The titular Shadowhunters are demon-slaying humans with angel blood. They keep normal people (known as mundanes) safe from demons and Downworlders, which are various mythological and fantastic creatures like werewolves, faeries, and vampires.
The franchise consists of the following media:Literature
- The Mortal Instruments (2007-2014): The first series of novels. Beginning in 2007, it follows the adventures of teenager Clary Fray, who discovers her powerful Shadowhunter heritage just as a war brews between Earth's shadowhunters and invading demons led by the mysterious Valentine.
- The Infernal Devices (2010-2013): A prequel series, set in Victorian London. In 1878, Tessa Gray arrives in London to visit her brother, but is instead introduced to the world of the Shadowhunters as a shadowhunter-warlock hybrid.
- The Dark Artifices (2016-2018): A sequel series to The Mortal Instruments, which follows young Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs as she investigates and avenges her parents' deaths.
- The Last Hours (2020-): An upcoming sequel series to The Infernal Devices.
- The Wicked Powers (TBA): An upcoming sequel to The Dark Artifices.
- Various companion books:
- The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013): A film adaptation of the first book of The Mortal Instruments, starring Lily James as Clary and Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace. Plans for a sequel were eventually shelved.
- Shadowhunters (2016-2019): A series adapting The Mortal Instruments, starring Katherine McNamara as Clary and Dominic Sherwood as Jace. The series ran on Freeform for three seasons before being cancelled in 2018. Two extra episodes were commissioned to wrap up the story; these premiered in 2019.
- A graphic novel adaptation of The Mortal Instruments
- A mobile video game adaptation of City of Bones
- Manga adaptations of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices
Tropes common across the franchise:
- Demon Slaying: The main characters' primary occupations. Because they possess angel's blood, they are capable of killing demons.
- Fantastic Racism: Relations between the Shadowhunters (human) and the Downworlders (fantasy creatures) have always been testy, with the former looking down on the latter.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Humans coexist alongside angels, vampires, werewolves, warlocks, faerie, etcetera.
- Urban Fantasy: Most of the novels are set in the 21st century, and features a Fantasy Kitchen Sink living alongside humans. The exception is the Infernal Devices setting, instead a Victorian-era Gaslamp Fantasy.
- The Verse: A shared universe, with multiple characters appearing across different media.