In the big twist of season one, we find out that General Kirigan, also called the Darkling, actually is the Black Heretic. He has been alive for centuries, and created the Fold using merzost, a.k.a. the power of creation, to expand his own power and save the Grisha
Rule of Wolves is a fantasy novel by American author Leigh Bardugo published by Imprint in 2021. It is the seventh overall novel in Bardugo's Grishaverse and the final novel in the King of Scars duology.
This made the king wary of the power of his people, the Grisha, which led him to order a purge of them. To fight back, the Darkling found a spell to make the soldiers submit to him, but it went badly wrong. It created the Fold and turned everyone who lived there into Volcra.
The Darkling is an extremely dark and manipulative person. He is power-hungry and had created the Fold with merzost, in order to use it against his enemies. In the process created the volcra which prevented him from expanding it. He is also ambitious.
So who created the Fold? As foretold in the beginning of the series it was the Darkling, a Shadow Summoner (a Grisha with the ability to conjure darkness) from the bloodline of the Bonesmith, a Grisha with immense power who wielded it for his own gain. This Darkling created the Shadow Fold.
[HD] The Black Heretic creating The Fold - Shadow and Bone (2021)
Is Kirigan the black heretic?
In the big twist of season one, we find out that General Kirigan, also called the Darkling, actually is the Black Heretic. He has been alive for centuries, and created the Fold using merzost, a.k.a. the power of creation, to expand his own power and save the Grisha with him.
So who created the Fold? It's existed for centuries, so hardly anyone remembers. But it's revealed later the Fold was created by the Darkling, aka General Kirigan, played by Ben Barnes. He's been living among the Grisha while secretly hiding his identity as the centuries-old villain.
Alina using additional amplifiers and honing her abilities makes sense. The Fold is, after all, far too vast and uncontrollable for the Grisha to eliminate on her own without some help. It's doubtful Alina's journey to destroy the Fold will be smooth and easy in Shadow and Bone.
Kirigan lives long enough to see himself become the villain in Shadow and Bone. But, the facts of Kirigan's life, how he's suffered, doesn't negate his selfishness. Yes, he created the Shadow Fold in a fit of grief.
After her unveiling at the palace, Alina and Kirigan share a passionate kiss, only for a guard to interrupt them. Soon after, their whole romance goes down the hill when Kirigan's mother, Baghra, reveals to Alina that he's none other than the Darkling who created the Fold.
As a human amplifier, the Darkling can even amplify Alina's Sun Summoning powers. As of now, these abilities and extensive history make him the most powerful Grisha and the most powerful character in Shadow and Bone.
He admits that she was right about the Sun Summoner being real, though to him she's merely another Grisha who just so happens to summon the sun, not a Saint. If not Saints then what does Kaz believe in, Inej asks. He replies that he believes in himself and his crows, including her and Jesper.
Shu Han is a nation bordered to the north by Ravka and to the west by Kerch, which it is connected to via land bridges. To Ravka's government, the Shu are known for their scientific advancements and inhumane treatment of Grisha.
Ravka has been at war with Fjerda and Shu Han for centuries. Ravkan citizens are drafted into the First Army to fight and the conflict is so extensive that the king has a Second Army, which consists of Grisha, as a backup.
Instead, this manipulative character, played by Ben Barnes, is referred to mostly as General Kirigan, a title taken from the book that purposely disguises his true character for the show's earlier episodes, aligning him more with his role running the Second Army and less with the fact that he is The Black Heretic who ...
The more powerful a Grisha is, and the more they make use of their powers, the longer their lifespan can stretch. General Kirigan is on par with Alina Starkov as one of the most powerful Grisha who have ever lived, and this is what has allowed him to survive for hundreds of years without appearing to age at all.
Genya hasn't seen her parents since she was five. Because of her uniqueness of being a gifted Tailor, the Darkling sent her as a gift to the Queen at a young age, making Genya her servant. Since she had slept in the Grand Palace and received privileges, the other Grisha treated her with resentment.
Baghra tells Alina about her father, Ilya Morozova, and how the Darkling is his last descendant. Nikolai also talks about their future as King and Queen of Ravka and gives her his mother's heirloom ring.
Last year, it was confirmed The Darkling, played by Ben Barnes in the upcoming adaptation, would be referred to as General Kirigan. In Leigh Bardugo's books, he is exclusively addressed as The Darkling and his name is not revealed until the trilogy's final book.
It is eventually revealed that Kirigan is actually the Darkling, the Grisha who created the Fold in the first place ages ago, and who now wants to use Alina's power to control it and enact revenge on those who are prejudiced against (and have hunted down) Grisha.