Shadow and Bone’s General Kirigan, aka the Darkling, doesn’t handle rejection well, and portrayer Ben Barnes knows it.
After getting his offer to rule side-by-side turned down by Alina and then being swept away by one of his Volcra in the Fold at the end of Season 1, the Shadow Summoner finds himself a rage-filled monster in Season 2 (premiering this Thursday on Netflix).
“Whilst he is the evil, toxic, nasty presence that is seething all over Season 2, he also feels betrayed and abandoned and rejected and alone — unloved at this point, even by his own mom,” Barnes tells TVLine. “He’s justifying the way that he is being, even if it’s not possible for anybody else to. In the first season, he has all these different weapons in terms of his army, his charm, his skills in manipulation. In the second season, all that is out the window, and he’s just more full-on rage.”
While the Darkling stalks around all moody and angry, new episodes will see Alina coming into her own as the Sun Summoner and the only one able to bring down the Fold. “[In Season 1], she’s reluctant to be the savior,” Jessie Mei Li shares, “whereas in Season 2, she’s finally accepted her responsibility, and we watch her struggle under the immense weight of that. She’s really settled into becoming a leader.”
Genya, meanwhile, will spend Season 2 grappling with the abuse she suffered from the king of Ravka, a position she was ultimately placed in by Kirigan.
“This season, we realize we see her struggle at the beginning to really not let her pain define her and to not let the suffering be a continuum,” Daisy Head, who plays Genya, explains. “In life, you can’t choose your pain, but you can choose how to let that pain define you and whether it can strengthen or weaken you. I think we gradually see that Genya gets stronger.”
Are you emotionally prepared for Shadow and Bone Season 2?