In the season 2 premiere of Freeform’s Shadowhunters, a new enigmatic character is introduced as the freshly appointed head of the New York Institute, Clave represenative Victor Aldertree. Played by Nick Sagar, he was sent to replace Lydia Branwell’s (Stephanie Bennett) ineffective leadership and to resolve the issue of Jace Wayland’s (Dominic Sherwood) disappearance and Valentine Morgenstern’s (Alan Van Sprang) return.
If the name sounds familiar to book fans of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, the character could be the show’s version of Inquisitor Aldertree, a shadowhunter who takes over the position after Imogen Herondale’s death. He is first introduced in City of Glass when Jace takes a wounded Simon (Alberto Rosende) through the portal to Alicante because they had been attacked by the Forsaken. Inquisitor Aldertree, in the guise of wanting to speak with the vampire, throws Simon in the dungeon instead because he refused to lie (he wanted Simon to say that the Lightwoods were in league with Valentine).
On the show, Aldertree takes on his leadership role swiftly and quickly interviews the squad about their unsanctioned missions. However, things take a nasty turn when he believes that Jace was in league with Valentine after Clary (Katherine McNamara) tells him that the young shadowhunter had called and warned them in advanced that Valentine was going to trap them. Aldertree then has all the other nephilim hunt Jace down as a traitor instead of administering a rescue. Still, Clary takes matters into her own hands and sneaks out of the Institute by glamoring herself to look like her current foe. The head of the institute had placed Jocelyn (Maxim Roy) and her under lockdown because of their close ties to Jace.
In what we’ve seen of Aldertree so far, he appears to be a very calculating individual with his own agenda as the current head of the New York Institute. When he first arrives, Lydia tells the Lightwood siblings that Maryse (Nicola Correia Damude) went behind her back and seems to have been the person responsible for the change in leadership. But what is Maryse and Aldertree’s relationship? Clearly Robert (Paulino Nunes) is not fond of the other man because he went back to Idris. Is Maryse just politically allying herself with Aldertree to make certain that her family’s loyalty to the Clave is not questioned in light of Jace’s disappearance and her former association with the Circle? Or could there be something more to it? In the book series, Robert and Maryse’s marriage was quite frayed and it’ll be interesting to see if the show will tap into that storyline.
Given the Clave representatives who’ve come before (Imogen Herondale and to a much lesser extent Lydia), the views from Idris seem more black and white and adhere strictly to the shadowhunter motto (sed lex dura lex – the law is hard, but it is the law). There also seems to be a greater bias against downworlders that Aldertree exhibited when he asked Luke (Isaiah Mustafa) and Simon to vacate the premises. Did anyone notice that he called Luke, Mr. Greymark instead of Mr. Garroway? He obviously knows of the werewolf’s former status as a shadowhunter.
As a recurring character on the show, it’ll be great fun to see how his narrative progresses and also there was that sexy scene of him with Isabelle (Emeraude Toubia) from the trailer that has my eyebrow raised.
Catch Shadowhunters Mondays at 8 PM on Freeform.
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