General Policies
Adding Information
Manual of Style
Categorizing Help
Image & Video Guidelines
Community Guidelines
Blocking Policy

This covers rules on information regarding the addition of different kinds of information to the wiki: from unreleased sources, information exclusive to the books (so far), and released, to-be-released and recently-released media.


  • Only create articles directly related to the wiki and the canonical information of its focus, Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments. Also, make sure that the pages you are creating do not already exist under another name. Search for it or ask an admin if in doubt. Personal information, non-canon topics, opinions, speculations, assumptions, theories, rumors, etc. should go to the Discussions or your own user page. For fanfiction stories, take it to our sister Fanon wiki.
  • Only "canonical" information of everything encompassed within and about Shadowhunters will be considered facts on the wiki mainspace, unless it falls under the criteria of {{Booksourced}}, i.e. it is about an element (but never characters) yet to be explored on the show.
  • Please be careful when adding statements to the wiki. Verify that they are facts, true, and reliable. Typically, presumptions should not be allowed. This is to avoid being a contributing factor to the spread of wrong information.
  • See the canon guide below.
  • Always cite your sources, especially if the information is not well-known and is from other sources other than the TV series. This is to differentiate between fact and fanfiction, opinion, rumor, and vandalism.
  • Refrain from making consecutive minor edits (unless they're factual or grammatical corrections; otherwise, try to do them in one save). Also avoid minor, unnecessary changes, and routine changes on several pages (those brought upon by template design changes, for example—ones that can be done by bots and you might have seen admins doing); if you would like to do either, please do it alongside other, more constructive contributions.
  • When listing "notable" individuals (people, items, etc.) in the infobox, do not list any if it will exceed two values (except for relatives and partners).
    • For example, when listing known characters under "Notable members" or the leader or heads of the Institute parameter of group infoboxes, do not use it at all if you will list more than two—they wouldn't be considered "notable" then. If this is the case, do not use the parameter and instead check that the "members" are already listed somewhere else in the article.
    • Another example would be purpose/use parameter in some infoboxes. If you will be listing many, this would be excessive as it is likely that the things you will write are already in the article. Basically, certain parts of infoboxes are only meant to serve as summarized versions of a page that would give you an idea about the topic of the article.
    • An exception would be if the other, complete list is already crowded/too long. In this case, more than two notable members can be listed, but the absolute maximum is four.
  • If you want to completely replace an episode's plot or recap with your own write-up, please create a blog for it and notify an admin when you're done. Users' recaps may be considered and voted on. If there is no Plot section or recap yet, do not save or publish your own recap on the wiki article immediately unless you are done; incomplete/unfinished plot sections will be removed. Instead, build it on a blog post until you finish.


Most information fans receive prior to an episode's airing is tentative. Meaning, it is still subject to change. Aside from this, we still get the occasional vandal that puts fallacies, popular theories, false and misleading information into articles. On the contrary, sometimes even confirmed and sourced information are also removed by uncertain users.

Because of this, editors are required to cite their source(s) along with the new information provided.

This is needed to confirm that the information is in fact confirmed and official. Tentative information is also accepted as long as a source is provided; if it is later proven false, or if it is changed in the book itself, it can easily be removed. This is to avoid misinformation, confusion and inaccuracies on the wiki mainspace.


Spoilers are pieces of information about the series universe that reveal certain plot details, events and/or twists.

A total spoiler ban (no new information anywhere on the wiki at all) is implemented for only eight hours after an episode's initial airing, after which articles can be updated with the new information (spoilers), but the template {{majorspoilers}} needs to be added and kept for a week (since episodes air weekly, the template will fog the page until the end of the season). This ban time was decided by a community vote, considering time zones and the time for majority of regular viewers to catch the Netflix release. Spoilers include big reveals and, for the sake of consistency, even small details from the episode not revealed prior to the release. Information that was shared prior the release through teasers, sneak peeks, press releases, etc.) are accepted.


Everything added to the wiki articles need sources.

For show information, add the reference at the end of the statement(s)—from phrases, sentences, to whole paragraphs—from the cited episode. One reference will cover all statements before it with no other cited reference / all statements that come after the last one. Meaning, the source must be specified/cited each time the next statement(s) is from a different source. To clarify, the reference is not added at the end of each sentence but instead only whenever a source will change. References can even cover more than one paragraph—but not multiple sections; after a section break, the ongoing reference must be repeated (cite the reference at the end of the section and add the reference again in the next). For example:

Clary grew up as a mundane, and with her best friend Simon,<ref name="cup">1x01: ''[[The Mortal Cup]]''</ref> until they crossed paths with Jace and the Lightwoods.<ref name="cup" /><ref name="hell">1x02: ''[[The Descent Into Hell Isn't Easy]]''</ref> ''Clary learned that she was a Shadowhunter, and that her parents were part of the Circle. She found out that her father was Valentine.''<ref name="hell" /> Meanwhile, Simon became a vampire.

Clary had to make the tough choice about whether to let Simon's soul remain trapped and undying, or to allow Raphael to Turn Simon into a vampire.<ref>1x08: ''[[Bad Blood]]''</ref>
Clary grew up as a mundane, and with her best friend Simon,[1] until they crossed paths with Jace and the Lightwoods.[1][2] Clary learned that she was a Shadowhunter, and that her parents were part of the Circle. She found out that her father was Valentine.[2] Meanwhile, Simon became a vampire.
Clary had to make the tough choice about whether to let Simon's soul remain trapped and undying, or to allow Raphael to Turn Simon into a vampire.[3]
The above shows that the bold part was from 1x01, the italicized parts from 1x02, the bold and italicized part from both 1x01 and 1x02, and the plain part from 1x08.

To show how the referencing of statements typically work in articles, the following repetitions (and the seemingly random content of the example paragraph) were done intentionally above to demonstrate:

  • The The Mortal Cup reference is repeated twice to clarify that the first statement happened in the 1x01 episode, and that the second statement ran in both 1x01 and 1x02.
  • The The Descent Into Hell Isn't Easy reference is repeated twice to show that the second statement was in the 1x02, and that the next two sentences were also from 1x02.
  • The separate paragraph was to show that the Bad Blood reference covers part of the previous paragraph and the next.

Citing sources is especially necessary for new information, less-known series facts (both in-universe and real-world, and those that come from sources other than the series episodes.

Official sources include:

  • episodes
  • official press releases, interviews, articles
  • official website pages
  • other reveals by the writers, crew, etc.

To add links of sources in articles, add a section named References at the bottom of the page with the {{reflist}} template below it (if there isn't one), then put the link between ref tags (like so: <ref>link</ref>) and place these after a punctuation mark at the end of the statement. For references that are repeated, <ref name="refname" /> is used. Most articles will already have established ref names for repeated sources, but if not, you can add it to an existing source—or add it if it is not on the page—by typing: <ref name="refname">link/text of the citation</ref>.

For references with links to external sites: usually, just adding the link will suffice for temporary sources. BUT if the reference is expected to stay on the wiki (not get removed once it is confirmed within the series), write the source out completely, with the quote or article title and the site source. Examples:

<ref>[ 'Shadowhunters' Renewed for Second Season at Freeform] — Hollywood Reporter</ref>

to display: 'Shadowhunters' Renewed for Second Season at Freeform — Hollywood Reporter

~ this section is a work in progress; we use the Harry Potter wiki as basis for references, so for an example, please check out an article on the wiki, e.g.: Harry Potter ~


SPOILER WARNING: Plot details follow. Caution is advised!
  • Canon or Trivia: Information given about a yet-to-be-released season/episode and its events, characters, etc. before the airing can only be placed within the mainspace articles if it is confirmed as final and official with little chance of redaction, was teased through a video, supported by or mentioned in, hinted at, or alluded to in other already-released works/episode, and is well-known or expected information. Otherwise, if it is information answered in passing, if it is something infrequently talked about, or basically if it is obscure and subject to change, the information should be placed under the Trivia section.
  • Synopsis vs. Summary/Plot: An episode synopsis (and a season's Episodes section) should be copied in verbatim from an official press release, typically from Freeform. The episode page will contain the longer, full version of the synopsis, while the Season page will contain the shorter, teaser version released with Freeform's "Programming Highlights" of the upcoming month. That is fixed and should be minimally changed (e.g. to fit wiki style) or not at all. An episode's summary/plot section is the write-up users can build themselves.

Canon tiers

Since there are different sources of information for Shadowhunter canon and sources do, on occasion, conflict with one another, the following guide is to be used on the wiki. Listed below is the order by which the information will be considered and treated in terms of reliability.

Information found in the books cannot always be considered and placed into this wiki's mainspace articles. As long as there is little indication that an element was adapted from the books, they cannot be considered and added here.

Please remember that any type of fanon, information created by fans is not considered canon at all and do not belong on the wiki mainspace.