1st PHOTO from MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles TV series

MTV The Shannara Chronicles Ivana Baquero as Eretria, Austin Butler as Wil Ohmsford, and Poppy Drayton



It’s been almost a year and a half since MTV announced they were greenlighting a small screen adaptation of the Terry Brook Shannara novels, which at the time of the announcement were estimated to be the highest-selling un-adapted fantasy book series in the world. Fast forward eighteen months and we have our very first photo from the network featuring Ivana Baquero as Eretria, Austin Butler as Wil Ohmsford, and Poppy Drayton as Amberle Elessedil.

In the photo the three character are seen wielding lit torches in a tunnel of some sort — kind of reminiscent of the tunnel under The Wall on Game of Thrones. But don’t tell author Terry Brooks that!

“Don’t mention Game of Thrones to me,” Brooks said in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly about MTV’s Shannara adaptation:


We were saying, ‘We don’t want to go that route.’ That’s not what the Shannara books are. They’re a family-oriented fantasy and always have been. That’s been one of the strong selling points. Anyone from 10 years of age up that has the reading skills can read these books. We’ve always talked about it as a family drama that anyone can watch.


So, how closely will producers stick to the book? “I thought of it as a straight adaptation,” Brooks says. “I told [writers and producers] Al [Gough] and Miles [Millar] early on, ‘I know you’re going to have to make changes. Just hold the bones of the story together.'”

Here are the bones of that story, taken from the dust jacket of The Elfstones of Shannara–the second book in Brooks’ series and the one that the first season of The Shannara Chronicles will be based on:


In the far future, unbeknown to humankind, an apocalyptic war is brewing. Fearsome, vengeful Demons rage at the boundaries of the world, held at bay by a spell called the Forbidding. But now that barrier is dying. Evil is beginning to break through. And only the Chosen can banish the Demons back to their realm.

Wil Ohmsford is a healer, not a fighter; a man of duty, not great deeds. But this epic battle seeks him out, for he holds the Elfstones: mysterious protective talismans passed down by his grandfather. Wil is recruited to act as guardian to the Elf girl Amberle, who must venture far to deliver a seed that will help the Forbidding to grow again. The fate of civilization rests upon her shoulders—and the completion of her mission rests upon Wil’s. Now, as the forces of darkness descend, Wil and Amberle embark on a perilous journey, placing their faith in each other to survive the bloodthirsty terrors that await.


Elfstones of Shannara MTV The Shannara Chronicles



Some fans have openly questioned the decision to give the project to MTV, with many wondering why it didn’t go to networks with a more established history of successful (and critically acclaimed) fantasy/science fiction adaptations, like AMC or TNT.

“This is the question that virtually every reader is asking,” Brooks says. “‘MTV? Have you lost your mind?'”

But Brooks is not too worried. “I kind of like the idea of being first with something,” he says. “I appreciated the strong pitch that MTV made for this and how willing they were to get behind it and support it, and that’s really what I was looking for, more than anything else. A commitment to the project. That was very persuasive to me, deciding that MTV was the right place for it. MTV is known for reinventing itself.”

MTV definitely has its work cut out for it, because the huge Shannara fan base is more than likely going to be extremely nit picky. For example, check out this conversation that took place in the comments section over at ic9.com after they shared the promotional photo:


Why do they need so many torches?

In case they have to split up.

I thought of that! They could use one torch that is lit, and light the spares when they split up. Unless they’ve just done that and are just about to split up. But they’re in a narrow tunnel so it doesn’t look like that. Now if they were in a large chamber, that would be different.

It looks like a waste of resources to me. I mean, the fellowship made it all the way through Moria with one torch and Gandalf’s wand. Maybe people in Middle Earth had better vision.

I hadn’t thought of that. Yeah, there’s no reason for them to be burning them all at the same time in such a narrow space. Plus, it’s ruining their night-vision.


Now THAT’S a tough crowd!

The first preview trailer for The Shannara Chronicles will be unveiled at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, July 10 along with a panel discussion featuring Terry Brooks and the cast. Here’s the announcement from MTV:


Friday, July 10
“The Shannara Chronicles” 12:30-1:30 PM

MTV will introduce fans to the world of Shannara when author and series Executive Producer, Terry Brooks, joins stars Poppy Drayton, Austin Butler, Ivana Baquero, John Rhys Davies and Manu Bennett along with Executive Producers Al Gough and Miles Millar. Attendees will bear first witness to a first look trailer of the highly anticipated new series and be able to participate in a Q & A with the panelists. Damian Holbrook, Senior Writer from TV Guide Magazine will moderate.

Location: Room 6DE


So far, there is still no premiere date for The Shannara Chronicles.

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