of Bones when the movie came out because of all the changes that were made, it is my hope that Constantin took note of this in the movie sales and also on all the blogs and message boards online. To me, this is the primary reason the film did not do well. If the producers do not keep the core of the story (yes some things always get tweaked, but I’m referring to the major points) then the TV series will likely suffer the same fate. For the record, I want the TV series to be successful and be able to enjoy the characters and the story on the small screen and to be able to do it for a long time. After all, Cassie Clare’s books are stories I will keep near and dear to my heart for the rest of my life. Why wouldn’t I want to be able to see a successful TV adaptation?

  4. Brianna Wheaton // January 6, 2015 at 7:35 PM // Reply

    I agree with this post. It’s essential to keep what is in the story. Shadowhunters have used the same weapons that Raziel gave to Jonathan Shadowhunter. Nothing has changed, they just made more. Everything that is within the culture and history of these people as a whole was handed down from the angel the very first time Shadowhunters were in existence, I really hope they stay true to that!

  5. Reblogged this on Lillianne and Her Random Scribbles and commented:
    I entirely agree… It’ll be devastating if they changed any part of the beautiful culture

  6. Isn’t it 2007, not 2006?

  7. Another very true and important TMI TV Tuesday post!
    Along the lines of culture, though there are much more important things than what a character is wearing, I think the clothing in the show is also an important part of the design. In the film the Shadowhunters didn’t seem like they were still just teenagers and took themselves a bit too seriously, and I think clothes could have improved that. In their off-time the Lightwoods can just wear normal modern teenager clothes, not just dark colours or button up shirts. The there’s the gear, which they need to look carefully at designing to be super practical and durable for fighting, and even while having adapted over time, the gear still seems kind of timeless to me and shouldn’t be super stylish, punky, and clunky. When the Shadowhuners are out normally they can just be normal and dressed so, and then when they put on their gear they are Nephillim and trained, ancient, warriors – not impractically dressed up wannabes.
    Thanks for reading- share your thoughts! 🙂

  8. I agree. I want things to stay the same as much as possible! ‘re the costumes- the gear was tank tops. While more attractive, I didn’t think it would protect them that well!

  9. Love the tmi books the movie was a bit bad but im sure the tv show will be better plz keep the cast other than Jonathan ress myhrs bcs he didn’t portray the valantine i expected or you could die his hair white other than him the cast was brill😊😃😊😃😊😃😊😃

  10. NickyHaunter // January 13, 2015 at 1:03 PM // Reply

    I totally agree with this post! Culture it’s a big deal and they must not change it. It would be a crime!!!

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