‘The Shannara Chronicles’ Delivers Fantasy Lacking Originality – Review

the shannara chronicles review

MTV’s new series The Shannara Chronicles (premiered Jan. 5th, 2015) takes place in a far future, long after humans have been diminished into a primitive species called Rovers, while Elves, Trolls & other creatures have taken over, dividing the world into the Four Lands. Magic, mystery & adventure are in store as the unlikely teaming of Elf princess Amberle, half elf/human Wil & Rover Eretria set out to

MTV released the first four episodes of the series to gain people’s interests, and they sure might have a hit on their hands. Delving into the fantasy feel of Lord Of The Rings, mixed with a splash of magic from Game Of Thrones, The Shannara Chronicles combines familiar elements with new & exciting ones.

The Shannara Chronicles (S1 Ep. 1-4)

the shannara chronicles austin butler manu bennet poppy drayton

Thousands of years after technology died out caused by a chemical & nuclear holocaust called The Great War, humans have become an endangered species as Elves, Trolls & other creatures have been formed from the remnants of the Earth we know today. There was a time when magic was the only thing stopping demons from taking over, but when the magic contained the evil, it was put to sleep, until it was needed again.


The story starts as Amberle Elessedil (Poppy Drayton) princess of the Elves has joined the ranks of the Chosen – security of The Ellcrys, a tree that acts as a barrier between the demons & they’ve worked hard to create. Amberle is the grand daughter of the Elf King Eventine Elessedil (John Rhys-Davies). During her ceremony to join the Chosen, she places her hand on the tree Ellcrys & sees dark visions of the future, where Demons & pure evil destroy their world with a “black wave of darkness”. Suddenly The Ellcrys becomes sick for the first time in centuries & leaves begin to fall – each leaf means a Demon is released from eternal damnation.

Enter Wil Ohmsford (Austin Butler), unknowingly the last surviving relative of Shannara, who’s half elf, half human. He’s got a certain ‘adorkable’ feel to him (for the ladies), but is certain to grow into the series hero. Before his mother died, Wil was bestowed with three Elf Stones which belonged to his father. The stones hold the power of magic, that his father used to end one of the wars that left Elves in control & magic a folklore. The Shannara Chronicles sees Wil being mentored by the last Druid Allanon (Manu Bennett) who has just awoken from a Druid sleep of 30 years. He simultaneously came out of slumber as Druid-turned-evil-Demon-leader The Dagda Mor (Jed Brophy) does, as the first leaf of The Ellcrys fell. Dagda Mor is only fully powerful once The Ellcrys & the Chosen have been destroyed.


One by one, Dagda Mor recruits the awaking Demons to aid his evil quest by attempting to murder the Elf princess Amberle as Wil has been instructed to protect her. Along the way they both in their own way have the unpleasure of meeting Eretria, a Rover that has been instructed to steal the Elf Stones from Wil, so the humans can somehow gain control of their world again.

Shannara Chronicles Review

While many elements of The Shannara Chronicles, based on the 1977 book series (starting with The Sword of Shannara), feel reminiscent of The Lord Of The Rings, Game Of Thrones & many more before it, it has it’s own style & delivery. Combining interesting components of fantasy, adventure, magic & even comedic relief (from Wil), this series might just have what it needs to be the next fantasy series viewers want. With special effects worthy of more notable sci-fi/fantasy networks, MTV has certainly made some wise decisions. Strong characters & lead actors lead me to believe this is a series worth continuing. With a binge-worthy four episodes being released Jan. 5th & 6th, the series is off to an exciting start.


The Shannara Chronicles delivers a compelling story of survival & adventure for the multiple races that fight for Earth, thousands of years in the future. It’s unique story, as well as stellar performances from John Rhys-Davies, Manu Bennet, Poppy Drayton, combined with Austin Butler’s whit, make The Shannara Chronicles a worthy adaptation (so far) of the novels.

In my opinion, MTV has a winner on their hands, as long as they maintain & build this fantastical world & adventure they’ve started throughout it’s first season. As long as the first four episodes aren’t the most exciting part about the series, this is going to be great.


What are your thoughts on The Shannara Chronicles? Any thoughts on the transition between the original novels & the series? Do you think the story is being translated as well as it could for TV audiences?

Comment below and let us know!

1/7/2016 – 2:44 pm

by James

About the Author

Welcome to The Second Take! My name is Jay, I'm a Video Production College graduate sharing my love for movies & T.V.! I post regularly the newest news, reviews, castings, photos & even produce my own videos to cover the content!

Be the first to comment on "‘The Shannara Chronicles’ Delivers Fantasy Lacking Originality – Review"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


Follow on Feedly