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File:Shadowhunters Intertitle.png
Also known as 'Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments'
Genre Fantasy
Based on The Mortal Instruments 
by Cassandra Clare
Developed by Ed Decter
Opening theme "This Is The Hunt" by Ruelle
Composer(s) Ben Decter
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Production location(s) Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s)
Original network Freeform
Picture format 16:9 HDTV
Audio format Dolby SR
Original release January 12, 2016 (2016-01-12) – present (present)
External links
Official website

Shadowhunters is an American fantasy television series based on The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, and developed for television by Ed Decter. It is the second adaptation of the novel series, after the 2013 film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which like Shadowhunters was produced by Constantin Film. The show received a straight-to-series order on March 30, 2015,[1] and premiered on January 12, 2016 on Freeform. In March 2016, it was announced that the series had been renewed for a second season.


Clary Fray has just enrolled at Brooklyn Academy of Arts. On her eighteenth birthday, she learns that she is a Shadowhunter, a human born with angelic blood who protect humans from demons. That night, Clary's mother, Jocelyn Fray, is abducted by a group of rogue Shadowhunters of "The Circle". Their leader is Jocelyn's husband, Valentine Morgenstern.

With her mother missing, Clary turns to Luke, a person she trusted, only to seemingly be betrayed. Clary joins up with a band of Shadowhunters to save her mother and discovers powers she never knew she possessed. Clary is thrown into the world of demon hunting with the mysterious, narcissistic, and attractive Shadowhunter, Jace, and also her loyal and geeky friend, Simon. Now living among fairies, warlocks, vampires, and werewolves, Clary begins a journey of self-discovery as she learns more about her past and what her future may hold.[2]

Cast and characters




No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
U.S. viewers
1 "The Mortal Cup" McG Ed Decter January 12, 2016 (2016-01-12) 267074-1 1.82[19]
On her eighteenth birthday, Clary Fray's mother, Jocelyn, is kidnapped. Soon after, Clary discovers that her mother belongs to a supernatural group called Shadowhunters, a half-angel/half-human race tasked to protect the Downworld (faeries, werewolves, vampires and warlocks) from demons. Clary learns she also belongs to this race, after being saved by a fellow Shadowhunter named Jace – who then introduces her to his adoptive siblings Alec and Isabelle. Clary overhears her mother's friend, Luke, claim that he cares nothing about her or her mother. Clary is at a crossroads not knowing who to trust – her best friend Simon or the Shadowhunters – to help save Jocelyn from Valentine, a dangerous rogue Shadowhunter.
2 "The Descent Into Hell Isn't Easy" Mick Garris Ed Decter & Hollie Overton January 19, 2016 (2016-01-19)[lower-alpha 1] 267074-2 1.01[21]
The Circle has returned, as has Valentine. With the Shadowhunters searching for the Mortal Cup, the Institute is on alert. After Hodge tells Clary that Jocelyn was once a Circle member, they realize Clary's significance in the cause. Jace realizes Clary's memories are the only way to find Jocelyn and the Cup. Unfortunately, without her memories they are unable to help her or the Shadowhunter team. Thus Jace, Isabelle and a reluctant Alec take Clary to visit the powerful Silent Brothers in the City of Bones, where she fails to retrieve any memories but finds out her biological father is Valentine himself. Meanwhile, Luke is worried about Clary's whereabouts, while Simon comes to terms with Clary's new life.
3 "Dead Man's Party" Andy Wolk Marjorie David January 26, 2016 (2016-01-26) 267074-3 0.98[22]
The Shadowhunters plan to rescue Simon, who has been taken captive by vampires in exchange for the Mortal Cup. Jace, Isabelle, Alec and Clary locate Simon's whereabouts to the Hotel Dumort, where he is being held by Camille Belcourt, Raphael Santiago and the rest of Camille's outfit. Alec and Jace have a dispute over Clary and her loyalty, since her father is their enemy. Isabelle visits Meliorn, her Seelie lover, in order to extract information about the Hotel Dumort, so the group can get into the building unnoticed. The Shadowhunters retrieve Simon and he is reunited with Clary, but he appears to be turning into a vampire after drinking Camille's blood.
4 "Raising Hell" Tawnia McKiernan Michael Reisz February 2, 2016 (2016-02-02) 267074-4 0.96[23]
Simon quarrels with Jace and leaves the Institute. The Shadowhunters lure warlock Magnus Bane out of hiding with a prized necklace, in order to gain his help in retrieving Clary's memories. Magnus informs them that he fed the memories to a memory demon for safekeeping. The Shadowhunters track Magnus to his lair, where the Circle has attacked. Magnus transports the group to his loft, where they summon the demon. Alec's personal insecurities about his feelings for Jace disrupt the ritual when they are each asked to relinquish a beloved memory, forcing Clary to kill the demon before recovering any memories. Meanwhile, Simon is plagued with visions of Camille, and ends up returning to the Hotel Dumort.
5 "Moo Shu to Go" Kelly Makin Angel Dean Lopez February 9, 2016 (2016-02-09) 267074-5 0.95[24]
The Lightwood family matriarch, Maryse, arrives at the Institute with a Seelie intel mission for Isabelle and Jace. Alec is ordered to watch over Clary, but she escapes the Institute for her old apartment to locate her mother's secret box – that once belonged to a "Jonathan Clark". Clary and Simon are subsequently kidnapped by werewolves while searching the apartment, to Alec's chagrin. Clary is interrogated about the location of the Mortal Cup, and the alpha werewolf threatens to kill Simon if she doesn't reveal the information. Jace, Isabelle and Alec then head to rescue the two after Simon calls for help. The Shadowhunters are assisted in their escape by an unlikely ally – werewolf Luke, who defeats his alpha and assumes the title.
6 "Of Men and Angels" Oz Scott Y. Shireen Razack February 16, 2016 (2016-02-16) 267074-6 0.98[25]
Clary, Jace and Simon take a mortally wounded Luke to Magnus for help. At Luke's insistence, Magnus informs Clary of the Circle's past and her mother's involvement with the group. Meanwhile, Robert Lightwood arrives at the Institute, and he and Maryse task Isabelle with mending the Seelies' broken ties with the Clave and restoring the family name. When Isabelle informs Alec that their parents plan to marry him off, he angrily leaves the Institute for Magnus' loft. There, he, Magnus and the others save Luke's life with magic. Luke informs Clary that she had a brother, Jonathan Christopher, who died in a fire caused by Valentine. Clary then discovers one of her powers, making her realize she knows the whereabouts of Mortal Cup.
7 "Major Arcana" J. Miles Dale Peter Binswanger February 23, 2016 (2016-02-23) 267074-7 0.84[26]
Clary reveals that the Cup is hidden in a tarot card that Luke took for safekeeping. When Luke goes to retrieve it from his desk at the precinct, he is detained by internal affairs officers. While being questioned about his part in the demonic murders, Luke's boss is killed by a shapeshifter. Clary, Jace, Isabelle and Alec enact a plan to obtain the Cup, but are tracked by demons. When a demon posing as Jace attempts to take the Cup from Clary, she kills it. Afterward, Clary and the real Jace share a kiss at the Institute. Meanwhile, Simon's odd behavior worries Maureen and his family, who fear he is on drugs. He returns to the Hotel Dumort looking for answers and is met by Camille.
8 "Bad Blood" Jeremiah S. Chechik Allison Rymer March 1, 2016 (2016-03-01) 267074-8 0.87[27]
Raphael arrives at the Institute with Simon, who has been attacked by Camille. He informs Clary that, unless Simon is staked or turned before sunset, his soul will be trapped for eternity. An envoy from the Clave, Lydia Branwell, arrives to temporarily take over the Institute. Valentine sends a Forsaken to attack the werewolf pack, but Luke kills it. While retrieving the corpse from Luke, Lydia inadvertently reveals to Alec that his parents are ex-Circle members. Isabelle performs a pathology test on the Forsaken and finds that it has angel blood. Alec decides to restore his family's honor by proposing to Lydia. Later, another Forsaken attacks Hodge and Alec at the Institute, but they eventually defeat it. Clary decides to bury Simon in order for him to turn into a vampire, but he emerges thinking of himself as a monster.
9 "Rise Up" J. Miller Tobin Hollie Overton March 8, 2016 (2016-03-08) 267074-9 0.95[28]
Following the Forsaken attack, the Institute is on high alert. Lydia arrests Meliorn for supposedly leaking Shadowhunter information to Valentine. During his interrogation, Meliorn lets slip that Clary is in possession of the Mortal Cup. Jace, Isabelle and Clary decide to take matters into their own hands to prevent the Cup from reaching the Clave. With the help of Magnus, the three Shadowhunters sneak the Cup out of the Institute. Later, Isabelle, Clary, Jace, Simon, Luke and Raphael team up to rescue Meliorn from his impending execution in the City of Bones. Afterward, Meliorn informs Clary that he can help find her father. Meanwhile, Alec's siding with Lydia and the Clave causes rifts with his personal relationships, and Simon makes peace with his newfound status as a vampire.
10 "This World Inverted" J. Miles Dale Y. Shireen Razack March 15, 2016 (2016-03-15) 267074-10 0.78[29]
Meliorn takes Clary and Jace to the Seelie realm where he reveals a portal to an alternate dimension. He tells Clary that if she locates another portal within this dimension, she will be transported to her father. However, when Clary arrives, she finds that Shadowhunters have ceased to exist in this peaceful world. Jace and Meliorn protect the entrance to the dimension from demons, but when one slips through, Jace ventures in to stop it. With the help of Magnus, Clary finds the portal at the Institute, and she and Jace step through it. When they arrive at Valentine's hideout, they discover Jace's father, assumed to be dead, is being held captive there. Meanwhile, in reality, Isabelle is arrested for the Meliorn mission, much to the anguish of Alec, who tries in vain to prevent her from going on trial.
11 "Blood Calls to Blood" Mairzee Almas Marjorie David March 22, 2016 (2016-03-22) 267074-11 0.78[30]
Clary, Jace and Michael Wayland head to Luke's for help. While there, Michael discloses the location of Valentine's new hideout – an abandoned hospital in Long Island. Jace, Michael, Luke and Clary go to rescue a still-unconscious Jocelyn, but are surrounded by demons. Michael takes the Mortal Cup to command the demons, but then reveals himself to be Valentine in disguise. Clary subsequently reveals that Valentine is holding a duplicate Cup. Before fleeing through a portal, he informs Clary and Jace that they are siblings. Meanwhile, Isabelle's trial begins, with Magnus as her defense attorney. During questioning, Lydia states that the trial is nonsense and withdraws the charges, but Inquisitor Herondale states that Isabelle will still be banished from Shadowhunter society if the Clave doesn't receive the Cup within 24 hours. Jace and Clary arrive back at the Institute with the Cup, dropping the charges against Isabelle.
12 "Malec" James Marshall Michael Reisz March 29, 2016 (2016-03-29) 267074-12 0.82[31]
Alec is conflicted with his feelings for Magnus in the lead up to his wedding. Isabelle throws her brother a bachelor party, where Alec and Jace mend their broken bond. Meanwhile, Jace, Clary and Magnus visit Ragnor Fell for help on waking Jocelyn, but a demon kills Ragnor after he mentions that the Book of the White holds the antidote. During the wedding ceremony, Magnus arrives (whom Isabelle had secretly invited), making Alec realize he can't go through with the marriage. After apologizing to an understanding Lydia, he approaches Magnus and kisses him in front of the guests. Later, Maryse expresses her disappointment in Alec, though Robert offers support. Magnus finds that the Book of the White is in Camille's possession. Packing up to head back to Idris, Lydia retrieves the Cup from a safe but is attacked by Hodge. It is revealed that Hodge stole the Cup for Valentine in order to be freed from his binding curse.
13 "Morning Star" J. Miles Dale Peter Binswanger April 5, 2016 (2016-04-05) 267074-13 0.76[32]
The Shadowhunters find out that Hodge has fled with the Mortal Cup. Now in possession of the Cup, Valentine begins creating his Shadowhunter army. Jace and Alec hunt down Hodge with Luke's help. Jace finds him and the two battle, with Jace chopping off Hodge's hand. Jace then goes after Valentine on his own. Meanwhile, Clary, Isabelle and Simon visit the Hotel Dumort to ask Camille about the Book of the White. The three eventually break her out so she can take them to it. Clary, Simon, Isabelle and Camille arrive at Magnus' loft, where the warlock drafts a contract stating Simon asked to be turned into a vampire, a requirement of Camille's in exchange for her help. The group then heads to Camille's apartment, where they find the Book but are ambushed by the Circle. Jace arrives to fight Valentine, but ultimately joins him in order to protect his friends. Back at the Institute, the devastated group wake Jocelyn, who reunites with her daughter and Luke.
  1. The second episode, "The Descent Into Hell Isn't Easy", was released online on January 12, 2016, after the premiere of the first episode.[20]



In 2010, Screen Gems announced that they were going into production on the film adaptation of City of Bones,[33] the first book in The Mortal Instruments series, with hopes of starting a successful film franchise. Production on a film adaptation of the second book, City of Ashes, was due to start production in September 2013, but was delayed to 2014, and eventually cancelled, after the first film failed to recoup its budget.[34]

On October 12, 2014, at Mipcom, Constantin confirmed that The Mortal Instruments will return as a television series with Ed Decter as showrunner.[35] Constantin Film and TV head Martin Moszkowicz told The Hollywood Reporter that, "It actually makes sense to do [the novels] as a TV series. There was so much from the book that we had to leave out of the Mortal Instruments film. In the series we'll be able to go deeper and explore this world in greater detail and depth."[35][36] The producers hope to adapt the entire book series if the TV adaptation proves successful.[35] In February 2015, book series author Cassandra Clare announced via Twitter that the television series would be called Shadowhunters rather than The Mortal Instruments.[37] In March 2015, ABC Family picked up Shadowhunters straight-to-series.[38] The series was renewed for a second season in March 2016, which will consist of 20 episodes.[39][40][41]


On Twitter, Cassandra Clare announced that she would not be part of casting decisions, and would not be expecting any of the original film cast to return. On April 20, 2015, ABC revealed Dominic Sherwood as the first member of the Shadowhunters cast.[4] On May 2, 2015, it was announced that Emeraude Toubia would be taking the role of Isabelle Lightwood and Alberto Rosende would be joining the cast as Simon Lewis.[5] On May 6, it was reported that Katherine McNamara landed the lead role of Clary Fray.[3] Two days later, on May 8, Matthew Daddario and Isaiah Mustafa were cast as Alec Lightwood and Luke Garroway, respectively.[6] Harry Shum, Jr. and Alan van Sprang later joined the cast as Magnus Bane and Valentine Morgenstern.[7] On May 18, it was announced that Maxim Roy would be playing Jocelyn Fray.[8]

On May 28, Jon Cor was announced to play Hodge Starkweather, a Shadowhunter and former member of the Circle.[9] David Castro was reported to be portraying vampire Raphael Santiago on June 4.[10] Shortly after, on June 9, Lisa Marcos announced she would be joining the cast as Captain Vargas, a new character created for the series by Ed Decter.[42] On June 12, producer McG's official Twitter account stated that Kaitlyn Leeb had been cast to play the vampire Camille Belcourt.[12] On June 16, Jade Hassouné was reported to be portraying the faerie Meliorn.[11] On August 8, Stephanie Bennett was cast as the new character Lydia Branwell, a rule-following Shadowhunter.[16]


The series began filming in Toronto, Canada on May 25, 2015.[43] The fictional New York Police Department's 89 Precinct was filmed in the Science Wing at the University of Toronto Scarborough.[44]


The series' musical score is composed by Ben Decter.[45] The opening theme song is "This Is The Hunt" performed by Ruelle, which was written for Shadowhunters by Maggie Eckford and Jeff Bowman.[46] Other Ruelle songs have featured in the series, including the introductory song "Monsters".[47]


The series premiered on January 12, 2016 in the U.S. on Freeform.[48] The second episode, "The Descent Into Hell Is Easy", was released online that same day, following the premiere of the first episode.[20] In December 2015, Netflix acquired global rights to Shadowhunters, excluding the U.S., making the series available as an original series a day after the U.S. premiere, with the first episode launching globally on January 13, and subsequent episodes released on a weekly basis.[49]


Critical response

Shadowhunters has received an overall mixed response from critics. On Metacritic, it holds a 45 out of 100 rating, based on 9 critical responses, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[50] On Rotten Tomatoes, the series has a 46% rating, based on 12 reviews, with an average rating of 5.6/10. The critics' consensus reads, "Shadowhunters boasts visual thrills and a potential-rich premise, but they're not enough to overcome the show's self-serious silliness and dull, convoluted plots."[51] According to the The New York Times, the series "has its assets, especially its popular source material. But it might become more fun if it learns to enjoy being the empowerment fantasy it really is."[52]


No. Title Air date Rating/share
DVR viewers
Total viewers
1 "The Mortal Cup" January 12, 2016 0.8 1.82[19] 0.4 0.88 1.2 2.70[53]
2 "The Descent Into Hell Isn't Easy" January 19, 2016 0.4 1.01[21] 0.3 0.75 0.7 1.76[54]
3 "Dead Man's Party" January 26, 2016 0.5 0.98[22] N/A N/A N/A N/A
4 "Raising Hell" February 2, 2016 0.4 0.96[23] 0.4 0.93 0.8 1.89[55]
5 "Moo Shu to Go" February 9, 2016 0.4 0.95[24] 0.4 0.75 0.8 1.70[56]
6 "Of Men and Angels" February 16, 2016 0.4 0.98[25] 0.4 N/A 0.8[57] N/A
7 "Major Arcana" February 23, 2016 0.4 0.84[26] 0.3 0.72 0.7 1.56[58]
8 "Bad Blood" March 1, 2016 0.4 0.87[27] 0.3 0.74 0.7 1.61[59]
9 "Rise Up" March 8, 2016 0.4 0.95[28] 0.3 0.77 0.7 1.72[60]
10 "This World Inverted" March 15, 2016 0.3 0.78[29] 0.4 0.74 0.7 1.52[61]
11 "Blood Calls to Blood" March 22, 2016 0.3 0.78[30] 0.3 N/A 0.6[62] N/A
12 "Malec" March 29, 2016 0.3 0.82[31] 0.3 N/A 0.6[63] N/A
13 "Morning Star" April 5, 2016 0.3 0.76[32] 0.3 N/A 0.6[64] N/A


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