Hold back the Demons: The Shannara Chronicles and the fight for magic and peace

And the torches have it ... dystopia never looked this well-lit (image via Winter is Coming (c) MTV)
And the torches have it … dystopia never looked this well-lit (image via Winter is Coming (c) MTV)


The Four Lands, normally a land of magic and peace, faces a threat beyond man: Demons. Banished ages ago, they were held back by a magical wall known as the Forbidding. Yet the source of that magic, the magical tree known as the Ellcrys, is dying, and thus the wall wanes. When the acolytes who tend to the tree are all killed, the wise Druid Allanon turns to Amberle, the last remaining disciple, to save the tree. Only she can take the seed of the elven tree to the faraway Bloodfire, to replant the Ellcrys and stop the Demons. To protect her, Allanon sends the young Wil Ohmsford, a descendant of heroes past. As the two youth head on a perilous journey, Allanon and the entire Elven Nation stand together to hold back the Demons and stop them from destroying the Four Lands. (Written by Wishsong214 – via IMDb)

Let this be a lesson to you boys and girls – don’t play with nuclear arsenals.

Or do, if you want to watch a world like The Shannara Chronicles, based on Terry Brooks series of books, unfold in all its dystopian fantasy glory.

It is, if you like, Earth but not as we know it Jim.

Laid waste by an all-out nuclear war, everyone on our favourite blue planet has spent thousands of years trying to recover from the devastation wrought by some ill-thought out M.A.D.-ing.

But rather than build giant, sealed underground bunkers such as those in Hugh Howey’s Silo series, or go ferally automotive a la Mad Max, the good people of future glowing Earth have reverted to a medieval existence, something along the lines of the Lord of the Rings with its dwarves, elves, magic and fanciful derrings-do.

Wise choice apocalyptic humanity, wise choice indeed.

The beauty of Terry Brooks’ beautifully-written, evocative series, to which volumes are still being added today – the series will initially bring to life the second book in the series “Elfstones” and focus on three young people who are human, elvish or a mix of both doing their best to stop a Demon army – is that it lends itself to an expansive realm of narrative possibilities, which should see the initial 10 episode run on MTV go well into the future.

(You can find out why “Elfstones” was chosen and not the first in the series, plus some other most excellent insights in this 2015 Comic-Con interview of Terry Brooks by Paste magazine.)

It shouldn’t be a problem given our current appetite for all things darkly dystopian and quite magical, which shows no sign of letting up anytime soon.

The Shannara Chronicles debuts on MTV in 2016.



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