For a fantasy show, it’s hard to keep track of the elaborate names and match them with the faces when you start watching the show. That’s when you head to the internet to find out all you can about the main characters, who they’re played by, and their families (don’t worry, we do it too). Keeping that in mind, before Season 2 of “Shadow and Bone” drops, let’s quickly revisit all the important characters of the show, so we’re not lost with all the new characters thrown at us.
Alina Starkov: The series revolves around Alina (Jessi Mei Li) who is eventually recognized as the first known Sun Summoner in the Grisha universe. She is half Shu (meaning her lineage is from the country of Shu Han) and an orphan. Originally a cartographer in the first army because she was not tested as a child, she is now a Grisha in training. She is stuck in a sort of love triangle between the Darkling, her mentor turned villain, and Mal, her childhood best friend. Alina always feels like an outsider, whatever position she is in, because of her race and now her powers. By the end of season 1, she comes into liking her powers, but the whole world now has eyes on her, considering the Fold is expanding.
Baghra: Baghra is General Kirigan’s mother. She’s a Shadow Summoner who has lived many hundred years. She trains Alina to become a powerful Sun Summoner and also warns her of the doings of her son. She always knew that the Grisha were not meant to be an army that destroys, but they were people who create things and heal.
Genya Safin: Genya (Daisy Head) is a tailor tasked with keeping the queen beautiful. Genya also happens to befriend Alina easily through her genuine speech and helpful nature. Unfortunately, she is later found out to be a spy for the Darkling, so her relationship with Alina ends on a sour note in season 1. Genya is definitely not a villainous character who was sent off to the king at the young and tender age of 11. She may have a redeeming arc this season. Genya also has the hots for David, the fabrikator.
Malyen Orestsev: Mal (Archie Renaux) is Alina’s best friend and savior. He is a hard-shelled softie who developed strength in order to protect not just himself but Alina too. When they were young, it was Alina who would stand up for Mal against the physically stronger orphans. Mal is also a tracker like no other for the first army, having built up his strength through the years. (We definitely support Malina.)
The Darkling: Aleksander Kirigan (Ben Barnes. We see all of you Prince Caspian fans drooling) is the antagonist of the series. He is the big bad evil that created the Shadow Fold. He can summon darkness and command creatures of the dark. Kirigan created a place for himself as the general of the second army by showing the king that the Grisha could be more useful as an army. In truth, he was trying to build an army for himself. He’s eternal and had created an illusion of doing good for the Grisha until Alina ruined his plans. Kirigan is still alive at the end of season 1, unlike what other people think.
Zoya Nazyalensky: Zoya (Sujaya Dasgupta) is a talented squaller who has the attention of the Darkling until Alina comes about. For this reason, she doesn’t like Alina very much in the beginning. She’s strong-willed, extremely powerful, goal-driven, and a stickler for rules. Zoya is alone by the end of the first season, but who will she join forces with in season 2?
Inej Ghafa: Inej (Amita Suman) is known as the Wraith amongst the people of Ketterdam. She is a knife-wielding spy who can get around places without being seen and heard. Inej was separated from her family as a child when she was shipped off to Tante Heleen’s menagerie. Inej is also Suli, and she holds her faith very dear to her heart because she believes it will lead her to her family one day. Inej also loves to name her knives, and she possibly might be the love of Kaz’s life. In their strictly “business relationship,” Inej manages to keep a short-tempered Kaz grounded.
Jesper Fahey: Jesper Fahey (Kit Young) is Kaz’s go-to sharpshooter. Although he’s a distracted man who cannot step away from a gamble, he never misses a target. He loves pretty faces and is bisexual. Jesper is from Noyvi Zem. Jesper relies on humor to manage his emotions and is essentially Inej’s best friend, which Kaz doesn’t love very much. His choices are often questionable, but his loyalties are always with the Crows.
Kaz Brekker: Kaz (Freddy Carter) is the frontman of the Crows and a thief by profession. Kaz has a dark past that no one is able to bring out of him, not even Inej (his soft spot). He is a dreaded man in the Barrel because of how unhinged he is. Many would consider him a bad guy, but he chooses his battles in a very strategic manner, making one love him as a “bad guy.” Yes, we can apply the good girl saves bad boy trope to Kanej because there would be no better description for them. Kaz uses a cane for a limp in his right leg, and he is always seen with gloves on, hence the nickname “Dirtyhands.” Kaz is ruthless and sometimes loses direction because of his rage.
Matthias Helvar: A Drüskelle from Fjerda, Matthias (Calahan Skogman) believes his duty to kill the Grisha is holy and doesn’t question authority, unlike his counterpart, Nina. Matthias also happens to be very handsome and physically strong. He trusts slowly and is also slow at seeing things clearly. Matthias is keen on learning about Nina until he’s taken away as a slave to Hellgate, the worst prison in all of the Grishaverse.
Nina Zenik: Nina (Danielle Galligan) is a very powerful Heartrender. She begins the series away from her home in the Little Palace in Ketterdam. Nina is opinionated, charming, gorgeous, and rowdy. She believes in the free will of all Grisha but also wants to fight their battles for her country, Ravka. Nina’s quick-wittedness did save Matthias from being killed, but is Hellgate any better? Nina is about to join Kaz’s crew in “Shadow and Bone” season 2, and we cannot wait to see how that goes. (P.S. This is a spoiler, but Nina and Inej’s friendship is the cutest!)
Pekka Rollins: Pekka is Kaz’s biggest enemy. He is the boss of a group called the Dime Lions and owns a lot of Ketterdam’s finest bars and casinos. As we saw in season 1, he is greedy for money and will go to any extent to get it, including harming innocent people. Pekka is wicked, and there is some deep secret within Kaz about Pekka that he hasn’t revealed.
Tante Heleen: She is the owner of the menagerie and brings in odd jobs for people like Pekka. She is informed about everyone and everything in Ketterdam, thanks to her girls. Kaz is trying to pay off Inej’s indenture to Heleen so she can be set free forever by the end of season 1. Unfortunately, they didn’t get the money, but Alina gave Kaz her headpiece, which may be worth a lot more, possibly saving Inej and the Crow club.