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.