[Warning: Contains Season 1 Spoilers]
Shadow and Bone have been another fantasy TV show success for Netflix. The streamer’s adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse novels has stormed to number one in the US and UK’s top 10 lists since its April 23 release, and we thought it made a great impression.
That popularity, coupled with the amount of remaining source material, means there’s more story to tell in Shadow and Bone - so much so that a second season feels inevitable at this point. Netflix hasn’t officially announced a second installment yet but it wouldn’t surprise us if the streaming giant does.
Alina’s powers are extremely valuable, and they have the power to completely obliterate the Shadow Fold, a malevolent force filled with monsters (called volcra) that divides her country in half. General Aleksander Kirigan (Ben Barnes), the leader of the Second Army, is very interested in Alina and what she can do. At first, it seems as if he might care for her, but anyone familiar with villains knows that facade never lasts long.
In a separate interview with Collider, Heisserer revealed that he had been “thinking about this [season 2] for many years”, but still hadn’t heard from Netflix regarding another season.
“I have exhaustive plans and would love to activate them,” he said. “If you were to see my home office right now, I do look like one of those crazy people with the murder board where there's just a bunch of maps and charts and string connecting things. The creative team and I are ready to roll if we hear that we get to come back.”
The first season ended on a major cliffhanger, in which General Kirigan (Ben Barnes) emerges from the Shadow Fold alive, if not unscathed. But perhaps more shocking are the soldiers following him—an army of shadow creatures, known in the books as nichevo’ya. Any Grishaverse fan worth their salt will tell you these monsters spell nothing but trouble, and their existence points to a brewing war between Kirigan/the Darkling and the Sun Summoner.
In the last few minutes of the final episode, our heroes Alina Starkov and Mal Oretzev are headed off on a boat to Novyi Zem, across the ocean from their homeland of Ravka. In an interview with Esquire, Archie Renaux, who plays Mal, revealed that he hopes and believes a Season 2 would reveal more of the Grishaverse map.
If season 2 is greenlit, it’ll follow two concurrent stories from Siege and Storm and Six of Crows. With Alina and Mal going their separate ways to the Dregs following season 1’s finale, season 2 should continue their journey to new lands to keep Alina out of Kirigan’s reach.
Ben Barnes, who portrays Kirigan/the Darkling in Netflix’s TV show, has expressed his interest in seeing season 2 “steer off” from the story in the books in a similar vein to how season 1 incorporated the Dregs into Alina’s arc. Naturally, it’s unclear if Heisserer and the series’ other producers would want to do so, but it would be an intriguing twist on the source material if they did. It would give established fans some new content again as season 1 did, but it’ll be a while before we know of concrete plot details.
The Dregs, meanwhile, is likely to team up with Nina in a bid to free Matthias, with the duo - and potentially Wylan - being key to Kaz’s plan to rescue Bo Yul-Bayur, an inventor of a drug that Grisha find addictive, from Fjerda’s Ice Court. Shadow and Bone season 1 has already utilized the Ice Court’s ‘impossible heist’ angle for the Dregs’ initial mission to try and capture Alina, though, so Bo’s rescue may be altered for the TV series.
Another arc that could be adapted from another Grishaverse duology - King of Scars - is Zoya’s. A supporting character in the Grisha trilogy, Zoya’s character is given a more prominent role in Bardugo’s second duology and elements of the story from these books may be incorporated into the TV show, as Bardugo teased in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
In the season 1 finale, Zoya was seen heading to Novokribrisk - the city that Kirigan destroys with the Fold - to search for her family. Should she find that they’ve perished, Zoya could team up with the Dregs again, as she does in the Six of Crows’ Crooked Kingdom novel, or add in parts of her story from the King of Scars book.
Heisserer’s vision for Shadow and Bone may include more than three seasons, too. While Bardugo’s first novels - Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising - make up the Grisha trilogy, there are plenty of other stories that can be incorporated into future seasons. In total, the Grishaverse contains a trilogy, two duologies, eight short stories, and two companion novels, so “there's a lot of ground for us to cover,” as Heisserer tells Collider.
While Shadow and Bone season 2 depends on Netflix, hopefully, Heisserer, Bardugo, and everyone else would be ready to begin production on season 2 as soon as it’s greenlit. If it goes ahead, a release date would likely follow in late 2022 or early 2023, given the effects-heavy nature of the show.
You can read my Season 1 review @ Shadow and Bone Review
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