Luke Pasqualino as David Kostyk in Shadow and Bone season 2

Demystifying the Durast of ‘Shadow and Bone’

What is a Durast in Netflix’s Shadow and Bone series? The answer is quite simple, really, but it helps if you have some additional context.

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Author Leigh Bardugo is a queen of worldbuilding, and her magic system is an important part of understanding how the Grisha’s powers work in Shadow and Bone. This magic is called the “Small Science” in-universe, and essentially entails those with Grisha powers being able to manipulate matter at its most fundamental level. Within the Shadow and Bone world, the Grisha themselves don’t really consider their powers to be magical, though those outside of their inner circle often do.

What kind of Grisha are Durasts?

There are three orders of Grisha, divided by the kind of matter they are able to manipulate. These include the Corporalki, those whose powers allow them to manipulate the human body; think healing and Avatar-like bloodbending.

There are also the Etherealki, a.k.a. the Order of Summoners, who manipulate different natural elements within the world. Tidemakers control water, Squallers control wind and air, and Inferni can, you guessed it, manipulate fire. Insert another Avatar: The Last Airbender reference here.

Finally, and most importantly to answer your question, we come to the Materialki. Otherwise known as the Order of the Fabrikators, Materialki are capable of manipulating composite materials like chemicals, metals, textiles, wood, and glass. Within the Materialki there are two kinds of Grisha. First, there’s the Alkemi, who deal with chemicals and poisons.

And then there are the Durasts, those Grisha who can manipulate materials like wood, glass, textiles, metals, stone, and even plants—anything solid, really. Durasts can be quite useful in battle, as they can manipulate weaponry and machinery from afar, and fix those same objects when they’re broken. Some Durasts are so powerful they can even detect the smallest amount of metal in human blood, but they can only manipulate the metal itself; blood remains the purview of the Corporalki.

Which characters are Durasts in Shadow and Bone?

The two most prominent Durasts in Netflix’s Shadow and Bone are David Kostyk (Luke Pasqualino), the object of Genya Safin (Daisy Head)’s affection and one of the Darkling (Ben Barnes)’s formerly close associates.

Then, of course, there is Jesper Fahey (Kit Young). Though he thought he’d kept his powers a secret, nothing remains secret for long when Kaz Brekker (Freddy Carter) is around. Jesper’s Durast powers contribute to his unbelievable shooting prowess, as well as being able to fix his gun and Kaz’s cane without much effort. All in all, a pretty handy power for a Crow in the Barrel to have.

The infamous Morozova, a revered historical Grisha and the creator of the amplifiers (objects that can amplify a Grisha’s power exponentially), was also a Durast. There are plenty more Durasts that pop up throughout Shadow and Bone season 2, but these are the ones that are currently the most important to remember when watching the show.

If you want an easy way to recognize a Durast when watching Shadow and Bone (besides Jesper, then), remember that Durasts wear purple keftas adorned with gray embroidery.

(featured image: Netflix)


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El Kuiper
El (she/her) is The Mary Sue's U.K. editor and has been working as a freelance entertainment journalist for over two years, ever since she completed her Ph.D. in Creative Writing. El's primary focus is television and movie coverage for The Mary Sue, including British TV (she's seen every episode of Midsomer Murders ever made) and franchises like Marvel and Pokémon. As much as she enjoys analyzing other people's stories, her biggest dream is to one day publish an original fantasy novel of her own.