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Shadow And Bone Season 2: Who Is The Apparat?

In Netflix's "Shadow and Bone," the Apparat (Kevin Eldon) is the religious leader of Ravka and director spiritual advisor to its king. On matters of great importance, the Apparat is always close by, ready to offer counsel, should it be needed. Or even if it shouldn't ... for the Apparat is a man of great ambition who understands the immense power that he wields, and is unafraid to use it to his advantage.

During Season 1, he positions himself as close to Alina Starkova (Jessie Mei Li) as the Sun Summoner will allow him to be, muttering words of advice and caution in equal measure with manic fervor. When Pyotr Lantsov (David Verrey) succumbs to poisoning, it is the Apparat who assumes authority during the king's recuperation. During Season 2, he emerges only to caution Nikolai Lantsov (Patrick Gibson) against bold political maneuvers. 

Netflix's version of the Apparat appears in only three episodes and is barely mentioned beyond these brief outings, so it would seem that his role is a small one. But it isn't — or, at least, it shouldn't have been.

Faith is a dangerous weapon in the hands of the Apparat

When Netflix chose to adapt four of Leigh Bardugo's novels in Season 2, the studio excised almost everything that didn't directly effect the conflict between the Darkling (Ben Barnes) and Alina. One such plot that fell to the cutting room floor is the Apparat's attempt to control Alina as a religious figure. The seeds of this are seen in Season 1, when he corners Alina to deliver an ominous speech on the power of faith. He warns her that it can topple nations, and that the citizens of Ravka believe her a living saint. 

In the books, the Apparat encourages this belief, and constantly guilts Alina into behaving in a manner that would suit such an idea. His ultimate goal was to puppeteer the Sun Summoner so that his will would be perceived as hers. In "Ruin and Rising," the third book in Bardugo's "Shadow and Bone" trilogy — a book that Season 2 technically adapts — the Apparat succeeds, if only for a while.  

However, Netflix also wholly changes the ending to Bardugo's trilogy and at this point, it would not be impossible for the Apparat's malicious machinations to find a new home in a later season, should one be provided.