Shadow and Bone is all about supernatural powers, fighting for what’s right, and survival of the fittest, but behind all of its action and suspense, there is romance! Based on the YA book of the same name by Leigh Bardugo, the TV adaptation just hit Netflix today. If you’re here to learn about the fate of a will-they, won’t-they couple, you’ve come to the right place.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for Shadow and Bone season 1.
Right off the bat, the series introduces the dynamic between protagonist Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) and Malyen “Mal” Oretsev (Archie Renaux), childhood best friends who grew up together after being orphaned. Viewers can tell from the first episode alone that they’re definitely in love, even if they don’t know it yet.
Alina and Mal care deeply about each other and never want to be separated, which becomes a major conflict when the world discovers Alina’s powers and she’s rushed off to the capital to meet the Shadow Summoner, a.k.a. General Kirigan (Ben Barnes). Suddenly, both Alina and Mal’s worlds are turned upside down as they struggle with the truth. Alina is now the Sun Summoner and everyone believes she’s the one who can save the world. On the flip side, Mal is wondering if Alina knew all along and had kept it from him. As the two navigate their new reality, they’re doing so separately. They write letters to each other that never get delivered, and Alina begins to lose some hope.
Who does Alina end up with in Shadow and Bone?
Once Mal is out of sight and out of mind, Alina begins developing feelings for Kirigan. The two even share a kiss and appear to almost get intimate before an interruption distracts them. Their fling is very short-lived, however, as Alina learns that Kirigan is not who she thought he was. His mother Baghra reveals to Alina that he’s actually The Darkling, the one who created the Fold in an act of vengeance.
Fortunately, Alina dumps Kirigan and doesn’t seem to be tempted by his seductive and power-hungry ways throughout the rest of the season. Instead, when she is finally reunited with Mal, they realize they never got each other’s letters and basically pick up right where they left off.
In the end, Alina and Mal still don’t define their relationship, but they are as close as ever. Though they haven’t stated that they’re boyfriend and girlfriend, it very much feels that way. And more importantly than being romantic, they are best friends at the end of the day. Whether or not they get physical in Shadow and Bone season 2 is another story. We’ll have to wait and see!
Shadow and Bone season 2 has yet to be officially confirmed by Netflix, but we’re guessing it will happen. We’ll keep you updated on all news about the exciting new series!Next: Shadow and Bone cast: Who is in the Netflix show?