'Shadowhunters': Everything to Know About 'The Mortal Instruments' TV Adaptation

Freeform's new series is for both readers of Cassandra Clare's novels as well as those who haven't read 'The Mortal Instruments' or seen the 2013 movie of the same name.
ABC Family/John Medland

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from The Mortal Instruments book series.]

Will the second time be the charm for Shadowhunters? Freeform (formerly ABC Family) definitely hopes so, as the network debuts its TV adaptation of The Mortal Instruments on Tuesday.

The 2013 film adaptation The Mortal Instruments (starring Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower and Kevin Zegers) failed to perform at the box office, killing the studio's trilogy hopes. Instead, producers turned to the small screen for the future of Cassandra Clare's YA book series. Freeform's new incarnation of the franchise, hailing from Ed Decter and McG, goes back to the beginning and retells the story of City of Bones, the first book in the series, with a new cast and a new take on the old story. 

For those who aren't familiar with Clare's world of Shadowhunters, demons, mundanes and more, here's a rundown of everything you need to know before watching the series premiere of Shadowhunters, from the characters to the creatures to the key locations.

Shadowhunters: A secret organization of half-angel, half-human demon hunters. They are all descended from the Angel Raziel, and his blood allows them to use angelic blades and draw runes onto their skin, giving them magical powers such as invisibility and strength, which aids them in their fight against Downworlders (vampires, werewolves, faeries, warlocks, etc.).

Nephilim: Another name for Shadowhunters.

Mundanes: Ordinary humans who can't see demons and have no idea there is a war between good and evil going on right under their noses.

Clary Fray (Katherine McNamara): In the books, Clary is 16 years old, but the TV show picks up on her 18th birthday, right as her Shadowhunter powers are emerging. Her mother Jocelyn (Maxim Roy) kept her history hidden from her, but when Jocelyn is kidnapped, Clary is forced back into the world her mother desperately tried to keep away from her.

Pandemonium: A club where demons love to hunt mundanes. This is where Clary sees her first Shadowhunter fight and begins to realize there is more going on in the world than she thinks. 

Jace Wayland (Dominic Sherwood): A skilled Shadowhunter, known as one of the best, with a mysterious past who realizes what Clary is before she does. He becomes her ally and love interest as he trains her to become a Shadowhunter and helps her find her mother. 

The Institute: The local headquarters for Shadowhunters, where they train and live.

Simon Lewis (Alberto Rosende): Clary's human best friend who secretly loves her, while she is oblivious to his feelings. He becomes jealous at the connection she shares with Jace, until he finds himself on a life-changing journey of his own. Although Simon's story doesn't truly begin until the second book, it will be explored in the first season of the TV show. 

Isabelle Lightwood (Emeraude Toubia): A Shadowhunter known for her deadly beauty, she considers Jace to be like a brother. In the books, Izzy dislikes Clary when she first comes to the Institute, but they eventually become close friends.

Alec Lightwood (Matthew Daddario): Izzy's older brother is not as skilled of a Shadowhunter as Jace, and yet is always trying to prove that he is. In the books, Alec is closeted and loves Jace but is too afraid to act on his feelings. When Clary shows up, Alec hates her out of jealousy because Jace likes her. 

The Mortal Cup: One of the three Mortal Instruments, magical objects given to the first Shadowhunter by the Angel Raziel. The Cup transforms mundanes into Shadowhunters.

Valentine Morgenstern (Alan Van Sprang): A very powerful Shadowhunter who became evil over time and was presumed dead for many years while he was in hiding. He reappears to search for the Mortal Cup, which he believes Jocelyn possesses. He wants to use the Cup to create an army of Shadowhunters that only he controls. He has a mysterious connection to both Jocelyn and Clary, though neither he nor Clary knows it.

The Circle: An evil group of Shadowhunters led by Valentine to eliminate all Downworlders. 

Magnus Bane (Harry Shum Jr.): The High Warlock of Brooklyn has a deep connection to Clary that she becomes aware of early on. In the books, Magnus is also a romantic interest to Alec. 

Luke Garroway (Isaiah Mustafa): Jocelyn's best friend and a father figure to Clary, Luke was once a Shadowhunter before he was betrayed and forced to live in hiding from the magical world. In the books, Luke owns a rare book store, but in the TV show, he's a cop. Clary seeks him out when her mother is kidnapped, but his mysterious past makes her wonder if she can trust him. 

Shadowhunters premieres Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Freeform.

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