Change is the name of the game, both in story and style, when Shadowhunters returns for its second season on Monday (Freeform, 8/7c).
Sure, it still spins the tale of a fiery-haired young woman coming to terms with her new life as an angelic demon slayer — the action, more or less, picks up exactly where last season’s finale left off — but with a new behind-the-scenes team at the helm, things will play out a little differently than you might expect.
TVLine spoke with new showrunner Darren Swimmer, executive producer Matt Hastings and star Dominic Sherwood for the scoop on what’s to come, including some of the major changes you’re bound to notice:
* One of the first visual changes fans will notice is the re-vamped portal system: “We imagined something more liquid, almost like a whirlpool you jump through,” Swimmer says. “We took creative license to say, ‘Even if they looked a certain way in Season 1, here’s how they’re going to look now.”
* Simon’s vampire moves have also been given an upgrade: “The physical part of it, the way he moves around, we’ve improved,” Hastings says. “There’s a joy in seeing Simon continue to discover his powers. He’s in the driver’s seat, and you’re the passenger watching his journey unfold.”
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* Fans can expect a surprising amount of backlash following Alec and Magnus’ wedding-stopping kiss. “They were forced to bring their relationship to another level, because only because they wanted to prevent Alec from getting married,” Swimmer acknowledges. “In some ways, they were jumpstarted to a place where they might not naturally have gotten. This season is about them knowing they belong together, but not knowing where to take their relationship from here.”
* Those violent trailers don’t lie: “Episodes 1 through 5 is just a cacophony of Jace getting his ass handed to him,” Sherwood says. “Every time you think he’s going to catch a break… he just doesn’t.”
* Jace is “kind of Jack Bauer-ing his way through the first half of the season,” Sherwood reveals about his character’s questionable allegiance to Valentine. “There are things he needs to get done, and he’s willing to make whatever sacrifices he has to.” #JaceBauer
* That said, Jace giving himself to the dark side is “an absolute threat,” Sherwood assures us. “That’s why everyone is so desperate to get him back. We’ve seen throughout history that some of the darkest leaders are often the most charismatic — people want to follow them. That’s sort of the case with Valentine.”
* As for Jace’s relationship with possible-sister Clary, Sherwood admits it’s “always in the forefront of his mind. He’s still feeling feelings he knows he shouldn’t be feeling. It’s not correct for him to be experiencing this. But we just finished Episode 10, and that hasn’t even really been looked at as of yet.”
* Lastly, although we still have some time to kill before Sebastian — a major character in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments books — arrives in the second half of the season, Swimmer promises he’ll be a “charming character with a dark side. … Any further details about how Sebastian emerges on the show, and what kind of character he is, we want to keep close to the vest for now.”
Your hopes for Shadowhunters‘ second season? Drop ’em in a comment below.