Shadow & Bone season 2 introduces three pivotal new characters that will play a major role in Alina Starkov’s journey and the future of the Grishaverse as a whole. Twins Tolya (Anna Leong Brophy) and Tamar (Lewis Tan) are heartrenders working with Nikolai Lantsov (Patrick Gibson). Book readers may know Nikolai’s true identity, but to reveal anything here would spoil one of Shadow & Bone season 2’s best reveals.
Despite that, Tamar, Tolya, and Nikolai go on quite the journey, assisting Alina and Mal in the Sun Summoner’s hunt for two fabled amplifiers. Of course, once they cross paths, their lives will never be the same and the three of them will become pivotal players in the battle against the Darkling.
Ahead of the Shadow & Bone season 2 premiere, Screen Rant sat down with Tan, Gibson, and Brophy to talk about the new episodes, including the bond between Tolya and Tamar, Nikolai’s journey and future in the Grishaverse, and more.
Gibson, Brophy & Tan On Shadow & Bone Season 2
Screen Rant: I love Tolya and Tamar’s bond this season. I loved seeing you guys interact, and it was key to the events that happened. How did you build the bond [and] the rapport that was necessary?
Anna Leong Brophy: I didn’t actually feel bonded to Lewis at all. [laughs]
Lewis Tan: We really don’t like each other. This is very awkward, extremely awkward.
Well, skills came in handy for acting.
Anna Leong Brophy: [Laughs]. We gave it to the character. No, it was love at first sight from a brother-sister perspective. We’ve gone through a lot of similar things in terms of like, we’re both mixed in the same way. We have a lot of those similarities, but we spent a bit of time at the top dissecting. All of our history is shared history, so all of our backstory has to be shared with the other person. And we decided, our relationship with our parents, our relationships between us and with the outside world growing up.
We’re kind of outsider characters. We had to figure out what heartrenders who are also twins and have twin connection and can feel each other’s heartbeat and know it like their own, how that would affect the way that we act together. The way that we fight together. The way that we sort of our bond. It’s like a real next level thing.
Lewis Tan: We’re also born like a month and a day apart.
Lewis, you and the whole gang here have some pretty wild adventures this season. Some of my favorite parts are from the Sea Whip to the final episodes. Did you have a favorite day on set?
Lewis Tan: I don’t know if I had a favorite day in particular. There [were] a lot of days that were fun. And it was like you said, it was a big adventure with everyone. The Sea Whip stuff was interesting. I think that was our first thing that we shot. We were just like soaking wet. We were just bathing in this lagoon, fighting this mythical beast for the first week. So it was a good breaking endpoint to get to know everybody in jumping into this wild journey that we all went on together. So yeah, that was very memorable. But it was all pretty memorable to be fair.
Water scenes must be bonding through misery because aren’t they just the worst to film?
Lewis Tan: [Laughs] Yes, that is exactly right.
Patrick, we got a big twist to the final episode. How would you define the next stage of Nikolai’s story in a few non-spoiler-y words?
Lewis Tan: How are you gonna do this?
Patrick Gibson: Could that be a harder question? Yeah. Oh, no, God, I’m going to spoil it. Where he starts out at the beginning of the season is so vastly different to where he is and who he is by the end. And I think that he’s he’s introduced with a new challenge in his life. New secrets that he’s got to battle with. And more pressure. I feel like that guy’s got a lot on his plate and they just keep giving it to him.
Lewis Tan: Well done, well done.
Patrick Gibson: [Laughs] I said everything without saying anything at all.
It’s the art of it. And then Lewis, you got some cool fighting in this show. You fought in Mortal Kombat. Did you learn anything on Shadow and Bone that you take to Mortal Kombat or vice versa?
Lewis Tan: You learn everything each time you know, it’s a process. You take these lessons from all the different movies, and you just try to push the boundaries next time and try to just improve bit by bit.
It was really great working with Anna because I’ve never worked with someone who’s a twin, and we’re kind of working off of each other in the way that we move physically [and] emotionally. When we fight, it kind of has that two people fighting as one type of feeling and that was something I’ve never done before. So that was really unique. And I really enjoy those fight scenes. I think they’re great. Just take all this accumulation of different films and shows and keep pushing the boundaries. That’s the plan.
About Shadow & Bone Season 2
Alina Starkov is on the run. A beacon of hope to some and a suspected traitor to others, she’s determined to bring down the Shadow Fold and save Ravka from ruin. But General Kirigan has returned to finish what he started. Backed by a terrifying new army of seemingly indestructible shadow monsters and fearsome new Grisha recruits, Kirigan is more dangerous than ever. To stand a fighting chance against him, Alina and Mal rally their own powerful new allies and begin a continent-spanning journey to find two mythical creatures that will amplify her powers.
Back in Ketterdam, the Crows must forge new alliances as they contend with old rivals and even older grudges that threaten not only their place in the Barrel, but their very lives. When a chance at a deadly heist comes their way, the Crows will once again find themselves on a collision course with the legendary Sun Summoner. Based on Leigh Bardugo’s worldwide bestselling Grishaverse novels, SHADOW AND BONE returns for a second season of new friendships, new romance, bigger battles, epic adventures — and a shocking family secret that could shatter everything.
Check out our other interviews with the Shadow & Bone season 2 cast:
Next: Shadow & Bone Season 2 Review: Strong, Intense & Thrilling Return To The Grishaverse
Shadow & Bone season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.