Based on a series of YA novels by Leigh Bardugo, Netflix’s Shadow and Bone is a world rich in fantastical characters and lore. The show follows cartographer turned Sun Summoner Alina Starkov, her best friend Mal, and the criminal gang The Crows. While the show closely follows the events of Shadow and Bone — while weaving in the characters from Bardugo’s later series Six of Crows — fans of the book know that Season 1 is hardly the end of Alina’s story. In fact, it’s just the beginning of a trilogy that sees her traveling all across her country of Ravka as she figures out how to close the shadowy Fold and outwit the mysterious Darkling.
Though there are rumors that Shadow and Bone has been renewed for Season 2, Netflix has not officially confirmed that’s the case. Showrunner Eric Heisserer initially pitched the show as at least three seasons, just like the trilogy of Shadow and Bone books, so we know the creative team is prepared for a renewal. “It was a three-year plan that I laid out, or three-season plan," Heisserer said, per Collider. "It came about in a really interesting way because it all came from a New Year's resolution that I had three years ago, which was to do more pleasure reading.” His friend recommended Shadow and Bone to him, and after reading and enjoying it, he reached out and thanked Bardugo for creating it. Years later, she suggested him as showrunner, and together they crafted the story that became the adaptation.
While Netflix hasn’t made any announcements yet, there’s a decent chance that the show will be renewed, as the streaming service seems to be investing in a lot of teen content. “One of the first things one of the [Netflix] executives said was, ‘We take the stories of young people seriously,’” Bardugo told Comics Beat. “For me, this has always been about finding the right partner.”
The Grishaverse novels are also hugely popular, so fans may not have to wait long to hear about possible renewal news. Here’s everything we know so far.
The Shadow and Bone Season 2 Premiere
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Shadow and Bone’s premiere was pushed from winter 2020 to spring 2021. But typically Netflix shows take about a year to produce, so if it’s renewed for a second season, we could potentially expect it to air sometime in summer to fall 2022.
The Shadow and Bone Season 2 Cast
As Bardugo’s tale takes place in a sprawling fictional world modeled off of Russia, Shadow and Bone introduces us to a large number of characters aside from Jessie Mei Li’s Alina Starkov. If Season 2 follows the books, we can expect all the major players from Season 1 to return, like Archie Renaux’s Mal, Ben Barnes’ General Kirigan, and Crows including Freddie Carter’s Kaz, Amita Suman’s Inej, and Kit Young’s Jesper. A second season could also introduce us to new book characters like former Ravkan king Nikolai or demolitions expert Wylan Van Eck from Six of Crows.
The Shadow and Bone Reviews
Another sign that the show could be renewed is the fact that it’s already critically acclaimed. “Let’s be real, though. Perfection is impossible to attain. However, this reviewer would argue that what writer/executive producer Eric Heisserer has created in Shadow and Bone, with the help of his team and author Leigh Bardugo, is close to perfection,” Sarah Musnicky wrote for Nightmarish Conjurings.
Liz Shannon Miller at Collider praised the production, noting “it’s a beautifully made show, with the best visual touch beyond the effects being the costumes designed by Wendy Partridge, which lean heavily on Russian influences to make this world feel distinct and special from other fantasy tales.”
And while it does echo a lot of other fantasy shows, that means Shadow and Bone will likely find a fanbase quickly. “With its magical, orphaned, chosen-one hero (hello, Harry Potter), its story of a young woman destined to cause revolution while caught between her childhood bestie and a dashing, untrustworthy incomer (hey there, Hunger Games) and its dangerous kingdom of backstabbers (Game Of Thrones, we meet again), Shadow And Bone has plenty of familiar echoes,” Ben Travis wrote for Empire Magazine. “But it’s very watchable, with a compelling world and characters that could help it become a fantasy favourite in its own right.”