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.
Cobra Kai Season 4 – Review
Cobra Kai season four is out now on Netflix and the All Valley is back and better than ever. Here’s our review.
SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.
It’s January, and new shows are popping up everywhere. This brings us to the show that I and my friends have been holding our breaths for: the fourth season of the hit Netflix series Cobra Kai! After three seasons, I wondered if there was anything left to mine from the Karate Kid lore or the Johnny/Daniel dynamic. I am happy to report that this might be my favourite season yet! It manages to not only expand upon the universe it has created, but to bring in a new villain, who is so bad that he threatens to outdo even John Kreese!
Season four sets us off where the third left off, with Johnny and Daniel having joined forces to fight Cobra Kai. Their friendship arc is the glue that holds this season together. The story focuses largely on whether they will be able to pull it together and make their partnership work. As in previous seasons, their relationship has its ups and downs. The stakes are heightened, however, as the season leads up to the All-Valley Tournament. A bet between the three senseis – Kreese, Daniel, and Johnny – means that losing the All Valley is losing the title of sensei.
This season explores the ways that both Johnny and Daniel work with the kids. It also examines the kids’ struggles as they prepare for the All Valley while dealing with conflict within the ever-changing network of friends and enemies in the dojos. Robbie has left juvenile hall and decided to join up with Cobra Kai as a means of inflicting revenge on both his dad and Daniel. Tori and Sam continue their rivalry. And John Reese’s old friend Terry Silver (of Karate Kid 3 fame) shows up to kick Cobra Kai into high gear.
Daniel’s son, Anthony, who has largely been absent until now, faces his own dilemma when his friends begin bullying Kenny, the new kid in town. This soft-spoken middle school character brings us into the world of the younger kids, setting up yet another storyline. Kenny becomes the victim of a gang of kids (including Anthony), enduring round after round of bullying before Robbie takes him under his wing. After his induction into Cobra Kai, the formerly shy middle-schooler becomes a bully himself.
Shades of grey
This brings me to one of my favourite things about the show. The constant back and forth dynamic between characters makes us feel that anything is possible. There is no black and white in the world of Cobra Kai. Where the Karate Kid told us that Daniel was good, and Johnny was bad, this show gives us a very different point of view. It’s a world where we’re never sure who to root for. In this season, we even see Hawk make a return to the “good guys” side after giving up his spot at Cobra Kai.
With Eagle Fang (Johnny’s new dojo) and Miyagi-Do teaming up, the kids – and the adults – have to learn to work together. Of course, complications ensue. Johnny becomes jealous of what he perceives as Miguel’s preference for Daniel over him. Sam wants to learn both her dad’s karate style and Johnny’s, despite her father’s discouragement. Meanwhile, at Cobra Kai, Kreese is losing his grip on the dojo. His former war buddy, Terry Silver, puts off a rather benign appearance in episode one, growing more and more evil with each episode.
This season is lacking in many of the big fight scenes of the previous seasons, instead choosing to focus their energy on the characters. The All Valley Tournament features several great karate matches and offers a satisfying conclusion to Johnny and Daniel’s arc. In the end, Cobra Kai takes the tournament win, but Johnny and Daniel have reached an understanding.
Tori defeats Sam to take the women’s All Valley trophy but later overhears her sensei paying off one of the referees. It’s clear that Cobra Kai has pulled yet another fast one. But the season ends on an even more ominous – and unexpected – note. Terry Silver assaults the over-aged former Cobra Kai member, Stingray, sending him to the hospital. He then makes a deal with Stingray to blame the crime on Kreese. We end the season with Kreese in handcuffs, Terry Silver set to take over Cobra Kai, and the future of Eagle Fang and Miyagi-Do uncertain. In a last shocking twist, Miguel leaves town in search of his biological father.
Although some may miss the school hallway throw downs, I found this one satisfying in a different way. It just goes to show that the ever-expanding Cobra Kai universe can keep bringing surprises season after season.
CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 9/10
Thank you for reading our review of Cobra Kai season four. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
Check out our Hawkeye episode one and two review HERE.
Read IMDB information about Spider-Man: No Way Home HERE.
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