The Mortal Instruments: The Journey to TV

        By Daley Wilhelm

The Mortal Instruments series has had a quite unusual journey since its creation, but now it looks like the urban fantasy will be finding its place on TV. “Shadowhunters” as the series will now be called, has been picked up by ABC Family with production starting in May.

The Mortal Instruments is the bestselling fantasy series by Cassandra Clare that filled the young adult genre post-Twilight and pre-Hunger Games, supplying teens with supernatural romance and a strong, female lead character. The series follows Clary Fray, a fifteen-year-old, nerdy girl in New York City who discovers a world that had been hidden from her. Her mother was a Shadowhunter, a pseudo-angelic warrior that hunts down demons. Thus, Clary is able to see other Shadowhunters, who she must turn to when her mother is attacked and disappears. The Shadowhunters she runs into are cool, leather-clad, and covered in magical rune tattoos. With their help, Clary finds out who, or rather what, she really is and what happened to her mother.

The book was originally a massive Harry Potter fanfiction called The Draco Trilogy which author Clare wrote before refining it into The Mortal Instruments series. Sleek and sarcastic Shadowhunter Jace was based on Draco Malfoy of all people, and Clary has some of Ginny Weasley’s spark to her. Clare also developed some of the powers explored in The Mortal Instruments when writing The Draco Trilogy, such as “wandless magic” via the use of runes. While runes were only ever mentioned in passing in the Harry Potter books, they mean everything in the world of Shadowhunters.

The complicated powers and lore in the series are a few reasons why fans are excited for the books to become a TV series. The movie could only vaguely explain some of the complex histories that were key to understanding future events in the series. With the film, the plot had to be significantly sped up in order to cram in all the information the dauntingly thick first book had. Favorite characters, like warlock Magnus Bane, only got a fraction of the screen time fans believed he deserved, especially considering the prequel book series where he was the main character.

Overall, a TV series would be able to slowly explore the labyrinthine world Cassandra Clare has created. Demons, vampires, werewolves, angels, family drama, and leather pants is quite a bit to throw at someone in a two hour movie. This was proven as The Mortal Instruments movie, released in 2013, did not manage to meet viewer’s high expectations. While a flop on the big screen, several seasons would be able to better handle the weighty series.