If there is hope for a Shadowhunters season 4 release date, we’re all ears. But the twisted story of how we got here is still painful to face.
There was a brief moment in time, back in May 2018, when Shadowhunters season 3 was on a roll. Headed into the mid-season hiatus, the series had just finished its strongest run of episodes and was gearing up to deliver an equally exciting back half. As fans sat through announcement after announcement of renewals across networks, the sudden cancellation of Shadowhunters shattered all illusions of grandeur.
On June 4, 2018, Shadowhunters was cancelled and officially not renewed for season 4. The final 12 episodes were pushed back to air in 2019 and a 2-hour finale wrap order was granted by the network. The Shadowhunters season 4 premiere may never appear on Freeform, but the passion of the fans made its mark.
Over the course of the extended hiatus, fans rallied behind the show and the cast elevating the anticipation for the conclusion to an all-time high. The creative team behind the series poured their hearts into crafting a finale that would not only wrap up the series, but leave the door open for fans to debate what might happen in season 4.
Why was ‘Shadowhunters’ cancelled?
Shadowhunters season 4 is not coming to Freeform after negotiations with Netflix, a major financial partner for output of the series, did not result in a renewal of its commitment to financing the series. Netflix’s partnership with Freeform allows the streamer to premiere new episodes internationally a day after they air in America. The main production company of the series, Constantine Film, was not able to reach a deal with the parent network, Freeform, for more money.
Over the course of a few months, Constantin Film attempted to seek out other possibilities for financing, but could not find another partner. They continued the search until the company released an official statement in August 2018 that this iteration of The Mortal Instruments would not be able to continue.
A snippet reads, “Regrettably for all involved, Shadowhunters must come to an end. While we are trying to figure out new ways and new incarnations in which to bring the Shadow World to fans worldwide, we are sad to say that after many efforts by all parties involved, it’s not possible for this version of Shadowhunters to continue.”
Will ‘Shadowhunters’ get a season 4?
Right now, the odds are still not in the fandom’s favor. The series finale aired on May 6, 2019 with two episodes doing the heavy lift of serving as the post-script to the season and the series. Ahead of the finale, Hypable spoke with Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer, the co-showrunners and executive producers of the series, and learned that, while the finale is meant to close the door on this chapter, it also leaves some room for endless possibilities.
The back half of season 3 saw new ships sail, emotional and action-packed adventures for some of your favorite characters, and most importantly it built upon the development of the characters we have come to love leaving them all with somewhat satisfying conclusions.
The events of the season 3, though satisfying and a love letter to the fans, left us with enough questions to sustain 10 more seasons.
While there is nothing in the pipeline just yet, it does not mean that we can’t speculate on how the characters will navigate the next chapter of their lives.
‘Shadowhunters’ season 4 plot ideas
The finale of Shadowhunters season 3 left the door wide open for more stories. The first hour served as a wrap up to the current season’s events, resolving the implications of resurrecting Jonathan. Though pure evil incarnate, the final showdown between Jonathan and Clary reflects their confusing and complicated journey. Bonded by blood and a profound loss of family and sense of self, Jonathan took those alliances as enough to justify his actions to do whatever it takes to win Clary over to his side. Clary sympathized with Jonathan’s journey, but also knew that ending his reign of terror was the only way to save her true family.
Once Jonathan was gone from the world, it was time to celebrate. The wedding of Magnus and Alec brought nothing but joy and celebration. Those who were lost over the course of the series were honored, those who found love were celebrated, and the shots of the found family that found their way to each other. Magnus, Alec, Jace, Isabelle, Clary, Maryse, Max, all standing together could only mean one thing — it was time for them to part.
The biggest shocker of the finale was the one-year time jump left us with the same people, save for one. Clary, whose memory was wiped as punishment is living her best art life in Manhattan with Simon and Jace keeping tabs on her every move. Jace, hiding under his glamor rune is tormenting himself by watching her day and night, until one day when she can see right through to him.
A fourth season of Shadowhunters would perfectly set the stage for a reentry into the world through Clary getting her memory back.
While time jumps tend to complicate storytelling, in the case of Shadowhunters season 4, a gap year would be a welcome launch pad.
Alec and Magnus
In that time Alec and Magnus made some moves, both physically and professionally. The couple had their ups and downs as Magnus struggled with the loss of his magic and what it cost him to get it back. It took a great deal of personal reflection for both Magnus and Alec to realize that together, they can make it through whatever the world throws at them. Because of this, they move a bit faster in their relationship than others.
Now the blissfully married couple are living and working in Alicante, what does their next chapter look like? Are kids on the table? I’d like to think new opportunities for Magnus would challenge the couple to broaden their idea of what family life outside of Shadow World would look like.
Isabelle and Simon
Isabelle and Simon have known each other for a few years now, but relationships can present many, many hurdles. When season 4 picks up, the honeymoon stage might be starting to wear off and the duo could be poised to face some professional and personal challenges in their lives. As Simon continues his training, how would that interfere with Isabelle’s upward mobility in the Institute? Would it?
Jace and Clary
The most interesting arc that would play out in season 4 is hands down, Jace and Clary finding their way back to one another. Jace has not had the best year trying to move forward from Clary’s complete removal from the Shadow World. The Angels take out their anger by stripping Clary not only of her runes, but of all connection to her friends and chosen family.
While Jace has kept close tabs on her, he has done so behind a glamor. Mirroring the storyline of season 3, where Jace’s true self was trapped behind the mask of the Owl, he struggles with a shadowed life here one more. But when Clary reveals that she can not only see him through the glamor like she did just a few years ago, but also knows his name, he has a hard time holding back the wave of relief that washes over him.
Does this mean that the Angels are willing to accept Clary back or is something else at work? If it is the latter, then the overarching villain of season 4 would likely reside in the gray area presented there. But if it is the former, then does Clary have to pay some kind of penance for her actions? Will she be fully reinstated with the Clave?
Regardless of the hows and whys, Clary’s reintegration into her personal relationships would be the number one reason to tune in for Shadowhunters season 4.
If you need a refresher on what went down in the Shadowhunters season 3 finale, we’ve got you covered!
‘Shadowhunters’ season 4 cast
Katherine McNamara – Clary Fray
Dominic Sherwood – Jace Wayland
Alberto Rosende – Simon Lewis
Matthew Daddario – Alec Lightwood
Emeraude Toubia – Isabelle Lightwood
Isaiah Mustafa – Luke Garroway
Harry Shum Jr. – Magnus Bane
Alisha Wainwright – Maia Roberts
David Castro – Raphael Santiago
Nicola Correia-Damude – Maryse Lightwood
Jade Hassouné – Meliorn
Jon Cor – Hodge Starkweather
Ariana Williams – Madzie
Sophia Walker – Catarina
Javier Muñoz – Lorenzo Rey
Jacky Lai – Aline Penhallow
Sydney Meyer – Helen Blackthorne
Where to watch the ‘Shadowhunters’ cast now
Want to see what the Shadowhunters cast is up to now that the series has concluded? Some actors are reuniting on projects, while others are off carving out a space for themselves as heroes of another world. Here are some of the projects that are keeping your favorite actors busy over the past year.
If you follow Kat on Instagram chances are you haven’t missed a beat since the series finale. She is not only continuously generous with her time to the Shadowhunters community, but she always keeps them in her heart as she moves on to new and exciting projects. Her enthusiasm makes you want to stay connected and celebrate every one of her achievements.
- Arrow – Mia Smoak Catch McNamara in the Arrowverse crossover special, “Crisis on Infinite Earths, Parts 1-3” as well as the seventh and eight seasons of Arrow where she plays Mia Smoak, who now officially goes by Mia Queen after her father. A spin-off series is in the works at the CW for her character, Green Arrow and the Canaries, which had its backdoor pilot durint Arrow’s final season.
- The Stand – Julie Lawry Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, began filming in late 2019 and is expected to air on CBS All Access.
- Push McNamara will rejoin Daddario in the indie film Push. Though not too much is released about the movie just yet, McNamara shared a snap of the duo on her Instagram to hold fans over.
Sherwood has been keeping busy with a new series over on Showtime. Penny Dreadful: City of Angels sets Sherwood on the opposite coast of the United States. A spinoff of the original, the series is set in Hollywood in the 1930s and will deal with… wait for it… demons. Sherwood will play Kurt, the chauffeu of a German architect, Richard Goss (Thomas Kretschmann).
Harry Shum Jr.
After his stint as Magnus Bane, Harry Shum, Jr. headed for a role in the blockbuster hit Crazy Rich Asians. Though he appeared at the tail end of the movie, his character is likely to play a larger role in the film’s planned sequel. In the meantime, you can catch Shum in a few episodes of Tell Me a Story season 2, which adapts fairytales into psychological thrillers. Additionally, the new Comedy Central comedy from Shum’s costar Awkwafina, Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens features Shum in a guest spot in episode 7, “Grandma Loves Nora.”
What the Shadow Fam has to say
The fans are not ready to say goodbye, and when the news broke, neither were the actors. It is a testament to the passion that these human poured into this series and the love and support from around the globe that kept this machine turning out stories for the last three years. The cast, crew, and fans took to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the sky (literally) to let the world know what the series meant to them.
As more time passes the Shadowhunters cast continues to post what the series means to them. Celebrating birthdays, fan art submissions, and efforts to keep the fandom in close contact with each other, the community is not going anywhere if they can help it!
Dominic Sherwood: Jace
All good things come to an end. It has been my privelidge to be a part of this world. @ShadowhuntersTV team have been so close to my heart for 3 years. You. The fans. Make us happy and strong and proud. Thank you. For everything. We say goodbye with a heavy heart but our heads…
— Dominic Sherwood (@DomSherwood1) June 5, 2018
Katherine McNamara: Clary
View this post on Instagram
By the angel – I cannot believe this week is 4 years since #SHADOWHUNTERS premiered. The story, the memories, the friendships, the family will always be in my heart. Every single cell in my body loves you, #Shadowfam. Here’s a few favorite memories. What’s your favorite moment or memory from the Shadow World? #tbt #shadowhunterslegacy
— Katherine McNamara (@Kat_McNamara) June 5, 2018
Brian Hui: Makeup artist on the series
Seems appropriate to repost this pic! Going to be super positive and say how much I enjoyed being part of the SH family this season! Love every single member of the crew and cast… and the fans….the fans are the best! 😘@ShadowhuntersTV pic.twitter.com/LSjv8oQHjO
— Brian Hui (@BriBriGuy23) June 5, 2018
Aisha Porter-Christie: Writer on the series
Such a privilege to have been part of this series. The upcoming episodes are truly something special. Cheers to my @ShadowhuntersWR family, cast, crew and the DOPEST fans on the planet. ♥️ #Shadowhunters https://t.co/q82ZvDx8f0
— AishaPorterChristie (@NappyThoughtz) June 5, 2018
Freeform had a harder time saying goodbye to the series. Faced with the backlash of cancellation, the network went radio silent about Shadowhunters. For months the show was excluded from Freeform’s streaming platform advertisements, official Twitter accounts, and more.
With a fanbase rabid for footage from 3B and any promotional material, the network made another misstep airing a controversial comment about Shadowhunters fans during its 25 Days of Christmas programming. An official apology was issued.
Save ‘Shadowhunters’ grabs the world’s attention
Is there another fandom like the Shadowhunters fandom? The series drew out the hearts and souls of Cassandra Clare’s characters, translating them into some of the most compelling stories on television. The actors, writers, and crew poured their passion into the series, and that feeling has extended to touch many, many lives.
In response to the cancellation news, fans were rightfully upset. There was shock, pain, sadness. But those feelings grew into support, camaraderie, and activism. The fandom poured their reactions into art, fundraising, and grassroots efforts to campaign for change.
Some of these efforts included billboards, subway advertisements, and raising nearly $30,000 for the Trevor Project along the way.
Freeform took notice of the charitable contributions of the Shadowhunters fandom and made a $25,000 donation to the Trevor Project.
The Shadowhunters family gave back a piece of themselves to the fans with a permanent installation in Central Park. A bench to commemorate the support and love of their fans.
For you angels,a place in @CentralParkNYC to call our own. A place for the #Shadowfam. A place for love. A place for all from us to you as a thank you&a statement of our love and admiration for each of you. YOU are our angels.🖤 #Shadowhunterslegacy @shadowhunterstv @FreeformTV pic.twitter.com/vh9FDuxAP0
— Katherine McNamara (@Kat_McNamara) February 25, 2019
Just like the characters in the series, the Shadow Fam outside of the show works to make the world a better place for everyone. The cast and creators are the first to acknowledge the profound respect and admiration they have for fans of the show. Nothing quite compares to the spark that Shadowhunters ignited in the fan community.
Todd Slavkin took notice of not only the charitable efforts of the community, but also their desire to hear any and all stories from behind the scenes. My Life in the Shadow World: Reflections of a Television Showrunner is Slavkin’s story told from behind the camera. All proceeds from the book will be donated to The Trevor Project and Mental Health America in the name of Shadowhunters Legacy.
Surprise! I was so inspired by the fans donating their time and money to charity in the name of #shadowhunters that I decided to do the same by writing a book about my life in the shadow world. All proceeds go to charity. Enjoy! https://t.co/Z0am7b6pVw
— Todd Slavkin (@toddzer1) March 6, 2020
Additionally, the Shadowhunters cast are not hiding from the fans out in the world either. Each are actively involved in several conventions that keep the community and the series alive across the globe.
Where to watch ‘Shadowhunters’
To relieve all the moments that generated this passionate fandom and brought together the vibrant cast, you can watch all three seasons on Freeform’s website without a login. All episodes are available on Hulu with a subscription.
And, while you’re watching, be sure to check out our recaps for every Shadowhunters episode as well as the latest in-universe news updates!
For more ‘Shadowhunters’ season 3 news
Check out our interviews with the cast for more insights on what to expect in the final season of Shadowhunters:
- Shadowhunters 3×11 begins the slow, painful healing process
- Shadowhunters’ Alisha Wainwright on the importance of getting Maia’s story right
- Shadowhunters interview: Luke Baines on resurrecting Jonathan, drawing inspiration from the fans