‘Shadow And Bone’ Season 2: Ending, Explained – Did Alina Destroy The Fold? Are Mal And Nikolai Dead?


Season 2 of “Shadow and Bone” is all that it promised to be and more. Alina is more determined than ever to destroy the Fold and reunite Ravka. Mal continues to be her biggest support, though as an Otkazat’sya, it is difficult for him to fathom all the changes that Alina’s power has brought into their lives. At the end of season 1, the creators confirmed that the Darkling continues to live and has created an army of shadow creatures that are nearly indestructible. Meanwhile, the Crows return to Ketterdam and realize that their old enemies, particularly Pekka Rollins, are after their lives. In season 1, the Crows crossed him and took the job offered by Dreesen. Now that they have returned, the police, Pekka Rollins, and Dreesen are hunting for them. So, will Kaz come up with another brilliant plan to get away from the troubles? And will Alina bring down the Fold and destroy the Darkling? Let’s find out.

Spoilers Ahead

The Crows: How Did The Crows Destroy Pekka Rollins? Why Was The Neshyenyer Sword Significant?

Soon after setting foot in Ketterdam, the Crows realized that they were wanted, criminals. Kaz and Jesper were captured by the police and brought to Dreesen, where they met privateer Sturmhond. They learn that it was Sturmhond who wanted Alina in exchange for a million kruge. While his actual intention in finding Alina is later revealed in the show, he threatened to take the jewelry gifted by Alina if Kaz failed to give away her location. Kaz knew that sooner or later, people would find out about the Sun Summoner, so he chose to save his crew over the Saint. After dealing with Dreesen and Sturmhond, Kaz shifted his focus to destroying Pekka Rollins.

Kaz and Pekka Rollins shared a history. Kaz’s brother, Jordie, dreamed of a bright future and was ready to gamble the little that was left by their parents. He fell into the trap of one of Pekka Rollins’ schemes and lost everything they had. Soon after the Pecca Rollins disaster, Jordie and Kaz fell victim to the Firefox plague that had spread across Ketterdam. The bodies of those infected were disposed of in the water, and Kaz was among them. He woke up among the dead bodies and was devastated to find his brother’s body lying lifeless by his side. The trauma suffered by him as a child haunted Kaz throughout his life. He had developed haphephobia and preferred to keep his hands covered with his black gloves.

Coming back to the present, Kaz joined forces with two new Crows— Nina Zenik and Wylan Van Eck. Nina followed the Crows from the moment she heard Kaz discuss their urgency in finding a Heartrender, and when the time was right, she struck a deal with him. Nina offered her service to the Crows in exchange for finding her a way to reach out to a prisoner at the Hellgate. Wylan was a musician who lived in the city slum, and he also happened to be very well-versed in chemistry. His knowledge made him a demolition expert, though he was not in favor of destruction. The Five Crows followed Kaz’s elaborate plan that involved kidnapping Pekka Rollins’ son, Alby and creating a drug that caused an effect on the skin similar to Firefox. Pekka Rollins did not fear losing his business, but the thought of losing his son brought him to his knees. Pekka Rollins signed a document admitting to the murders of Tante Heleen and Constable Sem, along with the quitclaim deed for Inej Ghafa. Pekka Rollins was arrested by the police and sent to Hellgate, but before leaving, he got a last glimpse of Alby, who was alive and well.

After seeking revenge on Pekka Rollins, it was time for the Crows to offer their services to Alina once again. Of course, they were not doing it simply out of gratitude or admiration but for the money. This time they were asked to find the Neshyenyer sword that was used by Sankta Neyar and was believed to have been kept in the temple of Ahmrat Jen. But the one in Ahmrat Jen was a copy, and they needed to find the original one. Kaz figured out that the original had been stolen by a thief who was known as “The Disciple.” The man was retired and was taken care of by Ohval Saran. After tracking down Ohval to her house and surviving the deadly smoke room with the help of Wylan, the Crows learned that Ohval was actually Sankta Neyar herself. She fell in love with “The Disciple,” and they preferred living their lives as an ordinary couple. While Sankta Neyar initially considered the Crows as nothing more than just a bunch of bandits, eventually, when they discussed how important the Neshyenyer would be in slaying the shadow monsters, she decided to hand it to them. Meeting Sankta Neyar was eye-opening for Jesper, who had spent all his life running away from his true identity. He was born a Durast, and Sankta Neyar made him realize how important it was to nurture his special talent. In “Shadow and Bone” Season 2, we also witness the blossoming romance between Jesper and Wylan. The two had known each other briefly before being reunited to bring Pekka Rollins down. During the course of their mission, they fell in love and eventually became inseparable.

Who Was Nikolai Lantsov? Who Was The Firebird?

Alina and Mal met privateer Sturmhond in Novyi Zem. The First Army men found out about Alina and were hunting the pair down. With no other option in hand, they decide to board the private ship and charter it for their purpose. Alina and Mal did not know that Sturmhond had been in search of them for a long time, and they entered his ship of their own free will. Alina explained her mission to track down the sea whip and promised Sturmhond that he would be paid by the King of Ravka once she returned to her country. Sturmhond was prepared to risk it all for money and adventure. With the help of his crew, Mal tracked down the second of Morozova’s creatures, the sea whip. Alina instructed the crew not to hunt down the creature; she wanted to take its power the way she did with the stag. But upon coming across the sea whip, she realized that it was an impossible task. She was forced to kill the creature when it got hold of Mal. When the scales of the whip were melded into her body, she was transported to the creature’s last memory— Mal. She felt a chaotic surge of energy with the second amplifier in her body. She decided it was time that she returned to East Ravka.

Sturmhond surprised Alina and Mal with his creation— the Hummingbird. A blend of airplane and boat of sorts, it was his innovation, and he was perhaps the only man flying in their world. While traveling to East Ravka through the Fold, Alina realized that even with two amplifiers, she was not strong enough to destroy the Fold. She also knew that there was a connection between her and the Darkling that continued to exist even after she destroyed the antler fragment in his palm. He would often visit her and remind her that they belonged together and that, without him, she would find her existence futile. Alina felt she did not have complete control over her power because of the Darkling. After reaching East Ravka, Alina and Mal were surprised to find that the man they believed was a privateer all along was the second prince of Ravka— Nikolai Lantsov. Unlike his brother, Vasily, Nikolai believed in Grishas and otkazat’syas working together to make Ravka a better country. He later proposed to Alina since that was the only way they could prove their allegiance. It was not easy for Mal to watch Nikolai announce his wedding to Alina, but he bore with it, knowing that it was for a bigger purpose.

Meanwhile, the grand announcement ceremony caught the attention of the Darkling, and his shadow monsters arrived and slaughtered the entire palace. Alina tried to find a way to severe the remaining connection between her and the Darkling, but it was disturbed when Mal got in the way. Meanwhile, Baghra and Genya managed to escape from the Darkling’s prison, and they immediately came to help Alina. With Baghra, Alina discussed her connection with the Darkling and how she felt that if it were not for him, she would not have become the Sun Summoner in the first place. Therefore, she could not entirely hate the Darkling because, without his existence, she would have remained a map maker. But Baghra helped her realize that she had always been a Grisha, and no one could ever take that away from her. The Darkling was her mentor at one point in her life, but that could never be a strong enough reason to give him control over her. They decided to go to Morozova’s workshop and find clues that would help them track down Firebird.

During their journey to find the Firebird, Alina, and Mal learned that Baghra was the daughter of Morozova. After he created the Stag and the Sea Whip with his fingerbones, his wife became pregnant and gave birth to Baghra. He was later tied down and drowned in the sea after he resurrected a boy who was split in half. Baghra went on to reveal that she had murdered her younger sister out of anger and jealousy when she was little, and she was banished from her house for doing so. Using her blood, Baghra opened the door of Morozova’s workshop, and the place brought back haunting memories. Mal had developed a special skill of tracking down the amplifiers through the resonance that they generated, but this time, he could not hear any sound. Baghra took Mal aside and showed him the empty coffin. She had always doubted the story of her father saving the village boy, but now she was confident that it was her sister that her father had brought back to life. Baghra believed that her father had not only resurrected her but also turned her into the third amplifier. Her sister passed it down through generations, and Mal was a descendant of her sister. She pointed out that Mal could have gone to three other orphanages that were near his village, but he chose the one where Alina stayed. He could listen to the resonance of the other amplifiers because he was just like them. Since Mal was the third amplifier, it meant that Alina had to kill him to take his power. 

‘Shadow and Bone’ Season 2: Ending Explained – Did Mal And Nikolai Survive? Did Alina Destroy The Darkling?

While Baghra was away discussing Mal’s true identity, the Darkling visited Alina again. But this time, Baghra intervened and rescued Alina. Mal carried Alina out of the workshop and locked the door under Baghra’s command. When Baghra attacked her son, his shadow monster nearly choked her to death. Alexander held his mother in his arms; he had always been hopeful that his mother would unite with him in his cause. Baghra had a cunning side to her. Alexander had grown up watching his mother destroy villages just to protect him, and he had come to believe that the only way to protect the Grishas was by completely destroying the common people. But Baghra had seen the world now, and she knew that her son’s choices would reap only hatred and destruction. Using the sentimental moment to her advantage, Baghra slashed Alexander’s palm to cut off his link with Alina. While Baghra died soon after, she managed to protect Alina until her very last breath.

When Mal revealed his truth to Alina, she refused to kill him. All this while, they had been fighting for a world where they could live together in peace, but with Mal turning out to be the Firebird, that dream was destroyed. Alina disclosed the truth to her second army, and they came up with ways by which Alina would not have to kill Mal to take his power, but none of that worked when the Darkling and his shadow monsters intervened. 

The Darkling expanded the Fold, and even though Alina felt the power of the Firebird when she held Mal’s wrist, it was not enough to destroy the Fold. Alina tried to stop the Darkling when he stood in front of her, but he injured Mal with his power. Mal begged Alina to put the dagger into his heart and take his power before the Darkling did. It was not an easy choice for Alina, but the world around her was crumbling, and everyone who stood by her was fighting till their very last breath. She sacrificed her love to bring the Fold down. The darkness dissipated, and the land finally saw the light of the sun. But the shadow monsters continued to cause havoc since their abilities were not affected by the sun. Only the Neshyenyer sword that Inej brought along to fight the shadow monster could destroy them. Alina realized that Alexander had no control over the demons he had created. 

Till the very last moment, Alexander continued to believe that he and Alina belonged together. According to him, they were just like yin and yang; without the threat of the darkness, the light would cease to exist. But Alina had had enough of his lies; she knew that all he aimed to do was bring destruction. She killed him by stabbing him with the Neshyenyer. Meanwhile, Nina tried to bring Mal back to life, but it seemed almost impossible. But soon, Alina used Merzost and resurrected him from death. The consequences of using Merzost have always been severe, and Alina might not be spared of them either.

After coming back from the dead, Mal chose to live the life of a privateer. He believes that he has been controlled all his life by fate, and now that he has served his purpose, he wants to find out his true identity. He realized that he had always been attracted to Alina because he was an amplifier, and he wanted some time away from her to figure out if he truly loved her or if it was only fate that brought them together. Nikolai Lantsov allowed him to travel as privateer Strumhond; Inej joined him, and they later tracked down the slaver ship her brother was in according to the information that was handed to her by Kaz. Inej and Kaz parted ways for the time being. His trauma and insecurities made it impossible for them to form a romantic relationship, and she hoped for him to heal. 

Finally the peace settled in Ravka, and Nikolai prepared for his coronation ceremony, but as he looked into the mirror, he saw the shadow monster. Nikolai was attacked by the shadow monster, and it seems that the darkness remained in his wound and has been growing ever since. While the darkness within Nikolai already hints at “Shadow and Bone” Season 3, there is another gigantic problem at hand. A highly addictive Grisha drug, Jurda Parem, has gained popularity among the community. A Grisha uses the drug and nearly destroys everyone present at the coronation ceremony, but as it turns out, Alina manages to make her first clean “cut” and kill the Grisha. 

Alina seems to be proud of her skill, but it looks like she too has a speck of darkness within her. The need to become powerful is endless, and that is clearly demonstrated by Alina. Even though she knew the consequences of Merzost, she used it to save what she loved. Maybe it was her confidence in herself that made her believe that nothing could really destroy her since she was the ultimate savior. But will Alina manage to save herself from the darkness that grows within her? While the Darkling is dead, there might be fragments of him that continue to live. Since the Darkling can be compared to Voldemort, it will not be too surprising if he is brought back to life with the fragments. With the dangerous drug on the market and the darkness that continues to live among those who considered themselves the hope of a better future, a third season of “Shadow and Bone” surely seems to be on the cards.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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