9 Interesting Facts Behind the Making of Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone has finally arrived on Netflix, and we can hardly get enough of the Grisha, the Crows, Ben Barnes… and of course, the guest of honour –  Milo the goat!

Behind the magic and mayhem, a lot of work went into bringing the rich and fantastical world of Shadow and Bone to life. Here are some behind-the-scenes stories you probably didn’t know about the show:

  • Leigh Bardugo, author of the Grishaverse books on which the show is based on, makes a cameo appearance in the series

In Episode 3, Bardugo – dressed in a purple kefta – is the first Grisha to hug Alina after she demonstrates her Sun Summoner powers for the King and Queen of Ravka. See if you can spot her in the crowd! 






Each Grisha has three different varieties of kefta: bulletproof for battle, velvet for everyday wear, and silk for social occasions like the Winter Fête. All of the kefta were hand-embroidered in a style called bullion embroidery, with actual pieces of small metal sewn into the fabric.






  • The cast grew very close when filming in Budapest

During their downtime, the cast would get dinner, sing songs and play the piano, have movie nights, and watch The Great British Bake Off in their pyjamas. 

  • The actors worked closely with the fight coordinators on set, and primarily trained in a style of Russian martial art called Systema.

Watch the cast prepare for their epic stunts and actions scenes here.

  • To prepare for his role as Jesper, Kit Young drew inspiration from iconic film characters like Dirty Harry, Deadpool, and Captain Jack Sparrow 

Fun fact: The first day that the stunt team handed Kit Young (Jesper) his prop revolvers, he accidentally dropped and smashed them.

  • Showrunner Eric Heisserer and director of photography David Lanzenberg were both visually influenced by the 2015 film Macbeth


Lanzenberg also drew visual inspiration from the 2017 movie Dunkirk for Ravka, and the 2013 film The Grandmaster for Ketterdam.

  • To create the Shadow Fold, Lanzenberg was visually inspired by the bog sequence in 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road and the 2013 film Under the Skin






  • Heisserer worked with David Peterson – the same linguist who created the Dothraki language for Game of Thrones – to create original languages for the show

In total, Peterson developed four new languages for the show – Ravkan, Kerch, Fjerdan, and sign language for the three Crows so they could communicate with each other silently.

  • The Crow Club in Ketterdam was designed in meticulous detail


The playing cards, gambling chips, and currency are all custom-made. The cards feature special fictional suits and a specific numbering system as well.

Which behind-the-scenes fact surprised you the most? Try to spot these details with a re-watch of Shadow and Bone, now streaming on Netflix!


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