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‘Shannara Chronicles’ Review: Danger Lurks Everywhere

This week on the Shannara Chronicles, things get a lot worse for Wil, Allanon, and Eretria as they encounter danger from multiple fronts with the Mord Wraiths, the Crimson, mercenaries, and Queen Tamlin up to no good. Season two thus far is proving to be full of intrigue, action, and secrets.

We’re also getting an increased dystopian and post-apocalyptic feel to the show, which is completely appropriate given that the Shannara books (though in the high fantasy genre) is set during the distant future after civilization on Earth was destroyed due to a chemical and nuclear holocaust. I’m also thoroughly enjoying Wil’s new haircut, Eretria’s new love interest, dark Bandon’s scruffy new look, Ander’s struggle to be a responsible king, and General Riga’s captivating mismatched eyes.

Here are the unforgettable moments from season 2 episode 2: Wraith

Wil gets to know Allanon’s daughter Mareth

While running from the Mord Wraiths who is seeking Wil for Bandon, the two halflings jump of a cliff next to a waterfall and swim into a hidden underground cave. They are actually close to Shady Vale where Wil is hoping to find his Uncle Flick alive. Mareth reveals that she’s Allanon’s daughter through Pyria Elessedil, the sister of King Eventine and cousin to current King Ander (making her Amberle’s first cousin once removed). She’s looking for her father because he’s the last druid and the only one who can teach her to control her burgeoning powers. Interestingly enough Wil comments that Allanon had to learn to how to use magic and wasn’t born with it. Once the coast is clear the two make their way to Shady Vale and luckily find Flick still breathing.

Bandon and the Crimson both want Wil

Meanwhile we know from the season 2 premiere that both dark Bandon and General Riga of the Crimson want Wil but for two very different reasons. Both send their minions to find Mr. Ohmsford though it is the Mord Wraiths who locate the Elfstone user first because you know, magic. The Crimson however are resourceful elves themselves and hear that he has been at Storlock with the Gnome healers. One of Wil’s teachers is being tortured by Riga’s men when suddenly Bandon appears and kills them. He then uses his mind reading abilities to extract the knowledge he seek, discovering Uncle Flick’s location in Shady Vale. Surprisingly though he lets the Gnome live, saying that his quarrel isn’t with them.

Lyria forgets to tell Eretria she’s a princess

Poor Eretria, people keep lying to her! When we last left the two women, they had been captured by rovers on their way to Arborlon. While strung up, the two are surprisingly saved by a vicious man who kills their captors without mercy or hesitation. He then explains that he’s sure they could have taken care of the problem themselves but didn’t want to risk damaging the merchandise. Before Eretria can do anything she is knocked out by Garet Jax the mercenary who is there to retrieve Lyria, the daughter of Queen Tamlin of Leah. The princess it seems ran away from home and mom hired Jax to fetch her.

King Ander arrives in Leah with Allanon

After his battle at Skull Mountain, Allanon meets with King Ander secretly and tells him of the growing danger with Bandon trying to resurrect the Warlock Lord. His former pupil has the Warlock Sowrd and the heart of his evil master, but still requires the skull to perform the dastardly deed. Thankfully Allanon has hidden it away for safety. The druid advises Ander to seek aid from Queen Tamlin to battle both the Crimson and Bandon. The elven king agrees and travels with his entourage to Leah to meet with the human ruler. While there, a grand feast is held in their honor and Tamlin tells Ander that she wants a true alliance between them, aka she wants him to marry Lyria so that her daughter will be queen of Arborlon.

In Leah things get even more complicated

Most of the juicy action all happens in the golden city of Leah this week folks. Eretria follows Jax to the palace bordello and makes him tell her where Lyria is. He laughs and says that he has a soft spot for hopeless romantics and reveals that her ladylove is the princess. Yikes! Eretria finds Lyria and confronts her about it with the other woman explaining that she hates it here and that her mother only wants to use her. Guards then burst into the room and the former rover is taken to the queen. Eretria tells Lyria that if she really cares about her then she should tell King Ander that she’s here. Upon meeting Queen Tamlin, the older woman regretfully explains how her daughter changes lovers as she does outfits and has run away from the palace multiple times. Eretria is just another unfortunate play thing to the princess. The queen then offers her a bag full to diamonds to leave and forget Lyria or otherwise she’ll be killed.

Meanwhile King Ander and Catania have grown very quite intimate. She tells him that she knows Queen Tamlin wants him to marry Lyria in order to unite their two kingdoms and she urges him to do it to save the elves. Noble Ander doesn’t want to be in a loveless marriage and recognizes that he’s in a tough spot after telling the queen that he wants to have better relations with the humans and recognizes that challenges they faced during his father’s reign. Their moment is interrupted though by Lyria’s arrival informing them of Eretria’s current situation. Thankfully, Ander quickly goes to locate the former rover and proclaims that she’s under his protection.

Eretria learns of Amberle’s fate

This whole time Eretria hadn’t known what happened to elven princess Amberle (now Ambertree the Ellcrys) and when she meets with Allanon, Ander, and Catanaia they fill her in. She tells them that Amberle appeared to her in a vision warning that Wil was in grave danger and that’s why she came back. The druid says that he hoped to spare Wil from more conflict, but if the Ellcrys sent a message then they need to find the halfling fast because he’s the only one who can stop the Warlock Lord. Allanon, Eretria, and Catania prepare to leave for Shady Vale.

In which more crap happens in Leah

Eretria and Lyria have a tense parting as the princess tries to convince the ex-rover that her feelings are genuine. However when Eretria asks her to leave with their party, Lyria says she can’t because her mother would have them hunted and killed. I definitely have no doubts that Queen Tamlin is capable of that. I feel terrible for Eretria though because she can’t seem to catch a break. She was broken hearted before because she felt that Wil’s heart belonged to Amberle and now Lyria is too afraid of her mother to fight for their relationship. She leaves saying that there’s nothing left for her there. Ouch.

Allanon in the meantime comes face to face with General Riga of the Crimson in the stables. The general has an enchanted brass knuckle weapon that protects him from magic. Well that’s super convenient. So when the druid tries a blast from his staff, nothing happens to the elf. Riga then throws a face punch and knocks Allanon out cold. To make matters worse he then puts a magic suppressing collar on the unconscious man before taking him back to their headquarters. Well this can’t be good. Eretria and Catania witness all of this and Eretria tells the former handmaiden to warn King Ander while she goes to find Wil. She now realizes how much danger he’s in from both the Crimson and Bandon’s forces.

Catania goes to Ander’s room only to find Edain in there who asks her what’s wrong. He says that Ander is with Queen Tamlin and she explains that Allanon was taken by General Riga. She knows that there’s a mole in the castle because the Crimson was waiting for the druid in the stables, meaning someone let them in. Edain tries to calm her down, saying that she did the right thing and then stabs her in the gut. Well now looks like he’s a double agent and is actually working for Riga. It seems unlikely that Catania survives this and what a shame. I was looking forward to getting some kind of reunion between her and Bandon. But I suppose this now totally frees up Ander to marry Lyria?

Bandon doesn’t kill Wil

So Bandon and the Mord Wraiths track Wil down at his uncle’s house. Mareth tries to buy them some time by using her magic to conjure up clones of herself while the two Ohmsford men hide inside an abandoned barn. Wil uses the Elfstones to hold one of the Mord Wraiths back but Bandon appears. He’s able to redirect the magic back to the halfing using the Warlock Sword. He then tells Wil that he likes him because he was the only one who showed him kindness and that they should become bffs. Bandon explains that he’s doing this for magic wielders and that the Warlock Lord would help them reach their fullest potential. Wil refuses though and so the dark elf uses his mind reading abilities to penetrate Wil’s mind (but he doesn’t have that info because it was his father Shea who defeated the Warlock Lord with Allanon). Unable to bear his nephew’s torture, Flick speaks up and tells Bandon that he knows where the skull is because he was there with Shea and the druid. The elder Ohmsford reveals that it’s locked inside an enchanted chest in Paranor. The villain smirks and tells Wil that a Shannara and a druid can unlock it and so if he wants his Uncle Flick to live he has three days to find Allanon and to retrieve the skull. Flick then vanishes with Bandon and the Mord Wraith, leaving halfling alone.

Final Thoughts

  • Wasn’t expecting Edain to be secretly working with General Riga but makes sense given how unstable life is for the elves right now. But damn stabbing Catania was cold.
  • Since Queen Tamlin hates the elves, what does she really have planned by having Lyria marry Ander? Does she plan to use their wedding as a way to invade Arborlon?
  • What’s General Riga’s end game? So he rids the world of magic and then what?
  • Oh Bandon, me thinks you are being used by the Warlock Lord. I hope your smart enough to know that you need some kind of backup plan once you revive him. He’ll probably suck your magic or something like that.
  • Will Bandon care that Catania was stabbed by Edain?
  • Wil seems to endlessly find himself tied to Allanon and the Elessidils.
  • We need more Ambertree flashes!
  • Also Wil needs some basic fighting skills, stat.

 

The Shannara Chronicles airs Wednesday at 10/9 Central on SpikeTV.

About Nicole C

Nicole is the Features Editor for The Workprint.

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