Shadow and Bone season 2: everything we know so far

Jessie Mei Li and Ben Barnes as Alina Starkov and General Kirigan, who return in Shadow and Bone season 2
Alina Starkov and General Kirigan will return in Shadow and Bone season 2. (Image credit: Netflix)
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Shadow and Bone season 2: key info

- No official release date yet
- Second season coming in 2023
- First teaser full of fantasy-based action and drama
- Key characters returning from first season
- Fan favorite characters set to be introduced
- May be based on three books in the fantasy series
- Unclear if a third season will be greenlit

Shadow and Bone season 2 won't be a stranger for much longer. The next entry in the fantasy Netflix series will be with us sometime in 2023. And, given production wrapped in June and a teaser was released in September, we're confident it'll be sooner rather than later.

For now, there's lots of news for you to catch up on concerning one of the best Netflix shows we've seen. Below, you'll find plenty of information about Shadow and Bone's second season on Netflix, including its likely launch date. We also provide more details on its cast, the aforementioned teaser trailer, plot specifics, and what the future holds for the TV adaptation.

Full spoilers are incoming for Shadow and Bone season 1, while possible spoilers follow for its sophomore season. Proceed at your own risk.

Shadow and Bone season 2 release date

The Crows – Jesper, Inej and Kaz – as seen in Shadow and Bone season 1

The Crows will be back for more heist business in Shadow and Bone season 2. (Image credit: Netflix/David Appleby)

Shadow and Bone season 2 has no release date yet, but Netflix says it's coming in 2023. So, when will that be? The show's next entry is likely in the final throes of its post-production phase, so we're hopeful it'll be in the can ahead of the 2022 holiday season.

Our guess? A release date announcement and official trailer will drop in early 2023. If we're correct – Netflix usually releases full teasers for its shows and movies around a month before they launch – we may see Shadow and Bone season 2 around February or March 2023.

Shadow and Bone season 2 trailer

Netflix debuted the first teaser for Shadow and Bone season 2 in September at Tudum 2022.

The 40-second trailer doesn't give much away, but it hints at how the series' second season will build on the fantasy-based action and drama from its predecessor. We see the Crows joining forces with Jack Wolfe's Wylan Hendriks, Jessie Mei Li's Alina Starkov engaging in conversation with Patrick Gibson's Nikolai Lantsov, multiple explosions, chase sequences, and Ben Barnes' General Kirigan asking someone what they'll give up to pursue their wildest ambitions. Sounds and looks ominous.

Netflix also released a 25-second video of Gibson's Nikolai, Wolfe's Qylan, Lewis Tan's Tolya Yul-Battar, and Anna Leong Brophy's Tamar Kir-Battar in their official costumes:

Shadow and Bone season 2 cast

Alina Starkov and General Kirigan during Shadow and Bone season 1

Shadow and Bone season 2 will see the return of key characters. (Image credit: Netflix/David Appleby)

Here's Shadow and Bone season 2's confirmed character list in full:

  • Jessie Mei Li as Alina Starkov 
  • Ben Barnes as General Kirigan/the Darkling 
  • Archie Renaux as Malyen “Mal” Oretsov 
  • Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker 
  • Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa 
  • Kit Young as Jesper Fahey 
  • Danielle Gilligan as Nina Zenik 
  • Calahan Skogman as Matthias Helvar 
  • Sujaya Dasgupta as Zoya Nazyalensky 
  • Julian Kostov as Fedyor
  • Patrick Gibson as Nikolai Lantsov
  • Jack Wolfe as Wylan Hendriks
  • Lewis Tan as Tolya Yul-Battar
  • Anna Leong Brophy as Tamar Kir-Battar
  • Daisy Head as Genya Safin
  • Zoe Wanamaker as Baghra

Shadow and Bone’s protagonists Alina Starkov and Mal Oretsov will return, while the antagonistic General Kirigan – who survived the attack in the Shadow Fold in the season 1 finale – is also back.

Kaz Brekker, Jesper Fahey, and Inej Ghafa are also part of the season 2 line-up. As in the Six of Crows duology, the Dregs’ story (more on this below) will line up with Nina Zenik and Matthias Helvar, so we should see that trio link up with the latter duo. This was hinted at in season 1’s final episode, so expect them to join forces like they do in the novels. Danielle Gilligan and Calahan Skogman have been bumped up to series regulars (per TVLine (opens in new tab)), so this storyline seems like a given at this point.

Spoilers follow for Shadow and Bone's novel series and potential season 2 plot details.

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As for characters who have also made the leap from Bardugo’s book series to the live-action TV series, Wylan Hendriks (whose surname has been changed from 'Van Eck' for the TV show) is one of four new confirmed cast members.

In the novels, Wylan Van Eck joins the Crows as their demolitions expert for a job inside Fjerdan’s military stronghold known as the Ice Court. Jack Wolfe (Inside No. 9, The Witcher) will portray Wylan in Shadow and Bone season 2.

Another fan favorite character set to appear in season 2 is Nikolai Lantsov, who is portrayed by Patrick Gibson (Tolkien, The Darkest Minds). In the books, Nikolai adopts the pseudonym Sturmhond and leads a pirate armada that aids the war effort for the kingdom of Ravka. Nikolai becomes a key ally of Alina and Mal’s, so his arrival in Netflix’s adaptation will be vital if the TV show follows Siege and Storm’s storyline this season.

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The final two newcomers – for now, at least – are twin siblings Tolya Yul-Battar and Tamar Kir-Battar, who'll be played by Lewis Tan (Mortal Kombat) and Anna Leong Brophy (Traces) respectively.

In the novels, Tolya is a Grisha Heartrender and a member of Sturmhond's pirate crew. Meanwhile, Tamar is also a Heartrender, but an ex-member of Sturmhond's team. The pair also meet up with Zoya in one of Shadow and Bone's spin-off novels, so expect elements of this book's story to be incorporated into this season's plot.

There had been no word on whether Zoe Wanamaker's Baghra would return. However, an Instagram post from lead actress Jessie Mei Li (opens in new tab), which contains an image of Wanamaker, all but confirms her return. Daisy Head, who played the Queen's tailor in season 1, has also been upgraded to a series regular for the show's second installment (per TVLine (opens in new tab)).

Lastly, a Witcher fansite called Redanian Intelligence (opens in new tab) claims five other actors have been added to the season 2 cast:

  • Tommy Rodger (Goodbye Christopher Robin) as Jordie Rietveld, Kaz's older brother
  • Rhoda Ofori-Attah (Sex Education, Top Boy) as Aditi Hilli, Jesper's mom
  • Newcomer Alistair Nwachukwu as Adrik Zhaban, Nadia's brother
  • Newcomer Tumi Fani-Kayode as Miradi, an original character
  • Seamus O'Hara (The Northman) as Halsov, an original character

Shadow and Bone season 2 story

Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) and Mal Oretsov (Archie Renaux) share a tender moment in Shadow and Bone season 1

Alina and Mal are back together in Shadow and Bone season 2. (Image credit: Netflix)

Spoilers follow for Shadow and Bone season 1 and the book series.

Shadow and Bone season 2 is likely to follow stories from Siege and Storm, Six of Crows, and King of Scars. That's based on those returning cast members, new additions to the show's line-up, and what the season 1 finale set up.

With Alina and Mal going their separate ways to the Dregs following season 1’s finale, the second season will continue their journey to new lands to keep Alina out of Kirigan’s reach. That means they're sure to bump into Nikolai at some point, but we'll discuss him in a bit.

As season 1’s final entry revealed, Kirigan has tapped further into his Darkling powers and created new Fold creatures known as Nichevo’ya. Unlike the Volcra that inhabit the Fold, these monsters can move in broad daylight. Expect them to be difficult adversaries for Alina and Mal to overcome.

Ben Barnes, who portrays Kirigan/the Darkling in Netflix’s TV show, has expressed interest in seeing season 2 “steer off” from the story in the books (per Collider (opens in new tab)) in a similar vein to how season 1 incorporated the Dregs into Alina’s arc. It’s unclear if Shadow and Bone season 2 will do so, but it would be an intriguing twist on the source material if it did. It would give established fans some new content to enjoy, although some may not agree with the show's potential divergence from the novels if it does.

In another Collider (opens in new tab) interview, Barnes elaborated on what we'll see from General Kirigan's season 2 character arc, saying: "What I was championing was finding the humanity. He’s quite emblematic of something dark and evil in the books, after the first one, so my mission was to make sure that he’s a real person, suffering the things he’s suffering and committing the sins that he’s committing.

"There are the real world ramifications of those things, and the relationships, how they’re made and how they’re broken, whether they can be salvaged, what new connections he can forge to help him along his journey, whilst also representing and not shying away from the fact that this is the villain. Which parts of what he does are comprehensible? Which parts can you not condone?"

The Dregs, meanwhile, are likely to team up with Nina in a bid to free Matthias, before the quintet and Wylan join forces to rescue someone known as Bo Yul-Bayur. The Shu chemist and Fabrikator is the inventor of a drug that Grisha find addictive but, in Siege and Storm, he's being held captive at Fjerda’s Ice Court. Shadow and Bone season 1 has already utilized the Ice Court’s ‘impossible heist’ angle for the Dregs’ initial mission to try and capture Alina, though, so it’s possible that Bo’s rescue may be altered for the TV series.

Based on season 2's rumored supporting characters, we might see flashbacks to Kaz's and Jesper's childhoods. It's that or we'll get a glimpse into their familial lifestyle with the arrival of Jordie and Aditi.

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Another adapted story from a Grishaverse novel – King of Scars – could follow Zoya. A supporting character in the Grisha trilogy, Zoya’s character is given a more prominent role in Bardugo’s second duology and elements of the story from these books may be incorporated into the TV show, as Bardugo teased in an interview with Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab).

In the season 1 finale, Zoya was seen heading to Novokribrisk – the city that Kirigan destroys with the Fold – to search for her family. Should she find that they’ve perished, Zoya could team up with the Dregs again, as she does in the Six of Crows’ Crooked Kingdom novel. Alternatively, given that Tamar and Tolya cross paths with Zoya in King of Scars, and their inclusion in Shadow and Bone season 2, we may see a team up between this trio.

The addition of Lantsov will see his arc from Siege and Storm form a key component of the show's second season. In the novels, Lantsov – the former king of Ravka, who masquerades as a pirate leader known as Sturmhond – is hired by the Darkling to transport him through the True Sea in order to track down a mythical dragon known as the Rusalye. Lantsov, though, eventually teams up with Alina and Mal, and fights alongside the duo to stop the Darkling from exacting his master plan. Expect Lantsov's origin story and some of his Siege and Storm character arc to be used in the TV show.

Meanwhile, we'll be visiting a new, fan favorite location in Shadow and Bone season 2: Hellgate, a Kerch prison located on the small island of Terrenjel outside of Ketterdam. Fans should be able to put two and two together to work out why it will be. But, to help you figure it out, actors Danielle Gilligan and Calahan Skogman have described Hellgate as a place where you "can't unsee" things. Make of that what you will.

Finally, we know how many episodes there'll be. Per The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab), Shadow and Bone will return with another eight-episode run – good news for those of us who enjoyed what was on offer last time around.

Will Shadow and Bone get more seasons?

Members of General Kirigan's Grisha army as seen in Shadow and Bone season 1

We'll see more Grisha in Shadow and Bone season 2. (Image credit: Netflix)

It should do, although much will depend on whether fans tune into Shadow and Bone season 2. 

While it doesn't have a following as big as other major fantasy franchises, the Grishaverse still has a sizable and passionate audience. Its fanbase is likely to have grown, too, with Netflix's adaptation introduces the series to new audiences.

There are numerous directions that Netflix's adaptation of the Grishaverse can go in as well. Like the streamer's growing Witcher-Verse, Shadow and Bone could potentially lead to spin-offs that delve into the wider universe and be based on Bardugo's sizable source material. Whether it's expanding on a pre-existing short story or creating entirely new content, Netflix can go in all manner of directions in and around Shadow and Bone season 2. 

And, if it continues to be a success, future seasons and spin-offs may be put into production by Netflix, too. The streaming giant has shown it'll put faith in projects that deliver huge viewing figures, so Shadow and Bone's future may be bright if its second season draws in a large audience again.

For more Shadow and Bone-based content, check out these five epic fantasy shows before the series' second season is with us.

Tom Power
Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

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