Spike's The Shannara Chronicles is finally back on our screens, and boy has it come back with a bang! Picking up a full year after the events of the first season (you know, that time Amberle became a tree), the Season 2 premiere introduced us to three new characters, as well as catching us up with existing ones.
A hell of a lot happened in this week's episode and it looks like the Four Lands are in danger once again. So, here are four things we learned in this week's #TheShannaraChronicles!
1. Cogline Finds Eretria, But It's Not Quite The Happy Reunion He Wanted
Though the overall Season 2 Premiere picks up a year after the events of the first season, the actual episode – after a short re-cap – brought us right back to the end of Season 1. Eretria, having sacrificed herself to the trolls to allow Will to escape, finds that she's actually been found by Cogline, an old friend of her mom!
Cogline and his crew – who disguise themselves as trolls to make their travels easier – then reveal themselves to Eretria before the episode skips forward a year. Eretria ends up saving the group by fighting alone, allowing her people to escape. When one of the trolls throws her off the decrepit remains of the Golden Gate Bridge and she almost drowns in the water, Eretria has a vision of Amberle.
Amberle tells her she needs to find Will, warning that a "new darkness" is coming. However, when she mentions the vision to Cogline, he harshly tells her to forget her old life. It's only after talking to new beau, Lyria, where Cogline is revealed to have been lying. You'll remember that Will promised to come back and find Eretria at the end of Season 1, and unbeknownst to Eretria, he did just that. Will ended up coming a hair away from finding Eretria, but was taken off her trail by Cogline, who kept Will's necklace as a token of sorts.
Taking the vow he made to her mother a little too literally, Cogline thought he was protecting Eretria by keeping her away from Will, a Shannara who – in Cogline's words – only ever brings pain and trouble. Unfortunately, this doesn't sit too well with Eretria, and she vows not to ignore the message from Amberle, and to find Will once and for all.
2. Will Meets Mysterious Newcomer Mareth - And She Reveals A Pretty Big Secret
We learned a while back that Malese Jow would be joining the cast of #Shannara in the role of Mareth – a mysterious newcomer and magic-user. Luckily, we didn't have to wait too long to meet her, as she turns up with a pretty horrible burn. Having left his magic behind him, Will is now training to be a healer, and is tasked with helping Mareth.
Will gives her a simple ointment before leaving, neglecting to respond to her advances. Shortly after Will leaves, we see Mareth use her magic to heal her burn, leaving the ointment behind – showing that she'd only come to find Will. She eventually tracks him down and tells him he's being hunted by The Crimson. She vows to help him fight off the bounty hunters, saving his life before revealing herself as a magic-user and telling him the real reason she tracked him down.
In a pretty unexpected twist, Mareth then reveals that she needs Will's help to track down Allanon who, to everyone's surprise, is apparently her dad! Whether or not that's true is unclear, but I'll guess we'll have to wait for next week's episode to find out for sure.
3. King Ander Is On The Hunt For General Rigam, But He's Running Low On Resources
The Elven Kingdom had a rough time in Season 1 and it doesn't appear to be getting any better under King Ander's rule. Back in Season 1, all but one (Amberle) of The Chosen were slaughtered, leaving the Ellcrys completely defenseless – making Amberle the only person there to defend it.
After fighting a hoard of demons at the end of Season 1, the Elven Army and their resources are limited. The Crimson continues to sow discord between the races, making it near impossible for the Elven Kingdom to reach out to other species for help. With The Crimson hunting all magic users – believing them to be the root of the problems in the Four Lands – and brutally slaughtering those who disagree or refuse to cooperate, King Ander has quite the battle ahead of him.
He has very few supporters or help, and dealing with the death of his family must now rule over a tragedy-stricken Elven Kingdom, that sits largely in ruins. He has no means to help them rebuild their cities and livelihoods, and must use what little resources he has to hunt and kill General Rigam before The Crimson become an even bigger problem.
4. Bandon's On A Quest To Summon The Warlock Lord, But Allanon's Having None Of It
Like The Elven Kingdom, Bandon has also had a pretty rough time of things. Starting off as a sweet kid with visions he didn't fully understand, Bandon's mind was eventually taken hostage and corrupted by the Dagda Mor. Unfortunately, though the Dagda Mor is dead, its hold on Bandon and influence did not die with him, and thus a once sweet kid is now the show's primary villain.
We see him sporting a new look for the Season 2 Premiere, with his dark hair now at shoulder length and slightly unkempt. He walks into what can literally be called "Death Mountain," which is quite literally a huge mountain with a massive skull for a face.
Bandon's plan is to summon a being of all evil known as The Warlock Lord. Promising his followers a new look and new powers, he takes the heart of The Warlock Lord in his palms before reciting an incantation willing it to beat. When it does, the heart pumps blood onto the tombstone of The Warlock Lord, forming an intricate pattern.
It's at this moment that Allanon arrives to thwart Bandon's plans, and the two fight as the blood ceremony continues. Bandon then instructs his followers to drink the blood, and they are reborn with stronger powers and a new look. With this, they easily overpower Allanon and are unleashed into the Four Lands in search of Will.
With all of this in mind, it's safe to say that this was a great season premiere and the show has taken a significant step forward in visual effects. Both the scale and look of the show have grown, and it'll be exciting to see where Season 2 takes us next.
The Shannara Chronicles airs every Wednesday on Spike at 10 / 9c.