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Is Netflix’s Shadow and Bone Kid Friendly? Parents Guide

Wondering if Shadow and Bone is ok for kids on Netflix?  Shadow and Bone is rated TV-14 for language, violence, and nudity. I’ve seen it listed as rated TV-MA which is probably a more proper rating. Shadow and Bone doesn’t go all Bridgerton hot and heavy, but here’s what parents need to know in this Shadow and Bone Parents Guide.

Shadow and Bone Season 2 Parents Guide

Shadow and Bone Parents Guide on Netflix

Based on Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse novels, Shadow and Bone takes place in a war-torn world where orphan and mapmaker Alina Starkov has just unleashed an extraordinary power that could be the key to setting her country free of the Shadow Fold. With the threat of the dark Shadow Fold looming, Alina is torn from everything she knows to train as part of an elite army of magical soldiers known as Grisha, except they don’t call it magic.

As Alina struggles to hone her power, she finds allies and enemies and people who want to take advantage of her power. There are dangerous forces at play, including a crew of charismatic criminals, and it will take more than magic to survive.

In Season 2 of Shadow and Bone, Alina Starkov is on the run. A beacon of hope to some and a suspected traitor to others, she’s determined to bring down the Shadow Fold and save Ravka from ruin. But General Kirigan has returned to finish what he started. He has a new army of shadow monsters and Grisha recruits, and Kirigan is more dangerous than ever. 

Age Rating: Why is Shadow and Bone rated TV-14?

Shadow and Bone is rated TV-14 for language, violence, and gore which means some content is not suitable for kids under 14. However, Shadow and Bone should be rated TV-MA.

Language in Shadow and Bone

There are uses of sh*t, bastard, f*ck, damn, hell, and tits.

Violence: Is Shadow and Bone Too Scary for Kids?

Violence is pretty heavy, especially for a show rated TV-14, and some war scenes are pretty intense for young children. Since a war is going on, there is a lot of death. You see some people get killed by knives, gunshots, even heads sliced off. Some violence is pretty graphic with blood splatterings. A man gets shot in the head. There are also lots of stabbings. 

The Shadow Fold is dark, scary and ominous. Inside, creatures attack humans and kill them. They can fly and carry them to their deaths. 

In Season 2 of Shadow and Bone, the heavy violence continues. There are more killings, more dark scenes, and more scary creatures. Characters are shot and killed with swords. There is also a lot of hand-to-hand combat.

Mature Content: Is Shadow and Bone OK for Kids?

In Season 1, there is some sexual content with a woman undressing to take a bath. You see a naked behind. In another scene a man and a woman need to lie together naked to keep from freezing. All the major body parts are covered. There is kissing between a man and a woman and two men. Sex is implied.

Woman are sold and are captive in brothels. 

Season 2 continues along the same path with sexual content and implied sex. Characters make out and are naked under sheets.

Some characters drink alcohol.

Shadow and Bone Parents Guide

Is Shadow and Bone Appropriate for Kids Under 14?

Although Shadow and Bone is rated TV-14, TV-MA is a more appropriate rating due to the dark and violent nature of the show. However, if teens enjoy YA and fantasy fiction, then they’ll most likely enjoy Shadow and Bone. It’s a solid YA genre, and I would recommend it for ages 14 and up. However if your child is sensitive to violence, then perhaps hold off. Some of the scenes can be too intense for younger tweens in Shadow and Bone and are not kid friendly. 

The imagery and visual effects are beautiful if only we could see them a bit more. The lighting is so dark I kept trying to adjust my TV and monitor to get some more light. The costumes are brilliant, too. 

The characters and cast do an excellent job of engaging the audience, none of them trying to be the star, but supporting each other in the story. The females in Shadow and Bone are standouts and I could see any of them having their own spinoff. 

Unfortunately, Shadow and Bone Season 2 is not nearly as good as the first season. Somehow it lost its way, especially with pacing issues. It feels rushed and chaotic. However, if you love the characters, then you can probably get through it and enjoy the ride. I still wouldn’t recommend it for tweens, but I get why they want to watch. 

Shadow and Bone Season 2 Age Rating

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Violet B.

Tuesday 5th of December 2023

I know that a lot of people think Season 2 is way worse than Season 1.. but keep in mind these stats: - Season 1 topped Netflix top 10 for 2 weeks and reached top 10 TV in 65 countries - Season 2, however, topped Netflix top 10 for 5 weeks and reached top 10 TV in 86 countries Also.. fans think S2 is way better.. Just because they incorporated Six of Crows characters and changed the plot a little doesn't mean that it's bad :) Fans love it and you can see the difference in streaming for the two!

C Edge

Monday 6th of September 2021

I can understand why you would downplay and leave out the fact that they added characters from a whole other book series and THOSE characters are perverse. The only explicit sex is homosexual. They turned a book adaptation which could’ve been suitable for youth and teens into a series I would say is totally inappropriate. I was all happy about the diversity in the cast until we got a clear pushing of the “rainbow of perversity.” A HARD PASS.


Tuesday 5th of December 2023

@C Edge, The whole point of them bringing in the Six of Crows characters was to incorporate the two book series. They had Jesper and Wylan together because they were trying to show the diversity of the characters. Kaz is a cripple and suffers from haphephobia, Inej had a traumatic past, Jesper gambles too much and is gay, Wylan can't read and is gay, Nina is.. Nina, and Matthias was a slaver but betrayed his country for Nina. They're all oddballs, really. The whole point they're trying to convey is that the characters are diverse. They're trying to have them be relatable for the fans watching. Wylan and Jesper are a clear example. They're gay and that might be something that the director could have made different, but they're relationship is the same as Nina and Matthias and Mal and Alina. Your comment just makes you seem like you're against LGBTQ+ and therefore you don't enjoy the series. So then go watch your perfect "man loves a woman" shows and leave your hate for yourself.

Matthew R.

Sunday 28th of May 2023

@C Edge, I don't see it that way. The show treats the couples equally in terms of what is shown. Yes, sex is sometimes implied, but there's no pushing of some agenda here. It simply treats the same sex couples no differently than any other couples.

The issue is starting to become more of a "why should they treat this couple differently?" - rather than, "oh, I'm all for equal rights, but do we have to see them kiss?"

Fortunately, my kids (12 and 16) don't have the bias and prejudice ingrained in them that was so often ingrained in my generation.

I'd say this show is probably more appropriate for them than for those still suffering with old prejudice and still working through bias.

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