In Shadow and Bone, General Kirigan, a.k.a. the Darkling, managed to expand the Fold. Here’s how big it is after the events of the season 1 finale.
Warning: SPOILERS for Shadow and Bone season 1 ahead.
Following the expansion of the Shadow Fold in the Shadow and Bone season 1 finale, it now extends across more of Ravka’s territory. It was established at the beginning of the series that the actions of the Black Heretic – later revealed to be Ben Barnes’ General Kirigan – spawned an enormous sea of darkness that consumed a portion of Ravka and split the kingdom in two.
For most of the series, the plan was for Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) to use her Sun Summoner powers to destroy the Fold and finally put an end to this darkness that isolates so much of Ravka’s lands. However, it was eventually discovered that getting rid of his creation was not at all what the Darkling truly intended. Instead, he sought to use Alina and the power acquired from Morozova’s Stag to make the Fold bigger and weaponize it against other nations, with the idea being that others that would be frightened into adhering to Kirigan’s demands. Fortunately, the main characters were able to work together and stop him from going too far with his scheme.
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Though General Kirigan was prevented for now from getting everything that he had hoped for, he did at least succeed in expanding the reaches of the Shadow Fold. Now, it covers Novokribirsk, a city just outside the Fold, located on the Western coast of Ravka. That means the Fold has extended westward by a bit, but not by much, maybe only a distance of 10 miles. Other cities on the western side of the country, such as Ivets and Os Kervo, appear to be untouched by it (though they may be much closer now). Novokribirsk may be gone, but much of Ravka still remains. Cities like Keramzin, Kribirsk and everything to the east of them haven’t been swallowed by the Fold yet. The Darkling’s demonstration was simply giving a taste of what he intends for the rest of Ravka and other countries if they turn against him and the Grisha loyal to him.
The Fold isn’t much bigger than it was, but the fact that it expanded at all could be a huge problem for Shadow and Bone season 2. The people living in the surrounding lands may not know the intricacies of what transpired on the ship. What happened may bolster fears about the threat it poses and cause some degree of chaos. As Alina remarked at the end of the finale, “We’re worse off than we were before.” Zoya (Sujaya Dasgupta) pointed out that people would turn against the Grisha for this, which does indeed feel like an expected consequence of the Fold’s expansion led by the Darkling, seeing as how the Grisha are under his command.
On the other hand, there’s a chance that the Shadow Fold destroying Novokribirsk might inspire others to get behind the main characters’ efforts to help Alina rid Ravka of the Fold in Shadow and Bone seasons to come. Based on Alina’s promise to tear it down in the finale’s last scene, and her turning on the Darkling and fighting his genocidal plan, it appears that destroying it once and for all and thwarting his ambitions will be the focus of Shadow and Bone season 2.
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