Sunday, January 10, 2016

Shannara Chronicles Begins

This is a new TV series that permeired on MTV, it's based on the best-selling fantasy book series by Terry Brooks, "The Shannara Chronicles" follows heroes in the Four Lands as they embark on a quest to stop an evil Demon army from destroying the universe. Thousands of years after the fall of humankind, the world's fate rests on the shoulders of an unlikely trio: Elvin Princess Amberle, who dreams of a life outside of the palace walls; beautiful, wild and wily Human Rover Eretria, and half-elf Wil, who knows nothing of the great destiny that runs through his veins.

I've been super excited to see this since I saw the preview a while back. I actually thought this was a movie based on the amazing special effects and the look of this world, but then saw the MTV logo at the end and found out that it was actually a new series for television. They aired episodes 1 and 2 back to back as one long two hour episode and I finally found the time to sit down and give it a watch. 

S1 Ep 1-2 "Chosen" Amberle, the Princess of the Elven Kingdom, runs the Gauntlet, a customarily all-male race, as a rite to determine who will become the Chosen, seven servants of the Ellcrys—a great tree which holds back an ancient army of demons in a realm called the Forbidding. She's the seventh to cross the finish line, and becomes one of the Chosen. 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, on her deathbed, passes on the Elfstones, a great magical relic that belonged to Wil's late father. Wil decides to go to Storlock, the village of healers, in order to learn the healing arts there.

On the way, he is ambushed by a troll and saved by a Rover girl named Eretria, who takes him to a home she says is hers, then 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 then leaves to seek out Wil and finds him at Eretria's house. 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, runs from Arborlon. She comes across Eretria, and steals food and a horse, and heads for Wing Hove to meet with Eventine's sister, Pyria. Meanwhile, Allanon takes Wil to the Druid Keep at Paranor, in order to find the secret to restoring the Ellcrys.

While there, Allanon uses magic to uncover a codex, proving to a doubtful Wil that magic didn't end in the War of the Races 300 years ago. The Dagda Mor attacks Allanon in his mind, making the druid aware of his presence. 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.

Going into this I know very little, I know it's based on a series of books and this is just one of the storylines from that series. I know that it's set 1000's of years after the fall of mankind so it's post apocalyptic (which is pretty cool for a fantasy series). And that's about all I know about this series.

First let me say that it is beautifully shot but then again it's done in New Zealand so of course it's going to be beautiful and feel very Lord of the Ringish. The look and feel of the series is a definite positive.. but a slight negative is that it's on MTV so it definitely has that CW/MTV Teen feels to it but luckily it wasn't to overwhelming and deter me from the rest of the show. Some of the dialogue and acting isn't the greatest but I can look past that because I'm really enjoying the world and the storyline. And they have some heavy hitters among these younger inexperience cast members like Manu Bennett who was actually in Lord of the Rings but is probably better know for his role on Arrow. And of course there is veteran actor John Rhys-Davies who everyone knows played Gimli and Treebeard (Voice) in the Lord of the Ring Trilogy.

They had to dump alot of information on you quickly and get the story moving along and I think they accomplished that quite nicely. I felt like I knew enough of this world and it's people to really start getting into the story. This is high fantasy at it's best and I loved every minute. The two hours just flew by and of course it ended on a nice cliffhanger. I'm really looking forward to seeing where this story goes and hopefully like some of these character better then I do now. I guess that's good writing when you really just can't stand a character but you know they are important to the over all story.

I'm really looking forward to episode 3...

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