Shadow and Bone: Patrick Gibson Talks Nikolai's Allegiances in Season 2 (Exclusive)

If there's one thing that medieval films and television programs have taught audiences over the years, it's that royalty is not to be trusted. Shadow and Bone Season 1 teased this, as King Pyotr's determination to unite Ravka as one country again comes with suspiciously selfish intentions. Pyotr's son, Prince Vasily Lantsov, blurs the line even less, as his actions are often outright evil. Fortunately for this dysfunctional royal family, balance is coming in the form of Patrick Gibson's Nikolai Lantsov. In Leigh Bardugo's books, Nikolai is the step-son of the king, making him the maternal half-brother of Vasily.

Even though Nikolai has royal ties, he all but renounces the throne during his teenage years, leaving the First Army in favor of becoming a privateer. Those years lead him to adopting the monicker of Sturmhond, a title he carried as his own name until he needed to become Nikolai once more.

Based on Season 2 trailer footage, fans will meet Gibson's character in the midst of his Sturmhond tenure, meaning any potential royal reunions will come long after Nikolai left Ravka. Speaking to, Gibson teased that there is significant tension between Nikolai and Vasily because of this.

"I think there's definitely a lot of stuff between [Nikolai] and Vasily, his brother," Gibson said. "I think he's constantly treading that line of being appropriate and being a member of the court and everything, but he's just naturally and instinctively so lives outside of those boundaries. Especially the conversations with his brother where he's trying to be diplomatic, but still undercutting it with how much he really despises his brother for being so evil."

Regardless of what comes upon Nikolai's return to the Grand Palace, the thrill-seeker keeps himself in high spirits throughout Season 2, evident by his rousing speeches in promotional material.

"[They were] so much fun," Gibson said regarding his motivational monologues. "I couldn't believe there was so many. I was like, 'Oh my God, I've got another.' I think I had the Braveheart theme tune in my AirPods for some days. I loved the one on the ship, [that] was really fun because everyone was there. Just standing at the head of a ship, getting to give this big battle speech was cool."

All of Gibson's inspiring addresses can be heard in Shadow and Bone Season 2 when it premieres this Thursday, March 16th on Netflix.