The Cliffhanger 'Shadow and Bone' Season 2 Ending, Explained (SPOILERS)

The end of 'Shadow and Bone' Season 2 was a doozy, so we're here to help unpack all the chaos. Here's the Season 2 ending, explained.


Mar. 17 2023, Published 4:34 p.m. ET

Alina in 'Shadow and Bone' Season 2
Source: Netflix

Spoiler alert! This article contains major spoilers for the Season 2 ending of Shadow and Bone.

As fans of Netflix's Shadow and Bone return to Ravka for Season 2, the main cast of characters led by Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) is on a quest to reunite the kingdom and end the Shadow Fold for good. In the meantime, they're searching for powerful amplifiers to give Alina's magic a boost before she goes head-to-head with General Kirigan/The Darkling (Ben Barnes).

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The ending of Season 2 was full of twists and turns, containing lots of foreshadowing and hints about where a potential Season 3 could go next. Read on for the Shadow and Bone Season 2 ending, explained.

The Darkling and Alina speak in a dream in 'Shadow and Bone' Season 2.
Source: Netflix
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Here's the 'Shadow and Bone' Season 2 ending, explained.

In the final episode of Shadow and Bone Season 2, titled "No Funerals," Alina and Prince Nikolai (Patrick Gibson) have rallied their human and Grisha troops to face off against the Darkling's Grisha. In the meantime, the Crows, Zoya (Sujaya Dasgupta), and Tolya (Lewis Tan) have voyaged to Shu Han in search of a legendary blade that can cut through any material — including the Darkling's shadow monsters, the Nichevo'ya.

Thankfully, the Crows arrive just in time, as Alina and Mal go to meet the Darkling for a final battle in the Shadow Fold. Alina and Mal previously learned that the third amplifier to complete her power is Mal himself, leading Alina to struggle with sacrificing the love of her life or not having the strength to stop her foe.

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Inej and Zoya fight shadows in the Fold in 'Shadow and Bone' Season 2.
Source: Netflix

The Crows, Zoya, Tamar, and Tolya aid Prince Nikolai in leading the on-the-ground troops to victory. Meanwhile, Alina and the Darkling battle, with the Darkling striking the final blow — against Mal in an attempt to steal Mal's power for himself. Alina attacks the Darkling and kills him with the shadow-destroying sword. Mal insists Alina take his power to end the Shadow Fold once and for all. She stabs him and destroys the Fold.

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Thankfully, the group has a Heartrender on hand, Nina Zenik, who revives Mal from the dead. Nikolai, Zoya, Alina, and Genya light the Darkling's funeral pyre together, following the Darkling's ominous request that no trance of his body remains.

After the funeral, the group awaits Nikolai's coronation as King, and Mal decides to break up with Alina and become the pirate Sturmhond for a while to find himself. Tamar, Tolya, and Inej join his crew for the next big high-seas adventure.

Nikolai and Mal say goodbye in 'Shadow and Bone' Season 2.
Source: Netflix
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Alina, Zoya, and Genya decide to stay with Nikolai and help guide a new version of Ravka, where Grisha and non-magical folk are treated as equals. Alina previously rejected Nikolai's marriage proposal (even just as a platonic alliance), but she will go to Shu Han to return the legendary sword and attempt to broker peace on behalf of Ravka.

Before the coronation, Nikolai struggles with a wound he sustained during the battle at the hands of the Nichevo'ya. What he discovers, terrifyingly, is spreading darkness across his body. Disturbed, Nikolai goes through with the coronation anyway, but the events don't go as anticipated.

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Prince Nikolai prepares for his coronation in 'Shadow and Bone' Season 2.
Source: Netflix

In voiceover, Kaz Brekker has returned to Ketterdam with Nina, Jesper, and Wylan, having successfully reclaimed the Crow Club from mob boss Pekka Rollins. He recounts the spread of a dangerous new drug across the globe called jurda parem, which is highly addictive and amplifies a Grisha's power tenfold, but the creator has gone missing. Onscreen, we see him turn to Nina, Jesper, and Wylan with a new heist in mind.

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Back at the ceremony, just as Nikolai is about to be crowned king, a Fjerdan Heartrender under the influence of jurda parem steps forward, nearly killing the entire procession, including most of the Ravkan officials. Alina stops the woman by using the Cut, a move only the Darkling was able to perform due to the use of violent shadow magic. Alina is stunned at her new abilities, and the show ends.

Many fans were surprised that Shadow and Bone Season 2 ended with so many twists and turns, but book readers know this could only be the beginning. For a chance at any potential future seasons, remember to continue streaming Shadow and Bone Seasons 1 and 2, exclusively on Netflix.

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