Netflix’s ‘Shadow and Bone’: Everything You Need To Know

Tigran Asatryan What's on Netflix Avatar

shadow and bone april 2021 netflix release date

Netflix is set to release Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse adaptation series, Shadow and Bone. Here’s everything we know so far about the first season of Shadow and Bone, which will arrive on April 23rd.

A live-action series based on Leigh Bardugo’s fantasy-adventure series titles Shadow and Bone was commissioned by Netflix in January 2019 with Eric Heisserer serving as showrunner. Heisserer wrote screenplays for such productions as the Oscar-nominated Arrival, Bird Box, and The Thing remake.

Among the list of directors in the first season is Primetime Emmy nominee Jeremy Webb. The TV veteran has helmed episodes for series such as Doctor Who, The Umbrella Academy, The Punisher, Altered Carbon, and much more.

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Additionally, Game of Thrones and The Witcher language creator David J. Peterson has been tapped to create the fictional languages in the Grishaverse for Shadow and Bone.

Bardugo described the show for new viewers in an interview, saying:

Shadow and Bone takes place in a very different kind of fantasy world. Think Imperial Russia, not Medieval England, repeating rifles instead of broadswords. It’s a story about the people who have been told how much they don’t matter proving how much they do. And it’s been incredible to see that story take shape on such an epic scale, the battles, the magic, but also the relationships between the characters.”

When will Shadow and Bone be on Netflix?

As we mentioned, Netflix is globally getting all of season 1 dropped on April 23rd, 2021.

Shadow and Bone will be available to stream globally simultaneously; however, you may either need to wake up early or stay up late depending on where you live. If you live in California, you can stream the series from midnight. Unfortunately for subscribers on the other side of the world, such as Australia and New Zealand, you’ll be waiting until the evening.

Time Zone Time available to stream
Pacific Standard Time 12:00 AM (GMT-8)
Mountain Standard Time 1:00 AM (GMT-7)
Central Standard Time 2:00 AM (GMT-6)
Eastern Standard Time 3:00 AM (GMT-5)
British Daylight Savings Time 08:00 AM (GMT)
Central European Time 09:00 AM (GMT+1)
Eastern European Time 10:00 AM (GMT+2)
India Standard Time 12:30 PM (GMT+4:30)
Japan Standard Time 16:00 PM (GMT+8)
Australian Eastern Time 18:00 PM (GMT+10)
New Zealand Day Light Time 19:00 PM (GMT+11)

All the trailers for Netflix’s Shadow and Bone?

Yes, the first teaser trailer for Netflix’s Shadow and Bone was released on February 26, 2021. It is the first-ever video footage of the Grishaverse.

The first full trailer which has amassed nearly 3 million views was then released on March 30th with the caption:

“There are no others like her. And there never will be. Get ready to enter the Grishaverse.”

What do the reviews say for Shadow and Bone?

Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive thus far.

Many compare the show being Netflix’s new Game of Thrones which is high praise.

Here’s what some of the top critics have had to say so far:

“It lands across the board with its production value, tone, visual effects, and engaging characters, culminating in an exhilarating season finale” – Paste Magazine

“Shadow and Bone delivers pure escapism with timely social commentary and good old fashioned soapy storytelling.” – Decider

Metacritic currently carries the series at a 70 based on ten critic reviews.

Rotten Tomatoes has the show on a 92% (which is to say 92% of critics liked it).

What is the plot of Shadow and Bone?

Netflix’s Shadow and Bone will adapt two overlapping series in Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse: Shadow and Bone, and Six of Crows. The story is set in a world that is split in two by a massive barrier of perpetual darkness, where unnatural creatures feast on human flesh.

The plot of Shadow and Bone will follow Alina Starkov, a young soldier and a citizen of the Russia-inspired Kingdom of Ravka. She unexpectedly uncovers a power that might save her best friend and finally unite her country. As she starts to hone it, dangerous forces unite against her, and only General Kirigan seems to be willing to help.


Although the Netflix adaptation is based on the books, it will massively differ from them, according to author Leigh Bardugo:

“The show will be radically different from the books. But in the most amazing way. Will be pretty much a high budget fan fiction.”

In December, showrunner Eric Heisserer  commented on this in detail:

“The books are all set chronologically, so we technically don’t get to events in the Six of Crows books until after the Shadow and Bone books have ended. So what Leigh [Bardugo] and I had to do was essentially invent prequel stories for the key Six of Crows characters this season — Kaz, Inej, and Jesper — to fit alongside what is happening in the Shadow and Bone storyline. That’s been the heavy lifting.”

Leigh Bardugo added her comments about the creative process in a recent interview:

“We’ve taken the stories of Shadow and Bone and the characters of Six of Crows and we’ve brought them together in what I think will be a really unexpected way. Eric and our writers’ room and our directors have built something entirely new that still somehow stays true to the characters and to the heart of the stories.”

Who is cast in Shadow and Bone?

Here’s who has been confirmed to star in Shadow and Bone and their respective roles:

  • Jessie Mei Li as Alina Starkov
  • Ben Barnes as General Kirigan aka The Darkling
  • Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker aka Dirtyhands
  • Archie Renaux as Malyen Oretsev
  • Kit Young as Jesper Fahey
  • Calahan Skogman as Matthias Helvar
  • Danielle Galligan as Nina Zenik
  • Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa
  • Sujaya Dasgupta as Zoya Nazyalensky
  • Daisy Head as Genya Safin

Here’s a first look at the cast and their characters from Entertainment Weekly, along with comments from Eric Heisserer and Leigh Bardugo in the captions:

What’s the production status on Shadow and Bone?

Production on the first season of Netflix’s Shadow and Bone started in October 2019 and wrapped in February 2020, just before the worldwide production shutdown. The first season is currently in post-production.

The cast of Shadow and Bone dropped a video message on the series official Twitter account the day filming wrapped:

And take a look at these behind-the-scenes photos (thanks to @GrishaNetflixTV):

In August 2020, we learned that Shadow and Bone had some additional filming to do with the “Vancouver unit” to do some additional photography. The scheduled dates for that took place between September 28th and October 9th, 2020, in Vancouver.

How many episodes will the first season debut?

It has been confirmed that the first season of Shadow and Bone will consist of eight episodes.

The episode titles have also been revealed for the series, and their order is known as well:

At the time of writing, we only know the order of two episodes, one and five:

  • Episode 1: A Searing Burst of Light
  • Episode 2: We’re All Someone’s Monster
  • Episode 3: The Making at the Heart of the World
  • Episode 4: Otkazat’sya (“Refuse” in Russian)
  • Episode 5: Show Me Who You Are
  • Episode 6: The Heart is an Arrow
  • Episode 7: The Unsea
  • Episode 8: No Mourners

The directors involved in season one of Shadow and Bone include:

  • Mairzee Almas
  • Lee Toland Krieger
  • Dan Liu
  • Jeremy Webb
  • Eric Heisserer

Will there be a second season of Shadow and Bone?

Nothing is official but yes, we’ve heard that season 2 of Shadow and Bone has been greenlit behind the scenes and is in active development. That’s not to say the show is officially renewed, though. We’ll have to wait for Netflix to do the honors of announcing that.

Are you looking forward to the release of Shadow and Bone season one on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by

Tigran is our resident previews writer. He works on collecting everything known about upcoming Netflix Original projects and also is editor-in-chief of Redanian Intelligence. Resides in France.

 Poster Rating: TV-14
Language: English
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Cast: Jessie Mei Li, Ben Barnes, Archie Renaux
Season Additions:
  • - Season 2 was added to Netflix on March 16th, 2023
  • - Season 1 was added to Netflix on April 23rd, 2021
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