'Shadow and Bone': A Grishaverse Fan's Guide to All the Season 2 Changes

Netflix's critically acclaimed series Shadow and Bone is back for its second season, and it continues to provide a fresh take on Leigh Bardugo's bestselling "Grishaverse" novels.

The Grishaverse is the collective title given to Bardugo's books, which at present is comprised of the Shadow and Bone trilogy, the Six of Crows duology, the King of Scars duology, and several short stories, all of which this Newsweek reporter has read and enjoyed multiple times.

The Netflix series follows Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), a Grisha who is able to summon sunlight and is determined to tear down the Shadow Fold that General Kirigan, aka the Darkling (Ben Barnes), unleashed on Ravka centuries earlier.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Shadow and Bone Season 2 and Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse novels.

'Shadow and Bone': A Grishaverse Fan's Guide to All the Season 2 Changes

Shadow and Bone
L-R: Ben Barnes as the Darkling, Jessie Mei Li as Alina Starkov, Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa, and Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker in "Shadow and Bone" Season 2. Season 2 of the Netflix hit makes a number of changes to Leigh Bardugo's original novels. Dávid Lukács/Netflix

Season 2 sees Alina and Malyen "Mal" Oretsev (Archie Renaux) get thrown back into the fight against the Darkling after the events of Season 1, and they'll need new allies to do so, including Nikolai Lantsov (Patrick Gibson).

Meanwhile, the Crows, Kaz Brekker (Freddy Carter), Inej Ghafa (Amita Suman) and Jesper Fahey (Kit Young), return to Ketterdam to find they have been falsely accused of murder.

Kaz decides to take on Pekka Rollins (Dean Lennox Kelly), with whom he shares a tragic past. They do so with the help of explosives expert Wylan Hendricks (Jack Wolfe) and Nina Zenik (Danielle Galligan), the latter of whom joins the Crows so she can get lover Matthias Helvar (Calahan Skogman) out of Hellgate prison.

Here are all the ways in which the new season changes the story from the books.

1. Alina Keeps Her Powers

In the Shadow and Bone trilogy, Alina's journey ends with her losing her powers after acquiring the third amplifier upon Mal's sacrifice.

As a way of showing the consequence of greed, Alina's powers are transferred from her to several Otkazat'sya (those without Grisha powers) including her Soldat Sol (Sun Soldiers), who use the powers to take down the Fold.

However, in the show, Alina gets to keep her powers, and she also uses Merzost (dark magic) in order to bring Mal back to life, unlike in the books where Tolya and Tamar are able to revive him using their powers.

While Alina keeps her powers it is not without its consequences, as the finale's final moments proves that she and the Darkling might not be so different.

2. Kaz Gets Revenge on Pekka Rollins

This is less of a change and more of a reworking of Bardugo's books. The Crows' plot to take down Pekka Rollins is part of the narrative in the second book in the Six of Crows duology, named Crooked Kingdom.

What the show has done is take the storyline, and reveal Kaz's history with Pekka, much earlier than book fans might expect.

3. Sankta Neyar and the Mission to Find her Blade, Neshyenyer

Sankta Neyar is one of the saints to be featured in Bardugo's book The Lives of Saints, which is also featured within the Grishaverse itself.

The book tells various folktales explaining how the saints came to be seen as such. Neyar became one after forging the blade Neshyenyer, which she used to save Shu Han by defeating an unkillable army of clockwork soldiers.

Sankta Neyar never appears in Bardugo's books. In the show, the Crows, Tolya (Lewis Tan) and Zoya (Sujaya Dasgupta) face Neyar when trying to steal Neshyenyer for Alina to use during her battle against the Darkling.

4. How Mal Discovers He Is the Final Amplifier

In Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising, Alina goes out in search of two more amplifiers: The Sea Whip and the Firebird. The first creature she finds in Siege and Storm, but she learns the Firebird is not actually a third amplifier after discovering the creature in Ruin and Rising.

During her encounter with the Firebird, Alina realizes that the last amplifier was Mal all along as he takes her wrist and she feels the power she needs.

In the show, it is the Darkling's mother Baghra (Zoë Wanamaker) who deduces that Mal is the amplifier because she realizes he is descended from her sister, whom she killed as a child but who was brought back to life by their father, Illya Morozova.

5. Mal Leaves Alina To Go and Find Himself

After Alina loses her powers and Mal is brought back to life at the end of the Shadow and Bone trilogy they leave to capital to live an ordinary life, they get married and re-open the orphanage that they were raised in.

However, in the show things take a very different turn as Mal chooses to leave Alina and take on the title of Nikolai's Privateer alter-ego Sturmhond.

He explains that it is to find his purpose again, and if his journey brings him back to Alina then that means they chose to be together and were not forced by destiny to do so.

6. Nikolai and Alina Remain Engaged

Season 2 adapts the two remaining books in Bardugo's Shadow and Bone trilogy, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising. The first introduces readers to Nikloai Lantsov (Patrick Gibson), the second son of the Lantsov royal family.

In Siege and Storm, Nikolai proposes he and Alina become engaged to show an alliance between Otkazat'sya and Grisha, and even if it is not a love match she agrees.

In the books Alina ends this engagement completely, but in the show Alina is still betrothed to Nikolai by the season's end.

Patrick Gibson in Shadow and Bone
Jack Wolfe and Kit Young
Amita Suman and Suyaja Dasgupta
The cast of "Shadow and Bone" Season 2

7. David Sacrifices Himself To Save Genya

During the final battle the Darkling's Grisha, and his shadow monsters, known as Nichevoya, fight against our heroes. Genya (Daisy Head) and David (Luke Pasqualino) are separated from Alina and Mal during the scuffle and are chased by one of the Nichevoya.

As they escape, David protects Genya by sending her down a dumbwaiter. When she returns to the room later he is nowhere to be seen, though there is blood and she says she can't "hear his heartbeat."

In Bardugo's Grishaverse series, David dies in the second book in the King of Scars duology, titled Rule of Wolves, on his wedding day with Genya. Given David's body is not shown in the TV show, though, it is unclear if he is really dead.

8. Baghra's Death To Stop the Darkling

In Ruin and Rising, the Darkling's mother Baghra sacrifices herself by jumping off a cliff to distract her son so that Alina, Mal and others can go look for the Firebird.

Baghra's death in the TV show is similar in that she chooses to sacrifice herself to give Alina and Mal the opportunity to escape, but the circumstances are different. Firstly she is inside her father's workshop as it burns down, and then she enters the mental connection shared between the Darkling and Alina to face her son.

One of the Darkling's Nichevoya attacks her when it believes she is going to attack her son, and in her dying moments she severs the connection between him and Alina by cutting off his hand.

9. Jesper and Wylan's Romance

Jesper and Wylan become romantically involved during the events of Bardugo's Crooked Kingdom, though they flirt with one another throughout Six of Crows.

In Season 2 of the Netflix show the pair already share a history together as it is revealed they had a one night stand, and Wylan chose to leave before Jesper woke up because he didn't want to be hurt.

The pair end up rekindling their romance in the new episodes. Though they get together in the books, their shared history is something that has been added for the purposes of the show.

10. Pekka Rollins Takes Over Hellgate

When the Crows take down Pekka Rollins in Crooked Kingdom, the mission ends with Pekka becoming a broken man who lives in constant fear that his son will be murdered by Kaz and his crew.

In the show, Kaz's plot against Pekka is the same but it ends with him making the crime boss admit to the murders he had falsely accused the Crows of, and this leads to Pekka being sent to Hellgate prison.

There, Pekka soon becomes the de facto leader of the prison and it also brings him face-to-face with Matthias, an event that doesn't take place in the books.

11.The Triumvirate Is Formed

At the end of the season Alina asks Genya and Zoya to work with her to help make Ravka a better country, and Zoya comments that they are a "Triumvirate."

In the books, the Triumvirate is established after Alina's "martyrdom" at the end of the Shadow and Bone trilogy, Zoya, Genya and David are the leaders of the group rather than Alina, Zoya and Genya as seen in the show.

Shadow and Bone Season 2 is out on Netflix now.