The cast and crew of Freeform’s series Shadowhunters was on hand at San Diego Comic-Con to talk about the upcoming second half of season two. They revealed plans for upcoming character appearances, philosophized about the growth of their characters, and shared some laughs with the audience.
Showrunner and producer Todd Slavkin shared that Modern Family star Sarah Hyland will guest star this season as the Seelie Queen. Referring to the Seelie Queen’s prior appearance as a child, Slavkin joked that many of the audience members “Guessed and thought that you were wrong, but you were right.” The show addresses her rapid shift in appearance during the clip, which you can watch below. When Simon remarks on her changed appearance she quips, “Different outfits for different occasions.”
— Shadowhunters (@ShadowhuntersTV) July 20, 2017
It’s obvious that the tension they’ve been ramping up in the first half of the season is really coming to a head. The tentative first steps toward an alliance between the Downworlders and the Shadowhunters is at risk of blowing up into an all-out war, which seems to be what the Seelie Queen wants. Simon, too, is caught in the middle of it.
“Simon is many ways is like Neo, y’know, he’s the one. He’s become a Daylighter,” observed Slavkin. “The guy is pure in many ways, and that purity is what attracts Clary to him,” he continues, and remarked that Clary wants to be close even though he’s a “Celebrity Vampire.”
New Characters Heat Up Season 2 & 3
The Seelie Queen’s appearance wasn’t the only new character they teased. Slavkin let on that at the end of the season, we’ll see Alicia Wainwright reprising her role as fan favorite Maia. “Her character in the book is super powerful,” Slavkin said. “These next few episodes, she will break your heart and shatter it like never before.”
The Shadowhunters certainly have a lot to be scared about as Season 2 draws to a close. And that means they have just as much opportunity to show their true strength. “Political strife, tension between the Downworlders, the Clave, and the Insitute have downstream effects on the characters,” Darren Swimmer observed. “In the midst of that they’re just trying to fall in love, and have a cheeseburger, and live their lives.” And that perhaps highlights the appeal of the show – the groundedness of the characters beneath the fantasy.
But there are huge stakes at hand. The Downworlders and Shadowhunters may be on the brink of an alliance, he says, but “it’s not easy to get them all to play nice.”
Of Season 3, the Showrunners also had much to say. “There’s going to be a little character named Lillith coming up in season three,” Darren Swimmer leads off, and Todd Slavkin quickly adds, “There’s also this guy named Jordan you might of heard about.” The entire cast and crew takes the books very seriously, and use the material as a guidepost for informing their story and character choices.
These characters have seen remarkable growth over the first two seasons, and it’s not lost on the actors. Their stories have also presented interesting acting challenges. Speaking about her character Isabelle’s battle with addiction, Emeraude Toubia observed, “It was one of my favorites because it challenged me and it scared me. And that’s how you get better at things, when they scare you.”
Alberto Rosende gave her some support, saying that he was impressed with Emeraude’s portrayal of Izzie. “Strength isn’t the absence of weakness, it’s overcoming weakness.” Isabelle has real strength, he says to “just push one more day, take one more step… She has those moments of weakness that allows her to become the badass, or, you know, to fight for that.”
Staying Faithful to the Books
Showrunner and producer Matt Hastings framed the interplay between the books and the show like this: “From the beginning, it hasn’t been a chapter-to-chapter, episode-to-episode translation, it’s take the soul of the book and the soul of the characters and making sure that comes across. If you’ve read the books, then we also want you to be surprised and to go on a journey.”
Harry Shum has especially found the prequel and sequel material helpful when approaching his portrayal of Magnus. “He has such a rich history, for instance, what happened in Peru. You have all these ideas of what happened, why he’s not let back into a country. These little things tell a lot.”
Though, you may ask, what about “Sizzy?” Shippers, rejoice! The cast had plenty to say on the topic. Emeraude is totally on board to get the romance between Isabelle and Simon happening, but Rosende is hesitant. Todd Slavkin, too, is excited to explore that storyline but reminds us “It’s a slow burn, and if I tell you when it will happen, then it won’t be fun when it happens!”
But there’s hope on the horizon. “There’s amazing Sizzy scenes,” he said of the rest of the season. He confessed they’re not overtly romantic, but “You feel it. It’s undeniable.”
Shadowhunters returns to TV July 24th with “A Dark Reflection.”