In the summer of 2021, the second season of Shadow and Bone was commissioned and things have started to happen behind the scenes. Here’s what we know about Shadow and Bone season 2 including what new characters we can expect, what to expect from the story, and the latest production developments. We’ll keep this preview updated over time so keep it bookmarked for the latest.
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.
Among the cast for the first season included Jessie Mei Li, Archie Renaux, Freddy Carter, Amita Suman, and Kit Young.
Has Shadow and Bone been renewed for season 2?
Official renewal status: Renewed (last updated: 06/07/2021)
Although there’s plenty of source material to come and the fact we reported that the show had been in active development for quite some time, official renewal didn’t come until Netflix’s Geeked Week where they’re making a bunch of new announcements.
The renewal came alongside a video (which did leak the day before the official announcement – whoops!) with the cast talking about the renewal.
Calling all Grisha! Drop a ☀️ to help summon some exciting news ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/OH0r2H1L0c
— Shadow And Bone (@shadowandbone_) June 7, 2021
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…”
Eric Heisserer will continue his role as showrunner for season 2.
Beyond Shadow and Bone, Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps is currently working on an output deal for Netflix which has been expanded into a first-look deal for all feature films with 10 currently in development.
Just as a quick aside, we’ve also heard rumors there could be a spin-off in development too specifically covering the Crows that played a pivotal part in season 1.
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 too since March 2020.
Netflix states that the series hit the #1 spot in 79 countries.
Shadow and Bone dropped out of the top 50 global titles list on Netflix on May 30th, 2021.
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.
What cast will be returning for Shadow and Bone season 2?
A few quick things that were confirmed including the fact that season 2 will be 8 episodes total with each episode being roughly an hour in length.
The following cast is 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)
- Danielle Galligan (Nina Zenik)
- Calahan Skogman (Matthias Helvar)
In terms of what new cast members will feature in Shadow and Bone season 2, we’ve had no word of any new members but we can confirm which characters will be jumping over to the series in season 2.
These are the new characters we can confirm Netflix is casting for:
- Nikolai Lantsov – A Prince who develops an alter ego by the name of Sturmhond and recruits a crew of mercenaries and soldiers to help Ravka. Described as confident and full of swagger.
- 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.
- Tolya Yul-Bataar – Described as big and muscly, Tolya will be a mercenary among the crew of Sturmhond.
- Wylan Van Eck – Son of a wealthy merchant and transported into the criminal underworld after joining the Crows as a skilled chemist and demolition expert.
What to expect from Shadow and Bone season 2 on Netflix
Let’s now take a stab at trying to predict what we can expect from season 2.
A quick recap for the end of season 1 first. 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 to enable passage through the darkness within the fold. A big fight breaks out and it seems the world is 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 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.”
When will filming begin on Shadow and Bone Season 2?
Any kind of filming date has yet to be officially confirmed by Netflix but in early November 2021, we reported that production is currently penciled in to begin in January 2022.
Shadow and Bone season 2 will once again be filmed entirely in Budapest and run from January through July 2022.
We’ll keep you posted throughout the development of Shadow and Bone season 2 as and when we get it but for now, let us know in the comments if you’re looking forward to a second season hitting Netflix.