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Martin Shore

Netflix faces huge fan backlash over Shadow and Bone's axing

The Shadow and Bone season 2 cast assemble in front of a pyre with The Darkling lying on it in season 2 episode 8.

Shadow and Bone fans are mounting a rebellion against Netflix following its decision to cancel the show after just two seasons.

Shadow and Bone season 2 arrived in March 2023 just shy of two years after the show's debut. While some fans regard Shadow and Bone to be one of the best fantasy shows on Netflix and there was plenty of excitement for a potential third season (and the rumored Six of Crows spin-off), the series' future had remained unclear for some time... until Deadline confirmed it was one of the latest Netflix shows to get the chop on November 15. The decision to axe it (and four other shows) was blamed on the impact caused by the Hollywood strikes.

It's safe to say that fans have not taken the news lightly. Perhaps inspired by the success of the campaign for Warrior Nun season 3, a petition calling for Shadow and Bone to be saved has been launched. 

The description argues that 'the Crows and Alina deserve to have their stories finished, not left on a ridiculous cliffhanger and left in the dust' and goes on to call on other streaming giants like Prime Video and Hulu to rescue the show from cancellation. And, despite only going live today (November 16), it's already got more than 4000 signatures, and that number has been growing, fast. 

Elsewhere, fans have voiced their frustration with the decision on social media. One viewer wrote: "Netflix really messed up by canceling Shadow and Bone without giving a proper closure. We have been asking for them to bring this show back for months and the cast deserves better!"

They were far from the only person upset over the decision. Plenty of viewers shared similar sentiments about the fantasy show, and others have started calling on other streamers to step in and save the franchise!

Leigh Bardugo, the author who penned the Shadow and Bone books the series is based on, has also reacted to the show's cancellation. In a statement posted to Instagram, she wrote:

"Friends, by now, you've probably heard that there will be no season 3 for Shadow and Bone and no Six of Crows spinoff. The news hit me hard. I'm heartbroken and deeply disappointed, but I'm also trying to hold onto my very real gratitude. Most authors never get to see their work adapted. Many who do end up regretting the experience.

"I'm one of the lucky few who can look at an adaptation with pride and tremendous joy. I am so grateful to our writers, our crew, and our extraordinary cast who are not just wildly talented, but genuinely good people. Most of all I want to say how grateful I am to the folks reading this—whether you found your way to the books first or discovered them through the show."

The statement continued to thank fans of the Grishaverse for their fan projects and love for the franchise, and ended on a hopeful note to 'see where the story takes us next'. You can Bardguo's full post below: 

Why was Shadow and Bone canceled? 

According to Deadline, the decision to cancel Shadow and Bone — along with Glamorous, Agent Elvis, Farzar, and Captain Fall — came down to scheduling issues now that the strikes are over. With actors and writers heading back to work, Netflix (and practically every other network) is trying to push projects forward. 

However, their report also noted that Netflix has weighed up the balance between viewership and production costs and, by the looks of things, Shadow and Bone season 2 didn't make enough of an impact.

The second season premiered on March 16, 2023, and spent a total of five weeks in Netflix's Global Top 10 English-language series. It debuted at the #2 spot but never managed to climb higher than that.

Together, these are probably the main reasons why we're not seeing more from the Grishaverse. 

Shadow and Bone is available to stream on Netflix. If you're looking for a new series to enjoy, check out our recommendations for the best shows on Netflix you should be streaming right now. 

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