'Shadowhunters' Will Please 'Mortal Instruments' Fans, Star Katherine McNamara Promises

When it's revealed that a beloved book series will be turned into either a movie or a TV series, well, it's safe to say many fans of the books have some conflicting emotions. While it's exciting that the characters and storylines you've come to love will soon appear on the big and/or small screen, adaptation news is also worrisome, especially if a disservice is done to the story. Sometimes books series are better left untouched. Luckily, when it comes to one of Freeform's newest series, star Katherine McNamara promises Shadowhunters will do the Mortal Instruments books justice when it premieres on Jan. 12.

Since the 20-year-old actor not only plays lead Clary Fray on the television series, but is also a fan of Cassandra Clare's book series, I think fans can take her word for it. "As a fan of the books myself, I can say rest assured, I feel pretty confident that the fans are going to love the show," McNamara says in an interview with Bustle. "Simply because we have a nice balance of the old and the new." However, she also reveals that there will be many similarities and differences between the books and Shadowhunters, so don't say she didn't warn you.

We definitely take a new perspective on the show and we have elements of surprise that even the most fervent fans of The Mortal Instruments books will be surprised and will gasp with us. We have new characters that are coming in that aren’t in the books. We have characters from later books. We have stories elements and storylines that we bring up [and] we have some that we push away.
It’s kind of a neat pathway, but the overarching skeleton of the story is still the same. We took extra care to be true the characters, especially since we are changing the story in it. So, I think it’s a great, fun new perspective on the story and it serves the medium of television very well.

It makes sense to add a new perspective, since there's already been a movie adaptation of Clare's series. In 2013, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was released starring Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower. While some may wonder why the series is being adapted again, but really the question is, well, why not? Not only do the promos look promising, but so does the cast. Plus, McNamara wants to reassure fans that Shadowhunters is handling the storyline and characters with the utmost care.

"Something that I’ve learned a lot from meeting some of the fans at Comic-Con and certain fans that we’ve talked to on social media, is that these characters are so beloved to so many people," she says. "When they read these books they form such personal relationships with these characters and with this story and this world that it’s very exciting to be a part of something that so many people excited about."

However, as excited as McNamara is, she understands the responsibility she has as an actor to ensure she does Clary justice. "It’s also a huge responsibility and that’s something I took extra care to really take to heart when we were shooting the show," she notes. "These characters are greater than any of us could ever be."