After three seasons, it’s time to say goodbye to Shadowhunters. I’m sad to see a fun show leaving us after a short amount of time, but I’m glad it stayed fresh until the end. I enjoyed this conclusion quite a lot, and while not all questions were answered, we got the best ending a fan could hope for.
Wrapping up this story isn’t easy. Magnus is in Edom, residing in his father’s home– trapped and bored. Lilith isn’t powerful enough to challenge him and is of little concern. Alec, Isabella, Jace, and Clary can’t let him reside there alone and do their best to come up with a plan to rescue him. Isabella goes off on her own, asking Merliorn for a portal to reach him and swearing him to secrecy as she attempts to save Magnus by herself. Caring deeply for her, Merliorn ignores her request and reports back to Aec with her plan.
They can’t let Isabella fight alone; while she has Glorious burning within her, it’s still dangerous. Clary comes up with an idea: by creating a rune, she can connect Downworlders and Shadowhunters to each other. The connection would allow them to share powers and protect the Shadowhunters. Clary, Jace, and Alec pair off with Simon, Merliorn, and Lorenzo to make the journey. Simon isn’t a surprise, but Merliorn and Lorenzo didn’t seem to have a connection to Magnus to help voluntarily. Lorenzo, once isolated with Alec, begins to open up that their devotion to each other is opening his eyes. The warrantless jealousy is dissipating, and he feels compelled to bring them together. Merliorn doesn’t have a similar heart to heart with Jace, but I can imagine his affection for Isabella is his motivation.
The rescue mission goes well, and with Lilith too weak to be a threat, she is easily dealt with. Now that Alec and Magnus are reunited, all’s right with the world. Jonathan remains a threat, but he’s in hiding, so he isn’t a priority. Everyone is ready to carry on with their lives, especially Magnus who jumps into planning his wedding. The Shadowhunters are unaware of the work Jonathan has been doing with the Seelie Queen. Protected by her court, he goes through a metamorphosis into a more powerful demon. She teaches him how to control his destructive powers, which he ultimately uses to kill her before attacking the Clave.
Jonathan’s powers are seemingly unparalleled. Just by visually concentrating on someone, he can kill them. He takes down different Clave outposts, destroying the cities around them before exterminating the resident institutes. He only leaves Robert and Max alive in his wake to deliver a message to Clary, and she understands what she has to do. Before his message, Clary is visited by a vision of her mother who warns Clary that Raziel does not appreciate that she has been creating her own runes, and inventing another would mean everything would be taken away from her.
Rather than let the world be destroyed, Clary confronts Jonathan and makes one last rune. Clary is still his weakness, and while pleading to his human side, she embraces him and creates a rune that ultimately kills him. It’s not the big showdown we were expecting, but I can’t imagine another way they would be able to kill him. It had to be Clary, and it had to be done in her own way.
With Magnus and Alec’s wedding, we begin to say our goodbyes to the Shadowhunter family. It’s a beautiful wedding they deserve, and we get to see everyone happy one last time. By the end of the night, however, Clary’s runes begin to disappear until she’s left as a mundane. She can no longer see the world she saved and is left with no memories of her time there. In her departure, she leaves only a letter to Jace, explaining the situation and apologizing.
In the year that follows, Jace can’t let her go. Everyone around him is happy and thriving in the post-Jonathan world. But not Jace, who watches Clary from the shadows from time to time. Clary is living her life as a mundane going to art school; seemingly living the dream she always had. We don’t know if she’s happy or if she remembers any bit of her time as a Shadowhunter. We leave with a glimpse of Clary and Jace meeting, whom she seems to recognize but doesn’t know why. Perhaps there is hope for them yet, but that is left for us to decide.
When news came out that Shadowhunters would abruptly end with season three, I wasn’t sure how they could satisfyingly end this story. I thought I would have more objections to how it would be wrapped up. I’m happy with the route they took: we got a wedding of the best couple, we got to see many of the characters grow and be happy rather than have a depressing future. Even Clary and Jace’s story gives us hope that they’ll be able to reunite again. I think her last sacrifice is a perfect summary of who she is– selfless and brave. I can’t think of a better conclusion to a fun series.