Comparing The Books To The Show and Movie: The Mortal Instruments.

Alana Jollevet, Staff Writer

A lot of the time, popular books are often transformed into movies and Television shows for others to enjoy. In a great deal of the transformation, information from the books may be lost in its on-screen appearance, causing the movies or T.V. show to be inaccurate. It is no different from the Mortal Instruments series. The Mortal Instruments is a series of books written by Cassandra Clare in 2013, that makes up another universe of books called, The Shadowhunter Chronicles. The movie, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, came out in 2013 after the first book, while the T.V. show, Shadowhunters, came out in 2016 with three seasons. Often media representations of books leave out or add in different events because of time constraints or to make it more interesting to its audience, causing many inaccuracies between the two. The  Mortal Instruments movie is seemingly more accurate to the books than the show, which itself has more than enough inaccuracies. Personally, while I know that the movie is more accurate I prefer the show as I think it has a better casting and a greater quality. 

To start on each difference, let’s discuss the casting of both show and movie. While there are amazing actors in both, some seem to be a better fit for the characters than others. The main characters of the franchise, Clary and Jace, are better cast in the movie compared to show in physical descriptions and attributions. Clary, played by Lilly Collins, and Jace, played by Jamie Campbell, in the movie are a better fit for the characters in terms of looks and personality than Katherine McNamara and Dominic Sherwood in the show. Other main characters such as Alec and Izzy are better suited in the show. Alec played by Matthew Daddario in the show, is more accurate in terms of looks, while his personality is portrayed accurately in both adaptations. Izzy, played by Emeraude Toubia in the show, is less accurate from the character compared to Jemima West’s portray of Izzy in the movie in terms of both looks and personality, however, it’s her character development and changes in the show that makes her more appealing to the audience. A beloved character such as Magnus Bane, played by Godfrey Gao in the movie, and Harry Shum Jr. in the show, is accurately portrayed in both when talking about personality while the looks are a little accurate as the race of the character is the same but not his ethnicity. Other characters such as Raphael, played by David Castro, and Luke, played by Isaiah Mustafa in the show are portrayed horribly. Raphael in the books is a brown-skinned Mexican vampire who is stuck at the age of 15. In the movie, he is played by Elyas M’Barek, an Austrian German-born actor, and David Castro is white-looking and appears to be at least in his late 20’s. Luke in the books and movie, is white with curly hair and glasses, while in the show he is black. There are many black and other characters of color featured in the books but Luke is not one of them. 

Another difference would be the ages of all the characters. While I am not certain of the exact ages of the characters in the movie it is well obvious that they do not look how the age they should portray. In the books are the main cast is between the ages of 15-18 except for Magnus who is around 400 years old. Clary, Jace, and Izzy are 15 at the start of the book and 16 by the end of it. Simion is 16 and Alec is 17-18 during the series. Magnus is 400 but has the appearance of a 19-year-old. In the show, the characters are around the ages of 18-23 while Magnus looks as if he was in his late 20’s and is about 800 years old on-screen. 

As said before the movie is more accurate to the books than the television show. The show tended to switch character placements that were not the same in the books. For example, in the books, Jace is the one who was magically bonded to Sebastion and traveled with him and Clary. The show however is the opposite in which Clary was the one who was magically bonded. One other thing was the use of the heavenly fire. In the show, Izzy is the one who obtains the heavenly fire while originally it was Jace. Another instance is adding the character, Lydia. Lydia is a character created internally for the show as a way to add more problems for Alec and Magnus. At the end of the show, Clary is the one to lose her memories rather than Simon as in the books. Other examples include the death of Jocelyn in the show, Max surviving the events of Sebastion, how Jace found out he was a Herondale, the amounts of technology -in the book modern technology is not something that is used much, how Simon got the Mark of Cain, so many more. The movie seems to have a lot of events from the books compared to the television show. Granted the movie only covers the first book while the T.V. show covers the whole series, however, the show seems more like a fanfiction of the books. The show is not bad, besides some cringe-worthy acting in the first season, but fans of the book may be heavily disappointed with what they are watching.