Shadow and Bone has been out for a few weeks while now, which has given us plenty of time to analyse every frame. There are several little Shadow and Bone Easter Eggs throughout the show that are playful nods to book readers and hints at events in future seasons.
While Shadow and Bone has not been officially renewed for a second season yet, there are reports from the site What’s on Netflix of a quiet renewal. Showrunners have made it very clear that they are ready to get going as soon as they get the green light. Regardless, they have definitely done a good job setting up future books, so here are the Easter Eggs in Shadow and Bone.
SPOILERS: If you’re reading this we assume you’ve seen the show but there are major spoilers coming up. You have been warned.
1. The DeKappel
Most of the Easter Eggs in Shadow and Bone are tied to the Six of Crows characters and duology. While we got backstories for Mal, Alina, and Kirigan, the Six of Crows characters were left with plenty of open ended questions.
The first Easter Egg is less of an Egg and more of a nod to book readers. In Six of Crows, Kaz is hired for the thirty million kruge job to break into Fjerda’s Ice Court for two reasons. He’s managed to stay out of jail for over three years, meanings he doesn’t get caught, and he stole Mercher Jan Van Eck’s DeKappel painting from a high-security vault. While the show doesn’t name drop Van Eck, a major antagonist in the Six of Crows duology, it does mention Kaz stealing the DeKappel from a merchant. It also alludes to the fact that Kaz did it just to prove that he could, and not to sell it. It’s a nice nod to the book, and also could be a set-up to meet Jan Van Eck and set the Six of Crows plot in motion later.
2. Jesper’s Secret
Major Six of Crows spoilers ahead! In Six of Crows, it is revealed that Jesper is a Grisha. He keeps it a tight-lidded secret and has received no formal training for it, but he is a Fabrikator, or Durast. This means that he can manipulate materials such as fabrics, metals… (or bullets). The show alludes to this in ways that only book readers with an eagle eye could pick up on.
When Jesper beats Ivan with his guns, Ivan asks him “what are you?” picking up on the fact that Jesper’s skills with a pistol are a little more impressive than to just be pure talent and practice. Jesper quickly knocks him out before he can say more. In the books, Kaz mentions a couple of times that his cane is Fabrikator made and lined with lead. When Kaz’s cane breaks after facing up with Kirigan, Jesper is the one to fix it- something only another Fabrikator could do. The show is already setting up breadcrumbs for the reveal in later seasons, and if they follow the books, it will be a long time before they do.
3. Kaz’s history
There were also quite a few allusions to Kaz’s history throughout the show. People who only watched the show would probably be able to pick up on Kaz’s hatred for Pekka Rollins. But there was one exchange that was a direct call out to their history. Kaz asks Rollins “have we ever made a deal before?” to which Rollins responds with “you and me? Nah, otherwise you’d know better, or you’d be dead.” They have actually made a deal before when Kaz was nine and his older brother Jordie, was thirteen. This deal ultimately ended up with Kaz and his brother being scammed out of every kruge they own and led to the death of Jordie. Since then, Kaz has been out to destroy Rollins. Those two lines were a direct call back to that deal, and the end that Rollins ultimately faces at the hands of Kaz.
4. Kaz’s gloves
Speaking of hands, one might notice that we never see Kaz’s bare hands in the show. While the show didn’t directly point it out with dialogue, it did a fantastic job subtly alluding to Kaz’s touch aversion. When Jordie died, it was from a plague that Kaz also was afflicted with. Thinking they were both dead, Jordie and Kaz end up on an island where dead plague-afflicted bodies went. Nine-year-old Kaz, but, was still alive. He had to unbury himself from a pile of dead bodies and then use Jordie’s water-logged body to float back to Ketterdam.
The ordeal left him unable to handle being touched without having extreme PTSD. It’s the reason he wears the gloves, and we never once see his hands without them in the show. We also see Kaz internally struggle when Inej is hurt; visibly torn between wanting to help and being unable to touch her.
5. Big Bolliger
In Six of Crows, the first time we meet Kaz he outs a bouncer for the Crow Club, Big Bolliger, as a traitor to his gang. He has him shot and leaves him for dead. When speaking to Inej in Episode Two, Jesper mentions Bolliger, saying; “come on, take that bet. Bolliger won’t play with me anymore, so.” Hopefully, we might see that exchange between Bolliger and Kaz in later seasons.
6. Demo man
While we got to meet Kaz, Inej, Jesper, Nina, and Matthias, we are still missing one crow; Wylan. We did get teased with him a few times though. In Episode Two Jesper and Kaz have a conversation about needing a “demo man,” with Jesper hounding Kaz for one. This is fitting, since Jesper and Wylan end up together. It’s also been confirmed by the showrunners that the flash bomb Kaz uses to get away from General Kirigan was made by Wylan.
7. A Heartrender
This one is less of an Easter Egg and more of a set-up for future seasons. When talking about his plan for returning to Ketterdam in Episode Eight, Kaz mentions how they need a Heartrender. Nina overhears this conversation. Nina and Matthias are prominent members of Kaz’s crew, and it sets Nina up to join the Dregs.
8. Man’s best friend
In Episode Eight, when Nina and Matthais are in the Inn, Matthias lingers next to a taxidermied wolf. Wolves are sacred to the Druskelle. He has one he tamed himself, Trassel, who ends up having a lot of meaning to both him and Nina. It could also be an allusion to the fact that he will never see Trassel again. Since the wolf is dead and Matthias is the only member of Kaz’s crew to die in the duology.
Finally, an Easter Egg not tied to the Crows! When Alina is learning about amplifiers with the Apparat in Episode Four, the camera lingers on an illustrated page in the Book of Saints. It shows Morosova, or the Bonesmith, and four little pictures. A bony hand, Morosova’s stag, the Sea Whip, and the Firebird. All these things end up becoming the amplifiers that Alina spends the rest of the series hunting down.
Speaking of the Book of Saints, the prop they used in the show is the same book that you can purchase at any bookstore. The only difference is that the one in the real world says “by Leigh Bardugo” on it. Furthermore, in Episode Seven, David throws a book at Jesper. The book is actually Leigh Bardugo’s copy of Shadow and Bone in Ravkan.
11. No Mourners, No Funerals.
Back to the Crows. There are a couple of common vernacular phrases in Ketterdam used all the time in the books. One is “No mourners, no funerals,” and the other being “the deal is the deal.” Both of these phrases are used only once by Kaz.
We’re sure there are many more little allusions to future events we’ll find as we anxiously await Season Two. But until we get our next fix, we’ll settle for rereading the books. Are there any other Easter Eggs you’ve spotted in Shadow and Bone on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out how Shadow and Bone on Netflix compares to the books HERE.
Read IMDb information on Shadow and Bone HERE.
Squid Game – Review
The Players and Games
On 17 September 2021, South Korean, Netflix series Squid Game was released. Unbeknown to many including writer and creator Hwang Dong-hyuk, this nine-part drama quickly became the most talked about and watched show around the world.
The extremely well written, staged and thought-out show is a mix of ‘Black Mirror’, ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Battel Royal’ all rolled into one. To make an intense and binge-able series from start to finish.
The series can be watched with subtitles or dubbed. We would suggest watching it subtitled as some of the dubbed voiceovers don’t quite match up to the characters and you can lose some of the intensity in the scenes. With both options, however, you will still be able to get a good handle of the story, as you follow hundreds of money-poor contestants take on the deadly childhood games.
SPOILERS: If you haven’t watched the whole of Squid Game yet. Stop reading here as we are about to review the players and the games, with some hefty spoilers added in.
All dressed in green tracksuits the players are the focus of the story, and the costuming made sure they did just that. In Screen Rants video Squid Game: 15 Things You Missed, we find out that Dong-hyuk wanted the players in school uniforms. But after realising they would have to wear shorts and skirts, he went with the PE style tracksuits in green, the opposite colour to red on the colour wheel… to make sure the blood stood out.
The game starts with 456 players, but there are eight main characters, who we are invited to find out more about within the story.
Seong Gi-hun (player 456)
The very first player we are introduced to is gambling addict Seong Gi-hun, Played by actor and successful model Lee Jung-jae. Gi-hun lives with his mother, bets all her money on horses, has a lot of debts, and gets his own daughter’s birthday gift from an arcade game. Which cleverly links to the boxes they use for coffins, within the game.
Gi-hun, is a great main character because through his lies and bad habits, his narrative is written to show that he has a compassionate side too, which you can relate to.
Kang Sae-byeok (player 067)
The next character we meet is Kang Sae-byeok, portrayed perfectly by model Jung Ho-yeon, in her first ever acting role. The character arc of the strong, independent, pickpocket, is so interesting and endearing to watch. She goes from depending on herself to becoming part of a team and putting her trust in others.
Her back story is of wanting money to help her brother leave an orphanage and to move her mother from North to South Korea. This puts her in a very sympathetic light which urges us the viewer to root for her.
Cho Sang-woo (Player 218)
The next player we are introduced to is Cho Sang-woo, this complex character played by popular TV actor Park Hae Soo. His own story and mannerisms are what make him such an interesting and confusing character who one minute you like, for example when he helps the team out in tug-of-war game or the other minute you despise especially after the stunt he pulled with Ali, in the marble arena. This makes him one of the best characters to have in a show like this as he is unpredictable, like we saw at the end of game six.
Oh il-Nam (player 001)
The heart and soul of the team… or so we thought! Was Oh il-Nam player 001- we should have known!
One of the smartest players in the game was expertly played by actor and writer, Oh Young-soothe. The likable old man had us going all the way to the end and even made some of us cry in the marble game making the twist at the end of the series even better.
Jang Deok-Su (Player 101)
All good games need a villain, luckily there were a lot within the 456 players, but none were as bad as actor Heo Sung-tae’s portrayal of tatted Jang Deok-su.
Player 101, comes in hitting one of the female players and leaves being dragged down by another one! His well-written character had us shouting at the screen and hoping for a worthy death, and after his betrayal to Han Mi-nyeo before tug of war, she served him the cruel departure from the game we had all hoped for.
Abdul Ali (Player 199)
After saving Gi-Hun in the red light, green light game. Abdul Ali showed not only his strength but his love and trust in others which unfortunately would also become his demise…Thanks to snaky Sang-woo.
Actor Anupam Tripathi took his first big TV role and ran with it becoming one of the most loved characters in the series. Even getting a barrage of meme’s made for the character following his wrongful and underhanded death.
Han Mi-nyeo (Player 212)
Due to the copious amounts of death and blood, it’s always wise to have a little comic relief. Han Mi-nyeo’s character was certainly that, with her frequently used catchphrase of ‘I’m good at everything, except for the things I’m not’. Portrayed by Californian born actress Kim Joo-ryeong, the loud and obnoxious character really gave the competitive edge to the game, especially in the honeycomb games when she cheated, using a lighter to melt the candy! Her character, however, did get a little grating at times.
Ji-yeong (Player 240)
Our biggest issue with this character was that there was simply not enough screen time! Played by Lee Yoo-mi in her first major role, the character of Ji-yeong captured our hearts in just three episodes. Particularly as we got to know more about her harrowing backstory if only there was a way that both Ji-yeong and Sae-byeok could have left the marble arena together!
The main part of the story of Squid Game, is the six schoolyard games, which the players must play and win to get their hands on the life-changing sum of money.
Game 1: Red Light, Green Light.
The aim of the game is not to move when the ‘creepiest doll in history’ is looking, otherwise you are eliminated, and in this game, this doesn’t just mean out! When the ‘creepy doll’ isn’t looking you need to run as quick as you can and try and cross the line within the time frame. Sounds easy right? Not when you realise if you move… you die!
Red Light, Green Light is where the players realise what kind of game they are involved in and where we lost over half to the players too!
The schoolyard set and creepy doll voice just add to the tension of this game, which is also amplified by the visuals of the game in play accompanied by the switch over to the Front Man as he watched the game through monitors whilst listening to the song ‘Fly me to the moon’.
Game 2: Honeycomb/Dalgano Candy
To be safe in this game you need to successfully cut out a shape from Honeycomb, without damaging or breaking the shape. The only tool you are given to help you is a needle.
At the beginning of this game, we truly see the back-stabbing side of Sang-woo, as he realises what game it is, as the players start to pick their shape, before knowing what they need to do.
In the know, Sang-woo goes for the easiest shape, a triangle, and neglects to warn the others as Gi-Hun walks over to pick the hardest shape, the umbrella. This game separates the cheaters from the thinkers as Mi-nyeo and Deok-su use a lighter and Gi-Hun uses his brain and licks the shape free.
The climbing frames, bright colours, childish music and gunshots provide the perfect setting to make this whole scene completely unnerving for the players and the viewers.
Game 3: Tug of War
In teams of ten, it’s time for the players to play Tug of War. The main basis of this game needs no introduction, but instead of being pulled into a pile of mud like the classic game… you get pulled to your death.
Due to the Dr, Player 111, and his extra gameplay with some of the guards. (That involved selling body parts) Deok-su and his team know what game was coming up and managed to put together a team of strongmen to win their heat. Unfortunately, Gi-hun and his team didn’t have the same knowledge and in turn looked to have a weaker team than others. Luckily Il-Nam and Sang-Woo had solid gameplay ideas which saved the team.
The setting for Tug of War, took a bit of a dark turn and away from the schoolyard setting. With yellow and grey platforms set in a pitch-black room. Within this game, we lost half the players.
Game 4: Marbles
With this series, we all had the fear that at one point out favourites would be pitted against each other but not this early! Asked to pair up the players thought they would be playing together in teams like the last game, but that was not the case.
In the game of Marbles, the pairs were left to decide for themselves what game they wanted to play, with the loser being eliminated!
Probably one of the hardest games to watch as most pairs were playing a game of chance. If you were anything like us, we were hoping there was going to be another twist where some of the characters would survive in pairs but instead, we lost some big players and learned who were not to be trusted.
Having two games back-to-back where we lost half the players each time really helped keep the momentum of the story.
Game 5: Glass Bridge
To start this horrifying game of chance, the players had to pick their order, before knowing what the game was which led to a very tense moment where Gi Hun, almost went first. His indecisiveness helping him hugely here.
The aim of this game is for the remaining players to make their way across the glass bridge hopping from glass square to glass square, hoping to land on the tempered glass, rather than the normal glass which would break instantly sending them plummeting to their death.
Again, set in a pitch-black room with a few lights this game was intense! But it did however whittled the players down to three and showed Sang-woo’s ‘do anything for the money’ character again.
The added glass blasts at the end of the game also added an extra twist of tension as front runner Sae-byeok got severely injured.
Game 6: The Squid Game
With only two players left after Sang-woo eliminated Sae-byeok with a dinner knife, it was on to the final game and namesake of the series, Squid Game.
This game is divided into attacker (Gi-hun) and defender (Sang-woo). The attackers’ objective is to reach the “home” square marked on the opposite side of the field, while the defender’s purpose is to block them and push them out to win.
However, let’s be honest we saw very little gameplay as it ended up in a fight between the two finalists. The end of the game was gripping to watch, particularly with the knives in play and Gi-huns indecisive personality. Just as we think it’s all over, rather than putting his foot in the home square Gi-hun tries to get an injured Sang-woo to walk away from the game so they can both survive, giving up on the money.
But it a massive twist Sang-woo picks up the knife from the floor and instead of killing Gi-hun, like we anticipated, he kills himself. This was a great call from writer Hwang Dong-hyuk as it was unexpected and gave us a little extra from Sang-woos character. However, we can’t help but think that maybe it would have been a bigger twist if Sang-woo did kill Gi-Hun and won the games as no one was routing for him.
What do you think about our thoughts on the players and games within Squid Game? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out book to movie adaptations coming soon HERE.
Read IMDB information about Squid Game HERE.
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