Shadow and Bone season 2 is coming to Netflix globally in March 2023. Below is our big updated preview for season 2 of Shadow and Bone, including what new characters we can expect, story expectations, casting news, season 2 sneak peeks, and everything else we know.
To recap, based on the series of books within the Grishaverse by Leigh Bardugo, the first season of the fantasy show dropped on Netflix on April 23rd, 2021.
The cast for the first season included Ben Barnes, Jessie Mei Li, Archie Renaux, Freddy Carter, Amita Suman, and Kit Young.
Shadow and Bone Season 2 Quick Info
If you haven’t got time to read through this full article, here are nine quick things you need to know about season 2:
- Season 2 will release on Netflix on March 16th, 2023.
- 8 episodes will come as part of season 2, each roughly an hour.
- Season 2 is expected to follow Siege and Storm.
- The show reportedly has a budget of between $3,000,000 and $4,999,999 per episode.
- Filming for season 2 took place between January and June 2022.
- Anna Leong Brophy, Lewis Tan, Patrick Gibson, and Jack Wolfe have joined the cast.
- Eric Heisserer will continue showrunning duties for season 2.
- Joseph Trapanese will return to compose for season 2.
- Only a broad 2023 release date for season 2 has been announced.
- A sneak peek video was released at Netflix’s Tudum event (embedded below)
Everything We Know About Shadow and Bone season 2
When was Shadow and Bone renewed for season 2?
The series was renewed on June 7th, 2021, just under 2 months after its season 1 premiere.
Although there’s plenty of source material to come, we reported that the show’s second season had been actively developing for quite some time. However, official renewal didn’t come until Netflix’s 2021 Geeked Week.
The renewal came alongside a video with the cast talking about the renewal.
On the renewal, Shawn Levy (who served as an executive producer on the show) said:
“My 21 Laps colleagues and I are thrilled that audiences around the world can continue to explore the Grishaverse and revel in the epic, unique storytelling of Shadow and Bone.
The fun of our jobs as producers is the collaboration with creative partners who inspire us.
Leigh Bardugo and Eric Heisserer are two such partners; together they have created a world and pantheon of characters that fans all over the globe have embraced. We can’t wait to take viewers on the wild ride that comes next…”
How well did Shadow and Bone perform on Netflix?
55 million Netflix members watched the show in the first 28 days, according to Netflix. That places the show 8th on the most-watched English TV shows of all time (at least according to released Netflix statistics).
This also lines up with collected top 10 data too. It’s currently ranked eighth for the number of points gathered globally behind Vincenzo but in front of Snowpiercer with a respectable 16,342 points gathered worldwide. It’s also had the 14th biggest first-day debut on Netflix since March 2020.
Netflix states that the series hit the #1 spot in 79 countries.
The show also held a certified fresh rating for a time, but that’s since slipped down to 87%, whereas the audience score still boasts a 90% rating.
Shadow and Bone season 2 cast: who’s new and who’s returning?
The following cast members are confirmed to return for season 2:
- Jessie Mei Li (Alina Starkov)
- Archie Renaux (Malyen Oretsev)
- Freddy Carter (Kaz Brekker)
- Amita Suman (Inej)
- Kit Young (Jesper Fahey)
- Ben Barnes (General Kirigan)
- Calahan Skogman (Matthias Helvar) – Promoted to series regular for season 2
- Danielle Galligan (Nina Zenik) – Promoted to series regular for season 2
- Daisy Head (Genya Safin) – Promoted to series regular for season 2
In terms of what new cast members will feature in Shadow and Bone season 2, we got new cast members confirmed in mid-January 2022.
Sophie Holland (who casts for Netflix’s The Witcher and You) continued as casting director for season 2.
These are the new characters and faces you’ll see in Shadow & Bone season 2:
- Patrick Gibson as Nikolai Lantsov – A Prince who develops an alter ego named Sturmhond and recruits a crew of mercenaries and soldiers to help Ravka. Described as confident and full of swagger. (This character was first hinted at in various interviews). Gibson notably appeared in Netflix’s The OA.
- Anna Leong Brophy as Tamar Kir-Bataar – A Grisha Heartrender (ability to manipulate bodies) and carries two Axes. Is the twin sister of Tolya (listed below) and is an LGBTQ character. Brophy is known for Back and Traces.
- Lewis Tan as Tolya Yul-Bataar – Described as big and muscly, Tolya will be a mercenary among the crew of Sturmhond. Tan is perhaps best known from Netflix’s Wu Assassins or Mortal Kombat.
- Jack Wolfe as Wylan Hendriks – Son of a wealthy merchant and transported into the criminal underworld after joining the Crows as a skilled chemist and demolition expert. Wolfe appeared in Netflix’s The Witcher and Inside No. 9.
In addition to these main castings, IMDb also reports that Janet Kumah will play Keme in season 2.
There are also reports that Joanna McGibbon will play Nadya and Rachel Redford playing Fruszi.
What to expect from Shadow and Bone season 2 on Netflix
Before a quick recap for the end of season 1 and diving into season 2 theories, let’s look at the official synopsis provided by Netflix:
“Alina Starkov is on the run. A beacon of hope to some and a suspected traitor to others, she’s determined to bring down the Shadow Fold and save Ravka from ruin. But General Kirigan has returned to finish what he started. Backed by a terrifying new army of seemingly indestructible shadow monsters and fearsome new Grisha recruits, Kirigan is more dangerous than ever. To stand a fighting chance against him, Alina and Mal rally their own powerful new allies and begin a continent-spanning journey to find two mythical creatures that will amplify her powers. Back in Ketterdam, the Crows must forge new alliances as they contend with old rivals and even older grudges that threaten not only their place in the Barrel, but their very lives. When a chance at a deadly heist comes their way, the Crows will once again find themselves on a collision course with the legendary Sun Summoner.”
Our heroes enter the fold for a final time, and once again, more deaths are on the cards. Kirigan uses Alina’s growing powers to create a new tunnel of light, enabling passage through the darkness within the fold. A big fight breaks out, and the world seems more divided than ever.
The stags power is still eluding many of the characters however, in a vision, Alina realizes only she can harness its power, not Kirigan.
Ben Barnes has talked about how his character would change and adapt in season 2 with his newfound power saying:
“He’s someone who has had an army, and has been in charge of this medieval hierarchy, someone who’s revered and feared. But he’s even more alone now – with a handful of vendettas, and an amassed group of people trying to kill him.
He’s sort of all-powerful now. He just has to think something dark, and it will happen. So it’ll be interesting to see which characters we find him interacting with going forward.”
Jessie Mei Li Speaking to DigitalSpy has also made some notable comments regarding what we can expect, saying:
“Alina goes from being a scared, little pup who can’t look at anyone in the eye, to suddenly having this sense of gravity to her. We feel that she’s grown a lot, and she’s really strong. But she’s still got a long way to go, which is a really nice place to leave her. We know where she’s going now, and where she’s got to go.”
How close the series will stick to the books remains to be seen. It’s been pretty close thus far with some notable deviations, but the central plotline of season 2 should follow Siege and Storm. Here’s the synopsis for the second book:
“The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world.
With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal.
Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her—or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.”
According to a season 2 synopsis seen by What’s on Netflix, the second season will see Alina and Mal on the run looking for another mythical target that will aid them in their fight against Kirigan while potentially teaming up with a new ally.
The Crows will also feature prominently in season 2 (and are even rumored to get their own spin-off series) who are back in Ketterdam and are going up against old rivals.
In season 2, we’re promised a season of “political intrigue, bloody battles, flying ships, reunited friends, new countries, and a family secret that will shatter all expectations.”
The two showrunners also briefed fans on what they can expect from season 2 of Shadow and Bone:
“HEISSERER: The most wonderful thing about Season Two is that we get to advance the story of these characters that we’d left in precarious positions at the end of Season One. There’s a lot of potential for them this season. They have to face the consequences for their actions, and then they get to meet new people along the way. The Grishaverse also expands in this season, both in mythology and in characters. In doing so, we expand the world, we go to new locations, we visit Novyi Zem and Shu Han, and those are all integral to the narrative.
FRYKLIND: We’ve also really dug into more of the mythology this season in terms of the amplifiers, but also the creator of the amplifiers, Morozova, who he was, what his backstory is, and how he ties into this world. We go out and we go deeper.
BARDUGO: I think the readers now trust our writers the way that I do. This season I was able to step back and put the show more firmly in their hands. I think when we approached Season One, a lot of people were like, “It’s impossible. It can’t be done. Why would you bring SHADOW AND BONE and SIX OF CROWS together?” And I think now, we have that trust. And I think it’s going to be very, very exciting for them to see the way that trust pays off in Season Two. Every part of the Grishaverse is coming into play. We are going to get to see some incredible new characters. We’re going to see characters interacting with each other, questing with each other, fighting and laughing with each other, who we never got to see together in the books. And I think that’s a unique thing about this show. Readers are not only going to be surprised by the way that these storylines crash into each other, they’re never going to know where the next move is coming from—and that actually was a pleasure for me because I got to be surprised by my own stories.”
Where is Shadow and Bone season 2 in Production?
In early November 2021, we reported that production would begin in January 2022.
Shadow and Bone season 2 will once again be filmed entirely in Budapest and run from January through July 2022. An updated listing states filming is eying a January 10th start and then run through to May 18th.
Production of the series takes place in ORIGO Studios in Budapest.
Josh Barry, an executive producer on the series, posted on January 9th that there was a “big week ahead.”
Netflix confirmed alongside the casting announcements above that filming had gotten underway as of January 13th and provided a first look at all the new cast.
Below you can see the cast assembled in a theater before filming the new season.
Filming for the series was originally scheduled to wrap on May 18th, 2022, although filming extended into June 6th, 2022.
A Netflix’s Geeked Week in the summer, Netflix confirmed in a short clip that filming had wrapped. Several cast members spoke about what we can expect and confirmed that filming had concluded.
Jessie Mei Li (who plays Alina Starkov) said:
“We’ve officially wrapped season 2 of Shadow and Boen and we cannot wait to show you what we’ve been up to”
Lewis Tan (who will debut in season 2 as Tolya Yul-Bataar) added:
“We can’t give too much away at this time but we wanted to answer a few questions to keep you guys guessing on what’s to come.”
Among the questions answered included “What three words would you use to describe season 2?” with answers from various cast members being “Love, power, heartbreak,” “Full of love,” and “Bigger, bolder, better.”
Shadow & Bone Episode Titles, Writers and Directors
- Episode 1 – Teleplay by: Eric Heisserer – Directed by: Bola Ogun
- Episode 2 – Teleplay by: Nick Culbertson – Directed by: Bola Ogun
- Episode 3 – Teleplay by: Donna Thorland – Directed by Laura Belsey
- Episode 4 – Teleplay by: Shelley Meals – Direct by Laura Belsey
- Episode 5 – Teleplay by: Christina Strain – Directed by Karen Gaviola
- Episode 6 – Teleplay by: Daegan Fryklind – Directed by Karen Gaviola
- Episode 7 – Teleplay by: Vanya Asher – Directed by Mairzee Almas
- Episode 8 – Teleplay by: Eric Heisserer & Erin Conley – Directed by Mairzee Almas
How many seasons of Shadow and Bone will there be on Netflix?
Right now, the show is only renewed through to a second season.
With that said, the author of the book series, Leigh Bardugo, says she wishes there to be five seasons, adding, “There’s so much story.”
As a quick aside, we’ve also heard rumors there could be a spin-off in development, specifically covering the Crows that played a pivotal part in season 1.
Finally, Netflix will release a new mobile game for Shadow and Bone in 2023 called Shadow and Bone: Destinies.
Here’s the description:
“Play as your favorite characters and journey across the world of the Grishaverse in a narrative adventure to fulfill their destinies. Along the way, you’ll need to make decisions that will determine the course of your journey.”
Let us know in the comments if you’re excited about the next season of Shadow & Bone.