It’s been a busy two weeks for the Shadowhunters fandom. Only two weeks ago, around 400 members of the Shadowfam met at “The Hunters of Shadow Belgium” in Brussels (view our comprehensive coverage here). Then, barely six days later, they did it again for “The Hunters of Shadow 3” in Paris. Love, repeat – makes sense!
“The Hunters of Shadow” convention has fast become a Shadowhunters fandom institution and a “Don’t miss out”-event. This year it took place for the third time in three consecutive years and fans as well as the cast are always eager to attend. Just yesterday, Wevents Production announced that there’s going to be a fourth instalment next year. Mark your calendars, everybody!
So why do fans love “The Hunters of Shadow” so much and should you consider going? We’ll investigate and help you decide!
Chatting with the Shadowfam
We sat down with Cristina (@criss_flori,29, from Romania), Mel (@mellyb6, 30, from France), Kate (@Kathi_Blackrose, 26, from Germany), April (@CommanderApril1, 32, from Germany), Lita (@syroitlita, 15, from Belgium), Tifcuit (@Tiffy1307Steph, 36, from Germany) and Kiri (@KiriHerondale, 21, from Germany) to discuss their experiences at THOS3. Kiri has loved Shadowhunters since she first read Cassandra Claire’s Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments a couple of years ago and has been an enthusiastic fan of the series from day one of production. All the other ladies joined the fandom in 2017.
What made you decide to go to THOS3?
Kiri: I heard and read so much about Shadowhunters conventions and wanted to experience one myself. I also desperately wanted to see the cast live. And what can I say? It really has been worthwhile.
Lita: I really wanted to meet the cast.
Tifcuit: It was a rather spontaneous decision and I was lucky enough to manage to snatch one of the extra passes. As I didn’t have any previous con experience, for me going to the con was mainly about having fun, meeting other fans and also meeting the cast in person.
April: I was also late to the party, as I only bought the ticket when Wevents Production organized the resell. It was a gut decision and sometimes, those are the best. On the one hand, I wanted to meet the cast, on the other, it was an opportunity to get to know the girls with whom I have spent a huge amount of time on twitter ever since the cancellation.
Cristina: I wanted to see the cast again and also my friends – not only those whom I had already seen during last year’s convention, but also the new ones I’ve made in the last year.
Mel: I saw all the wonderful posts and pictures after THOS2 and got the impression that it was a very emotional con. It’s funny how I had never met the cast and yet felt so close to them. That has never happened to me before. So when THOS3 was announced, I didn’t want to miss out any longer and knew I just had to go.
Kate: I figured it might be my last chance to meet the cast since the show was canceled. So now, this year is dedicated to the Shadowhunters cast. I´m going to meet them everywhere I can in Europe. Once you’ve met them, you want to meet them again because they are the most precious human beings on earth.
What did you look forward to the most?
Kate: Just being around them, seeing them smile, having a moment to talk and to hug, taking pictures, showing them my love. Making memories in general.
Kiri: Dom! And to just be close to the actors… close to the people that have somehow become really important to me.
Cristina: Seeing all my friends again, having fun together and crying together. I know it sounds strange, but comforting each other during cons is one of those things that brings people closer together.
April: Meeting my girls! I was also very much looking forward to my photo op with Matt.
Mel: Meeting Matt and meeting Shumdario, but also meeting all my mutuals.
Tifcuit: That’s easy: Meeting Alberto!
What were you most excited about?
Tifcuit: Besides seeing the cast, meeting my friends.
Lita: Without doubt, meeting Team Evil.
April: Meeting Matt personally!
Kate: Meet and Greets are always my favorites. This is your time with your favorites. At THOS3, I was able to participate in a breakfast with Kat, Dom, and Alberto. These three together are so lovely and I had an awesome time meeting them.
Kiri: You know, this was my first con, so I really was excited about everything. Starting from what it would be like to be there, to sitting at the group panels and doing photo ops. I was eager to experience the atmosphere and be part of the whole event.
Cristina: Meeting my friends again four days after THOSbe. I think seeing your friends again is always the most exciting part of conventions. Sure, I love seeing the cast, I love taking photos and talking to them but seeing my friends…that is THE BEST! Because without my friends, these conventions wouldn’t be the same. We joke and laugh together, we cry together, we comfort each other whenever the need arises. We shared the pain when our show was canceled and we shared the joy when they won the TCAs and PCAs. Together, we have been through so much and it brings you closer together. So yeah, I was most excited about seeing my friends again.
Mel: Honestly, I was most excited about giving Anna Hopkins her fanbook. I started working on it in November 2018 and it was wonderful to be able to do this for her. More than fifty people participated and sent in pictures and messages for me to include – and she loved it!
THOS3 offered 48 hours of fandom goodness: Opportunities to watch the cast interact during (group) panels, Meet & Greets, autograph sessions, and photo ops. In retrospective, what was your best THOS 3 moment?
Lita: Every moment!
Mel: Honestly, seeing the cast on stage for the first time and asking the first question of the convention. I wondered in what time period the members of the cast would want to live in if they had the choice. Most of them were fine with living today because they wouldn’t want to live without their friends and family.
April: Oh God – there were way too many! First, the photo op with Matt and all the other cast members. But I also enjoyed David’s concert. I’ll also never forget the moments where I simply sat together with the girls, having fun and crying tears of laughter. I still have an aching stomach because we laughed so hard.
Kiri: So hard to mention just one. In general, I was really impressed with how simple it was to find my way around. And of course, meeting the cast. It is incredible how kind and down to earth everyone is!
Kate: My best moments definitely were my Duo photo ops with Kat and Luke as well as the Trio photo ops with Dom, Luke, and Will. Whenever we were on the floor for a picture they just refused to get up. Dom was like: “I like it down here” and Luke (laying on Kat´s legs) was also fine with that plan: “I´m just gonna lay here for a while!” And Kat jokingly apologized: I´m sorry, I think we´re stuck here.” Great memories!
Cristina: Best moment? When I looked into Matthew Daddario’s eyes and survived! Actually, this applies to Jade as well because oh boy, the way he looks at you during photo ops is INTENSE!
Tifcuit: Can I name two moments? First, the picture with Matt. He obviously loves selfie poses and comes to life during them. I died laughing. When somebody called “selfie,” he jumped right into the pose – and afterward, he didn’t let go until the photographer reassured him that the picture was fine! I also loved the picture with Alberto and how his eyes sparkled when he saw the cap. Meeting him was also great, as it gave me the opportunity to talk to him about his bookclub. I was fascinated by his attitude towards his job.
Tiffy, you mentioned a cap. I feel there’s a story here…
There is! I am a member of his bookclub rosendereads. Alberto founded it two years ago and everyone’s free to join. Obviously, we read books. Once a week, usually on Sunday, Alberto does a live video on Insta where we discuss the current book, share our general thoughts and ideas, exchange favorite quotes, and so on. Now, all the members of rosendereads know that Alberto loves NY Yankee caps and so we decided to give him one, with all the members of the club and also the club’s motto mentioned on it: “Keep reading. Keep questioning things. Keep growing. Keep being curious.”
I think that’s an important message, particularly in our brand new social media age. Now that we’ve discussed your best THOS3 moment, let’s talk about your worst moment.
Kiri: Easy!! My non-existent French!
Kate: Because of the delayed schedule, I had to choose between the breakfast with Kat, Dom, and Alberto or the M&G with Will. Both happened at the same time and I had to cancel one. It was really bitter. The closing ceremony was also hard! I hate goodbyes.
Cristina: Yes, I can relate. The moment I hated the most was when I had to say goodbye to the cast.
Mel: I disliked how stressed I was during the autographs! Mind you, I wasn’t stressed about meeting the guests, but was wondering about logistics. I wanted to get all my pictures and I was afraid it wouldn’t work out due to the very busy schedule. But I needn’t have worried: The staff, my friends and all the other people attending were wonderful and so helpful. I even got candy, hugs, and tissues and all was all right in the end.
April: The two canceled panels (Harry/Nicola and Matt/Dom). I was pretty disappointed.
Tifcuit: As my pass was only valid on Saturday, my worst moment was definitely all of Sunday. I wasn’t able to experience the closing ceremony and suffered from post-convention blues much earlier than all the other fans. That sucked a lot.
Let’s cheer up again. Which moment will always stand out to you?
Kate: On Sunday I was really emotional when I went to my photo op with Dom. I asked him for a hug and he immediately sensed something was wrong and wanted to know what (while still hugging) That hug was so sweet and lasted at least 10 seconds. He was so eager to comfort me. I love him for that. I love him for his beautiful soul and his pure heart.
Kiri: All the feels! It is impossible to describe how it felt to just be there.
Mel: When I gave Harry the gift for his baby girl, which was a book called “Bedtime for Xia”. To see how much he liked it, how happy and surprised he was about it meant a lot to me.
Lita: I will always remember every single autograph session and photo op.
Tifcuit: Hard to decide. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss the whole day for nothing in the world. But if I had to settle for one, it would be Alberto’s enthusiastic reaction when I asked him about the bookclub and the fact that the club continues to grow.
Cristina: Hmmm, it’s hard to decide because there are two such moments: The autograph session and the “Thank You” project for the ending ceremony. We sang for the cast and held up “Thank you”-signs in our respective languages. It was beautiful.
I loved the autograph sessions because I had the chance to talk with the cast. I will always remember how happy Isaiah and Luke were when I told them how crazy and wild everyone was when we found out they were coming. Also, how happy and excited Jade was when we talked about his music and his song “Insta Story“. I feel autograph sessions are always special and precious occasions because it’s the only time when you can really talk to the actors and you can see that they actually listen to you and they’re interested in what you’re saying. They are not pretending. They really care about each and every one of us and you can see and feel that.
What was your favorite question and answer from the group panels and why?
Cristina: Definitely when Matt asked Isaiah what his favorite dinosaur was and he replied with: “You baby!” The whole fandom died. I know we already established this, but their banter is the best.
Tifcuit: As I had a lot of extras, I missed a lot of panels. But in Kat and Alberto’s panel, someone asked them what they found most annoying about each other. There was nothing that came to Kat’s mind, so she started enumerating all the things she particularly liked in Alberto. I thought that was very sweet. Alberto mentioned that he never saw someone eating as much butter as Kat.
Mel: There weren’t many panels and I didn’t get to experience most of them because of my extras, but I loved the question about the warlock mark! On Sunday’s opening panel, a little girl asked what warlock mark they would decide for if they had the choice. The answers were pretty random, but Matt was so adamant that Dom couldn’t get wings as a mark and then decided if Dom could have them, then so could he!
Lita: This was also my favorite moment.
April: Oh yes, I agree! The ensuing discussion between Matt and Dom was hilarious! Matt originally went for tail, as it would make climbing trees easier. But when Dom wanted wings, Matt was like: “That’s not a warlock mark!” When Dom wanted to know how tail was different, Matt said he’d have too much of an advantage. Well, Dom couldn’t be dissuaded!
Kate: That was also my favorite question as it started one of the infamous Sherdario banters. We got really interesting answers from the other cast members as well – including an in-length discussion about the nature of warlock marks and if a mark should come with special powers. This led to the question if it still was a mark if it actually HAD powers… It was amazing and oh so funny!
Thank you so much for answering our questions on THOS3. Before we conclude our interview, let’s talk Shadowhunters in general. What do you enjoy most about the series?
April: Short answer: Absolutely everything!
Lita: I love that every character faces some real issues and that we see how he deals with it. I also enjoy the message that the people you love will always be there for you and help you, no matter what.
Cristina: Malec! In general, the representation this show features is so important for the LGTBQ+ community. But there’s one more thing: How many friends I made thanks to Shadowhunters. This show brings people together, the cast and the fans. You can witness it during conventions and honestly, it’s amazing.
Kiri: I enjoy how close and connected I feel to the characters. I mean, I’ve already loved them in the books, but because of the series, this love has been getting even stronger. I feel as if I’d known these characters forever.
Tifcuit: First, I’ve got to mention the fact that the show forged connections between people. Secondly, it makes you feel strong when you have weak moments. I always think about all the difficult situations our beloved characters had to face and how they refused to give up. In this context, the show quote “To overcome your demons, you have to face them” comes to my mind. In my opinion, truer words have never been spoken!
Kate: I think everyone has his/her own reasons to watch this show. When I started watching, I was almost the same age as Kat and I always identified with Clary the most because of her age. I could also relate to Jace because of his history – his abusive childhood, the protective walls he constructed around himself, and his struggles in general. So these two quickly became the reason why I wanted to continue to watch the show.
It is a fictional world but the characters are so relatable. It is really easy to dive into it and just forget about everything else. I love fantasy and Shadowhunters and in a way, the Shadowhunters cosmos has become my safe haven.
These words are the perfect conclusion for our interview. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Kiri: A huge shout-out to the Shadowhunters cast! Thank you for making the ShadowFam possible.
April: I am so happy we have got this wonderful, caring cast. You can feel that they genuinely love the show and their characters. For me, this makes the series even more special.
Kate: I´m trying to keep negativity out of my life but I still can´t help my feelings about the finale. A lot of people think it was beautiful, but for me, all I needed to see was Clace finally being able to talk with each other, to catch a break and to enjoy their relationship. Instead we got a happy end for everyone else but them. I was in shock when I watched it and I didn´t eat or drink or sleep for 48 hrs afterwards. All I could do was to cry my eyes out, shell-shocked. That´s how deeply the finale affected me and I still don´t know how to process it and how to handle myself. I mean, Malec was beautifully written. We got to see every step of their relationship. It just hurt that there wasn´t enough time for Clace. That is not what I expected from “a love letter to the fandom.”
Tifcuit: Wevents really did their utmost to make everything possible and I really appreciate that a lot. Apparently, organizing Paris was much harder, as it was a larger con. It seemed that everything took a bit longer than anticipated and the schedule was a bit challenging… so some panels were canceled and the cast sometimes really had to rush. Brussels felt way more relaxed. But despite all the difficulties, the staff was always professional, friendly and helpful – no matter how often one and the same question was asked. My respect for that!
Mel: I absolutely adored my weekend in spite of the stress and my nerves and I still can’t believe I got to talk to all these wonderful people. These days were some of the best days of my life with some of my favorite people.
Cristina: I just want to thank this amazing cast for being so nice, patient and kind with everyone attending the con. They really got out of their way to make everyone feel loved, appreciated and most of all feel like they matter. And for everybody wondering if they should attend a con, the answer is: “YES! DO IT!” I promise you it’s 100% worth it.
A successful convention: Family, friends and fanart!
Judging from the interviews, meeting and catching up with friends was the primary reason people visited THOS 3. Not far behind was the emotional need to meet the Shadowhunters cast who have somehow managed to become family. However, there is also another reason that remains unmentioned here which we are going to investigate further in a follow-up article: It’s the amazing fanart you can usually purchase at cons.
At THOS3, two incredibly talented artists sold their swag: Phil (@phildrawsfanart) and Noksindra (@noksindra_art). Look forward to our upcoming interview with them where they give us an insight into their life as an artist and share their favorite pieces of fanart.
Until then, keep celebrating all things fandom! Sometimes, it’s the only glue that holds us together.
Check out our Shadowhunters coverage here!
Featured Image Source: Cecile B