The stars and creators of Netflix's fantasy series unpacks the big moments of season 1.

By Nick Romano
April 30, 2021 at 10:00 AM EDT
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Shadow and Bone (TV Show)

Warning: Spoilers from Netflix's Shadow and Bone season 1 are discussed in this video and article.

Over the course of nine books in the Grishaverse collection of novels, in addition to some short stories, there aren't many tales that author Leigh Bardugo wanted to tell but didn't in her best-selling YA fantasy series. But when the opportunity to adapt her books into a Netflix fantasy drama with showrunner Eric Heisserer, the screenwriter behind Arrival and Bird Box, she found herself in a situation where she could answer years of "what if?" questions she received from fans.

"When you write a book, you close the door on all of these what ifs. Once it's on a page there's no way to revisit it," Bardugo says in the latest installment of EW's Around the Table video series. "And so, the chance to see some of these characters interact in a way they never get to interact on the page — the fact that Alina and Inej get to meet, the fact that General Kirigan/The Darkling and Kaz face off in an alley — these are what ifs that I would have never gotten to explore in my books but that a lot of readers have asked me about over the years."

Bardugo, Heisserer, and their cast — Jessie Mei Li (Alina), Archie Renaux (Mal), Ben Barnes (Kirigan), Freddy Carter (Kaz), Amita Suman (Inej), and Kit Young (Jesper) — unpack some of these moments and more in a postmortem discussion on the first season.

Topics range from Heisserer's mission to adapt both Shadow and Book and Six of Crows novels into the eight episodes, to the moment where Inej is forced to use deadly force to save Kaz's life, to Bardugo making her acting debut as a Grisha in the king's court.

"I remember calling or texting Leigh and saying, 'I feel like I'm in the books today. I feel like I'm in it, inside the books,'" Barnes recalls of his experience. "I've done a lot of adaptations of works of literature and never quite felt like I was bouncing out of the page. And that's how I felt when I met every actor you can see on the screen and everyone you can't."

Watch the Shadow and Bone cast's Around the Table in the video above.

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Shadow and Bone (TV Show)

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