Alright my friends, I’m just going to come right out and say it. Unfortunately, despite our excitement and anticipation for Shadow and Bone season 2, it didn’t really live up to the expectation. I’ve never read the books and came in to this story as a show-only fan and I didn’t enjoy it. So I can’t imagine how the book readers felt watching season 2.
For some reason, the creative team behind the fantasy series decided to change many elements and storylines from the books. And while I’m all for shows creating their own spin on things—it is an adaptation after all—there’s certain elements and stories that you don’t want to mess with too much. You need to be smart about it and frankly, I don’t think the writing team was.
But we’re not here to bash on season 2. Because despite all of that, I still do think Shadow and Bone deserved a third season instead of being canceled. And here’s why:
- There’s so many unanswered questions and loose ends left
- The unresolved love stories we were pining for
- The loss of a unique story in the fantasy genre world
Ok, so let’s dive in! Read on below as we break down the three main reasons why we think Shadow and Bone season 3 should have happened.
Unanswered questions and loose ends from Shadow and Bone season 2
I’m sure the plan for the writers wasn’t to end after two seasons, especially given how successful and popular the first season of the intriguing series became. Plus, we were left with too many cliffhangers. Unfortunately when a series gets canceled prematurely, that means we’re left with unanswered questions, loose ends, and more story to tell.
Even though the big bad Kirigan was killed once and for all (we think), we were still left with many cliffhangers. After killing Mal to get rid of the Fold, Alina decides to use Merzost to resurrect her friend and love – despite Bagra’s warning against doing so. And now that he has a second chance at life, Mal decides to become a privateer and travels aboard the flying ship with Inej, Tamar, Tolya, and Nadia. Um, I did not ask for Alina and Mal to get separated after everything they’ve been through!
Of course using something so powerful brings consequences. Apparently there’s a drug called jurda parem that enhances a Grisha’s powers. At Nikolai and Alina’s coronation ceremony, a Heartrender attempts an assassination. While you’d think there’s finally going to be peace in the land now that the Fold and Kirigan are gone, the series hints that’s not the case.
To stop the Heartrender, Alina uses Shadow powers to kill her, and then gives a pretty evil smile before the episode cuts to black. What’s going to happen to Alina? Is she the next Kirigan? Will she be able to control these powers? Will Mal come back to help her get rid of them? So many unanswered questions people! It would have been really interesting to see Alina slowly succumb to the darker powers and how that would affect her.
Plus, there was also a loose end with Prince Nikolai. His wound from the big fight against the Darkling’s monsters hasn’t healed, and he’s now getting visions of one of the creatures. What does that even mean?
Cr. Timea Saghy/Netflix © 2022
Cr. ATTILA SZVACSEK/NETFLIX © 2021
Unresolved love stories
The amount of unresolved love stories left in the wake of the fantasy’s cancellation just breaks a shipper’s heart. Alina and Mal separate with him deciding to leave and travel. Plus, she’s still pretending to be engaged to Nikolai. Where were her relationships going to end up? Does she eventually fall for the prince? Does she wait for Mal to return? Or maybe she just ends up alone. We’ll never know!
The one that really stings for me is my fave couple Nina and Matthias. Though she gets a royal pardon for him to be released from Hellgate, Pekka Rollins ignores it. When Nina tried to see Matthias before, he was cold to her after she betrayed him. But that time when she came to seemingly save him, their eyes locked and he looked at her with some warmth again. Ugh. I ship these two so hard and really wanted to seem them reunite and know where they could have gone next.
One couple that slightly turned up the heat a bit this season and got a little closer to where we wanted them was Kaz and Inej. But unfortunately like the other love stories, this one also was cut short and the two are now separated. We deserved to see them together after all the pining! With Inej on the Flying Ship, Kaz and the rest of the Crows are hired for a new job – smuggling jurda parem.
A unique story in the fantasy genre
Overall even though Shadow and Bone season 2’s story kind of dragged at times, was repetitive in instances, and seemed like a bit of a mess overall, the story of the show overall is unique and quite enjoyable to when it comes to the fantasy genre. In a time where there’s so many prequels, sequels, and spin-offs, it truly doesn’t feel like there’s any fresh ideas being produced anymore.
Shadow and Bone was like a breath of fresh air for avid TV lovers like me. As a fantasy series fan, it really stood out compared to other shows within the genre. Its characters are ones you root for or love to hate, and they have more depth to them. Even the not so nice guys. It’s truly a shame that the creative team didn’t adapt the second season better or that Netflix didn’t want to give the show one more chance.
I’m guessing a big part of the reasoning behind the cancellation is that there’s a lot of CGI elements in the fantasy series – which is not cheap to do. Add that with the lower number of viewers, and Netflix had to make that choice. It’s also a shame we never got the Six of Crows spin-off, as that particular group’s characters and adventures are a thrill to watch!
What’s difficult about this situation too is that the show really departed from the novels. So we can’t really turn to the books to find all of the answers. Perhaps the series was going to wrap up the characters’ stories differently in the television adaptation. We don’t really even have the novels for closure.
While it’s understandable why Netflix decided to cancel Shadow and Bone, I do think it was a mistake. There are enough loyal fans – booth book readers and show-only ones – who would have given the third season a shot. I certainly would have! We deserved to get a conclusion to the uncompleted story, and the fantasy series was good and unique enough that it deserved a second chance.
Shadow and Bone is streaming on Netflix.