Shadows and Bones: Described Characters, Politics, and War

Shadows and bones, Netflix’s new fantasy drama is based on a series of best-selling YA fantasy books. Immediately, the show drops the viewer into another universe. There, each country in the world has its own culture, and some of the grand plans of the story are more relevant than others.But the pilot Shadows and bones Throughout the exposition, we prioritize action over our viewers. There is no nifty map on the front page to help someone understand everything. (There is one.)

So, for those who can’t tell Ravka from Fjerda (or who want to review the world-building terms that have grown over the last decade or so), here’s a handy and dandy guide to the internal mechanics. Shadows and bonesWorld politics.

So what’s happening with Shadow and Bone?

Shadows and bones In a fantasy world with six core nations, Ravka, Fjerda, Shu Han, Novyi Zem, Kerch and Wandering Isle, we are making almost the same technological advances as in the mid-19th century (that is, this is a fantasy world. Use a gun). There is no specific canonical name in the settings, but fans know it as Grishaverse. Although the series of books spans multiple countries, the Netflix show features the first book of Grishaverse’s story, which focuses primarily on Ravka.

Photo: David Appleby / Netflix

And Ravka …?

Inspired by the Russian Empire, Ravka is the country where most of the action takes place in at least the first three books. Monarchically dominated Ravka is located in the middle of the continent, adjacent to Fjerda to the north and Shu Han to the south (more on this later). In one of the few countries where the typical persecuted class, known as the world wizard Glisha, enjoys a certain position in society, despite being forced to serve the king’s army. It is worth noting that there is.

At the start of the show, Ravka was in turmoil for decades, with Armies 1 and 2 protecting the country. All of Ravka’s problems can basically be summarized in ShadowFold, which divides the country into two. The Alina and Mal scenes start in Ravka, while the Kaz, Inej, and Jesper scenes in Kerch (more on that later).

What exactly is Shadowfold and why is it so big a problem?

Shadowfold (also known as Anthy or Fold) is a foggy band of darkness that divides Ravka in two. All that is really known about its origin is that the very powerful Glisha created it hundreds of years ago. It’s almost impossible to get past it, as it’s full of monsters, including Volkura, who likes to eat human flesh. To avoid monsters, most travelers avoid monsters via either Fierda or Shuhan, where both countries are fighting Ravka. East Loveka, including the capital Os Alta, is basically separated from the rest of the world. However, West Loveka, where the port city of Oskelvo is located, can connect with other parts of the world.

Jesse May Lee, Alina, staring into the distance

Photo: Netflix

Wait, wait — go back to the part about the two military: what’s that?

The First Army is Ravka’s normal non-magical army, consisting of regular soldiers with rifles and others. The Second Army is made up of Glisha soldiers. There is a lot of tension between the two troops. The First Army generally does not trust the Second Army, but the Second Army considers the First Army weak. However, the technological advances of Fierda and Shu Han have helped to defeat Glisha’s soldiers.

Who is Rabka during the war?

At the start of the show, Ravka is at war with Shu Han, a country inspired by China and Mongolia, and Fjerada, inspired by Scandinavia. It is not a formal war, as it is a century-long border dispute between Ravka and the two bordering nations known as the Border War. Shadowfold has weakened Ravka and both Fierda and Shuhan want to use it to acquire more land.

Shu Han is the southernmost country on the continent and borders on the north with frill sharks. Shu Han, a matriarchal monarchy, is also a land of scientific progress … and is known for experiments in Glisha. One of the big changes in the show is that the main character, Arina Starkov, has become a half-shoe. She grew up in the border town of Keramjin, Rabka, and basically spent her entire life comparing her to her enemies.

Fjerda, on the other hand, is the northernmost country, with ice and cold. It is the most conservative in the country, fearing Glisha and calling them unnatural and dangerous. Fjerdans also attribute to a very traditional gender role. Soldier Mattias Helvar is Fjerdan — and he is not just a soldier, but a drüskelle, or Grisha hunter.

Matthias looks cold and icy in a snowstorm

Photo: Netflix

What about all other nationalities?

Let’s disassemble it.


Kerch, an island nation in the middle of the true sea, is basically the center of world trade. Their religion is based on the god of industry and commerce. In addition, there are vast criminal organizations in the capital of Ketterdam. Slavery is illegal, but Glisha is often detained by wealthy merchants as an indentured servitude. Most of the Six of Crows books (spin-off duology) take place in Kerch, inspired by 18th-century Amsterdam, early New York, and Victorian London.

Important characters: The Six of Crows characters — leader Kazu Brecker, spy Inez Gafta, and sniper Yesper Fayhei — live in Ketterdam. Of the three, only Kazu is completely Kerch.

Shadowed jaspar, inej, kaz

Photo: David Appleby / Netflix


Suri is a nomad, from the northwestern part of Frilled Shark, inspired by Roman and South Asian culture.

Important characters: Inej is Suli and Zoya, one of the Second Army’s Grisha, is half-Suli.

Novyi Zem

Throughout the true sea, Novizem has been isolated from the political conflicts of other parts of the world that allowed it to prosper. Inspired by the United States and Australia, Novyi Zem is a place of freedom, and Grisha lives without being prosecuted or serving anyone.

Important characters: Jesper is originally from Novyi Zem.

Wandering island

This is the country we don’t know the most, as there is no wandering island hero. However, it is based in Ireland and its citizens are usually pale redheads. And they see it as a magical cure, so it looks like they’re drinking Glisha’s blood! Delicious! Also, the people of the wandering island are called Karish for no apparent reason.

Important characters: He is from Novizem, but Jesper is half-Kerish via his father.

All episodes of Shadows and bones Available on Netflix.

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