Kat McNamara chats with Hypable about the Shadowhunters season 2 finale and how the fans and her cast have helped her take Clary to the next level.
Shadowhunters’ penultimate episode cast a dark shadow over the season 2 finale. In a season filled with betrayal, heartache, and family turmoil, the characters have been pushed to their limits.
Kat McNamara, who plays Clary in the series, credits the characters’ development over three years to the bond formed between the team off-screen.
Hypable spoke with McNamara ahead of the Shadowhunters season 2 finale to get a sense of where Clary is at and how far she’s come from the start of the series.
‘Shadowhunters’ season 2 finale interview: Kat McNamara
This season Clary has lost her mother, presumably lost her brother, and the hunt is on for her father. Where is she mentally as we enter the finale?
Clary is at a point right now where she is a little lost. She’s lost her brother. She thought she found her brother, she thought she lost him again, then she found him again, and then it turns out he is evil and tried to kill her.
On top of all of that, her father has been the source of destruction and evil since the beginning of the series. There’s so much fighting and so much death, and she feels as though a lot of it is her fault and her responsibility. Every time she tries to do the right thing, someone she loves gets hurt or someone she loves dies.
And she is tired of it. She’s so sick of losing people that she loves. But Clary is a fighter at heart. We see that fighter. She will always be a warrior and she will always pick herself back up again. She is ready to fight to the death for what she believes in and for the people she loves.
But it’s been a bit of a turn. When she first entered the Shadow World, it was dangerous, but there was a magic and a glamour and a wonder to this world. And now she’s been exposed to the darker, more brutal, cold side of it. It will never be the same for her.
All things considered, Clary is still relatively new to the Shadowhunter world. What does she hold onto from the Mundane world that helps her navigate this experience?
I think the thing that Clary brings to this world is an outside perspective. And an open-mindedness and compassion. Some of these other characters have been so entrenched in these separate worlds of the Downworld and the Shadow World and the Clave.
She brings a perspective that no one else has since she is new to it and she’s seeing answers to issues that people haven’t because they’ve been so close-minded for centuries.
But also, she’s an artist at heart and she brings that artistry to the runing power. And to the people that she loves. And that’s ultimately why her Angelic blood manifests itself in that way because it is a way for her to keep her art with her.
It’s not that the other characters aren’t compassionate or feel those things. But just that they are more trapped by the boundaries that have been set by generations past. All of these characters in this younger generation are working to break free of those unspoken rules and to question them and ask why? It’s what a lot of our younger generation is doing today.
Now that you’ve completed two seasons and are preparing for a third, what are some of the ways you feel most connected to Clary?
The more time I spend with Clary, the more fun I have. I am growing up at this point in my life and Clary is growing up as well. Now that I’ve spent three years with the rest of the cast, I know everyone so well. We’ve all gotten to be a really tight knit group. All the relationships on the show have developed as well.
That goes hand-in-hand when we are on screen together. When you’ve been working so closely with people for so long you’re allowed to let go a little bit. And you feel more comfortable being vulnerable with people. We know each other so well, we kind of know the way that the scenes are going to go.
That’s all well and good, but we can push them beyond that and allow ourselves to play and experiment and have fun and push each other and bring each other to new levels that we haven’t seen these characters go to before because we can explore.
That’s the magic of this show. It’s why these relationships are so deep and why the characters are so real. The chemistry between them is the chemistry of our lives.
Has the fan experience helped this as well?
I am so grateful that the fans have been so supportive because [this series] is so different from the books. The fact that they’ve been open and willing to come on this journey with us and experience this fresh perspective on this story and this world and these characters really speaks to their intelligence and open-mindedness.
Something that I find so beautiful about the Shadowhunters fandom is how supportive they are. Not only of us, but of each other.
We have some amazing artists and some amazing editors and people who are so talented. And writers who are thoughtful in the questions they ask and the things they discuss, what they take from the episodes. The art that they do, the videos that they make, the fan books that we’ve received at the conventions we’ve gone to. The amount of time and effort and passion and heart that they put into it is incredible.
But I also see them supporting each other. If a piece of artwork is posted, maybe one of us will comment on it, but I see all the fans commenting to each other and sharing any cool fan art that maybe they didn’t create, but they thought was cool. They want to bring it to our attention.
And, especially on social media, which can be very brutal, to see it be a place of warmth and fostering creativity, those trends are so astounding and wonderful.
But as far as the character goes, I love talking to fans. Everyone has a different perspective on this story and on these characters. I love getting into discussions with people about how they feel about the show. And what they think the characters are thinking. Where they think things are going and why certain characters do what they do. How they feel for them.
It brings different aspects and details to light that I might not have thought of before and I find that’s so refreshing.
Can you tease the finale in one or two words?
Our finale is brutal. And our finale is heartbreaking.
That’s about all I can say. There are a lot of surprises in the finale that people aren’t going to see coming.
Before our chat ended Kat offered another teaser for the upcoming episode — a song debut!
My first original single is on the soundtrack for the finale and I am releasing it as well on the day that it airs.
Be sure to grab Kat’s single on Monday, August 14!
Shadowhunters season 2 finale, “Beside Still Water” airs Monday, August 14 at 8:00 p.m. ET on Freeform.