Note: This article contains major spoilers for “Shadow and Bone” season 2 and Leigh Bardugo’s novel “Ruin and Rising.”
The very premise of Netflix’s “Shadow and Bone” series is the fight between good and evil, i.e. the Sun Summoner Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) and the Shadow Summoner General Kirigan/The Darkling/Aleksander Morozova (Ben Barnes). In the small screen adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse novels, the once-great country of Ravka has been torn into two by a swath of impenetrable darkness, and Alina must save the people from the Darkling, a malevolent figure who plans to use her power and harness it while enslaving everyone with total darkness (save for those who give in to him “willingly”).
At the end of season 1, we see Alina move closer to realizing her full potential as the Sun Summoner when she channels the power of the stag amplifier fused to her body, throwing Kirigan into the Shadow Fold in an act that seems to kill him … until he re-emerges from the Fold, scarred (in more ways than one) but alive. In the season 2 finale, Kirigan meets a similar fate, but is his second demise truly the end for the character?
Did Kirigan Really Die?
In short, the answer is nope.
We do know that The Darkling is greatly affected by the new shadow monsters he keeps around him for company in season 2. Fans of the original Grishaverse novels may already know them as “Nichevo’ya,” the Ravkan word for “nothing,” chosen by Kirigan to inspire fear in his enemies. He uses “merzost” to conjure them, which is a type of magic widely considered an abomination by the Grisha.
However, the dark magic Kirigan taps into takes a toll on his health, leaving him with excruciating pain and constant torment. He’s haunted by his own creations, in other words, and we see him struggle quite a bit in season 2, desperate to get help. Although it initially appears he can control these monsters, the season 2 finale reveals he ultimately has about as much control over them as he does over Alina — which is to say, none.
Kirigan Is Dead (For Now)
During his climactic season 2 battle with Alina at the Shadow Fold, Kirigan launches the Cut at Mal — a move that forms his shadowy darkness into blades and essentially does what it sounds like it does: cut its receiver into many halves. Fortunately, Alina launches a successful counter-attack of her own, conjuring her light as the Sun Summoner and wounding The Darkling.
The Darkling might be a tad bit obsessed with the lessons he’s learned over centuries, but he never actually learns from his mistakes. Wounded, he attempts to persuade Alina to join him, and in return, is stabbed by her sword and burned in a pyre by her friends. So, is he dead? For the time being, as he remains at the end of Leigh Bardugo’s second “Shadow and Bone” book, “Siege and Storm.” Although, thanks to Bardugo’s novels, we also know the Darkling can be brought to life in many ways, and he’s a lot more powerful than those who know him give him credit for. Indeed, he’s perhaps the most powerful Grisha that ever lived — and he’s not going down for good without a proper fight.
In fact, in “Ruin and Rising,” Bardugo’s final novel in the trilogy, it is revealed that the Darkling’s body may have burned, yet his spirit managed to escape and take control of a different person’s body. Should “Shadow and Bone” return for a third season (and we hope it does!), we’ll surely see more of The Darkling’s misadventures (or should I call them mistakes?) and his final showdown with Alina. For now, though, Alina has some time to prepare.
“Shadow and Bone” season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.
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The post Shadow and Bone S2: [REDACTED]’s Demise Might Not Be The End For The Character appeared first on /Film.
/Film – Shadow And Bone S2: [REDACTED]’s Demise Might Not Be The End For The Character
Author: Fatemeh Mirjalili
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March 17, 2023