I had the strangest experience watching Shadow and Bone with my partner and it was genuinely eye opening. As we watched, he kept making comments that I found confusing. He was asking why the Darkling seemed so non threatening and suggesting ways to make him scarier. When I explained the character to him and told him that intimidation wasn't the point, he seemed to genuinely not understand. Later, he asked me why Kaz was played by someone so attractive and I struggled to answer him. I couldn't understand his reaction and then finally, it hit me. Most high budget fantasies are geared towards a male audience. He's never seen anything like this before. The Darkling is designed to be attractive to young women, that's how he draws us in. He's a villain meant to scare US, he preys on OUR fears. He's not some typical scary man you'd see in a mainstream movie. And Kaz isn't an anti hero that most men are used to seeing. He's vulnerable, he's deep, he makes genuine connections. He's attractive to US, he's not a typical male self insert.
I'm so incredibly happy that Shadow and Bone was made, I'm happy that more diverse stories are coming to the mainstream. I enjoy a lot of mainstream fantasy but it's not all there is. I get tired of being asked to consume male stories. We deserve to have our stories told too.
Also, my partner is a lovely, kind person. Please don't come for him haha.
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I'm sorry but can we talk about how stunningly accurate every single Helnik scene was?
Some of those scenes were word-for-word identical, like I literally lost count of how many quotes and moments they took directly from the book and onto the screen.
We asked for a true to text adaptation, and obviously there were going to be some complications because of how the two series were to be mixed, but one part that they were free to do perfectly and separately was Helnik.
And they did. not. dissapoint.
This will forever be remembered as the first time a book-to-tv adaptation met fans' expectations and more.
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