Shadow & Bone Showrunner Wanted To Throw Viewers Headfirst Into The Show’s Lore

Shadow and Bone showrunner Eric Heisserer wanted to throw viewers headfirst into the show’s lore, both non-readers of the books and original fans.

Netflix’s Shadow and Bone showrunner says he wanted to throw viewers headfirst into the show’s lore. The highly-anticipated series released on Netflix on Friday and has already captivated audiences with its dark fantasy world. Shadow and Bone is the first on-screen adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy and Six of Crows duology. Bardugo’s best-selling YA novels began with the 2012 novel Shadow and Bone, which tells the story of heroine Alina Starkov, followed by 2013’s Siege and Storm and 2014’s Ruin and Rising. Bardugo later added to the Grishaverse with her hit Six of Crows duology, which is set two years after Ruin and Rising. Netflix first announced that a series adaptation of Shadow and Bone was in development in early 2019.

In an interview with The Wrap, Shadow and Bone showrunner Eric Heisserer discusses the world-building of the eight-episode firsts season. He says that Netflix made sure that he and Bardugo, who also executive-produced the series, found a balance between not over-explaining to fans of the books, but also allowing non-Grishaverse readers to understand the story. Heisserer’s full quote can be read below.

“The clarity of the world-building was also an issue that Netflix flagged for us. They had had, you know, varying degrees, I think, of luck in other fantasy shows in trying to find that sweet spot of telling the audience what they need to know, but without it feeling like it’s exposition. And there are handful of things that are tools and/or tropes that can be used in this genre. You can have the text crawl at the beginning of the show to try and offer up some information. You can have pretty extensive voiceover that walks you through everything. And we wanted to do our best to essentially throw you into the water and let you swim around with these characters for a while and pick up on sort of the daunting world of the Grishaverse instead of trying to approach the pilot as if it were the novel, where we sat down and said, ‘Welcome to our TED Talk. This is ‘Shadow and Bone.’”

Ben Barnes as General Kirigan in Shadow and Bone

It seems as if Heisserer and Bardugo’s plan worked, as Shadow and Bone has received high praise from both new audiences and original fans of the novels. So far, most fans and critics alike have said that the series successfully adapts Bardugo’s stories to the small screen. Thanks to the fan base’s devotion to the five books and additional novellas in the Grishaverse, Netflix’s Shadow and Bone had the privilege of excitement prior to the show’s arrival, especially since the show united both the Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows stories.

While the show may make sense to faithful fans of the original novels, the series could be quite intimidating to non-Grisha readers. Heisserer and Bardugo will likely have an easier time with the story of season 2 since new fans are now somewhat familiar with the show’s lore. The series also benefits from having strong storylines to pull from the books, which will no doubt be implemented in future seasons. Based on reviews from audiences and critics so far, Shadow and Bone has the potential to become a massive fantasy hit, and the series has only just begun.

Source: The Wrap