Terry Brooks’ Sword of Shannara was one of the first full-length novels I’ve ever read, and conveniently, it provided an opening into my own fantasy writing. The Shannara series has gone through many changes over the years, as has my love for it, but the core books, the ones filled with all my nostalgia, remain very dear to my heart.
The Elfstones of Shannara, the sequel to Sword, is one of those books. Not only did Elfstones take on a darker tone and explore much more of the magic in Brooks’ fantasy world, it took on a more original story. Whereas Sword follows the Tolkien formula, Elfstones carves its own path into the fantasy genre.
Last year, MTV announced that it would produce a Shannara TV show based on the Elfstones of Shannara, something I was beginning to doubt would happen within my lifetime. But MTV? Seriously? I couldn’t get excited about it. Nothing about it, save Jon Favreau as an executive producer, even made me flinch. I just let it go, along with my hopes and dreams, and gave up the notion that MTV could do it right.
The months went by and new information began to surface. Miles Millar and Alfred Gough were attached to write the series, two of the writers responsible for Spider-Man 2, one of my favorite superhero movies. They’ve written a lot of other TV screen plays as well, nothing to get too excited about, but enough to make me think they know what they’re doing. But writers are only part of a TV series, and I don’t know enough about these two to know if it even matters that they’re apart of the series.
Next came casting. Aaron Jakubenko as Ander Elessedil? I don’t know who that is but I guess he looks the part. Poppy Drayton as Amber? Okay...I guess that would work. Keep in mind, I’m only judging this cast off of looks! I know nothing about these actors and actresses actual abilities, only that they might fit my brain’s visualization of characters in a book I haven’t read in ten years.
Within the last couple of weeks, two more casting announcements came that compelled me to write this post. Eretria, the beautiful Rover girl, and Allanon, the forbidding Druid, were cast for Ivana Baquero and Manu Bennett respectively. Suddenly, I was excited. As a teenager, the concept of Eretria made me feel things I’d never really felt before, and Allanon, dark and mysterious, became for me a shinning light in the fantasy world that could never be replaced. The two casting choices (again, I’m ignoring acting abilities!) were perfect.
Lastly, now that the show has begun to film, it’s awesome to see an actor like Manu Bennett so excited to play his part. I’ve been following him on Twitter, and it appears he’s ready to begin work as Allanon. As a lifelong fan of the character, that’s more than encouraging to hear from an actor portraying him, and it makes me genuinely excited for the show. I only hope the series lives up to my expectations, as I’m sure the thousands of Shannara fans out there also hope.
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