Shadow and Bone’s Ben Barnes teases Darkling’s ‘full-on rage’ as Netflix drama returns | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV


Fans will already be getting stuck into the second season of Shadow and Bone, which finally releases on Netflix this week. Based on Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling Grishaverse novels, the hit fantasy drama follows Sun Summoner Alina Starkov (played by Jessie Mei Li) who discovers she could be the key to destroying the Fold and bringing peace to Ravka.

Alina and her friends face their toughest battle yet as the Darkling (Ben Barnes) returns hell-bent on revenge.

In the first season, the Darkling introduced himself as General Kirigan and tried to get closer to Alina to stop her plans.

After she rejected his offer of ruling Ravka side-by-side, he was swept into the Fold by a vicious Volcra, only to return more determined than ever in season two.

“Whilst he is the evil, toxic, nasty presence that is seething all over season two,” Barnes explained.

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“He also feels betrayed and abandoned and rejected and alone – unloved at this point, even by his own mom.”

Season one saw a more manipulative side to the Darkling as he hid his true identity from Alina, even trying to seduce her before she caught on to his ulterior motives.

However, Shadow and Bone’s second outing will reintroduce the pair as sworn enemies, and Kirigan will stop at nothing to enact his revenge on the Grisha.

Barnes told TV Line: “He’s justifying the way that he is being, even if it’s not possible for anybody else to.”

“In the first season, he has all these different weapons in terms of his army, his charm, his skills in manipulation.

“In the second season, all that is out the window, and he’s just more full-on rage.”

The British actor’s performance this time around could therefore take on terrifying new layers as he returns having barely survived his time in the Fold.

Sneak peeks at the season ahead have already revealed the Darkling looking scarred and brooding, and subscribers can now find out what he has in store for Alina in the next stage of his plan.

Meanwhile, the Sun Summoner is still struggling to come to grips with her newfound powers and responsibilities.

“[In season one], she’s reluctant to be the saviour,” she revealed.

“Whereas in season two, she’s finally accepted her responsibility, and we watch her struggle under the immense weight of that. She’s really settled into becoming a leader.”

Thankfully, Alina’s friend Genya Safin (Daisy Head) is on-hand with help and advice, although she has her own struggles to contend with after surviving the abusive King Pyotr (David Verrey).

“This season, we realise we see her struggle at the beginning to really not let her pain define her and to not let the suffering be a continuum,” Head explained.

“In life, you can’t choose your pain, but you can choose how to let that pain define you and whether it can strengthen or weaken you. I think we gradually see that Genya gets stronger.”

All eight episodes of the new season are now available on Netflix, so fans finally have the chance to binge the entirety of Alina’s next perilous adventure.

Shadow and Bone seasons 1-2 are available to stream on Netflix.


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