This article was originally published on 3/13/23.

The sophomore season of Netflix’s Shadow and Bone hits the streaming service later this week. The high fantasy series is an adaptation of Leigh Bardugo‘s two fantasy novel series, Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows. We recently had the absolute pleasure of catching up with the cast during a roundtable press conference. They gave us a peek into what the second season has in store for us. And believe us when we say that these eight episodes are going to blow your mind.

Shadow and Bone‘s second season is an epic battle between the light and the dark as Alina (Jessie Mei Li) takes on Kirigian (Ben Barnes) in an attempt to tear down the Fold for good. And, of course, we can’t forget our favorite Crows are back in Ketterdam, but things are nothing like they left them. Will the side of good prevail, or will the dark swallow them alive?

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Li and Barnes return for season two alongside Archie Renaux, Freddy Carter, Kit Young, Amita Suman, Danielle Galligan, Daisy Head and Calahan Skogman. They are joined by newcomers Lewis Tan, Anna Leong Brophy, Jack Wolfe and Patrick Gibson. Eric Heisserer and Daegan Fryklind serve as co-showrunners for Shadow and Bone season two.

For those unfamiliar with roundtable interviews, they’re comprised of multiple journalists from different outlets. They usually run for about 15 minutes. Each journalist is granted at least one question.

Shadow and Bone Cast Interview

Tolya and Tamar getting ready for a fight.

Shadow and Bone. (L to R) Lewis Tan as Tolya, Anna Leong Brophy as Tamar in episode 208 of Shadow and Bone. Cr. Dávid Lukács/Netflix © 2022

Julia Roth: The second season of Shadow and Bone introduces twins Tamar and Tolya, which was everything we absolutely needed. But playing siblings, let alone twins, can be a challenge. What did you two do to help create and grow that relationship?

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Anna Leong Brophy: I think we won. I really believe we were very lucky to have each other. We made time, in the beginning, to meet up and specifically form this bond. We wanted to come from the same place when talking about the characters and cultivate that shared history.

Lewis Tan: They are definitely on their own little journey. Before they meet Alina and even join Sturmhond, they were on a journey together for quite some time. And I think that the feeling of being an outsider and not having too many people that help and support you is something that we can relate to as Asian actors. In the industry, there’s not a lot of us, and the people that have it have gone through a lot. So, I think we had that bond already, just as people. And then, we discussed in great detail all the background stories and built the shared history. It was such a great time, and we had tons of laughs while doing it.

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Julia Roth: Nina spent all of Shadow and Bone season one separate from the Crows on her own journey. How did it feel to finally become a Crow in season two?

Danielle Galligan: The first day on set was really magical. I was very nervous because there was already a very established chemistry and rhythm within the Crows that I love from season one. And all you can do is just hope that you can find your place within that and enhance it without disrupting it. It was wonderful seeing the different sides of Nina as well. I think each Crow is so individual that it brings out a different side to her, which is really really fun to play. But yes, I did miss Calahan quite a bit too.

Nina, Kaz, Inej, Jesper and Wylan looking out over Ketterdam.

Shadow and Bone. (L to R) Danielle Galligan as Nina Zenik, Freddy Carter as Kaz Brekker, Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa, Kit Young as Jesper Fahey, Jack Wolfe as Wylan in episode 201 of Shadow and Bone. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Julia Roth: In season one of Shadow and Bone, Alina is more on the naive side. She’s coming into her power and leaning on Kirigan for support. But in this season, we see her come into her own, and she’s more stubborn. How has it been watching her grow?

Jessie Mei Li: I’m so proud of her. She’s so grown up now. I think season one’s arc is all about her accepting who she is and her responsibility and not hiding away from the truth. And then season two is about what she does with that responsibility. I think it’s really nice that when we meet Alina, she is so vulnerable, weak and frightened, so it’s such an emotional journey throughout these two seasons.

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It has been really nice to play that journey whilst also holding onto her core. It’s these core parts that make her such a loveable character and someone you can’t help but root for. The whole journey has been quite challenging but really fun at the same time.

Kirigan examining his amplifier that connects him to Alina.

Shadow and Bone. Ben Barnes as The Darkling in episode 203 of Shadow and Bone. Cr. D‡vid Luk‡cs/Netflix © 2023

Julia Roth: The second season of Shadow and Bone is almost like a rebirth for the Darkling, even though he has done it a million times before. What was it like bringing him back with these little differences, shadows and instability?

Ben Barnes: I feel like my job in the first season was to utilize the powers of his charm and manipulative skills. We see his social standing as the show builds it up. Then we have this sort of turn that makes you realize he has these ulterior motives and his power in that way. I think in this season, I was excited because those masks have all dropped, and we are looking at the way he’s sort of being poisoned from within by his literal shadow demons.

It is also this power card that affords him the opportunity to just tell the truth how he sees it and really go full dark on everything because he’s got nothing left to lose. He is basically alone; he’s cut all ties and loyalties. He really is the sort of person that has nothing left to lose, and we get to see him go full venom.

This article was originally published on 3/13/23.

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