So, you binged Netflix’s Shadow and Bone in one day and now you don’t know what to do with yourself.
Like most Grisahverse fans, you now have to endure a torturous wait for the next season. But that’s okay! There’s so much to think, ponder and scheme about until then. Such as, what in the name of all the Saints could season two be about? And what could us, lowly mortals, expect?
To make this easier, I’ve streamlined a few questions that have plagued me since I finished the first season and how I think key points in the books might clue us in to what’s next for Alina, Mal, the Darkling, and company. If you’re a fan of the books and are just desperate for content, skip ahead to the image of Alina and Mal cuddling.
If you haven’t read the books and you haven’t run out to your local library, favorite bookstore, raided the well-stocked bookshelves of your best reader friends—then, STOP. Please. Pause. Take a deep breath, clear your schedule and get ready for seven plus books worth of enticing, enchanting, wonderfully filled hours where you will ingratiate yourself to all there is of the Grisahverse. Welcome! 1Also, highly recommend the audiobooks. They’re fantastic. The first series–starting with Shadow and Bone is read by Lauren Fortang and her performance really gives an extra depth to the story. Listening will make driving, chores, any mundane task epically better.
Where could Alina and Mal possibly head next?
Last we saw them, Mal and Alina bid adieu to the Dregs and were boarding a ship out of Os Kervo for Ketterdam in Kerch. For all Ravka knows, the Sun Saint is dead. Will that give Mal and Alina enough time to run and get stronger?
In Siege and Storm, the second book in the series, the widespread belief that Alina was dead allowed them to escape from the Grisha while the Darkling recovered from the attack in the Fold (similar to what happened in the last episode, though Alina never truly believed he could be dead). They sought sanctuary in Crofton, a city across the True Sea and far from Ravka. It wasn’t long before they were found by the Darkling, after being sold out by an innkeeper. It’s in this first confrontation since the Fold that Mal and Alina find the Darkling changed. He commands shadows still but he’s also used Merzost and brought the shadows to life, creating soldiers worse than the Volcra. Viewers got a glimpse of these terrible creatures as he emerged from the Fold.
No match for the Darkling, the Grisha at his side or these new shadow soldiers, Mal and Alina are forced to surrender. On a privateer’s ship, the Darkling forces Mal to use his uncanny tracker abilities to hunt the Sea Whip—another of Morozova’s amplifiers. Though its forbidden in Grisha lore, the Darkling believes he can further control Alina with a second amplifier and disrupt the balance of power between them once more.
What’s waiting for The Dregs in Ketterdam?
I’m less sure of this one. So far, what we’ve established of Kaz and crew in Shadow and Bone has been totally off book. In Six of Crows, the book where readers are first introduced to the Dregs, the team is established. Kaz has paid off Inej’s indenture and positioned himself more firmly in Ketterdam’s underbelly.
Now Kaz, Jesper, and Inej are out one million kruge and are returning to Ketterdam with no solution to their Pekka or Tante Heleen problems. Their lives and Inej’s freedom hang in the balance.
From what we saw of Pekka, the guy’s a nasty piece of work—dangerous, ruthless and now gunning for the Dregs for stealing his job and refusing to bring back the Sun Summoner.
Kaz likely has a plan to con both Tante Heleen and Pekka in a way that pits them against one another. If Heleen is more focused on Pekka, and Pekka has the nuisance of Heleen to worry about, then they can’t focus on him or Inej. Inej won’t have to return to the Menagerie and Pekka won’t come after Kaz until they’re ready. He always has plots within plots, anything to get him one step closer to vengeance.
While he’s at it, he may find another way to get his one million kruge–maybe by swindling another member of the Merchant Council and kidnapping the man’s brilliant son?
At least, that’s basically what happened in Six of Crows, the first book that focused on the Dregs.
We can count on Nina Zenik partnering with them. Nina’s strong-will is like a battering ram against Kaz’s steely resolve and stoic composure, and it will be endlessly entertaining to see them come head to head. While Nina is figuring out a way to help Matthias, she’ll become an important member of the Dregs.
If there’s one thing to know about Kaz, however, is that he always has a plan. And with Inej and Jesper by his side, he’ll have no doubt conned them all before he even settles back at The Crow Club.
How did The Darkling survive?
The Darkling used Merzost, dark Grisha power, to create the Shadow Soldiers. This likely helped him survive the attack of the Volcra, though with every bit of Merzost he uses, the less human he remains. His next plan, based on the books, will be to gather his strength and rally the remaining Grisha. Now that the King is out of the way, thanks to Genya, he will have more room to work without the Crown’s influence, something he’s always wanted.
Will Alina and Mal realize their true feelings for one another?
Hopefully! In Siege and Storm, Mal and Alina have both realized their attachment to one another and have acted on it. But they don’t have long to be together. They are taken by the Darkling and then back to being on the run. That leaves little alone time for intimate moments. And the Darkling has put a seed of doubt in her mind—will anyone truly understand her? Can Mal? There’s a part of Alina that feels that Mal will always think of her differently because she is a Grisha, and she even worries that he’s afraid of her.
For most of the book series, fans are split between Team Mal and Team Darkling, and both are passionate in their defense. Maybe it’s just because Ben Barnes played such a convincing, morally ambiguous and fantastic character, one whose dark past offers more depth and understanding. I wouldn’t hate it if we could see more of Alina and the Darkling together.
How does Morozova’s Antler’s affect Alina?
Even though Alina claimed Morozova’s Antler’s for her own, wearing them still provided a link between her and the Darkling. And as we’ve seen with Aleksander, such power corrupts over time. Can having such a concentration of power contaminate Alina’s light?
Once Alina taps into that power again—she’ll have to hide who she is for a while when she and Mal are on the run—it will be hard to stop. Alina will give into her power more and use it more often than not.
Will we ever see Matthias again?
To save his life, Nina accused Matthias of being a slaver. Now he’s headed for Hell Gate, a prison in Kerch off the coast of Ketterdam, with no hope for a quick trial. His worst fears of Grisha and Nina have been confirmed: to Matthias, she’s an evil, backstabbing witch who played him for a fool. Despite Nina’s attempts at an explanation, he cut her off and will likely spend months in Hell Gate until Nina (and the Dregs) come to collect. Breaking him out of Hell Gate is one of the first parts of a multi-plan heist that makes up the bulk of Six of Crows, and hopefully we’ll get to see it in action in season two!
Though this probably brought up more questions than answers, you should have full confidence in Leigh Bardugo and Eric Heisserer. They created a show that really captured everything wonderful about the books—the awe-inspiring magic, the mystery, the nuanced characters—and made us desperate for more. With them at the helm and this stunning series start as evidence, season two will be just as dazzling as these first eight episodes. I absolutely cannot wait to see what happens next.
The first season of Shadow and Bone is now streaming on Netflix.