Thank the saints! Shadow and Bone is coming back to Netflix for a second season — and the Grisha universe will just keep getting bigger.
Season 1 introduced Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), a cartographer who learns she has a very rare ability to control light. General Aleksandr Kirigan (Ben Barnes) takes her under his wing, but it quickly becomes clear that he has an ulterior motive.
In another part of the show’s fictional universe, Kaz Brekker (Freddy Carter) leads a gang called the Crows. He and his crew — Jesper (Kit Young) and Inej (Amita Suman) — eventually cross paths with Alina when they try to kidnap her, but she eludes their pursuit.
The season ended with the characters believing that they had successfully finished off Kirigan, a.k.a. the Darkling, after discovering that he was evil. The last few minutes of the finale, however, revealed that he survived and learned how to command the volcra, which are undead creatures previously thought to be immune to human influence.
“He’s the most powerful [person] in the universe, manipulates the darkness and is feared by other people because he’s employing this politics of fear to push his agenda,” Barnes exclusively told Us Weekly of his character in April 2021. “I’ve played boy with sword, going to rescue damsel and defeat the dragon. I played that in the fantasy world, but not this. But then what really interests me is the idea that every person has the capacity to be everything.”
Leigh Bardugo, who wrote the novels that inspired the series, doesn’t think Kirigan will take his season 1 setback very well in future episodes. “He has suffered the first defeat in a very long time at the hands of somebody who he really believed he understood and had under his control,” she told Entertainment Weekly in April 2021. “So, I think we’re going to see a real reckoning.”
While season 2 draws some inspiration from Siege and Storm, the second book in Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy, Barnes warned fans that his character will be slightly different in the show than he was on the page.
“I think the character becomes a bit more representative in Alina’s mind of what the darkness is and a bit symbolic, and I wanted to keep him as a human being,” the Westworld alum told Collider in April 2021. “He’s manyfold more powerful, now that he has the walking, living volcra that he can summon and send at his will without even having to use his hands to use magic.”
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