Shadowhunters Book Changes

Shadowhunters Premiere: Jocelyn's Gift and 5 Other Changes From the Books

Friendly warning: This article discusses Shadowhunters‘ relation to the Mortal Instruments books. Beware potential spoilers about future plot twists!

Following The Mortal Instruments‘ forgettable 2013 big-screen adaptation, fans on Tuesday had high hopes for Freeform’s second incarnation of Cassandra Clare’s popular book series. After all, this one promised ad nauseam to remain faithful to its source material.

But did it?

As a reader of the books — I started chipping away when I found out this show was being made, so I’m not pretending to be a fan from Day 1 — I compiled a few of the changes that really jumped out at me, the ones that forced my finger onto the “pause” button to make sure I was watching the right premiere.

Let’s do this:

* In City of Bones, Clary’s mother is kidnapped before she tells her anything about the Shadow World. In the pilot, Jocelyn gifts her daughter with a stele for her 18th birthday before pushing her through a portal.

* Speaking of portals, those are apparently easier to come by on the show than they are in the books. In fact, by asking Clary for Luke’s location before sending her to through, Jocelyn implied that portals to any destination can be made at any time.

* In the pilot, Jace and Clary first speak outside of Pandemonium. In City of Bones, that conversation doesn’t occur until she catches the group hunting in a back room of the club.

* The show took the Frays’ downstairs neighbor — an elderly psychic known as Madame Dorothea — and poofed her into a spritely teenager named Dot.

* Simon was also given a few upgrades in the show, like the voice of an angel, for example. (That said, having him sing “Forever Young” was a brilliant piece of foreshadowing.)

* I’ve saved the biggest change — at least in my opinion — for last: When Clary is attacked by the ravener demon in City of Bones, she kills the beast herself, using a Shadowhunters gadget she picked up from Jace. In the pilot, it’s Jace who comes to Clary’s rescue, skewering the baddie with his blade. Is letting a young woman fend off her own demons not considered Freeform-y enough?

For what it’s worth, here’s what Clare posted on Tumblr just a few days before the premiere:

I can’t speak to the changes that have been made for this show, their extent or their repercussions, because I was not at all involved in the creation of this show. That is not because I did not want to have any input. I offered to be involved, tried to be and would have loved to be, but unfortunately that wasn’t on the table, and eventually I stopped looking at the scripts because there seemed no reason to if I could not comment on them in a meaningful way or effect any change.

Now then, which changes stuck with you from Tuesday’s premiere? Were there any that ruined it for you? Any you thought made the experience better? Whatever your position on the page-to-screen tweaks, drop a comment with your thoughts below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Nicole says:

    It doesn’t bother me too much when a tv show based on books makes a lot of changes. Its when movies make too many that really annoy me.
    While there were a few wtf moments, for the most part I’m ok with what they did.

    • Rook says:

      I agree, there is bound to be some changes. Most of the ones on the list didn’t bother me. What did was the Institute, now I read the books some time ago but I always imagined it as this old school gothic type building with only the Lightwoods, Jace, and Hodge. In the show it was like a spy headquarters.

      • Desiree says:

        That was the biggest WTF moment for me as well. They never talk about the institute being full of people. I also had it pictured in my mind as more of a gothic feel.

      • Sara says:

        Yes! That was definitely the one thing that really got my attention as being a change. There were so many other people there and it seemed so high-tech!

    • AJ Tuiai says:

      That particular book did not make much of an impact worldwide let alone circulation, so bare in mind ALOT of people will base this series on the movie and be critique on comparison!!

      • AlliDone says:

        This particular book may not have made as big of a splash as the sequel novels that followed, but this one was still essential to the understanding of those books, so you have to imagine that everyone that read the later books read City of Bones as well. That being said, I think it’s worthwhile to compare this new series to the film and look at all the improvements the series is making to all the colossal mistakes the film made. I’m liking the series in comparison to the film but I have some complaints when holding it up against it’s source material.

    • Tony says:

      You are not a true fan👿 If you did not get mad at all the changes

  2. Anne B says:

    I realize that I am not the demographic this show is aimed at (being 55), but I did presume they would try to be faithful to the books. One could forgive some departures if there was some depth or creativeness to the writing. Is it too much to ask for actors with depth, not just current version off attractive. Buffy was successful because of it’s complexity…..not just the surface looks. Utilize the author for heaven sake! (feeling old and cranky…please forgive?) Will stick with it for a while to see if it improves…..

    • AquaSimmer says:

      Clare’s only input into the series (unfortunately) was picking out the cast members. They wouldn’t even let her be involved in the writing process which I think is crazy because it’s her books and she knows her fans would want the series to resemble the books as close as possible with small changes. So far I’ve heard that the show is completely cringe-worthy.

    • Mckenzie says:

      Can we talk about the fact that they made izzy a sex symbol!? Why didn’t they write her like the ass kicking, beautiful girl that she was in the books?! I hated the fact that they changed Luke completely, hodge isn’t the scared up broken man that he was in the books, ALEC DOESNT HAVE BLUE EYES, Clary and her mom live in A LOFT, and the other circle members looking like they jumped out of Men In Black? Ugh. Cassandra had everything laid out for these writers. What were they thinking.

      Oh! Why in the world was clary dressed so provocatively? 😑😑

      Loved these books. I ‘am utterly disappointed. I had such high hopes…..

      • FairchildFan says:

        I completely agree with you. I ground my teeth through the whole thing. It was awful. The acting was dismal, the casting sucked, all the characters seem utterly devoid of depth or dimension, there’s no chemistry between any of them. They even managed to make Magnus annoying. I loved him so much in the books. I mean, at least in the TMI movie (which still had issues) Jace was well cast. He was snarky, sarcastic, attractive and full of himself. Jamie was charming and believable. I’m sorry but the latest Jace incarnation? Charmless lump and forgettable are the kindest things I can say about him. And it’s not his fault. I don’t like to be mean, he wasn’t given anything good to work with from setting to script to castmates. There’s not even a believable BOND so far between Jace and Alec. He’s the guy’s parabatai for Pete’s sake, and they are portrayed like they just met on the street five minutes before. The vampires were straight up comical and caricature-ish. And they turned Izzy into some classless low budget pornstar. I’m so sad. Straight up ruined. I’m not sweating it though, it will last one season max and be canceled. Maybe someday Cassandra Clare will be able to continue the series as fully conceptualized movies that are done with a bigger budget and more resources, something actually true to the books. Maybe they could start with the prequels instead.

        • Nakita says:

          Love your comment, you completely nailed it.

        • Jamie says:

          I agree completely. I dislike the TV show very much. It contains terrible acting and terrible effects. I know they were not given as much to work with as the movie was, but I’m already bored of it. I am very disappointed because I loved the books. It didn’t bother me as much that the movie didn’t follow the books perfectly. I loved the movie and wish they were making another. Bummer that the movie didn’t workout.

          • Amber says:

            I agree, I LOVED the movie. When I heard they were turning this into a series, I was PRAYING they would keep Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace because he was so PERFECT! I’m still trying to give this series a shot because of an interview I read about it getting deeper, but I’m super disappointed. This series DESERVES a great show! It has such potential to be a great hit, I wish someone could get a hold of it that will make it was it can be….

        • Into Dark says:

          Right on spot with everything you pointed out so accurately! Even Magnus is freaking annoying and that speaks for itself. How can a showrunner suck so bad to screw up a most beloved character like him, even worse made him kinda disgusting (according to the Malec Episode where he acted more like he’s hunting for a trophy and not looking for a real loving bond). Well better luck next time :(

          • FairchildFan says:

            Omg, it looks like Freeform is going to order a second season. Barf. I am shocked, dismayed and nauseated. WHO is watching this drivel anymore?! BTW, I saw a promo where it looked like they were going to pretend to marry off unhot tv Alec to a WOMAN? WTF!? Where did THAT lame storyline come from? Sure as patootie NOT the books!

      • Annaboo says:

        Agreed. The biggest elephant in the room, for me, is the acting. I wish they had allowed Clare to write the shows dialogue. Scratch that. They have the best material, from the source, right in front of them. I don’t mind shows taking off on their own, lord knows Game of Thrones did that from the start. It’s the essence of the characters and lack of any depth that makes me want to pitch my tv out the window. Why?! And why do the girls have to dress in slutty faux leather and fishnet shirts and dresses for the bulk of every show. Clary wakes up in sweats but that’s not good enough. Let’s give them a party to go to so they have to change right away into some low cut frock. I don’t think it’s fair to assume kids want that these days. It seems ABC family wants to get as far away from “family” as possible and that changing the name wasn’t enough.

  3. Christina says:

    I can’t for the life of me understand why they wouldn’t take advantage of the author wanting to be involved. Outlander is the prime example of the author being included and her opinions and advice taken into consideration with respect from the showrunner. Changes for watching rather than reading I completely understand and know they have to happen, but ithe worries me that they had no interest in Cassandra’s input.

    • Gern Blanston says:

      Maybe the author is a handful to deal with? I honestly don’t know, I’m just spitballing. Or, maybe they thought that they could do a better job than she did with the story? I readily admit that I am not the demographic for the books, but I tried reading the first one and only made it about halfway through as I found it to be very poorly written. I got bored and had to move on to something else.

      • ABG says:

        I managed to finish the first book but I also found it very poorly written. Also I felt like it heavily borrowed from Harry Potter, Twilight, and other stuff too much.

        I’m not planning to watch, but it’s a shame for the fans that the author isn’t more involved.

        • Sara says:

          Well, the author originally wrote it as a Harry Potter fanfiction…soo…there’s that. And it has been said she plagiarized a lot of it from other fanfiction writers.
          That said, I thoroughly enjoy the books and am excited to see what the producers of the show do with the story. I am a little confused by her now saying that she isn’t involved at all, because I thought I had read that she was involved as it was in production.

          • whiskey says:

            The series wasn’t written as HP fanfiction – the author wrote HP fanfiction (and plagiarized a bit of it, true), then wrote Mortal Instruments, which is an original series (unlike, say, 50 Shades of Grey, which was written as fanfiction, then character names changed to publish).

          • Sara says:

            whiskey: perhaps the whole series isn’t originally her Harry Potter fanfic, but City of Bones did include and recycle aspects and portions from her HP stories. You are correct, it isn’t like Fifty Shades of Grey, so I apologize for making it seem as such, but it still does contain aspects of her fanfiction days, but ultimately is a completely original story.

    • Sara says:

      What confuses me in regards to Clare’s apparent non-involvement is that up until the past couple of days, it was heavily inferred, both by her and the network, that she was involved. She’s been filmed on set multiple times and has done heavy promotion of the show (especially in ads), but now all of a sudden she’s all “I have nothing to do with it, don’t question me about any changes.” It is bizarre and I don’t like it. Her whole response is off-putting, but that’s probably just me.

      • Kensi says:

        I thought the same! I rewatched one of the videos of Clare on the set and she said she had a say in who got cast. I also read an article where the creator/executive producer said that he was in contact with Clare and asked for her input and wanted her blessing on expanding the story and changes for the TV adaptation. So I don’t understand her statement of them basically telling her to leave them (the TV people) alone.

      • lori says:

        I seem to remember her doing the same thing when the movie came out. Was super supportive of it until after it came out and then she distanced herself.

        • Annie says:

          the only part she was involved in was the casting. After that, they didn’t give her any say in the scripts or any other part of it. She was always very blunt about what she felt, and on twitter a long time ago she said that the movie followed her books more closely than the scripts did. She was on set only ONE time, to meet the cast. She’s in all these promo videos because they invited her and she said yes, but other than that she didn’t have any say in the scripts.

      • Rachael says:

        I completely agree!!! I know she made this remark but as I read it she made this about the movie not the TV show.

  4. wazza says:

    WOW, this was bad, like toe curling bad. Its like a highschool adaption with a budget to match. Seriously, this is not even going to get past a season order. Have the people behind this even read the source material. The story was so rushed and disjointed, it was abysmal.

    • taressen says:

      I agree with your comment. I really enjoyed reading the books. I didn’t have high expectations of the show but wanted to watch it anyway and usually try to stick with a new tv series for at least half a season to see if it gets any better. I don’t think I could bring myself to watch a second episode. The first one was bad enough

      • Jenny says:

        The second episode is SO much better. The effects are still a little juvenile but the plot is so much better than the first. It’s still got quite a few changes from the book, but overall, it was much better.

  5. Ash says:

    If I remember correctly, in the movie as well it was Jace who killed the demon. Clary blew it up but it reformed and then Jace stabbed it. Not at all disappointed by Clare’s lack of involvement. Once the show gets its footing, it should be really good.

    • ScottJ says:

      I think the book is wrong there – which is not exactly surprising. It makes no sense that Clary would be able to kill a demon when she doesn’t have a clue what they are, or what she is doing. She did well in the fight in the club but that seemed mostly accidental. Give her some time and training, and no doubt it will be different.

  6. VJ says:

    I didn’t mind the changes in the pilot… A few of these are just medium-related I think and I honestly didn’t thought they would stick to the books like Outlander did it. As long as they don’t change the overall story and stay true to the characters I don’t have a problem with changes. If they WILL do that in the future is another question and remains to be seen.

  7. Fran M. says:

    I just don’t understand why they wouldn’t utilize Clare’s input? She wrote the books right? So she would be the one to know whether or not a change is okay… I understand that changes are always made in film adaptations, but come on!!! They have only kept the bare bones of the series.

    • John NYC says:

      Authors can be demonically protective of their words. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. To the point they’ll waste a lot of writing/production crew time complaining over even minor changes that the writing/production people have done for reasons having to do with the different medium: such as time is precious in broadcast so things sometimes have to be compressed or conflated to keep the story moving within the time allotted. Authors (some anyway) HATE that.

  8. Fabiana says:

    Did anyone else think the acting was awful?

    • Abs says:

      This bothered me more than the story changes did…

    • Robbie says:

      I know right? The changes that were made would have been okay, were it not for the terrible actging

    • Grizz82 says:

      I agree!!! The acting was horrible!!! The episode was horrid! I can’t believe they changed so many things. I would rather watch the movie and read the books again. My bf suggested I give it another chance and watch the 2nd episode, but I’m so disappointed with this episode I’m not sure I wanna continue to watch. It’s a damn shame bc I was so excited for the show.

    • Jimmy says:

      Awful doesn’t come close to describing how bad the acting was. As is so often the case with youth oriented TV series these days, actors are chosen for how pretty they look well they fill out a tight pair of pants.

      • Lissa says:

        I don’t even think the actors are pretty at least Jace isn’t. Seriously those casting directors suck.

        • Vanessa says:

          I actually think jace in the show is way better looking than the jace in the movie. Same goes for Simon and Alec is kinda cute in my opinion. But I do agree that some of the actors on the show do need to learn some more acting skills.

    • ChrisGa says:

      I don’t think it was all awful–the guy playing Simon was good I thought, as was Harry Shum in his brief screen time and the adults were pretty good too. Now, the ones playing Jace, Izzy and Alec….well, Alec was EXTREMELY pretty but….

    • Christina says:

      The worst for me is Clary but I’ll keep watching.

    • Coot says:

      Ugh, it was terrible. Hate the new Simon& Clary& Jace so much

    • Walter says:

      I was expecting more from the show after watching the movie. But the lack of clothing doesn’t begin to cover the horrible acting…I say it’s the acting but the script is likely the culprit.

  9. Abs says:

    I am more bothered by them not involving Clare than I am with the changes. For the uninitiated, it may grab more eyes and more viewers. And there always has to be some changes between page and screen. And I’m ok with the changes I saw. As long as stays within the story and world that has been created… Both by Clare and the TV writers… I’m good. Don’t go completely off base like True Blood. I’ll be good.

  10. Chris says:

    It was incredibly bad. So of the worst acting ever seen. I’d rather watch the movie. Too bad for the fans.

  11. Jacoby Young says:

    it was OK it just need to be more just like on the movie and the actor are all great it just need to be more what i throught it was just like in the movie

  12. Ash says:

    Cassandra Clare is a known plagiarist and still manages to be a terrible writer even with stealing from better works. I wouldn’t want her involved either. That said, the show wasn’t as bad as the promos looked, although still a bit boring. I’ll give it another shot, if only to see Alec’s pretty face again.

    • Jenny says:

      Go on the Freeform site! You can watch episode 2 now and there’s a guy who’s even hotter than Alec is (not saying who, you’ll find out)

  13. Charissa29 says:

    If you enjoy young women that can rescue themselves, skip this and watch The 100 on Netflix. The 100 is amazingly good.

  14. Sara says:

    You missed the big change in regards to Maureen’s character. They aged her up and have made her have much more interaction with Simon and Clary. I, for one, am a fan of this change to her character. What’s to come for her character (if it follows the books) would have been offputting to have an 11-12 year old with all these 18-20 year olds. But I agree, it was great foreshadowing to have Simon AND Maureen singing “Forever Young” together. Definitely made me laugh.
    Oh, and in regards to the portal being used: in the book, Dorothea looked over the portal in her warlock mother’s apartment. It seems they just cut out that bit and made this Dot able to create portals herself. Or perhaps that portal was the portal she was meant to watch? Either way, not a huge deal or that big of a change…her age though…yeah, big difference.

    • Laura says:

      yeah I agree with your comments. I also like the changes with Maureen’s character. I think it makes sense to do that, seeing as how all the characters were aged to 18 year olds-makes sense for Maureen to also be older and not an 11-12 year old girl with a crazy crush!

  15. Kim says:

    So haven’t watched yet but was curious about whether or not I even wanted to bother watching so I read this article…I have to say I am really bothered by this tweet of Clare’s cause I watched an preview on Freeforms On demand that showed her on the set and talking about how happy she was with the show and knew there would be some changes and it gave me the idea she was involved so now it sounds like she is back pedaling..I’m still going to give it a try

  16. RZ says:

    When I started watching the pilot I was disappointed and after I saw the surprising scene where Clary did not fend off the demon, I turned it off because I could not watch anymore. I loved the book series so much (although I prefer the Infernal Devices) that it broke my heart. I do not plan on continuing to watch the show.

  17. Lily says:

    I agree that many changes will be made for a book-to-tv series but I have to say I hate the fact that clary does not get the chance to kill the ravener demon on her own. Is a female character not afraid to get her hands dirty not good enough for “Freeform?” Does it not target the younger demographic? I hope to see clary get stronger as the series progresses, but otherwise the show is definitely nothing to complain about.

    • John NYC says:

      How about a currently clueless female character? She has no idea what this world or creatures are about yet, instant demon killer would be laughable. Her mom got her memory wiped and kept her ignorant: flipping a switch to superhero? Implausible.

      • Sam Peavey says:

        Actually it wasn’t implausible in the book at all. She killed it but in almost an accidental/desperate kind of way—-and as a result she impresses Jace. As a female I troubles me just how often Hollywood takes the strong written female character an turns them into a damsel in distress on screen. Since Clary frequently saves Jace’s a– in the books I can only imagine how they’ll be tripping over themselves to modify those instances. I do agree with most of the posters- the movie Jace was revolting

  18. Casting is a bit disappointing..

  19. The acting from some of the characters was painful, especially the girl who played Clary. Im honestly most surprised by the guy they chose for Valentine…he looks like a blue collar detective not the bad boy leader of a dangerous cult!!

    • Victoria says:

      I disagree. The Valentine actor I feel is perfect and menacing and evil, however, that might be bc I saw him on reign first where he went crazy mean. But, the lack of white hair sucks

  20. Sheldon W. says:

    The most important of the changes serve to emphasize just how much out of her depth Clary is. They establish how much she has to learn and how much she has to adapt to what the world is really like.

    In the case of Jocelyn trying to tell Clary about her heritage before things ramp up, the change serves to emphasize how much Clary is amped up by getting accepted at the school – she’s ready to celebrate and not really reading her mother’s intent – kinda like a lot of teenagers for whom what’s going on in their lives is The. Most. Important. Thing. In. The. World. to the exclusion of everything else (I remember driving my mom crazy when I was that age…).

    The changes work on TV where they might not have in the book because TV is a visual medium and sometimes you go with what works on the screen as opposed to what was in print. In this case, the changes don’t detract from the overall story – and, to be fair, the producers did tell us in advance that there would be changes so it’s not like this was unexpected.

  21. Lily H says:

    The Shadowhunters world on the silver screen and the characters/plot lines written by Cassandra Clare are seperate. As a fan of the book, I have my entirely own depiction of the story Clare had envisioned, and that stays for myself. The good thing is that no one can altar it. The fandom has been given not only a movie adaption, but an entire TV series on ABC Family. Not to mention the worldwide Netflix streaming it’s going to receive. Instead of complaining about show, the Mortal Instruments fandom should team up and show support for Shadowhunters so the entire series can be developed into the show! We all have our interpretations of the books. No one is going to take that away from you. Most, if not all, saw the movie. Let’s now take up this third adaption and fully demonstrate our appreciation so we can see the entire series on TV!!

  22. Liz says:

    I don’t get why they bother to buy the rights to the book if they have no plans to faithful to the books. It doesn’t need to be exact but at least stay in the general neighborhood, so to speak. I was one of the few people who liked the movie. I think the movie was more faithful to the books than this show. The show left me kind of feeling meh. However, since it was the first show, I am hoping it will improve. The casting isn’t bad. I like the actress playing Clary more than I thought I would.

  23. John brown says:

    I could have sworn that Hodge was not that young or active in the book. I see lots of folks are criticizing the actors looks. Their suppose to be hot. That’s how thy are in the books. I felt Jace was fine fit the role but the dialogue they gave him was awful. Alec’s acting was very stiff and bad. Izzy was okay but her Spanish accent kept coming through. Clary was bad not a fan at all felt that Lily Collins was much better in the movie. Simon was good I liked him and Luke. Magnus was okay not enough to tell but Harry ShumnJr is not a strong actor to begin with. What bothered me was the all the bad guy demons, their acting was horrendous. I give it a few more episodes.

    • Megan says:

      Hodge was actually younger than Jocelyn in the books. (IDK if he was described as hot though… but I’m not complaining.)

  24. Alissa says:

    What bugged me is how Simon was abducted. They skipped him being turned into a rat and jumped strait to the vampires. I also don’t recall the vampires caring about the cup. Also, why is Maureen in the beginning? Maybe I’m remembering wrong, but wasn’t she a ware wolf whom they met later on?

  25. Zachary Flye says:

    So going into a book to tv show adaptation I’m more than prepared for there to be a plethora of changes to make something like a six book series last a while. Honestly I had no problems with the changes being made, Clary feels like a stronger character than she was in the book, I like the character of Dot not necessarily over Madame Dorthea, but enough not to complain about it, as for Clare’s involvement in the series, while I understand it may not necessarily be needed, they probably should have gotten her opinion on things here and there especially if they wanted to appeal in a large way to the fans of this series. As for the show, I’m going to keep watching and I hope it has a good long run.

  26. joeyconnick says:

    I’m not sure why you think Dot is a teenager… not only does Clary refer to her as “like a big sister” (and this Clary is 18), the actor seemed to be in her mid to late 20s.

  27. JL says:

    What a mess this thing is. Bad acting, bad story lines…. this is a bomb.

  28. Toony says:

    There is definitely a lot of differences in the tv series and the movie compared to the book.
    But that’s what happen to every movie/tv series right? It’s almost impossible to 100% adapt from the book, changes must be made for the people.

    Perhaps we might see a better light in the future episodes

  29. Samantha says:

    Your also forgetting something. In the books Luke wasnt a cop.

  30. Lissa says:

    One of my biggest issues is with the characters. Isabelle is supposed to be super rude to Clary and Simon and they made her friendly. Jace’s hair looks awful and not at all like I pictured, not to mention the cover of the first book where he had a longer hair style. I honestly thought the most annoying change was with Clary and her mother in the first episode because that totally changed the whole plot. What’s up with that necklace? Since when does Clary have all the answers? Also it really bugged me that they didn’t go to a graveyard in the book to see the Silent Brothers. I think that’s like a slap in the face that they didn’t use input from Clare and that makes them bound to fail this show. I can’t decide whether I hate this show or the movie version more. I think I definitely like the actors from the movie better for one. I read all three first books of the series and loved them all so this is just a huge disappointment and I hope this show fails.

  31. makparis says:

    I was disappointed in pretty much the entire episode. In respect to the changes, I would say the biggest issue for me was also that Clary didn’t even get to battle the demon. She just stands there. Both in the book and in the movie she fought hard and won.

    • John NYC says:

      So from art school applicant to demon killer all with no training and no idea that world even exists seconds before being faced with that creature? Maybe that impossibility just struck the to writers as too glaring. I mean it’s not like she fell into a vat of toxic waste and emerged a superhero….

  32. Sarah9 says:

    Don’t understand what Cassandra Clare game is..I’ve seen a lot of videos and behind the scenes and she was shown inside the institute and she didn’t have any complaints about the characters or the scenarios and suddenly she’s saying she didn’t have anything input? Lol
    I agree that the first episode wasn’t great but I like the second one better…there were some changes but they put material from the books just not exactly how it happens. I think changing thinks is good and if you read the books and already know what’s going to happen making twists and turns makes things not predictable and more interesting.
    I for one liked Clary, she wasn’t great but not bad has everyone seems to saying it. Simon, Alec, Izzy were my favorites and they seem very in character, only Jace I’m not convinced.

  33. Sorita says:

    I think the studio just want to use the world and character from book to get an establish fan-base and to make a monster and demon hunting of week with some plot and wont be call a Supernatural a cop out.

  34. liame says:

    The acting needs work. Some of these actors have done theatre and guest starred on several TV shows but you wouldn’t know it.

    • John NYC says:

      Pilots can be pretty rough, a better metric will be following episodes produced within the picked up contract I expect. For better or worse.

  35. Chris Marie says:

    Being as these were my favorite books…….this tv adaption is horrible. The special effects are worse then Buffy which was filmed in the 90’s. If you didn’t have the money to do it right, then please don’t do it at all. The script is amateur, the actors other than Jace are horrible and don’t get me started on the filming. MTV did a MUCH better job with The Shannara Chronicles. Tho i don’t know why I expected anything different considering the terrible acting on the drama’s they currently air.

    • FairchildFan says:

      THANK YOU! My sentiments exactly. Do it right, or don’t bother. I wish SyFy had bought the rights, Freeform is a joke. Shannara Chronicles was well done too. I suppose SyFy is busy making The Magicians (also impressive) and their other new show The Expanse, but I just can’t help feeling they would have done justice to the Shadowhunter world. The execs at Freeform must be smoking up.

  36. Laura says:

    Really, I don’t know what to make out of this show after just watching the first episode! I was expecting changes, as well as bad acting because well, that’s just to be expected from this network! I mean have you seen commercials of their other shows? It’s all pretty-young actors that have questionable acting skills but look good in sexy clothes and in camera! but being a fan of the books, I was willing to watch it but I don’t know. I think it’s gonna hit my “watch-later-when-it-hits-netflix” list pretty soon –

  37. Amanda Penn says:

    I’m not worried about the changes. The Vampire Diaries is different from the books and I enjoy both. As an author, I am a bit worried that Clare didn’t have any input but I think it is a personal view. The acting wasn’t so bad for a pilot. I’m sure they will improve as the show continues. I am still excited for the show. I want to see what they do with it.

  38. Heather says:

    The only reason I’m continuing to watch is because I loved the books that much that I’m holding out hope they hire a new producer & writers, spend more $ on special effects, lose the cheese factor, and Clary learns how to act. I think the worst part was the writing. I understand it’s fantasy, but one can create believable fantasy. This was ridiculous. Clary’s responses didn’t even make sense in a very fictional world. I’m extremely disappointed because this was probably the last chance of seeing my favorite story come to life on screen. Whoever chose not to allow the author and probably only talented writer associated with this show to have input should be fired. Along with the current writers. I guess the silver lining is it made me appreciate the movie more. At least those characters were talented and well cast. (with the exception of Jace in the movie)

  39. Coot says:

    I think it is quite unfair to leave CC out of the series, I mean it is kind of her baby, right? But I also think that the way they portray Clary horrific, because who has hair that plastic an orange? Don’t get me wrong, I loved the book and in the movie she has plausible hair, but I think they should have just left it the way it was.

  40. Amy says:

    Makes me laugh all the comments about how bad the acting is when Cassie Clare states she was involved in the casting. Sometimes this stuff should be left to the professionals.

    • James says:

      I believe what Cassandra Clare said was, she was involved with some of the selections of the cast, not all. More importantly, she was not involved in the direction of their acting, as it is the actual director who does that (the so called, professionals). If they would have had Cassandra “stage side” then perhaps the show would have been better. All negative credibility will have to go to Ed Decter, not the author.

      “The article’s here. The article seems to rest on a misunderstanding of what Ed Decter said at TCA. He said I was involved in casting. (I was involved in casting Alec, Isabelle, Jace, Clary, Raphael, Magnus, Simon, and Luke. There are no other characters I was involved in casting, not for any sinister reason but because at some point the production moved to Canada and the casting was done from then on by people I didn’t know. Also, quite a few characters are original to the show and not in the books, and I wouldn’t have known how to comment on their suitability.) He did not say I was involved in any other way, and I was not. As detailed above, I was in no way a part of creating the plot of this show beyond providing the source material that inspired it.” –Cassandra Clare

  41. Chelsey says:

    I’ve been an avid Mortal Instruments fan since picking up the first book. I’m on the course of rereading them again and I loved the movie. However the TV series is horribly done. The charters are wrong and the acting is horrible. Very disappointed. Cassandra Clare should have had more say with the production of it all since she is the author.

  42. James says:

    Trying to keep to the original topic here about the differences between the movie and the tv adaption; one of the initial changes was the “shop” under their home, with yes, the young Dot. In the movie the mother and daughter seem to be in an apartment complex and the “woman down stairs” runs her fortune-telling out of her home.

    I honestly tried to give the show a chance. After watching the first episode though, I just didn’t want to go back. The acting was bad, the show seemed rushed, and the props cheap. Don’t even get me started on the lightsaber-ish swords the shadowhunters carry around. The kids (older teens) and I sat down for the second episode, and I think we got fifteen minutes in before looking at each other and saying, lets turn this off it is really bad. The show is just terrible. Maybe if they would have consulted with the author a little more, the show would have been success. In my opinion, it will be lucky to finish the season.

  43. Jill R says:

    I feel like the actress who is portraying Clary is going for an Anna Camp type vibe. Anyone else feel that?

  44. Kayla says:

    Something that really bothered me with this adaptation was how many people were walking around the Institute. In the books, only the Lightwoods and Jace live there because there are so few Shadowhunters (and so few that want to live outside Idris) that they cannot even fill their Institutes around the world. Also, I thought the Institute was way too tech savvy.

    Additionally, this wasn’t a change per se, but it really bothered me also that they tried to make everyone look so glossed-up and perfect. I would have preferred if they made everyone more natural-looking.

    Also, why in the world is Valentine at Chernobyl? How typical is that?! I have NO CLUE why they couldn’t just let him have the island like he does in the book. I think this change greatly takes away from the New York setting.

    Finally, in the books, Simon thinks Isabelle is pretty, but she doesn’t give him the time of day until much later in the series after he dates Clary for awhile.

    I’m okay with change, but I think their special effects are kind of hokey and I’m not happy with the fact that they took away Cassandra Clare’s witty banter between her characters. Also, I want to see the strong, fierce, sweet Clary from the books. They never cast her right, and the explanations they gave about the Shadowhunters were really weird. If I hadn’t read all six books, I would be so confused.

  45. Amber Miles says:

    I Was extremely disappointed. I could go on and on about the changes I did not like! Luke being a cop, making Clary look crazy all the time for talking to herself, Dorthea, Maureen being Simons only other band member, Mom giving Clary the stele, and so many more. I do not understand why writers change so much when making a TV series out of a book, it was a best selling novel, obviously it had what it takes enthrall fans. So why deviate so much? Because of these changes there is so much that will have to be left out in the future, the show was a major let down for me.

  46. Sam says:

    I’m just angry Clare didn’t have a say in the script for the show. J.k had a huge say in Harry potter and even wrote drafts Of the script. If she did the pilot would have been a lot different and there would be less complaints. However I did kinda enjoy and the only thing that bothered me was jace not being English.

  47. Aurora says:

    I had seriously high hopes for this show, but it’s pretty much awful. The Institute with the high-tech, just weird. Jace is nothing like in the books. And well, he is my favorite character, so that’s a bummer. I don’t like the changes and I don’t like the acting. And Izzy, can she please put on some normal clothes? She’s badass, but not with those clothes. I definitely like the movie better. This is really sad.

  48. Ted A says:

    The changes aren’t the problem. The terrible acting is. The TV series Jace couldn’t deliver a sharp witted sarcastic line if his life depended on it. TV Clary squeals and wails a lot but that’s about it. They also have zero chemistry.

    TV series mom was ok but TV Luke was AWFUL! To go from super talented hot actor Aidan Turner to this guy playing Luke is downright painful. Zero chemistry with Jocelyn and his acting seems limited to making the same stone face in every scene.

    The series creators have obviously never been to Brooklyn or Manhattan but you would think they would have looked at photos before making a set.

    What was the purpose of setting fire to Clary’s room at all? A ridiculous pointless act to fill in time with bad CGI. And no smoke and no fire damage from the raging fire either…

    Just as pointless was the scene with Isabelle dancing to supposedly entice the demons they were already holding in their hands.

    What’s up with the ridiculous sparklies that erupt when they use their obvious plastic swords in the slow dancing fight scenes?

  49. Heather says:

    I’m sorry if you don’t agree with me but I am watching the the show right now and I absolutely hate it. I read the whole book series and was so excited to watch this but I am sooooo very disappointed in Freeform’s ability to make the show remotely close to the plot of the books and with their ability to chose actors. Jace Wayland from the movie (Jamie Campbell Bower) is way hotter and I feel he has the mysterious aspect that the actor in the show does not understand.

  50. Kevin says:

    Clary is dressed too feminine, when in the books she was uncomfortable wearing “girly” clothes,
    Luke DOESNT HAVE A BOOK STORE… He’s a detective…
    Maureen, the girl crushing on Simon, isn’t a little girl, she’s their age, and IN the. Band