Shadow and Bone season 2 is currently in active development. But, ever since Netflix renewed its adaptation of Leigh Bardugo's fantasy novel series for another eight-episode outing, very little information has leaked out about what the show's second season will actually contain.
Sure, we've heard rumors about when Shadow and Bone's second season will begin filming. That aside, though, it's all been quiet on the development front, which isn't a total surprise – after all, the TV series' creative team have been hard at work on developing season 2's story for their Netflix adaptation.
Given that its first season was superb (in our view, anyway), it's unsurprising that a second season was greenlit. Nor is it a shock to learn that it made its way on to our best Netflix shows list upon release.
Now, though, we have some official news about Shadow and Bone season 2. And, for diehard fans, it's a biggie: Bardugo has confirmed that the TV adaptation has found its live-action incarnation of a beloved character from the books. You'll have to read on to find out more about this, though.
Below, you'll also find more news about the show's second season, including its potential plot points, returning cast members, when we suspect it'll return and more. But beware: spoilers for Shadow and Bone season 1, and possible future plot details based on our knowledge of the novels, are present from this point on. So proceed at your own risk.
Shadow and Bone season 2 release date
Shadow and Bone season 2 release date: 2023?
There’s no official release date for season 2 just yet. We know that a second season of Shadow and Bone is coming, though, as its return was confirmed during Netflix Geeked Week in June:
Thank the Saints! Shadow and Bone has been renewed for a second season. ☀️ @shadowandbone_ pic.twitter.com/clsLKx5zSJJune 7, 2021
In a thread on his personal Twitter account, showrunner Eric Heisserer revealed that he had written a lot of (if not all) of the next entry's scripts already. And he seemingly finished penning season 2 in April 2021, right before a second season was picked up by Netflix.
Check our Heisserer's Twitter thread below:
In January, Netflix sent us off to write the scripts with the hope that we'd get renewed and could hit the ground running. This is common practice, but it's just as common you do all that writing and don't get picked up. So we're lucky and thrilled to continue.June 7, 2021
That appears more likely, too, given an Instagram post from Bardugo. The author took a break from social media from summer 2021 onwards – Bardugo only breaking her self-imposed exile due to a recent award win – to work on, among other things, Shadow and Bone season 2.
Hopefully, much of its second season's pre-production has been sorted now so that principal photography can begin in earnest.
Speaking of filming beginning soon, executive producer Shawn Levy told Collider that the show would be "heading into production shortly" after Heisserer and Bardugo had finished penning the scripts.
According to other reports, such as one from What's On Netflix, principal photography will begin in January 2022, too. This has seemingly been backed up by an Active Productions List – for movies and TV shows due to be filmed in Canada – which strongly suggests that part of Shadow and Bone's second season will be shot between January 10 and May 18. Filming is also allegedly taking place in Budapest again as well.
Shadow and Bone's core cast is due to appear at Paris' Roster Con between January 22 and 23, so we may get official confirmation on season 2's start date and some potential new cast announcements. Their appearance at this convention, though, may mean that season 2's alleged start date may not be January 10 after all.
Regardless, it shouldn't be long before the cameras begin to roll on season 2. If that's soon, we might get Shadow and Bone's second season in late 2022. Don't get your hopes on that front, though, as there'll be plenty of post-production work to carry out once filming has ended. With that in mind, we suspect that Shadow and Bone season 2 may arrive in early 2023.
Shadow and Bone season 2 cast
Shadow and Bone season 2 cast: which characters are returning?
There’s no confirmation yet, but we think that all of season 1's main stars will return:
- Jessie Mei Li as Alina Starkov
- Ben Barnes as General Kirigan/the Darkling
- Archie Renaux as Malyen “Mal” Oretsov
- Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker
- Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa
- Kit Young as Jesper Fahey
- Danielle Gilligan as Nina Zenik
- Calahan Skogman as Matthias Helvar
- Zoe Wanamaker as Baghra
- Sujaya Dasgupta as Zoya Nazyalensky
As Shadow and Bone’s principal protagonists, Alina and Mal are certain to return, while Kirigan – who survived the attack in the Shadow Fold in the season 1 finale – will also be back.
Kaz, Jesper and Inej, too, should be part of the season 2 line up. As in the Six of Crows duology, the Dregs’ story (more on this below) will line up with Nina and Matthias’, so we should see that trio link up with the latter duo. This was hinted at in season 1’s final episode, so expect them to join forces as they do in the novels.
As for which characters could make the leap from Bardugo’s book series to the live-action TV series, Heisserer has confirmed that there will be “one hundred percent more Wylan” in season 2. In the novels, Wylan Van Eck joins the Dregs as their demolitions expert for a job inside Fjerdan’s military stronghold known as the Ice Court. But we don't know if season 2 will follow this exact storyline or not.
Another character who could appear in season 2 is Nikolai Lantsov. In the books, Nikolai adopts the pseudonym Sturmhond and leads a pirate armada that aids the war effort for the kingdom of Ravka. Nikolai becomes a key ally of Alina and Mal’s, so his arrival in Netflix’s adaptation will be vital if the TV show predominantly follows Siege and Storm’s storyline in season 2.
Heisserer teased Nikolai’s involvement in season 2 during a chat with Inverse, so he's likely to be a new cast member when the next entry's casting announcements are revealed.
And it seems that he will be. Writing about Shadow and Bone season 2 in her newsletter to fans, which was posted on a Twitter fan account in mid-December, Bardugo confirmed that the show's executive team had cast an actor in the role of Lantsov. Bardugo also suggested that more supporting characters had been cast as well, and that a meet and greet was due to take place between the show's main cast and its new members soon:
SHADOW AND BONE S2 Update: NIKOLAI LANTSOV and other major characters have been cast for Season 2! ― via @LBardugo newsletter pic.twitter.com/BNAPHfw0xgDecember 18, 2021
Expect to hear much more on the casting front post-Partis Roster Con, then.
Shadow and Bone season 2 trailer
Shadow and Bone season 2 trailer: is there one?
No, and there won’t be for a long time. If principal photography begins soon, we could get a teaser in late 2022. Until then, there won't even be a teaser to speak of.
Shadow and Bone season 2 story
Shadow and Bone season 2 plot: what will it be?
Spoilers follow for Shadow and Bone season 1 and the novel series.
Season 2 may follow concurrent stories from Siege and Storm and Six of Crows. With Alina and Mal going their separate ways to the Dregs following season 1’s finale, season 2 should continue their journey to new lands to keep Alina out of Kirigan’s reach.
As season 1’s final entry revealed, Kirigan has tapped into his Darkling powers and created new Fold creatures known as Nichevo’ya. Unlike the Volcra that inhabit the Fold, these monsters can move in broad daylight and will prove to be difficult adversaries for Alina and Mal to overcome.
Ben Barnes, who portrays Kirigan/the Darkling in Netflix’s TV show, has expressed interest in seeing season 2 “steer off” from the story in the books (per Collider) in a similar vein to how season 1 incorporated the Dregs into Alina’s arc.
It’s unclear if Heisserer and the series’ other producers will do so, but it would be an intriguing twist on the source material if they did. It would give established fans some new content, like season 1 did, but we'll have to wait and see if this is an avenue that the show's creative team pursues.
The Dregs, meanwhile, are likely to team up with Nina in a bid to free Matthias, with the duo – and potentially Wylan – being key to Kaz’s plan to rescue Bo Yul-Bayur, an inventor of a drug that Grisha find addictive, from Fjerda’s Ice Court. Shadow and Bone season 1 has already utilized the Ice Court’s ‘impossible heist’ angle for the Dregs’ initial mission to try and capture Alina, though, so it’s possible that Bo’s rescue may be altered for the TV series.
Another arc that could be adapted from another Grishaverse duology – King of Scars – is Zoya’s. A supporting character in the Grisha trilogy, Zoya’s character is given a more prominent role in Bardugo’s second duology and elements of the story from these books may be incorporated into the TV show, as Bardugo teased in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
In the season 1 finale, Zoya was seen heading to Novokribrisk – the city that Kirigan destroys with the Fold – to search for her family. Should she find that they’ve perished, Zoya could team up with the Dregs again, as she does in the Six of Crows’ Crooked Kingdom novel, or add in parts of her story from the King of Scars book.
Finally, the addition of Lantsov should see arc in Siege and Storm form a key component of Shadow and Bone's second season. In the novels, Lantsov – the former king of Ravka, who masquerades as a pirate leader known as Sturmhond – is hired by the Darkling to transport the books' primary antagonist through the True Sea in order to track down a mythical dragon known as the Rusalye. Lantsov eventually teams up with Alina and Mal, and fights alongside the duo to stop the Darkling from carrying out his master plan. So expect Lantsov's origin story and much of his arc to be lifted from the novels for the TV show.
One thing we do know is how many episodes there will be in season 2. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Shadow and Bone will return with another eight-episode run.
It's unclear if this will only focus on Alina and Mal's journey, though, or if the Dregs and Zoya will also feature in some capacity (as we speculated above). We'll find out when Netflix provides a synopsis, or when the cast and crew start posting about the show on social media again.
Shadow and Bone season 2: the future
Shadow and Bone season 2: does it deserve another outing?
Yes. While it doesn't have a following as big as other major fantasy series, such as The Witcher, Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings, the Grishaverse still has a sizable and passionate audience. Its fanbase is likely to have grown, too, with Netflix's adaptation introduces the series to new audiences since it debuted in April 2021.
There are numerous directions that Netflix's adaptation of the Grishaverse can go in as well. Like the streamer's growing Witcher-Verse, Shadow and Bone could potentially lead to spin-offs that delve into the wider universe and be based on Bardugo's sizable source material. Whether it's expanding on a pre-existing short story or creating entirely new content, Netflix can go in all manner of directions in and around Shadow and Bone season 2.
And, if it continues to be a success, future seasons and spin-offs may be put into production by Netflix, too. The streaming giant has shown it'll put faith in projects that deliver huge viewing figures, so Shadow and Bone's future may be bright if its second season draws in a large audience again.
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