Shadow and Bone season 2: key info
– Releasing on Netflix in March 2023
– First teaser full of fantasy-based action and drama
– Key characters returning from first season
– Fan favorite characters set to be introduced
– Official plot synopsis revealed
– Adapts multiple books from fantasy series
– Unclear if a third season will be greenlit
Are you excited for Shadow and Bone season 2? You should be. Otherwise, what are you doing looking at our guide on everything worth knowing about it?
The hit fantasy series returns to Netflix in March, so it’s about time you caught up on what we know about Shadow and Bone’s next installment. Below, we’ve rounded up the key news and details surrounding the return of one the best Netflix shows. That includes its official release date, cast details, story synopsis, the TV series’ future on the world’s best streaming service, and more.
Unsurprisingly, full spoilers for Shadow and Bone season 1 follow. Potential spoilers for season 2, plus the books the show is based on, are also incoming. You have been warned.
Shadow and Bone season 2 release date
Shadow and Bone season 2 will arrive on March 16. Netflix confirmed as much in December 2022:
Shadow and Bone returns March 16!Here’s your first look at Season 2: pic.twitter.com/EBOavYy4sbDecember 8, 2022
The Twitter thread above contains a number of first-look images ahead the show’s next outing, which tease what we can expect from its story and the journeys of our heroes (and villains). You can read more about these elements in our cast and plot sections. Oh, and it’ll contain eight episodes (per The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab)).
Shadow and Bone season 2 trailer
Netflix debuted Shadow and Bone season 2’s first teaser at Tudum 2022.
The 40-second trailer doesn’t reveal too much, but it hints at how the second season will build on the fantasy-based action and drama seen in its predecessor. We witness the Crows joining forces with Jack Wolfe’s Wylan Hendriks, Jessie Mei Li’s Alina Starkov talking to Patrick Gibson’s Nikolai Lantsov, multiple explosions, chase sequences, and Ben Barnes’ General Kirigan asking someone what they’ll give up to pursue their wildest ambitions. Sounds and looks ominous.
Netflix has also released a 25-second video of Gibson’s Nikolai, Wolfe’s Qylan, Lewis Tan’s Tolya Yul-Battar, and Anna Leong Brophy’s Tamar Kir-Battar in their official costumes:
Shadow and Bone season 2 cast
Here’s Shadow and Bone season 2’s confirmed cast list so far:
- Jessie Mei Li as Alina Starkov
- Ben Barnes as General Kirigan/the Darkling
- Archie Renaux as Malyen “Mal” Oretsov
- Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker
- Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa
- Kit Young as Jesper Fahey
- Danielle Gilligan as Nina Zenik
- Calahan Skogman as Matthias Helvar
- Sujaya Dasgupta as Zoya Nazyalensky
- Julian Kostov as Fedyor
- Patrick Gibson as Nikolai Lantsov
- Jack Wolfe as Wylan Hendriks
- Lewis Tan as Tolya Yul-Battar
- Anna Leong Brophy as Tamar Kir-Battar
- Daisy Head as Genya Safin
- Zoe Wanamaker as Baghra
Protagonists Alina Starkov and Mal Oretsov will return, while the antagonistic General Kirigan – who survived an attack in the Shadow Fold in the season 1 finale – is also back.
Kaz Brekker, Jesper Fahey, and Inej Ghafa are part of the line-up, too. As in the Six of Crows duology, the Dregs’ story (more on this below) will line up with Nina Zenik and Matthias Helvar, so we’ll see that trio link up with the latter duo. Danielle Gilligan and Calahan Skogman have subsequently been bumped up to series regulars (per TVLine (opens in new tab)). Daisy Head, who played the Queen’s tailor in season 1, has also been upgraded to a series regular (again, via TVLine (opens in new tab)).
Spoilers follow for Shadow and Bone’s novel series and potential season 2 plot details.
As for new characters who have made the leap from Bardugo’s book series to the screen adaptation, Wylan Hendriks (whose surname has been changed from ‘Van Eck’ for the TV show) is one of four new confirmed cast members.
In the novels, Wylan Van Eck joins the Crows as their demolitions expert for a job inside Fjerdan’s military stronghold known as the Ice Court. Jack Wolfe (Inside No. 9, The Witcher) will portray Wylan in Shadow and Bone season 2.
Another fan favorite character set to appear in season 2 is Nikolai Lantsov, who’ll be portrayed by Patrick Gibson (Tolkien, The Darkest Minds). In the books, Nikolai adopts the pseudonym Sturmhond and leads a pirate armada that aids the war effort for the kingdom of Ravka. Nikolai becomes a key ally of Alina and Mal’s, so his arrival in Netflix’s adaptation will be vital if the show’s next entry follows Siege and Storm’s storyline.
✨ Let’s give a warm Grishaverse welcome to your new cast members ✨@TheLewisTan will play Tolya [email protected] will play Tamar [email protected] will play Nikolai Lantsov.@JackTWolfe will play Wylan Hendriks. pic.twitter.com/XaAEg2GgkRJanuary 13, 2022
The final two newcomers – confirmed announcements, anyway – are twin siblings Tolya Yul-Battar and Tamar Kir-Battar, who’ll be played by Lewis Tan (Mortal Kombat) and Anna Leong Brophy (Traces). In the source material, Tolya is a Grisha Heartrender and a member of Sturmhond’s pirate crew. Meanwhile, Tamar is also a Heartrender, but an ex-member of Sturmhond’s team.
Elsewhere, an Instagram post from lead actress Jessie Mei Li (opens in new tab), which contains an image of Zoe Wanamaker, all but confirms Baghra will return. Lastly, Redanian Intelligence, a Witcher fansite claims seven other actors – five in one article (opens in new tab), two in another (opens in new tab) – have been added to the cast:
- Tommy Rodger (Goodbye Christopher Robin) as Jordie Rietveld, Kaz’s older brother
- Rhoda Ofori-Attah (Sex Education, Top Boy) as Aditi Hilli, Jesper’s mom
- Newcomer Alistair Nwachukwu as Adrik Zhaban, Nadia’s brother
- Newcomer Tumi Fani-Kayode as Miradi, an original character
- Seamus O’Hara (The Northman) as Halsov, an original character
- Tim Plester (After Life) as Per Haskell, the leader of The Crows
- April V. Woods (Gangs of London) as Saskia, Kaz’s childhood friend
Shadow and Bone season 2 story
Spoilers follow for Shadow and Bone season 1 and the book series.
Here’s season 2’s plot synopsis: “Alina Starkov is on the run. A beacon of hope to some and a suspected traitor to others, she’s determined to bring down the Shadow Fold and save Ravka from ruin.
“But General Kirigan has returned to finish what he started. Backed by a terrifying new army of seemingly indestructible shadow monsters and fearsome new Grisha recruits, Kirigan is more dangerous than ever. To stand a fighting chance against him, Alina and Mal rally their own powerful new allies and begin a continent-spanning journey to find two mythical creatures that will amplify her powers.
“Back in Ketterdam, the Crows must forge new alliances as they contend with old rivals and even older grudges that threaten not only their place in the Barrel, but their very lives. When a chance at a deadly heist comes their way, the Crows will once again find themselves on a collision course with the legendary Sun Summoner.
“Based on Leigh Bardugo’s worldwide bestselling Grishaverse novels, Shadow and Bone returns for a second season of new friendships, new romance, bigger battles, epic adventures – and a shocking family secret that could shatter everything.”
Shadow and Bone season 2 will follow stories from multiple novels – those being Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising (the second and third books in the Shadow and Bone trilogy), and the first book from the Six of Crows spin-off duology. That’s based on returning cast members, new additions to the show’s line-up, and what the season 1 finale set up.
With Alina and Mal going their separate ways to the Dregs following the season 1 finale, the second season will continue their journey to new lands to keep Alina out of Kirigan’s reach. Per Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab) (EW), the duo will begin their journey in a new location called Novyi Zem. That’s before they make plans to locate two mythical creatures that can help amplify Alina’s powers (via Netflix Tudum (opens in new tab)), which means they’ll bump into Nikolai, but we’ll discuss him in a bit.
As season 1’s final entry revealed, Kirigan has tapped further into his Darkling powers and created new Fold creatures known as Nichevo’ya. Unlike the Volcra that inhabit the Fold, these monsters can move in broad daylight. Expect them to be difficult adversaries for Alina and Mal to overcome.
Ben Barnes, who portrays Kirigan/the Darkling, has expressed interest in seeing Shadow and Bone season 2 “steer off” from the story in the books (per Collider) in a similar vein to how season 1 incorporated the Dregs into Alina’s arc – and that’ll be the case. Speaking to EW, co-showrunners Eric Heisserer and Daegan Fryklind confirmed season 2 will contain new material for fans of the novels to enjoy, as well as fresh twists on how the book series’ storylines play out.
In a separate Collider (opens in new tab) interview, Barnes elaborated on General Kirigan’s season 2 character arc, saying: “What I was championing was finding the humanity. He’s quite emblematic of something dark and evil in the books, after the first one, so my mission was to make sure that he’s a real person, suffering the things he’s suffering and committing the sins that he’s committing.
“There are the real world ramifications of those things, and the relationships, how they’re made and how they’re broken, whether they can be salvaged, what new connections he can forge to help him along his journey, whilst also representing and not shying away from the fact that this is the villain. Which parts of what he does are comprehensible? Which parts can you not condone?”
Meanwhile, The Dregs will team up with Nina and Wylan in a bid to free Matthias, who was arrested in season 1. Fans of the books, though, shouldn’t expect to see the Ice Court job, a major heist from the novels, depicted in season 2 – Heisserer telling EW it’ll be part of another season. Instead, the gang need to concoct a plan to save themselves from Pekka Rollins and Dreesen, who they screwed over in the first season.
Based on Shadow and Bone season 2’s rumored supporting characters, we might see flashbacks to Kaz’s and Jesper’s childhoods. It’s that or we’ll get a glimpse into their familial lifestyle with the arrival of Jordie, Aditi, and Saskia.
Another adapted story from a Grishaverse novel – King of Scars – could follow Zoya. A supporting character in the Grisha trilogy, Zoya’s character is given a more prominent role in Bardugo’s second duology, so elements from these books may be incorporated into the TV show, which Bardugo previously teased to Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab).
In the season 1 finale, Zoya was seen heading to Novokribrisk – the city that Kirigan destroys with the Fold – to search for her family. Meanwhile, in the King of Scars spin-off novels, Zoya crosses paths with Nikolai, which could’ve set up an intriguing subplot in season 2. However, there’s no official word on whether King of Scars has been adapted for Shadow and Bone’s next outing, so we’ll have to wait and see if this duology is adapted in any way.
Speaking of Nikolai, his arc from Siege and Storm will form a key component of season 2. In the novels, Lantsov – the former king of Ravka, who masquerades as a pirate leader known as Sturmhond – is hired by the Darkling to transport him through the True Sea in order to track down a mythical dragon known as the Rusalye. Lantsov, though, eventually teams up with Alina and Mal, and fights alongside the duo to stop the Darkling from exacting his master plan. Expect some, if not all, of this storyline to be directly adapted.
Aside from Novyi Zem, we’ll be visiting other fan-favorite locations in Shadow and Bone season 2, including Shu Han and Hellgate. The latter is a Kerch prison located on the small island of Terrenjel outside of Ketterdam, and established fans will know all about the importance of this destination for some of our heroes.
Lastly, we’ll learn more about Morozova, aka the mastermind behind the amplifiers’ creations. Speaking to Netflix Tudum, Fryklind teased: “We’ve also really dug into more of the mythology this season in terms of the amplifiers, but also the creator of the amplifiers, Morozova – who he was, what his backstory is and how he ties into this world.” Color us intrigued.
Will Shadow and Bone get more seasons?
That depends on whether fans tune into Shadow and Bone season 2. The franchise doesn’t have as big a following as others in the fantasy genre, but the Grishaverse still has a sizable and passionate audience. Its fanbase is likely to have grown, too, with Netflix’s adaptation introduces the series to new audiences.
There are a number of directions Netflix’s adaptation of the Grishaverse can go in as well. Like the streamer’s growing Witcher-Verse, Shadow and Bone could potentially lead to spin-offs that delve into the wider universe and/or be based on Bardugo’s sizable source material. Whether it’s expanding on a pre-existing short story or creating entirely new content, Netflix can go in all manner of directions in and around Shadow and Bone season 2.
If it continues to be a success, future seasons and spin-offs may be put into production by Netflix, too. The streaming giant has shown it’ll put faith in projects that deliver huge viewing figures, so Shadow and Bone’s future may be bright if its second season draws in a large audience again.
For more Shadow and Bone-based content, check out these five epic fantasy shows before the series’ second season is with us. Alternatively, read up on everything about The Witcher season 3.