All You Need to Know About Shadow and Bone’s Ben Barnes

The year is 2008. Polar bears have been added to the endangered species list, Barack Obama is about to be named the Democratic Presidential nominee, and 21 year old me is sitting in a movie theater (remember those?), watching The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and falling madly in love with Ben Barnes.

If you’ve been sleeping on the brown eyed British magnificence that is Ben Barnes for the last 13 years, that’s okay-you’re here now. And you’re probably here because Ben will soon be appearing as General Kirigan, aka The Darkling, aka the ancient Shadow and Bone villain who is way too hot and alluring for our own good. 

While we anxiously, and rather impatiently, await the debut of Shadow and Bone in April, lets get to know the man behind the Darkling.

The Most Important Things to Know About Shadow and Bone‘s Ben Barnes

He has the voice of an angel

Wikipedia will inform you that Ben Barnes got his start in musical theater, and even enjoyed a brief stint in a boy band (but don’t bring it up if you want to stay on his good side). But you only have to go as far as his social media accounts to learn that Ben can a) play the piano, and guitar, and drums (sexy), and b) immediately brighten your day through song (the sexiest). Do yourself a favor and check out his Insta or Twitter; they are liberally sprinkled with videos of Ben covering popular songs.

But he doesn’t just sing; he can also read you a bedtime story in that deep, silky accent. Still not enough? Lucky for you, Ben has also narrated several audiobooks. You’re welcome.

He is Grade A Sweetheart…

If sweetly serenading his followers with Beatles covers and captioning his IG photos with poetry wasn’t precious enough, Ben seems like a genuinely nice guy. He loves Hamilton and The Princess Bride. I’m pretty sure his smile could power a small city. He’s generous with praise and positivity, and is constantly complimenting his friends and co-workers. And his working relationships with those colleagues? Certified adorable.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ben Barnes (@benbarnes)


It gets better. He also frequently works with charities such as the Make-a-Wish foundation and Stand Up to Cancer, and is a very vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. Literally his only flaw is not knowing that I exist. Let’s fix that, Ben.

…but has lots of experience being a villain

The Darkling is not exactly Ben Barnes’ maiden voyage to the dark side. No, he has played a host of villainous characters. From the infamous Dorian Gray’s descent to debauchery and murder, to the hedonistic depravity of Westworld‘s Logan Delos, to the backstabbing treachery of Billy Russo in Netflix’s The Punisher, the man knows how to be bad (how to look really, really ridiculously good looking while doing so). Which are precisely the skills he will need to draw upon to play The Darkling, the manipulative and power hungry sorcerer who we shouldn’t have a crush on but kinda-sorta-do.

At this time we have no official images of Ben in character as The Darkling, but all studies suggest his portrayal will be equal parts sinister and seductive (heavy on the seductive if we’re really lucky). And by “studies” I mean me, devotedly watching all of his filmography and stalking following his social media over the last 13 years. 

If Ben’s Darkling doesn’t make us all seriously question our stance on stanning villains, then I will be shocked.

I’ve been waiting for you a long time, Alina. You and I are going to change the world.

Just consider all of your options, Alina. That’s all I’m saying.

Catch all our Shadow and Bone coverage when the show premieres on Netflix this April!

Scroll To Top