‘Shadowhunters’ Bosses Talk Sebastian’s Arrival, New Paths for Clary and Jace

Villain’s introduction is “like a kettle boiling,” showrunners Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer tell TheWrap about the Freeform series

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you haven’t watched Monday’s episode of “Shadowhunters”)

“Shadowhunters” fans got plenty of big twists in the Freeform series’ Season 2 summer premiere, including the long-awaited arrival of baddie Sebastian (Will Tudor).

Pivotal scenes showing Clary (Katherine McNamara) and Jace (Dominic Sherwood) learning more about their capabilities highlighted Monday’s episode, and showrunners Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer tell TheWrap that exploring those story lines in depth will be the focus of the season.

“The introduction of Sebastian deepens the show and lends a sense of suspense because it’s almost like a kettle boiling, and you’re waiting for it to explode,” Slavkin said. “So that certainly affects the tone.”

According to Swimmer, the notion of identity will continue to be a central theme as Season 2 progresses.

“We’re going to see that even more, especially for Jace, who’s trying to come to terms with his past and his roots and what his identity is, and Clary, who’s now coming into her own at the institute and becoming more of a bonafide Shadowhunter and trying to figure out where she fits in that,” he continued.

The production value has been kicked up a notch, which is particularly timely as the Seelie Queen, a favorite for fans of the book series, becomes a larger presence. In the books, Clary and Jace visit the Seelie Queen in the Seelie Court, and she causes the siblings’ romance to develop.

“We’re going to the Seelie Court, we’re going to realms you haven’t seen before — it was done in Season 1, but we’ve kind of put a spin on it, and it’s really dazzling,” Swimmer explained. “And introducing the Seelie Queen — [she] is a big character in the books, and that hasn’t really been done on the show before.”

As fans might already be able to tell, the new batch of episodes won’t lighten up in terms of the death toll. “The body count should be up there with other seasons — the body count in episode 1 right off the bat is pretty high,” Slavkin teased.

Watch a clip above from Monday’s Season 2 summer premiere.

“Shadowhunters” airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on Freeform.