plot twists

An Exhaustive List of Shadow and Bone’s Biggest Season-Two Reveals


Welcome back to the Grishaverse, my little crows! Season two of Netflix’s Shadow and Bone finds Sun Summoner Alina Starkov on the run as she figures out how to bring down the Shadow Fold in Ravka, while her newest allies, the Crows, return to Ketterdam to get up to what they do best — wearing hats on a tilt and thievery!

This season, the Crows pull off some of their biggest ruses yet, and perhaps not so surprisingly, so does the series. Any Crow worth their weight knows the power of a well-deployed surprise, a flashy reveal, and a I-did-not-see-that-coming twist, and Shadow and Bone knows it too. Season two of the fantasy series is littered with them: Secret identities, secret relatives, latent powers, plot twists, surprising emotional character turns, and good old-fashioned reveals that push the story forward. A lot is going on throughout eight episodes! In case you can’t keep track of them all or would like to navigate those surprises with a friend, we’ve got all the most important ones laid out here for you in this handy guide. Good luck on this journey — no mourners, no funerals, right?

Warning: Deep spoilers for Shadow and Bone season two lie ahead.

Episode One: “No Shelter But Me”

Having to flee is hot, okay? Photo: /DÁVID LUKÁCS/NETFLIX

Alina’s dreams about Kirigan and the Fold aren’t just dreams … they’re really happening.
Shadow and Bone season two gets right into this reveal within the first five minutes, thanks to some Ravkan refugees Alina and Mal run into during their escape to Novyi Zem. It’s for a good reason: The fact that Alina isn’t just having nightmares about Kirigan expanding the Fold in Ravka, but that he’s actually doing it (1) adds some urgency to Alina figuring out how to stop him and (2) sets up the fact that Alina and Kirigan are connected somehow, which is a huge theme throughout the season. Light and dark, baby, they come as a pair!

It was Sturmhond, the privateer, who actually hired the Crows to kidnap Alina in season one.
If you haven’t read the books, you’re probably like, Who the hell is Sturmhond, and why do I care? Sorry to this man. But trust me, this little reveal is much bigger than just, “Oh, the Crows thought they were hired by that Dreesen dude with the standout mustache, but it was actually someone else.” Sturmhond is a major player, but for now, just know that this pirate (okay, okay, privateer) is looking to track down the Sun Summoner now that she’s got some major bounties on her head since people assume she’s in cahoots with Kirigan.

Jesper is a Durast!
The bestest boy in all the Grishaverse has been hiding that he’s Grisha all this time! If, in season one, you wondered how Jesper was that good with a gun and also fixed Kaz’s cane with no tools, now you have your answer: He can manipulate metals and other materials with his hands. No wonder when he shoots, my man never misses!

Kaz knows Pekka Rollins from his childhood!
We only get a brief flashback here in the first episode, but it’s enough to begin to unfurl Kaz’s secret origin story, letting us know that Kaz’s tragic past is tied to his childhood encounter with Pekka Rollins — now the most powerful man in the Barrel who has taken over Kaz’s Crow Club and framed him for murder.

Kaz blows up the Crow Club!
Not even the other four Crows — welcome to our favorite Heartrender, Nina, and newbie demolitions expert Wylan — see this move coming. When Kaz blows up the thing that means the most to him in this world as a way to hurt Pekka, he’s declaring war. Also, it allows him to say a supercool line in a supercool way: “The Barrel doesn’t belong to kings, it belongs to bastards.” Indeed!

Alina and Mal walk directly onto a ship … that belongs to Sturmhond. 
Now that Alina and Mal are the Grishaverse’s Most Wanted Couple (in terms of being fugitives and being superhot), they need to flee Novyi Zem to avoid getting captured by the First Army. Little do they know that our resourceful privateer set it up so that his would be the only boat left for them to get on. Good thing he’s actually kind of nice and up for a little amplifier hunting to bring down the Fold instead of just, you know, turning them over to the highest bidder.

Episode Two: “Rusalye”

Can you believe these two? Photo: COURTESY OF NETFLIX

Kirigan’s shadow monsters are actually hurting him.
Now, you may think it would be cool to have giant shadow monsters as bodyguards, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Kirigan used merzost to create those monsters, or nichevo’ya (Ravkan for “nothing”), and while the series might take a while to explain merzost, I won’t be so coy: It’s creating something out of nothing, or using magic, which is an abomination in the world of Grisha. There is always a cost when a Grisha uses merzost, and for Kirigan, that cost is splitting headaches, coughing up black blood, and volcra scars across his face that not even Genya can fix. He’s dying from the inside out. Also, those monsters are growing more powerful and less controllable by the day, so that’s fun and cool and not alarming.

Jesper and Wylan had a one-night stand!
Oh, I laughed and laughed when Jesper only remembers he and Wylan slept together before once he is physically on top of him under a wagon while avoiding gunfire when Pekka Rollins ambushes the Crows. What a funny, perfect way to kick off this love story.

Kirigan and Alina’s connection is because of the stag fragments left in his hand.
When David built a bridge to allow Kirigan control of Alina’s amplified power by embedding part of Morozova’s stag in Kirigan’s hand, he did not realize how great of a job he did! While most of that bridge was destroyed in Alina and Kirigan’s last run-in, stag bone fragments remain, thus Kirigan and Alina’s ability to project themselves into each other’s minds.

Episode Three: “Like Calls to Like”

Kaz and Pekka have a complicated history. Photo: /DÁVID LUKÁCS/NETFLIX

That boat flies?!
Surprise! Sturmhond’s boat also flies! Right into the Fold!

Sturmhond is actually … Prince Nikolai of Ravka!
Surprise! Sturmhond is the lost Prince Nikolai of Ravka. This information comes in handy once Alina fails to destroy the Fold with two amplifiers and the boat/plane crashes on Ravkan soil.

Kaz blames Pekka for his brother’s death.
We learn that Pekka scammed Jordie out of his and Kaz’s life savings, sending them into the streets of Ketterdam, where they caught fire pox, Jordie died, and Kaz spent some time floating on a barge full of dead, plague-ridden bodies — in case you were wondering what Kaz’s whole deal is.

Kirigan cuts his mother’s finger off to see if her bones will amplify Grisha!
I did not see this coming! But Mommy’s Little Psycho is right — Baghra’s bones are very powerful.

Nikolai proposes to Alina … and she accepts.
Don’t fret, Malina shippers, he merely proposes as a way to protect the Sun Summoner from other governments who want her dead and to help firm up Grisha and non-Grisha relations, since there’s a lot of anti-Grisha sentiment growing, mostly thanks to Nikolai’s dumb brother, Prince Vasily. At least, that’s what Nikolai says. What he feels is perhaps a different story.

Episode Four: “Every Monstrous Thing”

Wedding Crashers (Shadow Monster Edition). Photo: COURTESY OF NETFLIX

Pekka gets on his knees for Kaz.
Kaz enacts his big plan for revenge on Pekka Rollins with an assist from his Crows. He fakes a fire-pox outbreak at all of Pekka’s establishments, and when that barely makes Pekka flinch, he delivers a whopper: Kaz has buried Pekka’s son, Alby, alive and won’t give up his location until Pekka begs for forgiveness over what he did to Jordie, confesses to the murders he was trying to pin on the Crows, and releases Inej from the Menagerie. Pekka gets on his knees and does exactly what Kaz asks in front of all of his minions, immediately losing any power and credibility he had and making Kaz Brekker the king — sorry, bastard of the Barrel.

Oopsie, Kaz was just kidding about that whole “buried your son alive” thing!
Kaz is coldhearted, but he isn’t a complete monster! Or is he? You can never tell with that guy! Anyway, Pekka realizes he’s been tricked just as he’s hauled off to Hellgate Prison.

There’s a surprise guest at Nikolai and Alina’s engagement party!
The surprise guest: Nichevo’ya, who, as shadow monsters are wont to do, destroys everything, kills the already sickly King of Ravka, and then tears Prince Vasily in two. Kirigan shows up to plead with Alina to join him one last time on his quest for power over … the world, I guess? She declines, naturally. Bring a better engagement gift next time, dude.

Episode Five: “Yuyeh Sesh (Despise Your Heart)”

This is the face of a woman who is going to poison the hell out of you. Photo: COURTESY OF NETFLIX

It’s a trap!!
Alina, Mal, and Nikolai task the Crows with tracking down the Neshyenyer, an ancient sword created by a Grisha Durast named Sankta Neyar to kill an “unkillable army,” believing this sword to be the only thing that can stop the Nichevo’ya. They head to Shu Han to steal it from a thief named the Disciple, by first meeting with the Disciple’s fence, Ohval. Immediately, Kaz starts to question if Ohval actually is the Disciple, and it certainly seems like he’s onto something when the Crows infiltrate Ohval’s house only to be trapped in a room quickly filling with poison! Always trust your gut, Kaz!

Episode Six: “Ni Weh Sesh (I Have No Heart)”

Mal is the Firebird! I repeat: MAL IS THE FIREBIRD! Photo: /DÁVID LUKÁCS/NETFLIX

That poison reveals some major truths!
Jesper hides being Grisha because his mother died using her Grisha powers to save a young girl, and it destroyed him! All Injej wants is for Kaz to rip off those leather gloves and tell her he wants her! Deep inside, Kaz knows that his need to avenge his brother is killing him and that Inej is the only one who can save him! Obviously, I hate that poison for almost killing everyone, but also, I love that poison for getting into some messy emotional drama.

Baghra is Morozova’s daughter. 
That ancient Grisha who used merzost to create the three mythical amplifiers — the stag, the Sea Whip, and the Firebird — yeah, that guy is Baghra’s father. She takes Mal and Alina to his workshop to look for info on the Firebird’s location and reveals that when she was younger, she used the Cut to kill her non-Grisha sister in a fit of rage and jealousy. Bereft, Morozova used merzost to bring her back, thus turning his younger daughter into the third amplifier. Baghra’s sister, resurrected from the dead, was the Firebird. It’s like a whole “phoenix rising from the ashes” type thing — you get it.

Baghra’s sister passed on her amplifying power down through her descendants, landing all the way to a little orphan named Malyen Oretsev. Mal! Is! The third amplifier! It’s why he could somehow always find Alina, no matter where she was. It’s why he could track down the other two amplifiers so easily and yet could never find the Firebird. It is Shadow and Bone’s biggest twist! And yes, if you’re paying attention, that means you’ve already deduced the tragedy inherent in this: For Alina to wield the power of the third amplifier, the only way she can bring down the Fold, she will have to kill Mal. Rip out our hearts, why don’t ya!

Ohval isn’t the Disciple — she’s Sankta Neyar!
Thanks to Wylan’s quick thinking, the Crows are saved from the poison and enter into a battle for the ages against Ohval. They realize she’s a ridiculously powerful Durast Grisha, and she is literally using the metal in their blood to try and kill them. It’s wild! But she’s not just any Durast; she’s Sankta Neyar, the Durast who built the Neshyenyer 400 years ago. The Disciple is her now-senile husband whom she’s trying to protect (hence the roomful of poison). The Crows explain the dire situation they’re in and why the sword would help them, and she gives them a big speech about how letting love in is the most powerful thing in the world, and it’s not pointed at Kaz, but, like it’s sort of pointed at Kaz. Anyway, Neyar is cool as hell, and she gives them the sword if they promise to return it later.

Baghra cuts off her son’s hand, and then the Nichevo’ya kill her!
Man, Baghra is not messing around with her megalomaniac son anymore! She is also able to enter the connection projection between Alina and Kirigan, she gets Alina out of there, she cuts off Kirigan’s hand to permanently sever that connection, and then the Nichevo’ya get her. Baghra dies in her son’s arms. For what it’s worth, he does seem pretty torn up about it. But he also then goes and grinds up her bones to use as amplifiers, so maybe he’s not that torn up about it.

Episode Seven: “Meet Me in the Meadow”

We knew they’d come in with the last-minute save. Photo: /DÁVID LUKÁCS/ NETFLIX

The Crows arrive at the exact right moment to help Alina and friends.
This isn’t a huge surprise — you always knew the Crows would come through. It is still pretty great to see Inej come in with a last-minute save and use the sword to kill a shadow monster and save Alina’s life. And you know Nikolai and his crew would’ve never defeated the now Baghra-amplified Grisha without Jesper, Wylan, and Kaz’s last-minute assist.

David sacrifices himself to save Genya!
Mostly this move is surprising because I don’t think it was necessary. David definitely could’ve also escaped the Nichevo’ya with Genya, but the guy wanted to make a grand gesture, it seems. RIP, you little weirdo!

Alina can do the Cut!
And she puts her own little Sun Summoner flair on it! It’s all she’s ever wanted (since learning she was a Grisha a few months ago). Unfortunately, while she may have wounded Kirigan with the Cut in the Fold, his Cut has mortally wounded Mal, so they’ll have to celebrate later.

Episode Eight: “No Funerals”

World saved? ✅ Crush sufficiently rejected? ✅ It’s pirate time, baby. Photo: /DÁVID LUKÁCS/NETFLIX

Alina kills Mal! And they destroy the Fold!!
You read that right. Okay, so, technically Mal is already dying, and technically he tells her to do it, and technically he also holds the knife she plunges into his chest, but she still kills him! And it’s awful and tragic, and the weight of that sacrifice allows Alina to harness enough power to finally Tear! Down! That! Fold! And then, on top of that, she goes and kills Kirigan. This was always coming, but, like, Alina is being super-productive in her rage, and we love that journey for her.

Alina secretly uses merzost to resurrect Mal!
The one thing she was warned by pretty much everyone not to do!

Kaz utters words I never thought we’d hear from him.
Kaz asks Inej to stay in Ketterdam with him and says the phrase “I want you” to her! Directly! This is huge! I mean, he still can’t take his gloves off and actually touch her, and because of that, Inej rejects him. Still, this is progress!

Mal decides the pirate life is the life for him.
Mal can never be fucking happy, can he? He doesn’t know about the merzost thing — only Nina saw it — but he knows he feels different now. He’s lost his purpose, and he doesn’t trust that he and Alina were meant for each other. (He’s got a real problem with destiny over choice.) Nikolai gives him the Sturmhond coat, the Sturmhond boat, and the Sturmhond name to go off and have adventures. He also gets Nikolai’s crew with a fun new addition: Inej.

Nikolai has the shadow monsters inside of him!!!
During the final battle, as Alina finished off Kirigan, Nikolai was being attacked by one of his shadow monsters. When Kirigan died, the shadow monsters disappeared … or so we thought. It turns out the shadow monster attacking Nikolai went inside of him, and it is still very much with him weeks later on his coronation day.

The Ravkan coronation ceremony is a bloody good time (you’ll get this joke in a second).
Oh wow, okay, Fjerda infiltrates Nikolai’s coronation with a Grisha high off her mind on jurda parem, a drug that amplifies a Grisha’s power 10,000 times more than an amplifier ever could (it also leaves the Grisha so addicted to it that they eventually die, but that is for another time!), and she starts slowly killing everyone in the room from the inside out. People are puking up blood everywhere and dying right there in the aisle. It is terrifying! And also disgusting!

Alina might be consumed by darkness now?!
There is a cost to using merzost, people. It’s pretty much the one thing they clarify about merzost. The cost Alina will pay seems to become known at the end of the finale. Alina summons the Cut to stop the Grisha’s coronation murder spree, only this time, when she uses the Cut, it’s made from shadow — just like Kirigan’s. While that’s troubling, what’s worse is the look on her face after she does it — she gives us a tiny little smile pointing to her enjoying how that level of power feels. This seems very bad!!

An Exhaustive List of Shadow and Bone’s Biggest S2 Reveals