Netflix’s new fantasy darling Shadow and Bone was renewed for eight more episodes on 7th July. The series dominated Netflix’s top ten for several days and was met with countless good reviews. But Shadow and Bone is based on a book universe with seven entries; the Shadow and Bone trilogy, Six of Crows duology, and King of Scars duology, in that order. There’s a lot for showrunners to pull from for the next season. Here’s what we think might happen in Season Two of 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.
Sieges and Storms… and the right crew to navigate it.
The next book in the Shadow and Bone trilogy is Siege and Storm. It follows Alina navigating a quickly falling apart Ravka. It’s pretty safe to assume that the next season will follow the events of Siege and Storm. One massive casting addition to this story is prince and privateer, Nikolai Lantslov. While Ravka is thrown into chaos after General Kirigan’splay for the throne, second son and rumoured bastard Nikolai saunters in to make his move. Propelled by a knack for fixing broken things and a love for Ravka, he starts his campaign for the Ravkan throne. He offers a wedding to Alina, who declines, and the two become allies and eventual friends.
Nikolai steals the show in the Shadow and Bone trilogy and is beloved by book readers. Some say he carries the trilogy, even though he doesn’t enter until book two. Author Leigh Bardugo told Elle that he was “one of my all-time favourite characters to write, enough so that I gave him his own duology” (King of Scars duology). He’s charming, handsome, funny, intelligent, and incredibly complex. Dealing with his own literal and mental demons.
We didn’t see him in season one because up until now, he spends his time playing pirate (or privateer as he would like us to say) under the alias of Sturmhond. While he’s off breaking Fjerdan blockades and sailing the high seas, his parents think he’s enrolled at the College of Ketterdam. He believes he can do more good for his country as a rogue than a prince. Before that he served in the infantry, moving up in the First Army like any normal citizen. If all that wasn’t enough to convince you that he’s one of the coolest characters in the story, he also practically invented aeroplanes.
All this being said, he’s going to be incredibly difficult to cast. He is a fan favourite, and book readers will simply never forgive showrunners if his character is messed up. It is rumoured that Robert Wilde might take on the role, but no official casting decision has been announced yet.
Among Sturmhond and later Nikolai and Alina’s crew are Shu twins Toyla and Tamar. Both of them have a strong presence throughout the rest of the Shadow and Bone trilogy and King of Scars duology. While no news has been heard on the twins regarding casting, showrunners have stated that they will be alongside Nikolai in the next season. Furthermore, making the change to make Alina half-Shu opens the door for her to have interesting and connecting conversations about her heritage. Toyla and Tamar are proud of their ancestry and are also Grisha who did not study in the Little Palace. It not only could allow Alina to feel a little bit more at ease with her place in the world but could create some good world-building.
Primary plot changes
While the first season was a good adaptation of the first book, it did make some changes that make fans nervous for the Siege and Storm adaptation. For example, in the books, Alina uses the Cut to escape Kirigan on the skiff, and she causes several deaths. Alina has to reckon with that throughout the next two books. As her hunt for amplifiers makes her a little bit more like the Darkling than she would like. Her constant struggle throughout the books is that she feels the pull of power and magic just as much as the Darkling does. And it changes her. She grows darker and more violent and has to learn to command power. She must constantly fight against the temptation to become just like him. Taking that action away from her at the end of the story might water down that arc.
Another change is Mal. In the show, Mal was much more supportive and caring of Alina than he was in the books. In Siege and Storm, Mal is a major borderline obstacle for Alina. He holds her back, he laments that she’s not normal, he hates to see her grow more powerful. He holds her power of her head, sulks throughout the book, and cheats on her with Zoya. While fans liked the changes made to Mal in the first season, taking away her contention with him in this book also takes away a good bit of the drama.
Finally, the writers seemed to have put a great deal of effort into humanising the Darkling. Going so far as to change his name to General Kirigan and making up a backstory for him. Kirigan is the villain. We don’t need to feel sorry for him at the cost of fridging some pool girl. The Darkling does horrible, evil things in this book, and that’s why he’s so fun. He’s easy to hate and root against. In this season, we want more of just how evil he can be. The Darkling is based on Leigh Bardugo’s abusive ex-boyfriend. His relationship with Alina, Genya, and Zoya is one of abuse and manipulation. Don’t water down what he does to some of our favourite characters. Show the predatory and manipulative man that was written.
While everything with the Crows in season one was fun. It does sort of write them into a corner for this season. They are on an alternate timeline, one where the Crows bump up against the events of Shadow and Bone. But now that their heist to kidnap Alina is over… what do they do? It is way too early to introduce the events of Six of Crows and the Ice Court Heist. For that to happen, they have to introduce Grisha drug/stimulant Jurda Parem. Which would be extremely complicated to introduce before the Shadow and Bone trilogy is wrapped up. That drug starts a chain reaction that is felt all the way through the last book in the Grishaverse, Rule of Wolves.
It would cause major plot changes to the Shadow and Bone trilogy to introduce it that early. Furthermore, Six of Crows deserves its own show. The plot of that book would not be done justice as a B plot alongside Shadow and Bone. It’s too complicated and involved for that. Furthermore, showrunner Eric Heisserer said that he wants the Crows to spend time in Ketterdam. He wants them to have a “home game.” The Six of Crows plot would drag them to Fjerda. So if not the Ice Court Heist, what will we see from the Crows this season?
Kaz, Inej, and Jesper
If we’re hanging out in Ketterdam, then let’s dig into some of the gang politics and rich culture of the city. In the books Kaz is not the leader of the Dregs, he’s second in command under Per Haskell. In the show, it looks like they cut out Haskell, which is a little nerve-wracking. One of the most satisfying arcs in the Six of Crows duology is watching Kaz take control and ownership of the Dregs. It would be good for this season to tardily introduce Per Haskell or at least some obstacles for Kaz as a leader. Let’s watch Kaz build his reputation in Ketterdam and dive into his past with Pekka Rollins. Rollins and Kaz’s hatred of him is a natural big bad for the Crows in this season.
Furthermore, we know that Dreeson and Rollins are going to be upset that they returned without the Sun Summoner. It’s highly likely that their story will revolve around untangling themselves from the web of these powerful men. Fans also definitely want to see Kaz be much more ruthless and witty. Just as he is in the books this season as well. It would also be neat to see Inej’s growth as the Wraith, and her rise to being a feared spy in Kerch. Jesper’s history as a college drop-out and gambling addict is also fun to explore. And of course, watching the trio’s relationships grow.
Since we’ve been introduced to the Crows, they don’t really need to be a part of the Siege and Storm plot and there’s no natural place to fit them in. Either give them Ketterdam arcs, or take them on a heist far away from the events of the book. Such as the Wandering Isle or Novyi Zem, both places that are barely explored in the books and would be interesting to learn more about.
Nina and Matthias
Part of Kaz’s crew in the books, Nina and Matthias are now in Ketterdam. In Six of Crows Nina does join the Dregs while she tries to figure out a way to get Matthias out of prison on her false charge. Watching her interact with Kaz, Inej, and Jesper will be fun enough, and whatever heist they get thrown into this season she will probably be a part of.
Matthias is in Ketterdam’s prison Hellgate. And while Kaz does eventually break him out, he only does so to have him be on his crew for the Ice Court Heist. So for this season, Matthias should stay in Hellgate. We should see how awful it is for him so that when Matthias and Nina are reunited, it makes sense why he is so angry at her. In the books he tries to kill her when they reunite, so we need to see just how bad Hellgate is to drive him to that point.
The sixth Crow, Wylan, was not in Season One. But, showrunners have stated that he will be in season two. While this is exciting, it doesn’t really make sense. Wylan is the son of wealthy merchant Jan Van Eck and has no reason to brush up against the Crows yet. Unless they really drag out his backstory, which was a massive plot twist in the books. Introducing Wylan too early might take away one of the biggest book reveals, and it’s going to be interesting to see how they do it.
This show has a bright future ahead of it. In addition to the new characters, showrunners have stated that they want to give more screen time to established characters as well. One example could be Zoya, who has a massive presence throughout all seven books. (She is one of the only characters to appear in all seven). Leigh Bardugo has also stated that she wants to see all seven books adapted for the show, and she doesn’t think it will take seven seasons to do so. If that’s the case, either Six of Crows will happen alongside Shadow and Bone, or King of Scars will happen alongside Six of Crows after Shadow and Bone has been resolved. Which truthfully makes a bit more sense as those two duologies are a little more connected to each other.
It’s also possible that the second season won’t end where Siege and Storm does, and we might dip into Ruin and Rising a bit. Whatever the case, hopes are high for season two of Shadow and Bone, and fans are eager to spend more time with our favourite princes, privateers, rouges, soldiers and saints.
Now it’s been renewed what are you looking forward to from Season two of Shadow and Bone on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out 11 Shadow and Bone Easter Eggs from Season One HERE.
Read IMDb information on Shadow and Bone HERE.
Loki Episode 6 – Review
Episode six of Loki from Marvel is here, streaming now on Disney Plus. It’s time for the series finale. Here’s our review.
SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.
More to come
The post-credit scene showed that a second series has already been ordered, meaning this finale is essentially the end of Part One. Thank goodness it is. Because if this was the denouement of the entire Loki story then there’s a good chance it would go down in television infamy as one of the more unusual series endings.
Introducing the big bad
We pick up from Sylvie and Loki’s defeat of The Alioth as they look at the citadel upon the rock at the end of time. They make their way to the entrance, and upon being invited in they’re met by Miss Minutes. It’s been widely predicted that ‘she’ would be an agitator in this series. And at last her role has been revealed. She is an emissary of Kang The Conquerer, embedded within the TVA.
She offers Loki the earth, almost literally, as she tries to coax him to betray Sylvie. Her offers of infinity stones, defeating Thanos etc. Happily, Loki rejects all the trinkets that she offers. Instead, he and Sylvie head into the lift where they meet ‘He Who Remains’ aka Kang The Conquerer. A 31st-century scientist and the true timekeeper.
Sylvie attempts to kill him but he quickly demonstrates some of his powers by dodging and weaving her before she gives in and the three of them sit down for a very long discussion. To sum up what was a lengthy and occasionally fairly tedious scene. He Who Remains (HWR) asks Loki and Sylvie to kill him and take over the role of controlling the timeline. Loki is extremely reticent but Sylvie, angry at what HWR’s meddling has done to her life, is desperate to do so.
Meanwhile, back at TVA HQ, Renslayer is informed by Miss Minutes of HWR’s plan. Showing her dual role and playing on Renslayer’s desperation to keep the TVA active and relevant.
Loki and Sylvie get into a physical fight over what to do with HWR. With Loki recognising how the timeline will fragment with branches springing up all over the place. But Sylvie is consumed by her rage and eventually overpowers Loki, sending him back to the TVA and then kills He Who Remains.
Setting up season two
Loki finds Mobius and tries to explain what has happened. But then discovers the terrible effects of what Sylvie has done by apparently killing HWR. Mobius has no idea who Loki is. This situation is then made worse when Loki looks out to see a statue of He Who Remains adorning TVA HQ. Loki realises that he is in a different timeline branch. One where HWR or Kang is in control of everything. Sylvie has been manipulated into apparently killing him which has enabled him to increase his power further.
Jonathan Majors was masterful as He Who Remains. Which is what you’d expect from someone with a Masters in acting from Yale. He was flamboyant, powerful and mesmerising, which is exactly what you want from a major villain. He will be back in AntMan 3 as Kang The Conquerer and is set to be the key villain in the next phase of the MCU post-Endgame and Thanos.
I have been extremely positive about this series, as I think it has been the strongest and most cohesive of the Marvel series so far this year. But I can’t disagree with anyone who felt short-changed by this finale. My 11-year-old son was pretty vocal in his disappointment the moment the credits rolled, and he was absolutely right. He is one of the most obsessive Marvel fans around and if he was underwhelmed, I feel pretty sure he was reflecting the majority view. Nothing I’ve seen online since has dissuaded me from that either.
Phase 4 groundwork
It seemed that the finale was essentially an exercise in introducing He Who Remains or Kang to our screens ahead of AntMan 3. While this isn’t necessarily a problem, it meant that the focus shifted away from being the climax of this series. Instead of being a prologue for the next phase of the MCU, which does seem a peculiar decision.
There are those who feel that the series original premise of Loki and Mobius teaming up to find Variants dotted around time and space was dropped after the first two episodes. Instead, it was replaced with a love story between Sylvie and Loki and a voyage of discovery with Mobius reduced to a bit part for the rest of the series.
But, the cliffhanger at the end of the series as Loki returns to the TVA does give me hope that Series Two will be an even better follow up.
CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 6/10
Thank you for reading our review of Loki episode six. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
Read our Loki episode five review HERE.
Read IMDB information about Loki HERE.
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