ByChristina Tenisha Small, writer at
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Christina Tenisha Small

MTV's The Shannara Chronicles premieres TODAY, so in preparation for the much-anticipated fantasy show, here are a few things you might like to know before watching!

It's an Adaptation

The MTV show is based upon the series of novels, written by American author Terry Brooks. Famed for writing epic fantasies, it's no wonder the show is already garnering comparisons to Game of Thrones. The scale of the world that has been created is huge and as intricate as any good fantasy should be, and with Brooks directly involved with the making of the show, we can only hope that's made its way to the small screen.

It's Set in a Post-Apocalyptic Earth

The series of books, and by extension the television show, are both set in a post-apocalyptic Earth. After the Great Wars (a Nuclear Holocaust which destroys Earth's civilization), the fictional land known as the Four Lands, is divided evenly into four parts, based on which direction they face. Each part is inhabited by a different species / people. The Northlands are largely inhabited by Trolls, the Eastlands by Gnomes and Dwarves, the Southlands by Humans and the Westlands by Elves.

It's Got Some Pretty Beautiful Scenery / Practical Sets

Along with an amazing story, The Shannara Chronicles has some pretty elaborate settings in the book. Bringing that to life for the small screen takes upwards of an entire ARMY.


Most of the scenery and imagery we see in the show and trailer is real, with a significant portion of the show shot on location in New Zealand, and other naturally beautiful parts of the world. However, there is one aspect of the show that simply couldn't be found anywhere on Earth. And that folks, is where the gems that are Set Designers take over.

The Ellcrys Tree is virtually sacred both in the books and the television show. With a silver trunk and blood-red leaves, the Ellcrys Tree is the only thing keeping the Demons that once haunted the Four Lands at bay. Trapping them in an alternate world, each Crimson Leaf on the elaborately crafted tree represents a Demon that has been trapped.

The tree itself is protected and cared for by The Chosen - a group of Elves. Of course, there'd be no book series or show if there wasn't trouble, and as the Ellcrys Tree is withering, so too are its leaves - freeing the Demons that have been trapped away from the Four Lands, and ensuring trouble for all if they continue to be freed.

The sheer scale and magnitude of the sets stunned cast members and author Terry Brooks upon first sight. You can check out the making of the Ellcrys Tree below, for a special behind-the-scenes look into the show's artistry.


Last But Not Least - The Cast

The show features a fresh, young cast taking on the roles of Wil, Amberle and Eretria respectively. Fan-favorite actor Manu Bennett also stars in the show as Allanon, but let's be honest. If you've not read the books, those names mean nothing to you. So here's a brief bio of your three main characters!

Wil Ohmsford

Wil is a Human-Elf character, described as 7/8 Human and 1/8 Elf, hence the ears. He is a Healer and lost his parents at a young age to fever. In order to become a Healer, he made the decision to study with the best he could find in the Four Lands, so as to perfect his craft.

He is played by Austin Butler in the MTV Show.


Eretria is also a human character (100%) and the adopted daughter of the Rover leader, Cephelo. She's pretty much our resident badass, with skills in fighting and horse-riding, and is an ally to Wil. She's also described as being skilled in the art of seduction. So there's that.

Eretria is played by Ivana Baquero in the MTV Show.

Amberle Elessedil

Amberle is an Elf, the only daughter of Aine Elessedil, and more importantly one of The Chosen. She is somewhat rebellious as we'll find out in the show, but is tasked with one of the most important jobs in their world.

She is played by Poppy Drayton in the MTV Show.


Described as mysterious and cryptic, Allanon is a highly secretive character. He's described as never being truly honest - telling white lies to protect people, and only shows up when the Four Lands needs him.

Manu Bennett will play him in the MTV Show.

Check out the trailer below!


So that's it folks! The Shannara Chronicles in a nutshell. Found yourself intrigued? Want to know more? Be sure to check out the page on MTV for more clips, though be warned some of them are annoyingly for you lucky US residents only. And of course be sure to give the Facebook page a like, and more importantly tune in when the premier airs!



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