Shadowhunters Fan War

Shadowhunters Author: 'I Hate to See the Fandom Split' Over Books vs. Show

Cassandra Clare‘s reasoning skills would prove useful at the next Clave meeting.

The author of the Mortal Instruments books — upon which Freeform’s Shadowhunters is based — took to Twitter on Monday to suppress what she calls an “unnecessary war” brewing between fans of the novels and fans of the show.

Employing the hashtag #ShadowhuntersFandomUnited, Clare insisted that she has a “good relationship” with the entire cast and crew of Shadowhunters, including showrunner Ed Decter and executive producer McG. Furthermore, she insists that “authors do not resent or compete with adaptations of their work.”

Read Clare’s tweets in full below:

I realize this is asking a lot, but… Can’t we all just get along? Drop a comment below with your thoughts on Shadowhunters‘ biggest page-to-screen changes.

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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60 Comments
  1. Stephanie says:

    You have to take the show for what it is – a tv show. It will not be a reenactment of the books. I personally like the books better but I am enjoying the show as well. The casting of Magnus Bane was spot on.

    • Sarah says:

      I completely agree. I’m a fan of both, I just recognize them as two different things. You can’t expect a tv show to be exactly what the books were, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be entertaining to watch. As for Magnus Bane, yes – just yes.

    • Rene says:

      I haven’t read the books in some time, they are hands down one of my favourite series… That will forever be in my heart.. But I love the TV series as well, took some time to get used to the differences but now I like it. Magnus I agree, spot on. Same with Alec and Simon.

  2. Lucy says:

    Perhaps she shouldn’t have responded to a tweet asking how to replace the writers on the show by telling them to get in touch with Freeform, ABC and make their complaints know the Ed Decter, then. Nothing quite incites a fan war than subtle shade being thrown by the original creator towards a show that is actually doing a pretty solid, if slow and steady, job at adapting her work.

    • Maria M says:

      With her new book coming out, she probably realized it’s not a good idea to alienate potential readers who like the show.

  3. Cátia says:

    I can’t understand this war. I love the books but I do like to watch the show too. It’s not the same but that’s something expected. If a book is going to be adapted chances are that it’s not going to be the same as the books and fans should know that. They also shouldn’t attack the author for what happens in the show. She has nothing to do with that.

  4. diz16 says:

    This advice can apply to so many other shows…cough….Arrow!….cough

  5. wrstlgirl says:

    I started watching this and enjoyed it. Never read the books. Unfortunately for me I lost interest because I just couldn’t buy the lead actress in the role.

    • Linds says:

      Try the books. It might just turn you back onto it. And the actress is getting better. I was iffy at first but saw some improvement as the character evolved

  6. VJ says:

    I loved the books when I first read them (in fact I read them as prep for my English A levels) and while I have my problems with the series, I like it just fine. And they have something to do with production and casting not with changed story or dialogue. A tv series or a movie is very rarely a exact copy of the book. And why should it be? It is an adaptation, a dramatization. Another author’s/producer’s/directors/actor’s spin on a already known and loved story. Some things don’t work on a screen that work on paper just fine and the other way around. And some changes are bad, some are good. At the end they are different formats and just because it’s not like the books it’s not automatically bad. They should be viewed as independent work, based on something. Not as a moving-pictures-copy of something. (then of course, it’s entirely subjective how you want to judge a book adaptation…)

    • Lethe says:

      Television is not print. A book in print is done, finished, complete. A television show can be tweaked, adjusted, redirected, and can take the story beyond what is in the book. We already have the book(s). Be happy that the characters can have lives beyond the set story – let’s see where they will take us!

  7. Patrick says:

    Shadow hunters is one of those properties that is hard to bring to screen. It employs a style that features heavily on rapid reveals. Its great for reading, but it doesn’t allow for good TV/movie. Further, making the characters all absurdly attractive limits casting possibilities. And the dialog, not always important in YA books (as opposed to internal monologue’s re: feelings), is very important in TV/films.

    • Jewels says:

      That is one of my only nitpicks about the show so far – too many reveals.

      I really like some of the changes that Freeform has made. I read all of the books AFTER I saw the pilot.

      I’m getting a bit of whiplash with all of the reveals. One of the best things they tried to do early was change some of the character dynamics. They’ve abandoned that and really they shouldn’t.

      Jace and Alec. Epic bromance. Right now? I’m not buying it.

      Jace and Clary. Epic romance. Right now? I’m not seeing it.

      Alec and Magnus. Holy amazing casting Batman. I’m loving these moments.

      Simon. Going down the path to vamp way too quickly without any real interaction with Izzy.

      Izzy. Turned into her mom so quickly. I dunno. Her character growth in the books really endeared her to me. Right now I’m having a hard time seeing it.

      Luke. Quite possibly the most annoying character right now.

      Valentine. Never liked him in the books anyway, but right now he’s a one dimensional villain.

      Love the show. Will keep watching the show. Want to see a 2nd season.

      • Erin Lowrie says:

        “Alec and Magnus. Holy amazing casting Batman.” Yes! I love these two the most. TV Alec is way better… and hotter…. than movie Alec!

      • lumross says:

        The problem is not the changes they are making.
        The problem is the changes are not always good. Most of the situations happen for a reason. You could change them as long as it leads to the same conclusion or even a new plot (keeping it coherent with the whole story). The thing is: they are making changes that lead to the same conclusion but have no sense. The new decisions should lead to another path for them to make sense and make the story believable.

  8. Amy says:

    I guess fandom wars just follow Cassandra Clare wherever she goes.

    • Temperance says:

      She writes YA, and teenagers are programmed to rebel… it’s stupid for the most part, but that is the way it is. It happens all the time in book and comic adaptations. The TV show suffers in the acting department, and from the uneven acting from some actors, in the direction. Harry as Magnus has been terrific, though. The Malec scenes sparkle, with Alec only coming alive then. Isobel is uneven, but can do a good job with good direction. Simon as well.

  9. Mak says:

    To be fair the show sucks!

    • ABG says:

      Same with the books. I read the first one and didn’t continue as it was a bore.

      As for the show, it’s poorly acted and cheap, which is a shame, because while the books are bland, there was potential if they had a strong cast and a few twists.

      • Angie says:

        The ‘book is bland’ not ‘the books are bland’. You only read one of them. If you read more than one of the books you would have discovered it has ‘strong cast and a few twists.’ Reading one of a six book series is not going to tell you anything about the series itself. I understand that they are not for everyone, but don’t judge the whole series on just one book.

        • Lethe says:

          Be honest, Angie. If you spent your time reading the first book of a series of six and did not enjoy it, would YOU waste your time reading the next five? Of course reading the first of a series is going to tell you something about the series itself! It will tell you whether you engage with the characters, whether you like the writing style, whether the story is worth investing the time to read five more volumes. I can see reading past a few uninteresting chapters to get further along in a book before making this call, but not reading five more books!

    • Kristen says:

      It’s very rare that the show/movie of a book is ever going to be better than the book itself. At best, the movie can be as good, but it will never be better. With a book, each person is allowed to create their own idea of what the character looks like and they form a personal attachment to them. It’s just what happens if a book is written well. With a show, you are given the cast, and you have no control over how the lines are delivered, or how secrets are revealed. I personally like the show. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I love it, but it’s growing on me. Alec and Magnus are by far my favorite characters, which definitely differs from when I read the books. I’m looking forward to seeing where they take the rest of the show.

  10. Ash says:

    Sounds like someone got told off after baiting the fans to contact Freeform about new script writers. She also posted about how she stopped reading scripts because they didn’t want her advice. Shouldn’t she worry about her plagiarism lawsuit instead?

  11. Eva says:

    Ehh, I remember reading the books and wishing they would be turned into a tv show, because while the characters and worldbuilding ideas (which, btw, it later turned out had been stolen from another author) had a lot of potential, the writing was rather terrible. Like the books were written by a teenager. The plot is a joke. I managed to read 3 or 4 of the books, just skimmed the rest to see what happened with my favourite characters. Definitely the kind of a series that gets worse with every book.
    I had high hopes for the show, even though the first previews did not make me optimistic… but then I learned CC had very little input into the writing, so I was hopeful again. Well, after watching the episodes so far, I wouldn’t call it a good show, I think a lot of potential was wasted and they should’ve made more changes from the books. And yet, as far as guilty pleasures go, it’s not the worst. I’m not super invested, but I watch to see what they made of my fav characters, and some of them exceed expectations. Too bad about the main couple, who are the two weakest links.
    And, btw, CC has a lot of cheek to now start trying to calm her crazy army down. She’s the one taht turned her own fandom into an uncritical mass who believe her farts smell of roses. There is a very unhealthy atmosphere that surrounds this woman.

    • Patrick says:

      If the series has 6 seasons, to follow the books, and averages 14 eps per season, it would reach 84 eps, which is just 4 short of the 88 needed for syndication. Once that happens (with 4-5 special holiday eps it will reach 88), CC can complain from using the WiFi on her private jet as she travels from compound to compound. AKA she’ll be rich as F. So she’s learning to play nice.

      • Eva says:

        She can be as rich as it gets, for all I care, it doesn’t concern me in any way. And I sure don’t care what happens to people stupid enough to be her uncritical followers. But, man, if the show goes to be that long I sure hope they follow the books as little as possible ;) the plot is still salvageable imho.

    • Leslie says:

      The lawsuit was already dropped because Sherrilynn had no actual basis. I Love both Cassandra and Sherrilynn but I’m dissapointed in Sherrilyn for even starting that lawsuit, if you rip the books to their spines they have some things in common but so do a million other books.

  12. Jared says:

    Someone should reply that the movie was the best.

  13. Sara says:

    She did a lot of baiting of the fans when the show premiered, so this feels like backtracking by her. It was unfair to those working on the show for her to throw shade at it. I feel like this is an apology without actually apologizing.

  14. leo21 says:

    There is a lot of variance between the show and book but it’s a better representation of that world than the movie. I don’t have a problem with the acting. The problem was with the casting. They should all be forced to take acting classes during the hiatus if they want the show to survive.

    • Sarah says:

      I thought so at first, but I think it’s partly the writing. I like the show, but I feel some of the terms from the book are over used , which sounds cheesy. If they could tone down on the cheese and step up the romance, the show could be better.

  15. Cait says:

    I loved the movie, loved the books, love the show. They’re all different but so are most adaptations, you got to know that it is its own thing when you go into it.

    • Couldn’t agree more. Each medium has its own strengths, although I thought the movie wasn’t particularly well done other than JRM as Valentine, who demonstrated the insane charisma he’s supposed to have.
      TV show has improved massively since EP6 and the first three books could have done with some serious editing to tighten them up. She’s got better as a writer as she’s gone along.

  16. Fernanda says:

    Pretty Little Liars took another directions besides the books. Some fans love the show and follow the books with other point of view. Viewers love Ezria but in the books Noel is the endgame for Aria by the end of the series. So sad Mortal Instruments readers don’t support the creative decisions of the TV show.

  17. Erin Lowrie says:

    Of course the books are better, but the show is decent too. A few changes, but nothing to be upset about. And some of the cast is much better than the movie. No matter what book it is, there will always be changes in an adaption whether it be to big or small screen. As a fan of the books, they are one of my favorite series, I am just happy that Freeform picked it up since the movies were abandoned after the first flopped. I am confused on Cassandra Clare though. I have read that she wants nothing to do with the show and have read that she likes it and has a relationship with cast/creators. Who knows what the truth really is. There is no point for this feud though. Who cares if fans like both, or one or the other.

  18. Shannon says:

    The show is total and utter crap. As a huge fan of the series I was completely blown away by how bad it was. The acting is so painful. The writing borders on laughable. When you look at a show like The Shannara Chronicles or Pretty Little Liars there is proof that adaptations can work flawlessly. The bad acting, the even worse casting and mediocre writing have all left this such a wasted opportunity. Sorry but push up bras and dark eye makeup do not make a show. I tried my best to give this one a go but by episode 4 I was actually insulted and took it out of rotation.

    • Megan says:

      Really? Lol you’re using the Shannara chronicles as an example of a good show? Jesus… That show is garbage. Sure the effects and scenery look amazing, but the actors are so flat and boring. The only one interesting was Manu Bennett. I stopped after the third episode because I couldn’t stomach how they made it such a bore. As for PLL, it wasn’t always great. It was mediocre the first season and hit it’s prime around the third or fourth. But that’s to be expected because it’s had time to work out the flaws. I agree with you that the first few episodes of Shadowhunters weren’t great, but it’s a shame you stopped before episodes 5 and 6. It got a hell of a lot better. Still needs some work, but it’s getting there (It reminds me a lot of Teen Wolf’s first season.).

      • High expectations says:

        I agree with Shannon. The Shannara Chronicles tv show is so much better. There are a few bad lines, but dang 55 of 60 minutes of shadowhunters is bad.

    • The Shannara Chronicles is an absolute bastardisation of the books with only one thing remaining true to what happens in Elfstones.
      Sorry can’t agree there at all. It has amazing cinematography and the visual effects, scenery and production values are incredible.
      But the casting was poor, Manu Bennett and John Rhys Davis did what they could to save it but the story telling was all over the place and as an actual adaptation of the novel it’s based on, it was dreadful.
      Still hugely entertaining to watch but as a visual representation of Shannara, really poor.

  19. em says:

    When I first started this show, I was not a fan. After reading all of the books, I had very high hopes. I understand perfectly well that tv shows have the right to make adaptations to the series as well dramatize some parts, but this has gone too far. I don’t know if the series just doesn’t translate well into a show, but there are many parts lacking important aspects of Cassandra Clare’s style. The acting is mediocre (not all of the characters, but many), the dialogue is forced and awkward (and lacks any of Clare’s witty humor, especially since it seems to seen throughout the entire series), and I think we can all agree that the effects are pretty bad. Many of the plots of the episodes border on ridiculous. I hope this show gets better soon.

  20. Ola says:

    I choose both!➰💕

  21. High expectations says:

    I read and enjoyed all the books. My only complaint was a little too much angst for Jace. I loved the movie. I thought the acting was great, but I can see where book fans thought the plot changed too much. This tv show is cringe worthy iCarly garbage! Except for Magnus, who is spot on, the writing is atrocious; the acting horrendous; and all that nauseating plot reveal dialog! The main characters, the institute, and the scenery are all way off. I’m so disappointed. The relationships are forced and stale. I could go on all day.

  22. Tina says:

    I love the book and the show! If they go exactly by the books there would be no surprise as to what is going to happen next. If it was a movie I would be mad but it’s not its a tv show. I like not knowing what is going to happen or how. If you don’t like it then don’t watch it but it’s a great show to me. It has a great cast. #shadowhunterstv

  23. Amber says:

    It’s not possible to understand this “war” because it’s ridiculous. I’ve never seen worse fans in any fandom than those of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters series. I AM first and foremost a fan of the book, but I enjoy the show for what it is. Even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t act the way a lot of this fandom does, because I’m not a child.

  24. Janet says:

    I like so many other fans of the books love and hate aspects of the tv show. I do enjoy the series, it’s something different from all the boring crap out there. I’ve always been an Alec fan and I do like Mathew as Alec (even tho I wasn’t to keen on him when he was announced as Alec in the beginning.). I personally think Alec is way hotter than Jace tho, but that’s ok because Jace has always annoyed me. I love Harry playing Magnus too. They so got him spot on! (Tho… he needs more glitter) I think more people are interested in what will happen with Alec and Magnus than with Jace and Clary.

    I have to agree with some of the other comments. Simon is turning vamp to fast and he really isn’t interacting with Izzy like he should. Luke was a favorite character in the books, but he’s not so much a favorite character to me in the series. He’s annoying me.

    I won’t even start on Maureen….

    Then there is Valentine… He’s just… mean! The Valentine in the books was evil, but Charismatic. That was how he drew his followers in. This Valentine is just like every other evil, sadistic killer on tv these days. There is no charm to this version. Not to mention I am still not buying his hideout being in Chernobyl. This makes no sense for his character at all.

    All in all, the TV show is fun, different, good entertainment and I plan to keep watching for as long as Alec (and Mathew) are on the show. I am hoping I will grow to like Jace, Clary and Izzy eventually. I do like Simon and I adore Magnus of course.

    I just wish they had waited before introducing the characters that don’t show up until books 2, 3 and 4. I hate when a show rushes things.

  25. Red says:

    So I have read the books, seen the movie, and have been watching the show. And here’s where I land.

    The casting of Clary in the movie (Lily Collins) was way better than the casting of Clary in the TV show. The actress playing Clary on the TV show seems to be confused about the character she’s playing….she reads like she’s on 90210. It’s borderline annoying.

    The casting of Alec & Isabelle in the TV show was SPOT ON – so much better than the movie, and extremely close to the book.

    Having a little trouble believing Magnus Bane in the TV show – he’s too young. Great actor….but it’s just a little unbelievable.

    Jace & Clary in the TV show have NO, repeat NO chemistry whatsoever. Hopefully that changes since they are the focus of the ENTIRE series.

    Jocelyn – you really can’t beat Lena Hadley. The TV actress is ok….but I don’t really buy her as a warrior.

    After all that….basically the TV show does a great job going in depth with every single chapter of the first book so far. But the casting has left a lot to be desired in a lot of cases. I would love to know who on earth decided on the Clary casting…..it takes more than red hair dye to make that character. Hopefully, the actress grows up a little, takes a few acting classes, and realizes that just absurdly widening your eyes and pursing your lips does not make drama.

    • Leslie says:

      You’ve literally read my mind about the casting. I was violently told to never watch the movie because it would make me hate my beloved characters, I warily watched the pilot and I love the casting for Alec, Isabelle, Simon and Jace (and of course max is literally adorable), But don’t feel the chemistry between Jace and Clary while Alec and Magnus magic is the main reason i tune in for the show every week. Magnus may not have been the greatest casting choice Harry is a surprisingly fantastic actor (I didn’t really like him in his other works) and i like what hes doing with the character over all, and dont get me started on Mathew ( <3 he's perfection). But I dislike Clary, this maybe wasn't the right show for this actress, im sure she'd do awesome on a drama show like you said she would have made a great annie from 90210 but she just seems to be constantly using the same tone of voice for every scene and doing the wierd pursed mouth almost crying thing, shes really starting to annoy me to the point i fast forwarded through the scene with her and jace last episode.
      So far I actually enjoy the changes they've made to the storyline, they're being done in a way were i'm starting to think of the show as not the same series as the immortals, which i like because i'm not constantly comparing them now. And I get they need to fit all the action into the small first season run, i feel like the show is rushing some things like simon turning Vamp as an example, That felt so sudden we never got to know simon as the quirky best friend which i was sad about. they jumped straight to wierd mood swingy Simon.

  26. L says:

    People just need to get over it! No book adapted to a movie or tv show will ever be the same. So here is something easy for people to do…don’t like the show or movie don’t watch it plain and simple. No point in getting worked up and pissed off because the show isn’t what YOU think it should be. You will be hard pressed to find a movie or show out there that is exactly like the book. So get over it.

  27. Ok, so now that that’s resolved can we get on with the show versus movie war?

  28. Beth says:

    If they keep putting on shows like they did last night they will in time win over more folks. At this point, people need to get over that the story is a bit different from the books. The horse is dead, leave it alone. Last night’s episode was the quality I was hoping to see from the start and moved with the same intensity that drew me to the books. Loved it! Everyone seems to have relaxed into their roles and chemistry has completely changed for the better! If this keeps up, this show should take off like a race car! My advice: let go of “it’s different” and enjoy the story. King Arthur stories have hundreds of different versions, but the same basic facts have remained a mainstay for several hundred years. View this as the same: same story, same basic concepts, details have changed, but still a great story!

  29. Aymee says:

    I hated the show at the start because it was so different from the books.. But it kinda grew in me haha, can’t get enough now!

  30. MC says:

    I honestly like the show but I’ve also seen the movie and read the books and I feel like the show is missing the mystery us fans love to see. The show in my opinion is a bit predictable I managed to figure who Clary’s father was before she even went to see the silent brothers. Clary accepted the shadow world to easily there was no contemplation, no outburst, not breakdown no nothing and that was a disappointment. Jace was a bit to dramatic to me that is made it seem fake and unreal in episode 4 at the end after they rescue Simon. Jace was to dramatic period. Simon is okay, Isabelle is or was a bit to s****y, Alec is pot rated really well, I like Magnus, Luke is amazing, Jocelyn was a bit monatone but other wise okay. Clary was to mechanical like she was reading to much from the script and not giving much emotion, as if she was not bringing her inner fire, her inner self. I feel TV Clary should be more like Movie Clary and so should Jace because the show is going to fast,even if I can’t wait for the next episode, some key scenes are being missed and the Jonathon Christopher revelation should have been explained more before she went to look for the Mortal cup and all the mortal instruments should be explained briefly as well. We’ve seen and heard about the cup, and sword but what about the mirror. Explain the relationship between Jocelyn and Luke more why didn’t they ever get married? Was Jocelyn already pregnant with Clary when she hid the mortal cup? If so how did she get pregnant with Johnathon? And who is Johnathan’s father? I also feel the show needs more action, more drama that will keep me guessing, less predictable drama. How about Jace’s parents are you going to explain them as well? Also Clary can be a bit annoying with her reactions, but her feistyness makes up for it at times. Explain Clary and Luke’s relationship please. Will Alec ever get closure? Will Clary ever realize her full potential and does she inherit any more unusual angelic powers? The show needs to be more realistic not something highschoolers can pull of of they have the talent and right equipment.

  31. MICHELLE says:

    I love the books hated the movie and had so much hope for the show. I’m still watching I just feel I guess like the acting talent is lacking and I’m hoping that as they go on with their skill will grow. I guess I just wanted to feel more of the book of life and the show then so far I have felt.

  32. Ashley says:

    I gotta say, I read the books before even the movie came out! Loved the books, loved the movie ( disappointed that they left it at just the one) and so far I’m loving the show. My only dislikes are the girl they cast for Clary and the fact that Jace isn’t as much of a pompous ass in the beginning of the show. They softened him up a little too quickly! I will definitely continue to watch the show and am looking forward to Lady Midnight!

  33. Kennedy says:

    In the eleventh episode jace and clary find out there brother and sister. I am so mad. I don’t want them to be. It completely ruined it. 😩

  34. I loved the books (even if they had their ups and downs) and had great hopes for the show after the disappointment of the movie (which I now think is not that bad, by comparison).
    I was extremely disappointed, the dialogue is extremely weak, we can’t sense the intense bromance between Alec and Jace (they’re supposed to be parabatai!!) and even less the romance between Clary and Jace.
    Clary is plain, and has lost all her personality that I learned to love reading the books.
    Valentine is a two dimensional villain that has been revealed way to quickly instead of building up to it.
    And what really was the icing on the cake: They added new characters, related to old characters who died without having children and whose family name should be lost. And this new character does a lot of things that just don’t make sense according to the plot at all and are just making important things impossible (Magnus and Alec’s relationship will have to happen in a completely different way which takes out A LOT of the appeal)
    Making the characters older was a bad choice since now we can’t identify with them as much.
    The actor are the one and only highlight, they are not bad at all and look (kinda) like their characters. Sadly they have very little (or nothing) to work with.