Adaptations: “Shadow and Bone”


Aubrianna Martinez, Senior Digital Editor

Netflix’s adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s young adult series “Shadow and Bone” proved to be another successful adaptation for the streaming service pioneer, and the announcement of the second season should surprise no one after the series landed on Netflix’s top ten streams and maintained its popularity for its first 12 days of being on the platform, according to Forbes.

The content and themes of the Netflix adaptation of “Shadow and Bone” proved to be a fairly accurate portrayal of the events of the book, which was surprising since the first season was an amalgamation of two different novels, as mentioned before. Besides the fairly in-line adaptation, there is one specific element that was not included in the finale of the first season of “Shadow and Bone,” that being the main character Alina Starkov’s ruthlessness.

The end of the first book ends with Alina using the abilities she has spent the second act of the novel learning and honing, demonstrating that she is quite powerful in her own way and will be a formidable enemy for the antagonist for the second novel in the series. This ruthlessness made for an interesting character trait as it was an aspect of her character’s foil and antagonist that drew many fans to the books and show alike.

While the show’s season one finale does go to great lengths to demonstrate what she is capable of, it pulls its punch by changing the ending–even as slightly as it did. It will naturally alter the Alina that appears in the show’s second season, as well as likely her character arc–though this could be for the better, as many fans of the books still debate whether her ending is a fitting one for her character.

The phenomena of Alina’s arc could be likened to what Marvel fans speculate is also taking place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Wanda Maximoff, as these women struggle with their relationship to the unique power that only they can wield. While more media projects are choosing to write complex, morally gray women characters, while their adaptations are not willing to commit to showing these truly complicated characters, audiences are prompted to question the point of shying away from choosing to show these intriguing stories.

The aforementioned Forbes article can be read here: ‘Shadow And Bone’ Is The First Show On Netflix To Reach This Rare Milestone In 2021.