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?
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?