Kat Talks Love Triangles & New Characters in Season 2B of ‘Shadowhunters’

When we last saw Clary in the winter finale, she tried to use her rune drawing abilities and angelic connection with the Soul-Sword to aide in the capture of her father, Valentine, but the Sword mysteriously vanished and was later stolen by a hooded figure. In the memorable final scene though, Clary celebrated Simon’s new daylighter status out in the sunshine, unaware of what Jace had recently learned from Valentine regarding his own bloodline.

We sat down with Katherine McNamara on the set of Shadowhunters to ask about Clary’s developing relationships with both Simon and Jace, to learn about new characters coming to the series, and to uncover more about the rising tensions in the Shadow World during Season 2B!

Clary may have found some happiness at the end of the 2A finale, but McNamara confirmed that there’s complex drama heading Clary’s way soon. “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just be happy and just have a wonderful little show where everybody gets along, and everybody’s in love, and people are having a good time?” she joked. “But it’s the Shadow World. Things go wrong very quickly.”

The biggest secret kept from Clary in the 2A finale was the revelation that Jace is no longer her brother, but will Jace make a move to recreate this love triangle? “Jace has an opening if he wants it,” McNamara said. “But he and Simon have also become closer, and he doesn’t want to step on those toes. He doesn’t want to get in the way of Clary’s happiness or of Simon’s.”

Over the past two seasons, we’ve watched Clary and Jace learn to work and fight together as Shadowhunters, and now knowing that they both have angelic blood, their Shadowhunter relationship will develop as well. “Clary and Jace have had a connection from moment one. They’re drawn to each other; they’re connected. Their chemistry is just electric, and when you have two characters like that, they will never be out of each other’s lives,” McNamara confirmed. “You saw that in that fight in Episode 7. They were working as a team; they were perfectly in sync, and that will continue, but it will continue to be tested and pushed and challenged and brought to its limits because of the other extraneous circumstances.”

One of our favorite non-romantic relationship arcs in 2A was between Clary and Alec Lightwood in how they grew to respect one another as Shadowhunters and as friends. McNamara commented on how their characters were able to grow closer by healing from tragedies they faced, and how that experience then established a sense of trust between them. We asked McNamara if audiences would continue to see these two characters strengthen this trust in 2B. “Clary and Alec both have their own sort of separate issues that they’re dealing with. He’s got Magnus and all of these responsibilities at The Institute, and Clary’s dealing with balancing Simon and Jace, which becomes a whole thing,” she said.

It seems as though Clary and Alec will be fighting separate battles, but McNamara did confirm that audiences would “definitely see bits and pieces” of their friendship. “Clary and Alec have been through a lot together, and through that they became close… and they’re able to rely on each other in a new way. Whereas before, there was a little bit of mistrust and little bit of questioning. That is, for the most part, gone now,” she said. Though that’s not to say that they’ll get along 100% of the time. “They’ll always have their little tempestuous sibling-like relationship, which I love because Matthew Daddario is like a big brother to me anyway,” she shared.

As we’ve seen in the teaser trailers released by Freeform, one of the biggest changes on Shadowhunters is the introduction of Sebastian Verlac, who we’re told will join the team at the New York Institute early on in the season. “He is definitely a character that comes in and becomes a huge influence to the story. He provides insight into some challenges that we have that he has knowledge beyond our own expertise and helps us to solve a lot of problems,” McNamara said.

In the newest trailer, Sebastian offers Clary advice and seems to connect with her more personally. McNamara explained that Sebastian “is able to help her through a major roadblock that she’s having. So they end up with a very close connection from the beginning, and he helps Isabelle deal with some things as well.” It also seems as though Sebastian will also be assisting with tasks around the Institute. “He helps Alec when it comes to his responsibilities, and he’s kind of able to fit himself into our group very quickly,” she said. “How that will affect things in the future remains to be seen…”

We asked Katherine McNamara if she had any favorite scenes she was most excited to watch on screen this summer, and as a fan of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series, she immediately recalled filming the episode where we meet the Seelie Queen. “That was one of my favorite episodes to shoot as a book fan because that’s one of my favorite sort of sections of the story,” she said. “Seeing that come to life in our interpretation was so gratifying finally to have this happen because we had been waiting for so long.”

Thinking more about what some of her favorite moments in 2B had been so far, she talked about what it’s been like to uncover more regarding her angelic bloodline and independence as a working Shadowhunter. Clary and Jace are “learning to explore, and push themselves, and find out what these new [angelic] abilities can do,” she explained. McNamara also reveled that we’re going to see Clary gain responsibilities and be trusted to complete tasks as a Shadowhunter, both of which allow Clary to fight her own battles. “She’s able to explore her angelic abilities and find out what she specifically can do to help further the mission and to help make up for her father’s actions,” she said. “It’s been amazing to see her grow in that way and really find herself and exert her own independence in that way.”

Fans who closely follow the cast and the official Shadowhunters account on social media know that there is an extensive amount of physical training involved in preparing to film the series. McNamara complimented the incredible stunt coordinators on set, explaining that their vast knowledge of combat allows them to “create a specific fighting style for each character.” In developing Clary’s particular fighting style, McNamara said that her character is “very feral in the way she fights. It’s almost the bit of Valentine in her that comes out when she fights because she’s so impassioned about the things she cares about and the people that she loves that she will literally do anything to make it right and to save them and to fight for what she believes in.”