Shadow And Bone Season 1 Recap: Is There An End To the Darkling?


The second season of Shadow and Bone is available to watch online. It’s been a long wait since the first season’s April 2021 debut, but the new season finally arrived on Netflix on Thursday, March 16, 2023. With nearly two years between seasons, we thought it would be helpful to provide a summary of season 1 of Shadow and Bone before you watch the next season.

If you read this, you will be well-versed in the world of Shadow and Bone and ready to dive headfirst into season 2 of the show.

Shadow and Bone: A Recap of Season 1

We discussed the key takeaways from Season 1 of Shadow and Bone that viewers should keep in mind for Season 2.

The Summoner of the Sun is Alina

As a mapmaker for the First Army of Ravka, Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) learns that she is a Grisha (one with elemental powers) with such great might that she can call down the sun. She’s the first person in recorded history with this ability, and Ravka must destroy the Shadow Fold, a wall of darkness teeming with creatures amid their land.

Shadow and Bone Season 1 Recap

During a misadventure in the Shadow Fold, Alina finds her ability and uses it to save herself and others by creating an explosion of light.

Because of this, both the First Army and the Second Army try to defend Alina from assassins, with the help of General Kirigan (Ben Barnes), also known as the Darkling, The Black Heretic, and other names Alina is unaware of at this time. They had to fight their way back to the Small Palace, the training grounds for the Grisha of the country.

Alina Decides to Abandon Mal

Since their first meeting at a Keramzin orphanage, Alina and Mal (Archie Renaux) have been inseparable. Mal is now clueless and falls further behind after hearing this news regarding Alina. He’s a First Army tracker, so he can’t just abandon his station for her. She’s a foreigner in a strange land, trying to wield an unknown power in the face of widespread skepticism that she can genuinely bring about global transformation on her own.

Closeness Develops Between General Kirigan and Alina

Alina’s new tutor, General Kirigan, helps her feel less alone in her isolation. They develop something between a platonic and romantic friendship. He can manipulate nighttime forces, making him an unbeatable ally to her mastery of light. They might be able to save Ravka, but the Darkling is not being forthright with Alina about his past or his motivations.

To Abduct Alina, the Crows Embark on a Quest

Whether or not any of this occurs in the Shadow and the Bone plot is unclear, but in short, we are introduced to Kaz Brekker

(Freddy Carter), Inej Jaffa (Amita Suman), and Jesper Fahey (Kit Young), aka the Crows. They planned to abduct Alina and deliver her to Dreesen. Jesper, Kaz, and Inej’s histories are revealed to us in great detail.

To Increase Her Abilities, Alina and the Darkling Use Morozova’s Stag

Mal is useful yet again in this context. For Alina and the Darkling to fully unleash her abilities, they must locate Morozova’s Stag, and he is one of the best trackers in the First Army in this regard. To prevent the Darkling’s plan to discover the Stag (since she knows where it would lead), Baghra (Zoe Wanamaker) tries to kill Mal at the Small Palace. As a result of Mal’s escape, Baghra is forced to make a shocking admission.

Shadow and Bone Season 1 Recap

Baghra Tells Alina Who the Darkling is?

At this moment, Alina seems content with her relationship with the Darkling, but Baghra throws a spanner into her plans. She admits that she is his mother and that he has existed under various aliases for many years. The Black Heretic is he. The Darkling is he. Baghra claims that he has no intention of destroying the Shadow Fold, having created it in the first place.

Mal and Alina’s Reunion is Expected When?

After hearing what Alina thinks is the truth from Baghra, Alina leaves the Little Castle. There, she meets Mal or he meets her, and the two of them devise a strategy to foil the Darkling’s plans and wipe out the Fold for good. The problem is that Alina has not yet mastered her abilities sufficiently to pose a serious threat to the Darkling or the Fold. They decide to go on a quest to find Morozova’s Stag so that she can increase her abilities with its help.

The Darkling Captures Alina, Slaughters the Stag, and Builds the Device.

Thanks to Mal’s unexplained tracking skills, Alina and he can get along quite well on their own. They track down the majestic Stag, a stunning beast. On the other hand, the Darkling is waiting for them and murders the Stag. Then, he uses the Stag to construct a conduit that amplifies the combined might of Alina and the Darkling. In essence, he is leveraging her abilities to boost his own.

Can Mal Be Saved?

Mal is severely wounded during the battle for the Stag, but Alina promises to fulfill the Darkling’s bidding in exchange for Mal’s life. Wow, how different the story would be if Mal had died in that situation. Hence, Mal does not perish. He makes it through both because of and because of the Darkling.

Is There an End to the Darkling?

After constructing the amplifier for Alina, the Darkling leads them into the Fold to demonstrate the new power, which consists essentially of him reshaping the Fold into a weapon. In doing so, and with the help of Mal and the stowaway Crows, Alina can fight back. She cuts ties with the Darkling and employs the Stag’s power to rescue her companions. During the conflict, the velcro attack the Darkling, and he is thought to be killed.

Shadow and Bone Season 1 Recap

On the run from the Ravkan Army, Mal, Alina, Kaz, Jesper, Inej, and Zoya (Sujaya Dasgupta) leave the safety of the Fold.

The Darkling, however, survives. The season finale shows the Darkling, accompanied by what appear to be new monsters created from the Shadow Fold, departing the Fold.

Does Mal Get Away With Alina?

By the season’s end, Alina and Mal do make their getaway aboard a ship leaving from Os Kervo and bound for Ketterdam. They hope to take refuge there and begin their new lives together in peace. The preview for next season makes it clear that won’t occur.

What is It About Nina That Matthias Despises So Much?

After their ship went down, Druskelle Matthias and a Fjerdan captive named Nina fell in love with each other. A group of Nina’s old Grisha friends arrives and announce that they are bringing Matthias to the Little Palace, destroying any hope of a happily ever after for the couple. She soon comes up with a plan to get him out of Ravkan’s custody and into Kerch’s custody by accusing him of being a slaver. Matthias is confused as to her motivations.

On the ship going to Ketterdam to rescue Matthias is also Nina.

That’s all you need to know from Season 1 of Shadow and Bone to enjoy Season 2. The Netflix Original Series is also highly regarded.


In the second season of Shadow and Bone, Alina discovers she is a Grisha with the ability to call down the sun. General Kirigan helps Alina develop her abilities and a romantic relationship with him. The Crows try to abduct Alina, but Baghra reveals Mal’s true identity as her son. Mal is wounded and Alina promises to fulfill the Darkling’s bidding in exchange for his life. The season ends with the Darkling surviving and Mal and Alina escaping.

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