Shadow and Bone is a fantasy TV series created by Eric Heisserer and available on Netflix. Based on the trilogy of books by Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising), the TV show was popular in 2021, with a complex plot and many questions that have arisen among the viewers. Season 2 is set for release in 2023, and all curiosities are around the relationship between Alina and Mal. In particular, an aspect of Season 1 stood out and triggered many doubts: why did Mal and Alina never kiss, and will they do it in Season 2? What’s the difference from the books? Let’s discover the truth.
You can watch Netflix’s teaser video for Shadow and Bone Season 2 here on Youtube.
Shadow and Bone: do Alina and Mal ever kiss? The book and Season 2
Alina and Mal clearly have strong feelings for each other, and that’s obvious already watching Shadow and Bone Season 1. However, the two never kissed in the first season, and that’s a difference that stood out among the viewers who have read the books.
Fans have pointed out one example of an intense moment between Alina and Mal that is present in the book: when Mal says to her, “I’m sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now,”, the book lets them kiss. In the series, though, they just smile at each other, and the show moves on. You can watch this scene at minute 3:30 in the video below.
It was an intentional choice by the TV show writers, of course. But not an easy one: Even the showrunner of Netflix’s Shadow and Bone, Eric Heisserer, confessed in an interview with TV line that this was one of the aspects where he would have liked a different outcome. As he said in the interview:
“There were definitely moments where a kiss felt warranted, and I will say this in a generalization and I’m certainly not pointing fingers at anybody, but I I fought battles on the show. I won some and I lost some.”
The good news for fans is that things could change in Season 2. Nothing is officially confirmed, of course, and 2023 will be the moment we will have the final answer. But Heisserer said: “I believe there is there is a lot of kissing in their future, should we ever get the opportunity.”
Fans look forward to watching that moment with their own eyes, especially knowing that Alina and Mal actually kiss in the book. After having seen Alina kissing the Darkling / General Kirigan so often, this aspect now deserves our full attention.