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[Netflix] Shadow & Bones


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Faolyn

Hero
I meant more in terms of the casting. I heard it was all very young?
Oh, sorry. I'm not a great judge of ages, but the main characters could all be in their late teens to early twenties.

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Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I meant more in terms of the casting. I heard it was all very young?
its a very CW like cast, the main characters are all 20 somethings (maybe the General I'd put at 30s) but there's a pretty good spread of support characters.
The setting helps to keep the characters interesting and without too much annoying angst
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Very good analysis. That also explains why they are so proficient at what they do for their age.

The queens attendant (make up artist) said she’d been using her magic powers since she was 3 and in training since 11, so even if she’s just 20 thats 17 years of practice.
I assume that Ravka starts training its soldiers while they’re still children too - was that the purpose of the Orphanage?.
 

payn

Adventurer
Finished it up. Think got a little weaker again towards the end. I think a few more episodes could have done well. Not liking this new era of 8 episode seasons...
 

Ryujin

Hero
The queens attendant (make up artist) said she’d been using her magic powers since she was 3 and in training since 11, so even if she’s just 20 thats 17 years of practice.
I assume that Ravka starts training its soldiers while they’re still children too - was that the purpose of the Orphanage?.
I think that the orphanage is just a natural outgrowth of the high mortality rate. As a government in that situation, if you don't do something to support orphans, then that's many fewer conscripts later in life, because they just won't survive.
 
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DeviousQuail

Explorer
It was pretty good. The climax in ep 8 could use some work but I wouldn't call it bad either.

With the exception of a couple moments in ep 8 I felt like they did a good job showing us the Grisha magic, how it fits in the world, and the limits it can reach. It's powerful, but technology has drastically reduced it's effectiveness and there are ways to physically prevent magic use. Really well done in that regard.

There is a "persecuted mages" portion to this, which I find rarely stands up to scrutiny, but the show handles it well. The Grisha are persecuted but more from outsiders than their own country. They also seem to live better than the average person by the look of their clothes, the decadence of the Little Palace, and the way they carry themselves.

The casting was pretty good. I found most everyone believable in their roles. I was worried it might be a bit CW-esque with so many young looking folks in lead roles but unlike the CW no one is pretending they're in high school either.

My nitpicks:
  • Nina and Matthias' storyline is so tangential to everything else that it was hard to care. You can see where they are going with it but you could remove them from this season and only have one minor plot point to rewrite.
  • They needed to do a better job of showing how the geography of the world impacted character motivations. I know they show it at least once but I needed to look up the map online to get a better idea of the political motivations and ramifications of the Fold.
  • Seems like those bullet proof outfits would be useful on people other than the Grisha.
  • Seems like those Grisha would benefit from carrying a gun or three with them.
  • I might need to read the books to understand the Stag better. It felt so... odd. I get why it's important to the story but in world building terms it's so out of left field for me.
 

How YA is this?
The show is rated TV 14. There is some nudity--though nothing graphic--violence, sexually situations, though again, not overly graphic.

The books are in the YA genre (I personally enjoy a good YA), and, tbh, the Shadow & Bone trilogy was quite tropey (the show did a better job of downplaying most of the time), but the Six of Crows duology, while still YA, holds up a lot better. I think that it why they blended the two.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
The show is rated TV 14. There is some nudity--though nothing graphic--violence, sexually situations, though again, not overly graphic.
My worry is it skews too young for me not too adult. :)

Nothing about how graphic it is; it's more about the cast. It's just that pretty fresh-faced teenagers and young-20s don't tend to hold my attention much. Game of Thrones is more my personal preference than Hunger Games.
 

Gradine

Final Form (they/them)
The show characters are quite a bit older than the book characters (none of which top, like... 17). The age thing was definitely the weirdest part of the books, and it's nice to see the characters seeming to be in their early 20's. It's pretty hard to buy Kaz Brekker as a 16-year-old, for instance
 


Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
The queens attendant (make up artist) said she’d been using her magic powers since she was 3 and in training since 11, so even if she’s just 20 thats 17 years of practice.
I assume that Ravka starts training its soldiers while they’re still children too - was that the purpose of the Orphanage?.
The orphanage's purpose wasn't to train soldiers, but it was certainly intended as a source of conscripts. If you don't test as a grisha and get taken to the Little Palace, you're very likely to end up a soldier. The headmaster (?) of the orphanage tells Alina to practice her illustration skills, so that she can wield a pencil rather than a gun . . . the woman was actively trying to give at least some of the kids skills that would keep them off the front lines. Ironically, this leads to Alina becoming a mapmaker for the army, and getting sent to the front lines.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
It was pretty good. The climax in ep 8 could use some work but I wouldn't call it bad either.

With the exception of a couple moments in ep 8 I felt like they did a good job showing us the Grisha magic, how it fits in the world, and the limits it can reach. It's powerful, but technology has drastically reduced it's effectiveness and there are ways to physically prevent magic use. Really well done in that regard.

There is a "persecuted mages" portion to this, which I find rarely stands up to scrutiny, but the show handles it well. The Grisha are persecuted but more from outsiders than their own country. They also seem to live better than the average person by the look of their clothes, the decadence of the Little Palace, and the way they carry themselves.

The casting was pretty good. I found most everyone believable in their roles. I was worried it might be a bit CW-esque with so many young looking folks in lead roles but unlike the CW no one is pretending they're in high school either.

My nitpicks:
  • Nina and Matthias' storyline is so tangential to everything else that it was hard to care. You can see where they are going with it but you could remove them from this season and only have one minor plot point to rewrite.
  • They needed to do a better job of showing how the geography of the world impacted character motivations. I know they show it at least once but I needed to look up the map online to get a better idea of the political motivations and ramifications of the Fold.
  • Seems like those bullet proof outfits would be useful on people other than the Grisha.
  • Seems like those Grisha would benefit from carrying a gun or three with them.
  • I might need to read the books to understand the Stag better. It felt so... odd. I get why it's important to the story but in world building terms it's so out of left field for me.
  • The "persecuted mages" storyline does stand up to scrutiny. It's part of the Darkling's motivation, to make grisha useful to the kingdom so that they won't be persecuted. He succeeds, but only by making grisha indentured servants to the crown. The grisha were persecuted in the past, they are now well-treated, favored servants . . . but have no options other than to join the 2nd Army, in Ravka at least. With the disaster in the final episode, it's hinted that the grisha's favored status might be coming to an end, with a return to persecution.
  • The bullet proof outfits are likely expensive, too expensive to "waste" on the 2nd Army soldiers.
  • The grisha would likely benefit from carrying weapons . . . but their point of pride is the mastery of their elemental powers. There is dialog about how the grisha were once worth 50 regular soldiers, but then as gun technology improved, their worth has lessened a bit. It seems that firearms tech has been improving rapidly with the neverending war with Fjerda.
  • The stag is a remnant of an ancient time with grisha significantly more powerful than those of the present day. The "powerful, ancient mages" trope. An ancient, powerful grisha "saint" created the stag, and other magical animals, out of his own bones (how does that work?) . . . killing one of these animals and incorporating it's bones into your body significantly amplifies a grisha's powers. This is where the "bone" in "Shadow & Bone" comes from.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
My worry is it skews too young for me not too adult. :)

Nothing about how graphic it is; it's more about the cast. It's just that pretty fresh-faced teenagers and young-20s don't tend to hold my attention much. Game of Thrones is more my personal preference than Hunger Games.
The main cast is Hollywood young and beautiful, not much different from other similar shows. There is variety, in age, among the supporting cast, but our heroes Mal and Alina are young (late teens, early 20s). The Crows (rogues) are also young, but don't come across quite as young as Mal and Alina (mid-to-late 20s, early 30's for Brekker maybe). The villain is hundreds of years old! (But the actor, Ben Barnes, was in his late 30's during filming)

As an old guy myself, the character ages seemed appropriate to the story and not jarring.
 

Gradine

Final Form (they/them)
Young Adult. Stories aimed at, and appropriate for, teenagers.
I would include college-aged adults as well. It should be noted that the best of YA treats its audience's intelligence with respect; the genre typically isn't nearly as chaste or straightedge than content that a lot of parents might consider "appropriate" for teenagers.
 

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