Important Netflix bees — they’re not just for Bridgerton anymore!
Season 2 of Netflix’s fantasy epic Shadow and Bone features a foreboding bee cameo in its finale, not long after Sun Summoner Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) tears down the Shadow Fold and kills the Darkling (Ben Barnes). As Alina and her companions burn the Darkling’s body, we see a bee land on Squaller Zoya Nazyalensky (Sujaya Dasgupta). Zoya quickly swats the bee away, but it is a strange moment. The Shadow Fold has been devoid of life (save the murderous volcra) for hundreds of years. Even after its destruction, the Fold still leaves behind a massive desert. Where could a bee have come from?
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Fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse will likely recognize the bee as the symbol of one of the Ravkan saints: Sankta Lizabeta (or Elizaveta), patron saint of gardeners. According to legend, Elizaveta saved her village from raiders by praying in a field of roses. Bees surged from the flowers and defeated the attackers. When she couldn’t replicate the miracle for other villages, she was drawn and quartered, later to be canonized for her martyrdom.
So, what does an ancient saint with bee soldiers have to do with the Shadow Fold? For that, we turn to King of Scars, one of the most recent Grishaverse books. King of Scars sees strange, saintly miracles popping up all over Ravka in the wake of the Shadow Fold’s destruction. While investigating, Zoya and Nikolai (Patrick Gibson) learn that the Shadow Fold didn’t just hold volcra. It was also a jail of sorts for three saints: Sankta Lizabeta, Sankt Juris, and Sankt Grigori.
Zoya and Nikolai’s discovery has major repercussions for them and for all of Ravka, kicking off a climactic arc for King of Scars. That Shadow and Bone is already foreshadowing Elizaveta through a stray bee means that we’re getting the events of King of Scars sooner rather than later. That said bee lands on Zoya is even more foreshadowing, as Zoya interacts most with Elizaveta, and King of Scars marks her jump to a main character.
Here’s hoping for a Season 3, because that bee deserves payoff.