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One of the best and most interesting aspects of fantasy fiction can be the extensive worldbuilding involved — whether it is Game of Thrones' many territories or the sheer size of Lord of the Rings' Middle-earth. Netflix's Shadow and Bone joins the list, with the adaptation of author Leigh Bardugo's bestselling "Grishaverse" books all set in a fantasy world with warring rival kingdoms.
Now, fans of the show (and books) looking for more will be able to explore the Little Palace, the Crow Club, and even the Fold via a new virtual experience site that lets fans "step" into these various locations. Each new "place" features an introduction from one of the characters associated with it, as well as video clips and stills from scenes set there, so visitors can explore some of the show's detailed set design.
But that's not all the fun to be had. Also available is a quiz that tells people what type of Grisha they are — or rather, what material they have the ability to manipulate — along with one that tells you which member of Kaz Brekker's crew you are. Fans can also put together an image of what their Grisha-selves might look like, in the painted style of artist Kevin Wada, who had previously created official artwork of each of the characters for Bardugo's Six of Crows duology, the parallel series to her original trilogy of the same name Shadow and Bone, both of which the newly-released show is based on.
This isn't the first time a fantasy adaptation has provided fans with a digital analogue to better experience the universes they've brought to life. Pottermore famously allows Harry Potter fans to "attend" Hogwarts and HBO's new His Dark Materials-themed wellness app lets fans discover their daemon AKA an external part of their soul that often takes the form of an animal.
Shadow and Bone tells the story of Alina Starkhov (newcomer Jessie Mei Li), an orphaned mapmaker who discovers she is a Grisha with the rare ability to bend and heat light to make it as bright and hot as the sun. This catches the interest of General Kirigan (Westworld's Ben Barnes), who is looking to bring down the Shadow Fold, a long stretch of pitch-black darkness that cuts their kingdom into two, and kills all who pass through it. Soon it's up to Alina to figure out how she can best use her abilities to both keep herself safe from all her newfound enemies and how she can help her kingdom.
Archie Renaux ("Malyen Oretsev"), Freddy Carter ("Kaz Brekker"), Amita Suman ("Inej"), Kit Young ("Jesper Fahey"), Sujaya Dasgupta ("Zoya Nazyalensky"), Danielle Galligan ("Nina Zenik"), Daisy Head ("Genya Safin"), Calahan Skogman ("Matthias Helvar"), and Zoë Wanamaker ("Baghra") all co-star. Eric Heisserer (Arrival) serves as showrunner. Bardugo is co-executive producer on the project.
You can currently stream the entire first season on Netflix, and visit the virtual experience based on it here.