The good ol’ Grishaverse returns in Netflix’s “Shadow and Bone” season 2, an adaptation of author Leigh Bardugo’s young adult fantasy adventure novels. Starring Ben Barnes, Jessie Mei Li, Archie Renaux, Freddie Karter, Kit Young, Amita Suman, Danielle Galligan, and Calahan Skogman, among others, the series tells the story of a country divided by the Shadow Fold, a path of unnatural darkness that is home to gnarly, flesh-eating monsters. As Alina Starkov (Mei Li) discovers the once-dormant magic she possesses that makes her a Grisha, she endeavors to tear down the Fold — but it’s not easy when its creator is working equally hard to expand it.
In season 2, we meet many new characters, perhaps the most fascinating being Patrick Gibson’s Sturmhond/Nikolai Lantsov. The 27-year-old Irish actor nails the role; it’s like watching the character jump off the book’s pages and onto the screen. He’s charming, he’s persuasive, he’s a pirate — sorry, he prefers the term “privateer” (he has a license and everything). He’s a brilliant inventor, he can handle any weapon, he’s a terrific conversationalist, he’s smart as a whip, and he has a massive ego … but a strong heart. And secretly, he’s Ravkan royalty.
Sturmhond, Nikolai, Sturmhond
In Leigh Bardugo’s books, Sturmhond is an alias held by Nikolai Lantsov, the highly competent second son of the King of Ravka. He doesn’t have a direct line to the throne; it is rumored that Nikolai is a bastard, the son of Queen Tatiana Lantsov and a Fjerdan shipping magnate. Regardless of what his true parentage might be, Nikolai has no intention of sitting around while his country suffers. So, he safeguards its borders and uses a commoner’s identity to free himself from the eyes and ears of politics, so he may win the heart of his people.
Under the disguise of Sturmhond, Nikolai controls the sea to defend his homeland as best as he can. He forges alliances, and helps anyone who needs it, and brings Alina back where she belongs. He’s undoubtedly a fan-favorite character in the books who spits many whip-smart lines, gets what he wants, and does consistent good.
The New Tsar Of Ravka
This section contains spoilers for the “Shadow and Bone” season 2 finale.
In the Netflix series, Sturmhond’s true identity is revealed when his ship crashes into Ravka following Alina’s failed attempt to destroy the Shadow Fold. When the King’s army arrives to detain his companions and himself, Sturmhond strips out of his disguise, revealing his princely self, resulting in the army bending the knee. (He also gets punched in the face by Alina, who doesn’t have quite as much reverence for the young tsarevich. As Prince Nikolai, he explains to Alina that he hired the Crows (in season 1) to bring her back to safety. He believes she’s the best hope for the humanity that still exists in his country, and offers his help, resources, and even his name to help her take down the Fold.
Despite his seemingly carefree lifestyle, Nikolai trains and works harder than any other member of the royal family. He genuinely cares about his country and his people and is destined to lead them to their full potential. However, there are some significant challenges ahead for the new king of Ravka.
Besides the fact that “Tsar Nikolai” is a somewhat unfortunate name, the man formerly known as Sturmhond faces enemies both without and within. There are some in his own country who would challenge his rule, pushing the claims that he is not an illegitimate heir. And then there’s the ongoing war with Fjerda. Nikolai deliberately provokes the Fjerdans by holding his coronation on Hringkälla, a sacred day, and his guests pay for his arrogance with their lives when a Fjerdan assassin targets the event. He has the Sun Summoner on his side, but her powers have turned strange and dark. Oh, and then there’s the nichevo’ya-infected wound in Nikolai’s shoulder that might be turning him into a monster. His reign is definitely off to a rough start.
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The post Meet Shadow and Bone Season 2’s Dashing Privateer, Sturmhond, And His Secret Identity appeared first on /Film.
/Film – Meet Shadow And Bone Season 2’s Dashing Privateer, Sturmhond, And His Secret Identity
Author: Fatemeh Mirjalili
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March 17, 2023