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Shadowhunters Goes Back To Its Mortal Instruments Roots In Exclusive Season 2 Photos

Clary and her baes came to slay (demons)

Cassandra Clare would like you to know that "edgy" does not mean what you think it does — at least, not when it comes to describing Shadowhunters Season 2. Is the forthcoming second season edgier now that new showrunners Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer are at the helm? Yes. But according to the bestselling author, don't expect something dark and gritty. This is still a supernatural drama about warlocks, vampires, and half-angel, half-human demon hunters, after all.

"One of the things Todd and Darren realized is what's edgy is characters making really difficult, moral choices," Clare told MTV News back in October. "We're going to see these characters make those choices in Season 2."

In addition to focusing on the show's core characters, Slavkin and Swimmer also decided to bring the tone of Shadowhunters back to the source: Clare's Mortal Instruments series.

"The books are darker, we felt like, than the first season," Slavkin said. "They felt a little more sophisticated and much more character-focused, so we wanted to sell that urban fantasy in a much more grounded way. New York City, like the books, is a huge character in Season 2. It's a little darker, but it's still light and fun — this isn't The Walking Dead." (Thank Idris for that.)

MTV News has an exclusive gallery of cast photos from the Freeform drama's sophomore season, in which New York City plays the perfect backdrop for this merry band of supernatural misfits.

Katherine McNamara as Clary Fray

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This season, Clary finds herself at a crossroads between her mundane life and her new Shadowhunter life. "In a way, this season is about finding where your true home is," Swimmer told MTV News.

Dominic Sherwood as Jace Wayland

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The Institute is on lockdown when Shadowhunters returns — but Clary isn’t going to sit around and do nothing while her friend (and maybe brother) Jace is still under the merciless Valentine's thumb. Things aren't looking for great for this Shadowhunter.

Alberto Rosende as Simon Lewis

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Poor Simon! Someone so pure shouldn't have to endure this much pain, but it wouldn't be Shadowhunters if he wasn't suffering somehow. "There's something that breaks your heart about Simon," Slavkin said. "We have this great moment where he tries to go home again, but he can't. ... It's hard for him to let go of that because it's his mom, and he loves his mom, and he loves his sister. It's devastating."

Emeraude Toubia as Isabelle Lightwood

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Watching Clary and Izzy develop a friendship in Season 1 was one of the show's strengths. This season, however, something happens midway through the first 10 episodes that causes some serious friction between the two Shadowhunters.

Matthew Daddario as Alec Lightwood

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Expect Alec to struggle with the fact that The Clave, the institution he's built his entire life around, might not actually be the good guys.

Harry Shum Jr. as Magnus Bane

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At the end of the first season, Magnus and Alec shared their first kiss, and Season 2 picks up right where they left off. Meanwhile, the High Warlock of Brooklyn will also take Simon under his wing and show him what life in the Shadow World is all about, and we'll learn more about his colorful history with Simon's sire, Raphael.

Isaiah Mustafa as Luke Garroway

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This season, Luke is finally part of the action. His history in Idris will be explored through a series of flashbacks — and bits and pieces of his life before he was a werewolf are revealed.

Shadowhunters Season 2 premieres January 2, 2017.