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Shadow and Bone, and Sorrowful Suspensions: A Grishaverse Goodbye

“We were all supposed to make it.”

It would appear that 2023 isn’t the only thing drawing to an abrupt conclusion. Brace yourselves, Grishaverse fandom, for Netflix has just pulled the plug on fan-favourite fantasy series Shadow and Bone. Just as anticipation of a Six of Crows spinoff was brewing amidst an excited audience too!

Shadows and Bone, and Sorrowful Suspensions: A Grishaverse Goodbye

Shadow and Bone was a streaming sensation. Based on Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling books of the same name, the Netflix series became an instant hit, owing to it being an excellent adaptation. Yes, there were transgressions– more so in Season 2 perhaps, with the chronology of Six of Crows interfered with and especially the dark arc of Alina. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that the fans were more than happy with the cast and crew, the fantastic (pun intended?) portrayal of the magical and fantasy elements and the way the overall output was largely faithful to the plot. But, despite it having been a huge success and ranking as #1 on Netflix for over a month, the platform still went through with its ruthless decision-making. The Season 2 finale is hence an unexpected farewell party–complete with cliffhangers that will haunt fans forever.

There is a lot to unpack in Netflix’s surprising and shocking verdict. It is, in fact, a sign of a larger trend in the streaming world. First off, the cancellation of Shadow and Bone isn't an isolated incident. It's part of a pattern everyone is rather acquainted with– Netflix waving the grim reaper's scythe over young adult fantasy series. Remember "First Kill," "Cursed," "The Society," "The Order," and "Fate: The Winx Saga," to name a few? Inevitably, they all met a similar end. One is only left to construe that Netflix quite dislikes YA fantasy and magical realms! And now Shadow and Bone too joins the graveyard of great shows buried way too soon.

The next issue is the true elephant in the room– Netflix blaming the strikes for the cancellation. Strikes that halted production for seven long months. Strikes that, according to Netflix, played a role in their decision to drop the axe on Shadow and Bone.

Sure, the strikes caused chaos in Hollywood, disrupting the flow of TV and film production. But, here's the thing – strikes are a symptom, not the disease. Studios reportedly create the conditions that lead to strikes in the first place, and blaming the fallout on the strikes is like blaming the rain for a leaky roof!

In the grand scheme of streaming, where every show is fighting for its survival, Shadow and Bone was a casualty of the vicious game of numbers. It was a moderately expensive series with extensive VFX work, and in the eyes of Netflix, if a show isn’t pulling in enormous viewership numbers, then it isn’t justifying the cost (which is outrageous, considering how popular the show is!)

As fans rally on social media, there's a sense of collective frustration. It's not just about Shadow and Bone; it's about a pattern of prematurely ended series. The disappointment runs deep, especially when there's so much potential left untapped.

This disappointment and rage of a whole lot of frustrated fans is manifested through the forms of petitions. Along with buzzing hashtags and heartful posts mourning the loss of the show, petitions are circulating faster than rumours about who might save the beloved Grishaverse.

Amidst all this, Leigh Bardugo says that she is “heartbroken and deeply disappointed” over this unexpected turn in her social media handles. Well, she's heartbroken, we're heartbroken, everyone's heartbroken. But, she also expresses her gratitude as she thanks the crew, cast, and the loyal fandom that made Grishaverse a thing– gratitude for the chance to see her work come to life on screen, even if it was a fleeting moment.

Bardugo's acknowledgement of the cast, crew, and fanbase shows the power of storytelling. It's a reminder that behind every canceled show, there are real people pouring their hearts into creating something magical and bringing alive hard work and stories.

But let’s be real. To bring back a canceled show is nearly impossible. Even Jesper might not put his money on it!

And so, here we are left, stuck with the disappointment of an unfinished story and the lingering question of what it could have been, craving a closure we so desperately need but we might not get.

Let’s raise a glass (or a tissue) as the fandom as a whole collectively mourns the loss. There are always books we can go back to seek comfort, right?

This might be the hardest one of them yet, one said with a heart filled with grief but…

No mourners.