Netflix’s «Shadow and Bone» is an epic fantasy show with plenty of romance to spare. Lots of fans feel torn between rooting for Alina (Jessie Mei Li) and her best friend Mal (Archie Renaux), or Alina and General Kirigan — aka the Darkling (Ben Barnes). Plus season two, which Netflix released on March 16, adds the additional complication of Nikolai (Patrick Gibson), who wants Alina to marry him. Netflix’s series is based on Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha book trilogy, but it’s not exactly a straight adaptation of the source material, and the two seasons we have so far have made a lot of changes — including to Alina’s romantic fate. Ahead, we’re breaking down who she ends up with in the book and how things have changed so far for the show.
Who Does Alina End Up With in the Books?
In the books, Alina and Mal end up getting their happily ever after, but it’s not without complications. After Alina successfully kills the Darkling (nearly sacrificing Mal in the process, like in the show), most of Ravka thinks they’re dead. They change their names, get married, and essentially go into hiding. They also reopen the Keramzin orphanage where they grew up together.
Who Does Alina End Up With in the Show?
At the end of season one of the show, Alina wasn’t in a relationship with anyone. She kissed General Kirigan, only to find out that he was the Darkling who created the Fold. In season two, she kills him, so he’s off the board as a love interest.
But that doesn’t mean the season ends with Alina and Mal getting married. During the season, Alina agrees to marry Nikolai, who is next in line for the Ravka throne. After the Darkling is defeated, unlike in the book, she still agrees to marry Nikolai, because she thinks Ravka needs help healing and protection (and, unlike in the book, she still has powers). Mal decides to become a pirate.
Alina admits she doesn’t know where their paths will lead. Mal says if the path leads him back to her, they’ll know they’re meant to be together.
Will Mal and Alina get a happy ending in a third season? We’ll have to wait and see.