An Ode to SHADOW AND BONE’s Milo the Goat

The new Netflix adaptation of Shadow and Bone is a faithful recreation of many iconic moments from Leigh Bardugo‘s novels. One fuzzy change, though, captured the imagination and love of many fans. In the third episode, Milo the goat trotted on to the screen and into our hearts.

He made his glamorous debut in the arms of Kaz Brekker, the notoriously cold-hearted criminal bastard of the Barrel. Kaz himself said that he only chooses the best and most special, and it was immediately clear that Milo fit that bill. You couldn’t often describe Kaz as “cute,” or “cuddly,” or “not filled with the need for homicidal revenge,” but the miracle of Milo ensured that it happened.

Kaz Brekker carrying Milo the goat in Shadow and Bone


Then, when Kaz, Jesper, Inej, and the Conductor crossed the Fold in a rickety illegal train cart, Milo provided service as a crucial emotional support goat. As fans, we feared the worst when the Conductor introduced the idea of a goat to the crew. He would most likely be tasty goat-bait for the ravenous volcra who inhabit the Fold. So when we all heard, along with Jesper, that sacrifice wasn’t the plan for the goat at all, we were ecstatic. “I need you to calm down. Hug the goat. Shut the hell up,” the Conductor told Jesper. We felt hooked.

Only Milo could have really been there for Jesper in his time of need. Would Jesper have been able to have such amazing and assured accuracy while shooting the volcra if he hadn’t been holding a cute little goat with his other hand? One shudders to think. Jesper remained loyal to Milo throughout the rest of the series, never forgetting his buddy during moments of crisis. Although separated by circumstance and common sense, Jesper parted from Milo with a gift and words of encouragement.

Jesper hugging Milo in Shadow and Bone


Finally, Milo saved the entire series by showing up again in episode seven and rescuing Mal from captivity. Not only is Milo a crucial member of the Crows, but he supports the true love of Mal and Alina. Milo the shipper goat might inspire some wrath from General Kirigan fans, but it’s hard to dislike a goat who loves love. And soft, furry hugs. Some might argue that it was Jesper’s bullet, lovingly tied around Milo’s neck as a parting gift, that saved Mal, but that someone would be wrong. It was Milo, carrying the bullet, who saw that the bullet reached its Chekhovian destination.

Fans immediately proclaimed Milo supremacy. Stag who? It’s Milo who is receiving sainthood. Sure, the stag is a powerful amplifier of legend, but it never made it through the Fold alive. While the stag might have the magic of Morozova running through its magnificent ancient blood, isn’t it more impressive that Milo, a simple non-magical goat, saved at least four lives and held the plotline together? Many worry that his back must hurt from carrying the entire show.

Milo fever has us questioning the true merits of the stag and wondering why our beloved goat doesn’t have a Netflix icon yet. Fan art floods the pages of Twitter and Tumblr, a few brave souls have even written some fanfic. And of course, there are a variety of Milo fancams for the discerning fan to choose from.

Milo even manages to tweet, winning more hearts online. He uses determination and his cute little cloven hoofs to give hugs to fans, answers questions, and wonder what kefta would taste like. In short, he finally demands the attention he deserves as Ravka’s most fabulous creature and Sankt of the Rails. Fans have already been speculating who might run the account. Someone created it in January, well before the premiere, and some of the first followers are cast members and creators of the show. Could it be Kit Young or Freddy Carter, having shared scenes with the goat, developed the account to casually interact with fandom? The world may never know. But what we do know is how much we love this small town goat living in a lonely Grishaverse.

From a fuzzy emotional support animal to a crucial plot point in episode seven, Milo has taken the internet by storm and now it’s time that the world take notice of the true hero of Ravka: Milo the goat. Best of all, Milo is still out there in the care of a barmaid, waiting for his moment to return in our darkest hour.

May Sankt Milo of the Rails bless you as you cross the Fold.

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