Original release date: April 23, 2021
* * *
[dramatic music playing]
That one is our invitation to perform, signed by the Queen.
This writ allows you access to the grounds, the main ballroom and nowhere else.
You are being employed by the Queen. You are not her guests.
You are to stay together as a group, at all times.
No guns, no knives, no weapons of any kind.
Punishment for violation of these rules ranges from being fired to being fired upon.
Now, do we all understand these rules?
[man grunting] No!
Oh, for Saints’ sake.
[man] The Sun Summoner! I just want to see her!
All right, that’s enough.
Do we really need the entire corps for one man?
The rest of you, post up now.
[crowd cheering and whistling]
I panicked. Nobody’s ever asked to spend time with me before.
So you set him on fire?
It was an accident.
The Squallers had to launch him right into the lake.
So, set ablaze, then nearly drowned.
You’ve made quite a first impression.
They need you for the kefta.
No, I’m so late. Nadia, come on.
Thank all Saints I got here in time.
I think they tried their best, actually.
That’s a terrifying thought.
Still nothing from Mal.
You don’t have to update me anymore. I’m sure you’ve got enough on your plate.
You have no idea.
The Queen, Her Royal Bossiness, Tatiana, has absolutely no regard for my need to sleep.
She woke before dawn and demanded I touch up her face before the rest of her team arrived.
I can accidentally blind her in the demonstration, if you like.
[Alina] What’s that for?
Relax your eyebrows.
I don’t mind, actually.
It tends to shift the King’s gaze in her direction.
At least until nightfall.
Let’s just say the Fold is gone. What then?
Ravka will be revived. The Second Army won’t be as necessary.
Grisha will have new opportunities.
I’ve always wanted to travel the world. See the True Sea.
Visit the library at the University of Ketterdam.
Mal always talked about retiring to a farm.
I never really liked farms.
But perhaps a dacha in Balakirev.
Assuming Saints get to retire.
Right. Yeah, there’s that.
I know the general insisted on black for the performance, but perhaps after, you could return to blue.
I think I’m going to stick with the black, moving forward.
I like seeing you this way… but… I want you to be careful.
[knock on door]
Uh, this is David Kostyk. Expert resident Fabrikator.
He created the blue light we use for crossing the Fold.
Yeah, the general had me make these for your demonstration this evening.
What do they do?
They’ll make it easier to split one beam into two.
Your show of power will determine who remains our ally.
They’ll help enhance your performance.
I think I’ll be all right on my own.
[David clears throat]
See you at the fete!
You never compliment anyone to their face.
You like him.
Not a word.
[Kaz] Here’s the plan.
I’ll walk the route our target will take from the ballroom to the dinner event and look for an ambush point.
[Inej] You should have one of us with you.
[Kaz] I’ll manage.
You can’t blow your cover this early, and Jesper needs to plot our escape route.
There is a gap in the schedule between events, so they may place her in a room here, away from the crowd, somewhere safe.
This would be where they feel she’s most protected and therefore, the best place to grab her.
We just need to find a way in.
And have someone ready with a distraction to give us cover on our way out.
[Kaz] That’s where we grab her.
[Inej] Does this look right?
I haven’t done this routine since I was 14.
[sighs] Jesper, you’re not even paying attention, are you?
Sorry. What now?
I said, you’re not paying attention.
Oh. I do vaguely remember you being airborne. Was that recently?
Aren’t you supposed to be scouting our way out?
What do you think I’m doing?
I think you’re flirting with that stable hand.
What stable… Oh, him.
I suppose he’s moderately attractive, but I hadn’t really noticed.
This is going to be a lot less amusing when the carriage you find isn’t fast enough.
Oh. So now you’re an acrobat and a carriage expert?
Tell me, what makes one carriage faster than another?
Wheels? Weight? The year it was built?
Don’t answer, trick question.
The right answer is there is no right answer.
The carriage doesn’t matter.
It’s the horse that makes the difference.
The horse determines how far, how fast.
And that determines whether you get caught or not.
No human being should ever be as proud as you are right now.
Me? What about your Sun Summoner?
I’m not the one who invited half the world to see me do a party trick.
You think that’s what it is? Just a trick?
Kaz thinks it’s a trick. He’s not usually wrong.
I know what Kaz thinks. I’m asking what you think.
Hey… I think… that as long as we get paid…
I don’t care if she’s real or not.
Wait till you see this kefta. It’s a masterpiece.
I can’t wait to see Zoya’s face when she sees you.
We have to go outside.
Oh, come on, it’s like Butter Week!
In Keramzin, noblemen would drive around carts with all kinds of cheeses and breads.
Then they’d open their estates, put on carnivals with traveling troupes.
Orphans weren’t allowed, but Mal and I used to sneak out.
It’s not safe. Somebody might recognize you.
I can wear a scarf. Or a hat. Or two hats.
Only the people in the palaces know who I am.
Can’t I have this one thing before everything changes?
[Genya] And what about them?
Where did you learn to be so commanding?
I was imitating Baghra.
Okay, that’s enough. Let’s go back.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present Alina Starkov!
[dramatic music playing]
Well, this is awkward.
Should I tell them?
Not everyone knows what you look like. If we get caught here…
[Marko] No! Come here!
Genya! What were you two thinking?
It… it was my fault. I insisted.
I’m sorry, I was just trying my Ivan impression. How did I do?
A little too convincing.
Intimidation is a useful tool.
Now, let’s hurry out of here because my better half might come looking.
Well, that’s news.
Deliver this directly to General Kirigan.
[Mal breathing heavily]
You should be resting, soldier.
This is about the Stag, isn’t it?
You’re riding for Os Alta?
You’re in no condition to go. Sir.
[Mal] I’m the one who found the Stag.
I should be the one to deliver the news to her.
To him. To General Kirigan.
You’ll ride together.
[Kaz] You’re sure it was her?
I’m telling you, she’s part Shu.
When exactly did you see her?
Just after midday.
What’s in this room?
[Kaz] Fitting room. It’s where she’ll go to change for dinner.
And that’s where we’ll grab her.
Out of the way, clean lines of sight, easily controlled space. I like it.
I’d like it, too, if it had a door.
It doesn’t have a door?
Not one that we can use.
It’s some sort of Grisha lock. It took a Materialnik to open it.
Is there no way to pick the lock?
Actually, there is. I can get through the door.
The locking mechanisms are Fabrikator-designed.
Iron cogs that slide into place without a latch.
But for one of us to open it, we’ll need a lodestone.
With a minimum 2,000 gauss external strength.
Hard to find.
It’s not like we’re just walking around with one of those in our pockets.
You don’t want to keep it in your pocket for too long. [chuckles]
Not if you’re intending on having children someday.
All right. Arken grabs the target.
You want the new guy to grab the million-kruge package?
The new guy knows his way around Grisha locks.
Our futures depend on this.
The rest of us will be setting up a lynx flush.
[Arken] What’s a lynx flush?
Lynx are pack hunters. Very smart.
They’ll clear a path for the prey.
So, I grab the Summoner, and you clear the path?
That’s right. We do it before dinner.
You grab. Inej and I clear, and Jesper, make sure there’s a fast way out.
Ivan! My kefta!
You’re not Ivan.
Sorry to disappoint.
Do I sense a little disdain for my Heartrender?
You know, once you get to know him, he’s actually quite funny.
I bet you find volcra hilarious.
I hear you were able to focus and split light without the gloves.
I appreciate the gesture, though.
Well, they were only a safeguard, really.
In case of nerves.
I imagine there are few gatherings in Keramzin that involve such… spectacle.
None, in fact.
But I’m actually not that nervous.
I may have considered throwing myself down the stairs to get out of it once or twice.
Wouldn’t work. I have Healers.
I was nervous at first.
But talking to Genya, I’ve realized what this demonstration represents.
I’ve always felt like an outsider.
Especially when I first got here.
But now I finally feel like I belong.
And not that I just belong here, but to something greater.
That we can offer Grisha and Ravkans hope for the future.
That means a lot to me, Alina.
You mean a lot… to everyone.
Not many people surprise me, Miss Starkov.
[Kirigan clears throat]
[attendant] Excuse me, General.
Can I help you?
Ah! You are here. I…
The ambassador has requested his horses.
You’re not going to stay for the Queen?
[chuckles] Have you met the Queen?
I mean, actually had a conversation with her?
Can’t say that I have, no.
Well, if you had, you’d understand why the ambassador wants his horses.
Which one, sir?
Uh, the pair of Percherons.
I mean which ambassador, sir.
Oh. [laughs] Uh, of course, um, Novyi Zem.
Novyi Zem? Do you like it there?
It has its pros and cons.
But, uh, the more I travel… the more I learn that where you are doesn’t matter nearly as much as who you’re with.
[laughs] I like that.
And what other wisdom have you learned on the road?
That when there’s something you want… better to act without thinking than think without acting.
Weren’t you part of that players’ troupe earlier?
Oh, no, no, no… Not me, no. I’m a terrible actor. [laughs]
But, uh… I’m not against the occasional light role-play.
I didn’t know the Zemeni had such talent.
I notice a certain West Ravkan general is conspicuously absent.
Was he invited, do you think?
[chuckles] I doubt he’d risk being this far behind enemy lines.
So it’s true? West Ravka means to secede?
He has the support.
There were Fjerdan delegates at his last rally.
Explains his turning a blind eye to the Drüskelle raiding his port cities for Grisha.
Well, if tonight’s light show is a success, we may need to re-examine our commitments with him.
[laughs nervously] The Kaelish ambassador is clumsy when he’s drunk.
You can’t wear that in here. Get a replacement from laundry.
My orders are to…
Is it my size?
You have to ask?
Do you remember what happened last time we did this?
Got me a man’s uniform.
It worked, didn’t it?
Just be happy I’m eager to get out of this.
See you at the meeting point.
[King Pyotr] General.
Tsar. Moya tsaritsa.
I do hope you’re both enjoying the festivities.
I must confess, I’m not bored.
I quite like it.
There’s always been a certain… quaintness about the Little Palace. [chuckles]
It’s not time yet. This way.
You were supposed to enter accompanied by palace guards.
You look lovely, by the way.
You looked like you needed saving.
[clapping and cheering]
Come. Let’s give them all a good look.
[woman] Well done.
[Kaz] It’s reflective glass.
Bounce the light into that, and people won’t know whether it’s coming or going.
Are you ready?
I think I am.
You know who you are.
And now it’s time to show the world.
Her name is Alina Starkov.
And she will bring liberation to us all.
[in Ravkan] Sankta Alina.
[guest] Sankta Alina.
[Jesper in English] Saints!
[breathlessly] That was…
I mean… I know.
I’ve got to go.
But it was…
[guard] I don’t know, but for now, no one leaves. It’s the general’s orders.
[whispers] Twenty-four, twenty-six.
Doors are closed for the night, gentlemen.
We’re here to see General Kirigan.
Is this supposed to be a joke?
Morozova’s Stag is a myth.
A living Saint is in your palace right now and you scoff at a myth?
Do you want to tell your general that you turned us away?
Fine. Your funeral. Leave your weapons here.
You have earned the pride you now wear.
I must say, Sol Koroleva, you are becoming quite dangerous.
You will become even more dangerous still.
You have no idea how much larger a role you have to play, do you?
The people are erecting altars to Sankta Alina.
Why would they do that?
Because there is something far greater than armies, something strong enough to topple kings and generals, to crumble nations and birth empires.
[Genya] There you are.
Excuse us, but General Kirigan needs Alina ready for the dinner.
Faith, Alina Starkov. Remember that.
Tofin, put it down.
These are the two who claim they found the Stag?
No, sir. He did.
And you are?
Tracker with the 36th, sir.
What a surprise.
Are you all right?
So… there are a lot of deer in the wild.
How do you know you found the right stag?
[Mal] It was this one.
Twice as big as any other. All white.
When it looked at me head on, its antlers… they…
I think I saw that.
Was it alone? With a herd?
It had traveled with a small herd, but when I encountered it, it was alone.
Show me where.
North of Chernast.
No, precisely. Mark it for me.
Not until I see Alina.
I beg your pardon?
I know her. We’re friends.
You let me see her… I’ll tell you where the Stag is.
Do you know how many claim to know the Sun Summoner?
Try to get a meeting with her just to be in her presence?
Ask her about me.
Tell me something only few about her would know.
Like… what’s her favorite flower?
Or what kind of book…
Irises. Blue ones, not the white.
I’ll have you shown to a room here.
And, assuming that she proves you right…
I’ll bring her to you later.
[door opens and closes]
What? What is it?
Someone has found it.
Who says so?
A tracker from Chernast. With another soldier.
Bring him to me.
He’s already been taken to see the general.
Apparently, he’d issued the order to find the Stag.
We cannot let him obtain that kind of power.
Listen to me… carefully.
This is from General Zlatan.
Come on, down the stairs!
You two, take that way!
He went this way!
I’m here, Marie.
Put me back. I don’t want to die with the wrong face on.
[Inej] And the lynx flush was to smoke out Arken.
[Kaz] Like I said, our futures depend on this.
I saw two identical dresses in the fitting room.
The target is wearing one, and an Inferni about the same height and build was measured for the other.
They need the target for the demonstration, but at the reception, that’s when they’ll deploy a double for security reasons.
So, I set Arken after the double while we stay on the target.
Arken will get caught.
He chose his fate in Novokribirsk when he met with Zlatan.
What if you’re wrong?
What if we sandbagged him with a lynx flush, and the meeting had nothing to do with this?
The only two men in the world who profit off the Fold? Doubtful.
We are to escort you to dinner. Could you come with us, please?
I thought, um…
Actually, I am quite hungry.
Thank you. I’ll take her from here.
All right. Plan B.
Scratch that. Plan F. Stay on the target and meet me at the escape route.
He’s an Inferni. Don’t take chances.
The general must have been overjoyed when you told him precisely where to find the Stag.
So he doesn’t yet know?
Where are you taking me?
Exactly where you need to go.
I don’t recall this being part of the schedule.
Perhaps you’d prefer to attend the dinner.
Marie can manage.
She has Genya.
Then, um… I suppose she’ll probably be all right.
Don’t you think?
Are you sure?
[knocking on door]
[knocking on door]
What is it?
Marie and Genya were attacked in the fitting room.
Alina was the target.
We have a suspect in custody.
Is something wrong?
I’ll leave my guards outside until I return.
I’ll be waiting.
[door opens and closes]
Come with me.
Baghra! What are you…
Stupid girl! No time to dawdle.
You need to leave this place.
Now, before it’s too late.
I’m trying to save you from living the rest of your life as a slave.
A slave? But… Baghra!
Whatever’s wrong, I should go back and find Alek… General Kirigan.
I’m sure he can help.
I’m trying to save you from Aleksander.
He intends to expand the Fold and use it as a weapon.
That’s what he created it for in the first place.
The Black Heretic created the Fold.
Hundreds of years ago, and it was a mistake.
Maybe you’re dehydrated from all the heat in your hut.
He wanted me to train so I could get stronger.
Did he? Or did he want you distracted by dreams of your future with him?
Did he want you dependent on him, on his Fabrikator’s tricky little gloves?
Child, Aleksander is the Black Heretic.
He chose a nobleman’s name to hide after he made the Fold.
Look at me, girl.
You can… But only Kirigan’s bloodline…
You’re his mother.
My son tried creating his own army with merzost.
He didn’t think about the people who lived there, what such power would do to them.
Turned them into the twisted, evil things that attacked you.
The volcra were men?
And women. Children.
I warned him there’d be a price.
[Alina] That happened centuries ago!
He’s had many names, served many kings, faked countless deaths, waiting for you.
With you at his command, he’ll be able to enter the Fold and weaponize it as he always planned.
He’ll be unstoppable.
He told me he wanted to make the country whole again.
He’s had centuries to master lying to naïve girls.
Did he tell you how lonely he was? Give you a glimpse of the wounded boy?
He isn’t a boy at all. He is eternal.
And you never stood a chance.
Do you think this was just about you?
He’s been obsessed with power… with hunting all of Morozova’s creatures.
You nearly gave him the Stag.
And I’m telling you, you must hide.
I won’t help him. I’ll fight back.
You’re far from strong enough to face him.
I thought I had more time to prepare you, but it’ll have to wait.
[Baghra] S tay on the main path until the fork.
Take the path to the right. You’ll find food storage. Wait there.
There are some Grisha who are loyal to me.
They will help keep you safe until I find a plan.
You’re not supposed to be here, are you, limping man?
You’re like a wounded spider in my house.
You know what my sister and I do to spiders?
Unlike a spider, I only need one good leg.
…look like you need both hands.
[grunts and groans]
[guard] This way!
We need to go.
I… I killed him.
[Kaz] Inej, look at me.
Look at me.
You saved my life.
Get your Saint and let’s go.
[guard] In here!
[guard 1] He’s over there!
[guard 2] Quickly! Get in there!
He’s not here.
The tracker. Yes, I know about him.
And your little mission.
What have you done with him?
Along with your hopes of locating the Stag.
I always have hope, Mother. Even you can’t kill that.
That isn’t hope. It’s greed.
You would use Alina against the rest of the world.
You mean against our enemies?
Without me, there’s just her.
She is all that matters now, not me.
She is the future.
She is the one…
Yes, but where is she?
You don’t really matter now anymore either.
And if you have put her in harm’s way…
think about what I might do.
I’d wager you’d need a skilled tracker to find her now.
What happened? You okay?
She’s real, Jesper. She made the light sing.
We lost her.
We don’t know where she is.
Don’t we? [laughs]
Fine. Do we have a fix on where the target is?