Netflix’s Shadow and Bone presents the Grishaverse as you’ve never seen it before. The series combines author Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows book series to put an exciting new spin on her beloved novels. That also resulted in some brand-new characters, so if you’re wondering who the Conductor is in Shadow and Bone, you’re definitely not alone.
Warning: Spoilers for Shadow and Bone Season 1 follow. Shadow and Bone takes place in the Kingdom of Ravka, in a fantasy world torn in half by a monster-filled, unnatural darkness known as the Shadow Fold. When an ordinary orphan named Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) discovered she was a Grisha with the supernatural ability to summon light, it became clear she could be the key to destroying the Fold once and for all. But many people also wanted to exploit her powers for their own gain, and that’s where the Six of Crows gang came in.
As book fans know, the Six of Crows duology is set after the conclusion of the Shadow and Bone trilogy. But the Netflix series combines both stories, and in this version, the young criminal masterminds known as the Crows — gangster Kaz Brekker (Freddy Carter), spy Inej Ghafa (Amita Suman), and sharpshooter Jesper Fahey (Kit Young) — were hired to capture Alina in hopes of a life-changing reward.
The trouble was, the Crows were on on the opposite side of the Fold in West Ravka, so they needed to find a way to safely cross the Fold and infiltrate the Grisha palace. They ultimately turned to a man known as the Conductor (Howard Charles), who had made a fortune helping Grisha escape military service by crossing the Fold in a special train. He agreed to help them capture Alina, provided he get a share of their reward money. But during the mission, he went rogue and unsuccessfully attempted to murder Alina.
After he was captured by Grisha, the Conductor admitted to General Kirigan (Ben Barnes) that another party had offered him a huge reward to kill Alina. Kirigan revealed the Conductor’s real name was Arken Visser and he was working with a West Ravkan general who hoped to break away from the rest of Ravka and rule his own country. The Darkling proceeded to choke Visser to death with his powers.
This Conductor twist was a reminder of just how many people want to use Alina for their own schemes. If Shadow and Bone returns for more seasons, here’s hoping even more exciting new characters will pop up.
Shadow and Bone Season 1 is on Netflix now.
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