February 21, 2024

Editor’s Note: The following contains full Shadow and Bone Season 2 spoilers.Season two on Netflix Shadow and Bone it takes the opportunity to expand the world seen in the first season. With the introduction of many more characters, more extended journeys and more myths explored, the new installments couldn’t help but make the world even more immersive than before. The show explores the legends of the fantasy world through Morozova and her creatures, but she’s not the only ancient saint to have influenced the story. In an effort to defeat The Darkling (Ben Barnes) army fueled by the merzost of Nichevo’ya, the heroes quickly discover that few can harm the shadow monsters. Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) can blast them with light, but only reform them. Other Grisha powers or weapons don’t work consistently because they can only hit when they build up to unleash their attack. As they search for a solution, Mal (Archie Renaux) recalls an old Shu Han legend about Santa Neya, which may be the answer they need. Unable to travel to Shu Han themselves, Nikolai (Patrick Gibson) suggests hiring some old friends. So Tolia (Lewis Tan) and Zoya (Sujaya Dasgupta) contact Kaz Brekker (Freddy Carter) and his group of ravens, asking them to follow the myth, with the high hopes of finding Neyar’s legendary sword. Although they know it’s only a myth, the heroes have seen legends before that they are true, and if this exists, it could help them save the world.

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The legend of Neyar

The characters find their story in a folklore book. Neyar is the patron saint of blacksmiths, known for forging the Neshyener sword, which means ruthless. Nearly four hundred years before the events of the series, the town of Neyar was attacked by an unstoppable army of clocks. Neyar created a weapon to fight them. Neshyener was described as “so sharp he could cut a shadow.” After three days and three nights of fighting, Neyar defends his house from an impossible army. Only when the last of the watchmaking battalion was defeated did he lay down his sword. The description of the sword’s ability to cut through the shadow and slay the unkillable army especially catches the eyes of the heroes as they find themselves in a similar situation.

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Where do they find Neshyner?

Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa in Shadow and Bone
Image via Netflix

Once the job is agreed upon, the crows must determine where to go. The legend happened in Shu Han, so it’s a start. Although the sword is supposed to be displayed in the Ahmrat Jen Shu Han capital, it has long been rumored that it is nothing more than a fake. Kaz quickly confirms this and learns that the real Neshyener was stolen years ago by a collector called the Disciple, so they decide to go looking for him. The disciple has disappeared, but some pieces from his collection have been sold by a contact named Ohval Saran (Tuyen Do), who owns a tea shop in Shu Han, that’s where the group goes. After using the code at the tea shop, Kaz meets Ohval, who refuses to answer questions. However, Kaz is very familiar with people he doesn’t trust and realizes he’s hiding something. Believing that Ohval is the disciple and that he has Neshyener, they follow him to his house and plan to enter.

The plan goes awry when they encounter deadly security features. The house catches them, and they can’t break the way out. Crow and company barely survive the mauling and poison-induced vision, but they don’t get the Neshyener. But that is not the last danger they face. Toyla senses a faint pulse inside the house, and Kaz suggests that Ohval wanted to protect the person with poison, meaning there’s another way to get in. However, Ohval returns home from the failed distraction. He fights the crow with his fine Grisha abilities. As a Durast, he can manipulate metals and other substances, but is skilled in hand-to-hand combat. But in the chaos, he doesn’t see that Kaz is missing.

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Who is the student?

Tuyen Do and Simon Armstrong in Shadow and Bone
Image via Netflix

Kaz manages to get inside and find the owner of the beat: an old man (Simon Armstrong) who is Ohval’s husband. His presence stops the fight. They learn that the old man is the Disciple, not Ohval. It is Neyar himself, making a holy Durast. But he hides his identity to lead a normal life. Since his fight with the watch battalion, Neyar has fallen in love with a thief who stole Ahmrat Jeni’s sword, although he returned it to its rightful owner, it was hardly stolen. Now, the disciple is old and near death, although Neyar is still relatively young. Despite Kaz’s words, Neyar insists that her love for her husband is not a weakness, but feeling pain is part of what makes life worth living. Neyar does not want to participate in the fight, but after learning the situation, he agrees to lend the Neshyener to Jesper (Kit Young), recognizing that they share Durast abilities. However, he hopes to return. The Crows leave Shu Han one step closer to defeating Nichevo’ya and closer than ever to each other.

Did Neyar appear in the book?

Alina Starkov was portrayed by Jessie Mei Li in Shadow and Bone Season 2
Image via Netflix

Neyar and his story do not appear Shadow and Bone series of books by the author Leigh Bardugo. However, the show does include characters from other series in the “Grishaverse,” meaning that characters who haven’t appeared in the story being adapted have something to do. The show takes this opportunity to expand into the darker stories of Bardugo’s world. And Neyar and Neshyener are an example of things not from the original story. Neyar’s story can be found in the novel. Lives of the Saints which inspired the plot of the show. However, the concept comes through perfectly in the show. Since discovering her powers, Alina has been canonized by the religious of Ravka, and when she learns about Morozova, she discovers that she was revered as a saint as well.

The idea that Grisha powers can be seen as holiness is not new to the story and has played an important role. The legend of Neshyener fits very well into the story because of The Darkling’s Nichevo’ya army. The search for a weapon to defeat the shadow creatures prompts a desperate attempt, but it is worth it and allows for a deeper exploration of what holiness means in this world. Alina is not the first Grisha to ascend, although she will feel alone. The existence of other living saints in the world proves that Alina’s journey is not over.

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