Kaz cannot touch Inej in Shadow and Bone, because skin-to-skin contact triggers traumatic flashbacks for him.
Fans were excited to see the Netflix adaptation of Shadow and Bone, but the inclusion of characters from the Six of Crows novels made the show even more enjoyable.
This includes Kaz Brekker, who gets flashbacks to the traumatic events following his brother’s death every time that he is touched by someone, including his love interest, Inej.
Why Shadow and Bone fans cannot get enough of the Crows
There is no doubt that the Netflix adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s popular Shadow and Bone trilogy was an instantaneous hit.
The show was quickly renewed for a second season after the first season was watched by over 55 million households within the first 28 days of its release.
While most fans were just excited to see their favourite fantasy series play out on their screens, it did not take long for social media and forums to start buzzing about the Crows – an interesting and complex group of thieves, borrowed from another Bardugo novel called Six of Crows.
While the Crows did not technically need to be included in the series, they certainly changed the pacing of the show and have kept avid fans of the novels on the edges of their seats while watching.
Shadow and Bone: Why can’t Kaz touch Inej?
The Crows each have their own complex personality and moral ambiguities to contend with. However, Kaz Brekker, the leader of the group, has certainly proved on more than one occasion that he has much more going on beneath the surface than viewers may have initially suspected.
Although it was hinted at in the first season, the real reason why Kaz is so averse to skin-to-skin contact, even when it comes to his love interest, Inej Ghafa, was only revealed in the second season of the show.
Over the course of this season, more and more details eventually come to light regarding why Kaz insists on wearing gloves and get debilitating flashbacks whenever he is touched.
Unfortunately, Kaz’s backstory is a grim tale. Kaz and his older brother, Jodie, were left to fend for themselves on the streets after the death of their father and their bankruptcy.
Eventually, both Kaz and Jodie were exposed to firepox. Jodie eventually died from the infection, but Kaz was trapped with him when the infected corpses were moved to open water.
In the end, Kaz had to use his brother’s corpse in order to swim back to shore. As a result, Kaz cannot touch Inej because he knows that any contact with another person triggers flashbacks to this severely traumatic event in his past.
Pekka Rollins was the one responsible for conning Kaz’s older brother, Jodie, out of the little money that they had after their father passed away.
This is ultimately what landed Kaz and Jodie on the unforgiving Ketterdam streets when they were still so young.
After this, Jodie was infected by the extremely contagious firebox plague, which he likely could have avoided if they could have stayed out of the city. Kaz blames Pekka Rollins’ despicable actions for being the catalyst of all of these events.
Will Kaz be able to touch Inej in the future?
It has been heartbreaking for many Shadow and Bone fans to watch Kaz’s trauma prevent him from touching Inej throughout the first two seasons of the show.
In fact, Inej even imagines that he will eventually take off his gloves for her in the sixth episode of the second season.
Unfortunately, it is still undetermined whether Kaz will ever be able to overcome such complex past trauma and touch Inej, even though he clearly has the desire to do so.
How does this differ from Kaz’s backstory in the books?
Kaz’s backstory in the Six of Crows novels is very similar to the way it was depicted in the Shadow and Bone series.
It also involves him developing a fear of touching others or being touched after being dumped in the river with decaying corpses. Furthermore, he also wears gloves to try and protect himself from any possible contact in the novels.
However, in the novels, Kaz’s trauma is so overwhelming that he even has trouble when he is just in a small space with someone else.
In fact, he even faints at one point when he is trapped in a van with a large number of people. It is also very evident that Kaz tries to keep this touch aversion a secret as far as possible