Analyzing Shadow and Bone S2: Ending, Characters & Themes

Shadow and Bone season 2 is a thrilling continuation of the Netflix fantasy series based on Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse novels. It picks up right after the explosive finale of season 1, where Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), the Sun Summoner who can destroy the Shadow Fold that plagues Ravka, escaped from General Kirigan (Ben Barnes), aka the Darkling, who created the Fold and wants to use Alina’s power for his own agenda.

Along with her childhood friend and love interest Mal (Archie Renaux), Alina must find new allies and face new enemies in her quest to save her country and herself. So, yes! I stayed up all night watching the new season of the show.

New Characters and World-Building

The second season introduces some fan-favorite characters from the books, such as Nikolai Lantsov (Patrick Gibson), aka Sturmhond, a charming pirate prince who offers Alina his help; Wylan Hendriks (Jack Wolfe), a runaway merchant’s son who joins Kaz Brekker (Freddy Carter) and his crew of Crows; Tolya Yul-Bataar (Lewis Tan) and Tamar Kir-Bataar (Anna Leong Brophy), twin Heartrenders who protect Alina; and more.

The show also expands its worldbuilding by exploring different cultures, locations, and magic systems within the Grishaverse.

The plot of season 2 is fast-paced, action-packed, and full of twists and turns. It adapts elements from multiple books in Bardugo’s series, such as Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising, Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom, King of Scars, Rule of Wolves, The Language of Thorns, The Lives of Saints, etc. It also adds some original scenes that enhance the story and characters. The show balances multiple storylines that eventually converge in an epic climax that sets up an exciting third season.

Character Development in Shadow and Bone Season 2

The main characters undergo significant development in season 2.

  • Alina struggles with her identity as a Saint, a leader, a lover, and a human being. She faces difficult choices that test her morals, loyalty, faith, and courage. She also learns more about her past, her connection to Kirigan, and her destiny as the Sun Summoner.
  • Mal proves himself to be more than just a tracker or a soldier. He shows his bravery, intelligence, humor, and devotion to Alina. He also discovers some surprising secrets about his own heritage that change everything.
  • Kirigan becomes darker than ever as he unleashes his new army of shadow monsters called Nichevo’ya. He stops at nothing to get Alina back under his control or destroy anyone who stands in his way. He also reveals some shocking truths about his history, his motives, and his plans for Ravka.
  • Kaz continues to be the mastermind behind every heist and scheme that involves him and his Crows: Inej (Amita Suman), the acrobatic spy who values her faith and freedom; Jesper (Kit Young), the sharpshooter who loves guns and gambling; Nina (Danielle Galligan), the Heartrender who can manipulate people’s bodies and emotions; Matthias (Calahan Skogman), the former Fjerdan soldier who has a complicated relationship with Nina; and Wylan, the newcomer who has a knack for explosives and secrets. The Crows face new challenges and dangers as they try to survive and profit in a world full of enemies and opportunities.

Themes and Messages in Shadow and Bone

The show also explores various themes and messages that resonate with today’s society, such as identity, diversity, oppression, faith, power, love, loyalty, sacrifice, redemption, etc.

It shows how people can overcome their differences and work together for a common cause. It also shows how people can find their own strength and purpose in life. Each of the above themes have been explained in great depth here. If you’re interested, go take a look at the article. For now, let us continue by discussing the music in the show.

Music in Season 2

The music of Shadow and Bone season 2 is composed by Joseph Trapanese (Twitter profile here), who returns from season 1. He creates an immersive soundtrack that matches the tone and mood of each scene. He uses different instruments and styles to reflect different cultures and emotions. He also incorporates some songs from Bardugo’s books into the score, such as “No Funerals”, “Meet You in the Meadow”, “Yuyeh Sesh”, etc.

Shadow and Bone Season 2 Ending Explained

The ending of Shadow and Bone season 2 is satisfying yet cliffhanging. It wraps up some of the major conflicts and arcs of the season, but also leaves some questions and mysteries for the next one. It also sets up some new alliances and rivalries that will have a huge impact on the future of the Grishaverse.

Without spoiling too much, here are some of the highlights of the finale:

  • Alina and Kirigan have their final showdown in the Shadow Fold, where they unleash their full power and reveal their true colors.
  • Mal makes a shocking discovery about his role in Alina’s destiny and makes a heroic sacrifice to save her.
  • Kaz and his Crows pull off an impossible heist that involves stealing something very valuable from someone very powerful.
  • Nina and Matthias face a heartbreaking betrayal that changes their relationship forever.
  • Nikolai reveals his secret identity and his plans for Ravka’s future.
  • A new threat emerges from beyond the Fold that threatens to destroy everything.

Overall, I think Shadow and Bone season 2 is a fantastic sequel that improves on every aspect of season 1. It has more action, more drama, more humor, more romance, more magic, more surprises, and more fun. It stays faithful to Bardugo’s books while also adding its own flair and creativity. It has a talented cast that brings the characters to life with charisma and chemistry. It has a beautiful production design that creates a rich and immersive world. It has a compelling story that keeps you hooked from start to finish. I would highly recommend Shadow and Bone season 2 to anyone who loves fantasy shows or books.

Saurav B.

Saurav is the main content creator at Film Finesse's blog and YouTube. He has six years of experience as a content writer, including writing screenplays for short movies and videos. He has 5 years of experience as a research manager, along with a degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering.