Portrayed by Zoë Wanamaker, Baghra is one of the important supporting characters of Netflix’s ‘Shadow and Bone.’ We are initially introduced to Baghra as the teacher of the Grisha at Little Palace in Ravka. Sun Summoner Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) soon discovers that Baghra is the mother of General Aleksander Kirigan / The Darkling, the leader of the Second Army. She is also the daughter of the legendary Ilya Morozova, who created the three amplifiers that play crucial roles in the narrative. Toward the end of the first season, Baghra tells Alina the truth about Kirigan and helps her escape, earning Kirigan’s ire. If the events of the second season of ‘Shadow and Bone’ have made you wonder whether Baghra is dead and Wanamaker left the show, we got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Is Baghra Dead?
Yes, Baghra is dead in ‘Shadow and Bone.’ At the end of season 1, Kirigan survives and walks out of the Fold with the Nichevo’ya as his protectors. In season 2, when he realizes that Ravka has gone back to torturing and murdering the Grisha, he reacts violently, despite knowing that it is all because of his actions.
Baghra shares a complex relationship with her son. Over the recent few centuries, they had become allies, working together for the betterment of the Grisha, but while Baghra has mellowed down and become more tolerant, distancing herself from her own past beliefs, Kirigan has clung to those same beliefs. As a result, their relationship turns antagonistic in season 2.
As Kirigan begins a war with Ravka, Baghra reflects that she was wrong in how she raised him. She taught him strength and cunning but never compassion. When she claims she can now see her mistakes, he observes that there are no mistakes, only lessons. At one point in their lives, they stood together. Kirigan accuses she is now forcing him to finish it alone.
With Alina and Nikolai gathering forces in East Ravka, Kirigan grows desperate and cuts off one of his mother’s fingers to use it as a Merzost. Eventually, Baghra manages to escape with Genya while Krigan is busy attacking the royal family and confronting Alina.
After Baghra reunites with Alina, she agrees to help her find Morozova’s third amplifier, the Firebird. She takes Alina and Mal to her old home and tells them how she accidentally killed her sister. While there, Baghra realizes that their father brought her sister back to life, performing Merzost and effectively turning her into the third amplifier. Those abilities have been passed down through generations until Mal. This is why Mal is an exceptional tracker and could easily find the other two amplifiers but failed to locate the third.
Through the connection between them, Kirigan finds Alina and threatens her. Baghra intervenes, setting fire to her childhood home and forcing Kirigan to appear in the room before throwing him back into his physical body. Despite knowing what will happen, Baghra prepares to attack her son, and the Nichevo’ya fatally injures her despite Kirigan’s pleas for them to stop. Baghra cuts off Kirigan’s hand as she dies, severing his connection with Alina. Afterward, Vladim, one of the Grisha loyal to Kirigan, creates a metal hand for him and uses Baghra’s bone dust to fuse it with his wrist. This gives Kirigan access to his mother’s last memories, and he realizes Mal is the Firebird.
Did Zoë Wanamaker Leave Shadow and Bone?
With her character dead, it’s safe to assume that Wanamaker has left the series. A veteran film and TV actress, Wanamaker has been active in the industry for over 50 years, appearing in films like ‘The Raggedy Rawney,’ ‘Wilde,’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ and shows like ‘My Family,’ ‘Agatha Christie’s Poirot,’ and ‘Mr Selfridge.’ She also portrays Queen Antedia in ‘Britannia’ and Watt in ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth.’
In an interview with The Independent,’ Wanamaker revealed that she referred to her character as “bag lady” on the cast’s WhatsApp group. Although she didn’t know about Bardugo’s books before becoming involved with this project, she quickly realized how immensely popular they were, noting that the response to the announcement about the show was “hysterical.”
Reflecting on how women-centric ‘Shadow and Bone’ is, Wanamaker told the same outlet, “Women, of course, should be the centre of attention because we give birth, and we support, and nobody gives a monkey’s fart why. You have to make sure that – you know, as a woman, girl – that you’re not beneath [men]. You’re equal, if not better.”
Read More: Is General Aleksander Kirigan / The Darkling Dead? Did Ben Barnes Leave Shadow and Bone?