‘Shadow and Bone’ Season 2: What Happened to Nikolai?


Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Season 2 of Shadow and Bone.

Season 2 of Shadow and Bone covers a lot of ground. Incorporating the plot of two books in Leigh Bardugo‘s Shadow and Bone trilogy, as well as additional material from her wider Grishaverse resulted in an eventful eight episodes. The second season has the important job of introducing a few central characters, one example being Nikolai Lantsov (Patrick Gibson), the Ravkan prince who spends some time disguised as the infamous privateer, Sturmhond. Nikolai quickly allies himself with Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) as she and her friends work together to defeat The Darkling (Ben Barnes), destroy the Shadow Fold, and just maybe bring peace to Ravka.


But although the series is still waiting on a renewal for Season 3, they were undeterred from leaving cliffhangers. With Alina’s powers changing, the introduction of jurda parem, and something strange going on with Nikolai’s reflection, the show has set up a lot for future seasons. But it’s Nikolai’s cliffhanger in particular that catches the eye as it seems so sudden. While he has faced plenty of struggles throughout the season, Nikolai seemed to be ending up in a good place. After years of war in Ravka, he was set to assume the throne in a time of relative peace. The world believes the shadow of The Darkling to have finally passed. But Nikolai is not so lucky. Even before he is crowned king, he has an unnatural secret to hide from the people of Ravka, which suggests there is still trouble ahead. Nikolai’s dark path is familiar to fans of Bardugo’s books, though the show has made it their own. But one thing is clear: there are more dark times ahead for Nikolai.

While Nikolai prepares for his coronation, pain flares in a battle wound on his shoulder — but this is no ordinary wound. It was inflicted by one of the nichevo’ya, the nearly indestructible shadow monsters created by The Darkling to fight against Ravka’s armies. Nikolai received this particular wound at the beginning of the season finale. As he, the Crows, and a few Grisha enter the fold to find Alina, they come across a nichevo’ya. The group is unable to kill it because they don’t have the proper weapons, but they refuse to run. During the fight, Nikolai is caught and stabbed through the shoulder by the shadow creature. With the relentlessness of the nichevo’ya and no one capable of killing it, Nikolai seems to be a goner. But when Alina finally kills The Darkling, the nichevo’ya evaporates as well. Its death frees Nikolai, but pieces of the shadow flow into Nikolai’s new wound. It’s this same wound that is unhealed and still causing problems.

Image via Netflix

RELATED: ‘Shadow and Bone’s Characters, Ranked by Likability

As Nikolai investigates the wound, it looks normal. But unbeknownst to him, darkness spreads under the skin from the back of the wound. It causes Nikolai to see a nichevo’ya standing before him, flinching away before realizing it’s in the mirror where his own reflection should be. It seems as though the wound inflicted on Nikolai by the nichevo’ya is infecting him, which results in this unusual connection to the creatures. But how deep the connection runs or what danger Nikolai is in remains a mystery. Despite having just been warned off keeping secrets as the king, it’s clear that this perilous connection to the nichevo’ya isn’t something to share. As of now, only Nikolai is aware of it, but perhaps he’ll trust a friend or two as he looks for answers.

How Was Nikolai Infected?

Nikolai as a Nichevo'ya in Shadow and Bone Season 2
Image via Netflix

Exactly what is happening to Nikolai is a mystery as the nichevo’ya aren’t beholden to the rules of logic because they were created from The Darklining’s merzost. While the heroes fought against the nichevo’ya all season, no one can understand them fully. The beasts are made of pure shadow and can only be controlled by The Darkling, though even that is unreliable. They are difficult to kill, requiring the ancient blade, the Neshyener. As creatures made of merzost, they are unprecedented in the known world, so Nikolai’s situation is unique. While many people were injured or even killed by the nichevo’ya, Nikolai was the only one in that situation when The Darkling was killed. It’s likely that whatever is happening goes back to the tendrils of darkness that moved into the open wound when the creature was destroyed. The show makes it clear that merzost always has a cost. Creating the nichevo’ya weakened The Darkling, and whatever is happening to Nikolai is a continuation of that cost. Although, it’s unfair for a passionate enemy of The Darkling to pay it. Perhaps it’s more directed at Ravka as a whole, but whatever the case, Nikolai’s situation is desperate. With no previous experience with these matters, no one can give an easy solution to what is happening to the tormented king.

Do the Books Provide Answers?

Patrick Gibson in Shadow and Bone
Image via Netflix

While the show takes its own path in the story, Bardugo’s books saw a similar plot, if not the same. In the book version, The Darkling used merzost to transform Nikolai into a unique beast. Darkness spread through his veins, and he sprouted wings, fangs, and talons. He lost the ability to speak and developed a hunger for human flesh, but he isn’t entirely gone. He separates himself from his friends and recognizes Alina, seeking her out to see if her powers can fix him. Nikolai may no longer be quite human, but he’s not fully an animal, either. He still opposes The Darkling when he can and fights his animalistic impulses. When the Darkling dies, the prince returns, but, as always, merzost has its cost. And even though Nikolai didn’t perform the merzost, he suffered the consequences. He continues to transform from time to time, usually at night. While he searches for a cure, Nikolai must balance his royal obligations with his unkingly secret. The show seems to be skipping the original transformation and changing the unique, near-human beast into a nichevo’ya, but the concept is the same. Now the king of Ravka, Nikolai literally has an inner demon to face in Season 3.


Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Gamers Greade is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.