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SilverStormm

Books Vs Show: Compare & Contrast

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It's been a year or so since I've read the first book - but I thought there was a lot to like here. It kept in the spirit of the books with only a few minor changes. I don't mind that, at all. I did like that Clary's mom was a bit more bad-ass than I had anticipated. I was so excited when she just pulled out that sword and went to town on the Rogue Shadowhunters. 

 

I know Dot for Dorthea already annoyed some people, but I think it was a minor enough change that it's okay. (I'm assuming I don't need to spoiler tag anything in this thread). But replacing the random demon lady with a trusted friend is a bit more of a realistic change. It makes sense that Dot would have the cup in her tarot cards if she's implied to be Jocelyn's friend and co-worker and not just a random neighbor. 

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I like that Clary and Isabelle hit it off from the start and don't go through that "girls don't like each other" phase that I found so irritating in the books. 

I was just coming here to say this. That was a definite improvement over the books. Book!Clary also had this sort of implicit "I'm not like other girls" attitude, which I've always hated. I didn't get that from TV!Clary at all, so kudos to you, show. ABC Family - sorry, FREEFORM - has always been pretty good with female friendships, at least from the other shows I've watched. 

 

Also, this is more of a difference between the movies and the tv show, but I'm glad that they decided to give Alec and Isabelle American accents. It never made sense to me that they had British accents in the movies, because they were just babies when they came to New York. Yeah, they were surrounded by other Shadowhunters, but it's not like they've been cloistered all this time. They spend a lot of time in the city. They interact with other New Yorkers, particularly Isabelle, who seems more social than Alec in general.

 

Jace is more arguable since he didn't arrive at the Institute until he was 10 (?). Still young enough to have lost any accent, but you could at least make a case for his retaining one.

 

And of course, IIRC there's nothing that says that Idris = British accents anyway, except for a) Cassie Clare obviously ripping off elements of her own Harry Potter fanfic and b) the tired idea that British is better for fantasy.

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Well CC didn't say that Idris = British accents either.

She didn't, but considering how...inspired the books were from her Harry Potter fanfic, I do believe she had British accents in mind when she was writing the story. Well, at least she did where Jace is concerned, since he was so obviously an expy of her Draco in Leather Pants. Of course, Clare would never admit to that because her whole fanfic past is so controversial.

Edited by galax-arena

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What is the spoiler policy of this thread? Because it would be really hard to discuss the differences if most of the conversation is under black bars...

 

Plots of the book are fair game in any thread dedicated to "book talk." Feel free to post without spoiler warnings in this thread. However, book talk is not okay in the episode threads. Check out the "Read This" post that SilverStormm posted on the main page for full explanation.

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I agree on all points about the Clary/Isabelle relationship. It made sense that Alec didn't like her, because she came between him and what he thought was the love of his life (until Magnus proved otherwise), but it never made sense that Isabelle didn't.  Isabelle was so obviously comfortable with who she was and her obvious hotness that it didn't make any sense that she'd be jealous of Clary.

 

I'm ok with the show having differences from the book, but I didn't like that the Institute was turned into a high-tech, organized ring of supernatural spies who carry out missions. I wouldn't have minded seeing it develop into something like that over time, but I liked the conceit that the Shadowhunter population was starting to dwindle because of the missing cup, and that there weren't tons of them running around with high-tech gadgets fighting downworlders. It felt contrived and stupid to see Jace trying to track down Jocelyn Fray on his giant computer map.

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The Mortal Instruments seems inspired by a lot of modern sources - Star Wars and Buffy mostly, imo - but I can't put my finger on any one thing that I can definitely say reminds me of Harry Potter, funny enough. Probably because she wrote HP fic, she went out of her way to avoid even otherwise innocent similarities between the two series. She certainly didn't just find/replace names like the author of 50 Shades did. If anything, I think TMI (unfortunate acronym that -;) ) probably took more inspiration from the Bible than from anything in the Potterverse.

I didn't say the Potterverse, I said her Harry Potter fanfic. I think that's an important distinction when we're talking about fanfic that can get crazy AU. She actually lifted a scene wholesale from her fanfic and put it into the book. (The falcon story, for anyone who's wondering.) IMO her books essentially came off as Uber fic of her own fanfic. And while the connections between a lot of other aspects between her book and fanfic might be more tenuous - some people have said that Simon = CC's fanfic version of Harry, but I don't really agree on that front* - there is absolutely no doubt to me that Jace = Draco in Leather Pants. 

 

It's funny that you talk about her avoiding even innocent similarities, because one hilarious connection between her books and fanfic is that the Mortal Instruments was also the title of a Ron/Ginny incest fanfic she wrote back in the day. I recall everyone having a field day with that one. Maybe that should have been a hint as to all the fake and real incest that came down the pipeline... 

 

* Plus others have said that Clary is supposed to be Ginny, but I think it's more likely that she's simply CC's idealized self-insert. But there is no way that Jace is supposed to be anything BUT Draco. CC's version of Draco, anyway.

Edited by galax-arena
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I have never understood why anyone complains if someone lifts entire pieces of their own work and uses it in another work. I know there were issues because she plagiarized things from other people's work, but to take your own work and use it in another book - who cares? If it's yours you can do whatever you want with it.  One of my favorite authors (and I'm sure she's not the only one) wrote a sex scene from a male character's perspective as a one-off for the fans that had been clamoring for something from his point of view. She later put that entire scene into her most recently published book.  I don't see why she shouldn't have done that.

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I wasn't complaining, simply pointing out that there was an undeniable link between her published series and her fanfic, even if a casual reader might not pick up on it. 

 

I mean, I do think that cribbing your own fanfic is lazy writing. It's allowable, it obviously doesn't rise anywhere near to the level of plagiarizing other authors, but it's still lazy. But Cassie Clare's writing is lazy in general, and duplicating the falcon scene is IMO the least of her offenses. There are bigger targets I can aim for (like the fact that she used attempted rape as a cheap plot point...ahem). 

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I wasn't complaining, simply pointing out that there was an undeniable link between her published series and her fanfic, even if a casual reader might not pick up on it. 

 

I mean, I do think that cribbing your own fanfic is lazy writing. It's allowable, it obviously doesn't rise anywhere near to the level of plagiarizing other authors, but it's still lazy. But Cassie Clare's writing is lazy in general, and duplicating the falcon scene is IMO the least of her offenses. There are bigger targets I can aim for (like the fact that she used attempted rape as a cheap plot point...ahem).

Sorry! I didn't mean to make it seem like I was after you in particular for that. It's just that I have seen that complaint many times from many people and it has never made sense to me as a sticking point. I agree that she's got much bigger issues than that. Overall, though, I find her work entertaining, even if she does seem to be a not very likable person.

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Watched the second episode with my girlfriend and we were chatting about how fast this seems to be moving. In episode 2 Simon is already kidnapped by the vampires. I wonder what their pacing/plotting plan is. I'd assume one book is one season? Are these 13 episode seasons or 22? 

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I think at some point, Shadowhunters is going to go the way of Pretty Little Liars and branch off from the books. Hopefully this means we'll be spared all that faux incest (and real incest courtesy of Sebastian), but ABC Family seems to have a thing for taboo relationships, so.

 

One good thing I can say about the series is that we're spared Cassie Clare's OTT florid prose and forced metaphors/similes invoking antifreeze. And did y'all know that Jace looks like an angel and a lion? (Maybe an angelic lion?) I didn't really get that the first few hundred times CC mentioned it.

 

Of course, the tradeoff is the shitty CGI and weapons that look like they could be made of plastic.

 

I do like the TV show runes compared to the movie runes, though. The latter looked like someone just drew them on with a sharpie.

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It's been a while since I read the books, but I don't remember the Night Children wanting the Mortal Cup... is that something new for the show?  Or am I just misremembering?

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It's been a while since I read the books, but I don't remember the Night Children wanting the Mortal Cup... is that something new for the show?  Or am I just misremembering?

 

I'm pretty sure that this is new for the show. In the books Simon kind of gets captured by accident. He drinks something he wasn't supposed to at Magnus' party and ends up in the hands of the vampires. I think... I need to re-read. 

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I'm pretty sure that this is new for the show. In the books Simon kind of gets captured by accident. He drinks something he wasn't supposed to at Magnus' party and ends up in the hands of the vampires. I think... I need to re-read. 

 

That's my recollection to - that he drinks something at Magnus' party and gets turned into a mouse or a rat or something and gets taken home by the vampires.

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I've decided that "mundane" or "mundie" spoken out loud doesn't come across as any less stupid than seeing it written down. CC should have just gone for "sheeple." 

 

Also, while I thought that the books were too tryhard in having Jace be this snarky bad boy asshole - the "jerk with a heart of gold" is so played out when it comes to the main male love interest in YA fiction - it feels like the show's gone too far the other way and now he's just a nondescript brooding hero. 

Edited by galax-arena

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I just watched the third episode & so far, Clary doesn't have her most important skill, the ability to create runes. This is the thing that makes her special in the books, it seems really strange that it's not happening in the show. 

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I mean, I do think that cribbing your own fanfic is lazy writing. It's allowable, it obviously doesn't rise anywhere near to the level of plagiarizing other authors, but it's still lazy. But Cassie Clare's writing is lazy in general, and duplicating the falcon scene is IMO the least of her offenses. There are bigger targets I can aim for (like the fact that she used attempted rape as a cheap plot point...ahem).

Sorry! I didn't mean to make it seem like I was after you in particular for that. It's just that I have seen that complaint many times from many people and it has never made sense to me as a sticking point.

 

I'm another one who can't see how recycling your own writing could be called plagiarism. And, yes, it is lazy writing, but that doesn't stop Janet Evanovich from publishing the same Stephanie Plum book over and over. There are 22 of them now, and I swear she must be using a macro generator to write them.

 

Anyway, I have the same complaints about changing the Institute and Hodge, and... it's been a few years since I read the books, but I don't remember book Luke being an inept cop and I'm not loving that either.

Edited by NeenerNeener

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And, yes, it is lazy writing, but that doesn't stop Janet Evanovich from publishing the same Stephanie Plum book over and over. There are 22 of them now, and I swear she must be using a macro generator to write them.

Or The Babysitters Club. I will never forget how chapter two of each BSC book was a primer on every single character. Dawn is from California! Stacey has diabetes! Jessi likes to dance! Mallory has a shit ton of siblings! Karen's a twerp! I mean, I know it's unfair to ding a children's book series on being repetitive. (I'm assuming chapter two was there so that kids could be familiar with the characters without having to start at #1: Kristy's Great Idea.) But... yeah. LOL. 

 

Re: the accusations of plagiarism - I think a lot of CC critics are (erroneously) going by academic standards, since that's where a lot of us get our first introduction to plagiarism as a concept. In many schools, it's considered plagiarism to use a paper you wrote for one class and turn it in for another class, at least without the professor's express permission. But this isn't academia. Authors repackage shit all the time. 

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CC actually lifted verbatim whole pages from a published story by another writer and inserted it into her fanfiction. 

 

I know, I was referring to why a lot of her critics accuse her of plagiarizing herself. 

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I think at some point, Shadowhunters is going to go the way of Pretty Little Liars and branch off from the books. Hopefully this means we'll be spared all that faux incest (and real incest courtesy of Sebastian), but ABC Family seems to have a thing for taboo relationships, so.

*clip*

I do like the TV show runes compared to the movie runes, though. The latter looked like someone just drew them on with a sharpie.

First, I really hope the faux incest is gone. Really don't need that.

Second, did you see the runes in episode three when they are on the roof after getting Simon? Total sharpie!

Edited by tracyly

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One thing the show has done for me that the books never did is make me like Alec.  He was always a cypher to me in the books, and I never got why Magnus loved him so strongly.  But in the show, especially after episode 4, Alec has become my favorite character.  I guess his snark was always overshadowed by Jace's in the books, but it's golden here.  I love all his takedowns of Clary, his guarded staring into Jace's eyes when they had to "parabatai" it up, and his bewildered shrugs every time Magnus complimented him.  I feel like I can finally see what Magnus sees in him, beyond just the pretty face.  So good job, show.

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I need a reminder - this whole memory demon thing didn't happen until much later in the series, right??  The one thing I remember is Simon losing one of his few memories of his dad and it being soooooooo ridiculously sad.  Or did this memory thing happen twice in the books?

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I need a reminder - this whole memory demon thing didn't happen until much later in the series, right??  The one thing I remember is Simon losing one of his few memories of his dad and it being soooooooo ridiculously sad.  Or did this memory thing happen twice in the books?

 

Yes, that incident happened in a later book, I forget which. And I also specifically remember the part where Simon started to change his mind about the memory he was to sacrifice but it was too late and it was gone.

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One thing the show has done for me that the books never did is make me like Alec. He was always a cypher to me in the books, and I never got why Magnus loved him so strongly. But in the show, especially after episode 4, Alec has become my favorite character. I guess his snark was always overshadowed by Jace's in the books, but it's golden here. I love all his takedowns of Clary, his guarded staring into Jace's eyes when they had to "parabatai" it up, and his bewildered shrugs every time Magnus complimented him. I feel like I can finally see what Magnus sees in him, beyond just the pretty face. So good job, show.

Alec suprised me as well. In the book it took a lot of time to warm up to him.

I certainly don't dislike the show. The characters are mostly not how I imagined them from the books, and I liked the movie characters bezter for the mist part. but thats my personal opinion.

What I'm quite disapointed about is that they totally mixed up the timeline... I actually started to read the book again just in case I remembered it wrong or got something mixed up. I get that in movies it sometimes can't be avoided to change the story due to time. But with this series, they should be having quite a lot of time, and I just don't get why they made this changes. They are not huge, but it's bugging me.

Like with Luke being a cop?? Did I miss a chapter in the book where it says that?

Or dorothea going after magnzs to gelp jocelyn and then being held by valentine??

The simon story is developing to fast, and in comparison to that the clary/jace thing to slow...

I'm still trying to fall in love with the series, and I really want to, cause there won't be any more movies. But the small things really bug me...

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I really want to like this show. I'm having a tough time though. I just reread all 3 of the mortal instruments and it's like two completely different stories/worlds/whatever. I think because it is so different it's the only thing that keeps me tuning in.

This Jace is not at all like book Jace. Snarky and sarcastic, angel and devil. And where are his super shadow hunter powers. He doesn't seem any faster than Alec or able to jump off roofs. I wonder if they will bring up Valentine's experiments at all.

I'm just thankful they didn't decide to produce a series based on the Infernal Devices. I don't think I could handle them destroying my favorite characters.

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Quote

 

4 hours ago, doram said:

He's interested in Clary because she's his sister. Think Targaryen like attraction.

 

Oh my, is that so? Is that how it is in the books? So far he seems like a really nice guy. 

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3 hours ago, doram said:

He (Sebastian a.k.a. Jonathan Morgenstern) is not. lol. 

Oh, really? How bad is he? What did he do?

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This show is baffling to me.  At the end of the day, I probably bounced early on because I think the actress who plays Isabelle is atrocious and Isabelle is my favorite character.  But I tend to check in every now and again because I really did enjoy the books, but wow.  We're half way through a second season and Clary/Simon is still a thing?  I understand they probably want to keep Jace/Clary apart for a long period of time because this is a TV show but tying Simon up with Clary really slows down any potential arc with Isabelle.  And really that is one of the three most important relationships in the books.  It seems like thats a really slow burn on the show.

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2 minutes ago, doram said:

Probably the real Sebastian Verlac.

So Sebastian is actually Jonathan (AKA Jace), and Jace is still Jace? It is a bit confusing. The real Sebastian Verlac is also a shadowhunter? and from London? 

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Thank you for that.  I've read the books and still have trouble remembering exactly how it all happened.  I mean , I know Sebastian was Clary's brother and Jace wasn't but was raised by Valentine.  But it was a very vague understanding.

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Does Maia play a big role in the books or should I expect her to be killed off the show anytime soon. 

Will Simon and Isabelle become a thing eventually, I hear they did in the books or is Isabelle and Raphael going to be the relationship they take and just change Simon from the books for something else or kill him.

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Maia's role can probably be tweeked with how well she fits into the show dynamic.  She's involved in the books a lot and has a standalone arc with a not as of yet introduced character.  But, I would not characterize the character as being all that important.  I'm sure she has fans from the books so that may be a personal preference.  I would be surprised if she were killed off anytime soon.  But if the actress were to tank or the character just not work, I do think TPTB could have latitude to adjust her arc and move on.

As for Simon and Isabelle.  Shows and Books like these are all about the relationships.  And for me, Simon and Izzy are a clear number 2 (behind Clary/Jace) in terms of importance in the books.  I think not going there would piss off a lot of the book fans.  And considering this show is on a smaller network and probably relies heavily on the book fandom, I think they'll stick closer to the book canon on things like this.  

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I've been hoping for Sizzy since halfway through the first season (I'm aware of the book plots, but ever read them myself).  But it's difficult how they get around Izzy's addict status.  Simon isn't a much better idea for show Izzy than Raphael. 

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I tried reading City of Bones a few years ago and couldn't get through it. For me, the book is too heavily through Clary's POV, and I find her annoying. 

The show isn't perfect, but it focuses on the supporting characters almost as much as Clary, which I find refreshing. Malec is given comparable screen time to Clary/Jace, which is a welcome departure from the first two books.

In fact, McNamara does a pretty good job making me like Clary. She does the character justice without veering too much into the stereotypical "awkward teen" that the book tries too hard to assert. I've  actually been able to go back and read the books because McNamara gives me a more balanced outlook on the character. I've seen criticism that she and Jace don't have chemistry, but I'm willing to wait and see, because the books present them as being hot-and-cold, so there's still time to believably develop that chemistry. 

I am hoping the books become less Clary/Jace-centric later on, though.

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On 5/2/2018 at 8:28 AM, UNOSEZ said:

So Clary the Catastrophe strikes again and everyone just says its ok... This show has from the start been clary does something selfish, self-righteous, impulsive or flat out stupid... Some unintended consequence befalls someone else... She feels bad about it and everyone tells her its not her fault... I needed season one Alec to show up to at least scold her a little before forgiving her.. But no even he has become an apologist for the girl... An angel is dead 33 (or more)  mundanes are dead jace's grandmother is probably dead all because of her and she gets a hug then gets to play martyr... Smh 

Well, at least it's true to book Clary. She was always causing disasters and Alec was the asshole for calling her out on it all the time.

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8 hours ago, Pixel said:

Well, at least it's true to book Clary. She was always causing disasters and Alec was the asshole for calling her out on it all the time.

Book spoilers and also not exactly true? Alec was more upset about Jace's feelings for Clary than any real problems Clary caused. And Alec was an asshole.

There's a reason the show changed the scene where

Spoiler

he threw her against a wall and choked her. 

Edited by ursula

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