The Shannara Chronicles

The Shannara Chronicles Information

The Shannara Chronicles is an American fantasy drama television series created by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. It is an adaptation of the Shannara series of fantasy novels by Terry Brooks, primarily The Elfstones of Shannara.

It is filmed in the Auckland Film Studios and on location elsewhere in New Zealand, premiered on MTV in the United States on January 5, 2016, and consisted of 10 episodes. MTV originally greenlit a second season of The Shannara Chronicles in April 2016; however, in May 2017, it was announced that the series would relocate to Spike. Season 1 is also available on Netflix. The second season premiered on October 11, 2017.


The Shannara Chronicles roughly follows the storylines set out in The Elfstones of Shannara, set in the fictional Four Lands. As the series opens, demons start to return after being banished from this world to a place known as the Forbidding"?locked by an ancient tree called the Ellcrys. The series chronicles the journey of Wil, Amberle and Eretria who, with the guidance of the last druid Allanon, must go on a quest to protect the Ellcrys from dying and releasing all the banished demons back into the Four Lands.

Cast and characters


  • Austin Butler as Wil Ohmsford, a half-human/half-elf who is the last of the bloodline of the ancient Shannara family. He is destined to help save the Four Lands from demons. He possesses three Elfstones, which belonged to his late father.
  • Poppy Drayton as Amberle Elessedil, the Elven Princess and the first female to be accepted as one of the Chosen, a group of elves responsible for protecting and caring for the Ellcrys tree. Amberle becomes the lover of Wil before the conclusion of her character's storyarc in season 1; Drayton appears as Amberle in season 2 in a guest role.
  • Ivana Baquero as Eretria, a human who was raised by Rovers, a band of thieves. Although at first untrustworthy, she later becomes a stalwart ally of the group. She also has romantic feelings for Wil.
  • Manu Bennett as Allanon, a human and the last druid who has been alive for more than 300 years through the use of Druid Sleep. He guides and mentors the group on their quest to protect the Ellcrys.
  • Aaron Jakubenko as Ander Elessedil, the youngest son of King Eventine who has a reputation for being irresponsible, due to the death of older brother Aine, as he blames himself his brother's death, despite the fact it was not his fault. However, after the death of his father and his brother Arion respectively, Ander becomes the new king of the elves; finally abandoning his irresponsible party boy nature, becoming the responsible ruler his kingdom needs.
  • Marcus Vanco as Bandon, an Elven boy with the gift of a seer, meaning that he can see possible futures when he touches someone.
  • Malese Jow as Mareth Ravenlock, an elf searching for Wil, and with ties to Allanon. (season 2)
  • Vanessa Morgan as Lyria, a human who is connected to Eretria. (season 2)
  • Gentry White as Garet Jax (season 2)


  • James Remar as Cephelo, the leader of the Rovers and adoptive father of Eretria. Upon first seeing Wil's Elfstones, Cephelo becomes obsessed with them. Despite his self-serving nature, he later helps Amberle on her quest. (season 1)
  • Daniel MacPherson as Arion Elessedil, 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. (season 1)
  • Jed Brophy as The 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. (season 1)
  • Brooke Williams as Catania, an elf who is Amberle's handmaiden. She later becomes the love interest of Bandon.
  • Emelia Burns as Commander Diana Tilton the captain of the black watch, the elite unit of the Elven military whose sworn duty is to protect the Ellcrys. She is romantically involved with Arion and was previously in love with Ander. (season 1)
  • John Rhys-Davies as Eventine Elessedil, 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. (season 1)
  • Daniel Cowley as Shea Ohmsford, the father of Wil Ohmsford. Shea Ohmsford was the original protagonist of the Terry Brooks novel The Sword of Shannara.
  • Jared Turner as Slanter, the Gnome resistance leader who murdered Amberle's father 10 years previously. He reluctantly agrees to help Ander and Commander Tilton find the source of the demons in exchange for his release from prison. Slanter shares his name with a character from The Wishsong of Shannara.
  • James Trevena-Brown as Captain Crispin Edensong, captain of the Home Guard, the personal corps of Elven Hunters beholden to the King or Queen of the Elves.


Series overview

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| color2 = #1E6157 | link2 = #Season 2 | episodes2 = 10 | start2 = | end2 = | network2 = Spike }}

Season 1 (2016)

| Viewers = 1.03 | ShortSummary = Amberle, the Princess of the Elven Kingdom, runs the Gauntlet, a customarily all-male race, to determine who will become the Chosen, seven servants of the Ellcrys, a great tree that holds back an ancient army of demons in a realm called the Forbidding. She finishes seventh. When she touches the tree during the initiation ceremony, she has a vision of elves being slaughtered. The druid Allanon wakes up after a long slumber. Wil Ohmsford's mother passes on the elfstones, a magical relic that belonged to Wil's late father. Wil decides to go to Storlock, the village of healers, to learn the healing arts there. On the way, he is ambushed by a troll and saved by a Rover girl named Eretria, who drugs him and steals the elfstones. Allanon meets with Eventine, the Elven King, in the city of Arborlon and warns him that the Ellcrys is dying. He leaves to seek out Wil and finds him with Eretria. As the Ellcrys weakens, a demon named the Dagda Mor breaks free of the Forbidding along with the Changeling, whom he dispatches to eliminate the Chosen. Amberle, haunted by the visions she saw when she touched the Ellcrys, flees Arborlon. She comes across Eretria, steals food and a horse, and heads for Wing Hove to meet with her aunt and Eventine's sister, Pyria (Sarah Peirse). Meanwhile, Allanon takes Wil to the Druid Keep at Paranor to find the secret to restoring the Ellcrys. Allanon uses magic to uncover a codex, proving to Wil that magic didn't end in the War of the Races 300 years ago. The Dagda Mor attacks Allanon in his mind. Allanon and Wil learn that the Chosen are the key to the renewal of the Ellcrys; however, the Changeling, using Amberle's form, has killed them all except Amberle, who had run away. Allanon and Wil track her to Wing Hove, where they are attacked by a Fury summoned from the Forbidding. The Fury kills Pyria and goes after Wil and Amberle. | LineColor = 005B9C }} </ref>}} | Viewers= 0.92 | ShortSummary = As the Fury is chasing Wil and Amberle, an injured Allanon rises and kills it. The trio head to the Druid Cave to treat Allanon. After leaving him there, Wil and Amberle head to Silver River to grab some of its mud, which has healing properties, but are ambushed by Eretria and another rover. They are taken as hostages to the rover camp so Wil can teach Cephelo how to use the Elfstones. Wil is unable to do so, and Cephelo threatens to kill Eretria. A Fury attacks the Rover camp but is destroyed by Wil, using the powers of the elfstones. Allanon is cured by the magic from the Druid Cave and rescues Wil and Amberle from the Rovers. On their way to Arborlon, they find an elf named Bandon chained and left alone and they take him with them. At Arborlon, Bandon has a vision of Amberle dying. The Elven Council discusses the crisis of the Ellcrys and decides to let Amberle, the last of the Chosen, enter the tree and search for its seed, which must be taken to Safehold. | LineColor = 005B9C }}

| Viewers = 0.75 | ShortSummary = Amberle enters the Ellcrys, is put to a test, and passes it, leading the tree to give her its seed. The group prepares to take it to Safehold but realizes that the demon is still alive. Amberle draws an image of a stained glass window, which she saw on a vision inside the Ellcrys. After being threatened by her foster father, Eretria sneaks into the elven palace and seduces Wil only to steal the elfstones again. As she tries to escape the palace, the demon disguises itself as her and attempts to kill Amberle but fails and the real Eretria is arrested for it. Bandon is revealed to be a seer. No one is able to find the demon, so they assume it must be a shapeshifting demon and prepare a trap to catch it. Wil and Eretria realize that the demon was disguised as one of the guards and was aware of the plan. Wil runs to warn the Amberle, but the Changeling gets there first and is killed by Allanon, who orders the guards to burn it and save its ashes. However, the demon comes back to life and kills the guards. | LineColor = 005B9C }}

| Viewers = 1.03 | ShortSummary = Ten years ago, a group of gnomes led by Slanter sneaks into Arborlon in an attempt to assassinate the King, but end up killing Prince Aine instead. In the present, the expedition to find Safehold is ambushed by Cephelo's rovers. Amberle is taken prisoner while Wil and the escort are left to die in the wilderness. Eretria receives her reward"?her own freedom"?and leaves the group, but comes back to free Amberle, take Cephelo prisoner and save Wil and most of the guards. Once the group arrives at their destination, the Reaper, a demon hungry for death, has already killed the garrison and attacks them. Cephelo lures it into an ancient field of chemical garbage and sets the field on fire, killing it. Meanwhile, Allanon asks Bandon to contact Amberle through the Ellcrys. In a vision, he sees her dead at Dagda Mor's feet. News comes in about demon attacks to elven villages. Ander suggests to seek the demon's source and enlists Slanter, who was captured 10 years ago, as a guide. The Changeling, disguised as Arion, kills the King and takes his place. | LineColor = 005B9C }}

| Viewers = 0.97 | ShortSummary = While camping, Amberle has a romantic dream about Wil. As a snow storm comes their way, the group decides to take a shortcut to Wilderun by passing through Pykon, a snowy Elven outpost. As they get there, they are welcomed by Mag, a mysterious child, and Remo, an elf who is the property's caretaker. Elsewhere, Reaper rises from the ashes of the explosion and follows the group's tracks. Remo reveals himself to be a torturer seeking revenge. As he begins to torture Amberle, Wil is able to stop him with the help of Mag. The group tries to escape Pykon when the Reaper reaches them. Crispin is killed while fighting it. Wil, Amberle and Eretria fall down the hill with Reaper. In Arborlon, the Changeling, disguised as the King, convinces Arion to find an ancient sword said to possess power to defeat Dagda Mor. Once Arion succeeds, he is confronted by Allanon who reveals that the weapon is a talisman of evil and a danger to all. Arion then stabs Allanon, removing him from existence. Meanwhile, Ander and Slanter find Dagda Mor's horde of demons. | LineColor = 005B9C }}

| Viewers = 0.80 | ShortSummary = After Wil, Eretria, and Amberle fall off the cliff, they get separated. After awakening next to the Reaper's corpse and prying the Elfstones out of his bloody left palm, Wil is attacked by a male elf from Owen Moor named Perk, whose left ear was stolen by Elf Hunters who cut off and sell the ears to gnomes. He wants to rescue his female partner Genewen who was captured by them. The man who cut off his ear, Cormac, is left behind to guard the camp as their female leader Zora pursues the princess. Eretria and Amberle are subsequently chased by the same group into an old hall that sunk underground during the great war. Meanwhile, in Arborlon, the Changeling, in the guise of King Eventine, sends his sons Ander and Arion on a seemingly futile mission to kill the Dagda Mor. Allanon is healed by his former master Bremen and returns to Earth. While underground Amberle picks up three blue dice: an eight-sided die and a pair of percentile dice. They also notice a map which resembles Eretria's vision and she tells Eretria it is Safehold. She and Eretria fight off some off the Elf Hunters but are captured by Zora. Wil arrives, dangling from Genewen, who turns out to be a flying Roc mounted by Perk, who is a Wing Rider. On the way out Zora shoots Eretria and she falls. More of the Elf Hunters arrive, preventing them from going back for her. The princes arrive to face the Dagda Mor, discovering an imprisoned Bandon. Arion attacks the evil Druid with the sword, but the Dagda Mor is prepared and kills him. Allanon arrives on the scene just in time to save Ander and free Bandon. Eretria is shown hauled off alongside a golf bag full of clubs and a white plastic lawn chair. Ander kills the Changeling with Allanon's collapsible sword, becoming King of the Elves. | LineColor = 005B9C }}

| Viewers = 0.78 | ShortSummary = Allanon tells Bandon he'll train him to be the next druid. Ander gets drunk. Eretria is bought out of slavery (along with the map to Safehold) by a human, who shows her how to shoot a revolver and they watch watch James T. Kirk and Spock in a scene from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. After kissing, Wil and Amberle rescue Cephelo but he ditches them before they sneak into the human village Eretria's in, hugging Wil as he leaves. Cephelo is captured skulking around the village border after noticing that Zora is laying dead outside. Eretria reveals to Wil that the Safehold map is in the village, he seems surprised, indicating Amberle had not told him this. When Wil and Amberle's elven heritage is uncovered during the party, Eretria sneaks off and speaks to a man with a mutilated eye. After he warns her, she flirts with her new owner long enough to steal his revolver. All three tied to posts to be sacrificed to trolls, Cephelo offers their captors a bag which he says contain the Elfstones. When opened, it is actually the three blue dice that Amberle found. Eretria frees the captives after shooting a troll about to kill Wil. Firefight ensues and Cephelo is mortally wounded. He takes Eretria's pistol and buys them time to escape. More trolls arrive and finding their dead friend attack the Utopians. Episode ends with Wil, Amberle and Eretria coming out of a forest to look upon the ruins of San Francisco. | LineColor = 005B9C }}

| Viewers = 0.72 | ShortSummary = Wil, Amberle, and Eretria arrive at Safehold, which turns out to be the ruins of San Francisco and Oakland (the name Safehold coming off the highway sign missing some letters). Eretria discovers that the tattoo on her back is a magical map to the location of the Bloodfire and leads the group there. They are confronted by the Guardians of the Bloodfire who attempt to turn the group against each other. Ander sends Commander Tilton to make an alliance with the Gnomes against the Demons. The Dagda Mor continues to control Bandon's mind, forcing him to attack Ander, Catania, and finally Allanon, who subdues him. Elven Councilor Kael Pindanon, thinking Ander too weak to lead, attempts to seize the throne for herself and has Ander imprisoned. Commander Tilton and Slanter return to Arborlon with a Gnome army and free Ander, and the Council accepts Ander as king after he announces the alliance with the Gnomes. Overcoming the Guardians' mental assaults, Eretria discovers her blood is the key to unlocking the Bloodfire and impales her hand on a magical spike, causing the Bloodfire to ignite. Wil destroys the Guardians with the Elfstones, and Amberle immerses herself in the Bloodfire. When it vanishes, Amberle is nowhere to be seen, and Eretria is unconscious. The last leaf falls from the Ellcrys, and the Elves and Gnomes prepare for war as the Dagda Mor's Demon army marches on Arborlon. | LineColor = 005B9C }}

| Viewers = 0.85 | ShortSummary = Wil revives Eretria with the Elfstones. Within the magic of the Bloodfire, Amberle learns the nature of her quest from the spirit of the Ellcrys before returning to join Wil and Eretria. While leaving Safehold, the group is pursued by Trolls, and Eretria stays behind to give the others time to escape. After returning to Arborlon, Wil and Amberle profess their love for each other. Bandon escapes from prison with Catania's help. The Demon army attacks Arborlon, and the Elves and Gnomes fight to defend the Ellcrys. In the battle, Ander and Commander Tilton encounter Arion, now resurrected as a Demon. Arion kills Commander Tilton before being killed himself by Ander. Allanon and Slanter rescue Wil and Amberle from a group of Demons and escort them to the Ellcrys. The Dagda Mor blocks their way, and Allanon battles the evil Druid. Amberle tells Wil that she is the seed and must sacrifice herself to become the new Ellcrys. The Dagda Mor knocks Allanon aside and tries to kill Wil and Amberle. Wil holds off the Demon leader with the Elfstones and Allanon beheads him. Amberle successfully becomes the new Ellcrys, and the Forbidding is renewed, banishing the Demons. Allanon admits to a heartbroken Wil that he knew what Amberle had to do from the beginning and reminds him that all magic comes with a price. Wil rides off to Safehold to rescue Eretria. Bandon is briefly seen carrying the Dagda Mor's evil blade, his eyes turned completely black. Eretria is captured by Trolls and recognizes one of her captors. | LineColor = 005B9C }} }}

Season 2 (2017)

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Conception and development

Sonar Entertainment and Farah Films acquired the TV rights to the Shannara universe in 2012. In December 2013, it was announced that a series based on the books was being produced for MTV and had been given a straight-to-series, 10-episode order. On April 20, 2016, MTV greenlit a second season of The Shannara Chronicles.

The series is produced by Dan Farah, Jon Favreau, Miles Millar, Al Gough, Jonathan Liebesman, and author Terry Brooks. Brooks has stated in an interview that he is happy with the way his story has been adapted. Much like the television adaption of A Song of Ice and Fire, the series will not be a direct adaptation following the narrative order of the books, but will feature a mix of the books' stories. The first book of the series to be adapted is The Elfstones of Shannara, the second book in the trilogy, with some elements of the other novels being gradually adapted to the show.


In December 2014, it was announced that Manu Bennett would star as Allanon and in January 2015 Ivana Baquero, Austin Butler, Poppy Drayton, Emelia Burns and John Rhys-Davies joined the show. Malese Jow, Vanessa Morgan, Gentry White, Desmond Chiam and Caroline Chikezie joined the cast as series regulars in season two.


Filming for the 10-episode first season wrapped in New Zealand at Auckland Film Studios in June 2015, and the first trailer debuted on July 10, 2015. Filming for the second season began January 31, 2017, in New Zealand.


The opening theme song, "Until We Go Down", from the EP "Up in Flames", is performed by Ruelle. Other songs featured in the show's first season include "Midnight" by Coldplay, "You Are a Memory" by Message to Bears, "Wave" by Beck and "Run Boy Run" by Woodkid.


During the Shannara Chronicles panel at San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2015, a teaser trailer was revealed, giving audiences a first look at the sets and characters. A television version of the trailer was shown during the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.


The Shannara Chronicles premiered on MTV in the United States on January 5, 2016, with a two-hour series premiere, right after the premiere of the second half of the fifth season of Teen Wolf on MTV. New episodes were broadcast every Tuesday at 10 pm ET. The third and fourth episodes were released online after the first two episodes aired on January 5, 2016, prior to their original broadcast schedule. The second season is set to premiere on October 11, 2017, on Spike and broadcast new episodes every Wednesday at 10 pm ET.

The series is simulcast on MTV in Canada. The two-hour pilot also aired on Bell Media sister network CTV on Wednesday, January 6, 2016. No future episodes of the series appear on CTV's schedule. The series has also been licensed to a number of different countries, including the United Kingdom (airing on 5STAR), Australia (Syfy) and New Zealand (Sky TV). In Thailand aired on Channel 7 in 2017.


Critical response

The Shannara Chronicles has received mixed or average reviews, receiving a 52/100 score on Metacritic, based on 15 reviews and a 54% for season 1 on Rotten Tomatoes based on 26 reviews, with an average rating of 5.2/10. The critics' 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." The New York Times wrote the following: "So give this reasonably absorbing series a little credit, even though it often seems to be merely reworking various fantasy formulas. It moves quickly and does a nice job of weaving together two story lines involving an elfin world that is threatened when a giant tree, known as the Ellcrys, begins to die." Variety wrote: "Sure, Shannara, which harks back to the golden age of syndicated genre fare, is a standard quest journey in which there are trolls, gnomes, living trees and magic books, and characters say things like, 'If Allanon is here, there are dark days ahead.' But there's conviction in the show's execution."


Season 1 (2016)


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| title5 = Reaper | date5 = January 26, 2016 | rs5 = 0.5 | viewers5 = 1.03 | dvr5 = n/a | dvrv5 = n/a | total5 = n/a | totalv5 = n/a

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Season 2 (2017)


The series was nominated for a Saturn Award for "Best Fantasy TV Series" for the 2015-2016 season.

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