12 Times The Darkling In 'Shadow And Bone' Was A Walking Thirst Trap

- Shadow and Bone -
12 Times The Darkling In 'Shadow And Bone' Was A Walking Thirst Trap

The Darkling is a no-good megalomaniac with mommy issues who makes Edward Cullen look like a stable boyfriend — but saints, is he ever next level sexy. I'm just saying if loving General Kirigan is wrong, then being right is so overrated. Over the course of Shadow & Bone Season 1, The Darkling broods, glares, and flirts with a level of magnetism so powerful it will almost make you forget he can murder an entire army with an emphatic hand gesture. The man is a walking thirst trap, people, and there's no point trying to resist his charms.

Just think of The Darkling as that guy on Tinder with the intricate neck tattoo, bulging biceps, and an Ayn Rand quote in his bio. You know you shouldn't swipe right, but you're going to do it anyway. And it's not because you actually want to date him — guys who force women to wear antler collars so they can steal their powers are not boyfriend material — it's because sometimes, you just can't stop yourself from flirting with the bad boy.

Yes, the hot bad boy trope is problematic. Characters like The Darkling aren't really deserving of our affection, but when an actor like Ben Barnes is pouring his heart, soul, and most intense stares into a role, it's hard to resist. Not convinced? Just take a look at the following 12 photos and tell me you're not even the teensiest bit obsessed with the Grisha thirst trap that is The Darkling.

1.When He Told Alina To Come Closer

I mean, I'm not going to not come closer to that face.

2. When He Performed The Test To Prove Alina Was The Sun Summoner

Just look how pleased he is to finally find someone who is his equal. Awe looks good on The Darkling.

3. When He Offered Alina His Handkerchief Life A Hot, Evil Gentleman

Mind you, this comes after he rescues Alina from Fjerdan soldiers, and rides off with her on horseback like he's some sort of romance novel rogue.

4. That Time He Cosplayed As A Duke From Bridgerton

Someone alert Lady Whistledown, because there's a new duke... err, I mean general, in town.

5. When He Made This Face...

It's the eyes, ya'll. He looks so earnest. And even though I know he's hatching some straight up diabolical plans in this moment, it's hard not to be at least a little bit wooed.

6. And This One

The Darkling can smile! Who knew it was even possible?

7. When He Put On His Best Kefta For The Winter Fete

He did not come to play during the Sun Summoner demonstration, and it shows in both his choice of Kefta and the look of intensity on his face.

8. When He Broke Out His Winter Cloak

That fur collar is fabulous and weather appropriate.

9. When He Showed Off His Flashback Hair

What can I say? I dig a man who can pull off a half ponytail (see also: Jon Snow).

10. That Time He Gave Good Glower

OK, he did just murder a whole bunch of people in this scene, but can we just appreciate his glower for a second?

11. When He Crouched Down To Seem Less Intimidating

It didn't work, but he looks so earnest. You can tell he really wants Alina to believe he's not about to embrace his worst tendencies.

12. When He Went Full Evil

The Darkling going full evil isn't good news for Ravka, but it is good news for anyone who loves an unapologetically sexy antagonist.

In conclusion: The Darkling proves that fictional characters can be morally ambiguous and sexy at the same time. And while this can be very confusing, it's also rewarding — especially when they wear dramatic black coats with fur collars.


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Images: David Appleby/Netflix; Netflix

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