|Shadow and Bone|
|Based on||Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows|
by Leigh Bardugo
|Developed by||Eric Heisserer|
|Music by||Joseph Trapanese|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Running time||45–58 minutes|
|Original release||April 23, 2021 –|
Shadow and Bone is an American fantasy streaming television series developed by Eric Heisserer for Netflix that premiered on April 23, 2021. It is based on two series of books in the Grishaverse created by American author Leigh Bardugo: her trilogy, the first of which is Shadow and Bone (2012); and the duology that begins with Six of Crows (2015). All eight episodes of the first season premiered on April 21, 2021 adapting Shadow and Bone and an original storyline featuring the Crows. In June 2021, the series was renewed for a second season also consisting of eight episodes.
Grisha are people who can practice the ‘Small Science’. Ravka is one of few places they can live safely; there they are trained for the Second Army and divided into three orders. Etherealki summon natural elements like wind or fire, Materialki control materials such as metal and glass, and Corporalki manipulate people’s bodies. Ravka’s Second Army is led by General Kirigan, who has spent his life searching for a Grisha who can summon light; the only person who could destroy the Shadow Fold—a region of impenetrable darkness, created hundreds of years ago. Since then, Ravka has been at war, and is now on the brink of splitting in two as the west seeks independence. Alina Starkov turns out to be such a Grisha, and word spreads that a Sun Summoner has been found. In the trade city of Ketterdam, Kaz Brekker is hired to kidnap her; Fjerdan witch hunters are sent to kill her, and the people of Ravka venerate her as a Saint. Alina must come to terms with who she is, and decide who she can truly trust as she searches for the power that will allow her to destroy the Fold and save Ravka. 
|No.||Title||Directed by||Teleplay by||Original release date|
|1||"A Searing Burst of Light"||Lee Toland Krieger||Eric Heisserer||April 23, 2021|
|In East Ravka, Alina Starkov is a cartographer who is reunited with her childhood friend Mal Oretsev. Mal is chosen to be a part of the team who will cross the Fold, an extremely dangerous journey as the Fold is swarming with flying monsters named Volcra. Unwilling to be separated from Mal again, Alina burns the maps so the cartographers have to cross as well. The team enters the Fold just as General Kirigan, leader of the Second Army and the Shadow Summer, arrives at the camp. Shortly after entering the Fold, they are attacked by Volcra. Alexi, another cartographer, escapes. Alina discovers her Sun Summoner abilities by unintentionally letting off a burst of light to fight off the Volcra. In Ketterdam, Kaz Brekker, Inej Ghafa, and Jesper Fahey compete with mob-boss Pekka Rollins for a job that pays one million kruge. When it is discovered that Dreesen first needs a Heartrender, Kaz beats Pekka to the only known one. Dreesen reveals to Kaz that he has captured Alexi. The Heartrender gets Alexi to reveal that Alina is a Sun Summoner, and Dreesen reveals that kidnapping Alina is the job.|
|2||"We're All Someone's Monster"||Lee Toland Krieger||Eric Heisserer||April 23, 2021|
|In East Ravka, Alina is taken to Kirigan, who proves she is a Sun Summoner and order her to be taken to the Little Palace. On her way, her convoy is ambushed by Fjerdan drüskelle (Grisha-hunters). Several Grisha are killed, but Kirigan rescues her and escorts her to the Little Palace himself. Alina, angry that she will now be hunted for the rest of her life, tells Kirigan she wishes she could give her power to someone who wants it. In Ketterdam, Kaz is threatened by Pekka to give him the job, but Kaz refuses. Inej is summoned by Tante Heleen, who runs the brothel Inej was sold to until Kaz bought her contract. He still owes Heleen some money for Inej, but Heleen promises to give Inej her freedom if she kills Arken, a human trafficker who has been selling to rival brothels. Kaz discovers that a man called the Conductor is ferrying people across the Fold, then discovers that Arken is the Conductor and Heleen wants him dead. Kaz stops Inej from killing Arken, then gives Heleen his club as an acceptable collateral and promises to pay off his debt for Inej once he completes the job.|
|3||"The Making at the Heart of the World"||Dan Liu||Daegan Fryklind||April 23, 2021|
|At the Little Palace, Alina meets with a Tailor, Genya Safin, and they prepare for her meeting with King Pytor and the court. At court, Alina astonishes all with her abilities, which are amplified by Kirigan's touch. The King gives permission for Alina to be trained, but insists that it be done quickly, as West Ravka is increasingly rallying for independence. After befriending two Grisha, Alina spars with Zoya Nazyalensky, who is jealous of the attention Alina is getting (especially from Kirigan). In the library, Alina meets the Apparat, who tells her about the stag Alina has been dreaming of, and about amplifiers; animals Grisha have killed in order to increase their own power. Alina then meets Baghra, a Grisha trainer who is unimpressed with Alina's abilities. She tells Alina to return when she believes in herself. Meanwhile Kaz, Jesper, Inej, and Arken are forced to travel to the Little Palace without Nina Zenik, a Heartrender who agreed to smuggle them in, as sh has been captured by drüskelle. Four pounds short of the needed coal, they dare to make the train voyage through the Fold. They are attacked by Volcra, but Jesper uses his marksmanship abilities to get them safely through. On a ship, Nina is chained by the drüskelle who captured her and told she will be tried for witchcraft in Fjerda.|
|4||"Otkazat'sya"||Dan Liu||Vanya Asher||April 23, 2021|
|Alina goes riding with Kirigan, who decides the two are on a first-name basis and asks she call him Aleksander. He talks about how he felt like an outsider as a child due to being a descendant of the Black Heretic (the Grisha who created the Fold), and Alina realizes how much he needs her. Baghra shows Alina that she is holding back for Mal, but needs to focus on herself if she wants to master her powers. Alinagrows disheartened that Mal has not yet replied to her letters, and after another encounter with Kirigan, finally puts herself and the Grisha first and makes true progress with her power. Meanwhile, Mal has volunteered for a mission to find the stag that Alina has been dreaming of; the legendary Morozova's Stag is rumoured to be the most powerful Grisha amplifier in the world, powerful enough to make Alina able to destroy the Fold. The reward for finding the Stag is a visit to the Little Palace. His team are ambushed by Fjerdans, and Mal alone survives. He then sees the Stag, and vows to reunite with Alina. The Crows and Arken steal the blueprints for the Little Palace, and join a troupe of traveling performers who will be performing in the Little Palace for the Winter Fete. The ship carrying Nina hits a bad storm. Kirigan sends Fedyor to find Nina, as she has not checked in recently.|
|5||"Show Me Who You Are"||Mairzee Almas||M. Scott Veach & Nick Culbertson||April 23, 2021|
|The Little Palace plans to show off Alina as the Sun Summoner at the Winter Fete. Kaz, Inej, Jesper, and Arken infiltrate the Palace to kidnap Alina. Mal, injured by Fjerdans, makes his way to a First Army camp and says he's found the Stag. Along with a First Army general, he travels to the Little Palace to tell Kirigan directly. The palace guard is initially reluctant to let Mal in, believing the Stag to be a myth, but gives in, and escorts Mal to Kirigan’s room. Kirigan asks Mal to show him exactly where he found the Stag. Mal, however, refuses, demanding to see Alina first. Kirigan is angry but eventually agrees to allow the two to meet later. Baghra sends a guard to bring Mal to her hut, whereupon the guard tries to kill Mal so he can't tell Kirigan where the Stag is. Kirigan and Alina kiss after the event but are interrupted when Arken attacks a decoy, believing it to be Alina. Baghra tells Alina that Kirigan doesn't want to destroy the Fold, but use it as a weapon, and that Alina needs to flee the Little Palace. Alina attempts this by climbing into the Crows' carriage. Mal escapes the palace and flees to the woods. Baghra is revealed to be Kirigan's mother and doesn't want him to find the Stag.|
|6||"The Heart Is an Arrow"||Mairzee Almas||Shelley Meals||April 23, 2021|
|Arken is captured and interrogated after the attempt to kidnap Alina backfires, and he is killed by Kirigan. Alina climbs from the carriage but the Crows are unable to catch her; she blinds Kaz and Jesper with her light, and Inej deliberately lets her go, beliving her to be a living Saint. Alina is recognised as Shu by some townsfolk and is chased into a forest, where she reunites with Mal and they both catch up. After learning about the Stag from Mal, Alina realises she must get to it before Kirigan, so she and Mal make their way North. The drüskelle ship sinks during a storm, and Nina is forced to work with one of the drüskelle, Matthias, in order to survive. As they travel together, they begin to bond.|
|7||"The Unsea"||Jeremy Webb||Christina Strain||April 23, 2021|
|Alina and Mal find the Stag. Instead of killing it, Alina shares a moment with the Stag, and plans to let it go, until Kirigan shows up and kills it himself. He injures Mal and orders David to graft parts of the Stag's antlers to Alina's collar, as well as a piece to his own hand. Kirigan shows Alina that he can now control her power and will take her to the Fold. He tells her he will heal Mal if she complies. At the campsite near the Fold, Genya reunites with Alina to get her ready for an event Kirigan is holding; he is going to take some nobles across the Fold and show them his and Alina's new found power. Alina realises that Genya was intercepting her and Mal's letters. Kaz, Inej and Jesper find a way of getting back through the Fold, after the train they took with Arken was blown up.|
|8||"No Mourners"||Jeremy Webb||Eric Heisserer & Daegan Fryklind||April 23, 2021|
In January 2019, it was announced that Netflix had given the production a series order for an eight-episode first season with Eric Heisserer as showrunner, creator, head-writer, and executive producer. The project falls under Netflix's deal with 21 Laps Entertainment with Shawn Levy executive producing. Leigh Bardugo, Pouya Shahbazian, Dan Levine, Dan Cohen, and Josh Barry acted as the executive producers as well. Author Leigh Bardugo and show creator Eric Heisserer discussed their expectations for future seasons of the series as well as potential spin-offs. In June 2021, the series was renewed for an 8-episode second season.
Casting began in April 2019 with calls for Alina. On October 2, 2019, it was announced Lee Toland Krieger would direct the pilot with Jessie Mei Li, Ben Barnes, Freddy Carter, Archie Renaux, Amita Suman, and Kit Young starring. Sujaya Dasgupta, Danielle Galligan, Daisy Head, and Simon Sears would also feature. The second round of casting was announced on December 18, 2019 with Calahan Skogman, Zoë Wanamaker, Kevin Eldon, Julian Kostov, Luke Pasqualino, Jasmine Blackborow, and Gabrielle Brooks in the recurring cast. Prominent book characters Nikolai Lantsov and Wylan Van Eck did not appear in the first season. The book series' author, Leigh Bardugo cameoed as a Materalki Durast in Episode 3.
Principal photography for the first season began on location in and around Budapest and Keszthely (Festetics Palace), Hungary in October 2019 and wrapped at the end of February 2020, with post-production following. Additional shoots took place in Vancouver. Bardugo reported through Twitter in June 2020 that working remotely in light of COVID-19 had slowed post-production down, rendering the release date less certain.
Joseph Trapanese is the composer for the series. Heisserer and Bardugo appeared on a panel at New York Comic Con in October 2020, during which they played some of the score. Executive producer Josh Barry reported on December 16, 2020 that the final sound mix was complete.
Trapanese wrote the score over 11 months. In an interview with AwardsDaily, he explained how he put it together in lockdown, between conducting an orchestra over Zoom and incorporating solo recordings. Russian and Slavic music provided the basis of the score's inspiration, Bardugo naming Sergei Prokofiev and folk songs as specific examples. In addition, elements from other musical traditions were used, such as gamelan.
Netflix released an announcement teaser in December 2020 followed by promotional stills through Entertainment Weekly as well as main character posters in January 2021. Bardugo, Heisserer, and the six main cast members appeared on a panel at the IGN Fan Fest in February 2021, during which a teaser trailer was released in addition to more stills. Netflix also posted a poster featuring the Shadow Fold the day before. The official trailer was released on March 30, 2021 by Netflix, after having been leaked previously.
Bardugo answered in a November 2019 interview with SensaCine that the series was expected to air in late 2020. The series was released on April 23, 2021 on Netflix. On April 24, 2021, Netflix released an aftershow for the series on the service, titled Shadow and Bone – The Afterparty.
Shadow and Bone has received positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 87% based on 68 reviews, with an average rating of 7.15 out of 10. The website's critics consensus reads, "From gorgeous costumes to impressive -- if intimidating -- world-building, Shadow and Bone is certainly as meticulous as its source material, but by folding in unexpected stories it expands the novel's scope to craft an exciting new adventure for fans and newcomers alike." Metacritic gave the series a weighted average score of 69 out of 100 based on 20 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Writing for Empire, Ben Travis gave the first season 3 out of 4 stars, saying, "Shadow And Bone remains compelling while tasking viewers with grasping the Grisha terminology for themselves, showing rather than telling", but noted similarities between the series and Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones and described some elements of the series as being "overly confusing". He concluded that "Shadow And Bone will draw you into the Fold with its absorbing world-building and engaging lead duo." Nicole Clark of IGN wrote that "the first season manages to capture much of the darker magic...while being unafraid to make smart changes to certain characters’ origin stories and even the sequence of events—even if the storylines from the two series of books don't always easily mesh." Molly Freeman of Screen Rant praised it as a "thrillingly exciting fantasy drama".
Writing for RogerEbert.com, Roxana Hadidi noted the series' use of clichés found in young adult fiction, adding: "Eric Heisserer’s adaptation transcends this familiarity thanks to the commitment of a pitch-perfect cast, well-stylized fight sequences, and intentional character development that makes these relationships feel nuanced and history-laden". She concluded: "Altogether, 'Shadow and Bone' maintains a sense of interior place for the characters dealing with plot developments as varied as mean girl dynamics, geopolitical posturing, and body horror, and the well-balanced nature of this first season makes for a promising introduction into this franchise's fantastical universe."
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