Themes and Messages in Shadow and Bone Season 2

Shadow and Bone season 2 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. Let us discuss each theme and message in detail below.

As always, spoiler warning ahead!


One of the main themes of Shadow and Bone season 2 is identity. The characters struggle with finding out who they are, what they want, and where they belong.

  • Alina questions her role as a Saint and a leader, and whether she can trust herself or anyone else.
  • Mal learns about his true origins and how they affect his relationship with Alina.
  • Kirigan reveals his real name and his tragic past that shaped him into the Darkling.
  • Kaz faces his demons and his feelings for Inej. Inej wrestles with her faith and her freedom.
  • Jesper embraces his Grisha heritage and his sexuality.
  • Nina deals with her grief and her loyalty to Ravka.
  • Matthias confronts his prejudices and his love for Nina.
  • Wylan hides his identity from his abusive father and finds a new family with the Crows.
  • Nikolai hides his identity from everyone and tries to balance his duty to Ravka and his personal desires.


Another theme of Shadow and Bone season 2 is diversity. The show celebrates the differences among the characters in terms of their culture, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, ability, etc. It also explores the conflicts that arise from these differences, such as oppression, discrimination, violence, hatred, etc.

The show portrays how some characters use their power to exploit or harm others who are different from them, such as Kirigan and the Fjerdans. It also shows how some characters overcome their differences and work together for a common cause, such as Alina and Nikolai, the Crows and Tolya and Tamar, and Nina and Matthias.


The show examines the role of religion and spirituality in the lives of the characters and the world. It shows how some characters have a strong faith in a higher power or a divine plan, such as Inej and Baghra. It also shows how some characters lose their faith or question it due to trauma or doubt, such as Alina and Zoya.

The show displays how some characters manipulate or exploit faith for their own gain or agenda, such as Kirigan and Pyotr. We can also see how some characters find their own faith or meaning in life through other sources, such as love, friendship, purpose, etc.


The show explores the different types of power that exist in the Grishaverse, such as magic, politics, money, knowledge, etc. It shows how some characters use their power for good or evil, such as Alina or Kirigan. And, how some characters abuse or misuse their power, such as Zlatan or Pekka.

We also see how some characters lack or lose their power, such as Genya or David, and how some characters gain or regain their power, such as Jesper or Wylan.


Another theme of Shadow and Bone season 2 is love. The show depicts the different forms of love that exist among the characters, such as romantic, platonic, familial, etc.

  • Some characters express their love openly or secretly, such as Mal or Kaz. 
  • Some characters struggle with their love due to obstacles or conflicts, such as Nina or Matthias. 
  • Some characters betray or hurt their love due to fear or anger, such as Kirigan or Zoya. 
  • Some characters sacrifice or risk everything for their love, such as Inej or Nikolai.


The show illustrates the different bonds of loyalty that exist among the characters, such as country, army, team, and family. It shows how some characters remain loyal to their cause or group, such as Zoya or Tolya. It also shows how some characters switch sides or betray their loyalty due to reasons or incentives, such as Ivan or Pyotr. We also see how some characters earn or prove their loyalty through actions or words, such as Mal or Wylan.


The show demonstrates the different types of sacrifice that the characters make for themselves or others, such as life, freedom, and happiness.

  • Some characters willingly sacrifice something for a greater good or a personal goal, such as Baghra or Kaz.
  • Some characters unwillingly sacrifice something due to a threat or a bargain, such as Genya or Inej.
  • Some characters regret or resent their sacrifice due to a loss or a mistake, such as Kirigan or Matthias.
  • Some characters appreciate or honor their sacrifice due to a gratitude or a legacy, such as Alina or Jesper.


The show explores the different ways that the characters seek or achieve redemption for their past sins or mistakes, such as guilt, forgiveness, and atonement. 

  • Some characters actively pursue redemption by changing their behavior or helping others, such as Matthias or Zoya.
  • Some characters passively receive redemption by accepting their fate or finding peace, such as Ivan or Baghra. 
  • Some characters reject redemption by refusing to admit their wrongs or continuing their crimes, such as Kirigan or Zlatan. 
  • Some characters offer redemption by giving a second chance or showing compassion, such as Alina or Nina.

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.