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‘Shadow and Bone’: A Grishaverse fan’s guide to all the Season 2 changes

Netflix’s critically acclaimed series Shadow and Bone is back for its second season, and it continues to provide a fresh take on Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling “Grishaverse” novels.

The Grishaverse is the collective title given to Bardugo’s books, which at present is comprised of the Shadow and Bone trilogy, the Six of Crows duology, the King of Scars duology, and several short stories, all of which this Newsweek reporter has read and enjoyed multiple times.

The Netflix series follows Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), a Grisha who is able to summon sunlight and is determined to tear down the Shadow Fold that General Kirigan, aka the Darkling (Ben Barnes), unleashed on Ravka centuries earlier.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Shadow and Bone Season 2 and Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse novels.

Season 2 sees Alina and Malyen “Mal” Oretsev (Archie Renaux) get thrown back into the fight against the Darkling after the events of Season 1, and they’ll need new allies to do so, including Nikolai Lantsov (Patrick Gibson).

Meanwhile, the Crows, Kaz Brekker (Freddy Carter), Inej Ghafa (Amita Suman) and Jesper Fahey (Kit Young), return to Ketterdam to find they have been falsely accused of murder.

Kaz decides to take on Pekka Rollins (Dean Lennox Kelly), with whom he shares a tragic past. They do so with the help of explosives expert Wylan Hendricks (Jack Wolfe) and Nina Zenik (Danielle Galligan), the latter of whom joins the Crows so she can get lover Matthias Helvar (Calahan Skogman) out of Hellgate prison.

Here are all the ways in which the new season changes the story from the books.

In the Shadow and Bone trilogy, Alina’s journey ends with her losing her powers after acquiring the third amplifier upon Mal’s sacrifice.

As a way of showing the consequence of greed, Alina’s powers are transferred from her to several Otkazat’sya (those without Grisha powers) including her soldat Sol (Sun Soldiers), who use the powers to take down the Fold.

However, in the show, Alina gets to keep her powers, and she also uses Merzost (dark magic) in order to bring Mal back to life, unlike in the books where Tolya and Tamar are able to revive him using their powers.

While Alina keeps her powers it is not without its consequences, as the finale’s final moments proves that she and the Darkling might not be so different.

This is less of a change and more of a reworking of Bardugo’s books. The Crows’ plot to take down Pekka Rollins is part of the narrative in the second book in the Six of Crows duology, named CrookedKingdom.

What the show has done is take the storyline, and reveal Kaz’s history with Pekka, much earlier than book fans might expect.

Sankta Neyar is one of the saints to be featured in Bardugo’s book The Lives of Saints, which is also featured within the Grishaverse itself.

The book tells various folktales explaining how the saints came to be seen as such. Neyar became one after forging the blade Neshyenyer, which she used to save Shu Han by defeating an unkillable army of clockwork soldiers.

Sankta Neyar never appears in Bardugo’s books. In the show, the Crows, Tolya (Lewis Tan) and Zoya (Sujaya Dasgupta) face Neyar when trying to steal Neshyenyer for Alina to use during her battle against the Darkling.

In Siege and Storm other ruin and rising, Alina goes out in search of two more amplifiers: The Sea Whip and the Firebird. The first creature she finds in victories and storm, but she learns the Firebird is not actually a third amplifier after discovering the creature in Ruin and Rising.

During her encounter with the Firebird, Alina realizes that the last amplifier was Mal all along as he takes her wrist and she feels the power she needs.

In the show, it is the Darkling’s mother Baghra (Zoë Wanamaker) who deduces that Mal is the amplifier because she realizes he is descended from her sister, whom she killed as a child but who was brought back to life by their father, Illya Morozova .

After Alina loses her powers and Mal is brought back to life at the end of the Shadow and Bone trilogy they leave to capital to live an ordinary life, they get married and re-open the orphanage that they were raised in.

Netflix’s critically acclaimed series Shadow and Bone is back for its second season, and it continues to provide a fresh take on Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling “Grishaverse” novels.

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