(Warning: This post contains spoilers through the Season 1 finale of Netflix’s “Shadow and Bone.”)
“Shadow and Bone” Season 1 launched Friday on Netflix, ending its eight-episode story with an hour that sees Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) breaking free of General Kirigan, a.k.a. The Darkling (Ben Barnes). Reaching her full Sun Summoner potential with the help of childhood friend Mal (Archie Renaux), Alina harnessed the power of the stag amplifier Kirigan fused to her body and threw him into the Shadow Fold, a heroic act that killed The Darkling.
Or so we thought.
In the closing moments of “Shadow and Bone’s” Season 1 finale, we see The Darkling not only escape the Shadow Fold alive, but somehow exit with an army of horrifying new shadow monsters. And uh, what the hell are they?
Fortunately, we spoke to showrunner Eric Heisserer, who explained those creepy newcomers to us — well, at least they’re newcomers if you haven’t read the fantasy trilogy by Leigh Bardugo on which “Shadow and Bone” is based.
“They are new inventions of his that are not Volcra. They are what allowed him to survive the Volcra attack,” Heisserer told TheWrap. “For book fans, they are called Nichevo’ya. The Ravkan word for ‘nothing.'”
For those wondering, the Nichevo’ya first show up in the second book of Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, “Siege and Storm.” The Darkling created them using “merzost,” literally the power of creation, something other Grisha consider an abomination. That of course matters a lot later but the main things to bear in mind for now is that they’re very powerful and can’t be killed by normal means, and that the Darkling can control them, but the magic he tapped into takes a terrible toll on his health.
Of course, “Shadow and Bone” hasn’t been renewed for Season 2 yet, so we don’t know if we’ll see that play out in the Netflix series. But Heisserer is already thinking ahead to what a second season would be like. Read more about that here.