Nichevo’ya: Shadow monsters of Shadow and Bone explained

The Nichevo’ya serve as the extensions of the Darkling in Shadow and Bone season 2, posing a great threat to the heroes of the story as they struggle to deal effective blows on said atrocities.

There are many atrocities that the Darkling has wreaked upon the world in Shadow and Bone, the Shadow Fold being the most prominent example of it.

Over the years, this shadowy region of otherworldly perils came to house many monsters. One of these monsters is created later on by the Darkling himself, who names them Nichevo’ya, entities that are a part of him and wander ahead independently as well.

The spawn of the Darkling

The Nichevo’ya in Shadow and Bone are General Kirigan, aka the Darkling’s creations. He used Merzost to conjure them when he was stuck inside the Fold and left to die at the hands of the Volcra by Mal.

However, the Darkling survived and got out of the Fold, fiercer than ever, with several shadow monsters emerging out and going back into him. While the Volcra remains inside the Shadow Fold, these monsters can venture out of the damned region.

While the Darkling brings these ungodly creations out and adds significant might to his army, he also brings forth a curse that inflicts him severely — a cost anyone who uses Merzost has to pay.

As a result of his acts, Kirigan suffers the side effects of wielding these shadow entities. While he seems to be untouchable, thanks to the Nichevo’ya, the monsters also impact the wielder adversely; in Kirigan’s case, it’s the bloody coughs that he keeps suffering from, with no remedy helping to change that condition.

Later on, in the sophomore season of the show, it’s revealed that Kirigan really had no control over the Nichevo’ya, as they mostly acted up of their own volition or overwhelmed that of the Darkling.

Form & features

Nichevo’ya is a Ravkan word meaning “nothing”, which is what these monsters typically behave and appear as. They are fluid entities that appear like black smoke and when they wish, they can assume shape.

Their more rigid forms assume a humanoid shape rather than that of their monster-adjacent entities like the Volcra. When they materialize into solid beings to attack, they are huge, and daunting, with arms and fingers that are disproportionately long.

They can’t be penetrated by bullets or any such projectile since they’re mostly formless. Whenever hit, their smokey form dissipates and materializes again.

Nichevo'ya Shadow and Bone season 2
Image source: Netflix

However, the phosphorus bullets seem to work a bit more effectively than the regular ones, as they take a bit longer to materialize after getting hit. Furthermore, the Grisha can also have a similar impact which stays for not more than a few seconds.

The Nichevo’ya are the Darkling’s creations and yet can overwhelm his will and take the helm. As soon as a threat so much as approaches Kirigan, these monsters emerge out of him and launch a counter all within a blink of an eye.

Other than being able to venture out of the Fold, they can also separate from the Darkling, moving, fighting, and wreaking havoc apart from their progenitor himself, but only to a certain extent and boundary.

How to kill the unkillable

The Nichevo’ya are notoriously difficult to kill. No matter what’s thrown at them, nothing much happens to make them vanquish. When they do, they can just materialize again.

The Grisha powers, the bullets, and the phosphorus bombs are some of the things used by characters in Shadow and Bone season 2 that all fail to take them down. However, some things do work.

One of these is Alina’s Cut. This makes sense as the Nichevo’ya is the Darkling’s abomination, made by his Merzost. So it’s only logical for a Sun Summoner — Alina — to deal the effective blow on an entity conjured by a Shadow Summoner.

Alina uses her powers in the second season to take care of the monsters. However, there’s yet another, and possibly the most effective weapon that works against them. It’s Neshyenyer, the legendary weapon also called the “Relentless Sword”, forged by Sankta Neyar.

Inej wields and uses the Neshyenyer in the season 2 finale brilliantly, slaying down many of the Nichevo’ya and helping out Alina a great deal.

Also Read: Shadow and Bone season 2 ending explained: Is the Darkling/Kirigan dead?

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