Shadow and Bone: Who is Luda? What was her relationship with General Kirigan?

Production still from Shadow and Bone.
General Kirigan and Luda had a very close relationship in Shadow and Bone. Pic credit: Netflix

Calling all fans of the Grishaverse! Netflix’s latest book-to-series adaptation Shadow and Bone has been dominating Netflix since its debut on April 23. Netflix dropped the entire first season, all at once, instead of opting for weekly releases. 

The series has been excitingly occupying the number one slot of trending television shows and movies in the United States for its entire premiere weekend. As of now, the series has eight episodes, each clocking in at about an hour. A second season has yet to be confirmed, but fans are hopeful given that there’s much more source material to explore and the series had a successful debut. 

Shadow and Bone explores the war-torn country of Ravka through the eyes of the main character Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li). Netflix writes, “With the monstrous threat of the Shadow Fold looming, Alina is torn from everything she knows to train as part of an elite army of magical soldiers known as Grisha. But as she struggles to hone her power, she finds that allies and enemies can be one and the same and that nothing in this lavish world is what it seems.”

One thing that threw viewers off was the flashbacks involving the character Luda. Here’s everything we know about her. Spoilers for Shadow and Bone Season 1 ahead.

Who is Luda? 

The character Luda is played by actor Lucy Griffiths and she has a brief appearance in the second to last episode of Shadow and Bone Season 1, titled The Unsea. 

Luda is briefly seen in a flashback, giving some insight into General Kirigan’s (Ben Barnes) dark past. Prior to this, General Kirigan’s true motives were revealed, showing that he doesn’t have the best intentions for his relationship with Alina— who is newly growing acquainted with her Sun Summoner powers. 

What happens in the flashback? 

In the episode’s flashback, Kirigan’s villain arc is revealed. The flashback jumps backward over a hundred years into the past. It shows a much different world, one where Grishas (those with natural-born magical powers) are hunted and feared — unlike the show’s present timeline where those who are Grisha are whisked away to live in a mansion and hone in on their magical abilities. 

Viewers discover that General Kirigan, the present-day leader of Grisha, had fallen in love with a stunning healer, who we know as Luda. But their relationship was short-lived and ended on a tragic note. 

As the country’s people sought out General Kirigan to capture him at the King’s wishes, Luda’s relationship with him is discovered and she is murdered. Brought out of hiding, one of the capturers announced to his mob, “Here’s the little witch who’s been stitching him back together.”

General Kirigan offers to cooperate with the mob of soldiers, as long as they bring Luda along and keep her safe. However, the mob gets too confident and stabs her in front of him, once they had him in handcuffs. In response, General Kirigan turns to his dark side, using his dangerous Shadow Summoner powers to kill the entire mob and create the deadly Shadow Fold which now divides Ravka.  

Shadow and Bone is currently streaming on Netflix.

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