The Shannara Chronicles: My TV Series Review

The Shannara Chronicles is an American television series categorized into fantasy drama based from the adaptation of fantasy novels by Terry Brooks “Sword of Shannara” trilogy. The series was created by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. This series was filmed in the Auckland Film Studios and elsewhere in New Zealand.

The said series has already ran two seasons. Its first season was premiered in the United States on January 5, 2016 thru MTV (Music Television) channel. It has 10 episodes for season 1 and 2. Then, MTV greenlit season 2 in April 2016. However, it was announced that the series would relocate to Spike in May 2017. On October 11, 2017, the second season was premiered and concluded on November 22, 2017.

WARNING: Spoilers Alert!

The Shannara Chronicles’ season 1 roughly follows the storylines that set out in The Elfstones of Shannara, which is set in the fictional Four Lands. The series opens with demons starting to return in the real world after being banished to a place known as The Forbidding, where it is being locked by an ancient tree called the Ellcrys. It chronicles the journey of Amberle, Wil and Eretria who, with guidance of Allanon as the last druid, must go on a quest for the protection of Ellcrys from dying that will unlock and release all the banished demons back into Four Lands. 

I have watched this series til season 2, but I’m gonna give you only characters that appeared from season 1 to avoid you from getting spoiled for season 2 in case you will watch this series.

American actor Austin Butler (Hunter Calloway of Yoga Hosers/ Chase of Arrow/ Noah Henry of The Intruders/ Sebastian Kydd of The Carrie Diaries/ James Wilkerson of Switched at Birth/ Jones Mager of Life Unexpected/ Derek Hanson of Hannah Montana/ Jake Pearson of Aliens in the Attic) played his role as Wil Ohmsford, a half-human and half-elf who is the last of the bloodline of the ancient Shannara family. He is fated to help save the Four Lands from demons. He also possesses three Elfstones, which belonged to his late father, Shea Ohmsford. British actress Poppy Drayton (Elizabeth of The Little Mermaid/ Verity Wickes of Unhallowed Ground/ Jo of Writers Retreat) played her role as the elven princess named Amberle Ellesedil. She was the first female to be accepted as one of the Chosen, a group of elves responsible for caring and protecting the Ellcrys tree. She later becomes the lover of Wil before she sacrifices herself to save the ancient tree and everyone else in the Four Lands.

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Spanish actress Ivana Baquero (Ofelia of Pan’s Labyrinth/ Aurora of Sister of Mine/ Meri of The Misfits Club/ Mandy of Fragile) played her role as a human named Eretria. She was raised by a group of thieves known as the Rovers. She later becomes a stalwart ally of the group with Wil and Amberle, although untrustworthy at first. 

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New Zealander and Australian descent actor Manu Bennett (Slade Wilson of Arrow/ Azog of the Hobbit trilogy/ Crixus of Spartacus/ Sinbad of Sinbad and the Minotaur/ Bennett of The Marine/ Matt Urlich of Street Legal/ Marc Antony of Xena: Warrior Princess/ Jack Hewitt of Shortland Street) played his role as a human and the last druid named Allanon. He has been alive for more than 300 years through the use of Druid Sleep. He also guides and mentors the group on their quest to protect the Ellcrys. Australian actor Aaron Jakubenko (Commodus of Roman Empire: Reign of Blood/ Delyle Condie of Spirit of the Game/ Robbo Slade of Neighbours/ Sabinus of Spartacus/ Yuri of Conspiracy) played his role as the youngest son of King Eventine named Ander Ellesedil. He is the brother of Amberle who has a reputation for being irresponsible, due to the death of his older brother Aine, as he blames himself for his brother’s death, despite the fact it wasn’t his fault. However, after the demise of his father and his brother Arion respectively, he became the new king of the elves.

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Australian actor Marcus Vanco (Baca of Day of the Dead: Bloodline/ Vulcan of We Were Tomorrow/ Lambert of Unbroken) played his role as Bandon, an Elven boy with the gift of a seer, where he can see possible futures when he touches someone. 

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American actor James Remar (Peter Gambi of Black Lightning/ Kodiak of The Path/ Frank Gordon of Gotham/ Admiral Parnell of USS Indianapolis: Disaster at Philippine Sea/ Syd of State of Affairs/ Tonraq of The Legend of Korra/ Harry Morgan of Dexter/ Derrick Perrish of Horns/ Butch Pooch of Django Unchained) played his role as the leader of the Rovers and adoptive father of Eretria named Cephelo. He becomes obsessed upon first seeing Wil’s Elfstones, with them. He later helps Amberle on her quest, despite his self-serving nature.

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Australian actor Daniel McPherson (Calvin’s father of A Wrinkle in Time/ Scott Murphy of APB/ Lt. Kane Sommerville of Osiris: The Last Fighter/ Joel Samuels of Neighbours/ PC Cameron Tait of The Bill/ Jack Keenan of Wild Boys) played his role as Arion Ellesedil, oldest living son of King Eventine and heir to the Elven throne. Arion is known to be hot-tempered and often disagrees with his father’s commands.. Welsh actor John Rhys- Davies (Charles Kemp of Beyond the Mask/ Gimli of The Lord of the Rings trilogy/ Grand Pabbie of Once Upon a Time/ Horace of Legend of the Seeker) played his role as Eventine, Amberle’s grandfather who has ruled the Elven Kingdom of Arborlon for decades. After the death of his oldest son (Amberle’s father), Eventine began grooming his son Arion for the throne. However, in the wake of the demon threat, he decides that the hot-headed Arion is not yet ready to rule.

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New Zealander actress Brooke Williams (Hannah Jone sof 12 Monkeys/ Aurelia of Spartacus/ Eva of The Almighty Johnsons/ Jennsen of Legend of the Seeker) played her role as Catania, an elf who is Amberle’s handmaiden who later becomes the love interest of Ander.

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New Zealander actor Jed Brophy (Nori of The Hobbit trilogy/ Shadrin of Legend of the Seeker/ Sharku in Lord of the Rings trilogy) played his role as the evil Dagda Mor, an ancient elvish druid who turned into a demon. His powers increase as the Ellcrys dies, and as such he uses lesser demons as henchmen and proxies.

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The series has received mixed reviews, receiving 54% for season 1 on Rotten Tomatoes based on 26 reviews, with an average rating of 5.2/10 and 52/100 score on Metacritic, based on 15 reviews and. The site’s critical consensus reads:

 “The Shannara Chronicles wears its influences heavily on its sleeve and needs to find surer footing before it can tap its true potential, but it still might suffice for viewers in search of a teen-friendly Game of Thrones.”

Though it was announced that the series had been cancelled after two seasons, and that the producers are shopping the series to other networks, this still remain as one of my favorite fantasy series on TV. If you are looking for an epic adventure that involves magic, elves, trolls, gnomes, grotesque creatures, then this series works for you. It’s just like watching Lord of the Rings in a lengthy story. I give my 7.5/10.

If you haven’t watched this series yet, here’s the official trailer in courtesy of Series Trailer MP Youtube channel:

Featured Image: source


What do you think?

Written by Trafalgar Law