Adaptations always make some changes from the books, comics or other media they are based on, and Netflix's Shadow and Bone is no exception. The upcoming series is vying to be the next big fantasy epic, taking author Leigh Bardugo's books and making them into reality. To do so, however, the show will need to make one major change right off the bat.
Bardugo has created a vast fictional world called "the Grishaverse," where all of her novels are set. The show is named after the first of those novels, which kicked off her Shadow and Bone trilogy. However, it simultaneously tells the story of her second series, the Six of Crows duology. In Bardugo's books, these two stories take place one after the other, while in the show they will be layered on top of each other. In an interview with The Wrap, she and showrunner Eric Heisserer explained how they made this monumental change to the story.
"What Leigh and I had to do was essentially invent prequel stories for the key Six of Crows characters this season — Kaz, Inej, and Jesper — to fit alongside what is happening in the Shadow and Bone storyline," Heisserer said. "That's been the heavy lifting."
"Eric and our writers' room and our directors have built something entirely new that still somehow stays true to the characters and to the heart of the stories. And it wasn’t easy!" added Bardugo. "Eric took two fantasy series — with powers and creatures and horrors and heists — and molded them into this cohesive, incredible thing. I don't think I could've been more lucky in the person that we found to hand the keys over to."
For brand new fans, the stories will hopefully mesh seamlessly together, while for book-readers the stitching of these series will give them something fresh to look forward to. Additionally, Heisserer confirmed that this opens up the possibility of bringing characters from the different series together who never even met in the books.
"Yes, I get most excited talking about certain characters meeting certain other characters — meetings that don't happen in the books because they're set on different timelines. But they happen in the show, and I believe those moments are meaningful," he said.
Shadow and Bone is already taking social media by storm with trailers, teasers and interviews with the cast and crew. The impending show has already brought an influx of new fans to the book series, and brought existing fans into the social media fandom community. The series itself premieres on Friday, April 23 on Netflix.