‘Shadow and Bone’: What Is a Wraith? Meet Inej Ghafa

Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa in Shadow and Bone Collage 1
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The Wraith is one of the most mysterious yet fascinating characters in Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology, and Netflix’s Shadow and Bone nailed it with the performance of Amita Suman stealing the stage. The Wraith plays a big role in the fate of Ravka and that of the Dregs and the Netflix series, which revealed her identity as Inej Ghafa (Amita Suman). However, many fans still wonder how she became so good at spying and whether she is secretly Grisha.

The Wraith is not a thing but a person, and in Netflix’s Shadow and Bone, she was revealed to be Inej Ghafa, a spy for The Dregs. Inej works for Kaz Bekker, stealing secrets from wealthy people in Ketterdam to use them for blackmail. She was named The Wraith because of her ability to sneak into places, spy, steal, and disappear without being noticed. She is Suli by birth and therefore believes in Grisha saints like Alina Starkov, after whom she names her knives.

Despite being a member of a gang of thieves, Inej has a vision beyond a life of crime in Ketterdam because she teams up with the Dregs to save the country from its worst enemies. Her knife-wielding skills also came in handy when destroying the Darkling’s army as she wielded the legendary sword of Neshyenyer. So, how does the Wraith in the books compare to Inej, and what more can fans expect from her?

Who is the Wraith in Shadow and Bone?

shadow and bone kaz inej

Kaz Bekker named Inej Ghafa the Wraith after paying off her indenture from Tante Helene and asking her to join the Dregs as a spy. The Wraith is a name she got because of her ability to sneak in and out of places without being noticed.

As a child, Inej moved around with her Suli family in a caravan of acrobats. At a young age, she learned acrobatic skills such as walking the tight line and disappearing ticks which she later deploys while working as a Dregs spy.

Before she turned 14, Inej’s caravan was attacked by slavers who kidnapped her and sold her to Tante Heleen, the owner of the Menagerie pleasure house in Ketterdam.

She met Kaz at the Menagerie when he came looking for information on wealthy people at the pleasure house from Tante. Her ability to sneak up on people and steal their secrets impressed him, leading to their friendship.

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The book’s line of events about how she came to be fully in Kaz’s service varies from the show, but the bottom line is that Kaz eventually paid her indenture, making her a free woman, before asking her to become a spy for the Dregs.

Inej got her first-ever knife from Kaz, who also taught her how to pick locks and break into safes. Her skills as a fighter might have been learned at an earlier age because the show doesn’t show her training. In the book version of events, Inej was just 15 when she became Kaz’s spy.

Her biggest contribution in Shadow and Bone was the slaying of Kirigan’s shadow army using the Neshyenyer, after which she swore her services to Alina Starkov.

By the end of the second season of Shadow and Bone, Kaz gives Inej the lead to tracing her family, a gift she accepts gladly.

Inej and Kaz also have strong romantic feelings for each other, but their troubled upbringing and strained boss-employee relationship stand in the way of the two becoming what would probably be Shadow and Bone’s best power couple.

Is Inej Ghafa in Shadow and Bone a Grisha?

Amita Suman Inej Shadow and Bone

Although Inej’s skills with knives and the Neshyenyer sword are impeccable and seemingly impossible for a normal person, they are not because of any known Grisha powers.

Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows and Netflix’s Shadow and bone haven’t identified Inej with any Grisha abilities, which means she is just a very talented acrobat.

Inej was trained as an acrobat to perfect stealth movement, balance, speed, and agility at a young age. Therefore, her skills result from training and not Small Science.

Despite being a member of the Dregs, who don’t care much about faith, Inej is very spiritual and even reminds Kaz and Jasper that her faith is important to her.

She still strongly believes in Grisha Sanktas and even names all her knives after them, including Sankta Alina, Vladimir, and Marya.

Moreover, Despite being such a good thief and fighter, Inej doesn’t enjoy unnecessary violence and bloodshed, which is why she asked Jasper to help her kill someone because she said she was afraid of doing it herself.

Her tough lifestyle with The Dregs forced her to harden and be able to stand up to her enemies, which is why she was able to kill the Butcher in the second season.

In the books, Inej becomes a Privateer on a ship called The Wraith which she uses to hunt down slavers. Coincidentally, the ship is also captained by a Suli woman called The Wraith.

The Wraith is, therefore, a name that Inej is proud of and identifies with for the rest of her life. If she has some Grisha roots alongside her skills, it may be revealed in future seasons or spinoffs of the show.

Who plays Inej in Shadow and Bone?

Inej Ghafa 1

Inej Ghafa is portrayed by Amita Suman, a Nepali-born British actress who became popular with her recurring role of Naya in CW’s The Outpost.

The talented actress has quickly ascended to the top since breaking into acting, with her first major role coming in Ackley Bridge in 2018, where she appeared in one episode as Sameera.

Bigger roles came quickly afterward, including Nina in Casualty, Umbreen in Doctor Who, and Nora in The Sandman. While her role in The Outpost received many positive reviews, her performance as Inej in Shadow and Bone is her biggest career role so far.

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Inej Ghafa is a complex character, and Amita Suman manages to catch all her abilities and complex emotions while keeping the character funny and relatable.

Her ability to capture Inej’s acrobatics and fighting skills without appearing robotic is an aspect of Suman’s performance that Shadow and Bone fans love.

Suman brings the character to life, humanizing her through a balance of action and comedy. Her electrifying performance has turned Inej into one of the most interesting characters in the show.

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