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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Shadowhunters Yin Fen Theory

Image result for shadowhunters yin fenThe Yin Fen Theory
Tying Together Yin Fen in Shadowhunters with What We Know from TID and TMI

***Assume spoilers for Shadowhunters, The Infernal Devices, and The Mortal Instruments***
In this past Monday's episode of Shadowhunters, "Dust and Shadows", we see Izzy use yin fen, something that the fans of the books know to be a highly addictive and dangerous substance. My first major response was simply, why?!?!?!?! How could they do this to Izzy?!! Where did this come from?!?! Where is this going?!?! I have a theory:

Yin Fen in TID:
Image result for jem tarot cardThis is where yin fen is first introduced, where we all fall in love with Jem who by unfortunate necessity is addicted to this substance, yet it is keeping him alive. At the end of the infernal devices, Jem needs to turn into a Silent Brother in order to survive because it is the only way to "live" without needing to take yin fen or die from the withdrawal symptoms. This is very important not just to TID, but it also comes into play at the end of TMI.

Yin Fen in TMI:
It actually isn't really important in The Mortal Instruments. BUT, in City of Heavenly Fire we run into Jem again! In the last book of TMI, Jem gets the rest of the yin fen burned out of him with heavenly fire- a very key point of the plot because he was trying to heal Jace's stab wound when it happened. If another Silent Brother (or person in general) had tried to heal him, they might have died. Clary was only able to heal him with a special strong rune. 

Image result for izzy tarot cardYin Fen in Shadowhunters:
With the new show runners, it seems like the show is trying to turn in a direction that is more like the plot of the books. Sadly, the TMI books overlap with the TID books, which have not been adapted to run with Shadowhunters the TV show. This means that our shadowhunters Tessa, Will, and Jem are not going to be known by the fans who only watch the show. I have a theory that the show is setting up for a long-haul plot line of heavenly fire being used to get the yin fen burned out of Izzy. I guess they could have they scene happen as it does in City of Heavenly Fire, but that would be totally random and unexplained by what has happened in the show. There also wouldn't be any real emotion behind it- it would be a random Silent Brother being cured, not our Jem. There would be no ethos. 

Having it affect Izzy though will make people care more. Yes Izzy is important to the arching plots of the TMI series, but she doesn't have as many major roles as the other characters do. Clary and Jace are the MAIN main characters, Alec has a huge development with Magnus, and Simon becomes the Daylighter. I think the show runners are getting ready for the heavenly fire that comes at the end of the series, and they are setting it up in a way that is similar to the books, but still unique to the show. This way it will flow nicely too, instead of being a last minute ad-on to the plot of the show for the sake of having it. 

Let me know what you think! I hope to have a review of the whole episode up sometime either tomorrow or the day after, but this was a truly great episode, and I really like what they've done so far. I hope they keep going in the direction that they are going and the show can do the books justice.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Love this theory! What do you think about the show changing yin fen from demon venom to vampire blood? It definitely makes it harder to see Jem coming into the picture considering his main story line has been diminished. But I guess it helps prove your theory and eventhough its not demon its still demonic which they clarified in last weeks episode ! What do you think ?

    1. Yeah! I definitely wasn't expecting that switch in the details of how yin fen is created, but I think it could still work, even with Jem's backstory. Should they ever decide to bring him into the show or create a spinoff for it, then they could have it be a vampire attack instead of a demon attack. Possibly? There'd probably be a few hoops that the show runners would have to jump through in order to make that work. :)