‘Shadow and Bone’ Season 2 Ending Explained: Does Alina Manage to Defeat Kirigan in the End?

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Welcome to the Ending Explained for Shadow and Bone Season 2. The first season of the show on Netflix was a welcome surprise. Season 1 delivered high production standards alongside a very good cast of characters and a storyline that, while a bit cliché and predictable, still worked because the series and the people behind it took it seriously enough that the audience couldn’t help but do it themselves. The result was an enjoyable young adult novel adaptation that one could very well say is one of the best in the genre.

However, Season 2 arrives on our screens two entire years after the first season, and oh boy! It is hard to get into the groove of the story. There are so many details, characters, concepts, and motivations going around that season 2 becomes quite a bit of a task, especially if you only saw Season 1 back when it was released. These long gaps between seasons are an issue that many other shows are beginning to have, and it is becoming more worrisome as storylines become more and more leads to the next season, but those seasons are years and years away.

The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Shadow and Bone, Season 2. Read at your own risk.

Does Alina Find All The Amplifiers?

Since season 1, the presence of the Fold, a huge territory that is covered in shadows with monsters living inside, has been one of the main interest points in the series. The origin of such a construct is explored in the first season. We learn that the Fold was actually constructed by Aleksander Kirigan, who is revealed to be “The Darkling,” a villainous Grisha who became a sort of rebel against humanity. He constructed a huge wall of darkness when his anger and despair consumed him.

Since then, Kirigan has lived for many centuries, and the land of Ravka has been divided in two. Alina, our main character, discovers she is the opposite of the Darkling. She is the Sun Summoner. So, in the same way that Kirigan commands darkness, Alina summons light. She believes she can destroy the Fold and bring the kingdom of Revka back together. However, she must find and acquire the abilities of three elemental creatures to do this. The Grisha call these creatures “amplifiers,” and they do exactly what you think. They amplify the powers of a Grisha.

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Alina finds the first amplifier in the shape of a deer, she doesn’t have to kill the creature, but she still acquires the amplifying effect. Alina soon goes in search of the other creatures with Mal and a crew of pirates, including Captain Nikolai, who is actually the former King of Ravka in disguise. Nikolai accepts to help in Alina’s mission, as this would help unify Revka once more and allow him to take the throne after such a great victory of the kingdom.

Alina and his followers kill the second creature, but when they find out about the third, Alina finds herself in a dilemma. It is revealed that Mal is the firebird, a sort of phoenix-like creature, and their powers are the reason they are always attracted to each other. Of course, this later developed into an emotional connection as well. So, when Alina discovers she will need to kill Mal to acquire power, she comes to a stop. Alina and Mal’s relationship is only blossoming, so it feels like an ironic twist of fate that she must kill the person she loves.

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Does Alina Manage To Defeat Kirigan In The End?

The final battle between Alina and Kirigan comes to a climax. Kirigan is quite powerful, and his shadows are deadly. However, he doesn’t have complete control over them. Alina realizes this and forces Kirigan to overextend his power, exhausting him. However, she is still not strong enough to kill him. Kaz and his team enter the Fold to help Alina, but their efforts are futile. Alina must make the hard choice, Mal knows it, and he allows Alina to kill him so that she can get the amplified powers.

Alina does; she kills Mal and manages to use the sacred blade they acquired in their journey to deal a fatal blow to Kirigan. Kirigan still believes he can make Alina come to his side. Alina rejects him and finally kills him. The Fold breaks down, and the entire piece of land covered in darkness sees the sun again. Alina and the others prepare a funeral for Kirigan. It is the least they can do. They say goodbye to him as they burn his body. There won’t be any tombs with his name on them.

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After this, the different sets of characters begin taking their separate ways. Alina will remain in Ravka as she is basically a saint there and will try to build a safe haven for Grisha. She wants Grisha to come and learn in peace. Mal decides to take on the role of fake captain in Nikolai’s old vessel, which he does. At the same time, Nikolai himself prepares to become king of Ravka. Kaz returns to the Barrell and prepares his team to steal another weapon, a drug that can amplify the powers of a Grisha a thousand times over.

Inej parts ways with Kaz, who cannot tell her he loves her. She decides to become part of the crew on Mal’s ship so that she can travel the world in search of her lost brother. Meanwhile, Nina tries again to get Matthias out of prison, this time with a letter of pardon from Nikolai, but she is dismissed. She is taken from the prison, and Nikolai remains behind bars. At the coronation ceremony, a heartrender like Nina attacks using the drug, killing almost everyone in the room. Alina manages to overcome Grisha’s power and kills her.

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The season ends with Alina smiling over the heartrender’s dead body, which she chopped in half. Could Alina be taking a dark turn in the same way Kirigan did? Also, Nikolai starts seeing weird visions of shadows, and it seems he is possessed by one.

  • Nelson Acosta

    Nelson Acosta is a professional writer and translator based in Caracas, Venezuela. He is also a member of the Caracas Circle of Cinematographic Critics, a film critic association in Venezuela that aims to preserve and educate audiences on worldwide and Venezuelan cinema. He studi...