Shadow and Bone Season 2 premieres on Netflix on March 16, with all eight episodes available that day. Season 1 of the show, which is based on the novels by Leigh Bardugo, sets the stage by introducing the audience to the world, the characters, the Grisha system, and the political conflicts. What this means is that there is a lot of information to retain for Season 2. Of course, a lot still lies ahead, but it will all be a continuation of Season 1’s developments.
Ravka, the setting of the story, is a country divided in two by “the Fold,” a dark and dangerous tear in the fabric of the land that makes travel perilous. Ravka has a large army presence through the First Army and the Second Army, which are two entirely separate things, because of the Fold and the tense relations with the surrounding nations.
Grisha, who have unique skills, refer to them as “Small Science” rather than “magic” and make up the Second Army. Despite widespread mistrust and the fact that most citizens view Grisha as outsiders, the king of Ravka protects the Grisha.
Right away, we meet Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), a young mapmaker for the First Army. She, the tracker, and her only childhood friend from the orphanage where they both grew up, Mal Oretsev, are all posted at the edge of the Fold in East Ravka (Archie Renaux). Because her mother is Shu Han, a country considered an enemy of Ravka, Alina faces prejudice.
The Arrival of the Sun Summoner
Alina refuses to leave Mal when he is conscripted to cross the Fold; instead, she burns maps of West Ravka so that she can be sent there to redraw them. On the other hand, the monstrous volcra ambushes them in the Fold’s covert environs. Alina releases a bright flash right before she is whisked away.
Alina and Mal get hurt, and the party loses a lot of money. They come to just outside the Fold, and General Kirigan (Ben Barnes), the Grisha leader, rushes Alina off to see him. Since he can manipulate light and dark so effectively, Kirigan is commonly known as the Darkling. Children are routinely tested for Grisha’s abilities, and Alina did not show any.
When Kirigan re-examines Alina, however, he realizes that she possesses the Grisha gift of the Sun Summoner. The Sun Summoner’s power has become legendary due to widespread belief that it can wipe out the Fold. The Grisha immediately whisk her away to their training facility, the Little Palace. Some Fjerdans, who live in the neighboring country and think the Grisha are evil, launch an attack on the carriage along the way. Kirigan slashes the Fjerdan violently with darkness, just in time to save Alina.
The Crows Take On a Job
Kaz Brekker (Freddy Carter), the proprietor of the Crow Club in Ketterdam, is well-connected to the region’s pervasive criminal underworld and exploits this information to advance his interests. Jesper (Kit Young), a sarcastic and performative sharpshooter, and Inej (Amita Suman), a religious spy on a mission to find her brother, are two of his associates who hear of a lucrative job opportunity.
Once they learn that the Sun Summoner has been located and recruit a Grisha Heartrender to help them, their goal shifts to kidnapping her. Kaz puts up his club as collateral until Inej and her friend Deirdre (Deirdre Mullins) return to the city, because Inej hasn’t paid off her freedom to Tante Heleen yet.
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Alina has arrived at the Mini Palace. It is a beautiful place, but it is also very big and very lonely. She befriends Genya, the tailor (Daisy Head). However, she also has Grisha’s enemies. Alina’s success has gotten the attention of Zoya (Sujaya Dasgupta), who is particularly envious of her. The king (David Verrey) is shown Alina and wants to hasten her training so that she can destroy the Fold and reunite his kingdom. However, Alina’s abilities appear to only work in conjunction with Kirigan’s.
Alina encounters the Apparat (Kevin Eldon), a creepy priest and close confidant of the king, at the Little Palace. He tells her about the rare amplifiers that increase Grisha’s strength. Certain animals, like the Morozova’s stag that Alina has been fantasizing about, contain natural amplifiers.
Baghra (Zo Wanamaker), an ancient Grisha teacher, is Alina’s (Zo Wanamaker) first training partner. In Baghra’s opinion, Alina is holding herself back because of Mal. Alina’s powers progress, however, after she stops holding on so tightly after learning that Mal hasn’t responded to her letters.
However, Alina can spend more time with Kirigan, the only Grisha with Darkling powers, who has admitted to feeling like an outcast his entire life. Kirigan asserts he is a direct descendant of the Black Heretic, the Darkling who founded the Fold. To Alina’s surprise, she develops feelings for Kirigan.
The Search for Alina
Mal initially attempts to pursue Alina but is persuaded to stay by his friends and work towards gaining entrance to the Little Palace. Mal is interested in helping the Sun Summoner, so he signs up for the mission to retrieve the Morozova’s stag. Mal and his team are on a mission in Florida, and he ends up being the only one who makes it out alive. He eventually finds the Stag, though. His next order of business is to report back to the Darkling at the Little Palace.
When Nina Zenik (Danielle Galligan), a Grisha Heartrender who could have helped Kaz and his team gain entrance to the Little Palace, doesn’t show up, he and his colleagues are forced to wing it. And so they press on without her, barely making it across the Fold. Meanwhile, the Drüskelle, Fjerdan witch-hunters, have captured Nina.
Nina is a prisoner on their ship, waiting to be tried for witchcraft when they encounter a storm. When the ship goes down, she has to band together with a Fjerdan survivor named Matthias (Calahan Skogman) to make it to safety. In the course of their journey, the two become close. Once they are discovered by other Grisha, Nina falsely accuses Mathias of being a slave trader, leading to his capture and imprisonment rather than execution. However, Mathias is convinced that Nina has betrayed him.
A Surprise Twist
The Winter Fête is approaching, and Kirigan has decided that now is the time for Alina to demonstrate her growing abilities. Alina and Kirigan share a passionate embrace just before the big event, but the arrival of the Second Army prevents them from making out. Mal is included, but Alina has no idea where he is hiding.
When Kirigan goes to see Mal about the stag, Mal puts off telling him where to look until he sees Alina. At the same time Kirigan is leaving, Baghra is trying to have Mal killed so that Kirigan doesn’t get the chance to track down the stag. Lucky for him, Mal manages to get away to the woods.
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Baghra tracks down Alina to tell her that Kirigan is using her as a pawn in their relationship. As far as Baghra is concerned, Kirigan is the Black Heretic and she is his mother. She warns Alina to get away because her son plans to use the Fold as a weapon. Alina sneaks away to the Little Palace while everyone is distracted by the celebrations and locks herself in the carriage’s trunk.
Kaz sends his Crows to the Winter Fête in an attempt to kidnap Alina. This scheme, however, backfires, and they only just make it out alive. All hope is lost until Jesper reveals he successfully trapped her in the trunk.
Alina, however, declines to accompany them on their trip. Seeing her as a Saint, Inej lets her go after Kaz and Jesper fail to capture her. Alina runs away into the woods and finds Mal again. Alina and her allies agree that finding Morozova’s stag is priority number one on the road to victory over the Darkling.
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The Final Confrontation
Alina and her companions track down the stag, but in the end, she decides to release it. Finally, Kirigan arrives and puts an end to it himself. Mal is hurt while fighting alongside Alina against the Darkling. After much back-and-forth, the conflict concludes with Kirigan fashioning a collar out of the stag’s antlers for Alina and his amplifier, allowing him to harness her abilities.
If Alina doesn’t resist, Kirigan will heal Mal, so she goes along with it. Kirigan plans to take a skiff across the Fold as a showcase for Alina’s skills, but he doesn’t realize there are stowaways on board. Mal continues to move stealthily, planning to kill Kirigan. There he runs into three other people with the same plan: Kaz, Jesper, and Inej. Kirigan enlarges the Fold into West Ravka as they get closer to its edge, causing even more mayhem.
Mal and the Crows plot, but he rushes into a fight with Kirigan. Zoya becomes antagonistic toward the Darkling after discovering his true intentions. Alina disconnects Kirigan’s amplifier, freeing herself from his influence. Kirigan’s army is decimated by Alina and the Crows while Mal faces off against the Darkling.
Kirigan is eventually picked up by a volcra and taken away as the battle concludes. We only have Zoya, Mal, Alina, and the Crows left. Alina and Mal go into hiding in West Ravka to hone Alina’s powers while Kaz and his crew go back to Ketterdam, bringing Nina with them. Peaceful as it may seem, Kirigan is seen to emerge from the Fold in remarkably good health.
Netflix will debut the second season of Shadow and Bone on March 16. This is now available to stream on Netflix.