What Are the Amplifiers in Shadow and Bone?

Created by Eric Heisserer (‘Bird Box’), Netflix’s ‘Shadow and Bone’ is a wholesome gunpowder fantasy adventure series with immersive worldbuilding and a diverse cast of main characters. And like most successful fantasy tales, it has a comprehensive magic system. Based on the ‘Grisha’ trilogy and ‘Six of Crows’ duology by Israeli-American author Leigh Bardugo, the show depicts gifted individuals known as the Grisha, who can manipulate elements, matter, and emotions through the mastery of Small Science. While watching the series, you must have come across the concept of “amplifiers,” which, according to various characters, can increase the power of the Grisha. If you are interested in knowing more about the origin and the potential usage of the amplifiers, we have got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD.

What Are the Amplifiers?

The amplifiers are entities and objects that can greatly enhance the abilities of the Grisha. The amplifying objects are made from powerful animals, and sometimes even from an animal that is an amplifier itself. In the books, some of the Darkling’s (Ben Barnes) favorite Grisha carry an amplifier. For instance, Ivan (Simon Sears) has Sherborn bear claws, which makes him an even more powerful Heartrender than he already is.

Ilya Morozova, also known as the Bonesmith, was one of the first Grisha in the world. He knew that the Grisha would always be persecuted. So, using merzost or magic, something which is forbidden even among the Grisha, he made creatures as amplifiers out of his bones. The powers within these creatures are only accessible to the Grisha. It is believed that if a Grisha kills one of these creatures and melds a part of it into their skin, their powers will increase exponentially.

This belief prompts the Darkling to kill the stag, which was one of Morozova’s creatures. Believing that he can control Alina’s (Jessie Mei Li) power with it, he then gets David (Luke Pasqualino) to make him a collar out of the antlers. What he hasn’t understood is that the power has to be willingly given for it to be used to its full potential. The night it was killed, the stag chose Alina. When Alina realizes this, she is finally able to break free of the Darkling’s control.

Where Are the Other Morozova’s Creatures?

According to the books, there are two other Morozova’s creatures. Like the stag, they have become a part of Ravkan lore. The Sea Whip or Rusalye is a sea serpent that roams the waters around the Bone Road. The legends speculate that it used to be a dragon prince who was turned into the creature against his own volition. In the children’s stories, he abducts unsuspecting women and takes them to his home beneath the ocean. Later, Alina wears an amplifier made from Rusalye’s scales. The third creature is long believed to be the Firebird, which has huge importance in the Ravkan imperial iconography.

However, it was ultimately revealed that Mal (Calahan Skogman) is Morozova’s third amplifier. Morozova had two children, Baghra (Zoë Wanamaker) and a younger daughter. After Baghra killed her sister, Morozova brought her back to life using merzost, effectively making her an amplifier. This daughter went to have children of her own, and the power remained hidden in her line until Mal. This makes Mal a relative of Baghra and the Darkling, both of whom are also living amplifiers. The Darkling’s efforts to emulate his grandfather and create his own amplifiers ended up creating the Fold.

Read More: What Is Small Science in Shadow and Bone? What Is Merzost?