Released in April 2021, Shadow & Bone was another instant hit for Netflix. More than 55 million households tuned into the epic fantasy series, so it didn't take the streaming platform long to give the green light for a second season.
Developed by Eric Heisserer for Netflix, the series is based on two series of books in the Grishaverse by Leigh Bardugo. They are the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology.
The first season adapts the Shadow and Bone (2013) novel and adds the twist of an original storyline featuring the Crows.
If you haven't already watched the show, here's a quick summary of what happened…
Shadow & Bone Season 1 Recap
The Grisha universe consists of the nations of Ravka, Shu Han, Kerch, Fjerda, Novyi Zem, and the Wandering Isle.
Centuries earlier, a huge magical border of darkness called The Fold was cursed onto the land splitting the nations.
Ravka struggles to maintain its hold of its Eastern province beyond the Fold, and hostilities with the northern Fjerdan's and far eastern Shu Han make for a powder keg.
Few people can ever successfully cross through The Fold as it is inhabited by Volcra, dark creatures that hunt those who enter their realm.
In fact, it is only the foretold Sun Summoner who can generate enough light to navigate a way through. And that Sun Summoner happens to be a half Shu Han/half Ravkan orphan and cartographer, Alina Starkov.
Her mere existence sets off a chain of events where different people either want to save her, revere her, or kill her. So Alina (Jessie Mei Li) is taken to ‘the Little Palace' in Ravka to be trained under the stewardship of Darkness Summoner, General Kirigan (Ben Barnes).
Whilst unbeknownst to them, a kidnap crew, collectively known as ‘The Crows', are on their way to take her out under orders from the separatist Ravkans.
Can Alina evade them and make her way through the fold? Only time will tell.
SHADOW AND BONE SEASON 3 RELEASE DATE
It took nearly two years to bring the second season to our screens but the wait was worth it.
It premiered on March 16th 2023 and adapted the books Siege and Storm (2013) and Ruin and Rising (2014), along with elements of Crooked Kingdom (2016) in the Crows' storyline.
Again it was another huge success so hopes were high that we would get a quick renewal.
However, I do not have good news! Netflix has decided to CANCEL Shadow & Bone season 3 though they haven't given any specific reason as to why.
Like most of these decisions it comes to down to the production cost versus the return. Shadow and Bone is an expensive show to make and unfortunately season 2 didn't draw the same viewership figures as the first season.
In fact, it spent five weeks on the Netflix’s Top 10 English-Language TV chart without reaching No. 1.
Given that the original three books have already been adapted for Shadow & Bone, there is no more original source material.
And the news doesn't get any better. Creator Eric Heisserer had already revealed that the scripts for a spin-off series focused on The Crows had been written.
However, Netflix will not be moving forward with that show either.
SHADOW & BONE SEASON 2 STORYLINE
Shadow and Bone season 2 picks up where we left our favourite characters and the end of the first season. With eight episodes, this season will adapt Siege and Storm (2013), the second book in the trilogy.
Alina Starkov is on the run. While some see her as a beacon of hope, others suspect she is a traitor. But whatever happens, she is determined to bring down the Shadow Fold and save Ravka from ruin.
But General Kirigan has returned a terrifying new army of seemingly indestructible shadow monsters and is more dangerous than ever. To have any chance of defeating him, Alina must rally her own powerful new allies and begin a journey to find two mythical creatures that will amplify her powers.
The Crows must forge new alliances as their place, and lives, are threatened in the Barrel. But once again, they find themselves on a collision course with the legendary Sun Summoner…
SHADOW AND BONE SEASON 2 CAST
There are quite a few players in Shadow and Bone, but who are they all and who plays them in the show?
Jessie Mei Li as Alina Starkov, an orphan and former assistant cartographer who discovers she is the Sun Summoner with the ability to control light.
Archie Renaux as Malyen “Mal” Oretsev, an orphan tracker and Alina's childhood best friend
Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker, leader of the Crows, known as Dirtyhands
Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa, member of the Crows, known as the Wraith
Kit Young as Jesper Fahey, member of the Crows, a skilled sharpshooter
Ben Barnes as General Aleksander Kirigan / The Darkling, and the Shadow Summoner
Zoë Wanamaker as Baghra, Alina's Grisha trainer
Lewis Tan as Tolya Yul-Bataar
Patrick Gibson as Nikolai Lantsov
Anna Leong Brophy as Tamar Kir-Bataar
Jack Wolfe as Wylan Hendriks
Daisy Head as Genya Safin, the only known Grisha Tailor, who befriends Alina
Danielle Galligan as Nina Zenik, a Heartrender who is taken captive by Fjerdans
Calahan Skogman as Matthias, a Fjerdan Drüskelle who takes part in Nina's capture
WHERE WAS SHADOW AND BONE FILMED?
Shadow and Bone was filmed entirely in Hungary. Locations include Budapest and Festetics Castle in Keszthely which was used for the interiors of the Little Palace. The winter fete took place in its concert hall.
The flashback in which the Darkling creates the Shadow Fold was filmed at the ruined Széchényi–Wenckheim mansion in Békéscsaba.
Filming for the second season took five months and wrapped on June 6th 2022.
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