Shadowhunters reunion: HomeCon brings the baddies back from Edom


HomeCon brought our favorite Shadowhunters villains — and most complicated family members — back from Edom, and finally put them all onscreen together.

Every good show needs at least one iconic big bad. There has to be someone you love to hate, and hate to love. In the case of Shadowhunters, we got three incredible big bads, back to back to back.

First, there was Valentine, Clary’s biological father and Jace’s adopted father, who was determined to eradicate the Downworld.

Then there was Jonathan. He was Valentine’s second biological child, and Clary’s real brother. After being experimented on and subsequently sent to Edom by Valentine, Jonathan had some pretty severe daddy issues. And yet, they paled in comparison to his mother issues.

Come season three, we met Lilith, the Greater Demon who gave some of her blood to Valentine to inject into Jonathan, thus viewing him as her own son.

Each one of these baddies was more sinister than the last, and yet, despite how connected these characters were, they never once appeared onscreen all together. That is, until HomeCon entered the fray.

The virtual fan convention brought together more than 30 actors on April 10 and 11, including Alan Van Sprang, Anna Hopkins, and Luke Baines, who played Valentine, Lilith and Jonathan, respectively.

But here’s the thing about bringing together these three villains: They’re just delightful in real life.

HomeCon’s Shadowhunters reunion panel was full of laughter, good-natured ribbing, dogs — Hopkins’s pup Jasper and Van Sprang’s pup Buster both made appearances — and even singing. It was a bit like entering the parallel dimension of “This World Inverted.”

The actors were happy to be together, immediately lamenting how it had never happened on the show. In all fairness, it would have been hard to make it happen, considering the fate of Van Sprang’s Valentine. He died not once, but twice on the show.

Ironically, though, that’s a small number for Alan Van Sprang. He noted during the conversation that his mom actually calculated the number of times he’s died onscreen over the years. It totals close to 45 times.

“I don’t mind,” Van Sprang added lightly. He did mind, however, that he didn’t get to work with Hopkins or Baines.

“Honestly, what happened to the show after I left?” Van Sprang asked, laughing. “It got badass!”

But as it turns out, we did come pretty close to getting a scene between Valentine and Lilith. It was written, it was shot, it was just cut from the episode itself. The actors didn’t reveal the content of the interaction.

Though the three villains never came together onscreen, they did reminisce about sharing an odd experience together: nearly fainting on set.

Evidently, in the world of Shadowhunters, being a villain means at least one full-blown scream into the void. Van Sprang, Hopkins, and Baines each had to do it at some point, and each actor described the experience as draining. They not only had to scream with all of their might, but they were also being hit by what is essentially a giant wind machine so certain effects would look right later. The actors shared a laugh over how they each left the scene feeling light-headed.

Beyond nefarious war cries, there was one other experience Van Sprang, Hopkins, and Baines all shared: pressure.

Shadowhunters was based on a widely successful book series: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. The show had a built-in fanbase when it premiered, and all three actors wanted to do right by those fans.

“It was the most pressure I’ve ever felt for any job,” Baines noted. “I specifically didn’t want to let the book fans down.”

Van Sprang even had an in with the Shadow World already, as he worked on The Tudors with Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who played Valentine in the movie adaptation of The Mortal Instruments.  But, Van Sprang made a point not to discuss it with Meyers. He wanted to make the role his own, while still being true to the character fans knew and love-hated.

Now, a year after Shadowhunters ended, the actors miss their villainous alter-egos — so much so that Hopkins and Van Sprang joked about being ready and willing to write a whole Edom-based spinoff.

From their lips, to Raziel’s ears….

Next. Chain of Gold is the perfect opportunity to dive into the Shadowhunters world. dark

Shadowhunters is available for streaming on Freeform and Hulu.