Shadow and Bone Showrunner Eric Heisserer Discusses Adapting Multiple Books in Season 2 (Exclusive)

The Grishaverse is back. After two years away, Shadow and Bone has returned to Netflix for its supersized sophomore installment. Following the first season's adaptation of the novel of the same name as well as the sequel series' first book Six of Crows, Season 2 takes the events from Leigh Bardugo's Siege and Storm as well as Ruin and Rising, while also sprinkling in elements of Crooked Kingdom. While diehard fans of the books may know the general direction that the Netflix series is going, Shadow and Bone's deliberate manipulation of time keeps the show as unpredictable as possible.

Speaking to, Shadow and Bone showrunner Eric Heisserer noted that the priority is to stay true to the source material, but they still want to mess with the chronology a bit to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

"This feels essentially like a parallel universe to what the books have established, and in part, that comes out of a necessity in that there are elements that just don't end up translating in an adaptation," Heisserer said. "The things that we do, we try our best first and foremost, to preserve an aesthetic fidelity to the source material. When we have to deviate from that, it needs to be bolstered by as much canonical information as possible so that it still feels like we're in Leigh's world. Because of that, I think the changes that we do make might be just enough to keep fans on their toes and not know where we're going, while also recognizing certain milestones or important landmarks that happen in the series."

Some of that chronology manipulation comes with the accelerated introduction of characters like Wylan, who doesn't show up until the Six of Crows duology. Wylan fit naturally within Kaz Brekker's crew, while the rookie trio of Nikolai, Tolya and Tamar were inserted into Alina Starkov's storyline.

"Thankfully the path for them was largely built out in these books," Heisserer said. "We had that as an amazing starting point and we just had to figure out how that could work with the storyline that we developed with the Crows in this season, and how we integrated Sturmhond and Nikolai. Along with the characters that we had carrying over from season one, the writers and I soon realized we had a lot of mouths to feed and it was really about striking that balance and making sure that each character got as much attention as we could give them."

Beyond the freshman class of characters, Heisserer and company had the luxury of playing with animated title cards and map sequences in Season 2.

"The map interstitials were a thing that we wanted to use in Season 1 but did not have the budget for, so when we were granted just a little extra breathing room in Season 2, that was the first thing that we wanted to try and tackle and I'm really excited for it," Heisserer said. "Cartography is obviously very close to Alina's heart and a part of this world, and a way for people to digest where everything is and get a sense of geography in a way that they can't otherwise. Beyond that, the geography changes a little bit in this season and it was good to be able to note that on the map."

Shadow and Bone Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.