August 20, 2013

Crash Course: 'The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones'

August 20, 2013


Here's a crash course on the highly anticipated movie of the summer. The very first book of The Mortal Instruments YA series, City of Bones, written by Cassandra Clare, was published in 2007 -- the same time frame the story is set. The series sold over 16 million copies in many countries and translated in 30 different languages. City of Bones was on the NY best-sellers list for over two years.

Plot: CLARY FRAY (Lily Collins) is an ordinary Brooklyn teenager until the night she meets the mysteriously tattooed JACE (Jamie Campbell Bower), who turns out to be a half-angel warrior known as a Shadowhunter. When Clary finds out her mother JOCELYN has been abducted, she desperately hopes Jace will be able to help. After a whirling golden portal transports her across time and space in a heartbeat, Clary realizes she too has the powers of the Shadowhunters. But can she harness them in time to save her mother? 
Clary, Jace and their fellow Shadowhunters endure one breathtaking battle after another against vampire, warlocks and demonsonly to discover Jocelyn hid a terrible secret from the fiercest warrior of all: VALENTINE. Cast out from the world of Shadowhunters, Valentine abducted Jocelyn believing she had a powerful tool known as the Mortal Cup. Using her newfound gifts, Clary finds the Cup, only to be brutally betrayed and forced to relinquish it.
Still reeling from this setback and racing to save Jocelyn before its too late, Clary finds herself caught in a battle between forces she barely understands. Based on the best-selling series by Cassandra Clare, THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES is a magnificent urban fantasy rich in detail and suspense, about a girls journey to the darkest corners of the underworld to save those she loves.

Clary Fray (Lily Collins): heroine/protagonist.
Jace Wayland (Jamie Campbell Bower): shadowhunter at the NY Institute.
Simon Lewis (Robert Sheehan): bestfriend of Clary. Human.
Jocelyn Fairchild (Lena Headey): mother to Clary. Former shadowhunter.
Luke Garroway (Aiden Turner): guardian (sort of) to Clary. Close friend of Jocelyn. Werewolf.
Hodge Starkweather (Jared Harris): mentor to the Lightwoods at the NY Institute.
Alec Lightwood (Kevin Zegers): brother to Isabelle. Shadowhunter at the NY Institute.
Isabelle Lightwood (Jemima West): sister to Alec. Shadowhunter at the NY Institute.
Magnus Bane (Godfrey Gao): the high Warlock of Brooklyn.
Madame Dorothea (CCH Pounder): Clary and Jocelyn's neighbor. Psychic.
Eric (Chris Ratz): friend of Simon and Clary. Slam poet.
Brother Jeremiah (Stephen R. Hart): silent brother.
Alaric (Harry Van Gorkum): werewolf in Luke's pack.
Valentine Morgenstern (Jonathan Rhys Meyers): antagonist/evil father (SPOILER). Shadowhunter.
Emil Pangborn (Kevin Durand): Valentine's lapdog. Shadowhunters.
Samuel Blackwell (Robert Maillet): Valentine's other lapdog. Shadowhunters.


Shadowhunter: half human/half angel (aka Nephlim). Hunts demons to help protect the human world. First created by the angel Raziel by offering his blood to the very first shadowhunter respectively named Jonathan Shadowhunter to drink from the Mortal Cup.

Runes: archaic tattoos each containing specific purposes etched on skin by steles to give shadowhunters specific abilities. Intended for Shadowhunters only. Fatal to other beings.

Stele: handheld weapon in a form of a rod used by shadowhunters to draw runes on the surface of their skin.

Mundanes: humans and anything of the human world.

Parabatai: a pair of Nephilim warriors who fight together and are closer than siblings, regardless of their gender. They are partners who would lay down their life for the other. The pair must stand before the Council and swear and oath to lay down their lives for each other.

Downworlder: hybrid creature such as werewolves, vampires, faeries, demons and warlocks.

Forsaken: warriors who were once mundanes. When runes are applied to the mundane humans, they cannot handle them and go insane.

The Clave: governing body of the shadowhunter world. Shadowhunter of age (18) are considered members if they choose to carry out shadowhunter duties unless chosen to renounce their membership. It is led by the Council, Inquisitor, and Consul. Their base is located in Alicante, Idris. Idris being the land of the shadowhunters. The Clave signs the laws of the Clave, known as the Covenant.

The Accords: peace negotiations between Downworlders and the Clave.

Conclave: the New York Institute branch of the Clave.

Witchlight: a rune-stone used by Shadowhunters to bring light to the user.

The Gray Book: an ancient text which contains every rune that was created by Angel Raziel. Shadowhunters learn one rune from it one at a time for it takes a lot to endure them.

The Institute: an asylum for shadowhunters, a form of a sanctuary, whether it is to house, train, or meet. Downworlders are banned from entering for their demonic blood is not allowed for the safety of the shadowhunters. All institutes hide behind a glamour unseen to human eyes as a form of protection. There are Institutes in New York, Los Angeles, York, London, Shanghai, and Mumbai.

Seraph Blades: long, strong blades fatal to demons. Used by shadowhunters, they name the blade after any specific angel to their desire before their fatal infliction upon enemies.

Silent Brothers: healers for shadowhunters. Since their appearance are altered, that means their mouths included. With their mouths sewn shut, the speak through telepathy. They perform a sort of initiation to young future Shadowhunters at the early age of 10.

The Mortal Cup: 1/3 of the complete Mortal Instruments set. Also known as the Angel's Cup, was a cup from Angel Raziel. It is one of the Mortal Instruments given by the Angel Raziel to Jonathan Shadowhunter, the first Shadowhunter. The cup is used in a ceremony to create new shadowhunters -- whether it being a young children of the nephlim, or a human who chooses to make the transition into a shadowhunter.  It can also be used for evil if fallen into the wrong hands can create demonic (or plain evil) shadowhunters, but the other instruments are required to be successful. We'll learn the other instruments as the series progresses.

Silent City: literally the city of bones. Located in a different realm underground, the walls are made up of bones. Location where the silent brothers reside. It is divided into different sections: graveyard for deceased shadowhunters, meeting chamber, and a jail for juvenile shadowhunters.

Order of series:
City of Heavenly Fire (to be published May 2014)

After the idea of it having a film adaption was shelved for a couple years before production picked up, Sony and Constantin Films took it in their hands. Though this film was not anywhere near director Harold Zwart usual genre, author Cassandra Clare assures that he stayed true to the book.

Worlds will collide when The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones hits theaters and IMAX Wednesday,  August 21.
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