By Juliana Mountain
When Netflix approached author Leigh Bardugo with the idea of turning her fantasy books into a streaming series, she found herself with two paths: “Making shadow and bone and I hope you get the track to do Six of Crows or you can crash these two vehicles and see what chaos ensues.”
Fortunately for fans of the show’s first season, he chose chaos and created an entirely new “alternate timeline” that combined the events of his books into an entirely new story. At a panel Saturday at New York Comic Con attended by SYFY WIRE, Leigh Bardugo told fans about the “trust game” that comes with adapting fantasy stories for the screen and the inspiration behind the Grishaverse. .
“Writing fantasy is about politics, but it can also be about just living in a world where being brave, strong, smart and capable is more important than, say, being cute and popular,” she said. Escaping the genre gives fantasy fans “an edge over everyone else” and an uncanny ability to “see possibilities where no one else sees them.” Seeing the world through a fantastic lens means “the call box is always bigger on the inside, that’s how we live!”
Ironically, the Grishaverse arose not from what Leigh Bardugo could see, but from what she couldn’t. “I was at a friend’s house and I was reading a book… I fell asleep while reading it and when I woke up the house was completely dark as if you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face, and I was sure there was a murderer in the house,” said.
Fortunately for her, all she had to do to escape that fear was turn on a light switch. But what if “darkness was a place? What if the monsters you imagined were real and you had to fight them on their own territory? Netflix asked one more question: What if we take that world of darkness and put it on the screen?
“The dream of the show for me was not only to see these beautiful people embody these characters,” added Bardugo, “it also means that your story reaches new people.”
And reaching out to the people did! After its release, shadow and bone it spent its first 12 days as the most watched show on Netflix and its renewal for a second season shows how much the streamer took notice. Thanking fans for the continued support, Bardugo said that having the growing fandom to lean on is “all we can hope for as writers.”
Click here for all of SYFY WIRE’s ongoing coverage of New York Comic Con 2022.
Looking for fantasy content? Click here for our list of the best fantasy movies available on Peacock.
it’s a fan thing
Join SYFY Insider to get access to exclusive videos and interviews, breaking news, giveaways and more!
Sign up free