I won’t lie. I tried really hard to keep this show all to myself. When I was growing up as a fledgling nerd, Terry Brook’s “Sword of Shannara” was the first book that put me on the path to talking nerdy and thus Talk Nerdy. It holds a special place in my heart and as much as I wanted to shout to the world how awesome the series was to read, I was afraid that my words would pale in comparison to the type of praise the books actually deserve. Then, by chance and a lot later to the party than I should’ve been, I heard about MTV’s upcoming Shannara Chronicles that starts the live-action telling of these wonderful epics with the second book, “Elfstones of Shannara.” My blood boiled. How could they do this!? How could they ruin my childhood like this? This is most certainly sacred ground! Perhaps this is what it felt like when folk first heard about the Lord of the Rings movies.
Then I cooled down and took a step back. “Deception is mostly a game we play with ourselves.” The announcement that Jon Favreau, Miles Miller, and Al Gough were attached helped assuage some of my baser feelings. I started thinking about some of MTV’s success stories which are quite a lot more than I thought at first. This might be okay, I thought to myself. They might be able to pull this off. Then I heard Terry Brooks himself was involved and my fears disappeared. Nothing can go wrong now.
And, so far, knock on wood, nothing has. Pictures began coming out and a first look was released. Actors and actresses of fantastic renown became attached. Manu Bennett of Spartacus and Arrow fame was cast as Allanon! It was done. I was set. This was going to be epic. No… This IS going to be epic.
If you haven’t read the Shannara series, you really should. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know. It’s a series of high fantasy novels set in a far-flung future so far-flung that it’s living in the magical past. Let that sink in for a moment. If it doesn’t, just give it a few more minutes. If there’s still nothing then just know that the Four Lands are set in the Pacific Northwest after a chemical and nuclear holocaust has wiped quite a lot of everything from the world. These are known as the Great Wars in the series. By the time things had calmed down, the world reverted to magic as a supplement to science and we returned to a sort of pre-industrial state of living.
If that doesn’t get you hooked, I certainly hope you reconsider your stance. The series is an amazing read and one that I highly recommend. In addition, MTV is bringing The Shannara Chronicles to our screens sometime next year. Pictures and trailers and all kinds of tasty bits and baubles are coming out to tease us more and more. It was too much for me to bear. As I said at the beginning, I wanted to keep it all to myself as my something precious. The One Ring to my Gollum. But this isn’t something for one person. This isn’t something for one community. This is for everyone. Shannara belongs to everyone. It belongs to Terry. It belongs to MTV. It belongs to you. And it belongs to me… I had to share it with you. I want us to rejoice together. I am a writer, a journalist, and a fan of the Four Lands and it is my job to help you find your way into this mystic world as well. Allow me to be your guide.
After all, like Terry wrote in the “Scions of Shannara”, if I have the means, I have the responsibility to employ them.