Everything We Know About Shadow and Bone<\/em> Season 2

Two years ago, Netflix gave the go ahead for Bird Box writer Eric Heisserer to begin production on an eight-episode adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s fantasy novel series Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows—the “Grishaverse.” The Grishaverse spans one trilogy, two duologies, and a spattering of other collections, giving the Netflix series at least ten works as series source material. If that scope wasn’t evidence enough, Netflix also brought on executive producer Shawn Levy (Stranger Things), signaling its intended scale. (Author Leigh Bardugo was also brought on to executive produce.) The indication: the streaming network was attempting to do all it could to manufacture the next multi-season fantasy hit. Netflix wanted its own Game of Thrones.

Principal photography for the first season began in October 2019 and finished in March 2020, just before most film and TV productions were halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The season was filmed primarily in and around Budapest, Hungary. Bardugo has said the Grishaverse’s Ravka was inspired primarily by Russia and 16thcentury Amsterdam. (The series has chosen an Indo-European aesthetic, reflecting that original geography.)

The series lead, however, despite growing up in a border region, wasn’t always mixed race. “I’ve been very candid about the fact that when I wrote Shadow and Bone, it was my first book. And I think I was unconsciously echoing a lot of the straight white fantasy that grown up on,” Bardugo said in an interview. “And when Eric [Heisserer] and I first sat down together, one of the first things we decided was that we wanted Alina to be half Shu. It made a lot of sense, and it felt very organic to the story.” Actor Jessie Mei Li, who plays Alina, explained in a separate interview the added narrative significance of the choice: “I think it adds a lot more to sort of understand who she is as a person and why she doesn’t feel worthy. Because her journey starts off as ‘I’m no one, you know I’m just an outsider’ to suddenly being like ‘no, this is where I belong.’

That journey, thankfully, will take more than just a single season.

Will there be a season 2?

Netflix is rumored to have already renewed Shadow and Bone for a second season ahead of its season 1 premiere. The streaming service hasn’t officially confirmed the news, but the decision will likely be announced following the premiere.

And there’s bound to be way more than just a season 2. The first season of Shadow and Bone—named after the first novel in the trilogy—combines storylines both from this work (the trilogy concerned primarily with the story of Alina Starkov) with the exploits of Kaz Brekker and the crow gang, characters from the Six of Crows duology, set two years after the former trilogy. Following Six of Crows is another duology set one year later, King of Scars.

In other words: there’s plenty of source material for seasons to come.

What will Season 2 be about?

Season 1 of Shadow and Bone completes the full storyline of the first novel. But we still have at least four years of the Grishaverse to cover, all spanning at least six novels (not including other supplementary Grishaverse literature, like an in-universe fairytale collection.)

Season 2 will likely pick up directly after events of the first season, following the plot of Siege and Storm. It’s also likely to continue storylines form Six of Crows—many characters in that first novel we still haven’t met.

When will Season 2 hit Netflix?

We can probably expect a slightly faster turnaround from filming to post-production in the future. The first season of Shadow and Bone took five months to film and then almost a year after shooting to premiere on Netflix. Hopefully for season 2, the filming-to-streaming window will be a bit tighter. It’s not unreasonable to expect a spring or summer 2022 release date, so long as filming begins by this summer.

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