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Shadow and Bone Season 2
Courtesy of Netflix

Shadow and Bone’s Kaz Brekker really tried, y’all.

In the Season 2 finale, which is now streaming on Netflix, he worked up the courage to tell his fellow Crow Inej that he wanted to be with her. He struggled just to even say what he felt, and Inej knew she needed more than what he could offer her romantically in that moment.

“I will have you without your armor, Kaz Brekker, or I will not have you at all,” she told him before walking away to find her family.

It’s the most movement we’ve seen between the pair, who’ve spent Seasons 1 and 2 exchanging small glances, lingering touches and unique banter. “You can really, really feel the yearning and the pain that they’re both in trying to make this work, and it’s just not going to work,” co-showrunner Daegan Fryklind tells TVLine. “Like, he’s damaged.”

Co-showrunner Eric Heisserer adds, “The tension will be palpable the next time those two are in the same room together.”

They aren’t the only ones caught up in a tormented romance. Mattias, a Drüskelle, and Nina, a Grisha, quickly fell for each other before Nina had him sent to Hell Gate (a harsh Kerch prison) to save his life. Nina returned with the papers to free him in the finale, only for nefarious gang leader Pekka Rollins to disregard them and keep Mattias imprisoned — once again separating the pair. For those hoping they’ll find their way back to each other, Heisserer says you’ll be in for a wait. (Note: Shadow and Bone has not yet been renewed for Season 3.)

“Love in the Grishaverse is hard-earned. If you manage to luck into it and realize what you have, then you’re going to be one of the few happy, healthy relationships, and then everybody else will be gunning for you,” Heisserer explains. “Nina and Mattias do have their day in the sun [in the books], but they have to go through a lot of pain and torture to get there. It will remain unrequited for a while.”

Plus, Mattias will have to work on “finding a way towards forgiveness,” Fryklind notes. “She did betray him, from his perspective, and she did what she had to do, from her perspective, to save him. It’s hard for him to see that through the rage.”

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