‘The Shannara Chronicles’ coming to MTV

Terry Brooks’ best-selling fantasy/science fiction series of books are coming to the small screen. The Shannara Chronicles tells a visually stunning story of three young teens who must embark on an epic quest. Fans of the books will not be disappointed, the size and scope of the sets are impressive, and Brooks agrees wholeheartedly. He has endorsed the show and has stayed close to the writing process.

“Seeing it here has made it very real for me,” the author remarked in an interview on one of The Shannara Chronicles official video trailers. “Not only because it was real to watch it happening, but also because of the incredible size of everything.”

So what is the story line behind The Shannara Chronicles? Forbes shared that thousands of years have passed since mankind fell due to an apocalyptic catastrophe. The realm of the Four Lands arose and the elves, humans and trolls who call the area home live peacefully until they realize the great, magical Ellcrys tree is dying. The tree is a crucial part of their lives, the spell that holds the evil of the Forbidding at bay is weakening as the tree dies. The Ellcrys tells the Chosen, who are her caretakers in The Shannara Chronicles, what it would take for a rebirth to take place.

Wil Ohmsford (Austin Butler) and Amberle Elessedil (Poppy Drayton) are the ones tasked to create the new Ellcrys tree, which won’t be an easy feat. Along the way, they are joined by Eretria (Ivana Baquero). As the tree weakens, demons are unleashed in The Shannara Chronicles upon the Four Lands, and the Elven army and their allies try to slow the invasion in order to give Wil, Amberle and Eretria time to complete their dangerous quest. Since The Elfstones of Shannara provided readers with the history and background of the Elves, there will undoubtedly be a lot of attention given to that part of the story. To begin their quest in The Shannara Chronicles, Wil and Amberle must first find, and then travel to a place called Safehold. Along the way they have their own adventures in The Shannara Chronicles, and meet others who are willing to help them.

Fans of the novel The Elfstones of Shannara may recognize that this is the story that was chosen for the first season of the show. This novel was selected over the The Sword of Shannara book due to the appealing plot and the numerous strong female characters. The Shannara Chronicles series obviously tries to remain faithful to the books, but there are some changes, including a few new characters.

The Shannara Chronicles was filmed on location in beautiful New Zealand, which seems to be a popular place to shoot the film adaptations of well-known fantasy novels (think The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies). A smart decision was made to have the characters in The Shannara Chronicles talk as though they live in 2015, partly because the show’s present timeline is actually in our future. This makes it easier for viewers unfamiliar with the stories and the fantasy world it represents to understand and enjoy what is happening.

Other cast members include: John Rhys-Davies as Eventine Elessedil; Aaaron Jakubenko as Ander Elessedil; Daniel MacPherson as Arion Elessedil; James Trevena-Brown as Crispin Edensong; James Remar as Cephelo; Genevieve Aitken as Mallenroh and Kendal Rae as Morag. As mentioned earlier, there are new characters and they are: Emilia Burns as Commander Tilton; Marcus Vanco as Bandon and Brooke Williams as Catania.

Are you a fan of the novels? Will you be watching the new series? The MTV two-hour premiere of The Shannara Chronicles debuts on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at 10 p.m. ET.

[Image via The Shannara Chronicles/Facebook, cropped and resized]