Shadow and Bone book lovers agreed that Mal Oretsev was one of the most disliked characters in the whole Grishaverse. Mal’s character was poorly written and made out to almost be a villain. In the three main Grishaverse books Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising Mal seemed to not help his love interest/best friend Alina in any way. While reading the books, Mal is constantly complaining and arguing with her. Making him out to seem like an insecure man who seemed to blame most of his problems on Alina. Throughout the three novels Mal is written as insensitive and inattentive to his childhood best friend, Alina as she is being hunted by the Darkling and learning what it means to be a Grisha and a saint. In the first book Shadow and Bone, he doesn’t seem to really take notice of her until Alina is revealed to be the Sun Summoner. In addition, he seems to come across as jealous when the Darkling takes interest in Alina. This makes Mal an unlikeable character.
When the show arrived in May 2021, book lovers were shocked to see how much Mal Oretsev had changed. Yes, it was for the better. First time viewers see Mal greeting Alina and making sure she is okay. Throughout the series Mal is constantly thinking about her and goes through great lengths to make sure Alina is free from the Darkling. He risks his life for her.
Mal Oretsev is played by newcomer actor Archie Renaux. The actor spoke about being aware that he knew that fans disliked the character Mal in the books.
Archie brought Mal to life and made his character charming, funny, lovable and gives off a little prince charming vibe. In one particular seen, Mal is seen running after Alina after the Darkling orders her to be taken to the little palace. Mal franticly wants to make sure Alina is okay after they were attacked and as the Volcra runs and screams for Alina. This shows how much he cares about her as compared to the books; where during this scene he does nothing but just allows the Darkling take her away and doesn’t run after her.
Fans of Shadow and Bone will have to wait and see what other differences from the books and the show are made with the character Mal and other Grishaverse characters as Netflix recently announced their Season 2 is coming.
Mal’s journay is just beginning and fans can’t wait to see what comes next with this character is the future seasons of the show.
Who is Your Favorite Grishaverse Character?
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