Shadow and Bone: 10 Most Powerful Characters, Ranked

The most powerful characters in Shadow and Bone Collage

Netflix’s Shadow and Bone has gained a cultic following globally as more Grishaverse fans fall in love with the show’s long list of heroes seeking to save Ravka from some of the darkest forces ever found in a work of fiction. Despite Grisha powers turning some of the main characters into superheroes (and Super-Villains), Grisha Powers are not the ultimate determinant of each character’s power in Shadow and Bone.

The likes of Nikolai Lantsov and Inej Ghafa are so powerful despite being regular humans. Grishaverse has many challenges that demand more than just physical strength to survive. Our ranking of the show’s ten most powerful characters, therefore, focuses on the tenacity and creativity of each character and how they impacted each major battle of the show.

10. Nina Zenik

shadow and bone nina

The show’s Nina Zenik hasn’t displayed her power as much as the book character suggests, but her tenacity and strong will to live and fight for those she loves is just amazing. Nina managed to convert a Fjerdan Zealot into a reasonable person and a lover and continues to fight for him even when an entire legal system is against her.


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Nina was vital to The Dregs in defeating Pekka Rollins and retaking The Crow club in Ketterdam. The best thing about Zenik is that she never needs too much convincing to do the right thing and doesn’t hesitate to fight for the right cause. She betrayed the Second Army and quit Kirigan’s service when she realized they didn’t agree with her values.

9. Inej Ghafa

Amita Suman Inej Shadow and Bone

As a child, Inej trained as an acrobat before she was kidnapped by slavers and sold as a sex slave to Tante Heleen. However, the injustice didn’t break her, as she used her skills to convince Kaz to employ her and turned into one of the most formidable fighters in Ketterdam. She used her skills as an acrobat to become The Wraith, sneaking in and out of places unnoticed and throwing knives without missing.

When she was called upon to help Alina defeat The Darkling, Inej wielded the sword of Neshyenyer with pride and helped banish The Fold, making her a true legend. The fact that she is not a Grisha also boosts her position as one of the most powerful characters in the show.

8. Zoya

Inej and Zoya in Shadow and Bone 1

Zoya fought and died for Kirigan, which was a shame because she was powerful and could have put her skills to better use if she had fought for Alina instead. Her powers as a Squaller made her the most formidable villain in the show after Kirigan.

Besides her Squaller abilities, Zoya was also a shrewd military strategist who managed to outthink Nikolai Lantsov and nearly delivered victory for Kirigan if The Dregs didn’t show up. She was primarily motivated by jealousy and hate, though, which made her a terrible leader in the end.

7. David Kostyk

Genya and Kostyk in the second army of Ravka

Kostyk is the closest character to the legendary Morozova in Shadow and Bone, which is why he got a spot on this list. He was a powerful Durast, but the greatest skill that David Kostyk had was his creativity. Kostyk was a great scientist that could create tools to solve different problems.

While his time as Kirigan’s loyal servant worked against his powers, he more than made up for it when he helped Alina defeat Kirigan and then saved Genya’s life. Kostyk could figure out the solution to any Grisha problem, and the tools he created made him invaluable. Whatever David couldn’t deliver through fighting, he made up for through research and a big heart.

6. Kaz Brekker

shadow and bone kaz brekker

Kaz is not Grisha, but throughout his time on the show, he has proved to be a more formidable opponent than some of the deadliest villains, Grisha or not. Kaz never goes into a fight unprepared, and whenever a fight is too hard for his team, like in the case of Sankt Neyer, he always finds a way to shift the odds in his favor. He is the real boss, never letting his weaknesses deny him what is rightfully his.

It is important to remember that he has a bad leg, but it never makes him any less dangerous in a fight. Kaz can also read people and know their intentions better than most people. His leadership abilities are also key to the likes of Inej, Jasper, and Nina because he makes them better fighters and improves their chances of winning.

5. Genya Safin

David and Genya in Shadow and Bone

Genya is another formidable fighter and survivor whose strength and abilities are not fully displayed in Shadow and Bone. She endured years of sexual abuse while living in the Small Palace, but she never gave up on her mission and eventually poisoned the evil king which was no mean feat. She was unlucky, though, because Kirigan only used her to achieve his evil ambitions, but when she found out the truth, Genya switched and fought for the heroes.

She was one of the unluckiest characters in the show because her innocence was always exploited and used against her. Getting attacked by Kirigan’s shadow army left her scarred and without one eye, but her fighting spirit never faded. She remains one of the most powerful Heartrenders in the show and has a big role in the country’s fate.

4. Baghra

Alina and Baghra in Shadow and Bone

Baghra admitted to making mistakes in the past and not stopping the Darkling sooner, but it is understandable because she was his mother. When she realized that her son was beyond redemption, she gave Alina and Mal all the support they needed to defeat him. The most important thing she did in the second season was revealing to Mal that he was the Firebird.


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Using the cut to remove Kirigan’s arm also weakened him enough for Alina to defeat him. Despite having nearly as much power as Kirigan, Baghra chose to serve and helped other Grisha achieve their potential. She also helplessly helped Genya escape Kirigan’s imprisonment. She made the greatest sacrifice in the show, dying to ensure that her own son got defeated.

3. Jasper Fahey

Jasper Fahey in Shadow And Bone 1

Jasper was never trained to use his powers as a Durast, yet he manifests them naturally, showing his power. He also lost his mother at a young age and had to endure a difficult childhood, but he turned out as a strong-willed person with compassion and an addictive sense of humor.

Although his Durast powers help him make impeccable shots with his revolvers, it is correct to say that he is simply the best gunslinger in Grishaverse. When he put his Grisha powers into use in the final battle against Kirigan’s Second Army, he effortlessly defeated Zoya, who spent her whole life training in the Small Palace. He can, therefore, become the most powerful Durast in the show with a little training.

2. The Darkling

Kirigan the Darkling in Shadow and Bone

Considering the fact that The Darkling created the fold which separated Ravka for so long, his power as a Grisha was extensive. He also decapitated an entire Fjerdan army with one blow of his powers, proving that he was the most powerful Grisha before Alina got her amplifiers. He had to be that powerful to control the Shadow Army and move the Fold wherever he went.

He made the wrong decisions, guided by hate and Greed, which weakened him, especially after using Merzost. He was still a formidable enemy as he managed to defeat Baghra, who was just as powerful. Alina Starkov became The Darkling’s biggest weakness because he was obsessed with her. Kirigan underestimated Alina and the power of the good people around her, which was his downfall.

1. Alina Starkov

Alina banishing the fold in Shadow and bone

Alina never knew her parents, and Mal was the closest thing to family that she had ever had all her life. Despite discovering that she was the Sun Summoner, she embraced the heavy task of saving the whole country with the weight that came with it. The most amazing thing about her is that she never let her powers get into her head, which is why she never underestimated Kirigan and his army.


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Alina’s ability to form alliances is another characteristic of a strong leader that she portrays perfectly. She embraced the prince’s proposal without leaving Mal and also managed to bring together Baghra, David, Genya, and all the other Grisha to help her defeat the Darkling. While the amplifiers made her the most powerful Grisha in the show, her ability to bring the whole nation together in an alliance based purely on love made her the most powerful woman in the country.

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