Shadow and Bone Ending Explained: What Happened to the Darkling?

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Shadow and Bone Ending Explained

Shadow and Bone is an American fantasy streaming television series created by Eric Heisserer for Netflix. It is based on Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy and Six of Crows duology. 

The first season’s eight episodes premiered on April 23, 2021. In June 2021, the series was renewed for a second season of eight episodes, which is set to premiere on March 16, 2023.

 The maturity rating will also change from TV-14 to TV-MA.

Shadow and Bone Ending Explained: What Happened to the Darkling?

While Alina, Mal, and the rest of the gang appear to believe he’s dead, the conclusion of Shadow and Bone Season 1 confirms that the Darkling is still alive. That’s correct: Aleksander Kerrigan, the immortal Black Heretic, the Shadow Summoner, the really hot guy who smolders and appears unkillable.

Shadow and Bone Ending Explained

Not only does he survive his time in the Shadow Fold (with a few extra scars to make his pretty face look even sexier), but he also emerges with some new hideous creatures at his disposal. These augmented volcanoes, known as Nichevo’ya in the books, are the Darkling’s creations, capable of leaving the Fold and attacking enemies at will.

So the Darkling is alive and well, and he’s on his way to Alina. But what is going on in the Darkling’s head right now? Ben Barnes, the man behind the character, was asked for his thoughts by Decider.

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“In the books, the character is a little more symbolic of the dark for Alina, this sort of vague sort of psychosexual darkness that haunts her a little bit, and I think I want to be able to explore the humanity of him a little bit more,” Barnes told Decider. 

“What does it mean to be stronger than he was before? To be able to command these Nichevoy’a creatures to do his bidding?” That’s not the only thing that piques Barnes’ interest in what’s next for the character…

Shadow and Bone Ending Explained

“But having his agenda ripped away from him, his purpose to protect these people, he no longer has the people. He’s not in command of anything. “Almost every character named in the story has a vendetta against him, and he certainly has taken umbrage with almost every character,” Barnes said.

“But I like the idea of this lonely man floating around the world, who is all-powerful, and what that will do to him. Will it make him wittier, and then he’ll just enjoy being a person? Will it make him shiver? Will he become lonely as a result? Will it make him thirsty to find out what that seed of love he felt for Alina was? “How does that develop, and what does that imply for him?”

“I don’t know, I want to explore his humanity of him. So, if you’re listening, Eric [Heisserer], I’m interested in Season 2.”

Our Shadow and Bone Review (Plus Show Vs. Book Comparison)

Last year, Netflix adapted Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone into an eight-episode series of the same name. 

Shadow and Bone is the first novel in the trilogy and Bardugo’s debut. With each book, the series grew stronger, and the Grishaverse as a world became more established. 

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Bardugo has since written several more series in this universe, including the TikTok sensation Six of Crows, which has also been adapted into a television series.

The show has been renewed for a second season, which will begin filming in January 2022. Is the show, however, worth watching? We answer that question in our Shadow and Bone review!

 The book received generally positive reviews when it was first published. “Some fantasy novels deal out the tropes of the genre like cards from a dog-eared deck,” according to the New York Times. 

Others affirm these tropes’ elemental power, reminding us not only why we read fantasy, but why we read at all.” Kirkus agrees that the trope-heavy story is a little clunky, but the storytelling is compelling enough to keep readers interested in the next book in the series.

Shadow and Bone were released in 2012, at the height of the sci-fi and fantasy teens saving the world craze. To name a few, The Hunger Games came out in 2008, Divergent in 2011, Cinder in 2012, and The Selection in 2013.

Another thing these books have in common is that they are all very straight and white. “My first book, Shadow and Bone, is a very straight, very white book,” says Bardugo in a 2016 interview. 

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“I think that’s because I was a new author echoing a lot of the fantasy I’d read.” Bardugo improves as an author, and Six of Crows (2015) features disabled, LGBTQ, and characters of color in its main cast.

Shadow and Bone Trailer

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