The Mortal Instruments Movies & TV Shows in Order: How Many Are There?

The Mortal Instruments is a series of young adult novels written by Cassandra Clare. It is the third series of announced six series in The Shadowhunter Chronicles. This book series falls under the young adult genre, and paranormal romance and supernatural subgenres. The books were a smash hit with audiences and critics, so soon after its release, it got its on-screen adaptations.

The Mortal Instrument series follows Clarissa Fray, as she discovers the world of Shadowhunters and her own heritage. The Shadowhunters are protectors of the human world and the humans, or as they call them mundanes or “mundies”, from the dark forces.

How many The Mortal Instruments movies & TV shows are there?

There is only one Mortal Instruments movie and TV show. The movie is called The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and it came out in 2013. It is based on the first book of The Mortal Instruments series. The TV show premiered in 2014, and it served as a reboot of the franchise. Shadowhunters, also known as Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments TV show aired from 2016 to 2019, and it has 3 seasons.

How many The Mortal Instruments movies & TV shows in order (at a glance)

The movie The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones which came out in 2013 is an almost word-for-word adaptation of the first book in the series, nonetheless, the movie was a commercial failure, and The Mortal Instruments movie franchise was canceled. Here we are going to list all the adaptations of The Mortal Instruments series:

Movie:

  1. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)

TV Show:

  1. Shadowhunters: Season 1 (2016)
  2. Shadowhunters: Season 2 (2017)
  3. Shadowhunters: Season 3 (2018)

The TV show Shadowhunters, which came out in 2016, has almost nothing to do with the movie. It was a reboot of the franchise. Some fans will argue the TV show is not as faithful to the source material as the movie, but still, the TV show was getting better with every season, and fans were surprised when it got canceled due to budgeting reasons.

What is the best way to watch The Mortal Instruments movies & TV shows?

The best way to watch The Mortal Instruments adaptations are in their release order. Even if you see the movie first, it won’t spoil much for the TV show, because the character and their relationships feel so different, and the only thing that is the same is the characters’ names and the general plot outline.

The Mortal Instruments movies & TV shows in order (by release date)

Movie:

1. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)

Director: Harald Zwart

Writer: Jessica Postigo

Starring: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Robert Sheehan, Lena Headey

Runtime: 2h 10m

Synopsis: In New York City, a seemingly ordinary teenager named Clary Fray (Lily Collins) learns that she is descended from a line of Shadowhunters — half-angel warriors who protect humanity from evil forces. After her mother (Lena Headey) disappears, Clary joins forces with a group of Shadowhunters and enters Downworld, an alternate realm filled with demons, vampires, and a host of other creatures. Clary and her companions must find and protect an ancient cup that holds the key to her mother’s future.

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TV Show:

1. Shadowhunters: Season 1 (2016)

Starring: Matthew Daddario, Katherine McNamara, Dominic Sherwood, Harry Shum Jr.

Network: Freeform

Number of episodes: 10

Runtime: 42 min

Synopsis: 18-year-old Clary Fray finds out on her birthday that she is not who she thinks she is, but rather comes from a long line of Shadowhunters — human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons. When her mother Jocelyn is kidnapped, Clary is thrown into the world of demon hunting with mysterious Shadowhunter Jace and her best friend Simon. Now living among faeries, warlocks, vampires, and werewolves, Clary begins a journey of self-discovery as she learns more about her past and what her future may hold.

2. Shadowhunters: Season 2 (2017)

Starring: Matthew Daddario, Katherine McNamara, Dominic Sherwood, Harry Shum Jr.

Network: Freeform

Number of episodes: 20

Runtime: 42 min

Synopsis:

2A: The second season of Shadowhunters returns with the Shadow World in upheaval with Valentine and the Circle continuing to grow stronger by the minute and our gang quickly becoming disillusioned with the Clave and their reaction to the recent events. Loyalties will be tested, unlikely bonds will be made, and relationships will be pushed to the limit as the Shadowhunters and their Downworlder friends make their own way in a new world.

2B: Shadowhunters returns for the second half of Season 2 with Shadowhunters and Downworlders reeling from what happened at the New York Institute in the winter finale. As the rift between the two sides grows larger, the team and their Downworld friends and lovers are put in the middle of the dangerous divide. Torn between the Clave’s rules and what they feel is right, Clary, Jace, Alec, and Isabelle struggle to help forge a new beginning. Relationships will be tested, a new Shadowhunter named Sebastian will join the fray and the Seelie Queen will step out of the shadows in the summer season.

3. Shadowhunters: Season 3 (2018)

Starring: Matthew Daddario, Katherine McNamara, Dominic Sherwood, Harry Shum Jr.

Network: Freeform

Number of episodes: 22

Runtime: 42 min

Synopsis:

3A: While the Shadowhunters deal with changes in their personal lives and Clary and Jace keep dark secrets, a serious threat to the Shadowhunters emerges in the form of Lilith, a powerful demon building an army of disciples on a quest to resurrect her “precious boy” Jonathan.

3B: The Shadowhunters face a new level of evil that they can’t even imagine with the return of Jonathan Morgenstern.

Where to watch The Mortal Instruments movies & TV shows?

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones can be found anytime on Hulu. All three seasons of the Shadowhunters series can be enjoyed on Freeform.com for free, and also the TV show is streaming on Hulu.

Do you need to watch The Mortal Instruments movies & TV shows in order?

The movie can be enjoyed as a standalone story, but the TV show should be watched in order. To be more precise, the ultimate way to watch the adaptations is to watch the movie first and then commit to watching all 55 TV show episodes in order.

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Are The Mortal Instruments movies & TV shows movies connected?

The movie and the TV show are based on the same source material, so you can say they are connected. But, the TV show is actually a complete reboot of the movie, so all the actors are different, and even the themes and tones are completely reimagined.

Will there be more The Mortal Instruments movies & TV shows?

There will be no new The Mortal Instruments movies with the same actors as the first one. Even though a sequel, The Mortal Instruments: City Of Ashes, was set to go into production shortly after the release of City Of Bones, the first movie performed badly and the sequel was postponed indefinitely. The Shadowhunters TV show was canceled after three seasons due to financing problems, even though the third season is 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. At the time of writing this article, it looks like there won’t be any new screen adaptation of The Mortal Instruments franchise any time soon.

  • Marija is a big TV series and film enthusiast. Her guilty pleasures are sitcoms and cheesy romance novels. She loves discussing high fantasy and fiction, especially LOTR, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and Marvel.