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Name: Shadowhunters
Abbreviation(s): SH
Creator: Ed Decter, based on The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
Date(s): January 12, 2016 – 2019
Medium: Television
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: Official Freeform site
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Shadowhunters is a television series produced for Freeform based on Cassandra Clare's novels in The Mortal Instruments series.


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, is abducted by a group of rogue Shadowhunters called the Circle. Their leader is Jocelyn's ex-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 faeries, warlocks, vampires, and werewolves, Clary begins a journey of self-discovery as she learns more about her past and what her future may hold.[1]


The fandom controversy between book and series fans focuses on the different adaptation choices made by the series. Cassandra Clare is also often an outspoken opponent of the series, tweeting criticism of Ed Decter and the cast.[2] In spite of her call for fandom unity, fans continue to the age old debate of book vs. adaptation.[3].


  • In 2016, Shadowhunters was ranked forth in the Top 20 "most reblogged" live-action television show on Tumblr[4].
  • In 2017, Shadowhunters ranked third in the Top 20 "most reblogged" live-action television show on Tumblr, gaining one spot in popularity from the previous year[5]

Common Tropes in Fanworks

  • All Human AU: were none of the characters have magical abilities and there are no demons
  • Hurt/Comfort: characters helping each other after traumatic events
  • Crossovers: with other fandoms that contain magical elements, the most popular being Teen Wolf Another crossover is Shadowhunters/Harry Potter universe.


Common pairings include:

Show Cancellation and Fan Campaign

In June 2018 Freeform announced it would not renew the show for another season. The fandom mobilized in hopes the show will be picked up. They created trending Twitter hashtags #SaveShadowhunters, #SavetheShadowWorld, and #pickupshadowhunters in addition to posting hourly to boost trending hashtags. This came as a particular blow to the fandom as it was a GLAAD-award winning[6] show cancelled during Pride Month. The fandom immediately started a petition to save the show, which as of 11/18/2018 has 161,683 signatures.[7]

The campaign was met with some backlash from the Cloak & Dagger and The Bold Type fandoms as fans often replied to any tweets made by Freeform promoting other shows with the #SaveShadowhunters hashtag, including Cloak & Dagger and The Bold Type. It was noted that both shows have a diverse cast that often deal with important social and societal issues, making many fans irritated by the campaign hijacking any post about them. Shadowhunters fans went on to try and address this problem[8] as well as asking others to delete any tweets replying to Cloak & Dagger and The Bold Type.

On 6/14/2018, a group of fans started selling Shadowhunters-related merchandise[9] of which all proceeds continue to go to the Trevor Project, Girl Up[10] & Together Rising. They have raised $6000+ as of 11/18/2018.

On June 22, 2018, the fandom crowdfunded plane flew over Netflix HQ in LA.[11] On June 29, 2018, the fandom organized 2 #SaveShadowhunters billboards in Times Square.[12]

As of 11/18/2018, the Shadowhunters fandom has raised $22,777 for the Trevor Project[13], a charity that benefits at risk LGBTQ+ youth, in honor of the show's positive message and representation and what that has meant to fans. A collection of the comments made on the fundraiser page was made into a book: Love Makes Us Stronger: Channeling Our Passion Into Giving Back.[14]

Following a massive write-in campaign, Shadowhunters swept the 2018 PCAs, winning four out of five awards it was nominated for, four of which were write-ins. "The US supernatural drama series was voted the best show of 2018 and most binge-worthy show of 2018. Katherine McNamara and Harry Shum Jr were also named best male and female TV stars at the awards, which are run by the E! network and voted for by fans."[15]


Shadowhunters cast in Game of Thrones Au by phildrawsfanart, a Game of Thrones AU fusion