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S01.E08: No Mourners

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In the depths of the Fold, Kirigan demonstrates the scope of Alina's powers, while the Crows cross paths with a stowaway amid a do-or-die undertaking.

 

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I lost track of how many times Mal walked off a mortal injury. He was mauled by a volcra, mowed down by a machine gun, stabbed, shot at a few more times, and then had his insides crushed. If I ever do a rewatch, I may incorporate a drinking game.

I did not read the Shadow and Bone books, and only read the first Six of Crow book when it first came out, so I’m a bit rusty on the Grisha-verse. The Crows stole the show hands down. Jesper, especially, was so perfectly cast, and Freddy Carter was a good, but not perfect alternative to Nicholas Hoult, who would have been a great Kaz, were he not too old for the role.

I’ll definitely tune in for a second season, but only for the Six of Crow adaptation. I really couldn’t care less about the Alina storyline though, which is not a slight to the actors who did a great job. The source material just seems kind of bland. 

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13 hours ago, absnow54 said:

I did not read the Shadow and Bone books, and only read the first Six of Crow book when it first came out

I'm the opposite, read all three of the Shadow and Bone books but not the Six of Crows set. Did not like the characters from Six of Crows at all and I feel that the time spent on them took away from Alina's story. They could have done a tight six episodes from just the first Shadow and Bone book if they'd tried.

And calling it the next Game of Thrones? No. It's not even the next The Magicians. I'd put it a step above The Shannara Chronicles, but only because they spent more money on SFX.

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The Crows and Mal conveniently trusted each other really fast there...

So did I get that right, the slave hunters were from the isles the Crows are from? But that would mean slavery is illegal there, right? Then how is Inej a slave there?

They really didn't build up the rivalary between Alina and wind-bitch enough to make her turn at the end meaningfull. It was just like "whatever".

All the protagonists ended up on the same ship at the end? Kinda seemed like they were saying goodbye at the fire? Weird.

So Alexander could have controlled his shadow beasts and maybe the fold itself all along and he was just too scared to try? Didn't he say it would consume him without the sun summoner at his side or something? He seemed fine at the end there and in control.

All in all I liked it. But probably the world more than the plot and certainly the side plots a lot more than Alina's main plot. That one dragged, especially since the writers insisted on making her and Mal braindead for half the episodes.

Speaking of braindead characters, who can't see the obvious, Mathias refusing to understand that Nina called him a slaver to safe his life. It's the same dumb stuff as with the letters.

How many seasons is this supposed to be? I hope it got more views than the posts on this board would suggest. Otherwise it won't even make it to Netflix's traditional post season three cancellation.

Btw. are those old magic writings still in the fold? Alina could easily go in and read them, if she only knew about them...

23 hours ago, absnow54 said:

I lost track of how many times Mal walked off a mortal injury. He was mauled by a volcra, mowed down by a machine gun, stabbed, shot at a few more times, and then had his insides crushed. If I ever do a rewatch, I may incorporate a drinking game.

I was half convinced that he had to have some kind of Grisha-powers to survive all that. But maybe it's just good old fashioned plot armor...

9 hours ago, NeenerNeener said:

I'm the opposite, read all three of the Shadow and Bone books but not the Six of Crows set. Did not like the characters from Six of Crows at all and I feel that the time spent on them took away from Alina's story.

I haven't read any of the books and while in the first ~two episodes the Crows annoyed me and I wanted to see more of Alina's story, that flipped rather quickly and Alina's story became the boring one. It just kinda dragged and was pretty uninteresting and cliched.

9 hours ago, NeenerNeener said:

And calling it the next Game of Thrones? No.

True, GoT was so much worse from season 5 onwards. The only way to watch it was hate-watching. At least this was enjoyable in parts.

9 hours ago, NeenerNeener said:

It's not even the next The Magicians.

I wish there was a next The Magicians. I miss all "that gay shit"™.

9 hours ago, NeenerNeener said:

I'd put it a step above The Shannara Chronicles, but only because they spent more money on SFX.

Now, that's just mean. ;)

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I figured out that General Kirigan wasn't dead a couple of minutes after his death. I am pretty sure that would cause The Fold to disappear. Knocking him out should also make the Fold disappear, for a short period of time, that is the way all the other powers seem to work. Then again, since he used a spell to create it, it might be a little more complicated than that.

The Fold doesn't seem that impenetrable, a heavy heavily armored box on wheels seems like it would make it through as long as there was a means of propulsion. Maybe make a long fortified tunnel that spans The Fold. I wonder what the Volcra (Fold creatures) eat.

Since The Grisha seem to live forever until somebody kills them, should we expect some of those older characters/people of legend to start popping up at any time. I am surprised that The Grisha don't realize that they live much longer than regular people. That might explain why regular people hate them so much. There doesn't seem to be any kids around, maybe two Grisha can't have children.

I am sure Mal is a Grisha, he must have some kind of "super healing" since that machine gun unloaded on him and probably did not miss. The tests were never able to detect it because there is never a time when he wasn't injured or in pain.

It is good that Morozova's mythical creatures don't need to die to enhance Grisha powers.

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38 minutes ago, AnimeMania said:

Maybe make a long fortified tunnel that spans The Fold. I wonder what the Volcra (Fold creatures) eat.

They said they tried to tunnel underneath but "something heard them digging", so I guess we are meant to assume that there are other creatures in there that can easily dig through solid rock. I don't think something man-made could withstand that either.

What I don't get: From the level of technology they have, they should have planes or at least blimps and the fold doesn't extend up that far... so... I mean directly outside of it seems to be safe. They have harbors, camps and even cities a few meters away. So you'd think a few meters above should also be safe, too.

1 hour ago, AnimeMania said:

Since The Grisha seem to live forever until somebody kills them, should we expect some of those older characters/people of legend to start popping up at any time.

I think only summoners live forever. So the shadow summoners and the sun summoner. Every other Grisha ages slower, but even with amplifiers it's doneso after a hundret years or two.

But I could see the dude who created the stag showing up at some point.

1 hour ago, AnimeMania said:

I am sure Mal is a Grisha, he must have some kind of "super healing" since that machine gun unloaded on him and probably did not miss. The tests were never able to detect it because there is never a time when he wasn't injured or in pain.

Kinda seemed like the Grisha testers didn't bother to show up again, even though they couldn't test everybody there. Which is weird, but whatever.

I'm still not sure if Grisha or simply plot armor.

1 hour ago, AnimeMania said:

It is good that Morozova's mythical creatures don't need to die to enhance Grisha powers.

Are there even any left? I think it was implied that the stag was the last one?

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As someone who never read the books, I loved this series. I’m ready for a rewatch. 
 

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59 minutes ago, Zonk said:

I think only summoners live forever. So the shadow summoners and the sun summoner. Every other Grisha ages slower, but even with amplifiers it's doneso after a hundret years or two.

What was General Kirigan's mama she was older than he was. I think she might have been a shadow summoner as well.

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2 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

What was General Kirigan's mama she was older than he was. I think she might have been a shadow summoner as well.

Yes she is. She showed it off when she led Alina through the catacombs. It's in their bloodline (Alina mentioned that, not sure how she knows). They are also directly descendent from Morozova. So he was/is probably one too.

Edited by Zonk

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4 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

I figured out that General Kirigan wasn't dead a couple of minutes after his death. I am pretty sure that would cause The Fold to disappear. Knocking him out should also make the Fold disappear, for a short period of time, that is the way all the other powers seem to work. Then again, since he used a spell to create it, it might be a little more complicated than that.

By that logic it would go away every time he was asleep, I would think. 

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3 hours ago, Zonk said:

 

What I don't get: From the level of technology they have, they should have planes or at least blimps and the fold doesn't extend up that far... so... I mean directly outside of it seems to be safe. They have harbors, camps and even cities a few meters away. So you'd think a few meters above should also be safe, too.

 

Are there even any left? I think it was implied that the stag was the last one?

Air travel may be a possibility in the Grishaverse.  We have only seen a sliver of the world so far. 

When it comes to the amplifiers, the stag is not the only one.  The image of Morozova from Alina's book of saints shows 3 animals.  The books make this clearer.  

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5 minutes ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

Air travel may be a possibility in the Grishaverse.  We have only seen a sliver of the world so far. 

Yeah, but it should be possible in the parts we've seen, is my point. They have machineguns. Blimps were invented way before that in our world, Balloons even earlier. It's literally just hot air in a sack.

In the Grishaverse you don't even need a propulsion system. You have air-Grisha who can easily push you wherever you want to go (as seen by the sails on the ship) and fire-Grisha who can heat the air.

Even the first passanger glider plane was built in 1853, way before the machine gun. It took another 50 years to get something with an engine off the ground, but in this universe that wouldn't even be necessary, since they have literal air-witches.

It seems to me like the author wanted to have her cake and eat it too. You can't have a society this technologically advanced and then not just have them fly over the rift... at least not how it was shown in the show. If it went up into space in the books, then no flying over it. Was there ever a height mentioned?

4 minutes ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

When it comes to the amplifiers, the stag is not the only one.  The image of Morozova from Alina's book of saints shows 3 animals.  The books make this clearer.  

That was pretty clear. But the show gave the impression that all the other amplifiers had already been hunted down and killed. I guess that's not the case?

Then how do people know how the amplifiers work and that sometimes the results were meh, but with the right ritual they were increadible? That would mean at least two of the animals would have had to have been hunted down already (one for the increadible and one for the meh result).

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Crossing The Fold is primarily for supply runs, since the East doesn’t have access to the sea and trade routes like the West does, so they’d need to invest in a fleet of cargo planes, not a hot air balloon. I do think given how steam punk-ish this show was, there should have been at least one zeppelin floating about. 

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2 minutes ago, absnow54 said:

Crossing The Fold is primarily for supply runs, since the East doesn’t have access to the sea and trade routes like the West does, so they’d need to invest in a fleet of cargo planes, not a hot air balloon. I do think given how steam punk-ish this show was, there should have been at least one zeppelin floating about. 

There were cargo blimps in our world.

Also those ships they sailed through the Fold were tiny. You couldn't put much cargo on there and the cargo hold we saw this episode had like 4 crates in it. Considering how dangerous a journey it is, driving back and forth 50 times a day seems unwise. So either they don't need to ship many supplies between the two parts of the country or the author and/or the showrunners didn't think that one through.

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49 minutes ago, Zonk said:

Yeah, but it should be possible in the parts we've seen, is my point. They have machineguns. Blimps were invented way before that in our world, Balloons even earlier. It's literally just hot air in a sack.

In the Grishaverse you don't even need a propulsion system. You have air-Grisha who can easily push you wherever you want to go (as seen by the sails on the ship) and fire-Grisha who can heat the air.

Well, when I read the book I envisioned the universe depicted closer 18th or 17th century Europe than 19th century like the show did. Yes, they were in some fields more technically advanced but that's fantasy. 

Spoiler

However there are flying machines in later books.

 

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I enjoyed this for what it was, but I don't think it warrants a re-watch.  The Crows were okay (Jesper being the best) but Mal and Alina were so bland as to be non-existent.  I don't know if the books are the same as I've never heard of or read them, but the show definitely fell into the common YA trap of making the principal protagonists have absolutely no personality whatsoever.  It made it hard for me to buy into the big Mal/Alina romance/friendship (still not sure what they were going for there) or even care much about them at all.  I feel sorry for the actors who were given nothing to work with.

The early parts were hard to follow because they introduced 400 characters at once and of course everything had to be pitch black, but that improved about three episodes in.  The other annoying/confusing thing was not knowing where everything was located.  I had no idea what side of the Fold everyone was on (nor that the Crows started off on a completely separate island) until I looked a map/background info up on the internet.  They should have done better there.

A lot of stuff was telegraphed in neon (Kirigan being bad, the stag not granting Kirigan its powers).  Mal recovering from mortal wounds several times in succession (and in a few days each time) became something of a joke, I assume he's shown to be some kind of Grisha in later books?

I wish they'd wrapped it up at the end better, I don't think it's got the oomph for more than one season despite the money they spent on it.  Maybe if they concentrated on the Crows and had a side story of Nina and that not-Viking guy (if only because those two actors did have a ton of chemistry).

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4 hours ago, pootlus said:

I enjoyed this for what it was, but I don't think it warrants a re-watch.  The Crows were okay (Jesper being the best) but Mal and Alina were so bland as to be non-existent.  I don't know if the books are the same as I've never heard of or read them, but the show definitely fell into the common YA trap of making the principal protagonists have absolutely no personality whatsoever.  It made it hard for me to buy into the big Mal/Alina romance/friendship (still not sure what they were going for there) or even care much about them at all.  I feel sorry for the actors who were given nothing to work with.

The early parts were hard to follow because they introduced 400 characters at once and of course everything had to be pitch black, but that improved about three episodes in.  The other annoying/confusing thing was not knowing where everything was located.  I had no idea what side of the Fold everyone was on (nor that the Crows started off on a completely separate island) until I looked a map/background info up on the internet.  They should have done better there.  This - this - this!

A lot of stuff was telegraphed in neon (Kirigan being bad, the stag not granting Kirigan its powers).  Mal recovering from mortal wounds several times in succession (and in a few days each time) became something of a joke, I assume he's shown to be some kind of Grisha in later books? 

Spoiler

Per my daughter who read the entire Shadow and Bone trilogy, Mal is an amplifier, but he specifically only enhances Alina's power. If this series gets more seasons, I don't know if they will introduce that or not. Either way, I think it's fine.

I wish they'd wrapped it up at the end better, I don't think it's got the oomph for more than one season despite the money they spent on it.  Maybe if they concentrated on the Crows and had a side story of Nina and that not-Viking guy (if only because those two actors did have a ton of chemistry).

Get outta my head @pootlus. I kept nodding my head along to everything you wrote above. And count me in as someone who only read the first Shadow and Bone book, and none of the Six of Crows novels.

The only other thing I'd add is this:  I don't care that he's a baddie, my favorite character is The Darkling. Mostly because Ben Barnes is such a cutie, but he also had alot of charisma and played the part fairly well. I liked the quieter character moments between him & Alina (in the tent and his room at the Palace) and him and Zoya (in his room after they find out Alina is gone). Too bad he turned out to be such a HUGE psycho (a little psycho would have been OK), because my wish if for him and Alina to be Endgame. I really wasn't feeling much heat between Mal and Alina.  They seemed more like brother and sister to me.

I normally don't care for the backstory to the villains and would have been fine without it for Kirigan. Just showing limited flashbacks would have worked for me, rather than the long, drawn out flashbacks. I think we still would have understood how he came to be the way he is.

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14 minutes ago, norcalgal said:

The only other thing I'd add is this:  I don't care that he's a baddie, my favorite character is The Darkling. Mostly because Ben Barnes is such a cutie, but he also had alot of charisma and played the part fairly well. I liked the quieter character moments between him & Alina (in the tent and his room at the Palace) and him and Zoya (in his room after they find out Alina is gone). Too bad he turned out to be such a HUGE psycho (a little psycho would have been OK), because my wish if for him and Alina to be Endgame. I really wasn't feeling much heat between Mal and Alina.  They seemed more like brother and sister to me.

My thoughts exactly. I kept holding out hope he wasn’t all bad and he and Alina were endgame. I was very happy to see him survive, though. I think the actor had a lot to do with it. 

Hoping for a season 2.

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6 hours ago, norcalgal said:

Get outta my head @pootlus. I kept nodding my head along to everything you wrote above. And count me in as someone who only read the first Shadow and Bone book, and none of the Six of Crows novels.

The only other thing I'd add is this:  I don't care that he's a baddie, my favorite character is The Darkling. Mostly because Ben Barnes is such a cutie, but he also had alot of charisma and played the part fairly well. I liked the quieter character moments between him & Alina (in the tent and his room at the Palace) and him and Zoya (in his room after they find out Alina is gone). Too bad he turned out to be such a HUGE psycho (a little psycho would have been OK), because my wish if for him and Alina to be Endgame. I really wasn't feeling much heat between Mal and Alina.  They seemed more like brother and sister to me.

I normally don't care for the backstory to the villains and would have been fine without it for Kirigan. Just showing limited flashbacks would have worked for me, rather than the long, drawn out flashbacks. I think we still would have understood how he came to be the way he is.

Heh, you are welcome and completely agree about Ben Barnes.  My my, he was very nice in this (in an eye candy way, not in a character way).  I too wish they'd been a bit more subtle with his character and left a way back for him, and by extension him and Alina.  There was definitely chemistry there.

I can usually live without flashbacks, unless they're very well done, and they weren't here.  Like you said, we didn't need it - a sentence or two between him and his mother would have done the trick.  Barnes is a good enough actor - and Wanamaker certainly is - that more wasn't necessary.

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On 4/24/2021 at 7:35 AM, NeenerNeener said:

And calling it the next Game of Thrones? No. It's not even the next The Magicians. I'd put it a step above The Shannara Chronicles, but only because they spent more money on SFX.

 

Having watched all three of these shows, this is exactly where I'm at about Shadow & Bone. I find Alina far more interesting when she's interacting with everyone BUT Mal, heck I even like her with the Heretic/general even though I knew he was nothing but trouble from the start. The writing is...bland, everyone who isn't Grisha or the kidnapping crew (forgot their official name) is basically one note, the acting is choppy in bits and the main ship annoys me. You lose me when the side characters are more interesting than the protagonist and the main romance of a show is the worst thing about it, which sucks for me as a viewer because I know a large chunk of whatever happens next will be focused on Alina & Mal.

 

17 hours ago, pootlus said:

I enjoyed this for what it was, but I don't think it warrants a re-watch.  The Crows were okay (Jesper being the best) but Mal and Alina were so bland as to be non-existent.  I don't know if the books are the same as I've never heard of or read them, but the show definitely fell into the common YA trap of making the principal protagonists have absolutely no personality whatsoever.  It made it hard for me to buy into the big Mal/Alina romance/friendship (still not sure what they were going for there) or even care much about them at all.  I feel sorry for the actors who were given nothing to work with.

I think I might not be the target audience for this because YA romance correctly describes how I feel about them. I also probably won't re-watch the season too.

The things I did like:

- The Grisha. All of them. I wanted more from their world and their social dynamics.

- The kidnapping crew. The story tended to shift tonally with them which is needed sometimes in a show this constricted (so far) world-building wise.

- The concept of The Fold is intriguing but I feel like we're still missing bits and pieces about what it is and how exactly it works.

Overall, an average show with solid elements throughout. Might give Season 2 a shot when it drops but it's not a must-watch for me.

Edited by kdm07
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Are we supposed to feel bad for Matthias? He got what he deserved! 

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10 hours ago, Harvey said:

Are we supposed to feel bad for Matthias? He got what he deserved! 

He was ordered to execute the Grisha as the ship sank, and he objected and obviously refused in the end to follow that order because it would be murder. He felt the prisoners still deserved an actual trial. So while he was obviously misguided, it's largely down to how he was raised and what he was taught, and even then, he still recognized at least some things as being over the line. Like many, once he actually had some real interaction with "the other" (not just Grisha, but women as well, since he was totally clueless about them too) his ideas started changing.

Mal has more lives than a cat, and I'm sorry for that because he drags Alina down. I was so annoyed when she was facing off with the Darkling and seemed to be about to do something really cool with her powers to take him down, and then Mal interrupted. Then they're down on the deck being tormented by the Darkling and she's crying and crying over him, and then Mal goes off the skiff and she's so distracted crying over him that she nearly gets killed by the heartrender. Whenever he's around he pulls all Alina's focus, when there are far more interesting things going on. I'm with Baghra - just forget him, Alina.

But he's encased in five-inch-thick plot armor and this is obviously the OTP, so - I don't know, maybe the second season (if there's one) will be better in that regard because they're finally together. They might obsess over each other less (she pulls his focus too, it's just less irritating in his case because unlike her, he has nothing else going on anyway) when they aren't having to find each other.

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13 hours ago, Harvey said:

Are we supposed to feel bad for Matthias? He got what he deserved! 

Shrugs. I don't think Nina agrees with your sentiments.  There's chemistry between Matthias and Nina and the enemies to lovers trope is done quite well with them.

Alina is so insipid teen love with Mal, it drags the whole show down for me.   It's frustrating because there was real heat and chemistry between Alina and Kirigan before the show eeevilled him up to show us he is the big bad VILLAIN.

Sigh. On the whole I would have preferred the romance cliche of bad man redeemed by love for a good girl here over the teeny bopper romance we are getting instead.

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5 hours ago, magdalene said:

Sigh. On the whole I would have preferred the romance cliche of bad man redeemed by love for a good girl here over the teeny bopper romance we are getting instead.

While I can understand youor frustration I'm glad we did not get that trope - it's way more toxic than the teeny bopper romance.

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It might have made a difference to me if they had shown Mal and Alina meeting and bonding (one of the reasons the Nina and Matthias pairing works better). But even the flashbacks just went back to a point when they had already become really co-dependent on each other. And as adults, that dynamic just seemed so unhealthy, especially when multiple other people died because of their co-dependency. (At least Mal seemed to feel a little something for his friends who died, while Alina basically didn't seem to register her fellow cartographers' deaths.) Plus Alina gave up the Stag to the Darkling in order to save Mal's life, knowing that that power in his hands was a really, really bad idea. I want to root for Alina, but she makes it hard sometimes.

I haven't read these books, and it's been a while - quite deliberately - since I've read the kind of YA where the heroine obsesses first and foremost over the love interest when there are much bigger things going on and other people to care about. Thank goodness for the Crows.

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2 hours ago, Black Knight said:

while Alina basically didn't seem to register her fellow cartographers' deaths.

She actually blamed herself for their deaths in her first scene with the Darkling in episode 2. Of course he was not interested in her guilt-tripping.

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54 minutes ago, MissLucas said:

She actually blamed herself for their deaths in her first scene with the Darkling in episode 2. Of course he was not interested in her guilt-tripping.

I didn't get the sense she was talking about the fact she was responsible for her unit getting sent along with Mal because she just had to be with him. A unit was going to be assigned regardless; she wouldn't expect General Kirigan to care that it was her unit instead of another unit. Such low-level units are fungible to the head of an army (which is also why just her volunteering was enough to get her on the skiff - she didn't have to convince her superior officer that she would be the best one to send, because any cartographer unit would do). She was confused about what happened on the skiff, worried about her light, and getting hauled before the General as one of the only survivors would make her think that he thought it was her fault somehow that the other people on the skiff died.

At least Mal cried a little. Alina showed no sense of grief or any real remorse (and why would she, since her presence did save Mal's life?). In the scene you mention, she just came off as afraid she was in trouble.

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Overall, I really enjoyed it, but at the same time, including Nina/Matthias and the Crows left the actual Shadow and Bone story malnourished. It basically seemed like the Crows and Nina/Matthias was built on the back of Shadow and Bone. So while the others benefited (for what I am assuming is a Six of Crows spinoff), the Shadow story withered. No real time for Baghra/Alina or Alina/Genya or Zoya or Darkling/Baghra or truly develop Mal/Alina and Darkling/Alina because they're only getting half the time to tell the story instead of ALL the time. Instead there's barely any breathing room to do anything but go from one plot point to the next. We never really get to know characters because there's no time and so all manner of subtlety goes right out the window.  Also, Nina is supposed to be a big girl. It's very clear in the books that she's noticeably larger, so for a show that is stellar in just about all other casting choices, it was so disappointing to see Nina look like every other girl.

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50 minutes ago, Vella said:

No real time for Baghra/Alina or Alina/Genya or Zoya or Darkling/Baghra or truly develop Mal/Alina and Darkling/Alina because they're only getting half the time to tell the story instead of ALL the time.

An interesting question, for sure. As a non-reader of the books, I can't truly judge, but I have seen comments from readers that if the Crows hadn't been included, the season could have been done in six tight episodes - which isn't that far off from the eight episodes the show actually had.

But I also did feel like the show wanted to de-emphasize any other relationships of Alina's in order to make her relationship with Mal absolutely paramount, to justify all she did for him. She didn't give a crap about the other people in her unit. Zoya was a jerk to her immediately, Genya was a spy (though I'm totally willing to let Genya off for that given what she was enduring, which Alina wasn't exactly doing anything about even though Genya told her a couple of episodes ago). Marie was a redshirt and I'm not sure we were even given the name of the other Grisha girl who was nice to Alina. I was actually afraid in this season finale that they might kill Inej off so that Alina still wouldn't have any chance at a sustainable female friendship. She's so co-dependent on Mal and the show doesn't seem to see an issue with that, although I agree with MissLucas that going for the trope of the bad boy reforming for her would have been worse still. The Darkling is just too long-lived, and Alina too young and immature, for me to buy that, whereas while I may think the teenybopper romance is stupid, I can grudgingly buy it, while yawning, because young people can be that stupid. It is a pity though in the sense that Jessie Mei Li and Ben Barnes have better chemistry. Alina and Mal were basically dead on arrival in regards to romantic chemistry. Like another poster said, Alina is more interesting with literally everyone else. I hope if there's a second season, Mal has more of an actual personality since it seems like his five-inch plot armor means we're stuck with him. Just as an adaptation might not be as good as the book, an adaptation can also fix a flaw of the book...

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11 hours ago, Vella said:

Overall, I really enjoyed it, but at the same time, including Nina/Matthias and the Crows left the actual Shadow and Bone story malnourished. It basically seemed like the Crows and Nina/Matthias was built on the back of Shadow and Bone. So while the others benefited (for what I am assuming is a Six of Crows spinoff), the Shadow story withered. No real time for Baghra/Alina or Alina/Genya or Zoya or Darkling/Baghra or truly develop Mal/Alina and Darkling/Alina because they're only getting half the time to tell the story instead of ALL the time. Instead there's barely any breathing room to do anything but go from one plot point to the next. We never really get to know characters because there's no time and so all manner of subtlety goes right out the window.  Also, Nina is supposed to be a big girl. It's very clear in the books that she's noticeably larger, so for a show that is stellar in just about all other casting choices, it was so disappointing to see Nina look like every other girl.

Tastes will differ. For me there was too much of Alina/Mal in every episode as I thought they are tedious. I was grateful for the scenes with the Crows and Nina/Matthias.

By Hollywood standards the curvy Nina is a "big girl".

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6 hours ago, magdalene said:

Tastes will differ. For me there was too much of Alina/Mal in every episode as I thought they are tedious. I was grateful for the scenes with the Crows and Nina/Matthias.

By Hollywood standards the curvy Nina is a "big girl".

Yeah the Mal/Alina stuff was tedious.  Was it actually supposed to be romantic?  I didn't get a whiff of romance from them, more sibling vibes.  They didn't even look like they were close to even kissing, but Alina was prepared to bone Kirigan on his desk. 

I noticed that Nina wasn't standard Hollywood-thin, and was grateful, so agree if she's a bigger girl in the books they did nod to that.

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I gave this a shot but YA stories aren't really my thing. And shipping a dude who is centuries old with a teenager is definitely not my thing.

Personally I liked Mal and the Crows the best but probably not enough to keep up with additional series if there are any.

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There was a lot that I liked about this show, especially the world building, but I really wish that the story with Alina had been stronger. Alina wasn't an unlikable character, but there wasn't really a whole lot to her besides being the chosen one, feeling isolated, and her love triangle. She is very much of the "orphaned lonely nobody who it turns out is The Special" variety of main characters. While Mal is the better option, not being a hundred year old dark wizard seeking world domination or something, I also ended up finding them to be a bit too co-dependent to be healthy, constantly throwing themselves and everyone around them into danger because they cant stand not being together at all times. They also spent so much time separated its kind of hard to get that invested in their romance when all we see is them angsting about each other and childhood flashbacks. The actors had decent chemistry, but I just could never get that into their whole romance, which sucked because it was such a huge part of the main plot. Mal and Alina both really needed more personality and/or development. I think it would have helped if we saw more of their relationships with other people, Mal was quite a bit more lively with his two buddies then when he was with Alina and most of Alina's best moments were with the other Grisha and even with Kirigan, but those were all rather underdeveloped. I really do wish we had spent a bit more time with her just as a mapmaker before she was outed as the savior, then we could have explored her relationship with the rest of the soldiers a bit more, or if not that, explore her life with the Grisha more so its more a big moment when Zoya sides with her or when Genya betrayed her. Maybe that's just what happens when you have two (later three) major stories at once, some stuff just ends up not getting the time it warrants. 

I thought the other main subplots with the Crows and then with Nina/Mathias were a lot better. The Crows added a lot of much needed action, comedy, and general energy, and Nina and Mathias had some actual character growth and really showed their relationship changing from antagonistic to romantic in a way that made sense, even if it was relatively fast. Usually I ended up being way more invested in their hijinks even if the main plot was with Alina and her setting was so rich and interesting. I also thought that Darkling/Lord Hot Topic/Kirigan was a good villain, you can see how he thinks that what he is doing is justified even if its so obviously evil, and Ben Barnes is just ridiculously charismatic. The acting was all pretty good, ranging from decent to really good as well. 

Like I said, I really liked the worldbuilding and that it was a world based around Easter/Norther Europe instead of Central Europe like most fantasy stories, and it was more technologically advanced than a lot of magic worlds, even coming off a bit Steampunk, especially in Ketterdamn. I really liked the Grisha and their society and how their magic worked, you can tell a lot of thought went into their magic system and keeping it consistent, I really wanted to see more of their country and how it works. The Fold is a cool and creepy idea and adds a lot of drama to the setting. A lot of cool world building details that I liked, with the religious system, the different cultures and their differences, the use of magic as a part of the armed forces, and of course the beautiful costume and set designs. Its really kind of disappointing the story with Alina is such a by the numbers chosen one story when the setting she's in is actually really unique and detailed. Its probably why I preferred a heist story or a cross cultures romance more in this setting. 

If there is another season I will probably watch. I liked it enough to want to know what happens next and to explore this world more. 

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3 hours ago, rove4 said:

I gave this a shot but YA stories aren't really my thing. And shipping a dude who is centuries old with a teenager is definitely not my thing.

Personally I liked Mal and the Crows the best but probably not enough to keep up with additional series if there are any.

To be fair, I'm pretty sure we aren't actually supposed to ship the centuries old dude with the teenager (although I've no doubt some people are). The show is not subtle about him being the evil bad guy who tempts her briefly with his seductive ways before she comes to her senses, recognises his evilness, and switches her affections back to her clearly endgame, age-appropriate childhood sweetheart once more.

I liked the show well enough, the world-building was really creative and interesting, but I found it all  a bit lightweight, on the whole. Then again, I'm fairly certain I am not the target audience.

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On 4/28/2021 at 6:37 AM, Vella said:

Overall, I really enjoyed it, but at the same time, including Nina/Matthias and the Crows left the actual Shadow and Bone story malnourished. It basically seemed like the Crows and Nina/Matthias was built on the back of Shadow and Bone. So while the others benefited (for what I am assuming is a Six of Crows spinoff), the Shadow story withered. No real time for Baghra/Alina or Alina/Genya or Zoya or Darkling/Baghra or truly develop Mal/Alina and Darkling/Alina because they're only getting half the time to tell the story instead of ALL the time. Instead there's barely any breathing room to do anything but go from one plot point to the next. We never really get to know characters because there's no time and so all manner of subtlety goes right out the window.

I mean that might be the case, but as it stands, I probably wouldn't have finished the season if all we had had was bland and blanders story.

I haven't read the books, but from what I could see on the show, it had all the worst YA tropes combined into one. The other storylines were much, much more interesting.

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14 minutes ago, Llywela said:

To be fair, I'm pretty sure we aren't actually supposed to ship the centuries old dude with the teenager (although I've no doubt some people are). The show is not subtle about him being the evil bad guy who tempts her briefly with his seductive ways before she comes to her senses, recognises his evilness, and switches her affections back to her clearly endgame, age-appropriate childhood sweetheart once more.

I liked the show well enough, the world-building was really creative and interesting, but I found it all  a bit lightweight, on the whole. Then again, I'm fairly certain I am not the target audience.

The Darkling is never really supposed to be a viable love interest for Alina.  I know some fans will ship anything, but the whole Alina/Darkling romance was checking off a lot of abuser boxes.  We see him isolate Alina so that her only confident is someone loyal to him and himself.  

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2 minutes ago, Zonk said:

I mean that might be the case, but as it stands, I probably wouldn't have finished the season if all we had had was bland and blanders story.

I haven't read the books, but from what I could see on the show, it had all the worst YA tropes combined into one. The other storylines were much, much more interesting.

Yes the show does hit a lot of YA tropes, but the source material does start to veer away from those.  The first 3 books would have been marketed and sold to publishers during a time when everyone wanted the next Twilight or the next Hunger Games.  Tweaks were obviously done to make this series to fit the bill enough to get published back in 2013.  Season 2 should have more Crows content and hopefully the Alina story will not be as tropey.  

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2 hours ago, Llywela said:

To be fair, I'm pretty sure we aren't actually supposed to ship the centuries old dude with the teenager (although I've no doubt some people are). 

 

Yeah, it's not like this show is "Buffy" or anything....

 

And I'll be over here------------->

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3 hours ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

The Darkling is never really supposed to be a viable love interest for Alina.  I know some fans will ship anything, but the whole Alina/Darkling romance was checking off a lot of abuser boxes.  We see him isolate Alina so that her only confident is someone loyal to him and himself.  

 

I'd agree with this. I'm not familiar with the source material and don't know when it was written but anybody trying to normalize a "Lolita" type relationship now would have to be insane. The entire thing is clearly meant to be toxic. Without knowing that The Darkling was supposed to be evil and manipulative, it was still pretty obvious that he was using her to achieve his goals and really didn't give a rat's ass about her as an individual and she in return was reacting at least in part to her being hurt over Mal's "rejection"-which made me roll my eyes several times but what are you going to do. This is Y/A material and I am sooooooooooooo not in the target audience.

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On 4/29/2021 at 4:28 PM, Ohiopirate02 said:

Yes the show does hit a lot of YA tropes, but the source material does start to veer away from those.  The first 3 books would have been marketed and sold to publishers during a time when everyone wanted the next Twilight or the next Hunger Games.  Tweaks were obviously done to make this series to fit the bill enough to get published back in 2013.  Season 2 should have more Crows content and hopefully the Alina story will not be as tropey.  

Yes, the height of the YA insanity, after the success of Twilight and Hunger Games, Hollywood tried it with Divergent and failed miserably.  I have to say though, for some reason....I got MAJOR Katniss/Gale vibes with Alina/Mal...and I can't explain why, maybe it was the friends/not quite friends/survivors/known each other forever/do anything for each other vibe they had going on...not sure if that is how they are written in the book, or the show veered them that way.  But, I will say....as in the HG, I am all for it 😆 And like Katniss, Alina is bland/boring and Mal is a hot head (yet hot) like Gale 😆 and I preferred the characters together than apart

 

On 4/24/2021 at 7:35 AM, NeenerNeener said:

And calling it the next Game of Thrones? No

They are calling all these fantasy shows the "next" GOT....they did it with the Witcher (also a no, though i liked it), they will do it when Wheel of Time debuts on Amazon.....but yeah, this show was like, rated G compared to GOT

 

On 4/24/2021 at 5:06 PM, Zonk said:

I was half convinced that he had to have some kind of Grisha-powers to survive all that. But maybe it's just good old fashioned plot armor...

Yeah, I would not be surprised if it does come out in later seasons that Mal is a Grisha....and to think, they would not had to have been separated 🙄

 

I'd give this show a solid B+....i quite liked it and I will do a re-watch, only because i watched it too quickly and need to take it in slower.  Really liked the Crows and I think it was good to have the two different story lines going on.  I think in some ways, I might have liked it better than the Witcher, only because i found it easier to follow. 

 

And there's so many subpar Netflix shows on, I tend to give more praise to the better ones, [Umbrella Academy, the Crown, Stranger Things, Witcher]....but Netflix also has duds like Cursed!!!!

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Binged the show in two days and liked it more and more with each episode.  My biggest nitpick was that all of the key actors look like they're 20-25 years old but the characters would benefit from being different ages.  It's so hard to buy world-weary, seasoned kids.  Game of Thrones had this figured out....and yet I look forward to seeing where the story goes.

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I ended up liking this more than I thought I would, but I do agree Alina and Mal and their twu wuv was the weakest part of the show.  Obviously Kirigan wasn't going to be killed off in the first season.  I had zero doubt he'd walk out of the Fold in the end.  The shadow creatures following him were creepy though.  And speaking of creepy, the stag antler sticking out of Alina's shoulders is really gross.  I could barely look at her.

Regarding ways to get through the Fold, the conductor's train seemed to be a decent idea.  They could have found a way to build a track and have an iron train go back and forth.  

Because I enjoyed the Crows the most I put a hold on Six of Crows on Overdrive.  I'm #45 on the list.  Sigh.

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On 4/25/2021 at 9:46 PM, norcalgal said:

The only other thing I'd add is this:  I don't care that he's a baddie, my favorite character is The Darkling. Mostly because Ben Barnes is such a cutie, but he also had alot of charisma and played the part fairly well. I liked the quieter character moments between him & Alina (in the tent and his room at the Palace) and him and Zoya (in his room after they find out Alina is gone). Too bad he turned out to be such a HUGE psycho (a little psycho would have been OK), because my wish if for him and Alina to be Endgame. I really wasn't feeling much heat between Mal and Alina.  They seemed more like brother and sister to me.

This. Just all of this. I was really hoping Darkling wasn’t going to be such a cliche super villain because Ben Barnes is the best actor they have and could have really done more with it. He actually did do more but it’s obvious the character is just a one note evil character we’re supposed to root against. And to make it more of a shame, he and the Alina actress had 100 times the chemistry that the actress and the Mal actor had.

I wanted to like The Crows more than I actually did. I mean, there were a lot of good moments there but overall they didn’t work much better than Mal/Alina did imo. But a lot of that might have just been because I really just didn’t understand what was happening with them most of the time.

Nina/Matthias is what kept me hanging on tbh. Now that’s a cliche/trope I can get behind! And the actors were just wonderful together.

I’m not sure I would watch a season 2. If I did it’d be entirely for Ben Barnes and Nina/Matthias. Which might be enough really lol.

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On 4/29/2021 at 1:19 PM, Zonk said:

I mean that might be the case, but as it stands, I probably wouldn't have finished the season if all we had had was bland and blanders story.

I haven't read the books, but from what I could see on the show, it had all the worst YA tropes combined into one. The other storylines were much, much more interesting.

Yes.  To be fair, it's been a while since I was a teenager and I have zero interest in teen angst and romance of the "chosen one", etc.. 

But there was enough other stuff in this show and I would watch a second season.

 

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I found this disappointing, although it was very pretty to look at. 

I just had zero interest in Alina, who I found badly written and pretty tedious, a trait she shared with Mal. Who, I have to point out, wears a look of barely concealed rage for 90% of the entire show. And I'm supposed to SHIP him with Alina? Ugh. I know it's not the actor's fault (probably the director's, if anyone's), but he just came off like such a humorless douche -- and the scowl was still there even when they were reunited. At least the two of them can annoy each other now, and not me.

I was also disappointed in Kirigan, because we got these glimmers of a genuinely interesting, conflicted character whose motivations had at one point been at least somewhat understandable, but instead it just had him go full-on villain, and it was so boring and predictable. And what a waste of the charismatic Ben Barnes, man. Such a thankless role. 

I wasn't SHIPPING him, exactly, with Alina (since I hate the teenager/ancient romance trope to begin with, and also thought Alina was just the worst), but they did have great chemistry. Wasted chemistry -- although hey, at least as a suitor, Kirigan was pretty affable, romantic, and also, hey, asked for consent when things turned sexual. But of course that all got gross very quickly when we realized who he really was, etc.

So for shipping, I know I was supposed to ship Inej and what's his name, Kaz, the other scowly guy (the Crow member with the cane), but I gotta be honest, I was getting really tired of the "self-sacrificing girl pines for the guy who constantly looks enraged and won't tell her how he feels" repetitive tropes here. Like, I get that he sacrificed his club to get her out of sexual slavery, but if he's still going to stomp around like an asshole, she can do better. I liked the Crows, especially Jesper, but their motivations were all over the place and kind of a mess. Half the time I didn't quite get what they were doing there.

And then there was Nina and Matthias. Which, AGAIN, consisted of a woman (at least not a teenager) with a man who visibly hated and feared her. But they had great chemistry and their growing friendship was really sweet - until the nasty turnabout from Mattias as he felt betrayed at the end, which I just didn't buy. She was so obviously sincere, and had saved his life multiple times, so when Matthias sneered at Nina, I just sighed. On the plus side, I thought the actress (Danielle Galligan) was gorgeous and she also reminds me so strongly of Kate Winslet. I hope she has a bigger role next season.

On 4/25/2021 at 2:35 PM, pootlus said:

The early parts were hard to follow because they introduced 400 characters at once and of course everything had to be pitch black, but that improved about three episodes in.  The other annoying/confusing thing was not knowing where everything was located.  I had no idea what side of the Fold everyone was on (nor that the Crows started off on a completely separate island) until I looked a map/background info up on the internet.  They should have done better there.

I wish they'd wrapped it up at the end better, I don't think it's got the oomph for more than one season despite the money they spent on it.  Maybe if they concentrated on the Crows and had a side story of Nina and that not-Viking guy (if only because those two actors did have a ton of chemistry).

Yeah, this. I hope season 2 is better -- I'll at least give it a shot. But I don't hold out much hope because the showrunner is giving these cutesy interviews just talking about how much kissing Alina and Mal will be doing, and I was just cringing all over the place. AGHGHG. Let's not?

On 4/25/2021 at 6:46 PM, norcalgal said:

The only other thing I'd add is this:  I don't care that he's a baddie, my favorite character is The Darkling. Mostly because Ben Barnes is such a cutie, but he also had alot of charisma and played the part fairly well. I liked the quieter character moments between him & Alina (in the tent and his room at the Palace) and him and Zoya (in his room after they find out Alina is gone). Too bad he turned out to be such a HUGE psycho (a little psycho would have been OK)

Yeah, it's great that Kirigan was so charismatic, and Ben is definitely the best actor in the show, but that also meant that the action really suffered when his character lost all subtlety and just went off the deep end. Such a waste.

On 4/26/2021 at 7:37 AM, kdm07 said:

The writing is...bland, everyone who isn't Grisha or the kidnapping crew (forgot their official name) is basically one note, the acting is choppy in bits and the main ship annoys me. You lose me when the side characters are more interesting than the protagonist and the main romance of a show is the worst thing about it, which sucks for me as a viewer because I know a large chunk of whatever happens next will be focused on Alina & Mal.

Yeah, I kept wishing the writing was as good as the production values. It's such a shame -- the sets, costumes, worldbuilding were all gorgeous, as were the actors, but half the time I didn't know where people are, what they wanted, why they were so angry, or why I should care. And that's not because it's YA. It's simply bad writing.

On 4/26/2021 at 8:08 PM, Black Knight said:

He was ordered to execute the Grisha as the ship sank, and he objected and obviously refused in the end to follow that order because it would be murder. He felt the prisoners still deserved an actual trial. So while he was obviously misguided, it's largely down to how he was raised and what he was taught, and even then, he still recognized at least some things as being over the line. Like many, once he actually had some real interaction with "the other" (not just Grisha, but women as well, since he was totally clueless about them too) his ideas started changing.

Mal has more lives than a cat, and I'm sorry for that because he drags Alina down. I was so annoyed when she was facing off with the Darkling and seemed to be about to do something really cool with her powers to take him down, and then Mal interrupted. Then they're down on the deck being tormented by the Darkling and she's crying and crying over him, and then Mal goes off the skiff and she's so distracted crying over him that she nearly gets killed by the heartrender. Whenever he's around he pulls all Alina's focus

Great points -- first off, I was so puzzled as to why they didn't SHOW us that moment with Matthias, because that would have been a HUGE turning point for him. His refusing to kill Nina should have been something we saw, and they shortchanged us. It was probably the character's biggest early turning point -- and with Nina as well, as she realizes he feels something for her.

Meanwhile, don't get me started on Mal's constant parade of mortal oh-no-wait-not-mortal wounds. Eyeroll. They spent the entire show constantly teasing us that "NOW HE'S REALLY DEAD!" and nope, plot armor kept him alive every single time. Even in the machine-gun scene when he is full-on facing them and it appears they cut across his entire body -- nope. He just hops up and is fine. And I agree that he was tiresome with Alina. I even found him more interesting talking to KIRIGAN, for goodness' sakes.

On 4/26/2021 at 10:28 PM, magdalene said:

Shrugs. I don't think Nina agrees with your sentiments.  There's chemistry between Matthias and Nina and the enemies to lovers trope is done quite well with them.

Alina is so insipid teen love with Mal, it drags the whole show down for me.   It's frustrating because there was real heat and chemistry between Alina and Kirigan before the show eeevilled him up to show us he is the big bad VILLAIN.

Sigh. On the whole I would have preferred the romance cliche of bad man redeemed by love for a good girl here over the teeny bopper romance we are getting instead.

Yeah, me too. That was where I thought we were heading. That Kirigan wasn't a Big Bad, but would turn out to be misguided, misunderstood, and lonely, but that he would ultimately be seeking for connection that we could root for, and for a goal to save the Grisha that wasn't self-serving and semi-genocidal. But NO.

On 4/27/2021 at 9:00 AM, Black Knight said:

It might have made a difference to me if they had shown Mal and Alina meeting and bonding (one of the reasons the Nina and Matthias pairing works better). But even the flashbacks just went back to a point when they had already become really co-dependent on each other. And as adults, that dynamic just seemed so unhealthy, especially when multiple other people died because of their co-dependency. (At least Mal seemed to feel a little something for his friends who died, while Alina basically didn't seem to register her fellow cartographers' deaths.)

All this! Although, no, I didn't need anymore flashbacks to Alina and Mal -- we already got way more visions of the two of them holding hands in that damn field than I could handle. 😅

And as for Alina and Mal, the two of them were so unhealthy, and they got HOW MANY people killed because they refused to be separated? Aghgh.

On 4/27/2021 at 9:37 PM, Vella said:

Overall, I really enjoyed it, but at the same time, including Nina/Matthias and the Crows left the actual Shadow and Bone story malnourished. It basically seemed like the Crows and Nina/Matthias was built on the back of Shadow and Bone. So while the others benefited (for what I am assuming is a Six of Crows spinoff), the Shadow story withered. No real time for Baghra/Alina or Alina/Genya or Zoya or Darkling/Baghra or truly develop Mal/Alina and Darkling/Alina because they're only getting half the time to tell the story instead of ALL the time. Instead there's barely any breathing room to do anything but go from one plot point to the next. We never really get to know characters because there's no time and so all manner of subtlety goes right out the window.

Good point. My biggest issue with Shadow and Bone's larger plot is that we FINALLY learn the Fold's real beginnings, and that yes, it was an accident (and cast defensively), yet when Kirigan attempts to tell Alina, she simply spouts the usual idiotic dialogue trope where the person doesn't let the other person finish because an actual conversation would solve too much. This was a constant on Shadow and Bone, and I am so tired of the TV/movie trope where people don't talk like normal people because then the movie would be over. Like so many scenes here between Alina/Kirigan, Alina/Mal, and Kaz/Inej, among others.

On 5/10/2021 at 10:37 AM, peachmangosteen said:

This. Just all of this. I was really hoping Darkling wasn’t going to be such a cliche super villain because Ben Barnes is the best actor they have and could have really done more with it. He actually did do more but it’s obvious the character is just a one not evil character we’re supposed to root against. And to make it more of a shame, he and the Alina actress had 100 times the chemistry that the actress and the Mal actor had.

I wanted to like The Crows more than I actually did. I mean, there were a lot of good moments there but overall they didn’t work much better than Mal/Alina did imo. But a lot of that might have just been because I really just didn’t understand what was happening with them most of the time.

Nina/Matthias is what kept me hanging on tbh. Now that’s a cliche/trope I can get behind! And the actors were just wonderful together.

I’m not sure I would watch a season 2. If I did it’d be entirely for Ben Barnes and Nina/Matthias. Which might be enough really lol.

Everything you said here. I mean, was I happy with this? No. Will I watch a season 2? As long as Ben Barnes is in it, yes. Yes, I will watch it. Because I would watch Ben Barnes read social media tweets or grocery lists as long as he dressed up like Kirigan, dammit.

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9 hours ago, paramitch said:

know I was supposed to ship Inej and what's his name, Kaz, the other scowly guy (the Crow member with the cane), 

Yes, Kaz portrayed by Freddy Carter. You can see more of his amazing cheekbones in the Netflix show Free Rein (teen show about show jumping/horses). 

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I read the book when it first came out, and was interested enough in the verse to try the 2nd book, despite not really liking Alina or Mal. I loved everything about the Grisha, and could have used an entire season of just them and their training. That’s typically the way it is with me and YA novels. I liked the Crows, but didn’t love them until I saw the show; now I want to read Six of Crows. I love a good heist, and the actor that played Jesper really brought something. I also liked show Inej more than the book version. 

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On 4/26/2021 at 10:08 PM, Black Knight said:

Mal has more lives than a cat, and I'm sorry for that because he drags Alina down. I was so annoyed when she was facing off with the Darkling and seemed to be about to do something really cool with her powers to take him down, and then Mal interrupted. Then they're down on the deck being tormented by the Darkling and she's crying and crying over him, and then Mal goes off the skiff and she's so distracted crying over him that she nearly gets killed by the heartrender. Whenever he's around he pulls all Alina's focus, when there are far more interesting things going on. I'm with Baghra - just forget him, Alina.

That's basically where I am. I didn't like Mal repeatedly being the thing that forestalled Alina letting her powers loose. I get that it was a big climactic battle and they didn't want her coming out of the gate too early, but to the extent that I'm invested in Alina, it's in wanting her to take control of her narrative and own her power, far more so than her OTPness with Mal.

But while Alina got somewhat hampered, I loved seeing the Crows join the main action, proving once again that they can hold their own against whatever you throw at them, even as they're kind of flying by the seats of their pants. They're fighting Grisha! They're teaming up with Grisha! They're killing Volcra! I'm so here for all of that.

Matthias assuming Nina turned on him for real was disappointingly predictable, but I do admittedly understand it. After all, he's probably spent his entire life being taught religious anti-Grisha propaganda, and through meeting Nina, he's only JUST started to unpack all of that. After being seemingly "betrayed" by her, especially knowing that her powers can affect his moods/emotions, it's believable to me that his walls would go back up and he'd be in "how could I be so stupid to trust you?" mode.

On 4/29/2021 at 2:49 PM, tennisgurl said:

I thought the other main subplots with the Crows and then with Nina/Mathias were a lot better. The Crows added a lot of much needed action, comedy, and general energy, and Nina and Mathias had some actual character growth and really showed their relationship changing from antagonistic to romantic in a way that made sense, even if it was relatively fast. Usually I ended up being way more invested in their hijinks even if the main plot was with Alina and her setting was so rich and interesting. I also thought that Darkling/Lord Hot Topic/Kirigan was a good villain, you can see how he thinks that what he is doing is justified even if its so obviously evil, and Ben Barnes is just ridiculously charismatic. The acting was all pretty good, ranging from decent to really good as well. 

Like I said, I really liked the worldbuilding and that it was a world based around Easter/Norther Europe instead of Central Europe like most fantasy stories, and it was more technologically advanced than a lot of magic worlds, even coming off a bit Steampunk, especially in Ketterdamn. I really liked the Grisha and their society and how their magic worked, you can tell a lot of thought went into their magic system and keeping it consistent, I really wanted to see more of their country and how it works. The Fold is a cool and creepy idea and adds a lot of drama to the setting. A lot of cool world building details that I liked, with the religious system, the different cultures and their differences, the use of magic as a part of the armed forces, and of course the beautiful costume and set designs. Its really kind of disappointing the story with Alina is such a by the numbers chosen one story when the setting she's in is actually really unique and detailed. Its probably why I preferred a heist story or a cross cultures romance more in this setting.

ITA with all this, especially re: the Crows, the world building, and Ben Barnes. At this point, I'm in it for the interesting supporting characters and the cool world, and it's like Alina's story is the more conventional Chosen One delivery system that those characters and that world comes packaged in.

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On 5/15/2021 at 6:38 AM, paramitch said:

Will I watch a season 2? As long as Ben Barnes is in it, yes. Yes, I will watch it. Because I would watch Ben Barnes read social media tweets or grocery lists as long as he dressed up like Kirigan, dammit.

I would watch Ben Barnes do all that dressed in a tracksuit. 

I have to laugh at Mal's indestructibility. Shot, stabbed, skewered, punched—the dude survives it all with barely a groan, scratch, or limp.

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