Earlier this year, Netflix dipped its toes into the Grishaverse with the release of Shadow and Bone, Season 1.
Based on the popular YA book series by Leigh Bardugo, the show is about a young woman mapmaker, Alina Starkov played by Jessie Mei Li, who is unexpectedly thrust into the world of magic* and has to help fix her war-torn land by taking down something called the Fold. It’s got a kickass villain called the Darkling, played by Ben Barnes, who you are curiously rooting for the first few episodes. It’s also got romance and amazingly detailed world-building and gorgeous costumes.
By the way, I put an asterisk* with the word “magic” here for a reason. Fans will point out that Alina isn’t magical, per se, but instead has the elemental power to manipulate light as a Sun Summoner. When there’s a giant shadowy and dangerous hole/Unsea filled with attack-happy Volcra in the middle of your land, being able to control the light is pretty freaking magical. But I digress…
The show was so successful that it was almost immediately renewed for season 2, a sign of confidence for the streamer. (If only Tom Wheeler’s Cursed was so lucky with a renewal. Alas…)
At one point, Nielsen reported that viewers of Shadow and Bone spent a cumulative 1.2 billion viewing minutes with the series. And the show had big competition – it was up against Marvel’s powerhouse The Falcon and the Winter Soldier during that time and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. These are real ratings against popular shows, not just something people are watching because they don’t want to see Fantasy Bachelor 7 or the latest reality show.
So? What does this mean? There are so many expectations for season 2. Billions of them.
Here’s some of what we know so far…
- The big news: Filming is on track to happen. Producer Shawn Levy (of the recent movie Free Guy and Stranger Things) told Collider that all the scripts are done and “heading into production shortly.“ IMDB says that pre-production started at the end of July.
- Based on how Netflix releases its shows, Collider speculates that season 2 will probably come out in late 2022 or early 2023. IMDB supports this, listing 2022 as a release date for the 8-episode season. So start the unofficial countdown clock.
- Showrunner Eric Heisserer told fans on Twitter that Netflix sent him and the writers off to write season 2 in January of 2021. They finished in April. Heisserer also added that Netflix will commonly send the writers off to write the next season even a renewal hasn’t happened yet. (Here’s looking at you, secret missing Cursed scripts…)
- The season will cover some of the events from the book Siege and Storm. Hence the boat in the season 1 finale. Author Leigh Bardugo has also hinted that season 2 might include other books.
- More characters from the books will make their debut. This includes Crow-member Wylan van Eck as well as Prince Nikolai Lantsov. No word on casting for these roles yet.
- The old favorites from season 1 are sticking around. That means more Jessie Mei Li, Ben Barnes, and Archie Renaux. Woohoo!
- There’s also going to be more Heist/Crows action. If you enjoyed the Crow cooperation to break into the Little Palace in Episode 5 of Season 1, you’ll be pleased to hear the Heisserer has hinted that the Crow’s epic Ice Court Heist from the books is on the table for Season 2.
- Heisserer has promised that there’s going to be more kissing between Alina and Mal. We saw their deep friendship grow into something else during season 1 and witnessed this almost magnetic pull between the two, despite distance and dark forces. Heisserer told TVLine back in April:
“There were definitely moments where a kiss felt warranted, and I will say this in a generalization and I’m certainly not pointing fingers at anybody, but I fought battles on the show. I won some, and I lost some,” Heisserer shares, “But I believe there is there is a lot of kissing in their future, should we ever get the opportunity.”
Are you looking forward to more Shadow and Bone on Netflix? Let us know in the comments or on our social media!