New journeys await at the end of Shadow and Bone season 2. As another chapter closes on Netflix’s adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse novels, the characters are either changing course or starting anew. That includes Alina and Mal, who part ways to pursue their own callings, and the Crows, who are about to take on their biggest job ever. That also goes for Ravka and its surrounding countries, who are perhaps more vulnerable than ever now that the Shadow Fold has been eliminated. Where will the wildly popular fantasy series go next? Here’s what we know.
Has Shadow and Bone been renewed for season 3?
Netflix hasn’t officially announced it yet, but the team seems to be thinking ahead, with plans to include new stories beyond what was included in Bardugo’s books.
“Thankfully we’re creating brand-new material for actors that we know and love and trust who will carry the water for us on this,” co-showrunner Eric Heisserer told Entertainment Weekly. “And it’s weaving their story in with the King of Scars duology that we’re already in love with, and what we think is going to come alive on screen from those. So it’s a matter of stitching those in the way we’ve stitched in other characters in these first two seasons.”
Who will be in the cast?
We can expect Jessie Mei Li to return as Alina Starkov if the show continues. We’ll also probably see more of: Archie Renaux (Malyen Oretsev), Freddy Carter (Kaz Brekker), Amita Suman (Inej Ghafa), Kit Young (Jesper Fahey), Danielle Galligan (Nina Zenik), Daisy Head (Genya Safin), Calahan Skogman (Matthias Helvar), Lewis Tan (Tolya Yul-Bataar), Anna Leong Brophy (Tamar Kir-Bataar), Jack Wolfe (Wylan Hendriks), and Patrick Gibson (Nikolai Lantsov).
It’s also likely we’ll see more of Sujaya Dasgupta (Zoya), Joanna McGibbon (Nadia Zhabin), Alistair Nwachukwu (Adrik Zhabin), and Dean Lennox Kelly (Pekka Rollins) again.
However, it looks like it’s goodbye for Ben Barnes as General Kirigan, unless he reappears in flashbacks or via other, darker magic.
What will it be about?
The season 2 finale sets up the Ice Court job for the next installment, which was a big part of the Six of Crows books. A chemist who created the highly addictive drug jurda parem, which amplifies Grisha’s powers by a thousand times, has been captured by Fjerdans and awaits trial. Kaz and his team are commissioned to break him out, to keep Fjerda from weaponizing the drug and provoking international warfare. We already saw what one person on the drug can do: a Fjerdan woman at Nikolai’s coronation is able to make the whole congregation fall, maybe even some to their deaths, and vomit up blood until Alina stops her.
Kaz’s team for now, though, consists of himself, Wylan, Jesper, and Nina, as Matthias is still behind bars at Hellgate (with a vendetta growing for fellow inmate Pekka Rollins) and Inej is on the search for the slaver who kidnapped her and her brother. Despite Kaz’s pleas to stay and their undeniable sexual tension, Inej takes off because Kaz won’t let his guard down. She joins an unlikely crew—including Mal, Tolya, Nadia, and Tamar—aboard the flying ship Hummingbird.
Mal has taken on the role of Sturmhond, the privateer in charge of the Hummingbird and its fleet, after Prince Nikolai gives up the title and passes it on to him. Mal, who turned out to be the Firebird amplifier Alina needed to destroy the Fold, fulfilled his destiny (he even died for it, but she brought him back to life); now, he’s searching for a new purpose. Though he must part ways with Alina, they’ll know their love is the real deal if their paths lead them to each other again.
As for Alina, she ends the season by the side of her betrothed, Nikolai, who is now crowned king. She forms the Triumvirate with her two closest friends at court: Zoya, who will lead Grisha training, and Genya, who’s in charge of making the palace a safe haven for refugees. Alina has destroyed the Fold, killed General Kirigan, and burned his body, but trouble is brewing. In the finale, she finally utilizes The Cut to take down the assailant at Nikolai’s coronation, but it seems she has summoned shadow instead of light to do it, which could mean that Kirigan has left a sinister impact on her. (Does her using merzost to revive Mal have something to do with this?) The next season could see her grappling with her changing abilities.
Nikolai is in trouble too; he was wounded when he battled one of Kirigan’s shadow monsters, and the scar appears to be growing on his back and emanating dark energy. When he looks in the mirror, he sees one of the monsters in his reflection.
There could also be a homecoming of sorts in Alina’s future. Inej gives her the Neshyenyer sword used to kill Kirigan’s monsters, and she must return it to Sankt Neyer in Shu Han herself. As an orphan of Shu descent, this could be an interesting journey for her.
Where can I read the books?
While you wait for the next season, flip through Bardugo’s Shadow & Bone and Six of Crows series below.
Erica Gonzales is the Senior Culture Editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage on TV, movies, music, books, and more. She was previously an editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com. There is a 75 percent chance she’s listening to Lorde right now.