SPOILERS are ahead for Netflix’s Shadow and Bone.
We’d imagine by this point you’ve finished Shadow and Bone and are left blankly staring at your television with questions upon questions about the loose ends left by the finale. On the good news side of things, Alina Starkov found strength in her powers and defeated Ben Barnes’ Darkling (for now), but there’s so much more to keep us wondering as we wait for a second season to be picked up by Netflix – including Alina and Genya’s friendship being on the rocks.
In between the triangle that had us looking back and forth between Alina’s childhood bestie Mal and the Darkling’s villainous plans becoming known, the Sun Summoner found solace in Genya Safin, the Little Palace’s tailor who got her ready for her royal appearances. Like many fans, some of my favorite scenes were between Jessie Mei Li’s Alina and Daisy Head’s Genya as their friendship flourished. Until… it didn’t.
At the end of the season, we learn that Genya had been on the side of the Darkling the whole time. The tailor claims she had a good reason considering her complicated relationship with the King, but Alina feels betrayed. When CinemaBlend spoke to Daisy Head during Shadow and Bone’s virtual press day, I asked the actress about her thoughts on where the season leaves the two characters. In her words:
They definitely have a unique bond in the fact that they are both natural outsiders. So that was an instant connection for our characters and as you’ve mentioned, their relationship is taken to a difficult place, but with trials and tribulations, I think relationships potentially can get stronger. So it’s just a question of trust and willingness to allow each to inhabit their own space and not judge them for that and hopefully see through the difficulties.
It sounds like Daisy Head has some solid hope for Alina and Genya moving forward as long as the pair can trust one another again and look from each of their unique perspectives. We certainly hope so, because their relationship was one of the highlights of Season 1. Head also shared her own love for their dynamic, continuing with this to CinemaBlend:
I also love their relationship. Honestly, it’s a testament to Jessie and how wonderful a scene partner she is. She’s just generous, giving, so talented and I just had so much fun. For me, I didn’t have to work hard to create the chemistry because it was there from the get-go. She’s such an infectious human being and I just love her so much and I think a mutual respect for each other definitely shows on screen with our characters.
If you loved Genya in the series and have yet to read the Shadow and Bone books, Leigh Bardugo’s novels offer a bit more context to Genya as a character and her motivations. I don’t want to give any spoilers about what happens next from a book point of view, but Genya definitely has a continued role in Alina’s journey and if Siege and Storm is adapted next for Season 2, there are some major developments for their friendship.
While we wait for more updates on Shadow and Bone’s future, check out the major differences between the book and TV show here on CinemaBlend.