I attended the panel for the show at SDCC 2015, and I’ve been waiting for it with bated breath ever since. The show is based on Terry Brooks’ series of Shannara fantasy novels, and over the past decade I have read every single one. So far this season: the Ellcrys, which creates the Forbidding and keeps the Four lands demon-free, is dying. Only Amberle, the Elvish princess, can save it. She’s joined by the Druid Allanon and Wil, a half-Elf with a mythic lineage, and Eretria, a Rover. Warning: Spoilers ahead.
The fifth episode of the season lights up on a flashback to events a decade earlier, when Amberle was still a young girl (played by Angelina Cottrell). We meet Amberle’s father, Prince Aine (Roy Snow), the eldest son of Eventine Elessedil and heir to the throne of Arborlon. We see Aine’s death at the hands of Slanter, a gnome from the Breakline, and we also see that Ander had previously had a relationship with Commander Tilton (Emilia Burns).
Oh, how things change in a decade.
On the Road
Team Ellcrys is on the move in search of the Bloodfire. Eretria (Ivana Baquero) is unwillingly brought along with them, and it brings in Cephelo (Dexter‘s James Remar) and his band over Rovers to kidnap the princess, and leave Wil (Austin Butler) and the Elvish soldiers to die on the side of the road. Eretria is given her freedom by Cephelo, and Amberle (Poppy Drayton) is left at the mercy of Cephelo’s lustful whims. Eretria has a change of heart and double-crosses Cephelo. Her former Rover leader is now her prisoner, and she and Amberle return to Wil and the Elvish soldiers.
They are heading towards an Elvish fort, but when they arrive they find another demon.
It is a surprising team up of Wil and Cephelo that face the demon, while Eretria and Amberle run off to safety. Wil attempts to use the Elfstones against the demon, but he has performance issues and cannot rise to the occasion. In another surprise, it is Cephelo who figures out how to defeat the demon.
Perhaps the Rover isn’t so bad after all.
Bandon, the seer that Amberle brought to Arborlon, volunteers to join the Elvish army until Allanon tells him that his gifts will make him more useful to the Druid. Allanon seeks to use Bandon to contact Amberle through the Ellcrys, but the plan doesn’t go accordingly when demons await Bandon on the other side of the connection with the Ellcrys. We see Bandon psychically imprisoned while his physical body adopts blacked out eyes.
Meanwhile Prince Ander, the youngest Elessedil brother, decides that the Elves need to scout out the Breakline, to assess the demon threat. The only problem is that no Elf has ever gone to the Breakline and survived, and so he frees Slanter, the gnome who killed his brother, from prison to be his guide. His brother, Arion, isn’t too keen on the idea, but Commander Tilton agrees to journey with Ander and Arion.
I sense another love triangle for the show…
But is it really a love triangle if one of the princes isn’t a prince? In the most shocking twist the show has offered yet, it is revealed that the changeling is still in the royal palace, one that has been masquerading as the dog and Prince Arion. This changeling plans to turn the royal family against Allanon, so that when the Dagda Mor enters the Four Lands, Arborlon will be ripe for the taking.
“Reaper” ends with the Faux Arion killing King Eventine and taking his place on the throne.
Still To Come
In the upcoming episodes, in addition to the inevitable Amberle/Wil/Eretria love triangle, I think that the Dagda Mor and the Changeling will turn political tensions against the Druid. Allanon is the only threat to the Dagda Mor, and the biggest protector of the Ellcrys at the moment, so it makes sense that Arion/Eventine/Changeling would get Allanon exiled from the Elvish city.
On the upside, we’ll see Allanon reunited with Wil, Amberle, and Eretria.
Downside, more demons for the Four Lands. Are the Elves out of salt or something?
The Shannara Chronicles airs on Tuesdays at 10 pm on MTV.
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