Shadow and Bone has a lot of complex lore, blending storylines and mythology from all seven of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse books.

Season 2 puts one particular aspect of Grisha culture at the heart of things, as Alina (Jessie Mei Li) and Mal (Archie Renaux)

take on the mission of tracking down amplifiers in order to destroy the Fold. Their quest uncovers startling truths that create ripple effects that go far beyond the anticipated and

set the stage for a potential third season that would wade into new Grishaverse territory

Understanding the history of amplifiers and how they work is key to understanding this season of Shadow and Bone — particularly the ending.

Amplifiers can be traced back to Ilya Morozova, one of the first known Grisha. Hundreds of years ago,

Morozova set out to create a way of increasing Grisha power to help them better protect themselves from persecution

which is the same line of faux altruism Kirigan hides his own hunt for power behind. 

 Also known as the Bonesmith, Morozova used merzost and his finger bones to create impressively powerful animals that

when killed and fused into a Grisha’s body, boosts their power. At the moment the amplifier is fused with a Grisha

 they’re able to see the creature’s final memories, which sounds like a very unpleasant experience since these tend to be the animal’s POV of being murdered.

While rare, there are several amplifiers in existence, including humans, such as Baghra (Zoë Wanamaker) and General Kirigan (Ben Barnes)