The latest Netflix series from showrunner Eric Heisserer adapts author Leigh Bardugo‘s high fantasy series Shadow and Bone. The series may center around one girl’s ability to change the fate of the world, but it also introduces so many other storylines and characters. As I binged the series, I just couldn’t stop talking about how many strong female characters graced the screen and I felt I needed to share those with all of you! I have no doubt their stories will only get better from here on out! So here are six female characters we all need to keep our eyes on in future seasons!

DISCLAIMER: There are spoilers ahead for Shadow and Bone. If you haven’t gotten the chance to check out the series, you can find it here!

Alina Starkov

The Sun Summoner, known to the world as Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), is the first on our list! She has the power to single-handedly change the fate of Ravka. Alina may feel like she is just an orphan mapmaker from Keramzin, but she has been strong her whole life. At the orphanage, she would defend Mal (Archie Renaux) from bullies and those who would try and tear them apart. In the face of adversity and blatant racism, Alina stands tall. When she was given a chance to save those who looked down on her, she did without hesitation.

Alina (Jessie Mei Li)

JESSIE MEI LI as ALINA STARKOV of SHADOW AND BONE Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2021

Inej Ghafa

Inej (Amita Suman) is a member of The Crows and one of Kaz’s (Freddy Carter) most trusted companions. She is extraordinarily stealthy and a skilled fighter which makes her a definite addition to any heist. But her ability to become one with the shadows isn’t what makes her strong. It is her sense of duty to herself and those around her that makes her strong. She has a strong set of morals that she stays true to unless it means losing someone close. And, of course, she knows her way through a fight and isn’t afraid to go against some of the strongest Grisha the second army has to offer.

Inej (Amina Suman) in Shadow and Bone.

AMITA SUMAN as INEJ GHAFA of SHADOW AND BONE Cr. DAVID APPLEBY/NETFLIX © 2021

Nina Zenik

Nina (Danielle Galligan) is quite the charmer regardless of her role as a Heartrender. She is feisty and ready to take on the world. Nina begins as General Kirigan (Ben Barnes) spy, investigating Grisha escaping The Little Palace. Early on in the series, she is captured by the Fjerda and Matthias (Calahan Skogman). Even in the face of certain death, she still won’t allow them to break her down or give up any information on her boss or mission. But that isn’t the best thing about her. Nina is so charming; she melted the cold exterior of the Witch Hunter himself.

Nina (Danielle Galligan) in Shadow and Bone.

SHADOW AND BONE (L to R) DANIELLE GALLIGAN as NINA ZENIK in SHADOW AND BONE Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2021

Genya Safin

As the personal Tailor to the Queen and royal family, Genya Safin (Daisy Head) has spent her life changing the faces of those around her. Genya’s life within The Little Palace isn’t perfect, but she makes do and bides her time. Genya is a complex character who continues to not let her past define her. She is Alina’s first friend and trusted confident at The Little Palace, though we learn later that she had ulterior motives. This doesn’t take away from the fact that while Genya was at Alina’s side, she was one of her most powerful friends.

Genya (Daisy Head) in Shadow and Bone.

SHADOW AND BONE (L to R) DAISY HEAD as GENYA SAFIN in SHADOW AND BONE Cr. DAVID APPLEBY/NETFLIX © 2021

Bahgra

If there is anyone who knows everything that is going on, it’s Bahgra (Zoë Wanamaker). She initially comes off a bit rude and isn’t the “warm and nurturing” teacher we typically see. But, she knows that Alina needs a bit of hard training to allow her to let go of her past and embrace who she truly is. Bahgra also understands her son’s hunger for power better than anyone and isn’t afraid to help his greatest asset escape, even if that means risking her own life.

Bahgra (Zoe Wanamaker) in Shadow and Bone.

SHADOW AND BONE (L to R) ZOè WANAMAKER as BAGHRA in SHADOW AND BONE Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2021

Zoya Nazyalensky

I don’t think there can be a post of Shadow and Bone‘s strongest females without talking about Zoya (Sujaya Dasgupta). During the series, she has shown over and over that she is a powerful Grisha Squaller that shouldn’t be messed with. And while she isn’t initially on Alina’s side and does struggle with her jealousy over Kirigan’s obsession with the Sun Summoner, she eventually understands what is actually going on and helps them. If there is anyone we need to be looking out for in future seasons – it’s Zoya.

Zoya (Sujaya Dasgupta) in Shadow and Bone.

SHADOW AND BONE (L to R) SUJAYA DASGUPTA as ZOYA NAZYALENSKY inSHADOW AND BONE Cr. DAVID APPLEBY/NETFLIX © 2021

This article was originally published 4/28/21

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Julia Roth
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